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The beginnings, however, were shaped by a number of coincidences as well as by a nimble use of the circumstances by the protagonist. In fact, it did not exactly cause a stir even in the Czechoslovak foreign policy, embroiled as it was in a not entirely successful balancing act between French and British interests. His lower middle-class family was characterised by aspirations to social mobility and overcoming of social barriers, if with limited material means.

He was further to add Serbo-Croatian. This was a different course in comparison with most of his teachers, or coevals. He also had a card and a reference from J. The reference, however, was hardly necessary, as professor Lexa welcomed the other rare bird, who was also interested in Egyptian inscriptions and attempted to understand Egyptian language and lexicon.

Masaryk, also a professor of sociology, and his work encompassed a number of sociological issues, from eugenics to alcohol abuse. His classes used the American sociologist Franklin Henry Giddings as a reading list staple. Giddings edited also Readings in Descriptive and Historical Sociology in , essentially a reading book, introducing an analytical approach to societies of the past. Alois Musil — was an Arabist, traveller, rediscoverer of Quseyr Amra—and a shrewd politician.

Both had experience in diverse aspects of fieldwork, including epigraphy. Neither Lexa, nor his pupils were conceptualizing Egyptology as an auxiliary to classical philology or to Biblical studies, but as an independent contribution to the history of mankind. Lexa was interested in psychology and philosophy being a pupil of Masaryk , hence was drawn to study of script, written culture, and any insight he expected the latter might have provided into ethics and mentality of the Egyptians.

He also had no major public collection and no excavation at his disposal—a direct contact with Egyptian antiquities, unless visited in collections of museums abroad, was limited to a small collection of the National Museum in Prague and to private collections. Finally, in , there were no articulated policy preferences of Czechoslovakia that would have concerned choices of research subjects for the small discipline of Egyptology, except one issue—a personal interest of Masaryk in Egyptology. However, in —, these were still very fluid elements.

One option was to be a museum-based Egyptologist with primary interest in written culture and objects only inasmuch as they were already published or brought to a somewhat clinical environment of a museum if available , such as was the case with his contemporary and later friend Giuseppe Botti. Namely a course of study, where texts could not have been divorced from objects and neither of the two categories of evidence from their makers and users.

He commenced his research with an idea of a synthetic social and economic history of ancient Egypt, a rather ambitious task for a dissertation. He noted that these papyri related to Western Thebes in the later New Kingdom hence his choice of dates from to and were concerned with professional groups of people related to particular locations in Thebes.

Even so, it included a number of observations that stood the test of changing interpretations, or that served as a start for further analytical queries e. The reference list included publication of papyri, ostraca, and varia. There were most major editions of papyri and ostraca he had used in the dissertation, and analytical studies by Spiegelberg; there was also Thomas E.

Peet and his publication on the tomb robberies. The proposed economic and social history took up a minor part only. A brief topography of Western Thebes fig. The details of organisation of work at the necropolis were described rather in a style of essays with select references, than a systematic analysis. He was interpreting freely, and on occasion without further scrutiny.

The critical apparatus and comparative material was limited. Although he applied as much of a critical apparatus as he was trained to use at that point of his professional development, he also wrote with gusto, and an interest in the elusive humanity of the past people. In Oriental studies, enjoyment, or aesthetic delight were long exiled to the margins, 68 and in Egyptology alternatively banished and overstated, depending on the philological or archaeological leanings.

The texts were the backbone of his dissertation, quoted extensively as well as enclosed in translation. Existing publications were used as a starting point and elaborated. The overall presentation—a handwritten dissertation, with a narrative part and editions, but also with extensive quotes from Egyptian texts also in the narrative body—was again very much in style used by Spiegelberg. It gave an outline of materials considered relevant, with an emphasis on papyri in the Turin and British Museum collections.

Spiegelberg also proposed to begin a complex study of the community of workmen, at that point understood as encompassing Western Thebes, with an analysis of their administration and with collection of available written resources. Graffiti were indicated as a resource with further potential, and also the ability to evocate a presence of ancient people, stopping and sitting down at the same locations in shade that invited their modern follower to take a break, and leaving their signatures.

Both ostraca and graffiti were deemed of interest for further study of hieratic palaeography. Spiegelberg expected the settlement of workmen to be nearby, but had not proposed any identification at this point. Furthermore, Spiegelberg noted evidence offered by ostraca, also in terms of artwork, or what he considered to be preparatory phases for artwork. An interest in toponyms and their identification with extant location in the West Theban region was also articulated.

In place of conclusion of his work, Spiegelberg also proposed an outline of work he considered as necessary for an advancement of study of the Theban necropolis—collection of all available ostraca and papyri, and all written material from the area, emphasizing again the importance of the Turin collection.

However, Spiegelberg suggested a complete research programme of systematic mapping of sites and museum collections in search for West Theban material, following the categories of graffiti where relevant , ostraca, papyri and other inscribed objects.

Spiegelberg assumed that the task was not to be expected to be undertaken by a single person, and exhorted his colleagues to take part in the endeavour. He had no academic position and continued to make his living as a bank clerk. It was in this period when he probably begun his system of notebooks with collected texts that he identified as related to Western Thebes. Objects related to s. He was soon thereafter focusing on the collection in Turin, with finds from the Schiaparelli expedition.

His full-fledged first study visit to Turin is attested in He was developing his skills in reading hieratic script and was soon confident in his ostraca work at Turin. That his professional self-confidence was not entirely inappropriate, is shown in a comment by another acquaintance met in Turin—Thomas E. In retrospect it is easy to observe that the synthesis was never finished, and its publishable parts appeared only posthumously, and with limitations. The concept of collecting and editing original texts as a necessary prerequisite of further interpretive steps was shared across the Oriental studies.

Toward he was developing his transcribing skills, collecting resources and trying to make ends meet. Intellectual impetus for this approach is interesting to gauge. What was his personal reflection of the context he lived and worked in, and was there his public persona? In , he formally left the Catholic Church, 91 as a number of his fellow citizens did after the Czechoslovak declaration of independence, and preferred to identify as without any religious allegiance.

However, in his correspondence, a chief ego-document available, he also preferred to be generally reticent on his private thoughts. Given his visits to Berlin and Turin in the s, one might consider, whether he was receptive to period complexities of German and Italian politics, or if he reacted, in view of his British friendships, to the reserved position of Britain to his home country.

There is no surviving evidence to that effect in the s only later letters will contain hints on political allegiances of e. His public persona was predominantly a professional one. An intriguing glimpse on a flexible, perhaps compartmentalised, professional presentation is shown when he was applying for the bank job already in , where his presentation was entirely that of an enthusiastic applicant for a bank position.

In this respect, he would have been no exception among a number of Egyptologists of his generation, albeit his situation later changed. Alternatively, if he had political opinions and articulated observations on contemporary social world, he must have been keeping them in a parallel universe—as he also largely did with matters of his private life. This model was certainly applied further in later life, although under markedly different circumstances. At a risk of confusing the narrative, it may be added that he was later in an increasing contact with Egyptian Egyptologists indeed it became a characteristic element in his latter career , learned colloquial Arabic, acted as a guide to students from the Cairo University, and eventually worked with several Egyptian scholars.

Regarding modern Egypt, he was reactive, not proactive, but given his existing time constraints in his early career, this is hardly a surprise. In the summer of , he used his annual leave to visit the Egyptian Museum in Turin again. There was a growing network of Egyptologists who knew him, or of him, but these connections alone would not move him closer to fieldwork, being largely among British and Italian Egyptologists.

Progress of what was to become Czechoslovak Egyptology was in close connection to a Czechoslovak interest in the Levant and the Middle East, promoted both by Orientalists and politicians of the newly instated Czechoslovak republic. The formation of the Czechoslovak legation in Egypt had been a tour de force. He was a representative of a state not yet four years old, had no clear assignment, and had been, in fact, sent out on a makeshift mission, to be detailed during his Egyptian sojourn.

He had practically no budget, and consequently, for a long time, no legation to run. The Institute was housed in another former royal home in the district of Mounira. Hurban, who arrived from Prague in February , continued in the negotiations within several weeks of his arrival.

Sa mort a interrompu les pourparlers. The matter was largely influenced by practical considerations; whereas from any other point of view—such as interests of France, scholarly, cultural and moral, as he saw it, there was every reason to support the project, the material, financial side of things proved rather difficult. Another issue was the question of lodgings, with spaces in the Institute occupied by the administration. Another proposition consisted of building dedicated lodgings for such foreign guests, as it already was the case in a similar institution in Athens.

In the present situation, Foucart could offer the positions and lodgings if there was a material support from other resources. And on that condition the IFAO could also offer full scientific support—access to the library, to the laboratories, publishing opportunities and training in state of the art archaeological work.

Regarding the institution, the IFAO was a French establishment, considered with good reason a powerhouse of scholarship, field work and solid scholarly publishing, issues that were lacking in fledgling Czechoslovak Egyptology at the Charles University in Prague that had one professor, a seminar-to-be, several students, no collection, next to no library, and limited resources.

In addition, there was the element of a French control in the Egyptian Antiquities Service, although the Czechoslovaks apparently did not appreciate the fact that the respective institutional heads, Pierre Lacau and Georges Foucart, were not on good speaking terms.

Czechoslovakia would have wished to join the Egyptological game alongside a powerful ally. From the Czechoslovak diplomatic perspective, there was no Egyptian Egyptologist or Egyptological institution that would have offered comparable advantages. It was symptomatic of the period, but a pragmatic choice. The Cairo University was established in , but by it did not have a comparable opportunity to offer to a foreign scholar who was not coming as an appointed professor, but in a slightly precarious position of a sponsored independent researcher, and whose interest leant toward fieldwork in Egypt.

Moreover, the Egyptians were working hard toward establishing their own position in fieldwork and understandably would have had limited motivation to help another foreigner at that point. The Institute was a brainchild of several people, one of them Alois Musil, and Musil promoted ties with Western Asia and Northern Africa as an opportunity for trade and partnership, including potential advantage Czechoslovakia could draw from its position of not being a colonial power.

It provided an idealised picture of Czechoslovakia that as a new player in international politics needed to boost its reputation. This was also the rationale behind a number of academics in diplomatic posts in the early years of the republic, and it operated also vice versa—academics were useful to the diplomacy. The interest in the region, a French connection, and the element of cultural diplomacy could be well served by a qualified Czechoslovak Egyptologist in Egypt, accepted at a major institution such as the IFAO.

Naturally, he would have been a lesser component in the plan, but a logical one. Consequently, when Hurban presented the IFAO opportunity, probably in summer , Masaryk also had contacts that were in position to supply him with human resources fit for the purpose.

Lexa was already promoted to an extraordinary professor of Egyptology at the Czech University in Prague in and was aiming at establishment of a seminar for Egyptology. Department for Schools and National Education rec. The printing costs of Memoirs to be covered by the Czechoslovak side. The Office of the Director of the Institute would like to stress particularly, that candidates for the positions must have adequate knowledge in history and philology, obtained as part of a university degree.

The Institute cannot provide personnel to teach them. The remaining time would be spent in Cairo or travelling in Lower Egypt when and as requested by the Director of the Institute. The basic expenditure for Cairo is LEG 15 to The Department of Schools and National Education requires comments concerning this offer by a committee of professors and adds that at present it is not possible to cover the expenses of said study sojourns in Cairo.

This was a positive result—and neither Lexa nor Hurban intended to lose much time. Once the summer recess was over, they sprang into action. They knew each other from the Maffia political association during the Great War.

The unspoken target of his visit was probably already defined—Deir el-Medina, where IFAO took over German excavations in , and by had had several successful seasons. Whether he had a Baedeker or another guide, remains unknown. Although he probably knew about the plan hatching since summer, the conclusion was unpredictably swift, and he had to react on a short notice, abandoning all previous routines of a bank life, or a Christmas with his parents.

Although he was no newcomer to travelling, this was travelling on a rather larger scale, and a new way of life, including also months on end living, working and thinking within a different language set-up. Apart from an expected Egyptological workload, he was also provided with some information brochures about Czechoslovakia, to distribute as appropriate, which he eventually did, according to a later report.

However, his idea of promoting a nation was not based on a chauvinist exclusivity, but rather on a positive contribution. He also did not articulate regular comments on other people that would be related to their nationality. He was on his way to Turin within the next few days, and his reports back to Prague were glowing. In Turin, another cordial meeting with Botti opened a helpful sojourn in the Museo Egizio. He recuperated shortly in Brindisi and continued on one of the ships of Lloyd Triestino to Egypt.

He went on to Cairo, and arrived to the Egyptian capital in mid-November Cairo was run with a blend of Egyptian and colonial administration, showed Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings on a grand scale, as well as the traditional haras, quarters consisting of a system of blind alleys, in the old quarters beneath the Citadel.

Since , it resided in a former palace built in historising and Art Nouveau style and located in its own garden grounds. Around it, new apartment blocks were sprouting and soon encased Qasr el-Aini, which looked in parts like any other late 19th century boulevard in Paris or Vienna, or indeed Prague.

Beyond it, toward the Nile, lay Garden City, a quarter of luxurious villas and increasingly numerous new art deco buildings. It was a largely Westernised part of Cairo, preferred by upper and middle class Egyptians and foreigners. That was soon to change in view of his forthcoming fieldwork season, but his first impression of Egypt was that of the monuments and excavations close to Cairo, and of the modern parts of Cairo.

These influences were espoused by both the Westerners and Egyptians of a certain social class and cultural register, hence do not operate solely as witnesses of an imperialist imposition. Other, more complex insights were to evolve later. After a long wandering, here I am, finally in Egypt, and I happen to like it very much. Naturally, I had to see the pyramids the day after arriving, and again yesterday, I almost climbed them. I have permanently this hazy sensation of meeting things that I know and yet do not know.

For 18 years I have just read about it all, and now I am still struggling to accept that I have finally arrived to Egypt and this is real. Adams 19 97 Adams, W. Lustig ed. Bednarski 20 15 Bednarski, A. Shaw, E. Bloxam eds. Bierbrier ed. Blaustein, Sigler, Beede eds. Boghossian 20 06 Boghossian, P. Botti 20 11 Botti, M. Boytner, Swartz Dood, Parker eds. Burke Burke, P. Certeau de Certeau, M. Cubitt Cubitt, G. Desroches Noblecourt Desroches Noblecourt, C.

Edwards 19 72 Edwards, I. Engelbach 19 24 Engelbach, R. Erman Erman, A. Evans 20 07 Evans, R. Cornwall, R. Evans eds. Felski 20 12 Felski, R. Foucart 19 19 Foucart, G. Foucart to the Ministry, 18 April Gange 20 13 Gange, D.

Gardiner, Weigall Gardiner, A. Gershoni, Jankowski Gershoni, I. Gertzen 20 17 Gertzen, T. Grabar ed. Creswell and His Legacy , Muqarnas 8, Hagen, Ryholt Hagen, F. Lange Papers , Copenhagen, Hamilton 19 74 Hamilton, R. Hurban, 2 typescript pages, carbon copy, Cairo, 15 April James 19 71 James, T. Navratilova, H. Holaubek eds.

King King, J. Perhaps no other man ever exhibited in a greater measure the quality which we are wont to call conscientiousness, whether in his private relations or in the discharge of his duties. Those who have had the fortune to profit by his medical or surgical aid, feel that no man could be more tender or sympathetic towards a patient. He was devoted to his profession, and lost no opportunity of extending his experience.

In those days a doctor had frequently to encounter personal risks such as fall to the lot of few civilians; he exposed himself freely, in order to succour the wounded. In the chancery his services were indispensable. He it was who "swept the 'Aegean stable,'" arranged the archives in order, and brought the register up to date. Always on the spot when he was wanted, an indefatigable worker, and unswervingly loyal to his chief. After nine years service he was promoted to be a vice-consul, but by this time the Japanese had become so impressed with his value as a surgeon and physician that they begged him to accept a salary more than four times what he received from the Foreign Office, and he went where his great qualities were likely to be of more use than in trying petty police cases and drawing up trade reports of a city which never had any foreign commerce.

His gigantic stature made him conspicuous among all the Europeans who have resided in Japan since the ports were opened, and when I first knew him he was hardly five and twenty years of age. A man endowed with an untiring power of application, accurate memory for words and things, and brimful of good stories from the three kingdoms. Big men are big-hearted, and he was no exception. We shall come across him again repeatedly in the course of [pg 32] these reminiscences, and for the present these few words must suffice.

Besides these, the legation staff included Russell Brooke Robertson and myself, as student-interpreters. Last, but not least, were the officers of the mounted escort and infantry guard. The latter was commanded by Lieut. Price of the 67th Regiment, and was soon replaced by fifty marines under the command of a man widely known in the service to which he belonged as "Public-spirited" Smith.

I shall say more of him later on. The cavalry escort consisted of a dozen men from the Military Train, a corps which went by the honorary title of "Pig-drivers," and at their head was a lieutenant, a good, harmless sort of fellow, whose only weakness was for fine uniforms and showy horses. Not being learned in the extremely complicated subject of military costume, full dress, half dress, and undress, I cannot say what it was that he had adopted for himself, but it was whispered about that he had been audacious enough to assume the insignia of a field-officer, which is undoubtedly a serious offence against discipline.

However that may be, the blaze of gold which decorated his person was wonderful to behold, and on at least one occasion, when we were going in solemn procession to an audience of the Tycoon, caused him to be mistaken for the Envoy by the Japanese officials, who gave him the salutes that rightfully belonged to his less conspicuously adorned diplomatic chief.

To determine whether the pleasure derived from this confusion of persons by the one outweighed the mortification which might not unnaturally have been felt by the other would have required a delicate moral balance, which was not available at the moment; but judging from the relative scale of the two men in other points of character, I am inclined to infer that the good preponderated largely over the evil, and that applying consequently the criterion so unfairly attributed to the utilitarians by their opponents, we must arrive at the provisional conclusion that the lieutenant's uniform was highly virtuous and worthy of the applause of mankind.

At this period the movement had already commenced that finally culminated in what may fitly be called the Revolution of , by which the feudal system was destroyed and the old monarchical government revived. The tendency of the times was as yet scarcely perceived by foreigners, with but one or two exceptions. They generally supposed that political strife had broken out between the sovereign and a few unruly vassals dissatisfied with the treaties that permitted the sacred soil of Japan to be defiled by the footsteps of "barbarians," and secured all the profits of trade to the head of the State, the vassals being enabled to defy their suzerain owing to his own feebleness and the incapacity of his Ministers.

It was still believed that the potentate in whose name the Treaties had been concluded was the Temporal Sovereign, and that the Mikado was little more than the head of the priesthood, or Spiritual Emperor.

This theory of the Japanese Constitution was almost as old as the earliest knowledge of the country possessed by Europeans. Kaempfer, the best known and most often quoted of the authorities on Japan, writing at the beginning of the 18th century, calls the two potentates Ecclesiastical and Secular Emperors, and his example had, up to the time I am writing of, been followed by all his successors without exception. The truth is that the polity of the Japanese State had assumed already in the 12th century the form which it was still displaying at the beginning of the latter half of the 19th, and institutions which could boast of such a highly respectable antiquity might well be supposed to have [pg 34] taken a deep enough hold to be part and parcel of the national life.

The history of Japan has still to be written. Native chronicles of the Mikados and annals of leading families exist in abundance, but the Japanese mind is only just now beginning to emancipate itself from the thraldom of Chinese literary forms, while no European has yet attempted a task which requires a training different from that of most men who pursue an Eastern career.

Until within the last two decades, the literature of Japan was almost entirely unknown to Europeans, and the existing keys to the language were ridiculously inadequate. The only historical works accessible to foreigners were the scanty Annales des Dairi , translated by Titsingh with the aid of native Dutch interpreters and edited by Klaproth with a degree of bold confidence that nothing but the position of a one-eyed man amongst the blind can give; and a set of chronological tables, translated by Hoffman for Siebold's Nippon.

It is no wonder, therefore, if at the outset of Treaty relations, the foreign representatives were at a loss to appreciate the exact nature of the political questions that confronted them, and were unable to diagnose the condition of the patient whose previous history was unknown to them. To trace in detail the development of the Japanese monarchy, from its beginnings as a pure theocracy of foreign invaders, attracting to itself the allegiance of a number of small tribal chieftains, the fusion of these tribes with their conquerors into one seemingly homogeneous race, the remodelling of the administration which followed upon the introduction of Chinese laws and philosophy, the supplanting of the native hero and native worship by the creed of Gautama, the rise of a military caste brought about by the constant warfare with the barbarous tribes in the east and north of the country, the rivalry of the Taira and Minamoto clans, both sprung from base-born younger sons of the Mikados, and the final suppression of the civil administration in the provinces by the distribution of the country amongst the followers of the Minamoto and their allies, would require a profound study of documents which no one has yet undertaken.

With the appointment of Yoritomo to be Commander-in-Chief the feudal system was fully established. The civil and penal codes borrowed from the great Empire of Eastern Asia fell into disuse, and in part even the very traces of them perished. Martial law reigned throughout the land, half the people were converted into a huge garrison, which the other half toiled to feed and clothe.

Reading and writing were the exclusive accomplishments of the Buddhist priesthood and of the impoverished nobles who formed the court of a Mikado shorn of all the usual attributes of a sovereign, and a deep sleep fell upon the literary genius of the nation. This state of things lasted till the second quarter of the 14th century, when an attempt was made under the Mikado Go-Daigo to re-establish the pristine rule of the legitimate sovereigns.

Before long they split up into two branches which quarrelled among themselves and gave opportunity for local chiefs to re-establish their independence. In the middle of the 16th century a soldier of fortune, Ota Nobunaga by name, profited by the central position of the provinces he had acquired with his sword to arrogate to himself the right of arbitrating between the warlike leaders who had risen in every direction.

After his assassination a still greater warrior, known most commonly by the title of Taicosama, carried on the work of pacification: every princelet who opposed his authority was in turn subdued, and he might have become the founder of a new line of " maires du palais. He had been Taicosama's sole [pg 36] remaining competitor for power, and at the death of the latter naturally assumed the most prominent position in the country.

A couple of years sufficed for the transference to him of all, and more than all, the authority wielded by his two predecessors. No combination against him had any chance of success. Thus there arose five or six classes of barons, as they may best be called, to render their position intelligible to the English reader. Next came the Related Families Kamon sprung from his younger sons, and in the third place were ranked the Lords of Provinces Koku-shi. The members of these three classes enjoyed the revenue of fiefs comprising one or more provinces, or lands of equivalent extent.

Below them in importance were the Hereditary Servants fu-dai and Banner-men hatamoto composed as has been said before of the immediate retainers of the Tokugawa family, and the Stranger Lords tozama , relics of the former barons, who had submitted to his supremacy and followed his banner in his last wars. The hatamotos were retainers of the Tokugawa family whose assessment was below 10, koku and above Below them came the ordinary vassals go-ke-nin.

In the end every retainer, except the samurai of Satsuma, received an annual allowance of so much rice, in return for which he was bound to perform military service and appear in the field or discharge the ordinary military duties required in time of peace, accompanied by followers proportioned in number to his income. In Satsuma the feudal sub-division of the land was carried out to the fullest extent, so that the vassal of lowest rank held the sword in one hand and the hoe in the other.

No taxes were paid by any feudal proprietor. The koku-shi and other barons of equal rank ruled their provinces absolutely, levying land-tax on the farmers and imposts on internal trade as they chose. They had further the power of life and death, subject only to the nominal condition of reporting once a year the capital sentences inflicted by their officers. The other nobles were less independent. On his journeys to and fro he was accompanied by a little army of retainers, for whose accommodation inns were built at every town on the main roads throughout the country, and the expense involved was a heavy tax on his resources.

There was little social intercourse among them, and they lived for the most part a life of extreme seclusion surrounded by vast numbers of women and servants. They were brought up in complete ignorance of the outer world, and the strings of government were pulled by the unseen hands of obscure functionaries who obtained their appointments by force of their personal qualities.

Thus arose in each daimiate a condition of things which may be compared to that of a Highland clan, [pg 38] where the ultimate power was based upon the feelings and opinions of a poor but aristocratic oligarchy. These men it was who really ruled the clan, determined the policy of its head and dictated to him the language he should use on public occasions.

This strange political system was enabled to hold together solely by the isolation of the country from the outer world. As soon as the fresh air of European thought impinged upon this framework it crumbled to ashes like an Egyptian mummy brought out of its sarcophagus. The decline of the Mikado's power dates from the middle of the 9th century, when for the first time a boy of nine years ascended the throne of his ancestors.

During his minority the country was governed by his father-in-law, the chief of the ancient Fujiwara family, who contrived for a long period to secure to themselves the power of setting up and removing their own nominees just as suited their convenience. The bad [pg 39] condition of the internal communications between the provinces and the capital probably contributed to this state of things. The governmental system erected by him seemed calculated to ensure the lasting tranquillity of the country.

But the hereditary principle again reasserted its influence. Born four years after the battle of Sekigahara and already twelve years of age when his grandfather died in the year succeeding his final appearance in the battlefield, he had the education of a soldier, and to his energy was owing the final establishment of the Tokugawa supremacy on a solid basis.

He gave those who would not submit to their changed position the option of returning home, and offered them three years for preparation to try the ordeal of war. Not a single one ventured to resist. Nominally the heads of the administration they were without any will of their own, and were guided by their own hereditary councillors, whose strings were pulled by someone else.

The machine in fact had been so skilfully constructed that a child could keep it turning. Political stagnation was mistaken for stability. She resembled the sleeping beauty in the wood, and the guardians of the public safety had a task not more onerous than that of waving a fan to keep the flies from disturbing the princess's slumbers. When her dreams were interrupted by the eager and vigorous West the ancient, decrepit and wrinkled watchers were found unfit for their posts, and had to give way to men more fit to cope with the altered circumstances which surrounded them.

Socially the nation was divided into two sections by a wide gulf which it was impossible to pass. On the one hand the sword-bearing families or gentry, whose frequent poverty was compensated for by their privileges of rank, on the other the agricultural, labouring and commercial classes; intermarriage was forbidden between the orders.

The former were ruled by the code of honour, offences against which were permitted to be expiated by self-destruction, the famous harakiri or disembowelment, while the latter were subject to a severe unwritten law enforced by cruel and frequent capital punishment. They were the obedient humble servants of the two-sworded class. They were succeeded by the Spaniards, Dutch and English, the two latter nations confining themselves however to commerce. The gigantic missionary undertakings of the two great English-speaking communities of the far West were the creation of a much later time.

It will be recollected that in Spain for a time absorbed Portugal. Nobunaga had favoured them, but in the civil wars that raged at that period the principal patrons of the Jesuits were overthrown, and the new ruler Taicosama soon proclaimed his hostility to the strangers. Their worst offence was the refusal of a Christian girl to become his concubine. The flame was fanned by the Dutch and English, now become the hereditary political foes of Spain, and the persecution was renewed with greater vigour than ever.

Missionaries were sought out with eager keenness, and in the company of their disciples subjected to cruel tortures and the most horrible deaths. After a furious struggle the revolt was put an end to on the 24th February, , by the assault and capture of the castle of Shimabara, when 37, people, two-thirds of whom were women and children, were put to the sword.

It is hardly possible to read the native accounts of this business without a feeling of choking indignation at the ruthless sacrifice of so many unfortunate creatures who were incapable of defence, and whose only crime was their wish to serve the religion which they had chosen for their rule of life. The Portuguese were forbidden ever to set foot again in Japan.

Attempts were made once or twice by the English, and early in the present century by the Russians, to induce the government of Japan to relax their rule, but in vain. The only profit the world has derived from these abortive essays is the entrancing narrative of Golownin, who was taken prisoner in Yezo in connection with a descent made by Russian naval officers in revenge for the rejection of the overtures made by the Russian envoy Resanoff, perhaps the most lifelike picture of Japanese official manners that is anywhere to be met with.

No further approaches were made by any Western Government until the United States took the matter in hand in The expedition of Commodore Perry to Loochoo and Japan was not the first enterprise of its kind that had been undertaken by the Americans. Having accomplished their own independence as the result of a contest in which a few millions of half-united colonists had successfully withstood the well-trained legions of Great Britain and her German mercenaries though not, it may be fairly said, without in a great measure owing their success to the very efficient assistance of French armies and fleets , they added to this memory of ancient wrongs a natural fellow-feeling for other nations who were less able to resist the might of the greatest commercial and maritime Power the world has yet seen.

While sympathising with Eastern peoples in the defence of their independent rights, they believed that a conciliatory mode of treating them was at least equally well fitted to ensure the concession of those trading privileges to which the Americans are not less indifferent than the English. In they had despatched an envoy to Siam and Cochin-China, who was successful in negotiating by peaceful methods a treaty of commerce with the former state.

In China, like the other western states, they had profited by the negotiations which were the outcome of the Opium War, without having to incur the odium of using force or the humiliation of finding their softer methods prove a failure in dealing with the obstinate conservatism of Chinese mandarins. For many years their eyes had been bent upon Japan, which lay on the opposite side of the Pacific fronting their own state of California, then rising into fame as one of the great gold-producing regions of the globe.

Warned by the fate of all previous attempts to break down the wall of seclusion that hemmed in the 'country of the gods,' they resolved to make such a show of force that with reasonable people, unfamiliar with modern artillery, might prove as powerful an argument as theories of universal brotherhood and the obligations imposed by the [pg 43] comity of nations.

They appointed to the chief command a naval officer possessed of both tact and determination, whose judicious use of the former qualification rendered the employ of the second unnecessary. Probably no one was more agreeably surprised than Commodore Perry at the comparative ease with which, on his second visit to the Bay of Yedo, he obtained a Treaty, satisfactory enough as a beginning. No doubt the counsels of the Dutch agent at Nagasaki were not without their effect, and we may also conjecture that the desire which had already begun to manifest itself among some of the lower Samurai for a wider acquaintance with the mysterious outer world was secretly shared by men in high positions.

Most men's motives are mixed, and there was on the Japanese side no very decided unwillingness to yield to a show of force, which the pretext of prudence would enable them to justify. England and Russia, then or shortly afterwards at war, followed in the wake of the United States. In the China War having been apparently brought to a successful conclusion, Lord Elgin and the French Ambassador, Baron Gros, ran across to Japan and concluded treaties on the same basis as Mr.

Harris, and before long similar privileges were accorded to Holland and Russia. An agitation arose when the first American ships anchored in the Bay of Yedo, and there were not wanting bold and rash men ready to undertake any desperate enterprise against the foreign invaders of the sacred soil of Japan. But at this time there was no leader to whom the malcontents could turn for guidance. Such qualities are not to be expected from the kind of education which fell to the lot of Japanese princes in those days.

In view of the expected return of the American ships in the following year, forts were constructed to guard the sea-front of the capital, and the ex-Prince of Mito was summoned from his retirement to take the lead in preparing to resist the encroachments of foreign powers. By a curious coincidence, this nobleman, then forty-nine years of age, was the representative of a family which for years had maintained the theoretical right of the Mikado to exercise the supreme government, and was at the same time strongly opposed to any extension of the limited intercourse with foreign countries then permitted.

Nor can it be wondered that Japan, who had so successfully protected herself from foreign aggression by a policy of rigid exclusion, and which had seen the humiliation of China consequent upon disputes with a Western Power arising out of trade questions at the very moment when she was being torn by a civil war which owed its origin to the introduction of new religious beliefs from the West, should have believed that the best means of maintaining peace at home and avoiding an unequal contest with Europe, was to adhere strictly to the traditions of the past two centuries.

But when the intrusive foreigners returned in the beginning of the following year, Japan found herself still unprepared to repel them by force. While making these unavoidable concessions, the Japanese buoyed themselves up with the belief that their innate superiority could enable them easily to overcome the better equipped forces of foreign countries, when once they had acquired the modern arts of warfare and provided themselves with a sufficient proportion of the ships and weapons of the nineteenth century.

From that time onwards this was the [pg 45] central idea of Japan's foreign policy for many years, as the sequel will show. Even at this period there were a few who would have willingly started off on this new quest, and two Japanese actually asked Commodore Perry to give them a passage in his flagship. They were refused, and their zeal was punished by their own government with imprisonment. The residence of Mr. Written protests were delivered by non-official members of his council, and he was obliged at last to ask the Mikado's sanction to the treaties, in order to strengthen his own position.

This invocation of the Mikado's authority may fairly be called an innovation upon ancient custom. The supremacy of the Mikado having been once admitted, his right to a voice in the affairs of the country could no longer be disputed. His nobles seized the opportunity, and assumed the attitude of obstruction, which has always been a powerful weapon in the hands of individuals and parties. One man out of a dozen, of sufficient determination, can always force the others to yield, when his position is legal, and cannot be disturbed by the use of force.

On the one hand, Mr. Harris pressed for a revision of the treaty and the concession of open ports at Kanagawa and Ozaka; on the other was the Court, turning an obstinately deaf ear to all proposals. Harris, as has already been said, skilfully turning to account the recent exploits of the combined English and French squadrons in the Chinese seas, obtained his treaty, achieving a diplomatic triumph of the greatest value purely by the use of "moral" pressure. The English, French, Russian and Dutch treaties followed.

But the Prime Minister was too strong for them. He insisted on the election of his own nominee, and forced his opponents to retire into private life. A bloody revenge was taken two years later on the individual, but the hostility to the system only increased with time, and in the end brought about its complete ruin.

Mito was the ringleader of the opposition, and began actively to intrigue with the Mikado's party against the head of his own family. The foreigners arrived in numbers at Kanagawa and Yokohama, and affronted the feelings of the haughty samurai by their independent demeanour, so different from the cringing subservience to which the rules of Japanese etiquette condemned the native merchant.

It was not long before blood was shed. On the evening of the 26th August, six weeks after the establishment at Yedo of the British and American Representatives, an officer and a seaman belonging to a Russian man-of-war were cut to pieces in the streets of Yokohama, where they had landed to buy provisions. In November, a Chinese servant belonging to the French vice-consul was attacked and killed in the foreign settlement at Yokohama. Two months later, Sir R. Alcock's native linguist of the British Legation was stabbed from behind as he was standing at the gateway of the British Legation in Yedo, and within a month more two Dutch merchant captains were slaughtered in the high street at Yokohama.

Then there was a lull for eight or nine months, till the French Minister's servant was cut at and badly wounded as he was standing at the gate of the Legation in Yedo. On the 14th [pg 47] January, , Heusken, the Secretary of the American Mission, was attacked and murdered as he was riding home after a dinner-party at the Prussian Legation.

And on the night of July 5 occurred the boldest attempt yet made on the life of foreigners, when the British Legation was attacked by a band of armed men and as stoutly defended by the native guard. This was a considerable catalogue for a period of no more than two years since the opening of the ports to commerce.

In every case the attack was premeditated and unprovoked, and the perpetrators on every occasion belonged to the swordbearing class. No offence had been given by the victims to those who had thus ruthlessly cut them down; they were assassinated from motives of a political character, and their murderers went unpunished in every instance. Japan became to be known as a country where the foreigner carried his life in his hand, and the dread of incurring the fate of which so many examples had already occurred became general among the residents.

Even in England before I left to take up my appointment, we felt that apart from the chances of climate, the risk of coming to an untimely end at the hands of an expert swordsman must be taken into account. Consequently, I bought a revolver, with a due supply of powder, bullets and caps. The trade to Japan in these weapons must have been very great in those days, as everyone wore a pistol whenever he ventured beyond the limits of the foreign settlement, and constantly slept with one under his pillow.

It was a busy time for Colt and Adams. But in all the years of my experience in Japan I never heard of more than one life being taken by a revolver, and that was when a Frenchman shot a carpenter who demanded payment for his labour in a somewhat too demonstrative manner. In Yedo I think we finally gave up wearing revolvers in , chiefly because the few of us who resided there had come to the conclusion that the weight of the weapon was inconvenient, and also that if any bloodthirsty two-sworded gentleman intended to take our lives, he would choose his time and opportunity so as to leave us no chance of anticipating his purpose with a bullet.

In the spring of Sir Rutherford Alcock returned to England on leave of absence, and Colonel Neale was left in charge. On the anniversary, according to the Japanese calendar, of the attack referred to on a previous page, some Commissioners for Foreign Affairs in calling upon Colonel Neale, congratulated him and themselves on the fact that a whole year had elapsed since any fresh attempt had been made on the life of a foreigner.

But on reflection it will easily be seen that there was no real justification for such a belief. The assassin was one of the guard. After the murder of the two Englishmen he returned to his quarters and there committed suicide by ripping himself up in the approved Japanese fashion. We may be sure that if his act had been the result of a conspiracy, he would not have been alone. I think they may be entirely absolved from all share in this attempt to massacre the inmates of the English Legation.

But on the other hand it seems highly probable that the man's comrades were aware of his intention, and that after his partial success they connived at his escape. But he had been wounded by a bullet discharged from the pistol of the second man whom he attacked, and drops of blood on the ground showed the route by which he had made his way out of the garden. The apparent cognisance of the other men on guard who were what our law would call accessories [pg 49] before the fact , and the fact that nevertheless they took no share in his act, is consonant with the statement that he was merely accomplishing an act of private revenge.

His selection of the darkness of night seems to indicate that he hoped to escape the consequences. Willis said that when he arose and looked out, the night was pitch dark. It was the night before full moon, and in the very middle of what is called in Japan the rainy season. He informed me that there was a high wind and that heavy black clouds were drifting over the sky.

The stormy weather and the lateness of the hour 11 to 12 o'clock might perhaps account for the native lanterns which were hung about the grounds having ceased to give any light, but even under those circumstances it is a little suspicious that the guard should have neglected to replace the burnt out candles.

It was at Taku on our way down from Peking that Robertson, Jamieson and I heard of this new attack on the legation. I believe our feeling was rather one of regret that we had lost the opportunity of experiencing one of the stirring events which we had already learnt to regard as normally characteristic of life in Japan.

It certainly did not take us by surprise, and in no way rendered the service less attractive. But Jamieson had found a better opening in Shanghai, and the remaining two went on to Yokohama as soon as they could get a passage. The day after my arrival at Yokohama I was taken over to Kanagawa and introduced to the Rev.

Brown, an American Missionary, who was then engaged in printing a work on colloquial Japanese, and to Dr J. Hepburn, M. The former died some years ago, but the latter is at this moment still in Japan, [2] bringing out the third edition of his invaluable lexicon and completing the translation of the Bible on which he has been occupied for many years. In those days we had either to take a native sculling boat for an ichibu across the bay to Kanagawa or ride round by the causeway, the land along which the railway now runs not having been filled in at that time.

If he was quick enough to catch the ferryboat before it had pushed off, and so seize a place for himself, the boatmen simply refused to stir. They remained immovable, until the intruder was tired of waiting, and abandoned the game.

It was only after a residence of some years, when I had become pretty fluent in the language and could argue the point with the certainty of having the public on my side, that I at last succeeded in overcoming the obstinacy of the people at the boathouse who had the monopoly of carrying foreigners. There was in those days a fixed price for the foreigner wherever he went, arbitrarily determined without reference to the native tariff. At the theatre a foreigner had to pay an ichibu for admittance, and was then thrust into the "deaf-box," as the gallery seats are called, which are so far from the stage that the actors' speeches are quite indistinguishable.

The best place for both seeing and hearing is the doma , on the area of the theatre, close in front of the stage. No, they would not take it. I must pay my ichibu and go to the foreigner's box. I held out, insisting on my right as one of the public. Did I not squat on the floor with my boots off, just like themselves? Well then, if I would not come out of that, the curtain would not rise. I rejoined that they might please themselves about that.

In order to annoy a single foreigner, they would deprive the rest of the spectators of the pleasure they had paid to enjoy. So I obstinately kept my place, and in the end the manager gave way. The "house" was amused at the foreigner speaking their language and getting the best of the argument, and for the rest of my time in Yokohama I had no more difficulty in obtaining accommodation in any part of the theatre that I preferred.

In those days the Yokohama theatre used to begin about eleven o'clock in the morning and keep open for twelve hours. The arrangement of the interior, the fashion of dress and acting, the primitive character of the scenery and lights, the literary style of the plays have not undergone any changes, and are very unlikely to be modified in any marked degree by contact with European ideas. There is some talk now and then of elevating the character of the stage and making the theatre a school of morals and manners for the young, but the good people who advocate these theories in the press have not, as far as I know, ventured to put them to practical proof, and the shibai will, I hope, always continue to be what it always has been in Japan, a place of amusement and distraction, where people of all ages and sizes go to enjoy themselves without caring one atom whether the incidents are probable or proper, so long as there is enough of the tragic to call forth the tears which every natural man sheds with satisfaction on proper occasions, and of the comic by-turns to give the facial muscles a stretch in the other direction.

On the 14th September a most barbarous murder was committed on a Shanghai merchant named Richardson. Clarke and Wm. They were now ordered to turn back, and as they were wheeling their horses in obedience, were suddenly set upon by several armed men belonging to the train, who hacked at them with their sharp-edged heavy swords.

Richardson fell from his horse in a dying state, and the other two men were so severely wounded that they called out to the lady: "Ride on, we can do nothing for you. Everybody in the settlement who possessed a pony and a revolver at once armed himself and galloped off towards the scene of slaughter. Price of the 67th Regiment marched off part of the Legation guard, accompanied by some French infantry.

But amongst the first, perhaps the very first of all, was Dr Willis, whose high sense of the duty cast on him by his profession rendered him absolutely fearless. Passing for a mile along the ranks of the men whose swords were reeking with the blood of Englishmen, he rode along the high road through Kanagawa, where he was joined by some three or four more Englishmen. He proceeded onwards to Namamugi, where poor Richardson's corpse was found under the shade of a tree by the roadside.

His throat had been cut as he was lying there wounded and helpless. The body was covered with sword cuts, any one of which was sufficient to cause death. It was carried thence to the American Consulate in Kanagawa, where Clarke and Marshall had found refuge and surgical aid at the hands of Dr Hepburn and later on of Dr Jenkins, our other doctor.

The excitement among the foreign mercantile community was intense, for this was the first occasion on which one of their own number had been struck down. The Japanese sword is as sharp as a razor, and inflicts fearful gashes. The Japanese had a way of cutting [pg 53] a man to pieces rather than leave any life in him. This had a most powerful effect on the minds of Europeans, who came to look on every two-sworded man as a probable assassin, and if they met one in the street thanked God as soon as they had passed him and found themselves in safety.

To surround and seize him with the united forces of all the foreign vessels in port would, in their opinion, have been both easy and justifiable, and viewed by the light of our later knowledge, not only of Japanese politics but also of Japanese ideas with regard to the right of taking redress, they were not far wrong.

In the absence of any organised police or military force able to keep order among the turbulent two-sworded class it cannot be doubted that this course would have been adopted by any Japanese clan against whom such an offence had been committed, and the foreign nationalities in Japan were in the same position as a native clan. They were subject to the authorities of their own country, who had jurisdiction over them both in criminal and civil matters, and were responsible for keeping them within the bounds of law and for their protection against attack.

A meeting was called at Hooper's W. Clarke's partner house under the presidency of Colonel F. Howard Vyse, the British Consul, when, after an earnest discussion and the rejection of a motion to request the foreign naval authorities to land men in order to arrest the guilty parties, a deputation consisting of some of the leading residents was appointed to wait on the commanding officers of the Dutch, French and English naval forces and lay before them the conclusions of the meeting.

The British admiral, however, declined to act upon their suggestion, but consented to attend another meeting which was to be held at the residence of the French Minister at 6 a. The deputation then went to Colonel Neale, who with great magnanimity waived all personal considerations and promised to be present also. The idea had got abroad amongst the foreign community that Colonel Neale could not be trusted to take the energetic measures which they considered necessary under the circumstances.

In fact, they found fault with him for preserving the cool bearing which might be expected from a man who had seen actual service in the field and which especially became a man in his responsible [pg 54] situation, and they thought that pressure could be put upon him through his colleagues and the general opinion of the other foreign representatives. But in this expectation they were disappointed.

At the meeting Colonel Neale altogether declined to authorise the adoption of measures, which, if the Tycoon's government were to be regarded as the government of the country, would have amounted virtually to making war upon Japan, and the French Minister expressed an opinion entirely coinciding with that of his colleague. Calmer counsels prevailed, and Diplomacy was left to its own resources, arrangements, however, being made by the naval commanders-in-chief to patrol the settlement during the night and to station guard-boats along the sea-front to communicate with the ships in case of an alarm.

Looking back now after the lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, I am strongly disposed to the belief that Colonel Neale took the best course. The plan of the mercantile community was bold, attractive and almost romantic. It would probably have been successful for the moment, in spite of the well-known bravery of the Satsuma samurai. But such an event as the capture of a leading Japanese nobleman by foreign sailors in the dominions of the Tycoon would have been a patent demonstration of his incapacity to defend the nation against the "outer barbarian," and would have precipitated his downfall long before it actually took place, and before there was anything in the shape of a league among the clans ready to establish a new government.

In all probability the country would have become a prey to ruinous anarchy, and collisions with foreign powers would have been frequent and serious. Probably the slaughter of the foreign community at Nagasaki would have been the immediate answer to the blow struck at Hodogaya, a joint expedition would have been sent out by England, France and Holland to fight many a bloody battle and perhaps dismember the realm of the Mikados.

In the meantime the commerce for whose sake we had come to Japan would have been killed. I was standing outside the hotel that afternoon, and on seeing the bustle of men riding past, inquired what was the cause. The reply, "A couple of Englishmen have been cut down in Kanagawa," did not shock me in the least. The accounts of such occurrences that had appeared in the [pg 55] English press and the recent attack on the Legation of which I had heard on my way from Peking had prepared me to look on the murder of a foreigner as an ordinary, every-day affair, and the horror of bleeding wounds was not sufficiently familiar to me to excite the feelings of indignation that seemed to animate every one else.

I was secretly ashamed of my want of sympathy. And yet, if it had been otherwise, such a sudden introduction to the danger of a horrid death might have rendered me quite unfit for the career I had adopted. And while everyone in my immediate surroundings was in a state of excitement, defending Vyse or abusing Colonel Neale, I quietly settled down to my studies. In those days the helps to the acquisition of the Japanese language were very few. A thin pamphlet by the Rev.

Liggins, containing a few phrases in the Nagasaki dialect, a vocabulary compiled by Wm. And but few of these were procurable in Japan. I had left London without any books on the language. Luckily for me, Dr S. Brown was just then printing his Colloquial Japanese , and generously allowed me to have the first few sheets as they came over at intervals from the printing office in Shanghai.

But I had a slight acquaintance with the Chinese written characters and was the fortunate possessor of Medhurst's Chinese-English Dictionary, by whose help I could manage to come at the meaning of a Japanese word if I got it written down. It was very uphill work at first, for I had no teacher, and living in a single room at the hotel, abutting too on the bowling alley, could not secure quiet.

The colonel ordered us, Robertson and myself, to attend every day at the "office" we did not [pg 56] call it the chancery then to ask if our services were required, and what work we had consisted chiefly of copying despatches and interminable accounts. My handwriting was, unfortunately for me, considered to be rather better than the average, and I began to foresee that a larger share of clerical work would be given to me than I liked. My theory of the duty of a student-interpreter was then, and still is, to learn the language first of all.

I considered that this order would be a great interruption to serious work if he insisted upon it, and would take away all chances of our learning the language thoroughly. At last I summoned up courage to protest, and I rather think my friend Willis encouraged me to do this; but I did not gain anything by remonstrating. The colonel evidently thought I was frightfully lazy, for when I said that the office work would interfere with my studies, he replied that it would be much worse for both to be neglected than for one to be hindered.

At first there was some idea of renting a house for Robertson and myself, but finally the Colonel decided to give us rooms at one end of the rambling two-storied building that was then occupied as a Legation.

I used to play bowls sometimes with Albert Markham of Arctic fame , who was then a lieutenant on board H. Towards the end of October we induced the colonel to consent to our getting two lessons a week from the Rev. Brown, and to allow us to engage a native "teacher," at the public expense.

So we had to get a second, and pay for him out of our own pockets. He also agreed to leave us the mornings free for study up to one o'clock. A "teacher," it must be understood, does not mean a man who can "teach. Through my "boy," who was equally ignorant of English, I got hold of a man who explained that he had once been a doctor, and having [pg 57] nothing to do at the moment would teach me Japanese without any pay.

We used to communicate at first by writing down Chinese characters. One of his first sentences was literally "Prince loves men, I also venerate the prince as a master"; prince, as I afterwards divined, being merely a polite way of saying you. He said he had lots of dollars and ichibus and would take nothing for his services, so I agreed with him that he should come to my room every day from ten to one.

However, he never presented himself again after the first interview. My "boy" turned out to be what I considered a great villain. I had at an early date wanted one of the native dictionaries of Chinese characters with the Japanese equivalents in Katakana.

I sent him out to buy one, but he shortly returned and said that there were none in the place, and he must go over to Kanagawa, where he would be sure to find what I wanted. After being out the whole day, he brought me a copy which he said was the only one to be found and for which he charged me four ichibus , or nearly two dollars. This was just after my arrival, when I was new to the place and ignorant of prices.

My boy had taken it away and returned next day to say that I had refused to give more than one, which he consequently accepted. Unconscionable rascal this, not content with less than per cent. I found out also that he had kept back a large slice out of money I had paid to a carpenter for some chairs and a table. He had to refund his illicit gains, or else to find another place. After a time I got my rooms at the Legation and was able to study to my heart's content.

The lessons which Mr. Brown gave me were of the greatest value. He was stupid and of little assistance. In those days the correspondence with the Japanese Government was carried on by [pg 58] means of Dutch, the only European tongue of which anything was known. An absurd idea existed at one time that Dutch was the Court language of Japan.

Nothing was farther from the truth. On our side we had collected with some difficulty a body of Dutch interpreters. They included three Englishmen, one Cape Dutchman, one Swiss, and one real Dutchman from Holland, and they received very good pay. Of course it was my ambition to learn to read, write, and speak Japanese, and so to displace these middlemen. So Takaoka began to give me lessons in the epistolary style.

He used to write a short letter in the running-hand, and after copying it out in square character, explain to me its meaning. Then I made a translation and put it away for a few days. Meanwhile I exercised myself in reading, now one and now the other copy of the original. Afterwards I took out my translation and tried to put it back into Japanese from memory. The plan is one recommended by Roger Ascham and by the late George Long in a preface to his edition of the de Senectute, etc.

Before long I had got a thorough hold of a certain number of phrases, which I could piece together in the form of a letter, and this was all the easier, as the epistolary style of that time demanded the employment of a vast collection of merely complimentary phrases. I also took writing lessons from an old writing-master, whom I engaged to come to me at fixed hours.

He was afflicted with a watery eye, and nothing but a firm resolve to learn would ever have enabled me to endure the constant drip from the diseased orbit, which fell now on the copy-book, now on the paper I was writing on, as he leant over it to correct a bad stroke, now on the table. I had unluckily taken up with the mercantile form of this. But owing to this triple [pg 59] change of style, and also perhaps for want of real perseverance, I never came to have a good handwriting, nor to be able to write like a Japanese; nor did I ever acquire the power of composing in Japanese without making mistakes, though I had almost daily practice for seven or eight years in the translation of official documents.

Perhaps that kind of work is of itself not calculated to ensure correctness, as the translator's attention is more bent on giving a faithful rendering of the original than on writing good Japanese. I shall have more to say at a later period as to the change which the Japanese written language has undergone in consequence of the imitation of European modes of expression.

The first occasion on which my knowledge of the epistolary style was put into requisition was in June , when there came a note from one of the Shogun's ministers, the exact wording of which was a matter of importance. It was therefore translated three times, once from the Dutch by Eusden, by Siebold with the aid of his teacher from the original Japanese, and by myself.

I shall never forget the sympathetic joy of my dear Willis when I produced mine. There was no one who could say which of the three was the most faithful rendering, but in his mind and my own there was, of course, no doubt. I think I had sometime previously translated a private letter from a Japanese to one of our colleagues who had left Yokohama; it must have been done with great literalness, for I recollect that sessha was rendered "I, the shabby one.

Foreigners were in the habit of using it for their excursions, but Robertson and I had to pass along it twice a week on our way to and from our Japanese lesson at Mr. Brown's, and though determined not to show the white feather, I always felt in passing one of these trains that my life was in peril.

That is the only instance [pg 60] I can recollect of even seeming intention on the part of a samurai to do me harm on a chance meeting in the street, and the general belief in the bloodthirsty character of that class, in my opinion, was to a very great extent without foundation. But it must be admitted that whenever a Japanese made up his mind to shed the blood of a foreigner, he took care to do his business pretty effectually.

My first experience of an earthquake was on the 2nd November of this year. It was said by the foreign residents to have been a rather severe one. The house shook considerably, as if some very heavy person were walking in list slippers along the verandah and passages. It lasted several seconds, dying away gradually, and gave me a slight sensation of sickness, insomuch that I was beginning to fancy that a shaking which lasted so long must arise from within myself.

I believe the sensations of most persons on experiencing a slight shock of earthquake for the first time are very similar. It is usually held that familiarity with these phenomena does not breed contempt for them, but on the contrary persons who have resided longest in Japan are the most nervous about the danger.

And there is a reason for this. We know that in not very recent times extremely violent shocks have occurred, throwing down houses, splitting the earth, and causing death to thousands of people in a few moments. The longer the interval that has elapsed since the last, the sooner may its re-occurrence be looked for.

We have escaped many times, but the next will be perhaps our last. So we feel on each occasion, and the anticipation of harm becomes stronger and stronger, and where we at first used to sit calmly through a somewhat prolonged vibration, the wooden joints of the house harshly creaking and the crockery rattling merrily on the shelves, we now spring from our chairs and rush for the door at the slightest movement.

My experiences in Japan of an exciting kind were pretty numerous, but, I regret to say, never included a really serious earthquake, and those who care to read more about the insignificant specimens that the country produces now-a-days must be referred to the pages of the Seismological Society's Journal and other publications of the distinguished geologist, my friend Professor John Milne, who has not only recorded observations on a large number of natural earthquakes, but has even succeeded in producing artificial ones so closely resembling the real thing as almost to defy detection.

The diplomatic history of these proceedings has been already recounted by Sir Francis Adams, and as for the most part I knew little of what was going on, it need not be repeated here. The meeting-place for the more important discussions was Yedo, whither the Colonel used to proceed with his escort and the larger portion of the Legation staff.

And now all the foreign ministers had transferred their residences to Yokohama in consequence of the danger which menaced them at Yedo. We younger members, therefore, appreciated highly our opportunities, and it was with intense delight that I found myself ordered to accompany the chief early in December on one of his periodical expeditions thither. We started on horseback about one o'clock in the afternoon in solemn procession, the party consisting of Colonel Neale, A von Siebold, Russell Robertson, and myself, with Lieutenant Applin commanding the mounted escort.

It was a miserably cold day, but R. Brown on our way through Kanagawa, and then galloping on after the others. They had evidently been going at a foot's pace during the interval. The men on guard at [pg 62] the watch-house commanding the ferry, on seeing some of us approach to demand their assistance, ran away.

So the ferryman collected his men, and we got over without further trouble. Europeans usually brought picnic baskets and lunched there, but even if they started late were glad of any excuse for turning in to this charmingly picturesque tea-garden.

Everyone now-a-days is familiar with the Japanese plum-tree as it is represented in the myriad works of art of these ingenious people, but you must see the thing itself to understand what a joyful surprise it is to enter the black-paled enclosure crowded with the oddly angular trees, utterly leafless but covered with delicate pink or white blossoms which emit a faint fragrance, and cover the ground with the snow of their fallen petals.

It is early in February that they are in their glory, on a calm day when the sun shines with its usual brilliance at that season, while in every shady corner you may find the ground frozen as hard as a stone.

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By The Right Hon.

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The Diplomat (Instrumental) (Bonus Track)

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