2021-04-18 02:07:29

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ENGLISH "We had no trouble in going to see the imperial palace, or such parts of it as are open to the public, and also the temples. We could readily believe what was told usthat the temples were the finest in the whole country, and certainly some of them were very interesting. There are temples to the earth, to the sun, the moon; and there are temples to agriculture, to commerce, and a great many other things. There is a very[Pg 366] fine structure of marble more than a hundred feet high, which is called "The Gate of Extensive Peace." It is where the emperor comes on great public occasions; and beyond it are two halls where the foreign visitors are received at the beginning of each year, and where the emperor examines the implements used in the opening of the annual season of ploughing. The ploughing ceremony does not take place here, but in another part of the city, and the emperor himself holds the plough to turn the first furrow. There are some very pretty gardens in the Prohibited City, and we had a fine opportunity to learn something about the skill of the Chinese in landscape gardening. There are canals, fountains, bridges, flower-beds, groves, and little hillocks, all carefully tended, and forming a very pretty picture in connection with the temples and pavilions that stand among them.HORSESHOE OR OMEGA GRAVE. HORSESHOE OR OMEGA GRAVE.

The party went to Lake Biwa as they had proposed, and certainly no one should omit it from his excursions in the vicinity of Kioto. The distance is only seven miles, and an excellent road leads there from the city. Along the route they met a dense crowd of people coming and going, for there is a vast amount of business between the city and the lake. There were men on foot and in jin-riki-shas, there were porters with loads and porters without loads, there were pack-horses in great number, and there were wagons with merchandise bound for the interior or for the seaboard. Some of the pack-horses had burdens the reverse of savory, and the boys learned on inquiry that they were transporting liquid manure to the farms near the borders of the lake. Along the roadside[Pg 301] they saw little family groups that were always more or less picturesque; fathers were caring for their children, and seemed to take great delight in playing the part of nurse. It is very common in all the Japanese cities to see men thus occupied, and they never appear to be weary of their tasks. In summer both parent and child will be thinly clad, while in winter they will be wrapped against the cold. The summer garments are not always so thick as the rules of polite society require, and even the winter costume is not very heavy.And evly loom got fire all light;With courage undaunted we mount toward the skies,

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But my unsoldierly motive for going to headquarters kept my misgivings alive. I was hungry for the gentilities of camp; to be where Shakespeare was part of the baggage, where Pope was quoted, where Coleridge and Byron and Poe were recited, Macaulay criticized, and "Les Misrables"--Madame Le Vert's Mobile translation--lent round; and where men, when they did steal, stole portable volumes, not currycombs. Ned Ferry had been Major Harper's clerk, but had managed in several instances to display such fitness to lead that General Austin had lately named him for promotion, and the quartermaster's clerk was now Lieutenant Ferry, raised from the ranks for gallantry, and followed ubiquitously by a chosen sixty or so drawn from the whole brigade. Could the like occur again? And could it occur to a chap who could not comprehend how it had ever occurred at all?

A JAPANESE BATH. A JAPANESE BATH.Naturally the Tokaido is a place of activity, and in the ages that have elapsed since it was made many villages have sprang into existence along its sides. Between Yokohama and Tokio there is an almost continuous hedge of these villages, and there are places where you may ride for miles as along a densely filled street. From Tokio the road follows the shore of the bay until near Yokohama, when it turns inland; but it comes to or near the sea again in several places, and affords occasional glimpses of the great water. For several years after the admission of foreigners to Japan the Tokaido gave a great deal of trouble to the authorities, and figured repeatedly in the diplomatic history of the government. The most noted of these affairs was that in which an Englishman named Richardson was killed, and the government was forced to pay a heavy indemnity in consequence. A brief history of this affair may not be without interest, as it will illustrate the difficulties that arose in consequence of a difference of national customs.Mary had been seized with the prevailing mania for Japanese porcelain, and among the things in her list she had noted especially and underscored the words "some good things in Japanese cloisonn." Frank had seen a good many nice things in this kind of work, and he set about selecting, with the help of the Doctor and Fred, the articles he was to send home. He bought some in Yokohama, some in Tokio, and later on he[Pg 242] made some purchases in Kobe and Kioto. We will look at what he bought and see if his sister had reason to be pleased when the consignment reached her and was unpacked from its carefully arranged wrappings.

"It is a long story," said Doctor Bronson, "and I am not sure that you will find it altogether interesting; but it is a part of Japanese history that you ought to know, especially in view of the fact that the Samurai exist no longer. With the revolution of 1868 and the consequent overthrow of the old customs, the Samurai class was extinguished, and the wearing of two swords is forbidden.When the English party met the train, the lady and one of the gentlemen suggested that they should stand at the side of the road, but Mr. Richardson urged his horse forward and said, "Come on; I have lived fourteen years in China, and know how to manage these people." He rode into the midst of the procession, and was followed by the other gentlemen, or partially so; the lady, in her terror, remained by the side of the road, as she had wished to do at the outset. The guards construed the movements of Mr. Richardson as a direct insult to their master, and fell upon him with their swords. The three men were severely wounded. Mr. Richardson died in less than half an hour, but the others recovered. The lady was not harmed in any way. On the one hand, the Japanese[Pg 160] were a proud, haughty race who resented an insult to their prince, and punished it according to Japanese law and custom. On the other, the foreigners had the technical right, in accordance with the treaty, to go upon the Tokaido; but they offered a direct insult to the people in whose country they were, and openly showed their contempt for them. A little forbearance, and a willingness to avoid trouble by refraining from visiting the Tokaido, as requested by the Japanese authorities, would have prevented the sad occurrence.

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Wo-chang is the capital of the province of Hoo-peh, and the governor-general resides there. Our friends were fortunate enough to get a glimpse of this high official as he was carried through the streets in a sedan-chair, followed by several members of his staff. A Chinese governor never goes out without a numerous following, as he wishes the whole world to be impressed[Pg 351] with a sense of his importance; and the rank and position of an official can generally be understood by a single glance at the number of his attendants, though the great man himself may be so shut up in his chair that his decorations and the button on his hat may not be visible."They put a pound and a half of tea into each pan, and with it they put a teaspoonful of some coloring substance that they keep a secret. People say that this coloring matter is Prussian blue, and others say it is indigo, and that a little gypsum is put with it, so as to give the tea a bright appearance. The clerk told us it was indigo and gypsum that his house used, and declared that it was all false that any poisonous material was ever put in. He said they only used a teaspoonful of their mixture to a charge of tea, and the most of that little quantity was left in the pan in the shape of dust. When I asked him why they put anything in, he said it was to make the tea sell better in the American market. It looked so much better when it had been 'doctored' that their customers in New York and other cities would pay more for it, though they knew perfectly well what had been done. Then he showed me some of the tea that had been fired and put side by side with some that had not. I must say that the fired tea had a polished appearance that the other had not, and I could readily understand why it sells better. "Well, if we kept on telling you all we have seen in Kioto we[Pg 300] should be a long time at it, and so we may as well stop short. Besides, we are going to Lake Biwa, and it is time to be off. If you enjoy this letter half as much as we have enjoyed the material for making it you will have a very pleasant time over it."

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Apr-18 02:07:29