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race, and borne an immortal to the realms of bliss, they were browsing quietly on the plains of heaven.
It was a strange idea; its duration a moment, when it was replaced.
He conceived that he was admitted to a glimpse of eternal Their mode of business and the scale on which they were conducted bewildered him. The foreign correspondence, so to say, of earth with the other world; the summons, the departure, the journey afar, he had not before conceived a transaction so vast and awful.
It was a strange idea; its duration a moment, when he felt sick, turned faint and pale. The room turned round; was the office where these marvels were settled about to be whirled away?
His mother caught him in her arms and bore him from the chamber.
Nancy placed him on a sofa at the open window, sprinkled him with water, put hartshorn to his nose, and he revived.
"Yesterday," said he to the adoring Nancy, who could_have wept at the paleness that overspread his brow, "yesterday I was on the eve of a journey; I thought it was a long way to Tofts Hall; what must it seem then on the eve of a journey beyond the tomb?"
Nancy did not appear to like that strange idea, and put a stop to its duration by asking him to take a walk, and they went out together; by this means her object to refresh and divert him was accomplished. They were out on the Crouch and in the fields for two hours, when it was time to return to dinner.
The cloth was laid, and a chair placed at the table; he was to dine alone. A hare was brought in, because it was a dish that he used to like, but it was at a time when he ate it in forgetfulness of the fact that it had once been alive. He glanced at it, saw it prick its crisp ears, it challenged his imagination in the race of death. It was ready for a start to be pursued by invisible hunters, then in full chase was burnt alive as it crossed the blazing heath.
OUR LIFE IN JAPAN.*
THIS is precisely the kind of work which is wanted in regard to those strange antipodal islands, and still stranger people, yclept Japanese. We have had enough for the time being of the past history, mythology, and ethnology of these hybrid Mongols, and of the inland seas and towns, the features, the scenery, and the vegetation of the country. Without being so learned and detailed as old Kämpfer and Thunberg, M. de Chassiron has filled up a void by his admirable illustrations, and Alcock, Oliphant, and Fortune have brought information down to a late period. Messrs. Jephson and Elmhirst carry on the history to our own day, and a remarkable history it is, where a country is, from being brought into contact with Europe and America, going through the throes of a double struggle, one against pressure from without, the other from the gradual overthrow of the feudal system within. Whether a Richelieu will arise in the shape of some modern Taikun to abate the pride of semi-independent Daimos, and subject the provinces to their legitimate emperor, is not yet quite clear; but all the probabilities are in favour of such an issue, and of the long continuance of peaceful commercial relations. Acts of vandalism, superstition, and barbarity may still be occasionally perpetrated a whole people is not changed in a quarter of a century-but the Japanese are essentially an intelligent people, particularly educatable, and all the chances are in favour of progress and not of retrogression.
In the mean time, what we want are sketches of life—a more intimate acquaintance with both the domestic and public habits and manners of the people-so as to be able to form some idea of their particular wants, and of their intellectual aspirations. The work before us will furnish the reader with a large fund of this particular kind of information. It is indeed a most readable and entertaining account, not only of the life led by the English in Japan, but also, which is of more importance, of the kind of life led by the Japanese themselves. So Japanese is Japan-or so Nipponese is Nippon-that while we were almost tired of that never-failing adjunct to all pictorial representations, old Fusiyama, our writers tell us that after living some time among the Japanese, one begins to share their veneration for the grand old mountain. Unless, indeed, people can enter into the feelings of those with whom they
* Our Life in Japan. By R. Mounteney Jephson and Edward Pennell Elmhirst, 9th Regiment. With Illustrations from Photographs. By Lord Walter Kerr, Signor Beato, and native Japanese drawings. London: Chapman and Hall.
are sojourning, it is quite certain that all attempts at description will be vain and futile.
Frenchmen, it is admitted, get on much better with this extraordinarily polite and punctilious people than we do. They can bow and scrape, whereas the Englishman shirks his work disgracefully, and is indeed sometimes so irreverent as to be strangely moved to mirth at what he designates as antics"-until his own turn comes. But if the Englishman looks piteously out of his eyes, as he bows and rubs his knees-one of the minutiæ; he can admire the Japanese dress and vouch for the comfort of it, especially that of the "bettoes," or grooms-a tight-fitting flesh surtout of tattooing of the most wonderful pattern. After the heat and fever of Hong-Kong, rides and rambles in Japan, through green lanes and over wooded hills, with lovely peaceful views on every side, are things not to be despised-but not to be carried out precisely in the "betto" costume.
"Huts and kennels," as Japanese dwellings are irreverently termed, and to the consideration of which a whole chapter is devoted, concern us not. If a visitor cannot make himself comfortable in any country-barring insect visitors, as more especially ants-he has himself in great part to blame. One of the first "curious" things to be seen-not an uncommon one, it appearsis an execution. Some French traveller noted a man swinging from a rope as a proof of civilisation, three or four men impaled on spikes once disgusted us with some otherwise very pretty scenery. The victim on the occasion in question, it would appear, like others of his class, put on a kind of bravado, and called out to the foreigners "to come and see how a Nippon could die!" But he was in reality much disturbed inwardly, and his features are described as being worn and distorted, and his eyeballs glazed and sunk. After decapitation the head is exposed on a scaffold, and Signor Beato's illustration of such a warning would be simply repulsive were it not the head of one of the murderers of the illfated Major Baldwin and Lieutenant Bird. We grieve to read that fearful tales are told of the tortures employed by the Nippons to extort confession or punish crimes. The fiendish ingenuity of the Roman inquisition is indeed said to be outdone by the diabolical contrivances of the acknowledged jurisdiction of Japan.
A next thing to be done is to visit the great bronze idol of Japan at Daibuts, some seventeen miles from Yokohama. The way there lays "like the path of all younger sons in fairy tales," up hill and down dale, through woods and valleys, villages and hamlets, and past peaceful farmhouses, from which chubby little children come trooping out with shrill cries of "Tojin! Tojin! stranger! stranger!" They would do as much in any other country. The children being dressed exactly like the grown-up
people, gave them at first an intensely comical appearance. bridge by the wayside near a prettily situated little tea-house, was the scene of the murder of a Frenchman about three years before. He was out botanising, when he was cut down by a party of twosworded men simply because he happened to be a foreigner. Our authors add their testimony to that before given, that these teahouses are the picture of comfort and cleanliness, and it appears that they deal not only in tea but also in liquors. The Japanese were, on their side, lost in amazement at the figure of Britannia on the officers' caps. They could not understand how a lot of Yakonins could so far forget the respect due to their sex and calling as thus to pay homage publicly to a woman. The ladies, however, were delighted, and exclaimed to their lords, "Aha, you see, there are countries where women are treated with proper respect. These tojins aren't such barbarians after all!" The men said, "Do your women, then, fight?" With one accord the whole party responded "rather!" the voices of the married men, of whom there were two or three present, being particularly noticeable.
The temples at Daibuts are, as regards general outline of form, very similar to all other sacred edifices in Japan, but they surpass all others in size, costly carving, and number. The entrance to the sacred enclosure is, as usual, over arched stone bridges in the willow-pattern style, and over a moat which was covered with lotus plants and water-lilies. Within, two sacred ponies were kept, caparisoned in the most grotesque manner, and slung from the roof of the stable, never being allowed to lie down, being supposed to be ever ready for a ride by the god of war. When asked if the said deity was to ride both at once, the attendant priest grinned from ear to ear, and even the little boys laughed. These ponies were perfectly white, and one of them had pink eyes. Not one temple struck the visitors with either admiration or wonder; it was only taken collectively that they assumed an appearance of anything like grandeur. It was on their return from a visit to these temples that Major Baldwin and Lieutenant Bird were brutally assassinated. Nothing but the strong arm of discipline prevented the men of the 20th avenging the murder of two beloved officers. As it was there was some talk of revenge, by marching the regiment out and burning down the temples as a lesson to the Japanese; and we perfectly agree with the writers that some decisive measure of this sort would have been the best plan to prevent the recurrence of such horrible atrocities. tation and forbearance are always mistaken by semi-savages for cowardice, and only lead ultimately to more serious incidents. But we live in an age of enlightenment, which bids us to forbear at any price.
Our authors are by no means naturalists-much more partial, if anything, to the jocose than to the sentimental mood; yet even they admit that the man's mind must be coarse and uncultivated indeed who cannot appreciate the beauties of nature as seen in Japan. They are, indeed, never tired of expatiating upon the beauty of fresh views brought before them in their desultory rides. Japan is evidently altogether an underrated country, for the ladies, we are assured, are as beautiful as the scenery. "Fair-skinned
almost as their sisters of the West; small but neatly-nay, almost faultlessly-shaped; their flowing robes displaying in its own gracefulness the model that nature has adopted, and which none of the meretricious deceptions of civilisation can improve upon; with pretty captivating manners, and a language musical and soft as Italian, the laughter-loving nymphs of the Rising Sun have many and powerful charms."
This is pretty well, and painful is the reaction when we read, "It would certainly take the world by surprise if these belles dames acquired sufficient influence over their English sisters to induce them to adopt their plan, so exquisite in its naïve simplicity, of taking their daily baths in the street outside their doors." But the Japanese are not merely naïve; they have a vast fund of humour in their composition, and it appears that as “a would-be purchaser" takes a stroll along Curiosity-street, at Yokohama, he is hailed on all sides by the inmates to come and inspect their wares, and many a chaffy remark they pass upon him as he proceeds on his way. As said "Curio," or Curiosity-street, is nearly half a mile long, and very broad, the ordeal must be no trifling one. And yet these jocose Japanese are, we are told, never rude, and a stranger may go into a shop, turn everything upside down, and make no purchase, and yet be offered a cup of tea.
At certain seasons of the year kite-flying becomes the rage in Japan, and every man and boy provides himself with one of these articles, mostly in the form of dragons. The origin of this practice, which our authors did not understand, is now well known, from Max Müller's researches, to be connected with that dragon-worship which had its origin in thunderstorms; but another curious custom, which prevails throughout the country, of every Nippon to whom a son has been born during the preceding twelve months, hoisting a huge paper fish on a bamboo pole in front of his house, is not so easily explained. Is it a transmission of the worship of Derceto or Ashtaroth in the far East, or is it a kind of reverence for fish entertained independently by nations far apart for their remarkable fecundity? Looking down on a town or village from a hill, the curious spectacle is beheld of several hundred huge monsters of the deep floating in the air. They vary in length from three or four