Imatges de pÓgina
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before these operations could have been completed, the rising and falling of the water became more violent than before.

"Between this time and a quarter past two, when the agitation again became much less, the frigate was left four times on her side; and once, while thus laid in only four feet of water, the upheaving of the ground was so violent as to force her past her anchors (the upper parts of which were visible), and back again to her former position.

Continuing to decrease in violence and frequency, by three P.M. the agitation of the water, and the motion of the vessel consequent thereon, were very slow. She now floated in twenty-five feet of water, but within her hold it was observed to be rising at the rate of thirty inches per

hour. At this time a fresh west wind was blowing; the bar. stood at 29.87, and the ther. was 10.50 R. (about 55.63 F.) The bay was covered with ruins, on which men were seen walking; and at four P.M. we began to disentangle the anchors, the chains of which were so twisted that four hours were required

to clear one of them.

During the ensuing night a fresh S.W. wind blew, and the pumps were working

twice an hour.

Some

"We had now to obtain the consent of the authorities to our seeking a bay in which to repair the frigate, Simoda not being well adapted for this purpose. After some delay this was granted, and a suitable place was soon selected. necessary repairs having previously been made, we weighed anchor on the 13th January, and with a light wind left for the appointed place. The wind soon failed us, we were left drifting towards the breakers, and our position became one of imminent danger. But ere long a gale arose, and after approaching nearer and nearer the shore, all hope being abandoned, twenty fathoms were called out, and the anchor dropped.

"On the 15th and 16th there was less wind, but the water in the frigate rose to such a height that grave fears were entertained as to the possibility of saving her. The Japanese authorities sent a hundred junks to tow her to the bay, and on the 17th all hands were landed. This

was not done without great difficulty (on account of the dangerous surf), which was particularly the case with the sick, who, wrapped in sails, had to be dragged through it. Next day (18th) the junks took her in tow, not a single man was on board, and the water already half filled the gun-deck. After proceed

ing a few miles, a small white cloud appeared, on perceiving which, the Japanese, panic-stricken, cut their ropes and fled. This appeared strange to us, but a storm speedily justified the fears they had manifested. Had they delayed much longer, they would have been in great danger, and not improbably might have shared the fate of the frigate, which forthwith sunk."

The new town of Simoda was being rebuilt when we were there. The ruins of a Japanese city are by no means imposing; wood, thatch, and a small modicum of bricks, constitute the materials generally employed in rally expect to rebuild his house more a country where a man may natuthan once in a lifetime. The spickand-span new appearance of whole streets told its own tale; and the appearance of a formidable stone-faced breakwater, erected some feet above high-water mark, and fully thirty feet high, cutting off the pretty vale in which the town was situated from the waters of Simoda Bay, clearly showed in what direction the greatwhence they had suffered most, durest danger was anticipated, and ing the last dreadful visitation. Yet there was nothing in the appearance of the good folk of Simoda to lead one to suppose they fretted much about earthquakes, rollers from the sea, or the Vries Volcano. Every one looked as happy and free from care as any people could do. The men welcomed us with a goodnatured smile, and the women, young or old, seemed as curious to look at us as we were to look at them. Everybody appeared well to do-not a beggar was visible; possibly the earthquake had swept them off. Having described Nangasaki and its bazaar so fully, it would be mere repetition to dwell upon the bazaar of Simoda, further than to say that the articles here produced for sale much cheaper. The restrictions upon were far superior, and decidedly direct buying and selling were at

tended with more inconvenience than at Nangasaki; for, having selected the articles to be purchased, they were carried to a government office, where their value in silver azi

bus (a coin of the country, the value of the third of a dollar) was placed in a scale, whilst we had to pour into the opposite side of the balance an equal weight in Mexican dollars, plus a certain per-centage to meet the expense of recoining the foreign money. The government officers handed over to us our purchases, and gave the merchant credit for the number of azibus due to him. All this machinery is set to work merely to prevent Europeans receiving Japanese money, and to guard against foreign coin being circulated in the country.

Provision has been made in the new treaty that will rid trade of all these nonsensical restrictions. It would be impossible for foreign merchants to trade under such a system, by which it is more than probable that the Japanese merchant is cheated, and that he does not know whether it is by the European or the native officials.

At Simoda, as at Nangasaki, every one seemed eternally to be taking notes of what everybody else was doing. Each Japanese had his breast-pockets full of note-paper, and a convenient writing apparatus stuck in his belt, and everything that was said, done, and even thought, was no doubt faithfully recorded. In Japan, men do not seem to converse with one another, except in formal set speeches; there is no interchange of thought by means of the tongue, but the pen is ever at work noting down their observations of one another. Sometimes we saw men comparing their notes, and grunting assent or dissent from opinions or facts recorded. At first we rather felt this as a system of espionage, but we soon became accustomed to it; and provided every man wrote down what he saw and heard, it may be more satisfactory in the long-run to have to do with a nation of Captain Cuttles, who have "made a note" of everything, and so have more than their memories to trust to.

The Japanese plan of putting one man in a post of trust, and placing another as a check on him, is, after all, only our red-tape system in a less disguised form.

The governor of Simoda has a duplicate in Yedo, who has to take turn and turn about with him in office, so that the acts of each whilst in authority serve as a check on the other. Then he is accompanied, wherever he goes, by one private and two public reporters, and the latter forward direct to Yedo particulars of all his acts. Their reports are in their turn checked by the counter-statements of the governor and his private secretary. Now compare this with the case of the captain of H.M.S. who requires a ton of coal, or a coil of rope, of the value of perhaps twenty shillings. The captain gives a written order for the purchase to be made, and two merchants must certify that the price asked is a just one, and what is the rate of exchange-to this the governor or a consul must bear witness. The captain next attests that the goods have been received and carried to public account, and this is countersigned by a lieutenant, the master, and another officer, who declare them to be fit for her Majesty's service. The vendor appends his signature as a receipt, and this has to be witnessed. Then a statement of what quantity of the same stores remained in the ship when the purchase was made, and why more were required, has to be signed by the captain and the officer in charge of them. Lastly, these documents are forwarded to the Commander-in-Chief, who signs and forwards them to the Accountantgeneral of the Navy. So to guarantee the honest expenditure, on behalf of the public, of twenty shillings, the names of twelve witnesses are requisite, and the papers being in triplicate, six-and-thirty signatures require to be attached, and lodged in office!

Whatever may be the demerits of Simoda as a port for shipping, no one can deny it is an exceedingly picturesque spot, replete with glorious combinations of turf-clad valley and wooded crag, sharp-cut cliff and rocky cove, mountain and richly-cultivated plain. One most romanticlooking corner in this picture is somewhat marred by a stiff white flagstaff and the American ensign. For

give me, oh my American cousins! for saying that Nature is not improved by stripes of red-and-white bunting sprinkled with stars. From this corner of Simoda Bay the Consul-general of the United States made his appearance, and most warmly we welcomed a gentleman whose earnest endeavours and great. personal sacrifices are likely to bring about such vast changes in the future history of Japan. Mr Harris seemed a man well fitted to be the pioneer of the energetic Republic of North America. Earnest, enthusiastic, and clever, he is gifted with that selfreliance which carries his countrymen over difficulties, whilst we more methodical slow-coaches sit down and reason upon them until the time for action is past. He has had great success in acquiring for himself the friendship and confidence of the people and officials of this jealous and exclusive empire. He had visit ed, with both eyes open and a liberal spirit, most parts of the world-and, happy man, the world had neither hardened his heart nor blunted his power of appreciating the good and beautiful wherever it might exist. It was refreshing to hear his warm and sincere eulogiums of the Japanese people, though he did not go the length of attributing to them every transcendent virtue. He expressed a kindly and natural anxiety about the long course of misery and revolution that will most probably ensue, when the introduction of European civilisation and a different creed shall break down, and will not, at any rate at first, supply the place of an existing system, which, so far as the material wants of the people are concerned, looks so perfect. The Consul had been much in our colonies and dependencies, and understood well the Asiatic character he had been in Lucknow when still independent, and had feasted with its sensual monarch and princes; he had shared in Otaheitian kolu-holus or natives dances, and knew the missionaries and missionary-eaters of New Zealand. His admission to Japan with his secretary and interpreter, Mr Hewskin, was the result of the treaty ob

tained by Commodore Perry, which I have already mentioned. Having promised that an American consul should be permitted to reside at Simoda, the Japanese did not object when a man-of-war landed them, and sailed away; but they placed the consulate on the opposite side of the bay to that on which the town was situated, and then watched the Americans closely. Mr Hewskin, who was by birth a native of Holland, had acquired a knowledge of the Japanese language; and as many of the natives speak Dutch, good feeling was promoted by an interchange of little acts of kindness and consideration. Time wore at first very heavily with the two residents, and many long months passed before the face of a European gladdened their sight. Meantime the Dutch duly reported at Nangasaki, and, for purposes of their own, exaggerated the force and misrepresented the objects of the Allies in China. The Dutch superintendent, Mr Donker Curtius, thought to make great capital out of the alarm thus created in Japan, and obtain fresh concessions for Holland by a new treaty of commerce, and so maintain for her that priority of position which her exclusive monopoly for two centuries perhaps persuaded him she had a right to. Mr Harris, at the same time, was desirous to obtain like advantages for America; and in the autumn of 1857, by way of playing off one against the other, the two diplomatists were allowed to proceed to Yedo, there to make their respective representations.

It was when this journey was undertaken that Mr Harris saw the motive of the Japanese in placing his countrymen at Simoda; for such was the truly alpine nature of the country traversed before he reached the Gulf of Yedo, that any attempt of the Americans to penetrate by force into the interior must have resulted in the destruction of those who engaged in such a project. During the six months the Consul was in Yedo, nothing could exceed the kindness and care he experienced. He lived at the imperial charge, special dishes were often sent him

from the palace, and when from some cause there was an alarm in the city, a strong guard was sent to patrol the neighbourhood of his abode. It will be remembered that we learnt at Nangasaki that both Dutch and American commissioners had eventually left Yedo without obtaining any formally-signed treaty. Disappointed and worn out by his long and anxious labours, the energetic American fell seriously ill on his return to Simoda. This gave the Japanese an opportunity of showing how desirous they were to be kind, and to protect the stranger whom they personally liked so much. The Emperor deputed two court physicians to attend him, and gave them to understand that any mischance that might befall their patient would be attended with serious consequences to themselves--an authoritative hint to the faculty which was attended with the happiest results. Had Mr Harris been an only son, and had the two Japanese doctors stood in the relation of papa and mamma to him, their solicitude for his recovery could not have been greater, nor the cure more rapid, owing to their unremitting attention and admirable nursing. He had quite recovered when the steam-frigate "Powhattan," with Flag-officer Tatnall * on board, dashed into the quiet bay, and gave the startling intelligence of the occupation of Tientsin, and that on June 26th the proud Court of Pekin had submitted to our terms. It required no great prescience to see that the Allies would next visit Japan, and that if the Emperor did not with discretion and common-sense yield to circumstances, the visit would assuredly end in an imbroglio, like our Lorcha affair with the redoubtable Yeh. The Consul, on board the "Powhattan," proceeded immediately to Kanagawa, the seaport of Yedo. There he sought an interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and was invited again to the capital; and the information he gave must have startled the Japanese Court.

He

urged that as America had taken the initiative in bringing Japan to enter again into communication with other nations than Holland, and that the general terms of a treaty had been agreed to, though not signed as yet, it was but fair that it should be fully concluded before the arrival of the English and French. The Japanese allowed the justice of the claim, closed with the Americans, and, on or about July 28, formally signed their treaty. Mr Harris was granted an interview with the Tai-koon, an amiable but sickly creature in the last stage of epileptic decay. Thus was won for the United States the honour of being the first nation to reopen free commercial relations with Japan, after a lapse of two centuries of Dutch monopoly.

The American Consul was most willing to afford the British Ambassador every information and assistance, and allowed Mr Hewskin to accompany Lord Elgin to Yedo. Without this gentleman's services as interpreter, his Excellency would have had to compile his treaty in English, and would have been at the entire mercy of the native linguists, and would have felt a want which such Chinese scholars as Mr T, Wade and Mr H. N. Lay had ably supplied for him in China. Mr Hewskin embarked in the Furious," and so excited all on board with glowing accounts of Yedo, that late in the night found us still listening, and discussing its wonders.

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The Governor of Simoda tried hard to persuade the Ambassador to embark a native officer as a cicerone. Both parties were, however, equally determined upon this point. Lord Elgin declined the honour of a visitor who might be inconvenient; but at day-dawn, as we weighed anchor, it required sundry revolutions of the steamer's paddles to prevent our being boarded by an individual who had evidently made up his mind to go with us, though, in making his calculations upon that head, he had not taken into consideration the force

Flag-officer is now the official designation of the American naval Commanderin-Chief. They find Commodore an inconvenient title, and have not as yet brought themselves to use the term Admiral.

of the water thrown off by the wheels of the "Furious" acting upon his boat. The next man-of-war steamer he tries to board he will better understand what he is about.

It was in the early grey of the morning, on the 12th August 1858, that we weighed from Simoda, and steamed out into the tide-ripples, currents, and cross sea off its entrance. Daylight saw us going as hard as steam and sail would carry us to the northward. Vries Volcano, smoking and smouldering, rose out of the sea upon our right, and away to the left stretched Ni-pon, high, bold, and mountainous, with a coastline very unlike what was laid down in our charts. Ahead in the far distance gleamed through the mist

headlands and points of the beautiful gulf to which we were bound. The breeze was fresh and fair, the sky bright, the sea blue and beautiful. All Nature seemed to rejoice, and to bid us rejoice with her; but as in the brightest day some cloud will yet be seen, so was it with us now. The bell tolled, the ensign drooped halfmast high, and we stood for a few minutes uncovered whilst the funeralrite was performed over the body of a young sailor before we committed it to the deep. He was our first loss during an eighteen months' cruise in India and China; and it was strange that the funeral should occur at the moment of all others when hope and excitement were at their highest amongst us.

(To be continued.)

Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh.

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