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you laugh at all this and at worse things. of the bloated luxury and effeminate I picked up an old San Francisco paper culture of the down-trodden kingdom of to-day, a paper of June 4th, 1875. Here this or empire of that — but 'corn an is an item : ‘Private Dalzell is going to punkins plenty, lub;' plenty to eat and lecture on the two American institu- drink of a sort. I admit, sir, it is a tions, lying and stealing.' It is a shame strong position, yours; and there are that such a lecture should be possible. times when the highest souls yield to its George Washington never told a lie. influence-to that overpowering 'besoin America has produced one George de s'encanailler' which even the brillWashington, and exhausted herself in iant and aristocratic Rachel felt once in the effort. George Washington's great- awhile. grandfather was an Englishman; it is a “A word or two further, Doctor. It touching case of atavism.”
has been said that the dividing ocean “You will become heated, and the makes of America a posterity for connight air will injure you," interrupted temporary European writers. That, I the doctor, with sarcastic solicitude. suppose, works both ways. I, then, am “You are a stranger within our gates. a piece of posterity, judging you. Take It is the fault of our stranger within our what I say in good part. If wrong, I gates that he is either exuberantly Cali- believe myself right, and courteously fornian or exuberantly stranger. In the saying so have the right to a courteous first case he is a bore, in the second hearing. In the first place, I believe case he is partly amusing and partly of- that even buffoon literature has interest fensive. Every country, like every man, and power. Aristophanes could set all is presumptively good for something, is Athens into laughter, even at the excertainly not good for everything or any- pense of Euripides. But when the thing. California and Californians, Amer- sword and fire of the Greek allies menica and Americans (and you mix these aced the very existence of the city of terms frightfully) have their very strong the violet crown, the scurrility of the points and their very weak. A man of jester was hushed. One man arose in sense will not come here until he has the judgment council, spoke with burnsome approximate idea of the special ing lips one verse from the Electra of adaptabilities of the country and of him- Euripides, and the Acropolis was proself, and has decided that the two things nounced sacred and saved. Perhaps fit in some degree as hand and glove. the salvation of the capital by a goose And if he makes a mistake and gets the is the only parallel instance in behalf of shoe on the wrong foot or the foot into the other side of the question that can the wrong shoe, he will see that the be produced. blame lies with himself and try again, “James Russell Lowell does fine hu. or fold his tent like the Arab and silent- morous work, but that is because he is ly steal away. But the average man is more than a jester and cares so little for better off here than anywhere else in the the laugh of the greatest number that he world.”
parts his hair in the middle. * Oliver “Precisely, Doctor. You have the Wendell Holmes does even better, but negro song:
is too fine for the greatest number. His “De pie am made ob punkins,
verse and his prose are for the upper ten An' de mush am made ob corn,
*“It would require some evidence to-day to remove An' der's corn an' punkins plenty, lub, from the minds of an immense majority of the Amer. A-lyin' in de barn.'
ican people the unfavorable impression created by a
man who parts his hair in the middle."- Capiais E. You see, your position exactly. None Field, in Overland for July, 1875, 0.60.
thousand. He is a sarcastic, polished the way in which he seems to find them.' aristocrat to his heart of hearts. He “But then everything must be sacriknows he is an aristos, and he takes lit- ficed for the laugh. In Gethsemane or tle trouble to disguise the fact. Then Calvary, Mr. Clemens could see nothing there is our Charlie Stoddard, as fine. but what was funny. I do not deny that toned as a fute. Harte has the in- it was funny, as he put it. But O, what stincts of a literary gentleman, but his comparison is there between that clown, training has been against him, some. laughing among the tombs because he how; he has all the talent necessary, was a clown, and the manly herdsman but it has been blunted and misapplied. poet, made great by the few and not the His features and nerves are too fine for rabble, who addresses Palestine: the western literary horse-laugh. When
" •To me thou art sacred and splendid, I was a boy and made grimaces, my And to me thou art matchless and fair, nurse used to tell me, 'Stop that, or God As the tawny sweet twilight, with blended
Sunlight and red stars in her hair.' will fix your face so.' God has done so with Harte; one of the finest and most Joaquin Miller is far from perfect, but delicate of human imaginations has been even his affectations are eloquent and calloused and beaten into a showman's earnest, and no merely court -jester for drum. He has utterly lost the truth- the million is worthy to loose his shoenerve. I have a letter from J. W. Gal- latchet. The quality of artistry is not ly, of Nevada, on this point-a man decided by the roar of vulgar throats – with a sense of humor as keen as ever artistry being battle with the age it lives Harte had, but whose distinguishing in! You
-" points are vividness and verisimilitude. But the doctor was sound asleep; the Speaking of Bret Harte, he wrote me: tide was rising to our very feet. I awoke 'To tell you the real truth, I do not find the sleeper. He rubbed his eyes and the miners and mountain men so god. cried, as he turned toward his shivering lessly uncouth as he draws them; nor horse: “You admit, then, that I am do I find the "gamboliers” so delicate- right. No? Well, to repeat Rousseau, ly “high-toned ;” nor the harlots, arm- 'Ma fonction est de dire la vérité, mais ed with alabaster boxes of ointment, non pas de la faire croire. The flask hunting holiness among earth's weak- a minute !--my fingers are too cold to lings under the lengthening and bedim- tighten this cinch. I shall have a good
a med shadow of the cross of Golgotha, laugh over all this.”
IN A JAPANESE PRISON.
NE of the principal questions at
our own and other foreign citizens make
treaties of Christian nations with Japan thority are based upon the fact that juis the retention or rescission of the ex- risprudence, as we understand it, does tra-territoriality clause, by which for- not exist in Japan, or is at least in its eigners live in Japan outside the juris- rudimentary stages; and especially that diction of Japanese law and under the Japanese prisons are unfit to incarcerate legal protection of their own govern- foreigners, and the penalties are too sements. Most of the objections which vere and summary. Without in any
VOL. 15, - 19.
way touching upon this question, the one of an enormous coop or cage in a following account of my visit to the chief menagerie. All the bars, however, are prison of the empire may be of interest square, well planed, perfectly smooth, to those who argue on either side of the and good specimens of carpenter work. question.
The obsequious turnkey, at the nod of Tokio being the judicial as well as the our polite officer, produces a bunch of political centre of the empire, I was anx- enormous rods of iron which prove to ious to visit the jail there, knowing that be keys, though they have neither ward I should most probably see the best nor barrel, and bear not the slightest respecimen of prison architecture and dis- semblance to our clavic instrument. In: cipline in the dominions of the mikado. serting one in the extreme end of a long It may be well to state that the popula- lock like a bar, the bolt is drawn from tion of the city, by the official census of the triple staple. The heavy mass of 1872, is 925,000. Armed with the writ- timber composing the small gate is ten permission of the chiji, or mayor of shunted in its grooves, and we step inthe city, and accompanied by a friend, I side of a cool clean passage like a corstarted off to Packhorse Street. The ridor, with an earthen floor, about a hunprison is situated in the very oldest and dred feet long, twelve feet wide, and filmost densely populated portion of the teen feet high. In this wing of the priscity. It occupies 3,640 tsubos, or about on are four large cells, each about twen140 acres. The prison wall outside is ty-five feet square and fifteen feet high. twelve feet high, made of rows of tiles They are made like the outside of the laid flat, with earth between each layer, prison, of square bars of hard wood, five and surmounted with chevaux-de-frise inches thick, with spaces between them of wooden beams armed with sharpened three inches in width. For about five spikes. In front of the wall and run- feet from the floor the timber is solid, ning around it is a clear space of ground and strengthened on the outer side by about twenty feet wide. On the border massive transverse bars of hard wood. of this outer space, at the same distance Inside the floor is covered with coarse from the wall, is a rampart of earth five mats. In a recess are the bedclothes feet high, on which is a fence of bamboo which the prisoner is allowed to bring palings. The gate through which the with him; in another recess are his eatprison is entered is like an ordinary ing utensils. The first cell was for womyashiki entrance. Immediately within en. There was but one at that time, a are the porter's lodge and dwellings of mournful - looking young girl, incarceraofficers, turnkeys, executioners, carcass- ted the day before. She bowed humbly buriers, and prison attendants of all as we looked into her cell. The prisongrades. All the buildings of every kind keeper said that few women were ever are of wood. The prison is divided in- in prison, usually two or three only. In to a number of yards having stone walks, the next were six men, serving out long and walls surmounted by iron spikes. terms of imprisonment. All bowed as The gates are of wood.
we looked in, and even appeared to enThe prison proper consists of a long joy the sight of two foreigners extremeone-storied building. The office of the ly. In another cell were about forty wardens and turnkeys, a room about men listening to one of their number twenty feet wide, is in the centre, and evidently a literary character—who was the cells are ranged east and west of reading a book and explaining it to them. this office. Looking at the prison from These were "state's” men, if we may be the outside, in the clean yard, it reminds permitted to use the New York dialect,
serving out terms of short length, some outside the cells was of smooth plank, of whom, dressed in the prison -suit of and the inmates were allowed to be outred, went out daily to work on the pub- side their cells in this place until four lic roads. They were allowed to spend P. M. daily. There were five doctors atan hour at their intellectual entertain- tached to the prison, and medicine was ment after six P. M. At dark they were dealt out twice a day. In all there were taken to other cells.
about 200 prisoners in the jail at the We passed round to the end of the time of our visit, the usual number. ward, seeing the north side of the cells, From the prison proper we walked to which were exactly like the south side, the execution - ground. There are in and then visited the eastern wing. Here Tokio three of these aceldamas. One was the cell for samurai. It contained is in the southern suburbs at Suzugaabout twelve men, one of whom was a mori (grove of the tinkling bells), near portly and noble - looking man of fifty. Shinagawa; another on the Tokaido, in One instinctively shrunk from vulgarly the northern suburbs at Senji, near Asgazing at such a man. The cells were akusa, on the road to Oshiu; but the like the others as to size, strength, and number of executions at these two placleanliness. I was astonished to find ces is very small compared with that in everything so clean, and it was evident the prison-yard itself. it was not merely for the occasion. In- The business of waiting upon conquiring of the keeper, I was told that the demned criminals, handling and buryprisoners were fed twice daily, at nine ing the carcasses, and attending to all A.M. and four P.M. Their diet was boil- the ghastly and polluting details of the ed rice, radishes, pickles, beans, and innumerable beheadings, is done exclusoup. They were not allowed tea, but sively by a class of men formerly called eta drank hot water instead. This is good or hinin. As we approached the black diet for a Japanese prisoner, and hot wa- gate opening into the awful place, eight ter is very commonly drank by the lower or ten of these social outcasts, who were classes in Japan. It does not seem to standing near in their uniform dress of act as an emetic upon them. The food blue cotton, at the beck of the chief of. was passed into the cells through a small ficer sprung forward to unbar the gate. opening, faced with copper. The pris. As they did this, we stood within a few oners are not allowed to leave their cells feet of them on the ground where the for exercise, but the elysium of a hot eyes of the intended victims are banbath at regular intervals, as a sanitary daged with paper before being led to precaution rather than an indulgence, doom. How many thousands have from is permitted, which they eagerly avail that spot taken their last look on earththemselves of. No lights are allowed ly things, seeing only sky and black at night, nor fires in winter. The cells, prison-walls. No—for only a few feet off from their structure, are very well venti- was a blossoming tree ! lated. No instances are known of jail- The prison - yard was about eighty breaking in the Tokio prison, as the feet square. In the north end, under a floors are heavy planks of hard wood, long covered space, were a number of and nothing made of metal can get into plain black palanquins, in which crimithe hands of the prisoners; even their nals of the samurai class were carried food is eaten with chop-sticks. The to court. Very rough kagos (palanprisoners are not allowed to shave their quins)—for ordinary criminals, unable scalps, as all Japanese do and like to do. by reason of torture or weakness to
In the sick ward the floor of the space walk, but able to sit — were ranged un
der another shed, together with long blood of many criminals. The straw bamboo baskets in which criminals was thickly dyed with the still crimson senseless from the torture, unable to stains, and on it lay the spotted or soaksit or walk, were carried in a recum- ed paper bandages that had fallen when bent position. Here, too, lay the hor- useless from the eyes of the severed ribly suggestive relics of the strangling heads. Beneath the upper mat, when apparatus formerly in use. At one end lifted by the eta, was another and anof the yard was a roofed structure of other, all stained and clotted. The posts, entirely open on all sides. This sides of the wooden frame were black was the place in which seppuku (hara- with the gore of years, deposited in kiri) was committed. Formerly samu- crusts and lumps. rai condemned to death were allowed The faint odor that ascended was more this means of expiating their crimes. horrible in the awful cloud of associaA few feet in front of this jisaiba (kill- tions which it called up than in the mere ing one's self), was a raised platform stench. The last execution had taken on which the officer of the court, ap- place three days before, and twenty-five pointed to witness the act, sat. Can- heads had tumbled since the beginning vas screens were stretched round the of the year. It was then in April. In jisaiba, and out of regard for the crimi- that small area a thousand had fallen nal's rank none of the lower-grade offi- within ten years, and from its first day cers or attendants were allowed to be of use a myriad of men must have bowspectators. The dirk, neatly wrapped ed to the sword and shed their blood in white paper and laid on a tray, was there. It was awful to picture the hosts presented to the victim, who sat facing that had found this the portal of eterthe official witness. Behind him stood nity. the executioner, to strike off his head as The criminal who is to be executed soon as he thrust the blade of the dirk is led bound and blindfolded into the into his own body. After decapitation yard, to the chi-tama, where he kneels the head of the victim was laid on the upon the mats and for the first time tray to be inspected by the officer of smells the odor of the pit, which I fanjustice. Formerly, under the Sho-gun's cied must add a ten- fold horror to the government, cases of seppuku were moment. The attendant etas, placing the very frequent at this place. There was victim in position, take hold of one of none, however, in 1873, there was but his feet, in readiness to jerk the body so one in 1872, and in 1871 there were five. as to make it fall forward immediately aftIn previous years many more.
er the fatal blow is struck. The swords. About fifteen feet from the jisaiba man, who is a samurai legally protected was the chi-tama, or the blood-pit, in from disgrace, unsheathing his sword, which criminals are beheaded. It is a touches the victim with the flat of the pit originally about a foot deep and blade to intimate that all is ready and that six feet long and four wide. At the he must crane his neck and stretch out top, partly above the ground, was a his head. Hot water is then poured on curb of heavy square wooden planks, the sword by an eta to add keenness to its six inches thick and deep, which inclos- edge. This done, the death’s - man lifts ed it. It is kept covered by a sloping the weapon, but only a few inches above timber frame like the roof of a house. the neck. The blow falls on the back When this was lifted off by two etas the of the neck, the executioner striking hideous reality was startling. In the pit from above downward, occasionally exwere rough mats soaked with the fresh pending the force of a blow on the