ENGLISH ²¨¶àÄ§¾µºÅThe Doctor thought he had given the boys quite as much information as they would be likely to remember in his dissertation, and suggested that they should endeavor to recapitulate what he had said. Frank thought the discussion had taken a wide range, as it had included the status of the four classes of Japanese society, had embraced the Samurai and their peculiarities, some of the changes that were wrought by the revolution,[Pg 226] and had told them how executions were conducted in former times. Then they had learned something about hari-kari and what it was for; and they had learned, at the same time, the difference between the old courts of justice and the new ones. What with these things and the naval progress of the empire of the Mikado, he thought they had quite enough to go around, and would be lucky if they remembered the whole of it."Yes, madam, between Melpomene and Terpsichore." "We have seen so many things since we came here that I don't exactly know where to begin in telling the story of our sight-seeing. The names by which this city is known are so numerous that the reader of Japanese history of different dates is liable to be puzzled. Many of the natives speak of it as Miako, or the Capital; others have called it, and still call it, Saikio, or the Central City, and others know it only as Kioto, or the Western Capital. This last name has become the official one since the removal of the Mikado to Yeddo, which then became Tokio, or the Eastern Capital. But, by whatever name we know it, the city is a most delightful one, and the traveller who comes to Japan without seeing it is like one who goes to New York without visiting Central Park, or a stranger in Boston who does not see the famous Common. In many of its features Kioto is superior to Tokio, and any one of its inhabitants will[Pg 292] tell you so. The city stands on a plain of nearly horseshoe shape, the mountains almost encircling it and giving an abundance of charming views. On one side the houses climb a considerable distance up the slopes, so that you may sit on a balcony and see Kioto lying at your feet.
"Why is a dog with a broken leg like the space between the eaves and the ridge of a house?"
CHINESE TRADING-JUNK ON THE WOOSUNG RIVER. CHINESE TRADING-JUNK ON THE WOOSUNG RIVER."You are right," the Doctor responded, "there is a long stretch of mud, and it was that mud which partly led to the failure at the time of the first attack. The storming force was compelled to wade through it, and many of the men perished. The fire of the Chinese was more severe than had been expected, and the ships of the fleet were badly injured. But when the attack was made the following year, the muddy belt was much narrower, and the sailors passed through it very quickly, and were at the walls of the fort before the Chinese were ready for them.
"Very great crimes are punished by cutting the body into small pieces before decapitation, or, rather, by cutting it in several places. All the fleshy parts of the body are cut with the sword of the executioner before[Pg 375] the final blow; and sometimes this species of torture goes on for an hour or two before the suffering of the victim is stopped by decapitation. There is a story that they have a lottery in which the executioner draws a knife from a basket. The basket is full of knives, and they are marked for various parts of the body. If he draws a knife for the face, he proceeds to cut off the cheeks; if for the hand, he cuts away one of the hands, and so on for all parts of the victim. If he is kindly disposed, or has been properly bribed, he will draw the beheading-knife first of all, and then he will have no occasion to use any other.There is very little of what we call privacy in a Japanese house, as the paper screens are no obstructors of sound, and a conversation in an ordinary tone can be heard throughout the entire establishment. It is said that this form of building was adopted at a time when the government was very fearful of conspiracies, and wished to keep everybody under its supervision. Down to quite recent times there was a very complete system of espionage all over the country; and it used to be said that when three persons were together, one of them was certain to be a spy, and the other two were pretty sure to be spies as well. At the time Commodore Perry went to Japan, it was the custom to set a spy over every official to observe what he did and report accordingly. The system has been gradually dropped, but it is said to exist yet in some quarters.From this assertion there was no dissent. Then the question naturally arose, "How is the operation performed?"
"He opened one of the hatches just enough to allow one man to descend[Pg 399] at a time, and through this hole he compelled all the coolies who were then on deck to pass. Then he told the interpreters to say that they might burn the ship as soon as they liked, and the crew would leave in the boats. The boats were made ready for lowering; and, as we were not far from the coast, and the wind was fair, there was not much doubt of our getting safe to Hong-kong. Not a coolie would escape, and we should take good care that the fire would be so far advanced before we left that it could not be put out."I suppose so."
The Lake of Hakone is a beautiful sheet of water, not unlike Lake[Pg 203] Tahoe in Californiaan aquatic gem in a setting of rugged mountains. These are not lofty, like the mountains of the Golden State, so far as their elevation above the lake is concerned; but they rise directly from the water, and present nearly everywhere a bold frontage. The surface of the lake is said to be more than six thousand feet above the level of the sea; and the water is clear and cold. Our young friends tried a bath in the lake, and found it as inconveniently cold as the springs had been inconveniently warm. "Some people are never satisfied," said Fred, when Frank was complaining about the temperature of the water in the lake. "You wouldn't be contented with the springs because they boiled you, and now you say the lake freezes you. Perhaps we'll find something by-and-by that will come to the point."
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"We came back pretty tired, as the streets are not agreeable for walking on account of the dust and the rough places. They don't seem to care how their streets are in China. When they have finished a street, they let it take care of itself; and if it wears out, it is none of their business. I am told that there are roads in China that were well made at the start, but have not had a particle of repair in a hundred years. They must be rough things to travel on."
"Cock-a-doodle-doo," thought I; "if those are not the same hundred-dollar boots I saw yesterday morning, at least they are their first cousins!"
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