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proaches this condition not only is incapable of eliminating unwholesome matter, but actually imparts its own pollution to the current passing through it. Some very generally patronised forms of filter, indeed, are said to breed, when they are used too long, myriads of minute worms. There
is, in fact, abundant reason for maintaining that although a really good filter, in good working condition, may do much for the health of a household, the best of filters, if neglected, may become a source of real peril, and may give rise to incalculable mischief.
'HE first time that I met Vr. Algernon
Reed was on board a large steamer home
ward bound. I was sitting with my two little sisters on deck, watching the cool awnings flapping in the soft warm wind. The sea was violet and green, with far-away flakes of foam ; there was neither land nor yet a sail to be seen, nor a sound to be heard, save the measured creaking of the ship as she cleft her way through the rounded hollows and over the curled ridges of the iridescent water.
My youngest sister, a child of ten, who had only lately recovered from low fever, complained of feeling tired and faint, and asked me to carry her down to her cabin. I took her up in my arms and tried to make my way to the "stairs," as we ignorantly called the "companion ;" but the ship was rolling, and I found it difficult to keep from falling. Presently a gentleman came up to me with a courteous bow, and before I could gainsay him he had taken Felicia gently out of my arms and had carried her to her cabin. But my heart smote me for letting him do it. He was about two-andtwenty, very small, with a delicate refined face, and a bright hectic flush on each cheek. His hands were like those of a girl, and had that transparent look, like egg-shell china, which is so common in consumption. His hair was almost white, it was of so pale a flaxen; the eyes were large and dreamy, and had dark lines round them ; but there was something very frank and simple in the facesomething fresh and innocent, like a child. He did not give me time to thank him, but when, a few hours later, I chanced to see him on deck, I went up to him and expressed my gratitude.
He smiled. “I saw that you couldn't carry her,” he said, triumphantly, “and I was only too glad to be of service. What is the good of being a man, and stronger than most people, if one makes no use of one's strength ?”
This assumption of strength startled me much that I was silent.
“There are some porpoises to be seen,” he said, after a pause, “ if you care to come to the side of the ship.”
We went and watched the strange black things leaping gaily through the water, and we gradually fell into conversation. I learnt that Mr. Algernon lived with his mother in the suburbs of London, that he was her sole surviving son, and that he
was at present returning to her from a long sea voyage which he had undertaken for his health.
Not that there is much the matter with me," he said, coughing all the while, “but I fancy I went in too much for athletics at Oxford.”
There is no place in the world so favourable for making friends as on board a ship. The idleness and monotony of the life makes people communicative and confidential. It is difficult to read much, although it would be hard to say why; it is impossible to sleep more than twelve hours out of the twenty-four; and one slow restful day is exactly like another. I used to sit in the shade, with my needlework, whilst the sick child lay on a rug beside me. Mr. Algernon was certain to join us, with a pile of books, and a block for sketching. There is, I think, no friendship pleasanter than that which can exist between a very young man and a woman some eight or ten years older, and Mr. Algernon and I thoroughly enjoyed this inter
He showed me his sketches and read me poetry aloud, with a great deal of roll and swell in his voice, and with a certain amount of gesticula
He loved heroic pieces-Macaulay's “Lays of Ancient Rome," Aytoun's “ Scottish Cavaliers,” and the old North-country ballads. His thin, wan face would light up with enthusiasm, and he used literally to tremble with the excitement and passion of the poems. He was curiously free from the usual boyish dread of ridicule, and took life very simply and earnestly. The world to him was a great arena, in which noble deeds might be done. He himself was a knight-errant, bound by all he held sacred to uphold the right and to protect the weak, for he always had the touching belief in his physical strength, and could not see, what was so terribly plain to every one else, that he was slowly dying of decline. His opinions on every subject were decided, tolerance was known to him. And indeed, from his point of view, every matter was simple; there were two sides to cach question—a right one and a wrong —for he admitted of no shades. Black was very black to him, and white very pure and dazzling. There were no such things in his philosophy as intermediate shades of grey or drab.
One of his favourite topics was the mischiel that he declared was done by the clamour for (so-called) Women's Rights." It is a physical impossibility,” he used to say, drawing himself up
majestically to his full height of five feet five inches, “that women can be as strong as men ! ” And then fiercely, “ Cannot they see that they are trying to do away with all the chivalry, all the most beautiful and gentle side of life? Surely every gentleman ought to feel it his splendid duty to protect and help the weak, and to render service to any woman in distress! How can I reverence and admire a brickbat of a woman who elbows and pushes with the crowd! How can I wish to make place for her and help her on her way? No!”– This was said sternly—“terrible as it is to think of, the crowd, stronger than she is, will pass over her and crush her!”
I sat meekly by, assenting. It was a lovely breezy afternoon, and yet so warm as to be a dreamy, soothing time. There was a sense of idleness approaching to sleepiness pervading the whole ship; the soft motion of the vessel was only like the rocking of a cradle, enough to lull one to rest.
Mr. Algernon had seated himself by my side, and was turning over his sketch-book.
Suddenly he stopped. “Do you—do you-admire that face ?” he said, a little tremulously, and passed me his book.
Now dear Mr. Algernon's drawing was theoretic rather than practical. He believed in it thoroughly himself, and spent many hours upon it. I am no judge of art, but I can only say humbly, but truthfully, that none of his pictures ever resembled anything I had ever seen or imagined. The watercolour in question represented a young lady with an abundance of black hair and a very uncertain line of feature. I like to be honest when I can, so I said, warmly, “ What a quantity of hair !”
“Ah! she is far more beautiful than you could imagine from this horrid sketch.”
And then, bit by bit, I gathered that the young lady was a Miss Laura Roland, with whom he was desperately in love, and that she had promised to engage herself definitely to him when he returned from this sea voyage.
“ She has—she has,” he said, with a painful effort, “a great shrinking from illness, and feared, from some foolish expression of the doctor's, that I was not as well as I seemed. But I shall return so strong that this objection, at any rate, will be overcome.”
He went on in broken, incoherent sentences to describe how beautiful and clever and “splendid” she was, and how happy he should be to devote his life to trying to make himself worthy of her.
The pleasant idle days floated by, and we steamed hour by hour out of the warm violet seas into the grey-green northern waters. Mr. Algernon had many talks with me about his future. “I needn't work for my living," he had explained, “so there will be all my life to work for other people;" and then he unfolded to me his plans for reading-rooms in the East End of London, for a cottage hospital, and a ragged hospital, and a ragged school. “ She will help me in all this,” he said, with a quick blush, and a bright look in
Algernon was anxious to do everything for my comfort. “If by any mistake your brother doesn't come to meet you, you must let me manage everything for you. A lady finds these things difficult alone. She needs some one with a strong authoritative voice to order about the cabmen and porters."
My brother, however, came on board, and at the same time some benevolent person brought all the passengers their letters. I was standing on deck by a heap of luggage, when I heard a low voice at my shoulder. “ May I speak to you?” I
I turned round, and saw Mr. Algernon, but how strangely altered! He was very pale, and was trembling with suppressed excitement. I walked a few paces with him, and then he said, quietly, “Miss Roland is married ; she has written to tell me. I hope she-she will be happy.” And then with a break in his voice, " That is all."
His look of utter misery haunts me now when I think of the boyish face, worn as it was by illness. I said the first words of sympathy that came into my head.
“ You must never blame her," he rejoined quickly. “She was right to do what made her happy. I wished for nothing but her happinessonly—only," and he left the sentence unfinished, I had but time to bid him good-bye, and beg him to come and see me in London, which he promised to do.
A month passed, and I heard nothing of Mr, Algernon, until one morning a letter came from his mother, begging me to spend an afternoon with them. "My son is very ill,” she wrote; “I do not like to think how ill; but he is very anxious to see you, and we should both think it very kind of you if you will visit us.”
I went that very day. Mr. Algernon's home was an old-fashioned red-brick house, with a smooth lawn, sheltered by high yew hedges, that sloped down to the river. There was a field at the back, where-it was June--they were making hay. The garden and the walls of the house were sweet with roses-old-fashioned cabbage roses, single roses that show their yellow hearts, clustering banksias, trailing pink roses, tea roses with their dark leaves, and moss roses with their gummy scent. There were a broad cedar and a twisted mulberry-tree on the lawn, and in the shade of these trees, on a couch, lay the poor dear boy, looking up at the deep-blue sky that showed between the dark branches of the cedar. His mother, who was with me, called to him gently. He started, and put out his wasted hand, with a charming smile. His face was greatly changed. It had that bright, transfigured look which so often belongs to the last stages of decline.
“It is very kind of you to come and see me,” he said. “Please sit down, and let us talk.”
His mother left us, and we fell into one of our old discussions on books. Then there came a pause. I could see he had something to say, but did not know how to begin. At last he broke the silence. “I have so often told you of all the work I meant to do in the world, and now they say I shall never do it. Perhaps it is as well.
I was going to land at Plymouth, and Mr.
I am content to leave it." He leant back wearily ind covered his face with his hands. I fancied I could see a tear trickling through the thin fingers. “I had thought,” he went on, with a pathos which went to my heart, "what a splendid life it would have been-if-if she had wished it—to work together. But the only way now to do God's work is to-to-" He faltered, and then, clasping his hands, and with a strange, sweet look in his eyes, whispered the words which have comforted so many in their helplessness, "They also serve who only stand and wait."
Then, after a little, he added, simply, “I am
not afraid of death, you know. It is after all only the way out of one life into another.”
To-day, when I read in the “Times" the announcement of his death, the blinding tears filled my eyes as I thought of the “work” that was left undone, and the noble projects that never would be carried out. But after all they were foolish tears. Was it not better for him to leave life whilst his love for it and belief in it were still so strong, and before he had learnt more of such things as weariness and disappointment ?
WAYS AND MEANS IN JAPAN.
relieved at once of an annual expenditure of £ 3,000,000 by the addition of £ 35,000,000 sterling to the national debt.
This somewhat dry digression has been necessary to account for the present position of the mass of the gentry of Japan. Individuals have of course been variously affected by so sweeping a change. Some wisely invested their money, or embarked in commercial undertakings which have proved successful; others proceeded to live upon it as economically as possible, waiting for something to “turn up,” much as did Mr. Micawber. Many rushed into speculations of a similar nature to those which periodically entrap and disperse the means of thousands in England, and the majority suffer more or less from the necessity laiš upon them of entering upon various walks of commerce without any previously acquired business-like habits. The army and the police have absorbed large numbers; the students of the schools of medicine, the schoolmasters of the country, and the various officers of the Government in all its departments are all of this class, answering thus in a measure to the upper middle class of English society.
Very pleasant is it to visit the families of these shizoku in their ancestral homes, scattered round the site of the ancient castle once the residence of their feudal lord. Grave the courtesy with which you are welcomed whilst the ceremonial tea is prepared. The aged father with sparse grey hair and sinewy frame seems to belong to a bygone day. Can we wonder if he sometimes sighs for the good old times when he donned a suit of quaint lacquered armour and followed the banner of his chieftain to the field ? To him the change is terrible from the past and its possibilities from which he is absolutely cut off, whilst nothing better than genteel poverty is left for him and his in the present and future. His sons perplex him with their foreign ways and customs, to which they have found little difficulty in adapting themselves. If he is of opinion that they
Rising Sun,” or dwellers within its borders, to make us acquainted with its lovely scenery, and with the manners and customs of its deeply interesting people. But I have not met with any definite information as to how the inhabitants of the quaint toy-like houses really live. We will not inquire at this time into the interior economy of the houses of the great officials who answer in il measure to the daimios of old, nor will we go down to the often overcrowded dwellings of the humbler labouring classes, but place ourselves under the guidance of a Japanese gentleman to learn from him the mysteries of the menâge in the homes of the samourai or shizoku class. The samourai were formerly the hereditary retainers of the old feudal nobility. They were devoted to both the sword and the pen. In great measure they corresponded to the literali of China.
It is but six years since they were deprived of a highly cherished privilege—viz., the right of wearing two swords. Till that time they still preserved some faint hopes of a recurrence to the ancient order of things which had been almost destroyed by the revolution of 1869. As a result of that revolution, which again made the Mikado the real ruler of Japan, the two millions of samourai found their livelihood seriously imperilled. With the estates of the great princes freely given up to the Government, the State undertook the immense liability of paying the hereditary incomes of their retainers. In 1873 some of these gladly accepted six years' income as a commutation of such life interest. In 1877 such commutation was made compulsory, daimios and samourai all received a lump sum varying from a five to a fourteen years' purchase of their previous income.
It speaks well for the peaceful character of the people, that so serious a disruption of the foriunes of a large and influential class was peaceably carried out, save in the south-west of the empire. The Government, that is to say, the country, was
looked far more dignified in their national costume than in that of the foreigner (however well made) we shall heartily agree with him. Yet as manfully as they would have faced the storm of battle have these gentlemen of the olden time faced the altered circumstances of the time in which their lot has been cast. To their honour be it spoken, they recognise the fact that their country has taken its place, and that no mean one, amongst the nations of the world. My informant, whose wife is quite a refined gentlewoman, yet by no means too proud to put her hand to the daily work of the house, enters quite freely upon the subject of this paper.
“Yes,” he remarks, “when the change came it was necessary to do something, so I became a schoolmaster under the Government, in a country town. My school was a short distance away from the houses amidst fields. The salary was about *£2 55. per month. I had a little money with which I stocked a shop for the sale of sundry articles of every-day use. This store my wife superintended, and thus my income altogether came to about £ 3 155. per month. And we lived very comfortably upon this. Our house rent was about 11s. per month. But I will show you my books for the past six years.”
So saying, my friend produced an oblong volume, about nine inches by five inches in size, in which the lines ran downwards beginning at the right hand, and there neatly kept were the items of receipt and expenditure balanced each month and year.
“But,” said I, “is it possible that a family of three adults and three children can be maintained for three pounds a month? Will you tell me how it is managed ?”
Certainly,” said my friend ; and he transcribed for me the following particulars: “A family of five persons and one servant. Monthly expenditure-Rice, 18s.; fish and vegetables, 135. 6d.; tirewood, 4s.; kerosine, is. 9d. ; soy, 2s. 3d. ; charcoal, is. 3d. ; salt, 4d.; pocket-handkerchief paper, 9d.; tea, is. 3d.; writing-paper, is. 2d. ; women's hairdressing, 7.d.; men's, 7.d.; water-carrier, 1s. 2d.; soap, is.; one pair getas, or shoes, 1s. 3d.; pens and ink, 21d.; school (one child), 7.d.; milk (one child), 45. 4d.; William (servant), 35.; matches, 1d. ; brushez, 1.d.; crockery, 7d.; umbrellas and caps, is. 8d.; sundries, 1.d.; cotton socks, is. id.-in all £ 3 os. 9d. Besides these, clothes have to be provided, and doctors' visits paid for, and books and school material bought from time to time."
This simple statement is suggestive to us in many ways. It will be observed that it makes no provision for saki, or alcohol in any form. Yet my friend is not a pledged abstainer. Alcohol is by no means universally used as an article of diet in Japan. I know a family of four brothers who are all unpledged abstainers. Only one of these is a Christian. The sad spectacle of a father's excess, and the losses it entailed, influenced them to abstain entirely from saki.
Rice is the great staple of support; its price governs that of all other commodities, excepting fish. The price of fish varies with the season and the “take.” Masses of the population around the coast live almost entirely on rice and fish. The vegetables include a very large radish called daiken, which few foreigners can eat, bamboo shoots, and sweet potatoes. Occasionally these are varied by an insipid jelly made of seaweed, and a sort of bean curd, called kudzu. The food generally is of a much cooler character than that used in Europe, and calculated to give less support to the muscular system under prolonged exertion.
Wood is used in preference to coal for cooking. In the absence of iron ranges, small earthenware stoves are generally used for culinary purposes. Kerosine, or coal-oil, as its Japanese name signifies, has now almost entirely displaced vegetable oil throughout the land. It has added to the danger of fire, but its increased light is friendly to increased intellectual attainment, enabling the earnest student to utilise the long evening hours in a way impossible before its introduction. When heat is desired charcoal is used in the hibachi, or portable stove, of a more or less ornamental design, and a small quantity is generally kept burning throughout the year for the convenience of smokers, even where, as in the before us, tobacco is not used. Smoking is very general on the part of both sexes, but the native tobacco is a very mild preparation, and very inexpensive, and, as with saki, there are many who never use it. Tea is the universal drink, and very various indeed is its quality. That used by the natives is dried either in the sun or artificially, but not shrivelled up, as is the tea sent to foreign lands. The taste is consequently different, the beverage being far more fragrant. As in China, neither milk nor sugar is taken with it, and it is usually what would be called "weak" in England. Salt and soy are two indispensable adjuncts to the tray, or dai, on which food is served. The latter is the foundation of the various sauces which serve to whet the appetite of the dyspeptic dwellers in our great cities at home. It invariably accompanies fish in Japan, whilst the preponderance of grain or vegetables calls for salt.
Turning from the requirements of the body to those of the mind, we note that writing-paper bulks largely in the monthly expenses, whilst pens and ink are comparatively inexpensive. Pencil would be a preferable term, for the pens are brushes fixed in a piece of bamboo, about the thickness and length of an ordinary penholder. The ink is Indian ink, in small cakes, of which a portion is rubbed on the inkstone as required. Books are mostly in demand for educational purposes throughout the country, the great centres for literature being Tokiyo and Osaka. Five bookshops as yet suffice for the literary needs of Nagasaki, a city of 40,000 inhabitants. In the country very few of the adults can read, and these are nearly all of the samourai class. Conversation is a great source of domestic recreation, and when that fails the go ban will be produced, and an intricate kind of draughts will be played, or music will beguile the time should the mother or daugh
* I have put the amounts in English money, calculating the at 35., ils present value.
ter be gifted in that direction. The richly-inlaid koto will be produced and laid before them on the floor, and weird and plaintive are the strains to which a harp-like accompaniment is played. But we have wandered from our review of the needs of daily life.
Hair-dressing is suggestive of the difference between the Far East and West in both cost of labour and customs of the people. At least once a week the lady in Japan will repair to the hairdresser, who for the modest sum of three-halfpence will take down and re-erect the curious and picturesque arrangement of the hair, which drawings and photographs have made familiar to the English eye. The gentleman will pay an equal number of visits and a like sum, whether his head be dressed in English or native fashion ; but this latter is now mainly confined to the humbler classes.
Great places for gossip are the barbers' shops, and many an hour is there passed in discussing the latest news. From many of these establishments projects the red-and-white pole, the old symbol of the barber-surgeon, which still lingers on in country towns at home; and occasionally a quaint signboard in English letters attract attention, as, for instance, Seihatsudo, Patent ist class Barber.”
The mention of the water-carrier indicates that my friend lives in a town in which but few houses have a well belonging to them. Water is a prime necessity in a country in which the washing of pots and tables is always going on, and in which ihe bath is used morning and evening; and soap also we gladly see recognised as indispensable, though its foreign name, shabon (French savon, Ital. sapone) seems to indicate that it first came to the country from Europe.
Looking to the item of shoes, many a paterfamilias at home would rejoice if fifteen pence per mensem would cover that item for five pairs of feet. Really it is the average cost of one pair of the high wooden clogs, or geta, which are always put off at the threshold of the house or temple. Straw sandals are sometimes worn, and cost about the same price. Japanese gentlemen value our leather boots and shoes highly, but the cost of purchase and repair prevents them coming into general use.
Matches are now made very inexpensively in Japan, and often form a large part of the deck cargo of the little steamers which ply round the coast. Warranted to “light only on the box,” at times they seem as if they were never meant to light at all. However, they are cheap enough, ten boxes costing about twopence halfpenny.
Brushes are made of rice stalks and of various kinds of fibre. In the autumn the rice stalks may be seen laid out on every side to dry in the sun as one passes through the country villages. Under the head of crockery are included all the various fragile teacups and dishes and saucepans of earthenware which continually need renewing, as do also the umbrellas, whether native or foreign in style. These last, which are called bat umbrellas,
from a fancied resemblance to that nocturnal flutterer, are made everywhere, and sold at prices varying from three to six shillings. The native fashioned oiled paper umbrella costs from five to eighteenpence, according to quality, but has the disadvantage of breaking quickly in a storm of wind. Nevertheless, its cheapness will long preserve it to be, with its faint outline and colouring, a marked feature in the Japanese landscape. The same cause will probably preserve, especially in the case of the girls and women of Japan generally, the very picturesque native dress.
A complete suit of ordinary apparel for either sex costs about thirty shillings, but to this must be added the obi, or broad waistband, which is the distinguishing ornament of the woman's dress. These cost ordinarily as much as the rest of the clothes, and run up to fabulous sums when of very costly material or richly embroidered, as is often the case.
We must not forget the tabi, or cotton socks, in speaking of dress. These are cut out of longcloth to fit the feet and fasten behind from the heel to just above the ankle. The great toe is separated from the others, so that the strap of the sandals, or getas, may pass through the opening and afford a sort of purchase to the wearer.
Should sickness visit the household, a native practitioner is called in, who will charge from four to eightpence a visit, and his prescriptions will be made up at the chemist's at a cost of about one penny for three doses. The visits will be paid for ordinarily on the recovery of the patient. Should the doctor, however, have enjoyed the advantage of having been trained by a foreigner his charges will be much higher. There are now in most large towns some one or more really well qualified medical men, natives, and unfortunately there are also a few here and there guilty of barefaced quackery. In one large city I know of a soi disant doctor of foreign medicine whose only claim to the title consists in the fact that he was servant for a few years to a foreign medical man, and employed by him occasionally to beat up his drugs with pestle and mortar.
Thus we close our inquiry into the angusla res domi in Japan, and we can hardly help being impressed with the simplicity of the life it discloses. Our Western mode of life has made our cumbrous stuffed furniture, our carpets and curtains, our multiplied articles of everyday use, and even the great variety of artistic trifles which adorn our homes, matters necessary to our comfort, if not always indispensable to health. And it is true that in cold winter weather the pretty simple Japanese home, with its matted floors and single vase and painting as its only ornaments, is a cold, cheerless, comfortless dwelling. Still we may learn a useful lesson from the details given above of being contented with such things as we have, and of avoiding that overcrowding of our houses with costly furniture and expensive luxuries which is far too characteristic of English society of the present dav.
Nagasaki, Japan. A. B. HUTCHINSON, C.M.S.