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as possible, they plug the wound Frence sailors, “pour partager les with chewed paper, - a method dangers," as he chivalrously rewhich, if it is efficacious, leaves marked. Our most welcome reinthe most hideous marks of the forcement instantly set to work gash. The band now seems to improving our means of defence. have scattered, and to have broken The palisades all round into the temple in parties of three looked to and strengthened, and or four, coming across an unfor- every conceivable measure of pretunate priest as they did so, who, caution taken to prepare for anhowever, was not very severely other attack during the night,
, wounded : and then in the dark- which seemed highly possible,ness they dashed into all the rooms, for we thought that the escaped slashing recklessly about them, and Lonins might spend the day in plunging their swords through the recruiting their numbers and asmattresses in the hope of transfix- sault us in much stronger force. ing a sleeper. There can be little We heard from various sources doubt that they would have suc- that the city was in the highest ceeded in their purpose, had it not state of excitement, and we felt, been for the lateness of the hour therefore, that we had only as yet, at which most of us had retired perhaps, been actors in the first to rest.
scene of a drama, the dénouement Before daybreak Sir Rutherford of which it was impossible to foreAlcock had despatched an express see. At the same time we quite messenger to Captain Craigie of felt that the decision at which our H. M. S. Ringdove, then lying at Minister had arrived was the right Yokohama, twenty miles distant, one, and that we must hold our describing the position of mat- position at all hazards, as it would ters, and urgently requesting him never do to allow either the Japanto come at once to our assist- ese Government or people to supance. Meantime the native guards pose that we could be frightened had been increased to 500 men. by isolated acts of violence into At one o'clock in the afternoon abandoning rights which had been we were cheered by the sight of solemnly assured to us by treaty. twenty blue-jackets, led by their With the exception of the Ameriofficers, tramping up the avenue, can, there was no other foreign their faces beaming with the an- Legation in Yedo at the time, and ticipation of a possible fight in it had so far escaped molestation. store. Their arrival inspired a In anticipation of a lively night, confidence which our previously an elaborate system of sentries defenceless condition probably ex- organized upon a somewhat aggerated ; for what could so few composite basis. At both the even well-armed men do against gates, and at various points in the the hostile population by whom grounds, was a mixed guard of we were surrounded, had they Japanese and English or French, chosen to renew the attack, which while at every bedroom-door a we considered highly probable ? Japanese and a blue-jacket kept They were accompanied by Mon- watch together. I don't think sieur Duchesne de Bellecore, the anybody slept much that night ; French Minister, who, on learning and whenever I did fall into a of our adventure, instantly put dose, it was only to wake with a himself on board the Ringdove, start from a dream in which I was bringing with him a party of being attacked. The bamboo rat
tle of the Japanese watchmen, care of the assistant-surgeon. Capassociated as it was with my first tain Craigie, who was living on alarm, produced a painful impres- shore, most kindly placed his cabin sion upon my weakened nervous at my disposal ; and here I entered system; and it was a relief to gaze upon a series of experiences which, at my two sentries stolidly facing in their way, were the most diseach other from opposite sides of agreeable which it has ever been the doorway, both armed to the my lot to encounter. teeth according to the fashion of After the wound on my right their respective civilisations, un- shoulder was sewn up, my right able to interchange an intelligible arm was bandaged to my side so word, but each, no doubt, enter- as not to open the sutures; my taining some curious speculations left arm was also firmly bandaged, in regard to the other.
so that I was deprived of the use All through that first night I of both, and had to be fed by my fancied I heard the angry murmur servant. Then, from loss or poof the dense population by which verty of blood I became covered we were surrounded, who seemed with boils, which of coures to me as sleepless as ourselves ; worse just under the bandages. but this may only have been the In addition to this, ophthalmia effect of a fevered imagination. broke out among the crew, and I The night passed off without an got it in both eyes. The themoalarm, but it was only the first of meter was standing at 95°. a series in which this unpleasant as red as a lobster from prickly state of tension was in no degree heat, which produced an incessant relaxed. Nor did the days bring irritation, and the cabin buzzed much relief. Sinister and unpleas- with mosquitoes like a beehive. ant rumours were constantly reach- A bandage over both eyes kept me ing us through sources of informa- in total darkness; and it was as tion which, it is true were not to difficult to lie on my back on acbe much relied upon, for they were count of the boils as on either Japanese, though in some cases side because of my arms. The more or less secret. It was not monotony of this existence was safe for a foreigner to show him- only relieved by having myself self outside the gates, so that we constantly scratched ; by indicatfelt more or less beleagured, while ing the localities of mosquitoes I official visits were paid and com- wished killed ; by having nitrate of munications were being kept up silver poured in both eyes,
which between the Minister and the felt very much as if they were Japanese Government. Nobody being extracted with corkscrews; thought of laying aside his revolver by having my wounds cleaned, for a moment; and whether he plastered, and attended to ; by was eating his meals or copying a being fed, and smoking. It is for dispatch it was always placed on such emergencies that a beneficient the table beside him.
Providence has especially provided Under these circumstances I tobacco. was only an encumbrance, for I As every available man was on was unable to use either arm, and shore, there was nobody to talk to my wounds needed more serious except the assistant-surgeon and attention than it was possible to the second master. It was just give them on shore. After the when I was suffering the most first two days, therefore, I was put acutely from this accumulation of on board the Ringdove, under the miseries that we had another serious
night-alarm. I was vainly trying ily began to regain strength, and to find the best position to dose in in less than a week was able to go when I heard a great scrimmage on deck. Here I began to revel on deck, and some sharp words of in a delightful feeling of security, command given in an excited tone. which had become quite a novel Rousing B., who was sleeping sensation ; the ophthalmia was near me, I told him to hurry on cured, and I could indulge in the deck and see what was the matter. full enjoyment of the novel aquatic In a moment he came back in the life by which I was surrounded,highest state of excitement, with in watching the quaint-shaped the pleasing intelligence that an junks passing to and fro, and the armed Japanese junk was bearing no less quaint-looking fishermen down to board us, and that every- plying their vocation after their body was on deck with pikes and peculiar and original methods, in other weapons of defence. As all their no less peculiar and original the combatant part of the crew costume, which often consisted of had been landed for the defence of absolutely nothing except a bandthe Legation, leaving only the en- age over their noses, the reason for gineers, stokers, cook, steward, which I never discovered. Their and one or two others on board - chief occupation seemed to be to the Ringdove was only a gunboat prod the muddy bottom of the bay --this information
not re- with long tridents for eels. Then assuring. It seemed that sooner there historic Fusi-yama, or later I was destined to meet the with its beautiful conical summit fate of a rat in a trap. Listening towering over all, and the city of anxiously, I heard the shouting Yedo, with its extensive suburbs increasing, evidently now proceed- straggling for miles all round the ing chiefly from Japanese throats, margin of the bay. and then felt a great bump. Ap- A few days later I was glad to parently the climax had arrived, find myself able to obey a summons and I sent B. up again to assist from Sir Rutherford' Alcock to in repelling the boarders. In two come on shore in order to be presor three minutes the noise ceased, ent at a conference with some of
and he reappeared, accompanied the chief Ministers of State on the • this time by the doctor, who told subject of the recent attack. It
me that the junk had sheered off. was a blazing hot day, and when Whether the collision had been I reached the shore exactly oppowith hostile intent, and those on site the gate of the Legation, I board had changed their minds on found the intervening street occufinding us prepared for them, and pied by the procession of an imabandoned the idea of attempting portant Daimio. On the occasion to take us, or whether it was of the progress of one of these simply the result of clumsy navi- great feudal princes, they used to gation, remained a mystery, which be followed by a small army of the darkness of the night, and the samurai or clansmen, numbering suddenness of the whole episode, sometimes as many as a thousand rendered it impossible to solve. all two-sworded swashbucklers, all
If my various tortures were ready to fight on the smallest prosevere while they lasted, the length vocation to uphold the dignity of of their duration was fortunately their chief, and exceedingly sensishort. Owing to the fact that they tive on the point of honour. The were unaccompanied by any fever, natives, on meeting a procession of and that I could eat well, I speed- this kind, were expected either to move away from the road alto- the full narrative of events congether, or humbly to prostrate tained in his despatch, and also to themselves while it passed. Under be the bearer of a personal letter no circumstances was anybody from the Tycoon to the Queen, allowed to cross it. This was an in- apologising for the occurrence. sult which it was considered should The question of indemnity, and be wiped out by the death of the the nature of the satisfaction to be rash man who should 'offer it. required, were matters also to be Since the great revolution which discussed; while the trip was one practically extinguished the Dai- by which, under the circumstances, mios, and which was one of the my health could not fail to derive results of intercourse with foreign benefit. During the month which nations, I believe these dangerous now elapsed before the admiral processions have been abolished. arrived, the only event of importAt the time I had no idea of the ance which occurred was the news extreme tenacity of the Japanese that two Ministers of State who on this point of etiquette, or of the had been to see the Tycoon were risk I should run if I attempted attacked by Lonins : they were, to cross the procession. I stood however, bravely defended by their for some time watching the line, retainers, and, after a severe strugwhich seemed interminable, the gle, the Lonins were completely demen marching slowly in pairs. At feated, many being made prisoners. last the heat of the mid-day sun I now began to perceive how necesbecame so overpowering that I sary it was, as a measure of selffeared I should faint. The gate of protection, for Daimios always to the Legation, only a dozen yards be attended by a large escort. off, stood invitingly ajar, and, per- At last about the middle of ceiving a wider gap in the line August, Admiral Hope arrived, than usual, I made a dash through accompanied by Sir Hercules Robit. The samurai were so much inson, then Governor of Hongtaken by surprise, that before they Kong, and it was determined that could draw their swords I was we should lose no time in paying past them, but not before I had time an official visit in grand state to to perceive their murderous intent, the Japanese Minister for Foreign and to slam the gate in the faces Affairs. This involved passing of two or three that rushed after through the most crowded and me. After our conference with disaffected quarters of the town, the Ministers was over, I was in- for a distance of about two miles. formed by Sir Rutherford that he I scarcely knew whether I was had written to Sir James Hope, sufficiently recovered to make this then admiral on the station, re- effort on horseback, but the alterquesting his presence, and that native was to be cooped up in nothing could be finally decided a norimon,--a sort of palanquin, upon until after a consultation which, however had the disadwith him, but that he had deter- vantage of being square, and not mined to abandon his intention of oblong, like the latter, and thus going home on leave, and would oblige me to maintain a squatting remain at his post until he re- position during the whole time. ceived instructions from home, As I considered that the chances that he had further decided on were rather in favour of our being sending me back to England to attacked than otherwise, I prefurnish any information which ferred riding, although I had to might be required in addition to be led, as I was unable to hold
1887.) XIV.–Attack on the British Legation in Japan in 1861. 57 the reins. Still, with a sharp pair otherwise have been kept quiet; of spurs, I had always the chance it was therefore in their that my steed, in a wild and head- interest to break through their long flight of his own, would carry ordinary course of procedure. me out of the mêlée.
After discussing this question, The party consisted of the Min- Sir Rutherford Alcock informed ister, the Admiral, Sir Hercules them that I was to be the bearer Robinson, several naval officers, to England of the Imperial Mismembers of the Legation, and my- sion to the Queen, and we talked self, escorted between two lines of over the possible chances of anmarines and blue-jackets, who cer- other attack, and the inconvenitainly looked as if they were pre- ences which seemed to attend an pared to give a good account of official residence in the capital of any Lonins who might be rash Japan. The first Minister, Ando enough to attack us. The streets Tsusimano Kami, remarked, in the through which we passed were course of this conversation, that densely crowded with scowling peril to life was an incident inmultitudes, amongst whom the separable from high office in his two-sworded gentry, whom we country, and that everybody who knew entertained towards us feel- filled it, whether foreign or Japaings of special animosity, were nese, must, as a matter of course, very numerous. Our progress was run the risk of being murdered. necessarily slow, so that it was I thought then that this was an hour before we arrived at the mere complimentary way of reconbuilding where the two Ministers ciling us to what was intended to for Foreign Affairs were waiting be sooner or later the invariable to receive us. We found them fate of foreign officials in Japan. attended by many other officials, But a very short time afterwards for it was the custom in Japan poor Ando Tsusimano Kami proved, never to allow these audiences to in his own person, the unjustness assume a private character; and of my suspicions; for he was atmany of those who were present tacked by a band of eight Lonins, exercised the functions of met- dragged from his norimon, and so suke—in other words, of Govern- severely wounded that for some ment spies or reporters.
time his life was despaired of. So After the first formal compli- far as I was personally concerned, ments had taken place, in accord- the most important result of this ance with preconcerted arrange- interview was the decision which ments all the English officers and was arrived at—that before going gentlemen who had accompanied to England I should proceed in us withdrew, leaving only the H.M.S. Ringdove to the island of Ministers, the Admiral, and my- Tsusima, situated in the straits of self, and the interpreters. This the Corea, accompanied by Adwas a signal for all the Japanese, miral Hope in his flag-ship, to inexcept the two Ministers, to re- vestigate the truth of the report tire—an unprecedented event, so which we had received of the far, in the annals of Japanese diplo- Russians having made a permanent macy; but it was to be accounted settlement in that island, contrary for by the fact that the Ministers to treaty, and to take measures had a confidential communication accordingly. A few days afterto make to us affecting another wards I sailed from Yedo on this European Power, which could not most interesting mission.