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Japan

I was fortunate in being in New York when the Metropolitan Museum celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its birth, for I was therefore able to enjoy not only its normal treasures but such others as had been borrowed for birthday presents, which means that I saw Mrs. H. E. Huntington's Vermeer, as well as the supreme Marquand example of that master; more than the regular wealth of Rembrandts, Manet's "Still Life," Gauguin's "Women by the River," El Greco's "View of Toledo," Franz Hals' big jovial Dutchman from Mr.

It is difficult for a stranger to India, especially when paying only a brief visit, to lose the impression that he is at an exhibition - in a section of a World's Fair. How long it takes for this delusion to wear off I cannot say. All I can say is that seven weeks are not enough. And never does one feel it more than in the bazaar, where movement is incessant and humanity is so packed and costumes are so diverse, and where the suggestion of the exhibition is of course heightened by the merchants and the stalls.

I arrived in Bombay on the last day of 1919 and embarked at Calcutta for Japan on the evening of February 17th, seven weeks later. But to embark at Calcutta is not to leave it, for we merely dropped down the river a short distance that night, and for the next day and a half we were in the Hooghli, sounding all the way.

Watching the young men and maidens crowding to a lecture in the Hearst Amphitheatre at Berkeley, under that glorious Californian sky, I was struck by the sensible, frank intimacy of them all, and envied them the advantages that must be theirs over the English methods of segregation at the same age, which, by creating shyness and destroying familiarity, tends to retard if not destroy the natural understanding which ought to subsist between them and if it did would often make life afterwards so much simpler.

Mention of the beautiful solicitude with which these treasures are surrounded, suggests the reflection that the old country has something to learn from the new in the matter of distinguished custodianship. We have no place of national pilgrimage in England that is so perfect a model as Washington's home at Mount Vernon. It is perhaps through lack of a figure of the Washington type that we have nothing to compare with it; for any parallel one must rather go to Fontainebleau; but certain shrines are ours and none of them discloses quite such pious thoroughness as this.

One of the first peculiarities of Bombay that I noticed and never lost sight of was the kites. The city by day is never without these spies, these sentries. From dawn to dusk the great unresting birds are sailing over it, silent and vigilant. Whenever you look up, there they are, criss-crossing in the sky, swooping and swerving and watching. After a while one begins to be nervous: it is disquieting to be so continually under inspection.

We had met Prohibition first at Honolulu, not a few of the passengers receiving the shock of their lives on learning at the hotel that only "soft drinks" were permitted. Our second reminder of the new regime came as we entered American waters off the Golden Gate and the ship's bar was formally closed. And then, in San Francisco, we found "dry" land indeed. In this connection let me say that in the hotel I made acquaintance with an official of great power who was new to me: the buttoned boy who rejoices in the proud title of Bell Captain.

It would have been pedantic, while in America, to have abstained from an effort at vers libre.

1

MATSUE, September 2, 1890.

I AM under contract to serve as English teacher in the Jinjo Chugakko, or Ordinary Middle School, and also in the ShihanGakko, or Normal School, of Matsue, Izumo, for the term of one year.

The Jinjo Chugakko is an immense two-story wooden building in European style, painted a dark grey-blue. It has accommodations for nearly three hundred day scholars. It is situated in one corner of a great square of ground, bounded on two sides by canals, and on the other two by very quiet streets. This site is very near the ancient castle.

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