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classes. What is a custom among the people of one class is not 80 among the people of another. This difference is more or less observable even in this country where all people are so much alike; but among the Japanese this class difference is much more marked, and ought to be fully recognized by one who writes of their habits and customs. Mr. Lowell cites whatever habit or custom confirms his thesis, without any notice in regard to the class difference. If a custom of the Samurai class is against his view, he entirely overlooks that, and going down to the class of Coolies, he finds his illustration there.

I refer as an example of this arbitrary way of treatment to Mr. Lowell's statement in regard to non-observance of birthdays among the Japanese. What he says may be true of the lower classes, but is not so of the higher classes. Does he not know that one of the great national holidays of Japan is the Mikado's birthday? Mr. Lowell also misunderstands the Japanese way of reckoning one's age, when he says: “From the moment he (the poor little Japanese baby) makes his appearance he is spoken of as a year old, and this same age he continues to be considered in most simple ease of calculation, till the beginning of the next calendar year" (p. 29). This is incorrect. It is not held that the baby ten days old is two years old after the first New Year's day, but that he is in his second year (Nisai). The error is evidently due to the author's ignorance of the meaning of the Japanese word (sai). When a Japanese wants to state how old the baby really is, he uses another phrase, e. g. a Maru ni-nen (two complete years). This may seem unimportant, but what are we to think of a writer who so blunders in the language which he pretends to understand?

Inversely, what the author says of marriage is true for the higher classes, but not for the lower classes (p. 32). Among the lower classes it is not contracted by means of a middle man, it is almost as personal an affair as it is in this country.

Speaking of the religious belief of the people, Mr. Lowell seems to have made himself acquainted simply with what the lowest class of the people believe and generalizes it to be the universal belief of the people. Hence his treatment of religion is exceedingly inexact and unsatisfactory. It is surprisingly superficial. He does not seem at all to comprehend

what is going on in Japan to-day, when he says: “ They accept our material civilization, but reject our creeds.” This is true if he means by “creeds” various systems of theology, but is absolutely incorrect if he means they reject the Christian religion.

Another thing to be said is that the learned author does not state the difference between the Chinese and the Japanese. It is hardly necessary to discuss this point here, as the difference is familiar to him who knows anything of these two peoples. The one is extremely conservative, while the other is progressive. The one is slow and the other impulsive. The one is grave and sober, but the other quick-witted and lively, etc. While no one will deny that they have many points of similarity, it is a view fruitful of error to regard them as identical in their temperament and character. They manifest a great divergence in their national traits.

Now Mr. Lowell, overlooking entirely the marked differences among the Orientals, takes illustrations to prove the thesis of his book just as it suits him best. When he cannot find what he wants among the Japanese, then, without saying anything, he goes directly to the Celestial Empire and gets his illustrations there! As a proof of this remark, I refer to the author's statement in regard to the ancestor-worship of the Chinese. No intelligent Japanese really worships his ancestors ; he simply visits and bows before their monuments, as a token of his profound respect for them. Ancestor-worship is a Chinese custom.

In the treatment of the oriental languages, Mr. Lowell confines himself to Japanese ; but when he undertakes to describe the oriental family life, he selects the Chinese family as it suits him best, and not the Japanese family. Such an arbitrary way of treatment is not uncommon throughout the book.

In many places, even when Mr. Lowell's statements are correct, his inferences from those facts are hardly justifiable. For example, he infers from the fact that there are many words in Japanese which are of Chinese origin, that the Japanese people are imitative, and he thinks this to be one of the proofs of the impersonality of the Japanese. The importation of many Chinese words into Japanese was a necessary result of the higher civilization brought into Japan many centuries ago from China.


Their presence is exactly parallel to that of Latin and Greek words in the English language. More than this is true. There is nothing which the Japanese have taken from China without improving it greatly. For example, the Confucian philosophy was greatly modified and improved in Japan. Buddhism also went through a similar change in Japan after it came from Corea.

In one place Mr., Lowell speaks of the politeness of the people as an indication of their impersonality (p. 89). To my mind it carries just the opposite signification; as politeness is simply the esteem of the personality of another above one's

I hope the people of the Far-East will never get such an idea of personality as Mr. Lowell seems to imply in this conception of it. The old Japanese way of politeness is certainly far more desirable for the peace and order of a community than that.

There are many other statements in the book which call out our challenge, but I have already said enough of its superficial observation, and the wrong inferences which it makes from insufficient data. However, there is one thing which I must not omit in this connection, as it is the defect of the entire book. The author has no adequate appreciation of the most prominent trait of the Japanese people. This trait is nothing else than the profound sense of honor which animates the entire people of Japan. Without a hearty sympathy with and a thorough appreciation of this characteristic of the people, no one can satisfactorily write anything of the Japanese. Even many habits and customs, which seem absurd to strangers at the first sight, when the national trait is well understood, become not only exceedingly interesting to those who have a deep ethical sense, but almost fascinating.

It is this profound sense of honor to one's self, and to one's family, and to one's country, that has made Japan what she is to-day. This chivalrous spirit has always been maintained, and is still maintained by all with zealous care. The chief object of education has always been to intensify and develop this sense of honor, and every action is tested and judged by it. Therefore the first question that presents itself to every true Japanese in deciding whether he ought to follow a certain

course of action is: Is this worthy of me and the family to which I belong? Is it honorable for me to do that? Does it bring honor to my parents and relatives?

Now such is the most powerful force in the Japanese social life, and no one, who lacks a full sympathy with this, can fully understand the real secret of the Japanese people, or is in a position to criticize them. Hence it is the great defect of Mr. Lowell's book, that he nowhere recognizes this most essential factor of the Japanese social life. It should be observed also, that this is preëminently the characteristic trait of the Japanese, as distinguished from what is true of the whole of the rest of the Far-East. Whosoever pretends to deal with the psychology of the Japanese ought not to overlook this fact even for a moment. And I am sure that this feeling of a sense of honor is not an entirely impersonal matter !

In conclusion, I would like to know how Mr. Lowell can adjust his thesis to the cardinal principles of the Confucian ethics? Does not the conception of duty, so clearly taught by the great sage of the Far-East, imply some idea of personality ? For there is no conception of duty without some conception of personality, a person to whom a thing is due, and also a person from whom it is due. What does, e. g. obedience —a characteristic virtue of the Far-Orientals—signify, if man has no clear conception and conviction of the personality of one by whom obedience is commanded, and also of him from whom it is demanded? How can the Confucian silver rule“What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others,” be interpreted without a clear conception of personality? I would therefore recommend Mr. Lowell to lay aside his philosophy of Evolution for a while, and to undertake anew a more impartial and thorough examination of the oriental life, and more especially a careful study of the oriental philosophy and ethics. If he does, I am sure he will quickly come to the conclusion, that the Extreme Orient is not quite so impersonal as he thinks.




It may be inferred that Mrs. Ward thought it best not to give this fragment to the public. What may be the reasons for its late appearance should properly be left as a question to whet the instinct of conjecture. Nor can I consent to gratify the morbid curiosity of people who go off wondering how this chapter came to light in a publisher's office. Some may see fit to comment upon the propriety of committing to the critical public that which seems to have been designedly omitted in the authorized text; but if any such there be, let them reflect, that if the author of “Robert Elsmere” is not excessively grateful for this supplement to a plain hiatus in her novel it must obviously be for the reason that the hiatus itself is preferable in her mind to the natural sequences of her logic as they herein appear. Having been made certain from an examination of various “internal evidences” that some such chapter must be in existence I have naturally been pleased to verify the suspicion by actually finding the manuscript. I submit the question to a fair-minded public if my failure to reveal how and where this was done should in the least prejudice the cordiality of its reception. This, I fancy, will not occur with those keen scented critics who like myself have noticed the omission. However that may befall, I herewith submit the document.


CHAPTER XXV. (Original draft.) “ And he did face it through.

The next three months were the bitterest in Elsmere's experience. They were marked by anguished mental struggle, by a consciousness of painful separation from the soul nearest to his own, and by a constantly increasing sense of oppression, of closing avenues and narrowing alternatives, which for weeks together seemed to hold his mind in a grip whence there was no escape.

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