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sive. and. as the recognized head of the Christian party, he could count upon every Christian proselyte throughout the empire as his well-wisher. He allowed the fathers to employ force in order to induce his own subjects to become Christians. On his lands the work of conversion was pushed with such rapidity that, from the death of Taicosama to the year 1600, the baptisms, exclusive of infants, reached the number of seventy thousand. It was thought that Paganism would soon entirely disappear; and Christian converts from all parts of Japan came to live under his rule. He founded a college in the isle of Amacusa, where the Jesuits taught Latin, music, and the rudiments of European science to the sons of the nobility. Here, too, they established a printing-press, translated several religious works into Japanese, and printed thousands of controversial tracts. Meantime dissensions broke out between Iyeyas and the other governors and tutors in charge of the young prince. Nine Daimios of Japan, seeing with disappointment that the strong rule of the regent left them no hope of regaining their former independence, entered into a league against him. At the head of it was Gibonoscio, a man of too irresolute a character to lead such a combination, and who thus looked for assistance to the great political and military talents of the Christian prince of Fingo. Don Augustin joined the league; but the fortune of war turned against the confederates; he was defeated in battle, taken prisoner, and conducted with two other chiefs to Miako. He refused the good offices of the Bonzes, who followed his two companions to the scaffold. "Go away," said he; "I am a Christian, and have nothing to do with such fooleries." He then placed thrice upon his head a picture of Christ and the Virgin, and, pronouncing the sacred names of Jesus and Mary, submitted to the headsman's stroke. His body, wrapped up in a silken shroud, was conveyed to the dwelling of the Jesuits at Miako. Sewed up in the shroud were found letters to his wife and children, containing a few of those simple reflections upon the instability of human affairs, and the importance of serving God, which seem to strike men most in their adversity.
Iyeyas, better known by the name of Daifusama, no longer disguised his intention'of retaining in his own family the dig
nity which he had received in trust. He did not, however, at first molest the Christians, who were still in a flourishing condition except in the kingdom of Fingo, where the successor of Don Agustin stopped at no measures necessary to revise the policy of his predecessor. But nowhere had the persecutions been so steadily continued as to destroy Christianity: if one petty prince persecuted the Christians, they could take refuge in the domains of another. Often they selected provinces where the new religion was less known, and so opened a way to the missionaries. Christianity was thus diffused through all Japan, even to Yesso,* but in very unequal proportions. The Christians were most numerous in Kiusiu, and were comparatively few in the northern and western parts of Niphon. The Jesuites reckoned about 1,800,000 Japanese converts, with 900 priests, 124 of whom were of the Order of Loyola. The rest belonged to some other of the missionary orders; there were few of the secular clergy in Japan.f But the destruction of the new religion was in all probability already planned ; and several circumstances contributed to harden this determination into a measure of state policy, hereditary in the house of Iyeyas.
The hostile cruisers of Holland now appeared in the Japanese waters (1602), and the Dutch did what they could to expose the policy of the Jesuits. J The Prince of Arima had been dethroned by his son, who became a Pagan, and the Prince of Oiuura, disgusted by some crafty intrigue of the Jesuits, deserted their cause. The conquest of the Philippine Islands by the Spaniards, which was powerfully aided by the preaching of the Jesuits and Franciscans, and by the forced conversion of the natives, filled the minds of the Japanese with alarm and distrust. The missionaries generally date the commencement of the great persecution at 1612. The truth is, persecution seems never) to have raged with equal severity all over Japan. In 1613 twentyeight Christians suffered death in the city of Yeddo, but in 1614 they had a college and two hospitals at Nagasaki, and a college at Miako, where they counted 7,000 Christians. Nevertheless, their religion was doomed. Henceforth the history of Catholicism in Japan is but that of a relentless persecution enforced upon the Daimios by the Siogun. The persistent and courageous fortitude of the Christians, and the terrible determination of their persecutors to destroy every vestige of the new religion at whatever cost, are both significant of the Japanese character. We notice the same odious features as in many a persecution which the Jesuits themselves had excited against others, though several new tortures are added to the grisly horrors of martyrology. Some of the victims were swung in the air by the legs and arms with a huge stone resting on the back; others had their stomachs forcibly filled with water, which was then as violently forced out by external pressure, and others were precipitated into the boiling springs of Mount Ungen. If the Jesuits had shown themselves too little scrupulous in the means they employed to forward their propagandism, if in the days of prosperity they had yielded to the temptations of power and success, their conduct now amply proved that they were faithful to what they believed, and were ready to sacrifice their lives in defence of their flocks. Many priests had remained lurking in Japan after the persecution commenced, and many who were banished returned in various disguises. Most of them perished at the stake or on the gibbet. The honor of matyrdom is contested by the Franciscans, Dominicans, and
* There is a curious account of this then unknown island by Jerome ties Anges at (he end of "Relations (hi Japon de Tan 1619," Paris, 1625.
f Many of the priests were Japanese. The Dominicans were most numerous after the Jesuits and Franciscans. We have consulted their accounts, but with little fruit. In 1622 the Franciscans counted six hundred thousand Christiana remaining in Japan. See Rapine, Xlth Decade, p. 704. This work, entitled "Histoire Gc-nerale del'Origine et Progrez des Freres Mineursde Saint Francois, par R. P. Rapine" (Paris, 1631), gives us the advantage of a contemporary record from an independent source to compare with the "Letters" of the Jesuits.
X The calumnies the Jesuits suffered from an English captain of a Dutch ship (William Adams, no doubt) are recorded at due length in their "Epistolre Annus." The following passage is plain enough—"Ma li Mcrcanti Inglesi e Olandesi sono stati quelli, che hanno fomentato e accresciuto il desiderio, che nel petto del Re ardeva di conservare il Regno." (Lettera Annua del Giappone dell' Anno 1613. In Roma, 1617.) That the Japanese knew the game which the Catholic missionaries were playing in the Philippines, and feared its repetition in their own islands, is proved by the colloquy between a Jesuit and a Jauanese noble
man in the "Relation du Japon de 1'Annee 1622," p. 196.
Augustans, who, though fewer in number, showed equal courage. They were supported in the most determined manner by the Japanese Christians, many of whom perished at the stake along with their confessors. The ashes of the martyrs were carefully gathered together and thrown into the sea, for nothing exasperated their persecutors more than the homage which the remaining Christians paid to the relics of those who had gained the crown of martyrdom. In the valuable collection, the "Voyages curieux," there is an account of the persecutions by an early Dutch trader* who had witnessed some of them. He confirms, in the most circumstantial details, the letters of the Jesuits, especially as to those points which seem the most incredible—the astonishing constancy and heroic matyrdoms of young children. The "Annual Letters" have a calm and resolute tone, but the frequency of stories of miracles and prodigies, and especially of the finding of crosses in trees, and other questionable occurrences, give a proof of the heightened fervor of their imaginations. Fiery zealots from every part of the Catholic world made their way to Japan to gain the crown of martyrdom. Among the names of the sufferers we notice those of the Father Spinola, a grandson of the celebrated Spanish general in the Netherlands, and the Father Marcellus Francis Mastrilli. The latter, a noble Neapolitan, who had enjoyed frequent heavenly visions during his recovery from a concussion of the brain, bore from the Queen of Spain a splendid robe to wrap round the body of Francis Xavier, whose tomb was opened for that purpose during the night by several priestly dignitaries of Goa (1635). The Father Mastrilli put between the fingers of the dead man a letter declaring himself the saint's child, servant, and slave, and vowing to follow in his footsteps. He rendered important assistance to the Spaniards in the subjugation of the island of Mindanao, one of the Philippines. With much difficulty he made his way to Japan, there to perish (1637), after committing a number of extravagances.
For a moment it seemed as if Christianity would gain another chance. The Prince Fide-jori, son of Taicosama, had
* Reyr Gysbertz; see op. cil., Paris, 1663, iime partie.
grown up to manhood in the great city of Ozaca, under the guardianship of an able and energetic mother. Some of the fathers had been allowed to establish an observatory there and to teach physics and astronomy, mingled with natural theology, to the prince and nobility; and, according to Kampfer, the Japanese writers still record that the young prince was suspected of being a Christian, and that many of his officers and courtiers professed the same religion. Singular to say, the Jesuits themselves, though they claim many proselytes in Ozaca, make no pretensions to so high a convert. At any rate the prince was disposed to tolerate and take political advantage of the new religion. Gathering a numerous army, which was commanded by a Christian general, Fide-jori made war against Iyeyas, but was defeated in a great battle, and is supposed to have perished with his mother amongst the burning mins of the castle of Ozaca. Thus did Iyeyas become the founder of the dynasty of Sioguns, who ruled down to our own day in his capital of Yeddo.
The persecutions became bloodier and bloodier, and the trade with the Portuguese was placed under ever-increasing restrictions. No foreigners were allowed to reside in any part of Japan save Nagasaki, and all the half-caste descendants of the marriages between the Portuguese and natives of Japan were banished from the islands.
In the year 1635 the Dutch captured a Portuguese ship, in which they found letters from the Japanese Christians praying for aid. They forwarded them to the Siogun, and it is easy to imagine the result. The Christians of Arima, finding the persecutions intolerable, rose to the number of 37,000, placed at their head a descendant of their ancient kings, and seized the fortress and isthmus of Ximabra. Here they stood sternly at bay against an army of 80,000 men, assisted by the artillery of the Dutch; but failing of provisions and the munitions of war, they sallied out, and died sword in hand. The Jesuits had already got up a mock embassy to the Siogun, which had been detected and turned back; and in 1640 the merchants of Macao, who made their fortune by conducting a neutral trade between China and Japan, sent a ship to Nagasaki to try if commercial relations could not be reestablished. The ship was seized and
burnt, thirteen of the crew sent back in a junk, sixty-one were beheaded, and a gibbet was raised on the island of Decima with this inscription :—
l: As long as the sun shines in the world, let no one have the boldness to land in Japan even in quality of ambassador, except those who are allowed by the laws to come for the sake of commerce.
These were the Dutch, and every one knows by what humiliating restrictions they bought the privilege. This barbarous decree has never to this day been abrogated in a constitutional manner; and the retainers of the Prince of Satsuma, who committed the murder which brought about the bombarbment of the first city in Japan that received an European envoy in the person of Francis Xavier, perpetrated the deed in accordance with the laws of the empire, which still regards all foreigners as outlaws.
A renewed effort of the Roman Catholic clergy to penetrate into the empire of the Rising Sun was made in 1642, exactly a hundred years after the Apostle of the Indies landed at Goa to commence his eventful mission. Five Jesuits and three other priests landed in the territories of the Prince of Satsuma, but were almost immediately arrested and put to death.
In the year 1709, Mr. Dickson tells us, the Abbe Sidotti, an Italian priest of good family, made a desperate attempt to enter Japan, and succeeded in getting landed on the coast of Satsuma, where he was arrested and detained in the neighborhood of Jeddo until his death. This was the last effort made by the Church of Rome to gain converts in Japan until our own days, when these missionary efforts are being again renewed.
Kept carefully excluded from intercourse with the foreigner, the Japanese Christians gradually lost all remembrance of the faith which they had learnt from the mouths ot the European priests. A thousand Japanese Christians are said to have suffered death for their religion ; the rest were kept under the closest surveillance, forced to carry the image of some idols round their necks, and were called upon at stated times to worship the gods of the empire. Some of their descendants exist at Yeddo to this day, despised as people of the most infamous class, and still bearing the name of a religion of whose creed they know nothing.* None will deny the necessity of studying the history and modes of thought of the Japanese if we wish to deal prudently with them; and hence the Letters of the Jesuits, to which we have directed attention in this article, deserve and will repay careful sudy. The Japanese are our antipodes in more things than in geographical position.
': Nowhere," says Sir Rutherford Alcock, "is the present more completely interwoven with the past, or the impress of a nation's history and traditions more indelibly and plainly stamped in the lineaments of an exsting generation than in Japan. The present is heir to the past always and everywhere in the life of nations no less than of individuals; but the present is linked to the past in Japan in a sense so peculiar that it is worthy of special attention.
"This study of the past can alone furnish a key to the character and policy of the nation, in the possession of which lies our best hope of the future, and of turning what it may have in store to good account. We must, indeed, read both the present and future of Japan by the light of the past^ for by such reflected light alone can either be rightly understood."
The history of Japan, up to the renewed opening of some of its ports to foreign commerce in 1858, was one of peace and prosperity. Since then it has been full of great and momentous events, presenting many difficult questions to European diplomatists, and giving the greatest concern to, every Japanese anxious for the welfare of his country; but this lies beyond our present subject.
HOURS IN A LIBRARY. NO. I.—SIR THOMAS BROWNE.
"Let me not injure the felicity of others," says Sir Thomas Browne in a suppressed passage of the Religio Medici, "if I say that I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty into riches, adversity into prosperity, and I am more invulnerable than Achilles; fortune hath not one place to hit me." Perhaps, on second thoughts, Sir Thomas thought that the phrase savored of that presumption which is supposed to provoke the wrath of Nemesis; and at any rate, he, of all men, is the last to be taken too literally at his word. He is a humorist to the core, and is here writing dramatically. There are many things in this book, so he tells us, "delivered rhetorically, many expressions therein merely tropical . .
. and therefore many things to be taken in a soft and flexible sense, and not to be called unto the rigid test of reason." We shall hardly do wrong in reckoning amongst them this audacious claim to surpassing felicity, as we may certainly include his boast that he ;< could lose an arm without a tear, and with a few groans be quartered into pieces." And yet, if Sir Thomas were to be understood in the most downright literal earnest, perhaps he could have made out as good a case for his asser
* See " Voyage autourdu Japon," par Rodolphe Lindau, chap. xii. p. 247. Paris, 1864.
tion as almost any of the troubled race of mankind. For, if we set aside external circumstances of life, what qualities offer a more certain guarantee of happiness than those of which he is an almost typical example? A mind endowed with an insatiable curiosity as to all things knowable and unknowable; an imagination which tinges with poetical hues the vast accumulation of incoherent facts thus stored in a capacious memory; and a strangely vivid humor that is always detecting the quaintest analogies, and, as it were, striking light from the most unexpected collocations of unpromising materials; such talents are by themselves enough to provide a man with work for life, and to make all his work delightful. To them, moreover, we must add a disposition absolutely incapable of controversial bitterness; "a constitution," as he says of himself, "so general that it consorts and sympathizeth with all things;" an absence of all antipathies to loathsome objects in nature—to French " dishes of snails, frogs, and toadstools," or to Jewish repasts on "locusts or grasshoppers ;" an equal toleration—which in the first half of the seventeenth century is something astonishing—for all theological systems; an admiration even of our natural enemies, the French, the Spaniards, the Italians, and the Dutch; a love of all climates, of all countries; and, in short, an utter incapacity to " absolutely detest or hate any essence except the devil." Indeed, his hatred even for that personage-has in it so little of bitterness, that no man, we may be sure, would have joined more heartily in the Scotch minister's petition for the "puir de'il"—a prayer conceived in the very spirit of his writings. A man so endowed—and it is not only from his explicit assertions, but from his unconscious selfrevelation that we may credit him with closely approaching his own ideal—is admirably qualified to discover one great merit of human happiness. No man was ever better prepared to keep not only one, t -but a whole stableful of hobbies, nor more certain to ride them so as to amuse himself, without loss of temper or dignity, and without rude collisions against his neighbors. That happy art is given to few, and thanks to his skill in it, Sir Thomas reminds us strongly of the Vwo illustrious brothers Shandy combined in one person. To the exquisite kindliness and simplicity of Uncle Toby he unites the omnivorous intellectual appetite and the humorous pedantry of the head of the family. The resemblance, indeed, may not be quite fortuitous. Though it does not appear that Sterne, amidst his multifarious pilferings, laid hands upon Sir Thomas Browne, one may fancy that he took a general hint or two from so congenial an author.
The best mode of approaching so original a writer is to examine the intellectual food on which his mind was nourished. He dwelt by preference in strange literary pastures; and their nature will let us into some secrets as to his tastes and character. We will begin, therefore, by examining the strange furniture of his mind, as described in his longest, though not his most characteristic book—the Inquiry into Vulgar Errors. When we turn over its quaint pages, we feel as though we were entering one of those singular museums of curiosities which existed in the pre-scientific ages. Every corner is filled with a strange, incoherent medley, in which really valuable objects are placed side by side with what is simply grotesque and ludicrous. The modern man of science may find some objects of interest; but they are mixed inextricably with strange rubbish that once delighted the astrologer, the alchemist, or the dealer in apocryphal relics. And the possessor of this miscellaneous collection accompanies us with an unfailing flow of
amusing gossip; at one moment pouring forth a torrent of out-of-the-way learning; at another, making a really acute scientific remark; and then relapsing into an elaborate discussion of some inconceivable absurdity; affecting the air of a grave inquirer, and to all appearance fully believing in his own pretensions, and yet somehow indulging himself in a half-suppressed smile, which indicates that the humorous aspect of a question can never be far removed from his mind. The whole book, indeed, has that quality which is so delightful to the true lover of the humorous, but which, it must be confessed, is generally rather abhorrent to the vulgar, that we never quite know whether the author is serious. The numerous class which insists upon a joke being as unequivocal as a pistol-shot, and serious statements as grave as a Blue-book, should certainly keep clear of Sir Thomas Browne. His most congenial readers are those who take a simple delight in following out any quaint train of reflections, careless whether it may culminate in a smile or a sigh or in some thought in which the two elements of the sad and the ludicrous are inextricably blended. Sir Thomas, however, is in the Inquiry content generally with bringing out the strange curiosities of his museum, and does not care to draw any explicit moral. The quaintness of the objects unearthed seems to be a sufficient recompense for the labor of the search. Fortunately for his design, he lived in the time when a poet might have spoken without hyperbole of the "fairy tales of science." To us, who have to plod through an arid waste of painful observation and slow piecing together of cautious inferences before reaching the promised land of wondrous discoveries, the expression sometimes appears to be ironical. Does not science, we may ask with a Jirimd facie resemblance of right, destroy as much poetry as it generates? To him no such doubts could present themselves, for fairy-land was still a province of the empire of science. Strange beings moved through the pages of natural history, which were equally at home in the Arabian Nights or in poetical apologues. The griffin, the phoenix, and the dragon were not yet extinct; the salamander still sported in flames; and the basilisk slew men at a distance with his deadly glance. More commonplace animals indulged in tb<; habits