Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of wood, only one story high, and After a sbort half-hour the amwith a great deal of rellis-work bassador was introduced into the about the windows and doors. Hall of Audience, whither he was

“ At the door of the governor's accompanied by Major Von Fridehouse we were all obliged; the aın rici and Lieutenant Koscheleff, The bassador not excepted, to take off representative of the Japanese Emour shoes, that we might not dirty peror, and the governor, were kneel. the straw mats, or the finely var- ing nearly in the middle of she hall, nished doors. This is an universal and behind them were several percustom, and did not now appear sons holding their swords crossed, surprising to us, as we had been so bigh over Their heads. Tbus it long accustomed to see the Banjos appeared that an untruth was told and interpreters come

into our

to the ambassador, when he was room at Megasaki without their assured that no swords were al. shoes.

lowed at the audience. The am- A vast number of officers were bassador and the officers salated the in attendance at the govervor's house Great Mlen according to the Euroboth within and without. We were pean fashior, after which they're carried through a long and wide ireated about six paces, and the corridor, the floor of which was interpreters kuelt on each side of highly varnished, into an apartment, then. All round the hall were which, like our's at Megasaki, was ranged some of the most distin. covered with fine straw matting : guished persons of the country. the walls were ornamented with “ The first questions asked by the landscapes extremely well executed, governor of the ambassador were, but there was no kind of household Why, and for wbat purpose, he furniture, such as tables, chairs, had come to Japan? Why the Embenches, or the like: all the wood peror of Russia had written to the work about the doors and windows Emperor of Japan, since Lieutenant was finely polished and varnished. Laxamana had been explicitly inThe light came through tbe adjoin formed that this was forbidden, as ing corridors. Glass windows are contrary to the customs and laws of a thing not to be seen in Japan; the country, and as absolutely inthin paper stretched over the win consistent with propriety? Whe. dow-frames supplies their place. In ther Lieutenant Laxmann had failed the midst of the apartment to which in inaking this known, and wbether we were now conducted were in he was still alive? The governor plements for smoking, consisting of then remarked, that though in the pipes, tobacco - boxes, pans for permission that had been produced lighted coal, and spitting vessels. leave was given for a trading vessel A large porcelain spitting vase stood from Russia to come to Nanga-aki in one corner of the room. When for mercantile purposes, no mention we had finished smoking, tea was wbatever was made of an embassy. brought us without sugar : the cups He concluded with asking the reawere of porcelain, but massive, hea. son why no use had been made of vy, of ugly forms, and ill painted; this permission till after such a lapse the tea was, according to the gene- of years ? and why, having been ral judgment of our company, by so long neglected, it was at last no means good,

brought forwards? The audience

broke

broke up about one o'clock, when nour he bad received. We were we returned to Megasaki in the same not less observant of every thing order that we had come.

around than the Japanese were of “ In the evening some interpre us, and remarked, among other ters came to tell the ambassador things, a man why concealed hinthat he might have a second an self behind some of his countrymen, dience the following day, if he and seemed occupied in drawing. wished it. The proposal was ac Weecdeavoured to inspire him with cepted; but at half-pasi seven in confidence, and entreated him to the morning it rained so hard that shew us, without fear or diffidence, we all thought the audience must the interesting objects on which he be postponed. About nine, how was employed. He ventured upon ever, the weather began to clear, this to exhibit his works, and we and some Opperbanjos, with the were not a little surprised at the interpreters, came to escort us to talents displayed in them. He had. the governor's. We were ready to in, a short time taken a sketch of accompany them; but the ambas- every thing remarkable which he sador thought it right to remark, saw about him; as, for instance, that his officers could not go on the three-cornered hat with feathers, foot, as the day before, since the worn by the ambassador, his star, streets would, in consequence of the and the ribband of his order, with heavy rain, be extremely dirty, and the different insignia about the unithe governor's bouse was quite at forms of the officers; their sabres, the other end of the town. To this their swords, and the scabbards; the Opperbanjos at first made many their buttons, scarfs, and keys of objections, but at lengib they dis- office as chamberlains, their watchpatched some persons to the gover. strings and seals. The celerity and nor, to lay the matter before him, address with which he sketched, and to desire that Norimons might almost at a glance, so many objects be prepared for the cavaliers of the entirely new to hiin, was beyond embassy, while we were going by the talents of most European artists; water from Megasaki to Ochatto. for they were done with. Indian ink, At the latter place, however, we on the fine Chinese silk-paper, as it were obliged to wait iwo hours on is called; and what steadiness in board the barge before we were in- the strokes, what lightness of pencil formed that the five Norimons must be required, to give the proper were ready for the officers. A very expression in drawing with such heavy shower had fallen in the materials ! The time that we were mean time, accompanied by thun- detained here must have been of der; but the barge was so well the greatest value to this man. sheltered that we felt no inconvee " About twelve o'clock we werenience from it: we very tranquilly informed that the Norimons were partook of the tea and pipes which all ready; the procession, therefore, bad been prepared for us.

immediately began to move for“ The captain of the barge was wards, precisely in the same order extremely polite and courteous. He as the day before, with the excepwrote down the name of his guests, tion of the officers being in these to keep them, he said, as a lasting vehicles instead of going on foot. memorial in his family of the ho. The place, the houses, the streets.

were

were also all in a like manner hung latter bad been broken-off, and only with tapestries and matting. that with the Chinese and Dutch

“ Scarcely had we arrived at the had been kept up. Since tbat governor's house, before the ambas- epoch several foreign pations had, sador was invited to the audience, at various times, endeavoured to wbither he went, accompanied by establish an intercourse of friend. Counsellor Fosse and Captain Foe- ship and commerce wiib Japan; deroff. He soon returned to us, they were always, bowever, rebringing in his hand a large roll of pulsed, in consequence of the long paper, wbich had been given him established probibition, and because with great ceremony, and with a it was held dangerous to form ties request that he would bave it ex of friendship with an unknown foplained by the interpreters. These reign power, which could not be jatter held up the roll to their fore- founded on any basis of equality.' heads, bowing their heads with pro The interpreters bere made a found respect, and then opening it pause, and then proceeded. 'Friendwith a sort of awe, said : This is ship, they said, is like a chain, an extraordinary instance of favour which, when destined to some parshewn by the Emperor of Japan to ticular end, must consist of a deterthe Russian ambassador : the paper mioed number of links. If one contains nothing but friendship; member, however, be particularly but since it is written in the Japa- strong, and the others dispropornese language, we are commis- tionally weak, the latter must of sioned to explain, orally, the prin- necessity, by use, be soon broken. cipal articles of its contents. In The chain of friendship can never, the sequel all will be faithfully therefore, be otherwise than disad. translated, and committed to writ- vantageous to the weak members ing, that it may be understood with included in it. the utmost accuracy. This will be « « Thirteen years before,' they no trifiing or easy task; for the continued, a Russian ship, with paper is full of deep thought, and Lieutenant Laxmann, came to Jawritten with much attention and pan, and a second was now arrived profound learning.'

with an ambassador from the great They then proceeded to make Russian Emperor. That the one known to us the principal articles, should be received with forbearance, which were as follows. . In former and the other with friendship, could times, ships of all nations were al- be permitted, and the Emperor of lowed to come freely to Japan, and Japan would gladly do whatever was the Japanese were in the habit of in his power, consistently with ad. visiting foreign countries with equal hering to the laws; he could and freedom. A hundred and fifty would, therefore, consider the arriyears ago, however, an emperor had val of the second Russian ship as strictly enjoined his successors ne a proof of the great friendship ver to let the Japanese quit the borne him by the Emperor of country, and only to permit the Russia. Chinese, the Dutch, and the inha «• This powerful monarch had bitants of the Island Riukiu, with sent him an . ambassador with a the Coreans, to come to Japan. number of costly presents. If they For many years the trade witb the were accepted, the Emperor of Ja

pan

pan must, according to the customs expedientor desired. He.had ordered of the country, wbich are considered besides, two thousand sacks of salt as laws, send an ambassador with of thirty pounds each, and a hundred presents of equal value to the Em- sacks of rice of a hundred and fifty peror of Russia. But as there is a pounds each, with two thousand strict prohibition against either the bundles of the finest Japanese raw inhabitants or the ships quitting silk, to be given us ; the two former the country, and Japan is besides so were for the crew, the latter for the poor, that it is impossible to return officers. These the ambassador represents to any thing like an equi- fused, saying, that if the emperor valent, it is wholly out of the empe- declined accepting his presents, he ror's power to receive either the could not possibly accept the articles ambassador or the presents.

offered. “ • Japan has no great wants,

" While these discussions were and bas therefore little occasion for going on, pipes had been brought foreign productions: her few real us, and tea without sugar, with wants, as well as those that she has

some sugared things as refreshcontracted by custom, are richly ments. The latter were upon sepasupplied by the Dutch and Chi- rate sheets of paper for each per.. nese, and luxuries are things she son, and consisted of a variety of does not wish to see introduced. articles bound together with a It would besides be very difficult sugar-work, which had all the apto establish an extensive trade, since pearance of a very pretty striped that must, almost of necessity, ribband. occasion frequent intercourse be After the interpreters had extween the common people and the plained the emperor's pleasure, they foreign sailors; and this is a thing brought a small roll of paper, which strictly prohibited.'

was addressed by the governor to “ The ambassador now made many the ambassador. Its principal conprotestations that he did not come tents were, to recommend ihat our with any idea of receiving presents ship, immediately on leaving the in return for what be had brought; harbour, should stand out to sea to and added, that if the emperor a considerable distance, as the coast, would not accept any presents, he upon account of the rocks and fremust insist upon paying for the quent storms, was extremely danprovisions, and materials for repair, gerous ; and to request, that if in ing the ship, with which we had future any Japanese should be been furnished. To this the Japa- t rown upon the Russian coasts, nese answered, that these were not they might be consigned to the presents : the provisions were neces- Dutch, who would transport them sary for the support of life, and the to Batavia, whence they might easily other was only assistance imparted return to Japan. in a case of need: to give both « Our audience being now at all freely was a duty of ihe govern end, about four in the afternoon we ment. At the same time they in were carried back in the Norimons formed us, that the emperor had to Ochatto, but without any train, issued a particular order to supply and thence proceeded by water to the ship with provisions for two Megasaki. The whole day was months of every sort that we deemed very cloudy, with some heavy show

ers

[merged small][ocr errors]

ers of rain, which only contributed conducted into an adjoining apartto increase the gloon in our inivds ment, where were the two bou-' created by our disappointment. As sand bunules of silk sent by the emit was doubtful whether onr au- peror. The interpreters assured us dience might not be protracted to a

that it would have been an extraor. Jate hour in the evening, prepara-' dinary piece of ill fortune to them tions had been made for illuminat- if the ambassador liad not permitted ing all the streets through which the officers to accept this present, we were to pass : at every four or since they would have been supfive paces a post of about two feet posed to have ili interpreted the high was stuck into the ground, emperor's orders, and ibis is a very to which was fastened a paper lan- heavy crime; they were therefore tern.

eloquent in their acknowledgments“On the sixth, the interpreters for the ambassader's condescencame to talk once more with the sion. ambassador, in the name of the go "Thus ended our extraordinary vernor, about the provisions and the embassy to Japan. Nothing dow silk. They assured us that the remained for us but to repack the governor could not do any thing in presents destined for the emperor as the affair from his own judgment; soon as possible, and return tbem he must obey the emperor's orders; on board the ship, and to proceed and if the ambassador persisted in with the utmost dispatch in all refusing the things offered, he must other preparations for our departure. send a courier to Jedo to signify as While we were proceeding in them, much, which would prolong our we once more made an attempt to stay at least two months. In order, gain permission for visiting the therefore, to obtain our liberty, his Dutch at Desima, and one of the excellency was obliged to accept the temples in or about Nangasaki, but silk and provisions. The interpre- we could not succeed in either. ters then asked whether it would be “ After very urgent and repeated agreeable to bim to have his au- solicitations, the ambassador did at dience for taking leave the next length obtain leave to make seven day, or whether he would defer of the principal interpreters a triit for some days. The ambassa- fling present in acknowledgment of dor chose the first, that he might the trouble we had given them; quit Japan as soon as possible. and the governor at length con

“ Towards noon, therefore, on sented to accept, as remembrances, the 7th of April, we passed again the litile pocket globe, with some through the streets of Naugasaki; maps and sketches of the different they were ornamented as before nations that compose the Russian with hangings, and beset with empire. guards. As it rained very hard, we Is The utmost exertions were now were cach provided with a new made to get the ship ready for sail. umbrella when we arrived at Ochat- ing with all possible dispatch ; and to, and were carried in our Nori- it was evident that the Japanese were mons.

not a little astonisbed, when on " The audience consisted in a the sixteenth we announced that reciprocal exchange of compliments every thing was ready for our deand friendly adieus. We were then · parture.

DESCRIPTION

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »