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A SPEECH BY GEN. GRANT.
and I never lamented its absence more than now, when there is so much that I want to say about your country, your people, and your progress. I have not been an inattentive observer of that progress, and in America we have been favored with accounts of it from my distinguished friend whom you all know as the friend of Japan, and whom it was my privilege to send as minister-I mean Judge Bingham. The spirit which has actuated the mission of Judge Bingham—the spirit of sympathy, support, and conciliation-not only expressed my own sentiments, but those of America. America has much to gain in the East-no nation has greater interests ; but America has nothing to gain except what comes from the cheerful acquiescence of the Eastern people and insures them as much benefit as it does us. I should be ashamed of my country if its relations with other nations, and especially with these ancient and most interesting empires in the East, were based upon any other idea. We have rejoiced over your progress. We have watched you step by step. We have followed the unfolding of your old civilization and its absorbing the new. You have had our profound sympathy in that work, our sympathy in the troubles which came with it, and our friendship. I hope it may continue, that it may long continue. As I have said, America has great interests in the East. She is your next neighbor. She is more affected by the eastern populations than any other power. She can never be insensible to what is doing here. Whatever her influence may be, I am proud to think that it has always been exerted in behalf of justice and kindness. No nation needs from the outside powers justice and kindness more than Japan, because the work that has made such marvelous progress in the past few years is a work in which we are deeply concerned, in the success of which we see a new era in civilization and which we should encourage. I do not know, gentlemen, that I can say anything more than this in response to the kind words of the Governor. Judge Bingham can speak with much more eloquence and much more authority as our minister. But I could not allow the occasion to pass without saying how deeply I sympathized with Japan in her efforts to advance, and how much those efforts were appreciated in America. In that spirit I ask you to unite with me in a sentiment : 'The prosperity and the independence of Japan.'”
At the close General Grant proposed the health of General Bingham, and spoke of the satisfaction he felt at meeting him in Japan. Mr. Yoshida, the Japanese Minister to the United States, also made a speech, paying a tribute to General Bingham's sincerity and friendliness. Judge Bingham responding, said that he had come to Nagasaki to be among the first to welcome General Grant to Japan, which he did in the name of his government.
It had been his endeavor to faithfully discharge his duties in such a manner as would strengthen the friendship between the two countries and promote the com
mercial interests of both. He knew that in so acting he reflected the wishes of the illustrious man who is the guest of the empire, and the wishes also of the President and people of the United States.
There was a visit to the government schools and an address to the scholars, a short conversational speech
on the value of education. There was a visit to the Nagasaki Fair, which had been in progress during the summer, but was then closed. The Governor opened it for our inspection, and it was certainly a most creditable display of what Japan could do in art, industry, and science. The fair buildings were erected in the town park, a
MEMORIALS OF THE VISIT.
483 pleasure ground with unique old temples gray
and age, and tea-houses where tea was brought in the tiniest of cups by demure wee maidens from six to seven, dressed in the ancient costumes of Japan, who came and knelt as they offered their tea. The town people were out in holiday attire to take the air and look out on the bay and stare at the General. After we had made our tour of the fair grounds the Governor asked the General and Mrs. Grant to plant memorial trees.
The species planted by the General was the Ficus religiosa, while to Mrs. Grant was given the Saurus camphora. The Governor then said that Nagasaki had resolved to erect a monument in honor of General Grant's visit, that this memorial would be near the trees, and that if the General would only write an inscription it would be engraved on the stone in English and Japanese characters. The General wrote the inscription as follows:
“NAGASAKI, JAPAN, June 22, 1879. “At the request of Governor Utsumi Togatsu, Mrs. Grant and I have each planted a tree in the Nagasaki Park. I hope that both trees may prosper, grow large, live long, and in their growth, prosperity, and long life be emblematic of the future of Japan.
'U. S. GRANT."
URING our visit to Nagasaki we took part in a famous dinner given in honor of General Grant, about which I propose to write at some length, because it is
interesting as a picture of ancient life in Japan. In my wanderings round the world I am more interested in what reminds me of the old times, of the men and the days that are gone, than of customs reminding me of what I saw in France. All that reminds you of the old times is passing away from Japan. Here and there you can find a bit that recalls the days when the daimios ruled, when the two-sworded warriors were on every highway, when the rivalry of clans was as fierce as was ever known in the highlands of Scotland or the plains of North America, when every gentleman was as ready to commit suicide in defense of his honor as a Texas swashbuckler to fight a duel. All of this is crumbling under the growth of modern ideas. The aim of Japanese statesmen is now to do