324 LAST YEARS AND DEATH. jection to it ; but I confess I am careful not to rush forward without any conditions. I beg your pardon for speaking of such unpleasant affairs. But have no least fear. We must go through some fire in this world, but time will heal all petty feelings and misun­derstandings. Alas ! I must go back to West Goulds­borough to calm down my feelings. Laying aside such thoughts for awhile to engage in meditation on the past seems to me a very part of heaven. What will be my thought when I step forward to the future immaterial heaven ! Though I am often disgusted with this world's affairs, I am bound to live through and push through all I can for Christ." On learning of his retirement to Oiso, Mrs. Nee­sima became anxious and desired to join him. He~ however, urged her to remain with his mother, then eighty-four years of age, reminding her that "in olden times the samurai did not take his wife with him into battle." No serious apprehensions of a fatal result were at first entertained, and during the first week of January there were signs of improvement. On New Year's day he wrote a short poem of which the follow~ ing is a literal rendering: -Seeing the old year go, Do not lament over the sick body; For the cock's crow is the harbinger Of happy times at hand. Although inferior in ability, Poor in plans for the good of my generation, Yet still cherishing the greatest hope I welcome the spring. The first days of the new year he passed in study­ing the missionary problem in Japan, writing long letters to several of the leading native pastors and