LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOSEPH HARDY NEESIMA
TRIBUTES. 335 sad news of the 23d. We did not know even how to lament, it was so unexpected. It was the 23d of December when he talked with us, -but thirty days between these two 23ds. Who could d1·eam that those words were the last that he should speak to us? When I look back upon that day I recollect that his face showed traces of suffering, but he spoke to us as if he were unconscious of pain. Oh, his words! Even now though I shut my eyes I see his face clearly, and I can relate but little of what he said, for my feelings overwhelm me." To those familiar with the national movement of the last thirty years in Japan Mr. Fukuzawa's name is well known. Like Mr. Neesima he was of the samurai class, and by his pursuit of western knowledge estranged his family and subjected himself to persecution and obloquy. On his return from America, which he visited with the first Japanese ambassador, he published a work entitled "The Condition of the Western Nations." This book was a revelation to Japan, and in those days of bitter feeling Mr. Fukuzawa was intensely hated by the anti-foreign party. In 1866, he visited Europe, and on his return issued "The Promotion of Knowledge," whose first edition exceeded half a million copies. In all questions of religious, political, and social reform, Mr. Fukuzawa has been the recognized independent leader of Young Japan. Like Mr. Neesima, also, he has steadily refused all political preferment. As journalist, lecturer, author, and especially as teacher, he has, in the words of a Japanese writer, "done more toward the growth of western civilization in Japan than any other man." The extract given below is from an article in the "Contemporary Review," of which Mr. Fukuzawa is editor.