342 LAST YEARS AND DEATH. great nations often bow down to the false and fail to notice the real hero who lives and dies. in their midst. It is a great and glorious thing for a nation to recog­nize and appreciate its true heroes, and if the charac­ter of Mr. Neesima satisfies our ideal of greatness, his fame is the common glory of the nation. H a hero is one who can command an army, who rides among fly­ing bullets and glittering swords, then Mr. N eesima was not one. If a hero is one whose eloquence like a mighty wind sweeps away all opposition, or whose fluent speech and practical tact insure success in every undertaking, he was not one. But if he is the hero whose life is a poem, a lesson which can be sung, and which is capable of stirring the enthusiasm of fu­ture generations, then Mr. Neesima may well be given that title. Does any one charge me with extravagant praise? I can say only what I believe. Often the fame of great men is larger than the reality. The shadow is greater than the body itself. So that on drawing near the reality disappoints us. For this reason great men are often compared to a picture which must be observed from a certain distance. But this was not the case with Mr. Neesima. Great as was his fame, when we approach nearer, to see and speak with him, he wins a larger respect. Those who knew him personally testify to his gentleness and meekness. But there burned within him a fire of mighty power. It is a very rare thing to see these two traits in a single individual. A. merely good man is often weak-minded, while ability frequently leads to rashness and imprudence. Gentleness and force coexisted in Mr. Neesima to a rare degree. "In one of his letters to me he wrote: 'Young man, fighting once, do not stop there. Fighting the