COMMODORE PERRY; 21 JOUrney. He was then carried away on a kago [pal­anquin], being followed by many attendants, and I came home with my father dreadfully tired and disap­pointed. This was one of the great events that hap­pened to me within the first decade of my life. The marriages of my two elder sisters took place within this decade. "Just about this time the country was in a most painful condition. The people were accustomed to peace under the reign of the Tokugawa family, neal'ly three centuries. Their laws were rigid and fixed. Their executive officers were extremely suspicious and fearfully oppressive. The ambition of the people was completely crushed down. Many samurai had almost forgotten how to use their swords. Coats of mail were stored in warehouses merely as curiosities, and were useless from decay. In fact the people had become cowardly, corrupt, and effeminate. Licen­tiousness prevailed almost universally throughout the country. Truly some reformation was needed. A few far-sighted patriots lamented over this sad state, and cherished some hope for a regular renovation. But it was almost beyond their expectations to see it. ,Just about that time [1853] the famous American fleet com­manded by Commodore Perry made a sudden appear­ance in our waters. It caused an awful commotion in the country. The people were frightened by the ter­rible sound of the American cannon. However, most of the leading princes of the country raised a most impatient war-cry against the Americans, and urged the government of the Shogun to expel them from our waters at once. But we had no forts, no war­ships, no cannons, no trained army to fight with. The Shogun's chief counselors were quick enough to see