24 EARLY LIFE. Dutch, to his court, to teach his subjects that strange He selected only three youths out of his subjects to take lessons from him. I was one of the three chosen by him and the youngest of all. I stud­ied Dutch with him nearly one year. His scholarship was soon made known to the Shogun's government, and he was appointed to go to Nagasaki to receive instruction from the Hollanders in engineering and navigation. After he went away I gradually lost my interest in studying Dutch, and suspended it tempora,. rily. In the meanwhile I made considerable progress in Chinese. On that account, as a special favor, I was promoted by my prince to be an assistant teacher in his Chinese school, and became more interested in studying that language. At that time the prince be­came seriously ill and died. It caused me a great disappointment and sorrow. His younger brother succeeded him and became our prince. But he was far inferior to his deceased brother in every respect. He eared nothing for improving the condition of his retainers. All the affairs of the prince's court as­sumed a different aspect. He found his enjoyment chiefly in eating and drinking. He often listened to his favorite mistress for promoting or rejecting his officers. I felt then all my hope for carrying out my study was gone. However, I was not idle in securing my purpose, and endeavored to keep up my study as much as I could. My father became doubtful whether it would be wise to pursue my study any further. He was afraid of my being influenced by those manner­less and careless fellows he often found among our students. Beside that, he was still cherishing a hope that I should become his successor in the penmanship school. So he began to interfere with my study and