ENTERS HIS PRINCE'S SERVICE. 25 to urge me to assist him in teaching the penmanship. But I was very unwilling to do so. " In those days it was almost next to an impossi­bility for a son to disobey his father's command. So I was bound to obey him. The only hope I had for obtaining my aim was to secure some favor from my Chinese teacher, and also from that gentleman in An­naka whom I have previously mentioned. While I was seriously contemplating on the subject, those friends were taken away from me by death, one after another, within a few months. How disheartened I was then ! I often exclaimed within myself: 'My prince is gone, and my teacher also. The friend at Annaka, on whom I hung the last cord of my hope, is also taken away from me. What unfortunate fellow I must be! "-'ho will help me to continue my study? What will be my fate in future?' I felt I was left ahnost alone and helpless in the world. " When I completed my fifteenth year I was obliged to commence my service to the prince. It was my duty to sit in the little office connected with the front entrance hall of his palace. There were always more than half a dozen persons in the office. Our business was to watch the hall, and whenever the prince went ont or came home we were all obliged to sit on one side of the hall in a row and bow ourselves profoundly before him upon the matted floor. Beside that, we used to keep some records for him. But our chief occupation was to spend our time in silly gossip, talk­ing, laughing, and frequent teardrinkings. I found it almost unbearable to keep company with them. Yet there was no way for me to excuse myself from its participation. Furthermore, I was much prevented by them from studying in the office. Early in the