26 EARLY Lll"E. spring of my seventeenth year, my prince was ordered by the Shogun to go to Osaka to keep watch of that great castle built by our renowned hero Hideyoshi, who conquered and governed the whole empire of Japan about three centuries ago. Of course the prince took with him a number of his retainers. My father was one of them. He followed the prince as his scribe, and left his school in my charge. I was also ordered by the prince to be a scribe in his court at Y edo dur­ing his absence. While I was so much pressed by a double duty, both at home and in the prince's court, a fresh desire for knowing the European nations came to me, and I found it almost irresistible. Dutch was then the only European language we could study. I found a good teacher in that language within a mile from my home. I used to go there whenever I could spare a little time, although I was much tied up to many duties. But when I became intensely interested in the new study, I began to neglect my duties, so in­excusably imposed upon me by my prince and my fa­ther. I often absented myself from the office, although I was required to be there. I did this purposely, be­cause I wished to be discharged from my service on account of my disregarding the prince's order. But as there was no one to take my place there, I was still kept in the office. My frequent absences gave the superior officer, who kept the prince's palace during his absence, great inconvenience. He found much writing to be done, but on coming to the office he did not find me there, and often scolded me. But I did not mind it. I simply requested him to diBCharge me from the service at once. Finding me beyond his control, he often summoned my grandfather to his office and scolded him also. So my grandfather be-