LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOSEPH HARDY NEESIMA
28 EA.RLY LIFE. established in Yedo, and take lessons in arithmetic from its very rudiments. I believe it was then the only school in the country where I could find efficient teachers in mathematics. There I had chances to hear from my teachers of the foreign steamers, and sometimes I 'vished to see them. One day I happened to walk on the shore of Y edo Bay and caught a sight of the Dutch warships lying at anchor. They looked so stately and formidable ! When I compared those dignified sea-queens side by side with our clumsy and disproportioned junks, nothing further was needed to convince me that the foreigners who built such war~ ships must be more intelligent and a ~;uperior people to the ,Japanese. It seemed to me a mighty object lesson to rouse up roy ambition to cry out for the general improvement and renovation of my country I supposed the first thing to he done would be to ere~ ate a naval force, and also to build vessels of the foreign style to facilitate the foreign commerce. This new idea prompted me to pursue the study of navigation. " In a course of two years' hard work I finished my arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, and also acquired the rudiments of theoretical navigat,ion ; but my study was sadly interrupted by severe measles. My illness was a very serious one, and utterly enfeebled me. I was obliged to stay away from my school nearly three month:;. ·while I was yet feeble I began to study algebra in a Dutch book, and got through with it before I found myself strong enough to go out of doors. But this apparent little gain caused me gt·eat loss. "\V eak eyes, headaches, and sleeplessness carne upon me one after another, and I was obliged to give up my studies for some time.