44 EARLY LIFE. been sleeping in peace over three hundred years, and had reached the lowest degree of effeminacy. Our swords began to rust in their sheaths. We sent them to the factories to be repaired for use. Gunsmiths who had been poor for so long for want of business suddenly began to clothe themselves in soft garments, while theatre men, who lived by the mercy of the fashionable people, were deprived of their luxury. Every one who had the privilege of wearing swords began to devote himself to sword exercise, drilling, and horse riding. Although I was then quite young, yet I desired to be a brave soldier, or a man of honor, like those whom I found so often in our ancient history. I frequently went to the temple of the god of war, prayed sincerely that he should give me stl·ength, and often performed very foolish ceremonies for his service. Once, when I was reading a life of a Chinese hero, I came across a famous phrase which he proclaimed when he quitted the sword-exercise: 'A sword is only designed to slay a single man, but I am going to learn to kill ten thousand enemies.' That is, he was inclin­ing to study some work of stratagem. Though I was not able to measure my own quality, yet I desired to follow his example, and wished to kill many thousands of enemies, not by a sword, but by stratagem. This thought helped me to quit sword-exercise and to confine myself entirely to study. I studied very diligently, and often went to bed after cock-crow. I hated the western nations because they were foreigners, and dis­liked at first to study the language, which seemed to me so curious and strange. My prince was very kind to me . . . but providence did not spare his life. He died by a disease of the throat when I was sixteen years of age. It caused me a great sorrow, and de-