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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, August 11, 1912, Image 42

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INTERVIEWS With Dis
tinguished Naturalists on
the Much-mooted Question?
Scientific Statistics Showing
That August Is Sea Serpent
Month Along Our Coasts?
Varying Evidence as to What
the Sea Serpent Really Is?
Some Believe Him to Be a
Monster as Yet Unstudied
Which Now and Then Peeps
Up From Deep Sea Abysses
?Others Think Him a Sur
vival of Some Mammoth
Species of Past Ages.
r.Y FJ.FRKTII WAT KINS.
AN the sea serpent
bo longer denied?
, Is it the remnant
I of a monstrous
speck's supposedly
extinct, or some
adventurer from
the d**ep sea lair
of a modern race
of leviathans as
yet undiscovered
by science?
Such queries I
have been flinging at some distinguished
naturalists, with widely varying results,
which T shall proceed to report at once,
especially inasmuch as my investigation
brings to light the scientifically estab
lished fact that August is our sea serpent
month par excellence.
"I Incline rather to belief than to un
belief in the monster." Director 'Fred
erick A. Lucas of the American Museum
of Natural History, told me- "The big
gest sea serpents we know of lived in the
eocene period," says he. "Take, for in
stance. the zeuglodon. He would tally
perfectly with some of the most sensa
tional sea serpent descriptions which we
hear year after year. The zeuglodon
grew as large as seventy feet in length
and eight feet in diameter. His head was
small and pointed. His jaws were well
?rmed with grasping and cutting teeth.
Just back of his head he carried a pair
of short paddles, not unlike those of a
fur seal.
*
* *
"He must have reared at least a third
of his great length out of the water, to
take a comprehensive view of the sur
roundings. His tail must have propelled
him at a spe?d of from twenty to thirty
miles an hour.
"Zeuglodons were once very numerous
in the Gulf of Mexico, also the old seas
of southern Europe. They have been
called 'whalelike king lizards,' but in
reality were mammals, not reptiles. The
xeuglodon is usually thought to be the an
cestor of the whale, but I think he died
without issue.
"There is no apparent inherent impos
kibllty that the zeuglodon does exist to
day. * Hut we don't find him?that is all.
If a fish of such ancient lineage as the
gar pikf?going back to the days when
the zeuglodon flourished?is so common as
to be a nuisance, why may there not be
a few zeuglodons, plesiosaurs or mosa
saurs somewhere in the depths of t.ie
ocean ?"
One recent sea-serpent story in which
Dirt-' tor Lucas takes some stock is that
of the captain of the British ship Fly,
who states that while becalmed in the
Gulf of California, in twelve fathoms of
remarkably clear water, he saw crawling
over the bottom an extraordinary lizard
like monster, with long, serpentlike neck,
short tail and four flippers, like those of
a turtle The naturalist regards it as
Isita'eutna'nt Ot-Onx. Ot tutsi sitcies?
iu^tidsa.m ( ^
itosaSaur c ?-igm ,
laxl-^ps cceintthi^
remarkable, to say the least, that this
skipper, who doubtless had never heard
of a plesiosaur, should thus describe one
with amazing accuracy, both as to form
and probable habit. The director regards
it as just as possible for the plesiosaur
to survive as for some of our sharks,
which date back to the same geologic
period. Some naturalists have estimated
that these monstrous, serpent-headed,
dutk-necked marine lizards grew to be
100 feet in length and had eyes a yard
in diameter. And, in Air. Lucas' opinion,
there is no more reason for admitting t*?e
survival of the plesiosaur than for as
suming that a mosasjfcjr and its not-dis
tant relative, the elasmosaur, still live.
*
* *
In the accompanying group of three gi
gantic sea lizards you will perceive in the
left foreground this terrible elasmosaur,
the most colossal and most serpentlike
of all that ancient group. With its whale
like body, long and flexible neck, short
paddles and serpentine tail it would an
swer well to popular descriptions of the
sea serpent. Its tremendous size is at
tested by its vertebrae, some of which,
now preserved, are nearly as large as
those of the elephant. In the right back
ground of the picture is its cousin, the
mosasaur, of which no fewer than ten
species are known to have inhabited this
part of the world, six having been found
in New Jersey. This terrible sea lizard at
tained a length of forty feet. Its head
was flat and pointed and its lower jaw
was provided with an attachment of car
tilege by which it could open its mouth to
an enormous extent in the same manner
as the modern snake. The central figure
in this group is another of these crea
tures known as the laelops, a great
kangaroolike lizard which frequented the
land.
"There are no monster sea serpents,"
was the emphatic reply of Dr. Theodore
X. Gill, the distinguished Ichthyologist of
the Smithsonian Institution. "There is
no animal of gigantic size now living in
the sea which could be properly classed
a a serpent, or even a reptile..
"It is possible that a great selachian
related to the frilled shark of Japan may
be found in the seas. This would have
an eellike body, a fln back of the head
and. If very long, would agree to some
extent with descriptions of the 'great sea
sehpent-' As a matter of fact there was
discovered not many years ago a small,
a05^CE=
lKbcjts"H^rj)RARCKus' or"Sxa Kitvg
Fnakelike shark, resembling the grap
sharks found in the Pacific."
?
* *
Dr. Gill regarded the survival of a
zeuglodon or of such a monster sea liz
ard as a plesiosaur, after many millions
of year;;, as a possibility.
"But/' he added, "there is no prob
ability that any one will ever enjoy the
fight of such a possibility. Yet nfh.ny
able scientists, including Agassiz, have
said that such a creature as the
plesiosaur may jrtill survive."
"Do you regard all reports of monster
sea serpents as pure figments of the
Imagination?" I asked Dr. Gill.
"Most of the wonderful creatures made
the subject of sea serpent stories doubt
less are living animals of some sort," he
replied. "I will give some examples. Let
us dispose of one of the most conspicu
ous pictures of the ca serpent yet print
ed. This is given in a work by Erik
Pontoppidan, Bishop of Bergen. Norway,
who wrote more than a century and a
half ago describing giant sea serpents and
mermaids, which he believed really ex
isted. Ho. being a godly man, should
not be distrusted entirely.
"This monster was represented with its
front portion out of water and as having
a large frill about its neck. Its tail was
long and tapering, and ended in a spiral
curve. Prom its mouth issued a jet of
water or vapor. Now, certainly, such a
form does not exist, but what was it?
"Well, now let's look at the cuttlefish,
or squid. Some of these have been found
as long as sixty feet. The tail of such a
giant cuttlefish may have been taken for
the head of this monster serpent, the
fins of the tail corresponding to the frills
described. The spiral tail might easily
have been one of the great cuttlefish's
curved arms appearing out of water, and
the jet of water might have been the
siphon of the cuttlefish, by which it
propels itself in the water. How much
imagination would be required to add the
unreasonable features of this picture?
"Or, suppose that a summer tourist or
superstitious mariner should catch sight
of a giant basking shark, such aa in
habits the North sea. These are often
more than thirty feet in length and fre
quently travel in pairs, one following the
other.
*
* *
"The front portion of one and the head
portion of the other appearing above
water at the same time would be sug
fieient to scare any unsuspecting ob
server. There are even larger sharks in
tropical seas. Take, for instance, the
rhinodon. the large warm sea shark,
sometimes fifty feet long, or the galeo
cerdo, a large shark found in most seas,
often forty feet long, or again the car
charodon, or man-eater, sometimes sixty
feet long and occasionally reaching our
shores.
"What would be the effect upon the
imagination of a person who should see
one of these fellows diving among the
billows? Why he would come home and
tell the most outlandish sea serpent
stories you ever heard."
What proved for a time to be the most
successful sea serpent hoax on record,
according to Dr. Gill, was perpetrated in
New York by a pseudo-scientist. Dr.
All>ert C. Koch, in 1S45. He exhibited on
Broadway the skeleton of an alleged
fossil monster which he named the
"hydrarchos" or "sea king." The re
mains, including the head and vertebrae,
measured no less than 114 feet over all,
and the people of New York, as well as
of other American cities visited, were
greatly excited over the discovery of
tangible proof that the long-suspected sea
serpent existed. But finally Prof. Wy?
man, a naturalist of considerable eircum
Ol ZiiTJGLODON~ fr* TTaJIi.TRAJ, TMXJSXUTC
"Dois This Survive. ^ The
MaRij^x Lizard loo Fi.lt Long
spection. examined the skeleton and dis
covered it to be a composite, including
the bones of several zeuglodons strung
together. When last heard of by Dr.
Gin this "sea serpent" was sold by Koch
to the museum of I>resden. The accom
panying photograph of the skeleton of a
zeuglodon properly mounted has been
furnished me by Dr. Gill, and was made
from the unequa'ed specimen obtained by
tire Smithsonian some time ago from our
southern coast. Mixed with these bones
when dug up were the shell of a turtle
three feet long and part of the backbone
of a watersnake, which in life must have
measured twenty-five feet from head to
tail. If this great zeuglodon were alive
it would very nicely fit many popular
descriptions of the "sea serpent."
?
* *
The federal bureau of fisheries has
been hunting the Sea serpent ever since
it was founded Its second officer in com
mand, Dr. Hugh M. Smith, I'nited States
deputy commissioner of fisheries, told me
yesterday how he has personally followed
to their lairs two or three of the most
horrible of these creatures.
One was a monster found drifting some
years ago in Nantucket sound, in the
vicinity of Hyannis, Mass. It having been
described at great length by the Boston
papers. Dr. Smith, then at the fisheries
laboratory at Woods Hole, nearby, pro
ceeded to investigate it.
He says he found the monster in a
marsh, where it had lodged after having
been turned adrift by the fishermen who
had caught it. It was both horrible and
grotesque to behold, indeed?a large, bad
ly decomposed shark, whose skin had
fallen away from parts of the fins, leav
ing only stumps, which suggested feet.
The second sea serpent investigated by
Dr. Smith was, he said, exhibited upon
a pier at Atlantic City in July, 1!?04 It
was advertised as "a genuine sea ser
pent," and sensational accounts of its be
havior before falling a victim to the
brave fishermen who caught it were pub
lished. Dr. Smith found it to consist of
an imperfect skeleton, about ten and on?
ha!f feet long:, stretched at full length
upon a plain. The parts present were a
skull, stumps of fins and a backbone,
which, with a short section missing from
the tail end, contained 274 vertebrae. The
creature appeared so hideou"s and mon
strous to some scribes assigned to the
story that they hinted in their papers that
the "serpent" was not a bona fide but
a manufactured product
*
* *
I>r. Smith discovered that the car
cass had been snagged by a '.ne fish
erman a few miles off A^!?mtic City.
But, as the specimen was a paying at
traction, it could not be obtained for
study. However, Dr. Smith had made
a series of drawings and photographs
of detailed portions of the skeleton, and
these, with several vertebrae, he brought
to the Smithsonian Institution and sub
mitted to Dr. Gill, the above-quoted, who
lost no time in identifying the "monster'"
as a thresher shark.
The third monster investigated by Dr.
Smith was a huge, serpentlike creature
seen floating in Ixing Island sound some
summers ago. by thousands of excur
sionists. It proved to be the carcass of a
huge python, which had died on board
a ship from the East Indies. After hav
ing been skinned, it was thrown over
board.
While scientists are not in accord on
the question. Dr. Smith thinks that
some circumstantial evidence recently
gathered "will perhaps weaken the be
lief of some intelligent persons, who have
heretofore denied the possibiity of the ex
istence at this day of marine monsters
comparable to those of geological times."
However, this may be, he said, there
are now in the seas well known mem
bers of the fish class large enough to
he regarded as monsters and td afford
the basis of some sea serpent stories.
AmoiiK these are not unh the big yii:irk*
mentioned by Dr. <JUI, but such event ires
as the skatelike. bat-shaped. two-horned
"devil fish" or "'ocean vampire," a Kiant
ray, which ventures a.s far north in At
lantic waters as Cape May, and which at
tains a weight of six tons, also a breadth
of thirty feet; the ocean sunflsh, of both
Atlantic and Facitlc waters, found weigh
ing as much me> 1.900 pounds; the "tuna."
"great tunny" or "horse mackerel." a so
of both ocea'is. which reaches* I .."Ml
pounds in weight, and fifteen feet in
length; the tawrish. which grows to be
over twenty feet long
Such of these creatures as science has
seen have been found dead or dying at
the surface of the water, and zoologists
have shown no activity in finding their
lairs.
"This suggests. ' said Dr. Smith, "how
fragmentary must be our knowledge of
the larger animals of the oceanic abyss
and how possible it might be for un
known monsters to exist there in abun
dance."
*
* *
This view is held also by Dr Tarleton
H. Bean, late director of the New York
a<|uarlum and now state fish culturalist
of New York. He does not doubt that in
the deep abysses of the sea are living
monsters unknown to science, which come
occasionally to the surface and give foun
dation to sea serpent stories.
A zealous champion of the sea serpent's
reality is I>r. A. C. Oudemans, the well
known zoologist. After collecting all ob
tainable reports of sea serpent visitations
along our eastern coast and throwing out
palpable "cheats and hoaxes'' lie has ob
tained evidence of sixty-six such ti.ou
sters reported between Newfoundland
and Florida within a period of ltt? years.
These monsters, he says, are migratory,
and that they do not like cold water is
shown by the fact that none have been
reported along our coasts between No
vember and January, inclusive, while
only two have been seen during Feb
ruary. March and April.. Their return
with warm weather, however, is shown
by the record of three in May, nine in
June, seven in July and finally a round
couple of dozen in August, which, as
stated, is our sea serpent month par ex
cellence. After this the visitations taper
off?four in September, two in October
and none in Novemh?*r. The fact that
comparatively few of these monsters
have been reported from our Pacific coast
is, according to Dr. Oudemans, due to
the fact that the greater ocean is far less
frequented by ocean passengers rather
than to the probable absence of such
creatures from its waters.
The sea serpent is a great mammal
most nearly related to the sea bear, ac
cording to this naturalist. In the view of
some zoologists the great zeuglodon was
closely related to this same species, but
its greatest known length, seventy feet,
is far surpassed by the 2Tn> feet attributed
by Dr. Oudemans to his hypothetical
creature, which, he says, appears to
have a head resembling that of the sea
lion, an eel-like neck, a hairy seal-like
trunk with two flippers on each sid?- and
a tapering, pointed tail The males of
this species, like those of the seal, he
thinks, are probably a<1orn?''l with the
mane which figures so persistently in sea
serpent descriptions.
(CopjTiffht 1MJ, hy ?! -hu Klfn-ih Wu'LioaJ
Y0SH1MT0, JAPAN'S NEW 1UILEE, BECAME SACKED WHEN HE TOOK THE THIONE
TIEN* Yosnihltn be
came the reigning
sovereign of Japan
about two weeks
ago he found him
self in a position
comparable to that
of no emperor on
earth. Other em
perors, western
and eastern, are
but human. Yoshi
hlto in the eyes of
his subjects is divine.
The succession of other emperors is
clondi-d and disconnected: that of Yoshi
hito If complete arid self-sufficient. One
hundred and twenty-third sovereign of
Ms iine. He traces his royal descent back
to the mists of the world, back <100 years
and more before the time of Christ,
back, in fact, to the creat heroic age of
Japan, when two gods were called upon
to create a land from the liquid islands
of the ait^-and they created Japan.
Prom these gods he claims descent, and
not even the most highly educated and
sdentlticyjly minded Japanese will dis
pute it. That Is t he chord of belief which
no modern sophistication can pierce. The
dead Mutsahito has taken h!s harborage
with his fellow-gods, and Yoshihito,
reigning, is of his blood
*
* *
Title, in part explains the attitude of
veneration in which the Jepanese re
gard t^irir ruler, explains the sentiment
which marks him forth from brother sov
ereigns. It is a sentiment which few
Japanese will discuss.
"It is a sentiment," said one to the
writer, "which it is impossible for a
Japanese to analyze. and which If an
alyzed no foreign mind could compre
hend "
A Japanese resident here for a quar
ter of a century, however, attempted the
tack.
"It fmrlngs partly from the intense
Idealism of the people," said he, "and is
really a peculiar form of patriotism. It
la as if the Japanese nation were rever
encing itself, for it believes that it, too.
?prang from the gods and that it is of
the family of the emperor. To a nation
Which reverences its ancestors, the em
peror represents a link between the pres
ent Ja^>an and everything that has gone
before?a link, perhaps, between the ma
terial and the spirit worlds. He is at
lice jar, element of mysticism and the
MafcodUneni of material national strength.
4
It is as If"?the Japanese gentleman
paused?"you could merge the sentiment
of a Roman Catholic for the Pope and
the affection of a people for a great
king."
"Will the present emperor preserve for
himself the full sentiment which the peo
ple had for his father?" was asked.
The Japanese shrugged.
"In a measure. j>erhaps. Wholly, per
haps not." he answered.
That he will command a peculiar rev
erence is certain from the reasons I have
given, which are inherent in the nation.
That the affection of the people will be
as great as that given to the late em
peror is doubtful. You see, the last sov
ereign i?ispired and controlled Japan
from its Krowth from a feudal land to a
world-wide nation. From the time the
great princes or dalmios surrendered
their powers and estates to the grant
ing of a modern and voluntary constitu
tion in 1S80, his was the initiative of
each successive advance. He hail done
more even than the na.tion expected?cer
tainly more than had ever been accom
plished for a nation before. That record
was personal to him and is responsible
for the personal love with which he is
regarded. We honor and reverence the
new sovereign?yes. lie is emperor, he
is the embodied spirit of Japan. But,
love? Kven an emperor must earn love
for himself.
Ho enters Yoshihito, the new emperor
of Japan, upon his kingdom?the re
cipient, in western eyes, of strange
marks of Japanese respect. For if
the race follows the precedents given
to Mutsuhito, Yoshihito's name will not
be pronounced by any of his subjects.
"Th? sovereign." "the emperor," he will
be; never Yoshihito. To call the name
of Yoshihito will be sacrilege. It
would be as if a shrine had been as
sailed. And that is only a small indi
cation of the respect which the Japa
nese will give him as a sovereign. No
man or woman will sit before him.
None, if convention be maintained, will
speak .directly to him, for it is the cus
tom to address the Kmperor of Japan
only through members of his house
hold. In his presence even the great
est will look upon the ground, unless
the emperor be placed at some eleva
tion. when it is permissible that the
eyes be raised, and even this is a con
cession to the new world of things in
Japan.
*
? *
For Mutsuhito. the dead emperor,
passed the first sixteen years of life,
unseen by any foreigner, unseen by
any but his personal attendants, who
were of his family. In conference even
with the greatest of those who served
him. his fac-e was never shown, for he
sat hidden within a canopy, *n the low
throne-platform from which his orders
came. Till sixteen years of age he
had never walked?and the art of
walking was with him a stiff and
harsh practice to the end. New, too. is
the wild acclaim of innumerable "ban
aais" whenever the emperor's pres
ence is observed by the people?for it
came into Japan within the last fif
teen years and in the skirts of prog
ress. Before that lime a dead silence
had spoken national respect?a dead
silence and eyes lowered and the shut
tered windows of houses along th<*
street.
*
* *
However, while the Japanese em
peror 110 longer lives in the dim re
ligious light by which once he was
surrounded, a seclusion greater by far
than any practiced by any other reign
ing sovereign will be his, for even yet
it is not the sentiment of the royal
race ttiat any of its members shall be
come the familiar of any among the
people. It is the etiquette of the Jap
anese court that the emperor's public
appearances shall be infrequent. Even
tlie diplomatic corps sees him only at
the New Year reception and at the
spring and fall cherry blossom and
chrysanthemum garden parties.
Once or twice a year, perhaps, he will
drive to the Aoyama plain to review the
troops?if, at least, he follow the prece
dent of the late emperor. Here the lat
ter sat for the most part in a tent or
ambled jerkily about the field on a much
subdued and thoroughly domesticated
Australian horse. In this respect, how
ever. Yoshihito will present a better ap
pearance than that of his father, for his
military training began almost with in
fancy. and his equestrian performances
greatly overshadow. Mwtsuhito's, who rode
as he walked?stiffly and without ease.
On rare occasions the court etiquette
will doubtless lead the emperor to those
infrequent state banquets to which are in
vited all the leading statesmen, diplo
matists, generals and admirals. Here
the form of .etiquette is distinctively
peculiar to Japan, for the emperor sits at
a raised dais. In a seat apart, while at the
long tables before him are his guests,
whose portions wait in front of them, un
touched. till the emperor be finished. He
remains only a short time, and eats lit
tle. Then the guests begin.
To the rigid etiquette with which the
members of the Japanese royal family are
treated Yoshihito is accustomed as to
that etiquette in turn due from him. A?
Emperor of Japan, however, the fatigue?
msitm rr
YOSHIH1TO, J A PAX'S XEW EMPEROR.
will easily balance his increased honors, rulers of Japan?of whom there are the
In his visits to the shrine at Shiba Park, comfortable number of 122. Here to Shlba
for instance, he will be immolated on the Park he goes in state at intervals, and in
altar of etiquette in a manner unapproach- the fashion arranged by his elaborate
ed by any reigning sovereign. I?or here ceremonial committee does his fitting rev
it Is that he pays his respects to the erence on. roughly. 122 occasions.
memory of his ancestors?the precedent Aud the personality of this new ruler
who commands medieval respect from
a nation so ultra-modern as the Jap
anese?
A slight, small-chested figure, of in
expansive shoulder and somewhat frail
build?a figure with a bead abnormally
large, coal black eyes, the coarse black
hair, the somewhat somber expression,
and the undershot jaw of the great em
peror, his father. In his august position
today he seems somewhat of an anomaly
to western eyes, for lie is not the son or
the Empress of Japan, but of one ?>t
Mutsuhito's lesser wives, the Countess
Yanagaware, and chosen by tlie last em
peror as that sovereign's successor under
the law of Japan. He is thirty-one years
old, and. with the exception of a recent
illness, hardier than he has ever been.
* *
For Yosliihito lias been a frail figure
since infancy?a sufferer from a con
stitutional complaint which carried off
his elder brother, and which the un
usual size of his head sufficiently sug
gests. He is a sufferer from water on
the brain, which, however, impairs his
mental faculties not the least, hut only
renders him unusually sensitive to nerv
ous diseases. He is spoken of as seri
ous and bright and with some prepense to
social instincts unpossessed by his parent.
Third among the sons, and one among
the twelve children of the late emperor,
Yoshihito had no greater reason to ex
pect a succession to sovereignty than had
any of his brothers, had they lived, for it is
the custom of the emperor to nominate
his successor from the most likely ma
terial?being limited only by the fact that
he must be of royal blood. The death of
his two elder brothers, however, opened
up vast royal perspectives to Yoshihito,
and in 18?7 he was nominated heir ap
parent, being proclaimed crown prince
in 18sy.
Yoshihito's life in its earliest years re
flected the changed condition of Japan.
He was brought up democratically, and
attended school in the College of Peers,
which is intended for. the education of
princes and nobles, but which is open to
all. Here he worked with the rest, pos
sessing no privileges unpossessed by the
most obscure, and with a punctuality in
sisted upon, from even him, the descend
ant of the gods In this way came the
comparative development of his social in
stincts. for. unlike Mutsuhito. he prefers
to talk directly with his company than
through the august intermediary of court
officialdom. Later, however, he came un
der th? c?re of a tutqr. Gen. Oku, who
wag assisted by a Mr. Adachl, who seems
to have been linguistically inclined, for
the present emperor speaks English and
"French, as well as German. From Gen.
Oku he studied military tactics and early
proved that in Japan royalty Is something
of a talisman. At thirteen he was a lieu
tenant, at sixteen colonel of the Japanese
army.
* *
In these early years from our western
viewpoint he lived a life of remarkable
independence of parental control. He oc
cupied, almost from infancy, a palace
of his own?not, however, distant from
the emperor's and within that park which
could comfortably accommodate the Vat
ican and Central Park and be sublimely
unconscious of the assimilation. This, un
der the charge of a chamberlain and
three assistants, and at a yearly expense
of rrfMK#) yen, was his home throughout
his years of schooling and early man
hood, and it contained everything that
even a Crown Prince of Japan should
have. It came perilously near the lux
uries offered by any ocean liner. The
small and weakly prince had his gymna
sium, his bowling alley, his tennis and
archery courts, his> stables, his riding pa
vilion. his tishing ponds. And these de
veloped in him an outdoor taste which
today, at thirty-two, has given him. It
not a rugged, at least a normal health.
Here his youth was spent in the society
mostly of royal relatives?the Japanese
examples of his sister?" and his cousins
and his aunts. As he grew his society
??hanged to that of the juvenile nobles
lie met at school. A Japanese authority
in New York describes this intimacy curi
ously. "It is," he says, "a blend of the
intimacy of a young man and the pe
culiar veneration fur bit1 royalty whicb
all Japanese possess."
In the seclusion of his palace also
Yoshihito developed a keen attachnier
for versification, which?even in modern
Japan?Is deemed one of the most im
portant accomplishments in court circles.
This poetry he writes both In Japant se
and in Chinese?the last activity corre
sponding with that Latin verse which it
was the joy of English scholars in other
times to comj>ose.
v
* *
In ino?>, when his three-storied palace
was built, at a cost of $oOO.?KX>. it was
European, rather than Japanese in char
acter. Even in his unofficial moments,
too, he uses European dress. His matri
monial condition, also, is singular, in that
it may only be referred to in the singu
lar; and he has beeu reputeA to con
sider thai a plurality of wives (twelv*
hitherto has been the custom for an em
peror > is of modern Japan. In other re
gards he has conformed to an older spirit.
I lis wife, the present empress, was chosen
from a merely noble family--the quality
of health entering appreciably into the
choice She. indeed, is known for her
physical vitality, and in her school days
was a devotee of tennis.
Such is a slight portrait of Yoshihito.
new Emperor of Japan, who, presumably,
will desert his own palace and Inherit
that in which the late emperor lived
Here the note Is Japanese, incongruously
blended with the mechanical devices of
the Occident, long and low as are it*
labrynt'hs of buildings, andi t is ?-hlefly
remarkable for its covered parages and
its covered courts.
?
* *
The architecture is of the ancient
Japanese style, with Itiglt roofs at fh: rp
angles and heavy gray tiles. No whisper
of the European speaks there. Inside are
walls of plate glass and lacquer, which,
rolled aside, open up vistas of tremendous
rooms <Jenerally. here, visitors are im
pressed with the triumph of Japanese
simplicity which characterizes It, though,
strangely enough, the late emperor's and
the empress" apartments are furnished
with French rosewood furniture and rugs
in the European style. Mutsuhito in
variably ate, as does the present emperor,
at table, and with those everwldening in
fluences. knives and forks.
Throughout the i>aiace, too. one finds,
ew-n in a medieval environment, elocirlc
lights?in the mystic covered courtyards.
In the fascinating connecting passages
which go up aud down, and? necessarily?
in the very Frenchy modern dining room
itself. But in his emperor's suite, in the
midst of the many indications of western '
ways?in smoking rooms, libraries, billiard
rooms, dressing rooms, stands one incon
gruity which seems Insensibly to creep
into the blended civilization of the Jap
anese. It is the imperial bedroom, plain
to barrenness, in its Japanese style, uli
ven t ilated, dark, window-less, and sur
rounded on every side by the rooms of
the emperor's personal bodyguard. It in.
indeed, in the heart of the palace.
In Corn Time.
MRS. TAJT tells a story about a little
country-weeker who sat under a
tree one August afternoon with a strain
ed. anxious look on his face and both
hands folded upon his small stomach.
"What's the matter with him? Is he
ill?" a visitor asked.
"Oh, no, ma'am: he ain't 111," said
farmer? wife; "hut no stomach of that
size can stand eleven ears of corn. '

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