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Title: Japanese Literature - Including Selections from Genji Monogatari and Classical - Poetry and Drama of Japan
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         Transcriber's Note:

  The accenting of the Japanese names is not consistent throughout the
  book. The accents are preserved as given in the book.



                         Japanese Literature


                      INCLUDING SELECTIONS FROM

                           GENJI MONOGATARI

                                 AND

                      CLASSICAL POETRY AND DRAMA

                               OF JAPAN



              WITH CRITICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES BY

                       EPIPHANIUS WILSON, A.M.



                           REVISED EDITION


                           COPYRIGHT, 1900
                        BY THE COLONIAL PRESS

       *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS


GENJI MONOGATARI

Introduction

CHAPTER

   I.--The Chamber of Kiri

  II.--The Broom-like Tree

 III.--Beautiful Cicada

  IV.--Evening Glory

   V.--Young Violet

  VI.--Saffron Flower

 VII.--Maple Fête

VIII.--Flower-Feast

  IX.--Hollyhock

   X.--Divine Tree

  XI.--Villa of Falling Flowers

 XII.--Exile at Suma

XIII.--Exile at Akashi

 XIV.--The Beacon

  XV.--Overgrown Mugwort

 XVI.--Barrier House

XVII.--Competitive Show of Pictures


CLASSICAL POETRY OF JAPAN

Introduction

BALLADS--

  The Fisher-Boy Urashima

  On Seeing a Dead Body

  The Maiden of Unáhi

  The Grave of the Maiden of Unáhi

  The Maiden of Katsushika

  The Beggar's Complaint

  A Soldier's Regrets on Leaving Home


LOVE SONGS--

  On Beholding the Mountain

  Love is Pain

  Hitomaro to His Mistress

  No Tidings

  Homeward

  The Maiden and the Dog

  Love is All

  Husband and Wife

  He Comes Not

  He and She

  The Pearls

  A Damsel Crossing a Bridge

  Secret Love

  The Omen

  A Maiden's Lament

  Rain and Snow

  Mount Mikash

  Evening


ELEGIES--

  On the Death of the Mikado Tenji

  On the Death of the Poet's Mistress

  Elegy on the Poet's Wife

  On the Death of Prince Hinami

  On the Death of the Nun Riguwañ

  On the Poet's Son, Furubi

  Short Stanza on the Same Occasion


MISCELLANEOUS POEMS--

  View from Mount Kago

  The Mikado's Bow

  Spring and Autumn

  Spring

  Recollections of My Children

  The Brook of Hatsúse

  Lines to a Friend

  A Very Ancient Ode

  The Bridge to Heaven

  Ode to the Cuckoo

  The Ascent of Mount Tsukúba

  Couplet


SHORT STANZAS


THE DRAMA OF JAPAN

Nakamitsu

Abstraction

       *       *       *       *       *



GENJI MONOGATARI

BY

MURASAKI SHIKIB

[_Translated into English by Suyematz Kenchio_]



INTRODUCTION

BY THE TRANSLATOR


Genji Monogatari,[1] the original of this translation, is one of the
standard works of Japanese literature. It has been regarded for
centuries as a national treasure. The title of the work is by no means
unknown to those Europeans who take an interest in Japanese matters,
for it is mentioned or alluded to in almost every European work
relating to our country. It was written by a lady, who, from her
writings, is considered one of the most talented women that Japan has
ever produced.

She was the daughter of Fujiwara Tametoki, a petty Court noble,
remotely connected with the great family of Fujiwara, in the tenth
century after Christ, and was generally called Murasaki Shikib. About
these names a few remarks are necessary. The word "Shikib" means
"ceremonies," and is more properly a name adopted, with the addition
of certain suffixes, to designate special Court offices. Thus the term
"Shikib-Kiô" is synonymous with "master of the ceremonies," and
"Shikib-no-Jiô" with "secretary to the master of the ceremonies."
Hence it might at first sight appear rather peculiar if such an
appellation should happen to be used as the name of a woman. It was,
however, a custom of the period for noble ladies and their attendants
to be often called after such offices, generally with the suffix
"No-Kata," indicating the female sex, and somewhat corresponding to
the word "madam." This probably originated in the same way as the
practice in America of calling ladies by their husbands' official
titles, such as Mrs. Captain, Mrs. Judge, etc., only that in the case
of the Japanese custom the official title came in time to be used
without any immediate association with the offices themselves, and
often even as a maiden name. From this custom our authoress came to
be called "Shikib," a name which did not originally apply to a person.
To this another name, Murasaki, was added, in order to distinguish her
from other ladies who may also have been called Shikib. "Murasaki"
means "violet," whether the flower or the color. Concerning the origin
of this appellation there exist two different opinions. Those holding
one, derive it from her family name, Fujiwara; for "Fujiwara"
literally means "the field of Wistaria," and the color of the Wistaria
blossom is violet. Those holding the other, trace it to the fact that
out of several persons introduced into the story, Violet (Murasaki in
the text) is a most modest and gentle woman, whence it is thought that
the admirers of the work transferred the name to the authoress
herself. In her youth she was maid of honor to a daughter of the then
prime minister, who became eventually the wife of the Emperor Ichijiô,
better known by her surname, Jiôtô-Monin, and who is especially famous
as having been the patroness of our authoress. Murasaki Shikib married
a noble, named Nobtaka, to whom she bore a daughter, who, herself,
wrote a work of fiction, called "Sagoromo" (narrow sleeves). She
survived her husband, Nobtaka, some years, and spent her latter days
in quiet retirement, dying in the year 992 after Christ. The diary
which she wrote during her retirement is still in existence, and her
tomb may yet be seen in a Buddhist temple in Kiôto, the old capital
where the principal scenes of her story are laid.

The exact date when her story was written is not given in the work,
but her diary proves that it was evidently composed before she arrived
at old age.

The traditional account given of the circumstances which preceded the
writing of the story is this: when the above-mentioned Empress was
asked by the Saigû (the sacred virgin of the temple of Ise) if her
Majesty could not procure an interesting romance for her, because the
older fictions had become too familiar, she requested Shikib to write
a new one, and the result of this request was this story.

The tradition goes on to say that when this request was made Shikib
retired to the Buddhist temple in Ishiyama, situated on hilly ground
at the head of the picturesque river Wooji, looking down on Lake Biwa.
There she betook herself to undergo the "Tooya" (confinement in a
temple throughout the night), a solemn religious observance for the
purpose of obtaining divine help and good success in her undertaking.
It was the evening of the fifteenth of August. Before her eyes the
view extended for miles. In the silver lake below, the pale face of
the full moon was reflected in the calm, mirror-like waters,
displaying itself in indescribable beauty. Her mind became more and
more serene as she gazed on the prospect before her, while her
imagination became more and more lively as she grew calmer and calmer.
The ideas and incidents of the story, which she was about to write,
stole into her mind as if by divine influence. The first topic which
struck her most strongly was that given in the chapters on exile.
These she wrote down immediately, in order not to allow the
inspiration of the moment to be lost, on the back of a roll of
Daihannia (the Chinese translation of Mahâprajñâpâramitâ, one of the
Buddhist Sûtras), and formed subsequently two chapters in the text,
the Suma and Akashi, all the remaining parts of the work having been
added one by one. It is said that this idea of exile came naturally to
her mind, because a prince who had been known to her from her
childhood had been an exile at Kiûsiû, a little before this period.

It is also said that the authoress afterwards copied the roll of
Daihannia with her own hand, in expiation of her having profanely used
it as a notebook, and that she dedicated it to the Temple, in which
there is still a room where she is alleged to have written down the
story. A roll of Daihannia is there also, which is asserted to be the
very same one copied by her.

How far these traditions are in accordance with fact may be a matter
of question, but thus they have come down to us, and are popularly
believed.

Many Europeans, I daresay, have noticed on our lacquer work and other
art objects, the representation of a lady seated at a writing-desk,
with a pen held in her tiny fingers, gazing at the moon reflected in a
lake. This lady is no other than our authoress.

The number of chapters in the modern text of the story is fifty-four,
one of these having the title only and nothing else. There is some
reason to believe that there might have existed a few additional
chapters.

Of these fifty-four chapters, the first forty-one relate to the life
and adventures of Prince Genji; and those which come after refer
principally to one of his sons. The last ten are supposed to have
been added by another hand, generally presumed to have been that of
her daughter. This is conjectured because the style of these final
chapters is somewhat dissimilar to that of those which precede. The
period of time covered by the entire story is some sixty years, and
this volume of translation comprises the first seventeen chapters.

The aims which the authoress seems always to have kept in view are
revealed to us at some length by the mouth of her hero: "ordinary
histories," he is made to say, "are the mere records of events, and
are generally treated in a one-sided manner. They give no insight into
the true state of society. This, however, is the very sphere on which
romances principally dwell. Romances," he continues, "are indeed
fictions, but they are by no means always pure inventions; their only
peculiarities being these, that in them the writers often trace out,
among numerous real characters, the best, when they wish to represent
the good, and the oddest, when they wish to amuse."

From these remarks we can plainly see that our authoress fully
understood the true vocation of a romance writer, and has successfully
realized the conception in her writings.

The period to which her story relates is supposed to be the earlier
part of the tenth century after Christ, a time contemporary with her
own life. For some centuries before this period, our country had made
a signal progress in civilization by its own internal development, and
by the external influence of the enlightenment of China, with whom we
had had for some time considerable intercourse. No country could have
been happier than was ours at this epoch. It enjoyed perfect
tranquillity, being alike free from all fears of foreign invasion and
domestic commotions. Such a state of things, however, could not
continue long without producing some evils; and we can hardly be
surprised to find that the Imperial capital became a sort of centre of
comparative luxury and idleness. Society lost sight, to a great
extent, of true morality, and the effeminacy of the people constituted
the chief feature of the age. Men were ever ready to carry on
sentimental adventures whenever they found opportunities, and the
ladies of the time were not disposed to disencourage them altogether.
The Court was the focus of society, and the utmost ambition of ladies
of some birth was to be introduced there. As to the state of politics,
the Emperor, it is true, reigned; but all the real power was
monopolized by members of the Fujiwara families. These, again, vied
among themselves for the possession of this power, and their daughters
were generally used as political instruments, since almost all the
Royal consorts were taken from some of these families. The abdication
of an emperor was a common event, and arose chiefly from the intrigues
of these same families, although partly from the prevailing influence
of Buddhism over the public mind.

Such, then, was the condition of society at the time when the
authoress, Murasaki Shikib, lived; and such was the sphere of her
labors, a description of which she was destined to hand down to
posterity by her writings. In fact, there is no better history than
her story, which so vividly illustrates the society of her time. True
it is that she openly declares in one passage of her story that
politics are not matters which women are supposed to understand; yet,
when we carefully study her writings, we can scarcely fail to
recognize her work as a partly political one. This fact becomes more
vividly interesting when we consider that the unsatisfactory
conditions of both the state and society soon brought about a grievous
weakening of the Imperial authority, and opened wide the gate for the
ascendency of the military class. This was followed by the systematic
formation of feudalism, which, for some seven centuries, totally
changed the face of Japan. For from the first ascendency of this
military system down to our own days everything in society--ambitions,
honors, the very temperament and daily pursuits of men, and political
institutes themselves--became thoroughly unlike those of which our
authoress was an eye-witness. I may almost say that for several
centuries Japan never recovered the ancient civilization which she had
once attained and lost.

Another merit of the work consists in its having been written in pure
classical Japanese; and here it may be mentioned that we had once made
a remarkable progress in our own language quite independently of any
foreign influence, and that when the native literature was at first
founded, its language was identical with that spoken. Though the
predominance of Chinese studies had arrested the progress of the
native literature, it was still extant at the time, and even for some
time after the date of our authoress. But with the ascendency of the
military class, the neglect of all literature became for centuries
universal. The little that has been preserved is an almost unreadable
chaos of mixed Chinese and Japanese. Thus a gulf gradually opened
between the spoken and the written language. It has been only during
the last two hundred and fifty years that our country has once more
enjoyed a long continuance of peace, and has once more renewed its
interest in literature. Still Chinese has occupied the front rank, and
almost monopolized attention. It is true that within the last sixty or
seventy years numerous works of fiction of different schools have been
produced, mostly in the native language, and that these, when judged
as stories, generally excel in their plots those of the classical
period. The status, however, of these writers has never been
recognized by the public, nor have they enjoyed the same degree of
honor as scholars of a different description. Their style of
composition, moreover, has never reached the same degree of refinement
which distinguished the ancient works. This last is a strong reason
for our appreciation of true classical works such as that of our
authoress.

Again, the concise description of scenery, the elegance of which it is
almost impossible to render with due force in another language, and
the true and delicate touches of human nature which everywhere abound
in the work, especially in the long dialogue in Chapter II, are almost
marvellous when we consider the sex of the writer, and the early
period when she wrote.

Yet this work affords fair ground for criticism. The thread of her
story is often diffuse and somewhat disjointed, a fault probably due
to the fact that she had more flights of imagination than power of
equal and systematic condensation: she having been often carried away
by that imagination from points where she ought to have rested. But,
on the other hand, in most parts the dialogue is scanty, which might
have been prolonged to considerable advantage, if it had been framed
on models of modern composition. The work, also, is too voluminous.

In translating I have cut out several passages which appeared
superfluous, though nothing has been added to the original.

The authoress has been by no means exact in following the order of
dates, though this appears to have proceeded from her endeavor to
complete each distinctive group of ideas in each particular chapter.
In fact she had even left the chapters unnumbered, simply contenting
herself with a brief heading, after which each is now called, such as
"Chapter Kiri-Tsubo," etc., so that the numbering has been undertaken
by the translator for the convenience of the reader. It has no
extraordinarily intricate plot like those which excite the readers of
the sensational romances of the modern western style. It has many
heroines, but only one hero, and this comes no doubt from the peculiar
purpose of the writer to portray different varieties and shades of
female characters at once, as is shadowed in Chapter II, and also to
display the intense fickleness and selfishness of man.

I notice these points beforehand in order to prepare the reader for
the more salient faults of the work. On the whole my principal object
is not so much to amuse my readers as to present them with a study of
human nature, and to give them information on the history of the
social and political condition of my native country nearly a thousand
years ago. They will be able to compare it with the condition of
mediæval and modern Europe.

Another peculiarity of the work to which I would draw attention is
that, with few exceptions, it does not give proper names to the
personages introduced; for the male characters official titles are
generally employed, and to the principal female ones some appellation
taken from an incident belonging to the history of each; for instance,
a girl is named Violet because the hero once compared her to that
flower, while another is called Yûgao because she was found in a
humble dwelling where the flowers of the Yûgao covered the hedges with
a mantle of blossom.

I have now only to add that the translation is, perhaps, not always
idiomatic, though in this matter I have availed myself of some
valuable assistance, for which I feel most thankful.

SUYEMATZ KENCHIO.

_Tokyo, Japan._

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: Which means, "The Romance of Genji."]



GENJI MONOGATARI

CHAPTER I

THE CHAMBER OF KIRI[2]


In the reign of a certain Emperor, whose name is unknown to us, there
was, among the Niogo[76] and Kôyi[3] of the Imperial Court, one who,
though she was not of high birth, enjoyed the full tide of Royal
favor. Hence her superiors, each one of whom had always been
thinking--"I shall be the _one_," gazed upon her disdainfully with
malignant eyes, and her equals and inferiors were more indignant
still.

Such being the state of affairs, the anxiety which she had to endure
was great and constant, and this was probably the reason why her
health was at last so much affected, that she was often compelled to
absent herself from Court, and to retire to the residence of her
mother.

Her father, who was a Dainagon,[4] was dead; but her mother, being a
woman of good sense, gave her every possible guidance in the due
performance of Court ceremony, so that in this respect she seemed but
little different from those whose fathers and mothers were still alive
to bring them before public notice, yet, nevertheless, her
friendliness made her oftentimes feel very diffident from the want of
any patron of influence.

These circumstances, however, only tended to make the favor shown to
her by the Emperor wax warmer and warmer, and it was even shown to
such an extent as to become a warning to after-generations. There had
been instances in China in which favoritism such as this had caused
national disturbance and disaster; and thus the matter became a
subject of public animadversion, and it seemed not improbable that
people would begin to allude even to the example of Yô-ki-hi.[5]

In due course, and in consequence, we may suppose, of the Divine
blessing on the sincerity of their affection, a jewel of a little
prince was born to her. The first prince who had been born to the
Emperor was the child of Koki-den-Niogo,[6] the daughter of the
Udaijin (a great officer of State). Not only was he first in point of
age, but his influence on his mother's side was so great that public
opinion had almost unanimously fixed upon him as heir-apparent. Of
this the Emperor was fully conscious, and he only regarded the
new-born child with that affection which one lavishes on a domestic
favorite. Nevertheless, the mother of the first prince had, not
unnaturally, a foreboding that unless matters were managed adroitly
her child might be superseded by the younger one. She, we may observe,
had been established at Court before any other lady, and had more
children than one. The Emperor, therefore, was obliged to treat her
with due respect, and reproaches from her always affected him more
keenly than those of any others.

To return to her rival. Her constitution was extremely delicate, as we
have seen already, and she was surrounded by those who would fain lay
bare, so to say, her hidden scars. Her apartments in the palace were
Kiri-Tsubo (the chamber of Kiri); so called from the trees that were
planted around. In visiting her there the Emperor had to pass before
several other chambers, whose occupants universally chafed when they
saw it. And again, when it was her turn to attend upon the Emperor, it
often happened that they played off mischievous pranks upon her, at
different points in the corridor, which leads to the Imperial
quarters. Sometimes they would soil the skirts of her attendants,
sometimes they would shut against her the door of the covered portico,
where no other passage existed; and thus, in every possible way, they
one and all combined to annoy her.

The Emperor at length became aware of this, and gave her, for her
special chamber, another apartment, which was in the Kôrô-Den, and
which was quite close to those in which he himself resided. It had
been originally occupied by another lady who was now removed, and thus
fresh resentment was aroused.

When the young Prince was three years old the Hakamagi[7] took place.
It was celebrated with a pomp scarcely inferior to that which adorned
the investiture of the first Prince. In fact, all available treasures
were exhausted on the occasion. And again the public manifested its
disapprobation. In the summer of the same year the Kiri-Tsubo-Kôyi
became ill, and wished to retire from the palace. The Emperor,
however, who was accustomed to see her indisposed, strove to induce
her to remain. But her illness increased day by day; and she had
drooped and pined away until she was now but a shadow of her former
self. She made scarcely any response to the affectionate words and
expressions of tenderness which her Royal lover caressingly bestowed
upon her. Her eyes were half-closed: she lay like a fading flower in
the last stage of exhaustion, and she became so much enfeebled that
her mother appeared before the Emperor and entreated with tears that
she might be allowed to leave. Distracted by his vain endeavors to
devise means to aid her, the Emperor at length ordered a Te-gruma[8]
to be in readiness to convey her to her own home, but even then he
went to her apartment and cried despairingly: "Did not we vow that we
would neither of us be either before or after the other even in
travelling the last long journey of life? And can you find it in your
heart to leave me now?" Sadly and tenderly looking up, she thus
replied, with almost failing breath:--

    "Since my departure for this dark journey,
      Makes you so sad and lonely,
    Fain would I stay though weak and weary,
      And live for your sake only!"

"Had I but known this before--"

She appeared to have much more to say, but was too weak to continue.
Overpowered with grief, the Emperor at one moment would fain accompany
her himself, and at another moment would have her remain to the end
where she then was.

At the last, her departure was hurried, because the exorcism for the
sick had been appointed to take place on that evening at her home, and
she went. The child Prince, however, had been left in the Palace, as
his mother wished, even at that time, to make her withdrawal as
privately as possible, so as to avoid any invidious observations on
the part of her rivals. To the Emperor the night now became black with
gloom. He sent messenger after messenger to make inquiries, and could
not await their return with patience. Midnight came, and with it the
sound of lamentation. The messenger, who could do nothing else,
hurried back with the sad tidings of the truth. From that moment the
mind of the Emperor was darkened, and he confined himself to his
private apartments.

He would still have kept with himself the young Prince now motherless,
but there was no precedent for this, and it was arranged that he
should be sent to his grandmother for the mourning. The child, who
understood nothing, looked with amazement at the sad countenances of
the Emperor, and of those around him. All separations have their
sting, but sharp indeed was the sting in a case like this.

Now the funeral took place. The weeping and wailing mother, who might
have longed to mingle in the same flames,[9] entered a carriage,
accompanied by female mourners. The procession arrived at the cemetery
of Otagi, and the solemn rites commenced. What were then the thoughts
of the desolate mother? The image of her dead daughter was still
vividly present to her--still seemed animated with life. She must see
her remains become ashes to convince herself that she was really dead.
During the ceremony, an Imperial messenger came from the Palace, and
invested the dead with the title of Sammi. The letters patent were
read, and listened to in solemn silence. The Emperor conferred this
title now in regret that during her lifetime he had not even promoted
her position from a Kôyi to a Niogo, and wishing at this last moment
to raise her title at least one step higher. Once more several tokens
of disapprobation were manifested against the proceeding. But, in
other respects, the beauty of the departed, and her gracious bearing,
which had ever commanded admiration, made people begin to think of her
with sympathy. It was the excess of the Emperor's favor which had
created so many detractors during her lifetime; but now even rivals
felt pity for her; and if any did not, it was in the Koki-den. "When
one is no more, the memory becomes so dear," may be an illustration of
a case such as this.

Some days passed, and due requiem services were carefully performed.
The Emperor was still plunged in thought, and no society had
attractions for him. His constant consolation was to send messengers
to the grandmother of the child, and to make inquiries after them. It
was now autumn, and the evening winds blew chill and cold. The
Emperor--who, when he saw the first Prince, could not refrain from
thinking of the younger one--became more thoughtful than ever; and, on
this evening, he sent Yugei-no Miôbu[10] to repeat his inquiries. She
went as the new moon just rose, and the Emperor stood and contemplated
from his veranda the prospect spread before him. At such moments he
had usually been surrounded by a few chosen friends, one of whom was
almost invariably his lost love. Now she was no more. The thrilling
notes of her music, the touching strains of her melodies, stole over
him in his dark and dreary reverie.

The Miôbu arrived at her destination; and, as she drove in, a sense of
sadness seized upon her.

The owner of the house had long been a widow; but the residence, in
former times, had been made beautiful for the pleasure of her only
daughter. Now, bereaved of this daughter, she dwelt alone; and the
grounds were overgrown with weeds, which here and there lay prostrated
by the violence of the winds; while over them, fair as elsewhere,
gleamed the mild lustre of the impartial moon. The Miôbu entered, and
was led into a front room in the southern part of the building. At
first the hostess and the messenger were equally at a loss for words.
At length the silence was broken by the hostess, who said:--

"Already have I felt that I have lived too long, but doubly do I feel
it now that I am visited by such a messenger as you." Here she paused,
and seemed unable to contend with her emotion.

"When Naishi-no-Ske returned from you," said the Miôbu, "she reported
to the Emperor that when she saw you, face to face, her sympathy for
you was irresistible. I, too, see now how true it is!" A moment's
hesitation, and she proceeded to deliver the Imperial message:--

"The Emperor commanded me to say that for some time he had wandered in
his fancy, and imagined he was but in a dream; and that, though he was
now more tranquil, he could not find that it was only a dream. Again,
that there is no one who can really sympathize with him; and he hopes
that you will come to the Palace, and talk with him. His Majesty said
also that the absence of the Prince made him anxious, and that he is
desirous that you should speedily make up your mind. In giving me this
message, he did not speak with readiness. He seemed to fear to be
considered unmanly, and strove to exercise reserve. I could not help
experiencing sympathy with him, and hurried away here, almost fearing
that, perhaps, I had not quite caught his full meaning."

So saying, she presented to her a letter from the Emperor. The lady's
sight was dim and indistinct. Taking it, therefore, to the lamp, she
said, "Perhaps the light will help me to decipher," and then read as
follows, much in unison with the oral message: "I thought that time
only would assuage my grief; but time only brings before me more
vividly my recollection of the lost one. Yet, it is inevitable. How is
my boy? Of him, too, I am always thinking. Time once was when we both
hoped to bring him up together. May he still be to you a memento of
his mother!"

Such was the brief outline of the letter, and it contained the
following:--

    "The sound of the wind is dull and drear
      Across Miyagi's[11] dewy lea,
    And makes me mourn for the motherless deer
      That sleeps beneath the Hagi tree."

She put gently the letter aside, and said, "Life and the world are
irksome to me; and you can see, then, how reluctantly I should present
myself at the Palace. I cannot go myself, though it is painful to me
to seem to neglect the honored command. As for the little Prince, I
know not why he thought of it, but he seems quite willing to go. This
is very natural. Please to inform his Majesty that this is our
position. Very possibly, when one remembers the birth of the young
Prince, it would not be well for him to spend too much of his time as
he does now."

Then she wrote quickly a short answer, and handed it to the Miôbu. At
this time her grandson was sleeping soundly.

"I should like to see the boy awake, and to tell the Emperor all about
him, but he will already be impatiently awaiting my return," said the
messenger. And she prepared to depart.

"It would be a relief to me to tell you how a mother laments over her
departed child. Visit me, then, sometimes, if you can, as a friend,
when you are not engaged or pressed for time. Formerly, when you came
here, your visit was ever glad and welcome; now I see in you the
messenger of woe. More and more my life seems aimless to me. From the
time of my child's birth, her father always looked forward to her
being presented at Court, and when dying he repeatedly enjoined me to
carry out that wish. You know that my daughter had no patron to watch
over her, and I well knew how difficult would be her position among
her fellow-maidens. Yet, I did not disobey her father's request, and
she went to Court. There the Emperor showed her a kindness beyond our
hopes. For the sake of that kindness she uncomplainingly endured all
the cruel taunts of envious companions. But their envy ever deepening,
and her troubles ever increasing, at last she passed away, worn out,
as it were, with care. When I think of the matter in that light, the
kindest favors seem to me fraught with misfortune. Ah! that the blind
affection of a mother should make me talk in this way!"

"The thoughts of his Majesty may be even as your own," said the Miôbu.
"Often when he alluded to his overpowering affection for her, he said
that perhaps all this might have been because their love was destined
not to last long. And that though he ever strove not to injure any
subject, yet for Kiri-Tsubo, and for her alone, he had sometimes
caused the ill-will of others; that when all this has been done, she
was no more! All this he told me in deep gloom, and added that it made
him ponder on their previous existence."

The night was now far advanced, and again the Miôbu rose to take
leave. The moon was sailing down westward and the cool breeze was
waving the herbage to and fro, in which numerous _mushi_ were
plaintively singing.[12] The messenger, being still somehow unready to
start, hummed--

    "Fain would one weep the whole night long,
    As weeps the Sudu-Mushi's song,
    Who chants her melancholy lay,
    Till night and darkness pass away."

As she still lingered, the lady took up the refrain--

    "To the heath where the Sudu-Mushi sings,
      From beyond the clouds[13] one comes from on high
    And more dews on the grass around she flings,
      And adds her own, to the night wind's sigh."

A Court dress and a set of beautiful ornamental hairpins, which had
belonged to Kiri-Tsubo, were presented to the Miôbu by her hostess,
who thought that these things, which her daughter had left to be
available on such occasions, would be a more suitable gift, under
present circumstances, than any other.

On the return of the Miôbu she found that the Emperor had not yet
retired to rest. He was really awaiting her return, but was apparently
engaged in admiring the Tsubo-Senzai--or stands of flowers--which were
placed in front of the palaces, and in which the flowers were in full
bloom. With him were four or five ladies, his intimate friends, with
whom he was conversing. In these days his favorite topic of
conversation was the "Long Regret."[14] Nothing pleased him more than
to gaze upon the picture of that poem, which had been painted by
Prince Teishi-In, or to talk about the native poems on the same
subject, which had been composed, at the Royal command, by Ise, the
poetess, and by Tsurayuki, the poet. And it was in this way that he
was engaged on this particular evening.

To him the Miôbu now went immediately, and she faithfully reported to
him all that she had seen, and she gave to him also the answer to his
letter. That letter stated that the mother of Kiri-Tsubo felt honored
by his gracious inquiries, and that she was so truly grateful that she
scarcely knew how to express herself. She proceeded to say that his
condescension made her feel at liberty to offer to him the
following:--

    "Since now no fostering love is found,
      And the Hagi tree is dead and sere,
    The motherless deer lies on the ground,
      Helpless and weak, no shelter near."

The Emperor strove in vain to repress his own emotion; and old
memories, dating from the time when he first saw his favorite, rose up
before him fast and thick. "How precious has been each moment to me,
but yet what a long time has elapsed since then," thought he, and he
said to the Miôbu, "How often have I, too, desired to see the daughter
of the Dainagon in such a position as her father would have desired to
see her. 'Tis in vain to speak of that now!"

A pause, and he continued, "The child, however, may survive, and
fortune may have some boon in store for him; and his grandmother's
prayer should rather be for long life."

The presents were then shown to him. "Ah," thought he, "could they be
the souvenirs sent by the once lost love," as he murmured--

    "Oh, could I find some wizard sprite,
      To bear my words to her I love,
    Beyond the shades of envious night,
      To where she dwells in realms above!"

Now the picture of beautiful Yô-ki-hi, however skilful the painter may
have been, is after all only a picture. It lacks life and animation.
Her features may have been worthily compared to the lotus and to the
willow of the Imperial gardens, but the style after all was Chinese,
and to the Emperor his lost love was all in all, nor, in his eyes, was
any other object comparable to her. Who doubts that they, too, had
vowed to unite wings, and intertwine branches! But to what end? The
murmur of winds, the music of insects, now only served to cause him
melancholy.

In the meantime, in the Koki-Den was heard the sound of music. She who
dwelt there, and who had not now for a long time been with the
Emperor, was heedlessly protracting her strains until this late hour
of the evening.

How painfully must these have sounded to the Emperor!

    "Moonlight is gone, and darkness reigns
      E'en in the realms 'above the clouds,'
    Ah! how can light, or tranquil peace,
      Shine o'er that lone and lowly home!"

Thus thought the Emperor, and he did not retire until "the lamps were
trimmed to the end!" The sound of the night watch of the right
guard[15] was now heard. It was five o'clock in the morning. So, to
avoid notice, he withdrew to his bedroom, but calm slumber hardly
visited his eyes. This now became a common occurrence.

When he rose in the morning he would reflect on the time gone by when
"they knew not even that the casement was bright." But now, too, he
would neglect "Morning Court." His appetite failed him. The delicacies
of the so-called "great table" had no temptation for him. Men pitied
him much. "There must have been some divine mystery that predetermined
the course of their love," said they, "for in matters in which she is
concerned he is powerless to reason, and wisdom deserts him. The
welfare of the State ceases to interest him." And now people actually
began to quote instances that had occurred in a foreign Court.

Weeks and months had elapsed, and the son of Kiri-Tsubo was again at
the Palace. In the spring of the following year the first Prince was
proclaimed heir-apparent to the throne. Had the Emperor consulted his
private feelings, he would have substituted the younger Prince for the
elder one. But this was not possible, and, especially for this
reason:--There was no influential party to support him, and, moreover,
public opinion would also have been strongly opposed to such a
measure, which, if effected by arbitrary power, would have become a
source of danger. The Emperor, therefore, betrayed no such desire, and
repressed all outward appearance of it. And now the public expressed
its satisfaction at the self-restraint of the Emperor, and the mother
of the first Prince felt at ease.

In this year, the mother of Kiri-Tsubo departed this life. She may not
improbably have longed to follow her daughter at an earlier period;
and the only regret to which she gave utterance, was that she was
forced to leave her grandson, whom she had so tenderly loved.

From this time the young Prince took up his residence in the Imperial
palace; and next year, at the age of seven, he began to learn to read
and write under the personal superintendence of the Emperor. He now
began to take him into the private apartments, among others, of the
Koki-den, saying, "The mother is gone! now at least, let the child be
received with better feeling." And if even stony-hearted warriors, or
bitter enemies, if any such there were, smiled when they saw the boy,
the mother of the heir-apparent, too, could not entirely exclude him
from her sympathies. This lady had two daughters, and they found in
their half-brother a pleasant playmate. Every one was pleased to greet
him, and there was already a winning coquetry in his manners, which
amused people, and made them like to play with him. We need not allude
to his studies in detail, but on musical instruments, such as the
flute and the _koto_,[16] he also showed great proficiency.

About this time there arrived an embassy from Corea, and among them
was an excellent physiognomist. When the Emperor heard of this, he
wished to have the Prince examined by him. It was, however, contrary
to the warnings of the Emperor Wuda, to call in foreigners to the
Palace. The Prince was, therefore, disguised as the son of one
Udaiben, his instructor, with whom he was sent to the Kôro-Kwan, where
foreign embassies are entertained.

When the physiognomist saw him, he was amazed, and, turning his own
head from side to side, seemed at first to be unable to comprehend the
lines of his features, and then said, "His physiognomy argues that he
might ascend to the highest position in the State, but, in that case,
his reign will be disturbed, and many misfortunes will ensue. If,
however, his position should only be that of a great personage in the
country, his fortune may be different."

This Udaiben was a clever scholar. He had with the Corean pleasant
conversations, and they also interchanged with one another some
Chinese poems, in one of which the Corean said what great pleasure it
had given him to have seen before his departure, which was now
imminent, a youth of such remarkable promise. The Coreans made some
valuable presents to the Prince, who had also composed a few lines,
and to them, too, many costly gifts were offered from the Imperial
treasures.

In spite of all the precautions which were taken to keep all this
rigidly secret, it did, somehow or other, become known to others, and
among those to the Udaijin, who, not unnaturally, viewed it with
suspicion, and began to entertain doubts of the Emperor's intentions.
The latter, however, acted with great prudence. It must be remembered
that, as yet, he had not even created the boy a Royal Prince. He now
sent for a native physiognomist, who approved of his delay in doing
so, and whose observations to this effect, the Emperor did not receive
unfavorably. He wisely thought to be a Royal Prince, without having
any influential support on the mother's side, would be of no real
advantage to his son. Moreover, his own tenure of power seemed
precarious, and he, therefore, thought it better for his own dynasty,
as well as for the Prince, to keep him in a private station, and to
constitute him an outside supporter of the Royal cause.

And now he took more and more pains with his education in different
branches of learning; and the more the boy studied, the more talent
did he evince--talent almost too great for one destined to remain in a
private station. Nevertheless, as we have said, suspicions would have
been aroused had Royal rank been conferred upon him, and the
astrologists, whom also the Emperor consulted, having expressed their
disapproval of such a measure, the Emperor finally made up his mind to
create a new family. To this family he assigned the name of Gen, and
he made the young Prince the founder of it.[17]

Some time had now elapsed since the death of the Emperor's favorite,
but he was still often haunted by her image. Ladies were introduced
into his presence, in order, if possible, to divert his attention, but
without success.

There was, however, living at this time a young Princess, the fourth
child of a late Emperor. She had great promise of beauty, and was
guarded with jealous care by her mother, the Empress-Dowager. The
Naishi-no-Ske, who had been at the Court from the time of the said
Emperor, was intimately acquainted with the Empress and familiar with
the Princess, her daughter, from her very childhood. This person now
recommended the Emperor to see the Princess, because her features
closely resembled those of Kiri-Tsubo.

"I have now fulfilled," she said, "the duties of my office under three
reigns, and, as yet, I have seen but one person who resembles the
departed. The daughter of the Empress-Dowager does resemble her, and
she is singularly beautiful."

"There may be some truth in this," thought the Emperor, and he began
to regard her with awakening interest.

This was related to the Empress-Dowager. She, however, gave no
encouragement whatever to the idea, "How terrible!" she said. "Do we
not remember the cruel harshness of the mother of the Heir-apparent,
which hastened the fate of Kiri-Tsubo!"

While thus discountenancing any intimacy between her daughter and the
Emperor, she too died, and the princess was left parentless. The
Emperor acted with great kindness, and intimated his wish to regard
her as his own daughter. In consequence of this her guardian, and her
brother, Prince Hiôb-Kiô, considering that life at Court would be
better for her and more attractive for her than the quiet of her own
home, obtained for her an introduction there.

She was styled the Princess Fuji-Tsubo (of the Chamber of Wistaria),
from the name of the chamber which was assigned to her.

There was, indeed, both in features and manners a strange resemblance
between her and Kiri-Tsubo. The rivals of the latter constantly caused
pain both to herself and to the Emperor; but the illustrious birth of
the Princess prevented any one from ever daring to humiliate her, and
she uniformly maintained the dignity of her position. And to her alas!
the Emperor's thoughts were now gradually drawn, though he could not
yet be said to have forgotten Kiri-Tsubo.

The young Prince, whom we now style Genji (the Gen), was still with
the Emperor, and passed his time pleasantly enough in visiting the
various apartments where the inmates of the palace resided. He found
the companionship of all of them sufficiently agreeable; but beside
the many who were now of maturer years, there was one who was still in
the bloom of her youthful beauty, and who more particularly caught his
fancy, the Princess Wistaria. He had no recollection of his mother,
but he had been told by Naishi-no-Ske that this lady was exceedingly
like her; and for this reason he often yearned to see her and to be
with her.

The Emperor showed equal affection to both of them, and he sometimes
told her that he hoped she would not treat the boy with coldness or
think him forward. He said that his affection for the one made him
feel the same for the other too, and that the mutual resemblance of
her own and of his mother's face easily accounted for Genji's
partiality to her. And thus as a result of this generous feeling on
the part of the Emperor, a warmer tinge was gradually imparted both to
the boyish humor and to the awakening sentiment of the young Prince.

The mother of the Heir-apparent was not unnaturally averse to the
Princess, and this revived her old antipathy to Genji also. The beauty
of her son, the Heir-apparent, though remarkable, could not be
compared to his, and so bright and radiant was his face that Genji was
called by the public Hikal-Genji-no-Kimi (the shining Prince Gen).

When he attained the age of twelve the ceremony of Gembuk[18] (or
crowning) took place. This was also performed with all possible
magnificence. Various _fêtes_, which were to take place in public,
were arranged by special order by responsible officers of the
Household. The Royal chair was placed in the Eastern wing of the
Seiriô-Den, where the Emperor dwells, and in front of it were the
seats of the hero of the ceremony and of the Sadaijin, who was to
crown him and to regulate the ceremonial.

About ten o'clock in the forenoon Genji appeared on the scene. The
boyish style of his hair and dress excellently became his features;
and it almost seemed matter for regret that it should be altered. The
Okura-Kiô-Kurahito, whose office it was to rearrange the hair of
Genji, faltered as he did so. As to the Emperor, a sudden thought
stole into his mind. "Ah! could his mother but have lived to have seen
him now!" This thought, however, he at once suppressed. After he had
been crowned the Prince withdrew to a dressing-room, where he attired
himself in the full robes of manhood. Then descending to the
Court-yard he performed a measured dance in grateful acknowledgment.
This he did with so much grace and skill that all present were filled
with admiration; and his beauty, which some feared might be lessened,
seemed only more remarkable from the change. And the Emperor, who had
before tried to resist them, now found old memories irresistible.

Sadaijin had by his wife, who was a Royal Princess, an only daughter.
The Heir-apparent had taken some notice of her, but her father did not
encourage him. He had, on the other hand, some idea of Genji, and had
sounded the Emperor on the subject. He regarded the idea with favor,
and especially on the ground that such a union would be of advantage
to Genji, who had not yet any influential supporters.

Now all the Court and the distinguished visitors were assembled in the
palace, where a great festival was held; Genji occupied a seat next to
that of the Royal Princess. During the entertainment Sadaijin
whispered something several times into his ear, but he was too young
and diffident to make any answer.

Sadaijin was now summoned before the daïs of the Emperor, and,
according to custom, an Imperial gift, a white Ô-Uchiki (grand robe),
and a suit of silk vestments were presented to him by a lady. Then
proffering his own wine-cup, the Emperor addressed him thus:--

    "In the first hair-knot[19] of youth,
    Let love that lasts for age be bound!"

This evidently implied an idea of matrimony. Sadaijin feigned surprise
and responded:--

    "Aye! if the purple[20] of the cord,
    I bound so anxiously, endure!"

He then descended into the Court-yard, and gave expression to his
thanks in the same manner in which Genji had previously done. A horse
from the Imperial stables and a falcon from the Kurand-Dokoro[21] were
on view in the yard, and were now presented to him. The princes and
nobles were all gathered together in front of the grand staircase, and
appropriate gifts were also presented to each one of them. Among the
crowd baskets and trays of fruits and delicacies were distributed by
the Emperor's order, under the direction of Udaiben; and more
rice-cakes and other things were given away now than at the Gembuk of
the Heir-apparent.

In the evening the young Prince went to the mansion of the Sadaijin,
where the espousal with the young daughter of the latter was
celebrated with much splendor. The youthfulness of the beautiful boy
was well pleasing to Sadaijin; but the bride, who was some years older
than he was, and who considered the disparity in their age to be
unsuitable, blushed when she thought of it.

Not only was this Sadaijin himself a distinguished personage in the
State, but his wife was also the sister of the Emperor by the same
mother, the late Empress; and her rank therefore was unequivocal. When
to this we add the union of their daughter with Genji, it was easy to
understand that the influence of Udaijin, the grandfather of the
Heir-apparent, and who therefore seemed likely to attain great power,
was not after all of very much moment.

Sadaijin had several children. One of them, who was the issue of his
Royal wife, was the Kurand Shiôshiô.

Udaijin was not, for political reasons, on good terms with this
family; but nevertheless he did not wish to estrange the youthful
Kurand. On the contrary, he endeavored to establish friendly relations
with him, as was indeed desirable, and he went so far as to introduce
him to his fourth daughter, the younger sister of the Koki-Den.

Genji still resided in the palace, where his society was a source of
much pleasure to the Emperor, and he did not take up his abode in a
private house. Indeed, his bride, Lady Aoi (Lady Hollyhock), though
her position insured her every attention from others, had few charms
for him, and the Princess Wistaria much more frequently occupied his
thoughts. "How pleasant her society, and how few like her!" he was
always thinking; and a hidden bitterness blended with his constant
reveries.

The years rolled on, and Genji being now older was no longer allowed
to continue his visits to the private rooms of the Princess as before.
But the pleasure of overhearing her sweet voice, as its strains flowed
occasionally through the curtained casement, and blended with the
music of the flute and _koto_, made him still glad to reside in the
Palace. Under these circumstances he seldom visited the home of his
bride, sometimes only for a day or two after an absence of five or six
at Court.

His father-in-law, however, did not attach much importance to this, on
account of his youth; and whenever they did receive a visit from him,
pleasant companions were invited to meet him, and various games likely
to suit his taste were provided for his entertainment.

In the Palace, Shigeisa, his late mother's quarters, was allotted to
him, and those who had waited on her waited on him. The private house,
where his grandmother had resided, was beautifully repaired for him by
the Shuri Takmi--the Imperial Repairing Committee--in obedience to the
wishes of the Emperor. In addition to the original loveliness of the
landscape and the noble forest ranges, the basin of the lake was now
enlarged, and similar improvements were effected throughout with the
greatest pains. "Oh, how delightful would it not be to be in a place
like that which such an one as one might choose!" thought Genji within
himself.

We may here also note that the name Hikal Genji is said to have been
originated by the Corean who examined his physiognomy.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 2: The beautiful tree, called Kiri, has been named Paulownia
Imperialis, by botanists.]

[Footnote 3: Official titles held by Court ladies.]

[Footnote 4: The name of a Court office.]

[Footnote 5: A celebrated and beautiful favorite of an Emperor of the
Thang dynasty in China, whose administration was disturbed by a
rebellion, said to have been caused by the neglect of his duties for
her sake.]

[Footnote 6: A Niogo who resided in a part of the Imperial palace
called "Koki-den."]

[Footnote 7: The Hakamagi is the investiture of boys with trousers,
when they pass from childhood to boyhood. In ordinary cases, this is
done when about five years old, but in the Royal Family, it usually
takes place earlier.]

[Footnote 8: A carriage drawn by hands. Its use in the Court-yard of
the Palace was only allowed to persons of distinction.]

[Footnote 9: Cremation was very common in these days.]

[Footnote 10: A Court lady, whose name was Yugei, holding an office
called "Miôbu."]

[Footnote 11: Miyagi is the name of a field which is famous for the
Hagi or Lespedeza, a small and pretty shrub, which blooms in the
Autumn. In poetry it is associated with deer, and a male and female
deer are often compared to a lover and his love, and their young to
their children.]

[Footnote 12: In Japan there is a great number of "mushi" or insects,
which sing in herbage grass, especially in the evenings of Autumn.
They are constantly alluded to in poetry.]

[Footnote 13: In Japanese poetry, persons connected with the Court,
are spoken of as "the people above the clouds."]

[Footnote 14: A famous Chinese poem, by Hak-rak-ten. The heroine of
the poem was Yô-ki-hi, to whom we have made reference before. The
story is, that after death she became a fairy, and the Emperor sent a
magician to find her. The works of the poet Peh-lo-tien, as it is
pronounced by modern Chinese, were the only poems in vogue at that
time. Hence, perhaps, the reason of its being frequently quoted.]

[Footnote 15: There were two divisions of the Imperial guard, right
and left.]

[Footnote 16: The general name for a species of musical instrument
resembling the zither, but longer.]

[Footnote 17: In these days Imperial Princes were often created
founders of new families, and with some given name, the Gen being one
most frequently used. These Princes had no longer a claim to the
throne.]

[Footnote 18: The ceremony of placing a crown or coronet upon the head
of a boy. This was an ancient custom observed by the upper and middle
classes both in Japan and China, to mark the transition from boyhood
to youth.]

[Footnote 19: Before the crown was placed upon the head at the Gembuk,
the hair was gathered up in a conical form from all sides of the head,
and then fastened securely in that form with a knot of silken cords of
which the color was always purple.]

[Footnote 20: The color of purple typifies, and is emblematical of,
love.]

[Footnote 21: A body of men who resembled "Gentlemen-at-arms," and a
part of whose duty it was to attend to the falcons.]



CHAPTER II

THE BROOM-LIKE TREE


Hikal Genji--the name is singularly well known, and is the subject of
innumerable remarks and censures. Indeed, he had many intrigues in his
lifetime, and most of them are vividly preserved in our memories. He
had always striven to keep all these intrigues in the utmost secrecy,
and had to appear constantly virtuous. This caution was observed to
such an extent that he scarcely accomplished anything really romantic,
a fact which Katano-no-Shiôshiô[22] would have ridiculed.

Even with such jealous watchfulness, secrets easily transpire from one
to another; so loquacious is man! Moreover, he had unfortunately from
nature a disposition of not appreciating anything within easy reach,
but of directing his thought in undesirable quarters, hence sundry
improprieties in his career.

Now, it was the season of continuous rain (namely, the month of May),
and the Court was keeping a strict Monoimi.[23] Genji, who had now
been made a Chiûjiô,[24] and who was still continuing his residence in
the Imperial Palace, was also confined to his apartments for a
considerable length of time. His father-in-law naturally felt for him,
and his sons were sent to bear him company. Among these, Kurand
Shiôshiô, who was now elevated to the post of Tô-no-Chiûjiô, proved to
be the most intimate and interesting companion. He was married to the
fourth daughter of the Udaijin, but being a man of lively disposition,
he, too, like Genji, did not often resort to the mansion of the bride.
When Genji went to the Sadaijin's he was always his favorite
associate; they were together in their studies and in their sports,
and accompanied each other everywhere. And so all stiffness and
formality were dispensed with, and they did not scruple to reveal
their secrets to each other.

It was on an evening in the above-mentioned season. Rain was falling
drearily. The inhabitants of the Palace had almost all retired, and
the apartment of Genji was more than usually still. He was engaged in
reading near a lamp, but at length mechanically put his book aside,
and began to take out some letters and writings from a bureau which
stood on one side of the room. Tô-no-Chiûjiô happened to be present,
and Genji soon gathered from his countenance that he was anxious to
look over them.

"Yes," said Genji; "some you may see, but there may be others!"

"Those others," retorted Tô-no-Chiûjiô, "are precisely those which I
wish to see; ordinary ones, even your humble servant may have
received. I only long to look upon those which may have been written
by fair hands, when the tender writer had something to complain of, or
when in twilight hour she was outpouring all her yearning!"

Being so pressed, Genji allowed his brother-in-law to see them all. It
is, however, highly probable that any very sacred letters would not
have been loosely deposited in an ordinary bureau; and these would
therefore seem, after all, to have been of second-rate importance.

"What a variety," said Tô-no-Chiûjiô, as he turned them over, and he
asked several questions guessingly about this or that. About some he
guessed correctly, about others he was puzzled and suspicious.[25]
Genji smiled and spoke little, only making some obscure remark, and
continuing as he took the letters: "but _you_, surely, must have
collected many. Will not you show me some? And then my bureau also may
open more easily."

"You do not suppose that I have any worth reading, do you?" replied
Tô-no-Chiûjiô. "I have only just now discovered," continued he, "how
difficult it is to meet with a fair creature, of whom one can say,
'This is, indeed, _the_ one; here is, at last, perfection.' There are,
indeed, many who fascinate; many who are ready with their pens, and
who, when occasion may require, are quick at repartee. But how often
such girls as these are conceited about their own accomplishments, and
endeavor unduly to disparage those of others! There are again some who
are special pets of their parents, and most jealously watched over at
home. Often, no doubt, they are pretty, often graceful; and frequently
they will apply themselves with effect to music and to poetry, in
which they may even attain to special excellence. But then, their
friends will keep their drawbacks in the dark, and eulogize their
merits to the utmost. If we were to give full credence to this
exaggerated praise, we could not but fail in every single instance to
be more or less disappointed."

So saying Tô-no-Chiûjiô paused, and appeared as if he were ashamed of
having such an experience, when Genji smilingly remarked, "Can any one
of them, however, exist without at least one good point?"

"Nay, were there any so little favored as that, no one would ever be
misled at all!" replied Tô-no-Chiûjiô, and he continued, "In my
opinion, the most and the least favored are in the same proportion. I
mean, they are both not many. Their birth, also, divides them into
three classes. Those, however, who are especially well born, are often
too jealously guarded, and are, for the most part, kept secluded from
the outside gaze, which frequently tends to make their deportment shy
and timid. It is those of the middle class, who are much more
frequently seen by us, who afford us most chance of studying their
character. As for the lower class, it would be almost useless to
trouble ourselves with them."

Thus Tô-no-Chiûjiô appeared to be thoroughly at home in his
description of the merits of the fair sex, which made Genji amused,
and he said: "But how do you define the classes you have referred to,
and classify them into three? Those who are of high birth sink
sometimes in the social scale until the distinction of their rank is
forgotten in the abjectness of their present position. Others, again,
of low origin, rise to a high position, and, with self-important faces
and in ostentatious residences, regard themselves as inferior to none.
Into what class will you allot _these_?"

Just at this moment the Sama-no-Kami[26] and Tô Shikib-no-Jiô[27]
joined the party. They came to pay their respects to Genji, and both
of them were gay and light-hearted talkers. So Tô-no-Chiûjiô now made
over the discussion to them, and it was carried to rather questionable
lengths.

"However exalted a lady's position may be," said Sama-no-Kami, "if her
origin is an unenviable one, the estimation of the public for her
would be widely different from that which it shows to those who are
naturally entitled to it. If, again, adverse fortune assails one whose
birth is high, so that she becomes friendless and helpless,
degradation here will meet our eyes, though her heart may still remain
as noble as ever. Examples of both of these are very common. After
much reflection, I can only come to the conclusion that both of them
should be included in the middle class. In this class, too, must be
included many daughters of the Duriô,[28] who occupy themselves with
local administration. These ladies are often very attractive, and are
not seldom introduced at Court and enjoy high favor."

"And successes depend pretty much upon the state of one's fortune, I
fancy," interrupted Genji, with a placid smile.

"That is a remark very unlikely to fall from the lips of a champion of
romance," chimed in Tô-no-Chiûjiô.

"There may be some," resumed Sama-no-Kami, "who are of high birth, and
to whom public respect is duly paid, yet whose domestic education has
been much neglected. Of a lady such as this we may simply remark,
'Why, and how, is it that she is so brought up?' and she would only
cause discredit to her class. There are, of course, some who combine
in themselves every perfection befitting their position. These best of
the best are, however, not within every one's reach. But, listen!
Within an old dilapidated gateway, almost unknown to the world, and
overgrown with wild vegetation, perchance we might find, shut up, a
maiden charming beyond imagination. Her father might be an aged man,
corpulent in person, and stern in mien, and her brothers of repulsive
countenance; but there, in an uninviting room, she lives, full of
delicacy and sentiment, and fairly skilled in the arts of poetry or
music, which she may have acquired by her own exertions alone,
unaided. If there were such a case, surely she deserves our
attention, save that of those of us who themselves are highly exalted
in position."

So saying, Sama-no-Kami winked slyly at Shikib-no-Jiô. The latter was
silent: perhaps he fancied that Sama-no-Kami was speaking in the above
strain, with a hidden reference to his (Shikib's) sisters, who, he
imagined, answered the description.

Meantime, Genji may have thought, "If it is so difficult to choose one
even from the best class, how can--Ah!" and he began to close his eyes
and doze. His dress was of soft white silk, partly covered by the
_naoshi_,[29] worn carelessly, with its cord left loose and untied.
His appearance and bearing formed quite a picture.

Meanwhile, the conversation went on about different persons and
characters, and Sama-no-Kami proceeded: "It is unquestionable that
though at first glance many women appear to be without defects, yet
when we come to the actual selection of any one of them, we should
seriously hesitate in our choice.

"Let me illustrate my meaning by reference to the numerous public men
who may be aspiring to fulfil the duties of several important posts.
You will at once recognize the great difficulty there would be in
fixing upon the individual statesman under whose guardianship the
empire could best repose. And supposing that, if at last, by good
fortune, the most able man were designated, even then we must bear in
mind that it is not in the power of one or two individuals, however
gifted they may be, to carry on the whole administration of the
kingdom alone. Public business can only be tranquilly conducted when
the superior receives the assistance of subordinates, and when the
subordinate yields a becoming respect and loyalty to his superior, and
affairs are thus conducted in a spirit of mutual conciliation. So,
too, it is in the narrow range of the domestic circle. To make a good
mistress of that circle, one must possess, if our ideal is to be fully
realized, many important qualifications. Were we to be constantly
indulging in the severity of criticism, always objecting to this or
that, a perfect character would be almost unattainable. Men should
therefore bear with patience any trifling dissatisfaction which they
may feel, and strive constantly to keep alive, to augment, and to
cherish, the warmth of their early love. Only such a man as this can
be called faithful, and the partner of such a man alone can enjoy the
real happiness of affection. How unsatisfactory to us, however, seems
the actual world if we look round upon it. Still more difficult must
it be to satisfy such as you who seek your companions but from among
the best!

"How varied are the characters and the dispositions of women! Some who
are youthful and favored by Nature strive almost selfishly to keep
themselves with the utmost reserve. If they write, they write
harmlessly and innocently; yet, at the same time, they are choice in
their expressions, which have delicate touches of bewitching
sentiment. This might possibly make us entertain a suddenly conceived
fancy for them; yet they would give us but slight encouragement. They
may allow us just to hear their voices, but when we approach them they
will speak with subdued breath, and almost inaudibly. Beware, however,
lest among these you chance to encounter some astute artiste, who,
under a surface that is smooth, conceals a current that is deep. This
sort of lady, it is true, generally appears quite modest; but often
proves, when we come closer, to be of a very different temperament
from what we anticipated. Here is one drawback to be guarded against.

"Among characters differing from the above, some are too full of
sentimental sweetness--whenever occasion offers them romance they
become spoilt. Such would be decidedly better if they had less
sentiment, and more sense.

"Others, again, are singularly earnest--too earnest, indeed--in the
performance of their domestic duty; and such, with their hair pushed
back,[30] devote themselves like household drudges to household
affairs. Man, whose duties generally call him from home all the day,
naturally hears and sees the social movements both of public and
private life, and notices different things, both good and bad. Of such
things he would not like to talk freely with strangers, but only with
some one closely allied to him. Indeed, a man may have many things in
his mind which cause him to smile or to grieve. Occasionally something
of a political nature may irritate him beyond endurance. These matters
he would like to talk over with his fair companion, that she might
soothe him, and sympathize with him. But a woman as above described is
often unable to understand him, or does not endeavor to do so; and
this only makes him more miserable. At another time he may brood over
his hopes and aspirations; but he has no hope of solace. She is not
only incapable of sharing these with him, but might carelessly remark,
'What ails you?' How severely would this try the temper of a man!

"If, then, we clearly see all these, the only suggestion I can make is
that the best thing to do is to choose one who is gentle and modest,
and strive to guide and educate her according to the best ideal we may
think of. This is the best plan; and why should we not do so? Our
efforts would not be surely all in vain. But no! A girl whom we thus
educate, and who proves to be competent to bear us company, often
disappoints us when she is left alone. She may then show her
incapability, and her occasional actions may be done in such an
unbecoming manner that both good and bad are equally displeasing. Are
not all these against us men?--Remember, however, that there are some
who may not be very agreeable at ordinary times, yet who flash
occasionally upon us with a potent and almost irresistible charm."

Thus Sama-no-Kami, though eloquent, not having come to one point or
another, remained thoughtful for some minutes, and again resumed:--

"After all, as I have once observed, I can only make this suggestion:
That we should not too much consider either birth or beauty, but
select one who is gentle and tranquil, and consider her to be best
suited for our last haven of rest. If, in addition, she is of fair
position, and is blessed with sweetness of temper, we should be
delighted with her, and not trouble ourselves to search or notice any
trifling deficiency. And the more so as, if her conscience is clear
and pure, calmness and serenity of features can naturally be looked
for.

"There are women who are too diffident, and too reserved, and carry
their generosity to such an extent as to pretend not to be aware even
of such annoyances as afford them just grounds of complaint. A time
arrives when their sorrows and anxieties become greater than they can
bear. Even then, however, they cannot resort to plain speaking, and
complain. But, instead thereof, they will fly away to some remote
retreat among the mountain hamlets, or to some secluded spot by the
seaside, leaving behind them some painful letter or despairing verses,
and making themselves mere sad memories of the past. Often when a boy
I heard such stories read by ladies, and the sad pathos of them even
caused my tears to flow; but now I can only declare such deeds to be
acts of mere folly. For what does it all amount to? Simply to this:
That the woman, in spite of the pain which it causes her, and
discarding a heart which may be still lingering towards her, takes to
flight, regardless of the feelings of others--of the anguish, and of
the anxiety, which those who are dearest to her suffer with her. Nay,
this act of folly may even be committed simply to test the sincerity
of her lover's affection for her. What pitiable subtlety!

"Worse than this, the woman thus led astray, perhaps by ill advice,
may even be beguiled into more serious errors. In the depth of her
despairing melancholy she will become a nun. Her conscience, when she
takes the fatal vow, may be pure and unsullied, and nothing may seem
able to call her back again to the world which she forsook. But, as
time rolls on, some household servant or aged nurse brings her tidings
of the lover who has been unable to cast her out of his heart, and
whose tears drop silently when he hears aught about her. Then, when
she hears of his affections still living, and his heart still
yearning, and thinks of the uselessness of the sacrifice she has made
voluntarily, she touches the hair[31] on her forehead, and she becomes
regretful. She may, indeed, do her best to persevere in her resolve,
but if one single tear bedews her cheek, she is no longer strong in
the sanctity of her vow. Weakness of this kind would be in the eyes of
Buddha more sinful than those offences which are committed by those
who never leave the lay circle at all, and she would eventually wander
about in the 'wrong passage.'[32]

"But there are also women, who are too self-confident and obtrusive.
These, if they discover some slight inconsistency in men, fiercely
betray their indignation and behave with arrogance. A man may show a
little inconsistency occasionally, but yet his affection may remain;
then matters will in time become right again, and they will pass
their lives happily together. If, therefore, the woman cannot show a
tolerable amount of patience, this will but add to her unhappiness.
She should, above all things, strive not to give way to excitement;
and when she experiences any unpleasantness, she should speak of it
frankly but with moderation. And if there should be anything worse
than unpleasantness she should even then complain of it in such a way
as not to irritate the men. If she guides her conduct on principles
such as these, even her very words, her very demeanor, may in all
probability increase his sympathy and consideration for her. One's
self-denial and the restraint which one imposes upon one's self, often
depend on the way in which another behaves to us. The woman who is too
indifferent and too forgiving is also inconsiderate. Remember 'the
unmoored boat floats about.' Is it not so?"

Tô-no-Chiûjiô quickly nodded assent, as he said, "Quite true! A woman
who has no strength of emotion, no passion of sorrow or of joy, can
never be holders of us. Nay even jealousy, if not carried to the
extent of undue suspicion, is not undesirable. If we ourselves are not
in fault, and leave the matter alone, such jealousy may easily be kept
within due bounds. But stop"--added he suddenly--"Some women have to
bear, and do bear, every grief that they may encounter with
unmurmuring and suffering patience."

So said Tô-no-Chiûjiô, who implied by this allusion that his sister
was a woman so circumstanced. But Genji was still dozing, and no
remark came from his lips.

Sama-no-Kami had been recently made a doctor of literature, and (like
a bird) was inflating his feathers, so Tô-no-Chiûjiô, willing to draw
him out as much as possible, gave him every encouragement to proceed
with his discourse.

Again, therefore, he took up the conversation, and said, "Call to your
mind affairs in general, and judge of them. Is it not always true that
reality and sincerity are to be preferred to merely artificial
excellence? Artisans, for instance, make different sorts of articles,
as their talents serve them. Some of them are keen and expert, and
cleverly manufacture objects of temporary fashion, which have no fixed
or traditional style, and which are only intended to strike the
momentary fancy. These, however, are not the true artisans. The real
excellence of the true artisan is tested by those who make, without
defects or sensational peculiarities, articles to decorate, we will
say, some particular building, in conformity with correct taste and
high æsthetic principles. Look for another instance at the eminence
which has been attained by several of the artists of the Imperial
College of Painting. Take the case of draughtsmen in black ink.
Pictures, indeed, such as those of Mount Horai,[33] which has never
been beheld by mortal eye, or of some raging monstrous fish in a rough
sea, or of a wild animal of some far-off country, or of the imaginary
face of the demon, are often drawn with such striking vividness that
people are startled at the sight of them. These pictures, however, are
neither real nor true. On the other hand, ordinary scenery, of
familiar mountains, of calm streams of water, and of dwellings just
before our eyes, may be sketched with an irregularity so charming, and
with such excellent skill, as almost to rival Nature. In pictures such
as these, the perspective of gentle mountain slopes, and sequestered
nooks surrounded by leafy trees, are drawn with such admirable
fidelity to Nature that they carry the spectator in imagination to
something beyond them. These are the pictures in which is mostly
evinced the spirit and effectiveness of the superior hand of a master;
and in these an inferior artist would only show dulness and
inefficiency.

"Similar observations are applicable to handwriting.[34] Some people
boldly dash away with great freedom and endless flourishes, and appear
at the first glance to be elegant and skilful. But that which is
written with scrupulous neatness, in accordance with the true rules of
penmanship, constitutes a very different handwriting from the above.
If perchance the upstrokes and downstrokes do not, at first sight,
appear to be fully formed, yet when we take it up and critically
compare it with writing in which dashes and flourishes predominate, we
shall at once see how much more of real and sterling merit it
possesses.

"Such then is the nature of the case in painting, in penmanship, and
in the arts generally. And how much more then are those women
undeserving of our admiration, who though they are rich in outward and
in fashionable display, attempting to dazzle our eyes, are yet
lacking in the solid foundations of reality, fidelity, and truth! Do
not, my friends, consider me going too far, but let me proceed to
illustrate these observations by my own experience."

So saying, Sama-no-Kami advanced his seat, and Genji awoke.
Tô-no-Chiûjiô was quite interested in the conversation, and was
keeping his eye upon the speaker, leaning his cheek upon his hand.
This long discourse of Sama-no-Kami reminds us of the preacher's
sermon, and amuses us. And it seems that, on occasions like these, one
may easily be carried away by circumstances, until he is willing to
communicate even his own private affairs.

"It was at a time," continued Sama-no-Kami, "when I was in a still
more humble position, that there was a girl to whom I had taken a
fancy. She was like one of those whom I described in the process of my
discourse; not a regular beauty. Although for this reason my youthful
vanity did not allow me to pledge myself to her forever, I still
considered her a pleasant companion. Nevertheless, from occasional
fits of restlessness, I roamed often here and there. This she always
resented fiercely, and with so much indignation that I sighed for a
sweeter temper and more moderation. Indeed, there were times when her
suspicion and spitefulness were more than I could endure. But my
irritation was generally calmed down, and I even felt sorry myself,
when I reflected how strong and devoted her affection for me was, in
spite of the mean state of my circumstances. As to her general
character, her only endeavor seemed to be to do everything for my
sake, even what was beyond her powers, while she struggled to perfect
herself in anything in which she might be deficient, and took the most
faithful care of all my interests, striving constantly and earnestly
to please me. She appeared at first even too zealous, but in time
became more moderate. She seemed as if she felt uneasy lest her plain
face should cause me displeasure, and she even denied herself the
sight of other people, in order to avoid unbecoming comment.

"As time went by, the more I became accustomed to observe how really
simple-hearted she was, the more I sympathized with her. The one thing
that I could not bear, however, was that jealousy of hers. Sincere and
devoted as she is, thought I, is there no means of ridding her of this
jealous weakness? Could I but do that, it would not matter even if I
were to alarm her a little. And I also thought that since she was
devoted to me, if I showed any symptoms of getting tired of her, she
would, in all probability, be warned by it. Therefore, I purposely
behaved to her with great coolness and heartlessness. This she
resented as usual. I then said to her, that though our affection had
been of old date, I should not see her again; 'if you wish to sever
from me you may suspect me as much as you like. If you prefer to enjoy
long happiness with me in future, be modest and patient in trifling
matters. If you can only be so, how can I do otherwise than love you?
My position also may in time be improved, and then we may enjoy
greater happiness!'

"In saying this, I thought I had managed matters very ingeniously.
Without meaning it, however, I had in fact spoken a little too
harshly. She replied, with a bitter smile, that 'to put up with a life
of undistinguished condition, even though with faint hopes of future
promotion, was not a thing about which we ought to trouble ourselves,
but that it was indeed a hard task to pass long wearisome days in
waiting until a man's mind should be restored to a sense of propriety.
And that for this reason we had, perhaps, better separate at once.'

"This she said with such sarcastic bitterness that I was irritated and
stung to the quick, and overwhelmed her with a fresh torrent of
reproaches. At this juncture she gave way to an uncontrollable fit of
passion, and snatching up my hand, she thrust my little finger into
her mouth and bit off the end of it. Then, notwithstanding my pain, I
became quite cool and collected, and calmly said, 'insulted and maimed
as I have now been, it is most fitting that I should absent myself for
the future from polite society. Office and title would ill become me
now. Your spite has now left me without spirit to face the world in
which I should be ridiculed, and has left me no alternative but to
withdraw my maimed person from the public gaze!' After I had alarmed
her by speaking in this exalted strain, I added, 'to-day we meet for
the last time,' and bending these fingers (pointing to them as she
spoke) I made the farewell remark:--

    When on my fingers, I must say
      I count the hours I spent with thee,
    Is this, and this alone, I pray
      The only pang you've caused to me?

You are now quits with me,' At the instant I said so, she burst into
tears and without premeditation, poured forth the following:--

    'From me, who long bore grievous harms,
      From that cold hand and wandering heart,
    You now withdraw your sheltering arms,
      And coolly tell me, we must part.'

"To speak the truth, I had no real intention of separating from her
altogether. For some time, however, I sent her no communication, and
was passing rather an unsettled life. Well! I was once returning from
the palace late one evening in November, after an experimental
practice of music for a special festival in the Temple of Kamo. Sleet
was falling heavily. The wind blew cold, and my road was dark and
muddy. There was no house near where I could make myself at home. To
return and spend a lonely night in the palace was not to be thought
of. At this moment a reflection flashed across my mind. 'How cold must
she feel whom I have treated so coldly,' thought I, and suddenly
became very anxious to know what she felt and what she was about. This
made me turn my steps towards her dwelling, and brushing away the snow
that had gathered on my shoulders I trudged on: at one moment shyly
biting my nails, at another thinking that on such a night at least all
her enmity towards me might be all melted away. I approached the
house. The curtains were not drawn, and I saw the dim light of a lamp
reflected on the windows. It was even perceivable that a soft quilt
was being warmed and thrown over the large couch. The scene was such
as to give you the notion that she was really anticipating that I
might come at least on such an evening. This gave me encouragement,
but alas! she whom I hoped to see was not at home. I was told she had
gone to her parents that very evening. Previous to that time, she had
sent me no sad verses, no conciliatory letter, and this had already
given birth to unpleasant feelings on my part. And at this moment,
when I was told that she had gone away, all these things seemed to
have been done almost purposely, and I involuntarily began to suspect
that her very jealousy had only been assumed by her on purpose to
cause me to become tired of her.

"As I reflected what our future might be after such an estrangement as
this, I was truly depressed. I did not, however, give up all hope,
thinking that she would not be so determined as to abandon me forever.
I had even carefully selected some stuff for a dress for her. Some
time, however, passed away without anything particularly occurring.
She neither accepted nor refused the offers of reconciliation which I
made to her. She did not, it is true, hide herself away like any of
those of whom I have spoken before. But, nevertheless, she did not
evince the slightest symptom of regret for her previous conduct.

"At last, after a considerable interval, she intimated to me that her
final resolve was not to forgive me any more if I intended in future
to behave as I had done before; but that, on the other hand, she
should be glad to see me again if I would thoroughly change my habits,
and treat her with the kindness which was her due. From this I became
more convinced that she still entertained longings for me. Hence, with
the hope of warning her a little more, I made no expressions of any
intention to make a change in my habits, and I tried to find out which
of us had the most patience.

"While matters were in this state, she, to my great surprise, suddenly
died, perhaps broken-hearted.

"I must now frankly confess that she certainly was a woman in whom a
man might place his confidence. Often, too, I had talked with her on
music and on poetry, as well as on the more important business of
life, and I found her to be by no means wanting in intellect and
capability. She had too the clever hands of Tatyta-himè[35] and
Tanabata.[36]

"When I recall these pleasant memories my heart still clings to her
endearingly."

"Clever in weaving, she may have been like Tanabata, that is but a
small matter," interposed Tô-no-Chiûjiô, "we should have preferred to
have seen your love as enduring as Tanabata's.[37] Nothing is so
beautiful as the brilliant dyes spread over the face of Nature, yet
the red tints of autumn are often not dyed to a color so deep as we
desire, because of the early drying of the dew, so we say, 'such is
the uncertain fate of this world,'" and so saying, he made a sign to
Sama-no-Kami to go on with his story. He went on accordingly.

"About that time I knew another lady. She was on the whole a superior
kind of person. A fair poetess, a good musician, and a fluent speaker,
with good enunciation, and graceful in her movements. All these
admirable qualities I noticed myself, and heard them spoken of by
others. As my acquaintance with her commenced at the time when I was
not on the best of terms with my former companion, I was glad to enjoy
her society. The more I associated with her the more fascinating she
became.

"Meanwhile my first friend died, at which I felt truly sorry, still I
could not help it, and I therefore paid frequent visits to this one.
In the course of my attentions to her, however, I discovered many
unpleasant traits. She was not very modest, and did not appear to be
one whom a man could trust. On this account, I became somewhat
disappointed, and visited her less often. While matters were on this
footing I accidentally found out that she had another lover to whom
she gave a share of her heart.

"It happened that one inviting moonlight evening in October, I was
driving out from home on my way to a certain Dainagon. On the road I
met with a young noble who was going in the same direction. We
therefore drove together, and as we were journeying on, he told me
that 'some one might be waiting for him, and he was anxious to see
her'; well! by and by we arrived at the house of my lady-love. The
bright reflection of the waters of an ornamental lake was seen through
crevices in the walls; and the pale moon, as she shed her full
radiance over the shimmering waves, seemed to be charmed with the
beauty of the scene. It would have been heartless to pass by with
indifference, and we both descended from the carriage, without knowing
each other's intention.

"This youth seems to have been 'the other one'; he was rather shy. He
sat down on a mat of reeds that was spread beside a corridor near the
gateway; and, gazing up at the sky, meditated for some moments in
silence. The chrysanthemums in the gardens were in full bloom, whose
sweet perfume soothed us with its gentle influence; and round about us
the scarlet leaves of the maple were falling, as ever and anon they
were shaken by the breeze. The scene was altogether romantic.

"Presently, he took a flute out of his bosom and played. He then
whispered, 'Its shade is refreshing.'

"In a few minutes the fair one struck up responsively on a sweet-toned
_wagon_ (a species of _koto_).

"The melody was soft and exquisite, in charming strains of modern
music, and admirably adapted to the lovely evening. No wonder that he
was fascinated; he advanced towards the casement from which the sounds
proceeded, and glancing at the leaves scattered on the ground,
whispered in invidious tones, 'Sure no strange footsteps would ever
dare to press these leaves.' He then culled a chrysanthemum, humming,
as he did so:--

    'Even this spot, so fair to view
      With moon, and Koto's gentle strain,
    Could make no other lover true,
      As me, thy fond, thy only swain.'

"'Wretched!' he exclaimed, alluding to his poetry; and then added,
'One tune more! Stay not your hand when one is near, who so ardently
longs to hear you.' Thus he began to flatter the lady, who, having
heard his whispers, replied thus, in a tender, hesitating voice:--

    'Sorry I am my voice too low
      To match thy flute's far sweeter sound;
    Which mingles with the winds that blow
      The Autumn leaves upon the ground.'

"Ah! she little thought I was a silent and vexed spectator of all this
flirtation. She then took up a _soh_ (another kind of _koto_ with
thirteen strings) and tuned it to a Banjiki key (a winter tune), and
played on it still more excellently. Though an admirer of music, I
cannot say that these bewitching melodies gave me any pleasure under
the peculiar circumstances I stood in.

"Now, romantic interludes, such as this, might be pleasant enough in
the case of maidens who are kept strictly in Court service, and whom
we have very little opportunity of meeting with, but even there we
should hesitate to make such a one our life companion. How much less
could one ever entertain such an idea in a case like my own? Making,
therefore, that evening's experience a ground of dissatisfaction I
never saw her more.

"Now, gentlemen, let us take into consideration these two instances
which have occurred to myself and see how equally unsatisfactory they
are. The one too jealous, the other too forward. Thus, early in life,
I found out how little reliance was to be placed on such characters.
And now I think so still more; and this opinion applies more
especially to the latter of the two. Dewdrops on the 'Hagi flower' of
beauty so delicate that they disappear as soon as we touch
them--hailstones on the bamboo grass that melt in our hand as soon as
we prick them--appear at a distance extremely tempting and attractive.
Take my humble advice, however, and go not near them. If you do not
appreciate this advice now, the lapse of another seven years will
render you well able to understand that such adventures will only
bring a tarnished fame."

Thus Sama-no-Kami admonished them, and Tô-no-Chiûjiô nodded as usual.
Genji slightly smiled; perhaps he thought it was all very true, and he
said, "Your twofold experience was indeed disastrous and irritating!"

"Now," said Tô-no-Chiûjiô, "I will tell you a story concerning myself.
It was the evil fortune of Sama-no-Kami to meet with too much jealousy
in one of the ladies to whom he might otherwise have given his heart;
while he could feel no confidence in another owing to flirtations. It
was my hard lot to encounter an instance of excessive diffidence. I
once knew a girl whose person was altogether pleasing, and although I,
too, had no intention, as Sama-no-Kami said, of forming an everlasting
connection with her, I nevertheless took a great fancy to her. As our
acquaintance was prolonged, our mutual affection grew warmer. My
thoughts were always of her, and she placed entire confidence in me.
Now, when complete confidence is placed by one person in another, does
not Nature teach us to expect resentment when that confidence is
abused? No such resentment, however, seemed under any circumstances to
trouble her. When I very seldom visited her, she showed no excitement
or indignation, but behaved and looked as if we had never been
separated from each other. This patient silence was more trying to me
than reproaches. She was parentless and friendless. For this reason
responsibility weighed more heavily on me. Abusing her gentle nature,
however, I frequently neglected her. About this time, moreover, a
certain person who lived near her, discovered our friendship, and
frightened her by sending, through some channel, mischief-making
messages to her. This I did not become aware of till afterwards, and,
it seems, she was quite cast down and helpless. She had a little one
for whose sake, it appears, she was additionally sad. One day I
unexpectedly received a bunch of Nadeshiko[38] flowers. They were from
her."

At this point Tô-no-Chiûjiô became gloomy.

"And what," inquired Genji, "were the words of her message?"

"Sir! nothing but the verse,

    Forgot may be the lowly bed
      From which these darling flowerets spring,
    Still let a kindly dew be shed,
      Upon their early nurturing.

"No sooner had I read this than I went to her at once. She was gentle
and sedate as usual, but evidently absent and preoccupied. Her eyes
rested on the dew lying on the grass in the garden, and her ears were
intent upon the melancholy singing of the autumn insects. It was as if
we were in a real romance. I said to her:--

    When with confused gaze we view
      The mingled flowers on gay parterre,
    Amid their blooms of radiant hue
      The Tokonatz,[39] my love, is there.

And avoiding all allusion to the Nadeshiko flowers, I repeatedly
endeavored to comfort the mother's heart. She murmured in reply:--

    'Ah! Flower already bent with dew,
      The winds of autumn cold and chill
    Will wither all thy beauteous hue,
      And soon, alas, unpitying kill.'

Thus she spoke sadly. But she reproached me no further. The tears came
involuntarily into her eyes. She was, however, apparently sorry for
this, and tried to conceal them. On the whole she behaved as if she
meant to show that she was quite accustomed to such sorrows. I
certainly deeply sympathized with her, yet still further abusing her
patience. I did not visit her again for some time; but I was
punished. When I did so she had flown, leaving no traces behind her.
If she is still living she must needs be passing a miserable
existence.

"Now, if she had been free from this excessive diffidence, this apathy
of calmness, if she had complained when it was necessary, with
becoming warmth and spirit, she need never have been a wanderer, and I
would never have abused her confidence. But, as I said before, a woman
who has no strength of emotion, no passionate bursts of sorrow or of
joy, can never retain a dominion over us.

"I loved this woman without understanding her nature; and I am
constantly, but in vain, trying to find her and her little darling,
who was also very lovely; and often I think with grief and pain that,
though I may succeed in forgetting her, she may possibly not be able
to forget me, and, surely, there must be many an evening when she is
disquieted by sad memories of the past.

"Let us now sum up our experiences, and reflect on the lessons which
they teach us. One who bites your finger will easily estrange your
affection by her violence. Falseness and forwardness will be the
reproach of some other, in spite of her melodious music and the
sweetness of her songs. A third, too self-contained and too gentle, is
open to the charge of a cold silence, which oppresses one, and cannot
be understood.

"Whom, then, are we to choose? All this variety, and this perplexing
difficulty of choice, seems to be the common lot of humanity. Where,
again, I say, are we to go to find the one who will realize our
desires? Shall we fix our aspirations on the beautiful goddess, the
heavenly Kichijiô?[40] Ah! this would be but superstitious and
impracticable."

So mournfully finished Tô-no-Chiûjiô; and all his companions, who had
been attentively listening, burst simultaneously into laughter at his
last allusion.

"And now, Shikib, it is your turn. Tell us your story," exclaimed
Tô-no-Chiûjiô, turning to him.

"What worth hearing can your humble servant tell you?"

"Go on; be quick; don't be shy; let us hear!"

Shikib-no-Jiô, after a little meditation, thus began:--

"When I was a student at the University, I met there with a woman of
very unusual intelligence. She was in every respect one with whom, as
Sama-no-Kami has said, you could discuss affairs, both public and
private. Her dashing genius and eloquence were such that all ordinary
scholars would find themselves unable to cope with her, and would be
at once reduced to silence. Now, my story is as follows:--

"I was taking lessons from a certain professor, who had several
daughters, and she was one of them. It happened by some chance or
other I fell much into her society. The professor, who noticed this,
once took up a wine-cup in his hand, and said to me, 'Hear what I sing
about two choices.'[41]

"This was a plain offer put before me, and thenceforward I endeavored,
for the sake of his tuition, to make myself as agreeable as possible
to his daughter. I tell you frankly, however, that I had no particular
affection for her, though she seemed already to regard me as her
victim. She seized every opportunity of pointing out to me the way in
which we should have to steer, both in public and private life. When
she wrote to me she never employed the effeminate style of the
Kana,[42] but wrote, oh! so magnificently! The great interest which
she took in me induced me to pay frequent visits to her; and, by
making her my tutor, I learned how to compose ordinary Chinese poems.
However, though I do not forget all these benefits, and though it is
no doubt true that our wife or daughter should not lack intelligence,
yet, for the life of me, I cannot bring myself to approve of a woman
like this. And still less likely is it that such could be of any use
to the wives of high personages like yourselves. Give me a lovable
nature in lieu of sharpness! I quite agree with Sama-no-Kami on this
point."

"What an interesting woman she must have been," exclaimed
Tô-no-Chiûjiô, with the intention of making Shikib go on with his
story.

This he fully understood, and, making a grimace, he thus proceeded:--

"Once when I went to her after a long absence--a way we all have, you
know--she did not receive me openly as usual, but spoke to me from
behind a screen. I surmised that this arose from chagrin at my
negligence, and I intended to avail myself of this opportunity to
break with her. But the sagacious woman was a woman of the world, and
not like those who easily lose their temper or keep silence about
their grief. She was quite as open and frank as Sama-no-Kami would
approve of. She told me, in a low clear voice, 'I am suffering from
heartburn, and I cannot, therefore, see you face to face; yet, if you
have anything important to say to me, I will listen to you.' This was,
no doubt, a plain truth; but what answer could I give to such a
terribly frank avowal? 'Thank you,' said I, simply; and I was just on
the point of leaving, when, relenting, perhaps, a little, she said
aloud, 'Come again soon, and I shall be all right.' To pass this
unnoticed would have been impolite; yet I did not like to remain there
any longer, especially under such circumstances: so, looking askance,
I said--

     Here I am, then why excuse me, is my visit all in vain:
     And my consolation is, you tell me, come again?

No sooner had I said this than she dashed out as follows with a
brilliancy of repartee which became a woman of her genius:--

     'If we fond lovers were, and meeting every night,
     I should not be ashamed, were it even in the light!'

"Nonsense, nonsense!" cried Genji and the others, who either were, or
pretended to be, quite shocked. "Where can there be such a woman as
that? She must have been a devil! Fearful! fearful!" And, snapping
their fingers with disapproving glances, they said, "Do tell us
something better--do give us a better story than that."

Shikib-no-Jiô, however, quietly remarked: "I have nothing else to
relate," and remained silent.

Hereupon a conversation took place to the following effect:--

"It is a characteristic of thoughtless people--and that, without
distinction of sex--that they try to show off their small
accomplishments. This is, in the highest degree, unpleasant. As for
ladies, it may not, indeed, be necessary to be thorough master of the
three great histories, and the five classical texts; yet they ought
not to be destitute of some knowledge of both public and private
affairs, and this knowledge can be imperceptibly acquired without any
regular study of them, which, though superficial, will yet be amply
sufficient to enable them to talk pleasantly about them with their
friends. But how contemptible they would seem if this made them vain
of it! The Manna[43] style and pedantic phrases were not meant for
them; and, if they use them, the public will only say, 'would that
they would remember that they are women and not men,' and they would
only incur the reproach of being pedants, as many ladies, especially
among the aristocracy, do. Again, while they should not be altogether
unversed in poetical compositions, they should never be slaves to
them, or allow themselves to be betrayed into using strange
quotations, the only consequence of which would be that they would
appear to be bold when they ought to be reserved, and abstracted when
very likely they have practical duties to attend to. How utterly
inappropriate, for instance, it would be on the May festival[44] if,
while the attention of all present was concentrated on the solemnity
of the occasion, the thoughts of these ladies were wandering on their
own poetical imaginations about 'sweet flags;' or if, again, on the
Ninth-day festival,[45] when all the nobles present were exercising
their inventive faculties on the subject of Chinese poems, they were
to volunteer to pour forth their grand ideas on the dew-laid flowers
of the chrysanthemum, thus endeavoring to rival their opponents of the
stronger sex. There is a time for everything; and all people, but more
especially women, should be constantly careful to watch circumstances,
and not to air their accomplishments at a time when nobody cares for
them. They should practise a sparing economy in displaying their
learning and eloquence, and should even, if circumstances require,
plead ignorance on subjects with which they are familiar."

As to Genji, even these last observations seemed only to encourage his
reverie still to run upon a certain one, whom he considered to be the
happy medium between the too much and the too little; and, no definite
conclusion having been arrived at through the conversation, the
evening passed away.

The long-continued rainy weather had now cleared up bright and fine,
and the Prince Genji proceeded to the mansion of his father-in-law,
where Lady Aoi, his bride, still resided with him. She was in her
private suite of apartments, and he soon joined her there. She was
dignified and stately, both in manners and demeanor, and everything
about her bore traces of scrupulous neatness.

"Such may be one of those described by Sama-no-Kami, in whom we may
place confidence," he thought, as he approached her. At the same time,
her lofty queenliness caused him to feel a momentary embarrassment,
which he at once tried to hide by chatting with the attendant maid.
The air was close and heavy, and he was somewhat oppressed by it. His
father-in-law happened to pass by the apartment. He stopped and
uttered a few words from behind the curtain which overhung the door.
"In this hot weather," said Genji, in a low tone, "what makes him come
here?" and did not give the slightest encouragement to induce his
father-in-law to enter the room; so he passed along. All present
smiled significantly, and tittered. "How indiscreet!" exclaimed Genji,
glancing at them reprovingly, and throwing himself back on a _kiô-sok_
(arm-stool), where he remained calm and silent.

It was, by no means, becoming behavior on the part of the Prince.

The day was drawing to an end when it was announced that the mansion
was closed in the certain celestial direction of the Naka-gami
(central God).[46] His own mansion in Nijiô (the one mentioned as
being repaired in a previous chapter) was also in the same line of
direction.

"Where shall I go then?" said Genji, and without troubling himself any
further, went off into a doze. All present expressed in different
words their surprise at his unusual apathy. Thereupon some one
reported that the residence of Ki-no-Kami, who was in waiting on the
Prince, on the banks of the middle river (the River Kiôgok) had lately
been irrigated by bringing the stream into its gardens, making them
cool and refreshing.

"That's very good, especially on such a close evening," exclaimed
Genji, rousing himself, and he at once intimated to Ki-no-Kami his
desire of visiting his house. To which the latter answered simply,
"Yes." He did not, however, really like the Prince's visit, and was
reluctantly telling his fellow attendants that, owing to a certain
circumstance which had taken place at Iyo-no-Kami's[47] residence, his
wife (Ki-no-Kami's stepmother) had taken up her abode with him that
very evening, and that the rooms were all in confusion.

Genji heard all this distinctly, but he would not change his mind, and
said, "That is all the better! I don't care to stay in a place where
no fair statue dwells; it is slow work."

Being thus pressed, no alternative remained for the Ki-no-Kami, and a
messenger was despatched to order the preparation of apartments for
the Prince. Not long after this messenger had gone, Genji started on
his way to the house of Ki-no-Kami, whose mild objections against this
quick proceeding were not listened to.

He left the mansion as quietly as possible, even without taking formal
leave of its master, and his escort consisted of a few favorite
attendants.

The "eastern front room" in the "dwelling quarters" was wide open, and
a temporary arrangement was made for the reception of the Prince, who
arrived there very quickly. The scene of the garden struck him before
anything else. The surface of the lake sparkled with its glittering
waters. The hedges surrounded it in rustic beauty, and luxuriant
shrubs grew in pleasing order. Over all the fair scene the breeze of
evening swept softly, summer insects sang distinctly here and there,
and the fireflies hovered about in mazy dances.

The escort took up its quarters in a position which overlooked the
stream of water which ran beneath the corridor, and here began to take
cups of _saké_. The host hastened to order also some refreshment to be
prepared for Genji.

The latter was meanwhile gazing abstractedly about him, thinking such
a place might belong to the class which Sama-no-Kami fairly placed in
the middle category. He knew that the lady who was under the same roof
was a young beauty of whom he had heard something before, and he was
looking forward to a chance of seeing her.

He then noticed the rustling of a silken dress escaping from a small
boudoir to the right, and some youthful voices, not without charm,
were also heard, mingled with occasional sounds of suppressed
laughter. The casement of the boudoir had been, until a short time
before, open, but was pulled down by order of Ki-no-Kami, who,
perhaps, doubted the propriety of its being as it was, and now only
allowed a struggling light to issue through the paper of the "sliding
screen!" He proceeded to one side of his room that he might see what
could be seen, but there was no chance. He still stood there that he
might be able, at least, to catch some part of the conversation. It
seems that this boudoir adjoined the general family room of the female
inmates, and his ears were greeted by some faint talking. He inclined
his head attentively, and heard them whispering probably about
himself.

"Is it not a pity that the fate of so fine a prince should be already
fixed?" said one voice.

"Yet he loses no opportunity of availing himself of the favors of
fortune," added another.

These remarks may have been made with no serious intention, but as to
Genji, he, even in hearing them, could not help thinking of a certain
fair image of which he so fondly dreamt. At the same time feeling a
thrill on reflecting that, if this kind of secret were to be
discovered and discussed in such a manner, what could be done.

He then heard an observation in delicate allusion to his verse which
he had presented to the Princess Momo-zono (peach-gardens) with the
flowers of Asagao (morning-glory, or convolvulus).

"What _cautious_ beauties they are to talk in that way! But I wonder
if their forms when seen will answer to the pictures of my fancy,"
thought Genji, as he retired to his original position, for he could
hear nothing more interesting.

Ki-no-Kami presently entered the room, brought in some fruits, trimmed
the lamp, and the visitor and host now began to enjoy a pleasant
leisure.

"What has become of the ladies? Without some of them no society is
cheerful," observed Genji.

"Who can there be to meet such wishes?" said the Ki-no-Kami to
himself, but took no notice of Genji's remark.

There were several boys in the house who had followed Ki-no-Kami into
the room. They were the sons and brothers of Ki-no-Kami. Among them
there was one about twelve or thirteen, who was nicer-looking than the
others. Genji, of course, did not know who they all were, and
accordingly made inquiries. When he came to the last-mentioned boy,
Ki-no-Kami replied:--

"He is the youngest son of the late Lord Yemon, now an orphan, and,
from his sister's connections, he is now staying here. He is shrewd
and unlike ordinary boys. His desire is to take Court service, but he
has as yet no patron."

"What a pity! Is, then, the sister you mentioned your stepmother?"

"Yes, sir, it is so."

"What a good mother you have got. I once overheard the Emperor, to
whom, I believe, a private application had been some time made in her
behalf, referring to her, said, 'What has become of her?' Is she here
now?" said Genji; and lowering his voice, added, "How changeable are
the fortunes of the world!"

"It is her present state, sir. But, as you may perceive, it differs
from her original expectation. Changeable indeed are the fortunes of
this world, especially so the fortunes of women!"

"Does Iyo respect her? Perhaps he idolizes her, as his master."

"That is a question, perhaps, as a _private_ master. I am the foremost
to disapprove of this infatuation on his part."

"Are you? Nevertheless he trusts her to such a one as you. He is a
kind father! But where are they all?"

"All in their private apartments."

Genji by this time apparently desired to be alone, and Ki-no-Kami now
retired with the boys. All the escort were already slumbering
comfortably, each on his own cool rush mat, under the pleasant
persuasion of _saké_.

Genji was now alone. He tried to doze, but could not. It was late in
the evening, and all was still around. His sharpened senses made him
aware that the room next but one to his own was occupied, which led
him to imagine that the lady of whom he had been speaking might be
there. He rose softly, and once more proceeded to the other side of
the room to listen to what he might overhear. He heard a tender voice,
probably that of Kokimi, the boy spoken of before, who appeared to
have just entered the room, saying:--

"Are you here?"

To which a female voice replied, "Yes, dear, but has the visitor yet
retired?" And the same voice added--

"Ah! so near, and yet so far!"

"Yes, I should think so, he is so nice-looking, as they say."

"Were it daytime I would see him, too," said the lady in a drowsy
voice.

"I shall go to bed, too! But what a bad light," said the boy, and
Genji conjectured that he had been trimming the lamp.

The lady presently clapped her hands for a servant, and said, "Where
is Chiûjiô, I feel lonely, I wish to see her."

"Madam, she is in the bath now, she will be here soon," replied the
servant.

"Suppose I pay my visit to her, too? What harm! no harm, perhaps,"
said Genji to himself. He withdrew the fastening of the intervening
door, on the other side there was none, and it opened. The entrance to
the room where the lady was sitting was only screened by a curtain,
with a glimmering light inside. By the reflection of this light he saw
travelling trunks and bags all scattered about; through these he
groped his way and approached the curtain. He saw, leaning on a
cushion, the small and pretty figure of a lady, who did not seem to
notice his approach, probably thinking it was Chiûjiô, for whom she
had sent. Genji felt nervous, but struggling against the feeling,
startled the lady by saying:--

"Chiûjiô was called for, I thought it might mean myself, and I come to
offer you my devoted services."

This was really an unexpected surprise, and the lady was at a loss.

"It is, of course, natural," he said, "you should be astonished at my
boldness, but pray excuse me. It is solely from my earnest desire to
show at such an opportunity the great respect for you which I have
felt for a very long time."

He was clever enough to know how to speak, and what to say, under all
circumstances, and made the above speech in such an extremely humble
and insinuating manner that the demon himself could not have taken
offence, so she forbore to show any sudden resentment. She had,
however, grave doubts as to the propriety of his conduct, and felt
somewhat uncomfortable, saying shyly, "Perhaps you have made a
mistake!"

"No, certainly not," he replied. "What mistake can I have made? On the
other hand, I have no wish to offend you. The evening, however, is
very irksome, and I should feel obliged if you would permit me to
converse with you." Then gently taking her hand he pressed her to
return with him to his lonely apartment.

She was still young and weak, and did not know what was most proper to
do under these circumstances, so half yielding, half reluctantly was
induced to be led there by him.

At this juncture Chiûjiô, for whom she had sent previously, entered
the room. Upon which Genji exclaimed "Ha!"

Chiûjiô stared with astonishment at him, whom she at once recognized
as the Prince, by the rich perfume which he carried about him.

"What does this mean?" thought Chiûjiô. She could still do nothing.
Had he been an ordinary personage she would have immediately seized
him. Even in that case, however, there was enough room to doubt
whether it would not have been better to avoid any violent steps lest
it might have given rise to a disagreeable family scandal, hence
Chiûjiô was completely perplexed and mechanically followed them.

Genji was too bold to fear bystanders, a common fault with high
personages, and coolly closed the door upon her saying, "She will soon
return to you."

The lady being placed in such an awkward position, and not knowing
what Chiûjiô might imagine, became, as it were, bewildered. Genji was,
however, as artful and insinuating as might be expected in consoling
her, though we do not know where he had learnt his eloquence. This was
really trying for her, and she said, "Your condescension is beyond my
merit. I cannot disregard it. It is, however, absolutely necessary to
know 'Who is who.'"

"But such ignorance," he a little abashed, rejoined "as not to know
'Who is who,' is the very proof of my inexperience. Were I supposed to
understand too well, I should indeed be sorry. You have very likely
heard how little I mix in the world. This perhaps is the very reason
why you distrust me. The excess of the blindness of my mind seems
strange even to myself."

He spoke thus insinuatingly. She, on her part, feared that if his
fascinating address should assume a warmer tone it would be still
more trying for her and more difficult to withstand, so she
determined, however hard she might appear, not to give any
encouragement to his feelings, and showed therefore a coolness of
manner. To her meek character there was thus added a firm resolution,
and it seemed like a young bamboo reed with its strength and
tenderness combined, difficult to bend! Still she felt the struggle
very keenly, and tears moistened her eyes.

Genji could not help feeling touched. Not knowing exactly how to
soothe her, he exclaimed, "What makes you treat me so coolly? It is
true we are not old acquaintances, but it does not follow that this
should prevent us from becoming good friends. Please don't discompose
yourself like one who does not know the world at all: it pierces my
heart."

This speech touched her, and her firmness began to waver.

"Were my position what it once was," said she, "and I received such
attention, I might, however unworthy, have been moved by your
affection, but as my position in life is now changed, its
unsatisfactory condition often makes me dream of a happiness I cannot
hope to enjoy." Hereupon she remained silent for some moments, and
looked as if she meant to say that she could no longer help thinking
of the line:--

     Don't tell anyone you've seen my home.

But these few moments of silence agitated the pure waters of her
virtuous mind, and the sudden recollection of her aged husband, whom
she did not generally think much about, occurred tenderly to her
memory. She shuddered at the idea of his seeing her in such a dilemma
as this, even in a dream, and without a word fled back to her
apartment, and Genji was once more alone.

Now the chanticleer began to proclaim the coming day, and the
attendants rose from their couches, some exclaiming "How soundly we
have slept," others, "Let us get the carriage ready."

Ki-no-Kami also came out saying, "Why so early, no need of such hurry
for the Prince."

Genji also arose, and putting on his _naoshi_, went out on a balcony
on the southern side of the house, where he leaned upon the wooden
balustrade and meditated as he looked round him.

It appears that people were peeping out of the casement on the western
side, probably being anxious to catch a glimpse of the Prince, whose
figure was indistinctly to be seen by them from the top of a short
screen standing within the trellis. Among these spectators there was
one who perhaps might have felt a thrill run through her frame as she
beheld him. It was the very moment when the sky was being tinted by
the glowing streaks of morn, and the moon's pale light was still
lingering in the far distance. The aspect of the passionless heavens
becomes radiant or gloomy in response to the heart of him who looks
upon it. And to Genji, whose thoughts were secretly occupied with the
events of the evening, the scene could only have given rise to
sorrowful emotions.

Reflecting how he might on some future occasion convey a message to
the lady, and looking back several times, he presently quitted the
house and returned to the mansion of his father-in-law.

During some days succeeding the above events, he was staying at the
mansion with his bride. His thoughts, however, were now constantly
turning to the lady on the bank of the middle river. He therefore
summoned Ki-no-Kami before him, and thus addressed him:--

"Cannot you let me have the boy, the son of the late Chiûnagon[48]
whom I saw the other day? He is a nice lad, and I wish to have him
near at hand. I will also introduce him to the Emperor."

"I receive your commands. I will talk with his _sister_, and see if
she consents to it," replied Ki-no-Kami with a bow.

These last words alluding to the object which occupied his thoughts
caused Genji to start, but he said with apparent calmness--

"Has the lady presented you yet with a brother or a sister?"

"No, sir, not yet; she has been married now these two years, but it
seems she is always thinking she is not settled in the way her parents
desired, and is not quite contented with her position."

"What a pity! I heard, however, she was a very good lady. Is it so?"

"Yes, I quite believe so; but hitherto we have lived separately, and
were not very cordial, which, as all the world knows, is usual in such
relationship."

After the lapse of five or six days the boy Kokimi was brought to
him. He was not tall or handsome but very intelligent, and in manners
perfectly well-bred. Genji treated him with the greatest kindness, at
which, in his boyish mind, he was highly delighted. Genji now asked
him many questions about his sister, to which he gave such answers as
he could, but often with shyness and diffidence. Hence Genji was
unable to take him into his confidence, but by skilfully coaxing and
pleasing him, he ventured to hand him a letter to be taken to his
sister. The boy, though he possibly guessed at its meaning, did not
trouble himself much, but taking it, duly delivered it to his sister.
She became confused and thoughtful as she took it, and fearing what
the boy might think, opened the letter and held it before her face as
she read, in order to conceal the expression of her countenance.

It was a long one, and among other things contained the following
lines:--

    I had a dream, a dream so sweet,
      Ah! would that I could dream again;
    Alas, no sleep these eyes will greet,
      And so I strive to dream in vain!

It was beautifully written, and as her eyes fell upon the passionate
words, a mist gathered over them, and a momentary thought of her own
life and position once more flashed over her mind, and without a word
of comment to the boy, she retired to rest.

A few days afterwards Kokimi was again invited to join the Prince.
Thereupon he asked his sister to give him an answer to the Prince's
letter.

"Tell the Prince," she said, "there is no one _here_ who reads such
letters."

"But," said the boy, "he does not expect such an answer as this! How
can I tell him so?"

At first, she half-resolved to explain everything to Kokimi, and to
make him thoroughly understand why she ought not to receive such
letters, but the effort was too painful, so she simply said, "It is
all the better for you not to talk in that way. If you think it so
serious why should you go to him at all?"

"Yet, how can I disobey his commands to go back?" exclaimed the boy,
and so he returned to Genji without any written answer to him.

"I was weary of waiting for you. Perhaps you, too, had forgotten me,"
said Genji, when he saw the boy, who was, however, silent and blushed.
"And what answer have you brought me?" continued Genji, and then the
boy replied in the exact words which his sister had used.

"What?" cried Genji: and continued, "Perhaps you may not know, so I
will tell you. I knew your sister before she knew Iyo. But she likes
to treat me so because she thinks she has got a very good friend in
Iyo; but do you be like a brother to me. The days of Iyo will be
probably fewer than mine."

He now returned to the Palace taking Komini with him, and, going to
his dressing-room, attired him nicely in the Court style; in a word,
he treated him as a parent would do.

By the boy's assistance several more letters were conveyed to his
sister. Her resolution, however, remained unshaken.

"If one's heart were once to deviate from the path," she reflected,
"the only end we could expect would be a damaged reputation and misery
for life: the good and the bad result from one's self!"

Thus thinking, she resolved to return no answer. She might, indeed,
have admired the person of Genji, and probably did so, yet, whenever
such feelings came into her mind, the next thought that suggested
itself was, "What is the use of such idle admiration?"

Meanwhile, Genji was often thinking of paying a visit to the house
where she was staying, but he did not consider it becoming to do so,
without some reasonable pretext, more especially as he would have been
sorry, and for her sake more than his own, to draw a suspicion upon
her.

It happened, however, after a prolonged residence at the Court, that
another occasion of closing the Palace in the certain celestial line
of direction arrived. Catching at this opportunity he left the Palace,
and suddenly turning out of his road, went straight to Ki-no-Kami's
residence, with the excuse that he had just discovered the above fact
on his way. Ki-no-Kami surprised at this unexpected visit, had only to
bow before him, and acknowledge the honor of his presence. The boy,
Kokimi, was already there before him, having been secretly informed of
his intention beforehand, and he attended on him as usual in his
apartment on his arrival.

The lady, who had been told by her brother that the Prince earnestly
desired to see her, knew well how dangerous it was to approach an
inviting flower growing on the edge of a precipice. She was not, of
course, insensible to his coming in such a manner, with an excuse for
the sake of seeing her, but she did not wish to increase her dreamlike
inquietude by seeing him. And again, if he ventured to visit her
apartment, as he did before, it might be a serious compromise for her.

For these reasons she retired while her brother was with Genji, to a
private chamber of Chiûjiô, her companion, in the rear of the main
building, under the pretence that her own room was too near that of
the Prince, besides she was indisposed and required "Tataki,"[49]
which she desired to have done in a retired part of the house.

Genji sent his attendants very early to their own quarters, and then,
through Kokimi, requested an interview with the lady. Kokimi at first
was unable to find her, till after searching everywhere, he, at last,
came to the apartment of Chiûjiô, and with great earnestness
endeavored to persuade her to see Genji, in an anxious and half
trembling voice, while she replied in a tone slightly angry, "What
makes you so busy? Why do you trouble yourself? Boys carrying such
messages are highly blamable."

After thus daunting him, she added, more mildly, "Tell the Prince I am
somewhat indisposed, and also that some friends are with me, and I
cannot well leave them now." And she again cautioned the boy not to be
too officious, and sent him away from her at once.

Yet, at the bottom of her heart, different feelings might have been
struggling from those which her words seemed to express, and some such
thoughts as these shaped themselves to her mind: "Were I still a
maiden in the home of my beloved parents, and occasionally received
his visits there, how happy might I not be? How trying to act as if no
romantic sentiment belonged to my heart!"

Genji, who was anxiously waiting to know how the boy would succeed in
persuading his sister, was soon told that all his efforts were in
vain. Upon hearing this he remained for some moments silent, and then
relieved his feelings with a long-drawn sigh, and hummed:--

    "The Hahaki-gi[50] distant tree
      Spreads broom-like o'er the silent waste;
    Approach, how changed its shape we see,
      In vain we try its shade to taste."

The lady was unable to sleep, and her thoughts also took the following
poetic shape:--

    Too like the Hahaki-gi tree,
      Lonely and humble, I must dwell,
    Nor dare to give a thought to thee,
      But only sigh a long farewell.

All the other inmates of the house were now in a sound slumber, but
sleep came not to Genji's eyes. He did, indeed, admire her immovable
and chaste nature, but this only drew his heart more towards her. He
was agitated. At one moment he cried, "Well, then!" at another,
"However!" "Still!" At last, turning to the boy, he passionately
exclaimed, "Lead me to her at once!"

Kokimi calmly replied, "It is impossible, too many eyes are around
us!"

Genji with a sigh then threw himself back on the cushion, saying to
Kokimi, "You, at least, will be my friend, and shall share my
apartment!"

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 22: A hero of an older fiction, who is represented as the
perfect ideal of a gallant.]

[Footnote 23: A fast observed when some remarkable or supernatural
event took place, or on the anniversary of days of domestic
misfortune.]

[Footnote 24: A general of the Imperial Guards.]

[Footnote 25: Love letters generally are not signed or are signed with
a fancy name.]

[Footnote 26: Left Master of the Horse.]

[Footnote 27: Secretary to the Master of Ceremonies.]

[Footnote 28: Deputy-governors of provinces. In those days these
functionaries were greatly looked down upon by the Court nobles, and
this became one of the causes of the feudal system.]

[Footnote 29: The naoshi is an outer attire. It formed part of a loose
and unceremonious Court dress.]

[Footnote 30: This alludes to a common habit of women, who push back
their hair before commencing any task.]

[Footnote 31: Some kinds of nuns did not shave their heads, and this
remark seems to allude to the common practice of women who often
involuntarily smooth their hair before they see people, which practice
comes, no doubt, from the idea that the beauty of women often depends
on the tidiness of their hair.]

[Footnote 32: This means that her soul, which was sinful, would not go
at once to its final resting-place, but wander about in unknown
paths.]

[Footnote 33: A mountain spoken of in Chinese literature. It was said
to be in the Eastern Ocean, and people of extraordinary long lives,
called Sennin, were supposed to dwell there.]

[Footnote 34: In China and Japan handwriting is considered no less an
art than painting.]

[Footnote 35: An ideal woman patroness of the art of dyeing.]

[Footnote 36: The weaver, or star Vega. In the Chinese legend she is
personified as a woman always engaged in weaving.]

[Footnote 37: In the same legend, it is said that this weaver, who
dwells on one side of the Milky Way in the heavens, meets her
lover--another star called Hikoboshi, or the bull-driver--once every
year, on the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month. He dwelt
on the other side of the Milky Way, and their meeting took place on a
bridge, made by birds (jays), by the intertwining of their wings. It
was this which gave rise to the popular festival, which takes place on
this day, both in China and Japan.]

[Footnote 38: Little darlings--a kind of pink.]

[Footnote 39: The Tokonatz (everlasting summer) is another name for
the pink, and it is poetically applied to the lady whom we love.]

[Footnote 40: A female divinity in Indian mythology.]

[Footnote 41: From the Chinese poet Hak-rak-ten, who was mentioned
before. He says in one of his poems: "Once upon a time a certain host
invited to his abode a clever match-maker. When the guests were
assembled he poured forth wine into a beautiful jar, and said to all
present, 'drink not for a moment, but hear what I say about the two
choices, daughters of the rich get married soon, but snub their
husbands, daughters of the poor get married with difficulty but dearly
love their mothers-in-law.'"]

[Footnote 42: A soft style of Japanese writing commonly used by
ladies.]

[Footnote 43: A stiff and formal style of Japanese writing.]

[Footnote 44: The fifth of May is one of the five important national
festivals. A solemn celebration of this fête used to be performed at
Court. It is sometimes called the festival of the "Sweet
Flags,"--_calami aromatici_--because it was held at the season when
those beautiful water-plants were in the height of perfection.]

[Footnote 45: Another of the five above-mentioned. It was held on the
ninth of September, and it was customary on the occasion for rhymes to
be given out to those present, wherewith to compose Chinese poems. It
was sometimes called the "Chrysanthemum Festival," for the same reason
that the celebration of the fifth of May was termed the "Sweet Flag
Festival."]

[Footnote 46: This is an astrological superstition. It is said that
when this God is in any part of the compass, at the time being, it is
most unlucky to proceed towards it, and to remain in the same line of
its direction.]

[Footnote 47: The deputy governor of the province Iyo; he is supposed
to be in the province at this time, leaving his young wife and family
behind.]

[Footnote 48: The father of Kokimi seems to have been holding the
office Yemon-no-Kami as well as Chiûnagon.]

[Footnote 49: Tataki, or Amma, a sort of shampooing, a very common
medical treatment in Japan.]

[Footnote 50: Hahaki-gi, the broom-like tree, is said to have been a
certain tree growing in the plain of Sonohara, so called from its
shape, which, at a distance, looked like a spreading broom, but when
one comes near, its appearance was totally changed.]



CHAPTER III

BEAUTIFUL CICADA


Genji was still sleepless! "Never have I been so badly treated. I have
now discovered what the disappointment of the world means," he
murmured, while the boy Kokimi lay down beside him fast asleep. The
smallness of his stature, and the graceful waving of his short hair,
could not but recall to Genji the beautiful tresses of his sister, and
bring her image vividly before him; and, long before the daylight
appeared, he rose up, and returned to his residence with all speed.
For some time after this no communication took place between the lady
and himself. He could not, however, banish her from his thoughts, and
he said to Kokimi that "he felt his former experience too painful, and
that he strove to drive away his care; yet in vain; his thoughts would
not obey his wish, and he begged him, therefore, to seek some
favorable opportunity for him to see her." Kokimi, though he did not
quite like the task, felt proud of being made his confidant, and
thenceforward looked incessantly, with keen boyish eyes, for a chance
of obliging him.

Now, it happened that Ki-no-Kami went down to his official residence
in his province, and only the female members of his family were left
at home. "This is the time," said Kokimi to himself, and went to
Genji, and persuaded him to come with him. "What can the boy do?"
thought Genji; "I fear not very much, but I must not expect too much";
and they started at once, in Kokimi's carriage, so as to arrive in
good time.

The evening was darkening round them, and they drew up on one side of
the house, where few persons were likely to observe them. As it
happened to be Kokimi who had come, no fuss was made about his
arrival, nor any notice taken of it. He entered the house; and,
leaving the Prince in the Eastern Hall, proceeded first into the inner
room. The casement was closed.

"How is it the casement is closed?" he demanded of the servants. They
told him "That the Lady of the West (Ki-no-Kami's sister, so called by
the domestics from her living to the westward of the house) was there
on a visit since noon, and was playing Go with his sister." The door
by which the boy had entered the room was not entirely closed. Genji
softly came up to it, and the whole interior of the apartment was
visible. He stood facing the west. On one side of the room was a
folding screen, one end of which was pushed back, and there was
nothing besides to obstruct his view. His first glance fell on the
fair figure of her of whom he had so fondly dreamt, sitting by a lamp
near a central pillar. She wore a dress of dark purple, and a kind of
scarf thrown over her shoulders; her figure was slight and delicate,
and her face was partly turned aside, as if she did not like to expose
it even to her companions. Her hands were prettily shaped and tiny,
and she used them with a gentle reserve, half covering them. Another
lady, younger than herself, sat facing the east--that is, just
opposite Genji--and was, therefore, entirely visible to him. She was
dressed in a thin white silk, with a Ko-uchiki (outer vestment),
worked with red and blue flowers, thrown loosely over it, and a
crimson sash round her waist. Her bosom was partly revealed; her
complexion very fair; her figure rather stout and tall; the head and
neck in good proportions, and the lips and eyelids lovely. The hair
was not very long, but reached in wavy lines to her shoulders.

"If a man had such a daughter, he might be satisfied," thought Genji.
"But perhaps she may be a little deficient in quietness. No matter how
this may be, she has sufficient attractions."

The game was drawing to a close, and they paid very little attention
to Kokimi on his entrance. The principal interest in it was over; they
were hurrying to finish it. One was looking quietly at the board, and
said, "Let me see, that point must be Ji. Let me play the Kôh[51] of
this spot." The other saying, "I am beaten; let me calculate," began
to count on her fingers the number of spaces at each corner, at the
same time saying "Ten! twenty! thirty! forty!" When Genji came in this
way to see them together, he perceived that his idol, in the matter of
personal beauty, was somewhat inferior to her friend. He was not,
indeed, able to behold the full face of the former; yet, when he
shifted his position, and fixed his gaze steadfastly upon her, the
profile became distinct. He observed that her eyelids were a little
swollen, and the line of the nose was not very delicate. He still
admired her, and said to himself, "But perhaps she is more
sweet-tempered than the others"; but when he again turned his eyes to
the younger one, strange to say the calm and cheerful smile which
occasionally beamed in her face touched the heart of Genji; moreover,
his usual interviews with ladies generally took place in full
ceremony. He had never seen them in so familiar an attitude before,
without restraint or reserve, as on the present occasion, which made
him quite enjoy the scene. Kokimi now came out, and Genji retired
stealthily to one side of the door along the corridor. The former, who
saw him there, and supposed he had remained waiting in the place he
had left him all the while, apologized for keeping him so long, and
said: "A certain young lady is now staying here; I am sorry, but I did
not dare mention your visit."

"Do you mean to send me away again disappointed? How inglorious it
is," replied Genji.

"No; why so? The lady may leave shortly. I will then announce you."

Genji said no more. The ladies had by this time concluded their game,
and the servants, who were about to retire to their own apartments,
cried out, "Where is our young master? we must close this door."

"Now is the time; pray take me there; don't be too late. Go and ask,"
said Genji.

Kokimi knew very well how hard was his task to persuade his sister to
see the Prince, and was meditating taking him into her room, without
her permission, when she was alone. So he said, hesitatingly, "Please
wait a little longer, till the other lady, Ki-no-Kami's sister, goes
away."

"Is Ki-no's sister here? So much the better. Please introduce me to
her before she leaves," said Genji.

"But!"

"But what? Do you mean that she is not worth seeing?" retorted Genji;
and would fain have told the boy that he had already seen her, but
thought it better not to do so, and continued: "Were we to wait for
her to retire, it would become too late; we should have no chance."

Hereupon Kokimi determined to risk a little, and went back to his
sister's room, rolling up a curtain which hung in his way. "It is too
warm--let the air in!" he cried, as he passed through. After a few
minutes he returned, and led Genji to the apartment on his own
responsibility. The lady with the scarf (his sister), who had been for
some time fondly supposing that Genji had given up thinking about her,
appeared startled and embarrassed when she saw him; but, as a matter
of course, the usual courtesies were paid. The younger lady, however
(who was free from all such thoughts), was rather pleased at his
appearance. It happened that, when the eyes of the younger were turned
in another direction, Genji ventured to touch slightly the shoulder of
his favorite, who, startled at the action rose suddenly and left the
room, on pretence of seeking something she required, dropping her
scarf in her haste, as a cicada casts off its tender wingy shell, and
leaving her friend to converse with the Prince. He was chagrined, but
did not betray his vexation either by words or looks, and now began to
carry on a conversation with the lady who remained, whom he had
already admired. Here his usual bold flirtation followed. The young
lady, who was at first disturbed at his assurance, betrayed her
youthful inexperience in such matters; yet for an innocent maiden, she
was rather coquettish, and he went on flirting with her.

"Chance meetings like this," said he, "often arise from deeper causes
than those which take place in the usual routine of things, so at
least say the ancients. If I say I love you, you might not believe me;
and yet, indeed, it is so. Do think of me! True, we are not yet quite
free, and perhaps I might not be able to see you so often as I wish;
but I hope you will wait with patience, and not forget me."

"Truly, I also fear what people might suspect; and, therefore, I may
not be able to communicate with you at all," said she, innocently.

"Perhaps it might not be desirable to employ any other hand," he
rejoined. "If you only send your message, say through Kokimi, there
would not be any harm."

Genji now rose to depart, and slyly possessed himself of the scarf
which had been dropped by the other lady. Kokimi, who had been dozing
all the time, started up suddenly when Genji roused him. He then led
the latter to the door. At this moment, the tremulous voice of an
aged female domestic, who appeared quite unexpectedly, exclaimed--

"Who is there?"

To which Kokimi immediately replied, "It is I!"

"What brings you here so late?" asked the old woman, in a querulous
tone.

"How inquisitive! I am now going out. What harm?" retorted the boy,
rather scornfully; and, stepping up to the threshold, gave Genji a
push over it, when all at once the shadow of his tall figure was
projected on the moonlit floor.

"Who's that?" cried the old woman sharply, and in alarm; but the next
moment, without waiting for any reply, mumbled on: "Ah, ah! 'tis Miss
Mimb, no wonder so tall."

This remark seemed to allude to one of her fellow-servants, who must
have been a stalwart maiden, and the subject of remarks among her
companions. The old woman, quite satisfied in thinking that it was she
who was with Kokimi, added: "You, my young master, will soon be as
tall as she is; I will come out this way, too," and approached the
door. Genji could do nothing but stand silent and motionless. When she
came nearer she said, addressing the supposed Mimb, "Have you been
waiting on the young mistress this evening? I have been ill since the
day before yesterday, and kept myself to my room, but was sent for
this evening because my services were required. I cannot stand it." So
saying, and without waiting for any reply, she passed on, muttering as
she went, "Oh! my pain! my pain!" Genji and the boy now went forth,
and they drove back to the mansion in Nijiô. Talking over the events
of the evening, Genji ironically said to his companion, "Ah! you are a
nice boy!" and snapped his fingers with chagrin at the escape of his
favorite and her indifference. Kokimi said nothing. Genji then
murmured, "I was clearly slighted. Oh wretched me! I cannot rival the
happy Iyo!" Shortly after, he retired to rest, taking with him, almost
unconsciously, the scarf he had carried off, and again making Kokimi
share his apartment, for company's sake. He had still some hope that
the latter might be useful to him; and, with the intention of stirring
up his energies, observed, "You are a nice boy; but I am afraid the
coldness shown to me by your sister may at last weaken the friendship
between you and me."

Kokimi still made no reply. Genji closed his eyes but could not
sleep, so he started up and, taking writing materials, began to write,
apparently without any fixed purpose, and indited the following
distich:--

    "Where the cicada casts her shell
      In the shadows of the tree,
    There is one whom I love well,
      Though her heart is cold to me."

Casting away the piece of paper on which these words were
written--purposely or not, who knows?--he again leaned his head on his
hand. Kokimi slyly stretching out his hand, picked up the paper from
the floor, and hid it quickly in his dress. Genji soon fell into
profound slumber, in which he was speedily joined by Kokimi.

Some days passed away and Kokimi returned to his sister, who, on
seeing him, chided him severely, saying:--

"Though I managed with some difficulty, we must not forget what people
might say of us, _your_ officiousness is most unpardonable. Do you
know what the Prince himself will think of your childish trick?"

Thus was poor Kokimi, on the one hand, reproached by Genji for not
doing enough, and on the other by his sister for being too officious!
was he not in a very happy position! Yet, notwithstanding her words,
he ventured to draw from his dress the paper he had picked up in
Genji's apartment, and offered it to her. The lady hesitated a moment,
though somewhat inclined to read it, holding it in her hand for some
little time, undecided. At length she ventured to throw her eyes over
its contents. At once the loss of her scarf floated upon her mind as
she read, and, taking up her pen, wrote on part of the paper where
Genji had written his verses, the words of a song:--

    "Amidst dark shadows of the tree,
      Cicada's wing with dew is wet,
    So in mine eyes unknown to thee,
      Spring sweet tears of fond regret."

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 51: Ji and Kôh are the names of certain positions in the
game of "Go."]



CHAPTER IV

EVENING GLORY


It happened that when Genji was driving about in the Rokjiô quarter,
he was informed that his old nurse, Daini, was ill, and had become a
nun. Her residence was in Gojiô. He wished to visit her, and drove to
the house. The main gate was closed, so that his carriage could not
drive up; therefore, he sent in a servant to call out Koremitz, a son
of the nurse.

Meantime, while awaiting him, he looked round on the deserted terrace.
He noticed close by a small and rather dilapidated dwelling, with a
wooden fence round a newly-made enclosure. The upper part, for eight
or ten yards in length, was surrounded by a trellis-work, over which
some white reed blinds--rude, but new--were thrown. Through these
blinds the indistinct outline of some fair heads were faintly
delineated, and the owners were evidently peeping down the roadway
from their retreat. "Ah," thought Genji, "they can never be so tall as
to look over the blind. They must be standing on something within. But
whose residence is it? What sort of people are they?" His equipage was
strictly private and unostentatious. There were, of course, no
outriders; hence he had no fear of being recognized by them. And so he
still watched the house. The gate was also constructed of something
like trellis-work, and stood half open, revealing the loneliness of
the interior. The line: "Where do we seek our home?" came first into
his mind, and he then thought that "even this must be as comfortable
as golden palaces to its inmates."

A long wooden rail, covered with luxuriant creepers, which, fresh and
green, climbed over it in full vigor, arrested his eye; their white
blossoms, one after another disclosing their smiling lips in
unconscious beauty. Genji began humming to himself: "Ah! stranger
crossing there." When his attendant informed him that these lovely
white flowers were called "Yûgao" (evening-glory), adding, and at the
same time pointing to the flowers, "See the flowers _only_,
flourishing in that glorious state."

"What beautiful flowers they are," exclaimed Genji. "Go and beg a
bunch."

The attendant thereupon entered the half-opened gate and asked for
some of them, on which a young girl, dressed in a long tunic, came
out, taking an old fan in her hand, and saying, "Let us put them on
this, those with strong stems," plucked off a few stalks and laid them
on the fan.

These were given to the attendant, who walked slowly back. Just as he
came near to Genji, the gate of Koremitz's courtyard opened and
Koremitz himself appeared, who took the flowers from him and handed
them to Genji, at the same moment saying, "I am very sorry I could not
find the gate key, and that I made you wait so long in the public
road, though there is no one hereabouts to stare at, or recognize you,
I sincerely beg your pardon."

The carriage was now driven in, and Genji alighted. The Ajari,[52]
elder brother of Koremitz; Mikawa-no-Kami, his brother-in-law; and the
daughter of Daini, all assembled and greeted him. The nun also rose
from her couch to welcome him.

"How pleased I am to see you," she said, "but you see I have quite
altered, I have become a nun. I have given up the world. I had no
reluctance in doing this. If I had any uneasiness, it was on your
account alone. My health, however, is beginning to improve; evidently
the divine blessing on this sacrifice."

"I was so sorry," replied Genji, "to hear you were ill, and now still
more so to find you have given up the world. I hope that you may live
to witness my success and prosperity. It grieves me to think you were
compelled to make such a change; yet, I believe, this will secure your
enjoyment of happiness hereafter. It is said that when one leaves this
world without a single regret, one passes straight to Paradise." As he
said these words his eyes became moistened.

Now, it is common for nurses to regard their foster children with
blind affection, whatever may be their faults, thinking, so to speak,
that what is crooked is straight. So in Genji's case, who, in Daini's
eyes, was next door to perfection, this blindness was still more
strongly apparent, and she always regarded her office as his nurse, as
an honor, and while Genji was discoursing in the above manner, a tear
began to trickle from her eyes.

"You know," he continued, "at what an early age I was deprived of my
dearest ties; there were, indeed, several who looked after me, but you
were the one to whom I was most attached. In due course, after I grew
up, I ceased to see you regularly. I could not visit you as often as I
thought of you, yet, when I did not see you for a long time, I often
felt very lonely. Ah! if there were no such things as partings in the
world!"

He then enjoined them earnestly to persevere in prayer for their
mother's health, and said, "Good-by."

At the moment of quitting the house he remembered that something was
written on the fan that held the flowers. It was already twilight, and
he asked Koremitz to bring a taper, that he might see to read it. It
seemed to him as if the fragrance of some fair hand that had used it
still remained, and on it was written the following couplets:--

    "The crystal dew at Evening's hour
    Sleeps on the Yûgao's beauteous flower,
    Will this please him, whose glances bright,
    Gave to the flowers a dearer light?"

With apparent carelessness, without any indication to show who the
writer was, it bore, however, the marks of a certain excellence. Genji
thought, "this is singular, coming from whence it does," and turning
to Koremitz, he asked, "Who lives in this house to your right?" "Ah,"
exclaimed Koremitz mentally, "as usual, I see," but replied with
indifference, "Truly I have been here some days, but I have been so
busy in attending my mother that I neither know nor have asked about
the neighbors." "You may probably be surprised at my inquisitiveness,"
said Genji, "but I have reasons for asking this on account of this
fan. I request you to call on them, and make inquiries what sort of
people they are."

Koremitz thereupon proceeded to the house, and, calling out a servant,
sought from him the information he wanted, when he was told that,
"This is the house of Mr. Yômei-no-Ske. He is at present in the
country; his lady is still young; her brothers are in the Court
service, and often come here to see her. The whole history of the
family I am not acquainted with." With this answer Koremitz returned,
and repeated it to Genji, who thought, "Ah! the sending of this verse
may be a trick of these conceited Court fellows!" but he could not
entirely free his mind from the idea of its having been sent
especially to himself. This was consistent with the characteristic
vanity of his disposition. He, therefore, took out a paper, and
disguising his handwriting (lest it should be identified), indited the
following:--

    "Were I the flower to see more near,
    Which once at dusky eve I saw,
    It might have charms for me more dear,
    And look more beauteous than before."

And this he sent to the house by his servant, and set off on his way.
He saw a faint light through the chinks of the blinds of the house,
like the glimmer of the firefly. It gave him, as he passed, a silent
sort of longing. The mansion in Rokjiô, to which he was proceeding
this evening, was a handsome building, standing amidst fine woods of
rare growth and beauty, and all was of comfortable appearance. Its
mistress was altogether in good circumstances, and here Genji spent
the hours in full ease and comfort.

On his way home next morning he again passed the front of the house,
where grew the Yûgao flowers, and the recollection of flowers which he
had received the previous evening, made him anxious to ascertain who
the people were who lived there.

After the lapse of some time Koremitz came to pay him a visit,
excusing himself for not having come before, on account of his
mother's health being more unsatisfactory. He said, "In obedience to
your commands to make further inquiries, I called on some people who
know about my neighbors, but could not get much information. I was
told, however, that there is a lady who has been living there since
last May, but who she is even the people in the house do not know.
Sometimes I looked over the hedges between our gardens, and saw the
youthful figure of a lady, and a maiden attending her, in a style of
dress which betrayed a good origin. Yesterday evening, after sunset, I
saw the lady writing a letter, her face was very calm in expression,
but full of thought, and her attendant was often sobbing secretly, as
she waited on her. These things I saw distinctly."

Genji smiled. He seemed more anxious than before to know something
about them, and Koremitz continued: "Hoping to get some fuller
information, I took an opportunity which presented itself of sending a
communication to the house. To this a speedy answer was returned,
written by a skilful hand. I concluded from this and other
circumstances that there was something worth seeing and knowing
enclosed within those walls." Genji immediately exclaimed, "Do! do!
try again; not to be able to find out is too provoking," and he
thought to himself, "If in lowly life, which is often left unnoticed,
we find something attractive and fair, as Sama-no-Kami said, how
delightful it will be, and I think, perhaps, this may be such a one."

In the meantime his thoughts were occasionally reverting to Cicada.
His nature was not, perhaps, so perverted as to think about persons of
such condition and position in life as Cicada; but since he had heard
the discussion about women, and their several classifications, he had
somehow become speculative in his sentiments, and ambitious of testing
all those different varieties by his own experience. While matters
were in this state Iyo-no-Kami returned to the capital, and came in
haste to pay his respects to Genji. He was a swarthy, repulsive
looking man, bearing the traces of a long journey in his appearance,
and of advanced age. Still there was nothing unpleasant in his natural
character and manners. Genji was about to converse with him freely,
but somehow or another an awkward feeling arose in his mind, and threw
a restraint upon his cordiality. "Iyo is such an honest old man," he
reflected, "it is too bad to take advantage of him. What Sama-no-Kami
said is true, 'that to strive to carry out wrong desires is man's evil
failing!' Her hardheartedness to me is unpleasant, but from the other
side this deserves praise!"

It was announced after this that Iyo-no-Kami would return to his
province, and take his wife with him, and that his daughter would be
left behind to be soon married.

This intelligence was far from pleasing to Genji, and he longed once
more, only once more to behold the lady of the scarf, and he concerted
with Kokimi how to arrange a plan for obtaining an interview. The
lady, however, was quite deaf to such proposals, and the only
concession she vouchsafed was that she occasionally received a letter,
and sometimes answered it.

Autumn had now come; Genji was still thoughtful. Lady Aoi saw him but
seldom, and was constantly disquieted by his protracted absence from
her. There was, as we have before hinted, at Rokjiô, another person
whom he had won with great difficulty, and it would have been a little
inconsistent if he became too easily tired of her. He indeed had not
become cool towards her, but the violence of his passion had somewhat
abated. The cause of this seems to have been that this lady was rather
too zealous, or, we may say, jealous; besides, her age exceeded that
of Genji by some years. The following incident will illustrate the
state of matters between them:--

One morning early Genji was about to take his departure, with sleepy
eyes, listless and weary, from her mansion at Rokjiô. A slight mist
spread over the scene. A maiden attendant of the mistress opened the
door for his departure, and led him forth. The shrubbery of flowering
trees struck refreshingly on the sight, with interlacing branches in
rich confusion, among which was some Asagao in full blossom. Genji was
tempted to dally, and looked contemplatively over them. The maiden
still accompanied him. She wore a thin silk tunic of light green
colors, showing off her graceful waist and figure, which it covered.
Her appearance was attractive. Genji looked at her tenderly, and led
her to a seat in the garden, and sat down by her side. Her countenance
was modest and quiet; her wavy hair was neatly and prettily arranged.
Genji began humming in a low tone:--

    "The heart that roams from flower to flower,
      Would fain its wanderings not betray,
    Yet 'Asagao,' in morning's hour,
      Impels my tender wish to stray."

So saying, he gently took her hand; she, however, without appearing to
understand his real meaning, answered thus:--

    "You stay not till the mist be o'er,
      But hurry to depart,
    Say can the flower you leave, no more
      Detain your changeful heart?"

At this juncture a young attendant in Sasinuki[53] entered the garden,
brushing away the dewy mist from the flowers, and began to gather some
bunches of Asagao. The scene was one which we might desire to paint,
so full of quiet beauty, and Genji rose from his seat, and slowly
passed homeward. In those days Genji was becoming more and more an
object of popular admiration in society, and we might even attribute
the eccentricity of some of his adventures to the favor he enjoyed,
combined with his great personal attractions. Where beautiful flowers
expand their blossoms even the rugged mountaineer loves to rest under
their shade, so wherever Genji showed himself people sought his
notice.

Now with regard to the fair one about whom Koremitz was making
inquiries. After some still further investigations, he came to Genji
and told him that "there is some one who often visits there. Who he
was I could not at first find out, for he comes with the utmost
privacy. I made up my mind to discover him; so one evening I concealed
myself outside the house, and waited. Presently the sound of an
approaching carriage was heard, and the inmates of the house began to
peep out. The lady I mentioned before was also to be seen; I could not
see her very plainly, but I can tell you so much: she looked charming.
The carriage itself was now seen approaching, and it apparently
belonged to some one of rank. A little girl who was peeping out
exclaimed, "Ukon, look here, quick, Chiûjiô is coming." Then one older
came forward rubbing her hands and saying to the child, 'Don't be so
foolish, don't be excited.' How could they tell, I wondered, that the
carriage was a Chiûjiô's. I stole forth cautiously and reconnoitred.
Near the house there is a small stream, over which a plank had been
thrown by way of a bridge. The visitor was rapidly approaching this
bridge when an amusing incident occurred: The elder girl came out in
haste to meet him, and was passing the bridge, when the skirt of her
dress caught in something, and she well-nigh fell into the water.
'Confound that bridge, what a bad Katzragi,'[54] she cried, and
suddenly turned pale. How amusing it was, you may imagine. The visitor
was dressed in plain style, he was followed by his page, whom I
recognized as belonging to Tô-no-Chiûjiô."

"I should like to see that same carriage," interrupted Genji eagerly,
as he thought to himself, "that house may be the home of the very girl
whom he (Tô-no-Chiûjiô) spoke about, perhaps he has discovered her
hiding-place."

"I have also made an acquaintance," Koremitz continued, "with a
certain person in this house, and it was through these means that I
made closer observations. The girl who nearly fell over the bridge is,
no doubt, the lady's attendant, but they pretend to be all on an
equality. Even when the little child said anything to betray them by
its remarks, they immediately turned it off." Koremitz laughed as he
told this, adding, "this was an amusing trick indeed."

"Oh," exclaimed Genji, "I must have a look at them when I go to visit
your mother; you must manage this," and with the words the picture of
the "Evening-Glory" rose pleasantly before his eyes.

Now Koremitz not only was always prompt in attending to the wishes of
Prince Genji, but also was by his own temperament fond of carrying on
such intrigues. He tried every means to favor his designs, and to
ingratiate himself with the lady, and at last succeeded in bringing
her and Genji together. The details of the plans by which all this was
brought about are too long to be given here. Genji visited her often,
but it was with the greatest caution and privacy; he never asked her
when they met any particulars about her past life, nor did he reveal
his own to her. He would not drive to her in his own carriage, and
Koremitz often lent him his own horse to ride. He took no attendant
with him except the one who had asked for the "Evening-Glory." He
would not even call on the nurse, lest it might lead to discoveries.
The lady was puzzled at his reticence. She would sometimes send her
servant to ascertain, if possible, what road he took, and where he
went. But somehow, by chance or design, he always became lost to her
watchful eye. His dress, also, was of the most ordinary description,
and his visits were always paid late in the evening. To her all this
seemed like the mysteries of old legends. True, she conjectured from
his demeanor and ways that he was a person of rank, but she never
ascertained exactly who he was. She sometimes reproached Koremitz for
bringing her into such strange circumstances. But he cunningly kept
himself aloof from such taunts.

Be this as it may, Genji still frequently visited her, though at the
same time he was not unmindful that this kind of adventure was
scarcely consistent with his position. The girl was simple and modest
in nature, not certainly manoeuvring, neither was she stately or
dignified in mien, but everything about her had a peculiar charm and
interest, impossible to describe, and in the full charm of youth not
altogether void of experience.

"But by what charm in her," thought Genji, "am I so strongly affected;
no matter, I am so," and thus his passion continued.

Her residence was only temporary, and this Genji soon became aware of.
"If she leaves this place," thought he, "and I lose sight of her--for
when this may happen is uncertain--what shall I do?" He at last
decided to carry her off secretly to his own mansion in Nijiô. True,
if this became known it would be an awkward business; but such are
love affairs; always some dangers to be risked! He therefore fondly
entreated her to accompany him to some place where they could be
freer.

Her answer, however, was "That such a proposal on his part only
alarmed her." Genji was amused at her girlish mode of expression, and
earnestly said, "Which of us is a fox?[55] I don't know, but anyhow be
persuaded by me." And after repeated conversations of the same nature,
she at last half-consented. He had much doubt of the propriety of
inducing her to take this step, nevertheless her final compliance
flattered his vanity. He recollected very well the Tokonatz (Pinks)
which Tô-no-Chiûjiô spoke of, but never betrayed that he had any
knowledge of that circumstance.

It was on the evening of the 15th of August when they were together.
The moonlight streamed through the crevices of the broken wall. To
Genji such a scene was novel and peculiar. The dawn at length began to
break, and from the surrounding houses the voices of the farmers might
be heard talking.

One remarked, "How cool it is." Another, "There is not much hope for
our crops this year." "My carrying business I do not expect to
answer," responded the first speaker. "But are our neighbors
listening!" Conversing in this way they proceeded to their work.

Had the lady been one to whom surrounding appearances were important,
she might have felt disturbed, but she was far from being so, and
seemed as if no outward circumstances could trouble her equanimity,
which appeared to him an admirable trait. The noise of the threshing
of the corn came indistinctly to their ears like distant thunder. The
beating of the bleacher's hammer was also heard faintly from afar off.

They were in the front of the house. They opened the window and looked
out on the dawn. In the small garden before their eyes was a pretty
bamboo grove; their leaves, wet with dew, shone brilliantly, even as
bright as in the gardens of the palace. The cricket sang cheerfully in
the old walls as if it was at their very ears, and the flight of wild
geese in the air rustled overhead. Everything spoke of rural scenes
and business, different from what Genji was in the habit of seeing and
hearing round him.

To him all these sights and sounds, from their novelty and variety,
combined with the affection he had for the girl beside him, had a
delightful charm. She wore a light dress of clear purple, not very
costly; her figure was slight and delicate; the tones of her voice
soft and insinuating. "If she were only a little more cultivated,"
thought he, but, in any case, he was determined to carry her off.

"Now is the time," said he, "let us go together, the place is not very
far off."

"Why so soon?" she replied, gently. As her implied consent to his
proposal was thus given without much thought, he, on his part, became
bolder. He summoned her maid, Ukon, and ordered the carriage to be got
ready. Dawn now fairly broke; the cocks had ceased to crow, and the
voice of an aged man was heard repeating his orisons, probably during
his fast. "His days will not be many," thought Genji, "what is he
praying for?" And while so thinking, the aged mortal muttered, "Nam
Tôrai no Dôshi" (Oh! the Divine guide of the future). "Do listen to
that prayer," said Genji, turning to the girl, "it shows our life is
not limited to this world," and he hummed:--

    "Let us together, bind our soul
      With vows that Woobasok[56] has given,
    That when this world from sight shall roll
      Unparted we shall wake in heaven."

And added, "By Mirok,[57] let us bind ourselves in love forever."

The girl, doubtful of the future, thus replied in a melancholy tone:--

    "When in my present lonely lot,
      I feel my past has not been free
    From sins which I remember not,
      I dread more, what to come, may be."

In the meantime a passing cloud had suddenly covered the sky, and made
its face quite gray. Availing himself of this obscurity, Genji hurried
her away and led her to the carriage, where Ukon also accompanied her.

They drove to an isolated mansion on the Rokjiô embankment, which was
at no great distance, and called out the steward who looked after it.
The grounds were in great solitude, and over them lay a thick mist.
The curtains of the carriage were not drawn close, so that the sleeves
of their dresses were almost moistened. "I have never experienced this
sort of trouble before," said Genji; "how painful are the sufferings
of love."

    "Oh! were the ancients, tell me pray,
      Thus led away, by love's keen smart,
    I ne'er such morning's misty ray
      Have felt before with beating heart.

Have you ever?"

The lady shyly averted her face and answered:--

    "I, like the wandering moon, may roam,
      Who knows not if her mountain love
    Be true or false, without a home,
      The mist below, the clouds above."

The steward presently came out and the carriage was driven inside the
gates, and was brought close to the entrance, while the rooms were
hurriedly prepared for their reception. They alighted just as the mist
was clearing away.

This steward was in the habit of going to the mansion of Sadaijin, and
was well acquainted with Genji.

"Oh!" he exclaimed, as they entered. "Without proper attendants!" And
approaching near to Genji said, "Shall I call in some more servants?"

Genji replied at once and impressively, "I purposely chose a place
where many people should not intrude. Don't trouble yourself, and be
discreet."

Rice broth was served up for their breakfast, but no regular meal had
been prepared.

The sun was now high in the heavens. Genji got up and opened the
window. The gardens had been uncared for, and had run wild. The forest
surrounding the mansion was dense and old, and the shrubberies were
ravaged and torn by the autumn gales, and the bosom of the lake was
hidden by rank weeds. The main part of the house had been for a long
time uninhabited, except the servants' quarter, where there were only
a few people living.

"How fearful the place looks; but let no demon molest us," thought
Genji, and endeavored to direct the girl's attention by fond and
caressing conversation. And now he began, little by little, to throw
off the mask, and told her who he was, and then began humming:--

    "The flower that bloomed in evening's dew,
    Was the bright guide that led to you."

She looked at him askance, replying:--

    "The dew that on the Yûgao lay,
    Was a false guide and led astray."

Thus a faint allusion was made to the circumstances which were the
cause of their acquaintance, and it became known that the verse and
the fan had been sent by her attendant mistaking Genji for her
mistress's former lover.

In the course of a few hours the girl became more at her ease, and
later on in the afternoon Koremitz came and presented some fruits. The
latter, however, stayed with them only a short time.

The mansion gradually became very quiet, and the evening rapidly
approached. The inner room was somewhat dark and gloomy. Yûgao was
nervous; she was too nervous to remain there alone, and Genji
therefore drew back the curtains to let the twilight in, staying there
with her. Here the lovers remained, enjoying each other's sight and
company, yet the more the evening advanced, the more timid and
restless she became, so he quickly closed the casement, and she drew
by degrees closer and closer to his side. At these moments he also
became distracted and thoughtful. How the Emperor would be asking
after him, and know not where he might be! What would the lady, the
jealous lady, in the neighboring mansion think or say if she
discovered their secret? How painful it would be if her jealous rage
should flash forth on him! Such were the reflections which made him
melancholy; and as his eyes fell upon the girl affectionately sitting
beside him, ignorant of all these matters, he could not but feel a
kind of pity for her.

Night was now advancing, and they unconsciously dropped off to sleep,
when suddenly over the pillow of Genji hovered the figure of a lady of
threatening aspect. It said fiercely, "You faithless one, wandering
astray with such a strange girl."

And then the apparition tried to pull away the sleeping girl near him.
Genji awoke much agitated. The lamp had burnt itself out. He drew his
sword, and placed it beside him, and called aloud for Ukon, and she
came to him also quite alarmed.

"Do call up the servants and procure a light," said Genji.

"How can I go, 'tis too dark," she replied, shaking with fear.

"How childish!" he exclaimed, with a false laugh, and clapped his
hands to call a servant. The sound echoed drearily through the empty
rooms, but no servant came. At this moment he found the girl beside
him was also strangely affected. Her brow was covered with great drops
of cold perspiration, and she appeared rapidly sinking into a state of
unconsciousness.

"Ah! she is often troubled with the nightmare," said Ukon, "and
perhaps this disturbs her now; but let us try and rouse her."

"Yes, very likely," said Genji; "she was very much fatigued, and since
noon her eyes have often been riveted upwards, like one suffering from
some inward malady. I will go myself and call the servants"--he
continued, "clapping one's hands is useless, besides it echoes
fearfully. Do come here, Ukon, for a little while, and look after your
mistress." So pulling Ukon near Yûgao, he advanced to the entrance of
the saloon. He saw all was dark in the adjoining chambers. The wind
was high, and blew gustily round the mansion. The few servants,
consisting of a son of the steward, footman, and page, were all buried
in profound slumber. Genji called to them loudly, and they awoke with
a start. "Come," said he, "bring a light. Valet, twang your
bow-string, and drive away the fiend. How can you sleep so soundly in
such a place? But has Koremitz come?"

"Sir, he came in the evening, but you had given no command, and so he
went away, saying he would return in the morning," answered one.

The one who gave this reply was an old knight, and he twanged his
bow-strings vigorously, "Hiyôjin! hiyôjin!" (Be careful of the fire!
be careful of the fire!) as he walked round the rooms.

The mind of Genji instinctively reverted at this moment to the comfort
of the palace. "At this hour of midnight," he thought, "the careful
knights are patrolling round its walls. How different it is here!"

He returned to the room he had left; it was still dark. He found Yûgao
lying half dead and unconscious as before, and Ukon rendered helpless
by fright.

"What is the matter? What does it mean? What foolish fear is this?"
exclaimed Genji, greatly alarmed. "Perhaps in lonely places like this
the fox, for instance, might try to exercise his sorcery to alarm us,
but I am here, there is no cause for fear," and he pulled Ukon's
sleeve as he spoke, to arouse her.

"I was so alarmed," she replied; "but my lady must be more so; pray
attend to her."

"Well," said Genji, and bending over his beloved, shook her gently,
but she neither spoke nor moved. She had apparently fainted, and he
became seriously alarmed.

At this juncture the lights were brought. Genji threw a mantle over
his mistress, and then called to the man to bring the light to him.
The servant remained standing at a distance (according to etiquette),
and would not approach.

"Come near," exclaimed Genji, testily. "Do act according to
circumstances," and taking the lamp from him threw its light full on
the face of the lady, and gazed upon it anxiously, when at this very
moment he beheld the apparition of the same woman he had seen before
in his terrible dream, float before his eyes and vanish. "Ah!" he
cried, "this is like the phantoms in old tales. What is the matter
with the girl?" His own fears were all forgotten in his anxiety on her
account. He leaned over and called upon her, but in vain. She answered
not, and her glance was fixed. What was to be done? There was no one
whom he could consult. The exorcisms of a priest, he thought, might do
some good, but there was no priest. He tried to compose himself with
all the resolution he could summon, but his anguish was too strong for
his nerves. He threw himself beside her, and embracing her
passionately, cried, "Come back! come back to me, my darling! Do not
let us suffer such dreadful events." But she was gone; her soul had
passed gently away.

The story of the mysterious power of the demon, who had threatened a
certain courtier possessed of considerable strength of mind, suddenly
occurred to Genji, who thought self-possession was the only remedy in
present circumstances, and recovering his composure a little, said to
Ukon, "She cannot be dead! She shall not die yet!" He then called the
servant, and told him. "Here is one who has been strangely frightened
by a vision. Go to Koremitz and tell him to come at once; and if his
brother, the priest, is there, ask him to come also. Tell them
cautiously; don't alarm their mother."

The midnight passed, and the wind blew louder, rushing amongst the
branches of the old pines, and making them moan more and more sadly.
The cries of strange weird birds were heard, probably the shrieks of
the ill-omened screech-owl, and the place seemed more and more remote
from all human sympathy. Genji could only helplessly repeat, "How
could I have chosen such a retreat." While Ukon, quite dismayed, cried
pitifully at his side. To him it seemed even that this girl might
become ill, might die! The light of the lamp flickered and burnt dim.
Each side of the walls seemed to his alarmed sight to present
numberless openings one after another (where the demon might rush in),
and the sound of mysterious footsteps seemed approaching along the
deserted passages behind them. "Ah! were Koremitz but here," was the
only thought of Genji; but it would seem that Koremitz was from home,
and the time Genji had to wait for him seemed an age. At last the
crowing cocks announced the coming day, and gave him new courage.

He said to himself, "I must now admit this to be a punishment for all
my inconsiderateness. However secretly we strive to conceal our
faults, eventually they are discovered. First of all, what might not
my father think! and then the general public? And what a subject for
scandal the story of my escapades will become."

Koremitz now arrived, and all at once the courage with which Genji had
fought against calamity gave way, and he burst into tears, and then
slowly spoke. "Here a sad and singular event has happened; I cannot
explain to you why. For such sudden afflictions prayers, I believe,
are the only resource. For this reason I wished your brother to
accompany you here."

"He returned to his monastery only yesterday," replied Koremitz. "But
tell me what has happened; any unusual event to the girl?"

"She is dead," returned Genji in a broken voice; "dead without any
apparent cause."

Koremitz, like the Prince, was but young. If he had had greater
experience he would have been more serviceable to Genji; indeed, they
both were equally perplexed to decide what were the best steps to be
taken under the trying circumstances of the case.

At last Koremitz said, "If the steward should learn this strange
misfortune it might be awkward; as to the man himself he might be
relied on, but his family, who probably would not be so discreet,
might hear of the matter. It would, therefore, be better to quit this
place at once."

"But where can we find a spot where there are fewer observers than
here?" replied Genji.

"That is true. Suppose the old lodgings of the deceased. No, there are
too many people there. I think a mountain convent would be better,
because there they are accustomed to receive the dead within their
walls, so that matters can be more easily concealed."

And after a little reflection, he continued, "There is a nun whom I
know living in a mountain convent in Higashi-Yama. Let us take the
corpse there. She was my father's nurse; she is living there in strict
seclusion. That is the best plan I can think of."

This proposal was decided on, and the carriage was summoned.

Presuming that Genji would not like to carry the dead body in his
arms, Koremitz covered it with a mantle, and lifted it into the
carriage. Over the features of the dead maiden a charming calmness was
still spread, unlike what usually happens, there being nothing
repulsive. Her wavy hair fell outside the mantle, and her small mouth,
still parted, wore a faint smile. The sight distressed both the eyes
and heart of Genji. He fain would have followed the body; but this
Koremitz would not permit.

"Do take my horse and ride back to Nijiô at once," he said, and
ordered the horse for him. Then taking Ukon away in the same carriage
with the dead, he, girding up his dress, followed it on foot. It was
by no means a pleasant task for Koremitz, but he put up with it
cheerfully.

Genji, sunk in apathy, now rode back to Nijiô; he was greatly
fatigued, and looked pale. The people of the mansion noticed his sad
and haggard appearance.

Genji said nothing, but hurried straight away to his own private
apartment.

"Why did I not go with her?" he still vainly exclaimed. "What would
she think of me were she to return to life?" And these thoughts
affected him so deeply that he became ill, his head ached, his pulse
beat high, and his body burned with fever. The sun rose high, but he
did not leave his couch. His domestics were all perplexed. Rice gruel
was served up to him, but he would not touch it. The news of his
indisposition soon found its way out of the mansion, and in no time a
messenger arrived from the Imperial Palace to make inquiries. His
brother-in-law also came, but Genji only allowed Tô-no-Chiûjiô to
enter his room, saying to him, "My aged nurse has been ill since last
May, and has been tonsured, and received consecration; it was,
perhaps, from this sacrifice that at one time she became better, but
lately she has had a relapse, and is again very bad. I was advised to
visit her, moreover, she was always most kind to me, and if she had
died without seeing me it would have pained her, so I went to see her.
At this time a servant of her house, who had been ill, died suddenly.
Being rendered 'unclean' by this event, I am passing the time
privately. Besides, since the morning, I have become ill, evidently
the effects of cold. By the bye, you must excuse me receiving you in
this way."

"Well, sir," replied Tô-no-Chiûjiô, "I will represent these
circumstances to his Majesty. Your absence last night has given much
inquietude to the Emperor. He caused inquiries to be made for you
everywhere, and his humor was not very good." And thereupon
Tô-no-Chiûjiô took his leave, thinking as he went, "What sort of
'uncleanness' can this really be. I cannot put perfect faith in what
he tells me."

Little did Tô-no-Chiûjiô imagine that the dead one was no other than
his own long-lost Tokonatz (Pinks).

In the evening came Koremitz from the mountain, and was secretly
introduced, though all general visitors were kept excluded on the
pretext of the "uncleanness."

"What has become of her?" cried Genji, passionately, when he saw him.
"Is she really gone?"

"Her end has come," replied Koremitz, in a tone of sadness; "and we
must not keep the dead too long. To-morrow we will place her in the
grave: to-morrow 'is a good day.' I know a faithful old priest. I have
consulted with him how to arrange all."

"And what has become of Ukon?" asked Genji. "How does she bear it?"

"That is, indeed, a question. She was really deeply affected, and she
foolishly said, 'I will die with my mistress.' She was actually going
to throw herself headlong from the cliff; but I warned, I advised, I
consoled her, and she became more pacified."

"The state of her feelings may be easily conceived. I am myself not
less deeply wounded than she. I do not even know what might become of
myself."

"Why do you grieve so uselessly? Every uncertainty is the result of a
certainty. There is nothing in this world really to be lamented. If
you do not wish the public to know anything of this matter, I,
Koremitz, will manage it."

"I, also, am aware that everything is fated. Still, I am deeply sorry
to have brought this misfortune on this poor girl by my own
inconsiderate rashness. The only thing I have now to ask you, is to
keep these events in the dark. Do not mention them to any one--nay,
not even to your mother."

"Even from the priests to whom it must necessarily be known, I will
conceal the reality," replied Koremitz.

"Do manage all this most skilfully!"

"Why, of course I shall manage it as secretly as possible," cried
Koremitz; and he was about to take his departure, but Genji stopped
him.

"I must see her once more," said Genji, sorrowfully. "I will go with
you to behold her, before she is lost to my sight forever." And he
insisted on accompanying him.

Koremitz, however, did not at all approve of this project; but his
resistance gave way to the earnest desire of Genji, and he said, "If
you think so much about it, I cannot help it."

"Let us hasten, then, and return before the night be far advanced."

"You shall have my horse to ride."

Genji rose, and dressed himself in the ordinary plain style he usually
adopted for his private expeditions, and started away with one
confidential servant, besides Koremitz.

They crossed the river Kamo, the torches carried before them burning
dimly. They passed the gloomy cemetery of Toribeno, and at last
reached the convent.

It was a rude wooden building, and adjoining was a small Buddha Hall,
through whose walls votive tapers mysteriously twinkled. Within,
nothing but the faint sound of a female's voice repeating prayers was
to be heard. Outside, and around, the evening services in the
surrounding temples were all finished, and all Nature was in silent
repose. In the direction of Kiyomidz alone some scattered lights
studding the dark scene betrayed human habitations.

They entered. Genji's heart was beating fast with emotion. He saw Ukon
reclining beside a screen, with her back to the lamp. He did not speak
to her, but proceeded straight to the body, and gently drew aside the
mantle which covered its face. It still wore a look of tranquil
calmness; no change had yet attacked the features. He took the cold
hand in his own, crying out as he did so:--

"Do let me hear thy voice once more! Why have you left me thus
bereaved?" But the silence of death was unbroken!

He then, half sobbing, began to talk with Ukon, and invited her to
come to his mansion, and help to console him. But Koremitz now
admonished him to consider that time was passing quickly.

On this Genji threw a long sad farewell glance at the face of the
dead, and rose to depart. He was so feeble and powerless that he could
not mount his horse without the help of Koremitz. The countenance of
the dead girl floated ever before his sight, with the look she wore
when living, and it seemed as if he were being led on by some
mysterious influence.

The banks of the river Kamo were reached, when Genji found himself too
weak to support himself on horseback, and so dismounted.

"I am afraid," he exclaimed, "I shall not be able to reach home."

Koremitz was a little alarmed. "If I had only been firm," he thought,
"and had prevented this journey, I should not have exposed him to such
a trial." He descended to the river, and bathing his hands,[58]
offered up a prayer to Kwannon of Kiyomidz, and again assisted Genji
to mount, who struggled to recover his energy, and managed somehow to
return to Nijiô, praying in silence as he rode along.

The people of the mansion entertained grave apprehensions about him;
and not unnaturally, seeing he had been unusually restless for some
days, and had become suddenly ill since the day before, and they could
never understand what urgency had called him out on that evening.

Genji now lay down on his couch, fatigued and exhausted, and continued
in the same state for some days, when he became quite weak.

The Emperor was greatly concerned, as was also Sadaijin. Numerous
prayers were offered, and exorcisms performed everywhere in his
behalf, all with the most careful zeal. The public was afraid he was
too beautiful to live long.

The only solace he had at this time was Ukon; he had sent for her, and
made her stay in his mansion.

And whenever he felt better he had her near him, and conversed with
her about her dead mistress.

In the meantime, it might have been the result of his own energetic
efforts to realize the ardent hopes of the Emperor and his
father-in-law, that his condition became better, after a heavy trial
of some three weeks; and towards the end of September he became
convalescent. He now felt as though he had been restored to the world
to which he had formerly belonged. He was, however, still thin and
weak, and, for consolation, still resorted to talk with Ukon.

"How strange," he said to her, as they were conversing together one
fine autumn evening. "Why did she not reveal to me all her past life?
If she had but known how deeply I loved her, she might have been a
little more frank with me."

"Ah! no," replied Ukon; "she would not intentionally have concealed
anything from you; but it was, I imagine, more because she had no
choice. You at first conducted yourself in such a mysterious manner;
and she, on her part, regarded her acquaintance with you as something
like a dream. That was the cause of her reticence."

"What a useless reticence it was," exclaimed Genji. "I was not so
frank as, perhaps, I ought to have been; but you may be sure that made
no difference in my affection towards her. Only, you must remember,
there is my father, the Emperor, besides many others, whose vigilant
admonitions I am bound to respect. That was the reason why I had to be
careful. Nevertheless, my love to your mistress was singularly deep;
too deep, perhaps, to last long. Do tell me now all you know about
her; I do not see any reason why you should conceal it. I have
carefully ordered the weekly requiem for the dead; but tell me in
whose behalf it is, and what was her origin?"

"I have no intention of concealing anything from you. Why should I? I
only thought it would be blamable if one should reveal after death
what another had thought best to reserve," replied Ukon. "Her parents
died when she was a mere girl. Her father was called Sammi-Chiûjiô,
and loved her very dearly. He was always aspiring to better his
position, and wore out his life in the struggle. After his death, she
was left helpless and poor. She was however, by chance, introduced to
Tô-no-Chiûjiô, when he was still Shiôshiô, and not Chiûjiô. During
three years they kept on very good terms, and he was very kind to
her. But some wind or other attacks every fair flower; and, in the
autumn of last year, she received a fearful menace from the house of
Udaijin, to whose daughter, as you know, Tô-no-Chiûjiô is married.
Poor girl, she was terrified at this. She knew not what to do, and hid
herself, with her nurse, in an obscure part of the capital. It was not
a very agreeable place, and she was about removing to a certain
mountain hamlet, but, as its 'celestial direction' was closed this
year, she was still hesitating, and while matters were in this state,
you appeared on the scene. To do her justice, she had no thought of
wandering from one to another; but circumstances often make things
appear as if we did so. She was, by nature, extremely reserved, so
that she did not like to speak out her feelings to others, but rather
suffered in silence by herself. This, perhaps, you also have noticed."

"Then it was so, after all. She was the Tokonatz of Tô-no-Chiûjiô,"
thought Genji; and now it also transpired that all that Koremitz had
stated about Tô-no-Chiûjiô's visiting her at the Yûgao house was a
pure invention, suggested by a slight acquaintance with the girl's
previous history.

"The Chiûjiô told me once," said Genji, "that she had a little one.
Was there any such?"

"Yes, she had one in the spring of the year before last--a girl, a
nice child," replied Ukon.

"Where is she now?" asked Genji, "perhaps you will bring her to me
some day. I should like to have her with me as a memento of her
mother. I should not mind mentioning it to her father, but if I did
so, I must reveal the whole sad story of her mother's fate, and this
would not be advisable at present; however, I do not see any harm if I
were to bring her up as my daughter. You might manage it somehow
without my name being mentioned to any one concerned."

"That would be a great happiness for the child," exclaimed Ukon,
delighted, "I do not much appreciate her being brought up where she
is."

"Well, I will do so, only let us wait for some better chance. For the
present be discreet."

"Yes, of course. I cannot yet take any steps towards that object; we
must not unfurl our sails before the storm is completely over."

The foliage of the ground, touched with autumnal tints, was beginning
to fade, and the sounds of insects (_mushi_) were growing faint, and
both Genji and Ukon were absorbed by the sad charm of the scene. As
they meditated, they heard doves cooing among the bamboo woods.

To Genji it brought back the cries of that strange bird, which cry he
had heard on that fearful night in Rokjiô, and the subject recurred to
his mind once more, and he said to Ukon, "How old was she?"

"Nineteen."

"And how came you to know her?"

"I was the daughter of her first nurse, and a great favorite of her
father's, who brought me up with her, and from that time I never left
her. When I come to think of those days I wonder how I can exist
without her. The poet says truly, 'The deeper the love, the more
bitter the parting.' Ah! how gentle and retiring she was. How much I
loved her!"

"That retiring and gentle temperament," said Genji, "gives far greater
beauty to women than all beside, for to have no natural pliability
makes women utterly worthless."

The sky by this time became covered, and the wind blew chilly. Genji
gazed intently on it and hummed:--

    "When we regard the clouds above,
      Our souls are filled with fond desire,
    To me the smoke of my dead love,
      Seems rising from the funeral pyre."

The distant sound of the bleacher's hammer reached their ears, and
reminded him of the sound he had heard in the Yûgao's house. He bade
"Good-night" to Ukon, and retired to rest, humming as he went:--

    "In the long nights of August and September."

On the forty-ninth day (after the death of the Yûgao) he went to the
Hokke Hall in the Hiye mountain, and there had a service for the dead
performed, with full ceremony and rich offerings. The monk-brother of
Koremitz took every pains in its performance.

The composition of requiem prayers was made by Genji himself, and
revised by a professor of literature, one of his intimate friends. He
expressed in it the melancholy sentiment about the death of one whom
he had dearly loved, and whom he had yielded to Buddha. But who she
was was not stated. Among the offerings there was a dress. He took it
up in his hands and sorrowfully murmured,

    "With tears to-day, the dress she wore
      I fold together, when shall I
    Bright Elysium's far-off shore
      This robe of hers again untie?"

And the thought that the soul of the deceased might be still wandering
and unsettled to that very day, but that now the time had come when
her final destiny would be decided,[59] made him pray for her more
fervently.

So closed the sad event of Yûgao.

Now Genji was always thinking that he should wish to see his beloved
in a dream.

The evening after his visit to the Hokke Hall, he beheld her in his
slumbers, as he wished, but at the same moment the terrible face of
the woman that he had seen on that fearful evening in Rokjiô again
appeared before him; hence he concluded that the same mysterious being
who tenanted that dreary mansion had taken advantage of his fears and
had destroyed his beloved Yûgao.

A few words more about the house in which she had lived. After her
flight no communication had been sent to them even by Ukon, and they
had no idea of where she had gone to. The mistress of the house was a
daughter of the nurse of Yûgao. She with her two sisters lived there.
Ukon was a stranger to them, and they imagined that her being so was
the reason of her sending no intelligence to them. True they had
entertained some suspicions about the gay Prince, and pressed Koremitz
to confide the truth to them, but the latter, as he had done before,
kept himself skilfully aloof.

They then thought she might have been seduced and carried off by some
gallant son of a local Governor, who feared his intrigue might be
discovered by Tô-no-Chiûjiô.

During these days Kokimi, of Ki-no-Kami's house, still used to come
occasionally to Genji. But for some time past the latter had not sent
any letter to Cicada. When she heard of his illness she not
unnaturally felt for him, and also she had experienced a sort of
disappointment in not seeing his writing for some time, especially as
the time of her departure for the country was approaching. She
therefore sent him a letter of inquiry with the following:--

    "If long time passes slow away,
      Without a word from absent friend,
    Our fears no longer brook delay,
      But must some kindly greeting send."

To this letter Genji returned a kind answer and also the following:--

    "This world to me did once appear
      Like Cicada's shell, when cast away,
    Till words addressed by one so dear,
      Have taught my hopes a brighter day."

This was written with a trembling hand, but still bearing nice traits,
and when it reached Cicada, and she saw that he had not yet forgotten
past events, and the scarf he had carried away, she was partly amused
and partly pleased.

It was about this time that the daughter of Iyo-no-Kami was engaged to
a certain Kurando Shiôshiô, and he was her frequent visitor. Genji
heard of this, and without any intention of rivalry, sent her the
following by Kokimi:--

    "Like the green reed that grows on high
      By river's brink, our love has been,
    And still my wandering thoughts will fly
      Back to that quickly passing scene."

She was a little flattered by it, and gave Kokimi a reply, as
follows:--

    "The slender reed that feels the wind
      That faintly stirs its humble leaf,
    Feels that too late it breathes its mind,
      And only wakes, a useless grief."

Now the departure of Iyo-no-Kami was fixed for the beginning of
October.

Genji sent several parting presents to his wife, and in addition to
these some others, consisting of beautiful combs, fans, _nusa_,[60]
and the scarf he had carried away, along with the following, privately
through Kokimi:--

    "I kept this pretty souvenir
      In hopes of meeting you again,
    I send it back with many a tear,
      Since now, alas! such hope is vain."

There were many other minute details, which I shall pass over as
uninteresting to the reader.

Genji's official messenger returned, but her reply about the scarf was
sent through Kokimi:--

    "When I behold the summer wings
      Cicada like, I cast aside;
    Back to my heart fond memory springs,
      And on my eyes, a rising tide."

The day of the departure happened to be the commencement of the winter
season. An October shower fell lightly, and the sky looked gloomy.

Genji stood gazing upon it and hummed:--

    "Sad and weary Autumn hours,
      Summer joys now past away,
    Both departing, dark the hours,
      Whither speeding, who can say?"

All these intrigues were safely kept in strict privacy, and to have
boldly written all particulars concerning them is to me a matter of
pain. So at first I intended to omit them, but had I done so my
history would have become like a fiction, and the censure I should
expect would be that I had done so intentionally, because my hero was
the son of an Emperor; but, on the other hand, if I am accused of too
much loquacity, I cannot help it.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 52: Name of an ecclesiastical office.]

[Footnote 53: Sasinuki is a sort of loose trousers, and properly worn
by men only, hence some commentators conclude, the attendant here
mentioned to mean a boy, others contend, this garment was worn by
females also when they rode.]

[Footnote 54: A mythological repulsive deity who took part in the
building of a bridge at the command of a powerful magician.]

[Footnote 55: A popular superstition in China and Japan believes foxes
to have mysterious powers over men.]

[Footnote 56: Upasaka, a sect of the followers of Buddhism who are
laymen though they observe the rules of clerical life.]

[Footnote 57: Meitreya, a Buddhisatva destined to reappear as a Buddha
after the lapse of an incalculable series of years.]

[Footnote 58: It is the Oriental custom that when one offers up a
prayer, he first washes his hands, to free them from all impurity.]

[Footnote 59: According to the Buddhist's doctrine of the Hosso sect,
all the souls of the dead pass, during seven weeks after death, into
an intermediate state, and then their fate is decided. According to
the Tendai sect, the best and the worst go immediately where they
deserve, but those of a medium nature go through this process.]

[Footnote 60: An offering made of paper, to the God of roads, which
travellers were accustomed to make, before setting out on a journey.]



CHAPTER V

YOUNG VIOLET


It was the time when Genji became subject to periodical attacks of
ague, that many exorcisms and spells were performed to effect a cure,
but all in vain. At length he was told by a friend that in a certain
temple on the northern mountain (Mount Kurama) there dwelt a famous
ascetic, and that when the epidemic had prevailed during the previous
summer, many people had recovered through his exorcisms. "If," added
the friend, "the disease is neglected it becomes serious; try
therefore, this method of procuring relief at once, and before it is
too late."

Genji, therefore, sent for the hermit, but he declined to come, saying
that he was too old and decrepit to leave his retreat. "What shall I
do?" exclaimed Genji, "shall I visit him privately?" Eventually,
taking four or five attendants, he started off early one morning for
the place, which was at no great distance on the mountain.

It was the last day of March, and though the height of the season for
flowers in the capital was over, yet, on the mountain, the
cherry-trees were still in blossom. They advanced on their way further
and further. The haze clung to the surface like a soft sash does round
the waist, and to Genji, who had scarcely ever been out of the
capital, the scenery was indescribably novel. The ascetic lived in a
deep cave in the rocks, near the lofty summit. Genji did not, however,
declare who he was, and the style of his retinue was of a very private
character. Yet his nobility of manners was easily recognizable.

"Welcome your visit!" cried the hermit, saluting him. "Perhaps you are
the one who sent for me the other day? I have long since quitted the
affairs of this world, and have almost forgotten the secret of my
exorcisms. I wonder why you have come here for me." So saying, he
pleasingly embraced him. He was evidently a man of great holiness. He
wrote out a talismanic prescription, which he gave to Genji to drink
in water, while he himself proceeded to perform some mysterious rite.
During the performance of this ceremony the sun rose high in the
heavens. Genji, meantime, walked out of the cave and looked around him
with his attendants. The spot where they stood was very lofty, and
numerous monasteries were visible, scattered here and there in the
distance beneath. There was immediately beyond the winding path in
which they were walking a picturesque and pretty building enclosed by
hedges. Its well arranged balconies and the gardens around it
apparently betokened the good taste of its inhabitants. "Whose house
may that be?" inquired Genji of his attendants. They told him it was a
house in which a certain priest had been living for the last two
years. "Ah! I know him," said Genji. "Strange, indeed, would it be if
he were to discover that I am here in this privacy." They noticed a
nun and a few more females with her walking in the garden, who were
carrying fresh water for their offerings, and were gathering flowers.
"Ah! there are ladies walking there," cried the attendants in tones of
surprise. "Surely, the Reverend Father would not indulge in
flirtations! Who can they be?" And some of them even descended a
little distance, and peered over the enclosure, where a pretty little
girl was also seen amongst them.

Genji now engaged in prayer until the sun sank in the heavens. His
attendants, who were anxious about his disease, told him that it would
be good for him to have a change from time to time. Hereupon, he
advanced to the back of the temple, and his gaze fell on the far-off
Capital in the distance, which was enveloped in haze as the dusk was
setting in, over the tops of the trees around. "What a lovely
landscape!" exclaimed Genji. "The people to whom such scenery is
familiar, are perhaps happy and contented." "Nay," said the
attendants, "but were you to see the beautiful mountain ranges and the
sea-coast in our various provinces, the pictures would indeed be found
lovely." Then some of them described to him Fuji Yama, while others
told him of other mountains, diverting his attention by their animated
description of the beautiful bays and coasts of the Western Provinces;
thus as they depicted them to him, they cheered and gladdened his
mind. One of them went on to say: "Among such sights and at no great
distance, there is the sea-coast of Akashi, in the Province of
Harima, which is, I think, especially beautiful. I cannot, indeed,
point out in detail its most remarkable features, but, in general, the
blue expanse of the sea is singularly charming. Here, too, the home of
the former Governor of the Province constitutes an object of great
attraction. He has assumed the tonsure, and resides there with his
beautiful daughter. He is the descendant of a high personage, and was
not without hope of elevation at Court, but, being of an eccentric
character, he was strongly averse to society. He had formerly been a
Chiûjiô of the Imperial Guard, but having resigned that office, had
become Governor of Harima. He was not, however, popular in that
office. In this state of affairs he reflected within himself, no
doubt, that his presence in the Capital could not but be disagreeable.
When, therefore, his term of office expired, he determined still to
remain in the province. He did not, however, go to the mountainous
regions of the interior, but chose the sea-coast. There are in this
district several places which are well situated for quiet retirement,
and it would have seemed inconsistent in him had he preferred a part
of the sea-coast so near the gay world; nevertheless, a retreat in the
too remote interior would have been too solitary, and might have met
with objections on the part of his wife and child. For this reason, it
appears, that he finally selected the place which I have already
alluded to for the sake of his family. When I went down there last
time, I became acquainted with the history and circumstances of the
family, and I found that though he may not have been well received in
the Capital, yet, that here, having been formerly governor, he enjoys
considerable popularity and respect. His residence, moreover, is well
appointed and of sufficient magnitude, and he performs with
punctuality and devoutness his religious duties--nay, almost with more
earnestness than many regular priests." Here Genji interrupted. "What
is his daughter like?" "Without doubt," answered his companion, "the
beauty of her person is unrivalled, and she is endowed with
corresponding mental ability. Successive governors often offer their
addresses to her with great sincerity, but no one has ever yet been
accepted. The dominant idea of her father seems to be this: 'What,
have I sunk to such a position! Well, I trust, at least, that my only
daughter may be successful and prosperous in her life!' He often told
her, I heard, that if she survived him, and if his fond hopes for her
should not be realized, it would be better for her to cast herself
into the sea."

Genji was much interested in this conversation, and the rest of the
company laughingly said, "Ah! she is a woman who is likely to become
the Queen of the Blue Main. In very truth her father must be an
extraordinary being!"

The attendant who had given this account of the ex-governor and his
daughter, was the son of the present Governor of the Province. He was
until lately a Kurand, and this year had received the title of Jugoi.
His name was Yoshikiyo, and he, too, was a man of gay habits, which
gave occasion to one of his companions to observe: "Ah! perhaps you
also have been trying to disappoint the hopes of the aged father."
Another said, "Well, our friend has given us a long account, but we
must take it with some reserve. She must be, after all, a country
maiden, and all that I can give credit to is this much: that her
mother may be a woman of some sense, who takes great care of the girl.
I am only afraid that if any future governor should be seized with an
ardent desire to possess her, she would not long remain unattached."

"What possible object could it serve if she were carried to the bottom
of the sea? The natives of the deep would derive no pleasure from her
charms," remarked Genji, while he himself secretly desired to behold
her.

"Ay," thought his companions, "with his susceptible temperament, what
wonder if this story touches him."

The day was far advanced, and the Prince prepared to leave the
mountain. The Hermit, however, told him that it would be better to
spend the evening in the Temple, and to be further prayed for. His
attendants also supported this suggestion. So Genji made up his mind
to stay there, saying, "Then I shall not return home till to-morrow."

The days at this season were of long duration, and he felt it rather
tiresome to pass a whole evening in sedate society, so, under the
cover of the shades of the evening, he went out of the Temple, and
proceeded to the pretty building enclosed by hedges. All the
attendants had been despatched home except Koremitz, who accompanied
him. They peeped at this building through the hedges. In the western
antechamber of the house was placed an image of Buddha, and here an
evening service was performed. A nun, raising a curtain before
Buddha, offered a garland of flowers on the altar, and placing a Kiô
(or Sutra, i.e., Buddhist Bible) on her "arm-stool," proceeded to read
it. She seemed to be rather more than forty years old. Her face was
rather round, and her appearance was noble. Her hair was thrown back
from her forehead and was cut short behind, which suited her very
well. She was, however, pale and weak, her voice, also, being
tremulous. Two maiden attendants went in and out of the room waiting
upon her, and a little girl ran into the room with them. She was about
ten years old or more, and wore a white silk dress, which fitted her
well and which was lined with yellow. Her hair was waved like a fan,
and her eyes were red from crying. "What is the matter? Have you
quarrelled with the boy?" exclaimed the nun, looking at her. There was
some resemblance between the features of the child and the nun, so
Genji thought that she possibly might be her daughter.

"Inuki has lost my sparrow, which I kept so carefully in the cage,"
replied the child.

"That stupid boy," said one of the attendants. "Has he again been the
cause of this? Where can the bird be gone? And all this, too, after we
had tamed it with so much care." She then left the room, possibly to
look for the lost bird. The people who addressed her called her
Shiônagon, and she appeared to have been the little girl's nurse.

"To you," said the nun to the girl, "the sparrow may be dearer than I
may be, who am so ill; but have I not told you often that the caging
of birds is a sin? Be a good girl; come nearer!"

The girl advanced and stood silent before her, her face being bathed
in tears. The contour of the child-like forehead and of the small and
graceful head was very pleasing. Genji, as he surveyed the scene from
without, thought within himself, "If she is thus fair in her girlhood,
what will she be when she is grown up?" One reason why Genji was so
much attracted by her was, that she greatly resembled a certain lady
in the Palace, to whom he, for a long time, had been fondly attached.
The nun stroked the beautiful hair of the child and murmured to
herself, "How splendid it looks! Would that she would always strive to
keep it thus. Her extreme youth makes me anxious, however. Her mother
departed this life when she only a very young girl, but she was quite
sensible at the age of this one. Supposing that I were to leave her
behind, I wonder what would happen to her!" As she thus murmured, her
countenance became saddened by her forebodings.

The sight moved Genji's sympathy as he gazed. It seemed that the
tender heart of the child was also touched, for she silently watched
the expression of the nun's features, and then with downcast eyes bent
her face towards the ground, the lustrous hair falling over her back
in waves.

The nun hummed, in a tone sufficiently audible to Genji,

    "The dews that wet the tender grass,
    At the sun's birth, too quickly pass,
    Nor e'er can hope to see it rise
    In full perfection to the skies."

Shiônagon, who now joined them, and heard the above distich, consoled
the nun with the following:--

    "The dews will not so quickly pass,
      Nor shall depart before they see
    The full perfection of the grass,
      They loved so well in infancy."

At this juncture a priest entered and said, "Do you know that this
very day Prince Genji visited the hermit in order to be exorcised by
him. I must forthwith go and see him."

Genji observing this movement quickly returned to the monastery,
thinking as he went what a lovely girl he had seen. "I can guess from
this," thought he, "why those gay fellows (referring to his
attendants) so often make their expeditions in search of good fortune.
What a charming little girl have I seen to-day! Who can she be? Would
that I could see her morning and evening in the palace, where I can no
longer see the fair loved one whom she resembles!" He now returned to
the monastery, and retired to his quarters. Soon after a disciple of
the priest came and delivered a message from him through Koremitz,
saying, "My master has just heard of the Prince's visit to the
mountain, and would have waited on him at once, but thought it better
to postpone calling. Nevertheless he would be much pleased to offer a
humble welcome, and feels disappointed that he has not yet had an
opportunity of doing so."

Genji said in reply, "I have been afflicted with constant attacks of
ague for the last few weeks, and, therefore, by the advice of my
friends, I came to this mountain to be exorcised. If, however, the
spells of the holy man are of no avail to me, his reputation might
suffer in consequence. For that reason I wish to keep my visit as
private as possible, nevertheless I will come now to your master."
Thereupon the priest himself soon made his appearance, and, after
briefly relating the circumstances which had occasioned his retirement
to this locality, he offered to escort Genji to his house, saying, "My
dwelling is but a rustic cottage, but still I should like you to see,
at least, the pretty mountain streamlet which waters my garden."

Genji accepted the offer, thinking as he went, "I wonder what the
priest has said at home about myself to those to whom I have not yet
been introduced. But it will be pleasant to see them once more."

The night was moonless. The fountain was lit up by torches, and many
lamps also were lighted in the garden. Genji was taken to an airy room
in the southern front of the building, where incense which was burning
threw its sweet odors around. The priest related to him many
interesting anecdotes, and also spoke eloquently of man's future
destiny. Genji as he heard him, felt some qualms of conscience, for he
remembered that his own conduct was far from being irreproachable. The
thought troubled him that he would never be free from the sting of
these recollections through his life, and that there was a world to
come, too! "Oh, could I but live in a retreat like this priest!" As he
thus thought of a retreat, he was involuntarily taken by a fancy, that
how happy would he be if accompanied to such a retreat by such a girl
as he had seen in the evening, and with this fancy her lovely face
rose up before him.

Suddenly he said to the priest, "I had once a dream which made me
anxious to know who was living in this house, and here to-day that
dream has again come back to my memory!" The priest laughed, and said,
"A strange dream! even were you to obtain your wish it might not
gratify you. The late Lord Azechi Dainagon died long ago, and perhaps
you know nothing about him. Well! his widow is my sister, and since
her husband's death her health has not been satisfactory, so lately
she has been living here in retirement."

"Ah, yes," said Genji, venturing upon a guess, "and I heard that she
bore a daughter to Dainagon."

"Yes, she had a daughter, but she died about ten years ago. After her
father's death the sole care of her fell upon her widowed mother
alone. I know not how it came to pass, but she became secretly
intimate with Prince Hiôbkiô. But the Prince's wife was very jealous
and severe, so she had much to suffer and put up with. I saw
personally the truth that 'care kills more than labor.'"

"Ah, then," thought Genji, "the little one is her daughter, and no
wonder that she resembles the one in the palace (because Prince
Hiôbkiô was the brother of the Princess Wistaria). How would it be if
I had free control over her, and had her brought up and educated
according to my own notions?" So thinking, he proceeded to say how sad
it was that she died! "Did she leave any offspring?"

"She gave birth to a child at her death, which was also a girl, and
about this girl the grandmother is always feeling very anxious."

"Then," said Genji, "let it not appear strange to you if I say this,
but I should be very happy to become the guardian of this girl. Will
you speak to her grandmother about it? It is true that there is one to
whom my lot is linked, but I care but little for her, and indeed
usually lead a solitary life."

"Your offer is very kind," replied the priest, "but she is extremely
young. However every woman grows up under the protecting care of some
one, and so I cannot say much about her, only it shall be mentioned to
my sister."

The priest said this with a grave and even a stern expression on his
countenance, which caused Genji to drop the subject.

He then asked the Prince to excuse him, for it was the hour for
vespers, and as he quitted the room to attend the service, said he
would return as soon as it was finished.

Genji was alone. A slight shower fell over the surrounding country,
and the mountain breezes blew cool. The waters of the torrent were
swollen, and the roar of them might be heard from afar. Broken and
indistinct, one might hear the melancholy sound of the sleepy
intonation of prayers. Even those people who have no sorrow of their
own often feel melancholy from the circumstances in which they are
placed. So Genji, whose mind was occupied in thought, could not
slumber here. The priest said he was going to vespers, but in reality
it was later than the proper time for them. Genji perceived that the
inmates had not yet retired to rest in the inner apartments of the
house. They were very quiet, yet the sound of the telling of beads,
which accidentally struck the lectern, was heard from time to time.
The room was not far from his own. He pulled the screen slightly
aside, and standing near the door, he struck his fan on his hand, to
summon some one.

"What can be the matter," said an attendant, and as she came near to
the Prince's room she added, "Perhaps my ear was deceived," and she
began to retire.

"Buddha will guide you; fear not the darkness, I am here," said Genji.

"Sir!" replied the servant, timidly.

"Pray do not think me presumptuous," said Genji; "but may I beg you to
transmit this poetical effusion to your mistress for me?

    Since first that tender grass I viewed,
      My heart no soft repose e'er feels,
    But gathering mist my sleeve bedews,
      And pity to my bosom steals."

"Surely you should know, sir, that there is no one here to whom such
things can be presented!"

"Believe me, I have my own reasons for this," said Genji. "Let me
beseech you to take it."

So the attendant went back, and presented it to the nun.

"I do not see the real intent of the effusion," thought the nun.
"Perhaps he thinks that she is already a woman. But"--she continued,
wonderingly--"how could he have known about the young grass?" And she
then remained silent for a while. At last, thinking it would be
unbecoming to take no notice of it, she gave orally the following
reply to the attendant to be given to Genji:--

    "You say your sleeve is wet with dew,
    'Tis but one night alone for you,
    But there's a mountain moss grows nigh,
    Whose leaves from dew are never dry."

When Genji heard this, he said: "I am not accustomed to receive an
answer such as this through the mouth of a third person. Although I
thank the lady for even that much, I should feel more obliged to her
if she would grant me an interview, and allow me to explain to her my
sincere wishes."

This at length obliged the nun to have an interview with the Prince.
He then told her that he called Buddha to witness that, though his
conduct may have seemed bold, it was dictated by pure and
conscientious motives.

"All the circumstances of your family history are known to me,"
continued he. "Look upon me, I pray, as a substitute for your once
loved daughter. I, too, when a mere infant, was deprived by death of
my best friend--my mother--and the years and months which then rolled
by were fraught with trouble to me. In that same position your little
one is now. Allow us, then, to become friends. We could sympathize
with each other. 'Twas to reveal these wishes to you that I came here,
and risked the chance of offending you in doing so."

"Believe me, I am well disposed at your offer," said the nun; "but you
may have been incorrectly informed. It is true that there is a little
girl dependent upon myself, but she is but a child. Her society could
not afford you any pleasure; and forgive me, therefore, if I decline
your request."

"Yet let there be no reserve in the expression of your ideas,"
interrupted Genji; but, before they could talk further, the return of
the priest put an end to the subject, and Genji retired to his
quarters, after thanking the nun for his kind reception.

The night passed away, and dawn appeared. The sky was again hazy, and
here and there melodious birds were singing among the mountain shrubs
and flowers that blossomed around. The deer, too, which were to be
seen here, added to the beauty of the picture. Gazing around at these
Genji once more proceeded to the temple. The hermit--though too infirm
to walk--again contrived to offer up his prayers on Genji's behalf,
and he also read from the Darani.[61] The tremulous accents of the old
man--poured forth from his nearly toothless mouth--imparted a greater
reverence to his prayers.

Genji's attendants now arrived from the capital, and congratulated him
on the improvement in his health. A messenger was despatched from the
Imperial Palace for the same purpose. The priest now collected wild
and rare fruits, not to be met with in the distant town, and, with all
respect, presented them to Genji, saying: "The term of my vow has not
yet expired; and I am, therefore, sorry to say that I am unable to
descend the mountain with you on your departure." He then offered to
him the parting cup of _saké_.

"This mountain, with its waters, fill me with admiration," said Genji,
"and I regret that the anxiety of my father the Emperor obliges me to
quit the charming scene; but before the season is past, I will revisit
it: and--

    The city's folk from me shall hear
    How mountain cherries blossom fair,
    And ere the Spring has passed away,
    I'll bid them view the prospect gay."

To this the priest replied--

    "Your noble presence seems to me
    Like the rare flowers of Udon tree,[62]
    Nor does the mountain cherry white,
    Attract my gaze while you're in sight."

Genji smiled slightly, and said: "That is a very great compliment; but
the Udon tree does not blossom so easily."

The hermit also raised the cup to his lips, and said:--

    "Opening my lonely hermit's door,
      Enclosed around by mountain pine,
    A blossom never seen before
      My eyes behold that seems divine."

And he presented to him his _toko_ (a small ecclesiastical wand). On
seeing this, the priest also made him the following presents:--A
rosary of Kongôji (a kind of precious stone), which the sage Prince
Shôtok obtained from Corea, enclosed in the original case in which it
had been sent from that country; some medicine of rare virtue in a
small emerald jar; and several other objects, with a spray of
Wistaria, and a branch of cherry blossoms.

Genji, too, on the other hand, made presents, which he had ordered
from the capital, to the hermit and his disciples who had taken part
in the religious ceremonies, and also to the poor mountaineers. He
also sent the following to the nun, by the priest's page:--

    "In yester-eve's uncertain light,
    A flower I saw so young and bright,
    But like a morning mist. Now pain
    Impels me yet to see again."

A reply from the nun was speedily brought to him, which ran thus:--

    "You say you feel, perhaps 'tis true,
      A pang to leave these mountain bowers,
    For sweet the blossoms, sweet the view,
      To strangers' eyes of mountain flowers."

While this was being presented to him in his carriage, a few more
people came, as if accidentally, to wait upon him on his journey.
Among them was Tô-no-Chiûjiô, and his brother Ben, who said: "We are
always pleased to follow you; it was unkind of you to leave us
behind."

Just as the party were on the point of starting, some of them observed
that it was a pity to leave so lovely a spot without resting awhile
among the flowers. This was immediately agreed to, and they took their
seats on a moss-grown rock, a short distance from which a little
streamlet descended in a murmuring cascade.

They there began to drink _saké_, and Tô-no-Chiûjiô taking his flute,
evoked from it a rich and melodious strain; while Ben, tapping his fan
in concert, sang "The Temple of Toyora," while the Prince, as he
leaned against a rock, presented a picturesque appearance, though he
was pale and thin.

Among the attendants was one who blew on a long flute, called
Hichiriki, and another on a Shiô flute. The priest brought a _koto_,
and begged Genji to perform upon it, saying: "If we are to have music
at all, let us have a harmonious concert." Genji said that he was no
master of music; but, nevertheless, he played, with fair ability, a
pleasing air. Then they all rose up, and departed.

After they had quitted the mountain, Genji first of all went to the
Palace, where he immediately had an interview with the Emperor, who
considered his son to be still weak in health; and who asked him
several questions with regard to the efficacy of the prayers of the
reverend hermit. Genji gave him all particulars of his visit to the
mountain.

"Ah!" said the Emperor, "he may some day be entitled to become a dean
(Azali). His virtue and holiness have not yet been duly appreciated by
the government and the nation."

Sadaijin, the father-in-law of the Prince, here entered, and entreated
Genji to accompany him to his mansion, and spend a few days. Genji did
not feel very anxious to accept this invitation, but was persuaded to
do so. Sadaijin conveyed him in his own carriage, and gave up to him
the seat of honor.

They arrived; but, as usual, his bride did not appear, and only
presented herself at last at the earnest request of her father. She
was one of those model princesses whom one may see in a picture--very
formal and very sedate--and it was very difficult to draw her into
conversation. She was very uninteresting to Genji. He thought that it
would only lead to a very unpleasant state of affairs, as years grew
on, if they were to be as cool and reserved to each other as they had
been hitherto. Turning to her, he said, with some reproachfulness in
his accents, "Surely you should sometimes show me a little of the
ordinary affection of people in our position!"

She made no reply; but, glancing coolly upon him, murmured with
modest, yet dignified, tone--

     "When you cease to care for me,
     What can I then do for thee?"

"Your words are few; but they have a sting in them. You say I cease to
care for you; but you do me wrong in saying so. May the time come when
you will no longer pain me thus," said Genji; and he made every effort
to conciliate her. But she was not easily appeased. He was
unsuccessful in his effort, and presently they retired to their
apartment, where he soon relapsed into sleepy indifference. His
thoughts began to wander back into other regions, and hopes of the
future growth and charms of the young mountain-violet again occupied
his mind. "Oh! how difficult it is to secure a prize," thought he.
"How can I do so? Her father, Prince Hiôbkiô, is a man of rank, and
affable, but he is not of prepossessing appearance. Why does his
daughter resemble so much, in her personal attractions, the lovely one
in the chamber of Wistaria. Is it that the mother of her father and of
Wistaria is the same person? How charming is the resemblance between
them! How can I make her mine?"

Some days afterwards he sent a letter to the mountain home, and also a
communication--perhaps with some hint in it--to the priest. In his
letter to the nun he said that her indifference made it desirable to
refrain from urging his wishes; but, nevertheless, that he should be
deeply gratified if she would think more favorably of the idea which
was now so deeply rooted in his mind. Inside the letter he enclosed a
small folded slip of paper, on which was written:--

    "The mountain flower I left behind
      I strive but vainly to forget,
    Those lovely traits still rise to mind
      And fill my heart with sad regret."

This ludicrous effusion caused the nun to be partly amused and partly
vexed. She wrote an answer as follows:--

"When you came into our neighborhood your visit was very pleasing to
us, and your special message does us honor. I am, however, at a loss
how to express myself with regard to the little one, as yet she cannot
even manage the naniwadz."[63]

Enclosed in the note were the following lines, in which she hinted as
to her doubts of the steadfastness of Genji's character:

    "Your heart admires the lowly flower
    That dwells within our mountain bower.
    Not long, alas! that flower may last
    Torn by the mountain's angry blast."

The tenor of the priest's answer was much the same, and it caused
Genji some vexation.

About this time the Lady Wistaria, in consequence of an attack of
illness, had retired from the palace to her private residence, and
Genji, while sympathizing with the anxiety of the Emperor about her,
longed greatly for an opportunity of seeing her, ill though she was.
Hence at this time he went nowhere, but kept himself in his mansion at
Nijiô, and became thoughtful and preoccupied. At length he endeavored
to cajole Ô Miôbu, Wistaria's attendant, into arranging an opportunity
for him to see her. On Wistaria's part there were strong doubts as to
the propriety of complying with his request, but at last the
earnestness of the Prince overcame her scruples, and Ô Miôbu managed
eventually to bring about a meeting between them.[64]

Genji gave vent to his feelings to the Princess, as follows:--

    "Though now we meet, and not again
      We e'er may meet, I seem
    As though to die, I were full fain
      Lost in this blissful dream."

Then the Princess replied to him, full of sadness:--

    "We might dream on but fear the name,
      The envious world to us may give,
    Forgetful of the darkened fame,
      That lives when we no longer live."

For some time after this meeting had taken place, Genji found himself
too timid to appear at his father's palace, and remained in his
mansion. The Princess, too, experienced a strong feeling of remorse.
She had, moreover, a cause of anxiety special in its nature and
peculiar to herself as a woman, for which she alone felt some
uneasiness of conscience.

Three months of the summer had passed away, and her secret began to
betray itself externally. The Emperor was naturally anxious about the
health of his favorite, and kind inquiries were sent from time to time
to her. But the kinder he was to her the more conscience-stricken she
felt.

Genji at this time was often visited by strange dreams. When he
consulted a diviner about them, he was told that something remarkable
and extraordinary might happen to him, and that it behooved him to be
cautious and prudent.

"Here is a pretty source of embarrassment," thought Genji.

He cautioned the diviner to be discreet about it, especially because
he said the dreams were not his own but another person's. When at last
he heard authentically about the condition of the Princess, he was
extremely anxious to communicate with her, but she now peremptorily
objected to any kind of correspondence between them, and Ô Miôbu too
refused any longer to assist him.

In July Wistaria returned to the palace. There she was received by the
Emperor with great rejoicing, and he thought that her condition did
but add to her attractiveness.

It was now autumn, the season when agreeable receptions were often
held by the Emperor in Court, and it was awkward when Genji and the
Princess happened to face each other on these occasions, as neither of
them could be free from their tender recollections.

During these autumn evenings the thoughts of Genji were often directed
to the granddaughter of the nun, especially because she resembled the
Princess so much. His desire to possess her was considerably
increased, and the recollection of the first evening when he heard
the nun intoning to herself the verses about the tender grass,
recurred to his mind. "What," thought he, "if I pluck this tender
grass, would it then be, would it then grow up, as fair as now."

    "When will be mine this lovely flower
      Of tender grace and purple hue?
    Like the Wistaria of the bower,
      Its charms are lovely to my view."

The Emperor's visit to the Palace Suzak-in was now announced to take
place in October, and dancers and musicians were selected from among
the young nobles who were accomplished in these arts, and Royal
Princes and officers of State were fully engaged in preparation for
the _fête_. After the Royal festivities, a separate account of which
will be given hereafter, he sent again a letter to the mountain. The
answer, however, came only from the priest, who said that his sister
had died on the twentieth day of the last month; and added that though
death is inevitable to all of us, still he painfully felt her loss.

Genji pondered first on the precariousness of human life, and then
thought how that little one who had depended on her must be afflicted,
and gradually the memory of his own childhood, during which he too had
lost his mother, came back to his mind.

When the time of full mourning was over, Shiônagon, together with the
young girl, returned to their house in the capital. There one evening
Genji paid them a visit. The house was rather a gloomy one, and was
tenanted by fewer inmates than usual.

"How timid the little girl must feel!" thought Genji, as he was shown
in. Shiônagon now told him with tearful eyes every circumstance which
had taken place since she had seen him. She also said that the girl
might be handed over to her father, who told her that she must do so,
but his present wife was said to be very austere. The girl is not
young enough to be without ideas and wishes of her own, but yet not
old enough to form them sensibly; so were she to be taken to her
father's house and be placed with several other children, much misery
would be the result. Her grandmother suffered much on this account.
"Your kindness is great," continued she, "and we ought not, perhaps,
to think too anxiously about the future. Still she is young, too
young, and we cannot think of it without pity."

"Why do you recur to that so often?" said Genji, "it is her very
youthfulness which moves my sympathy. I am anxious to talk to her,

    Say, can the wave that rolls to land,
      Return to ocean's heaving breast,
    Nor greet the weed upon the strand
      With one wild kiss, all softly pressed.

How sweet it would be!"

"That is very beautifully put, sir," said Shiônagon, "but,

    Half trembling at the coming tide
      That rolls about the sea-beat sand,
    Say, can the tender weed untried,
      Be trusted to its boisterous hand?"

Meanwhile the girl, who was with her companions in her apartment, and
who was told that a gentleman in Court dress had arrived, and that
perhaps it was the Prince, her father, came running in, saying,
"Shiônagon, where is the gentleman in Court dress; has the Prince, my
father, arrived?"

"Not the Prince, your father," uttered Genji, "but I am here, and I
too am your friend. Come here!"

The girl, glancing with shy timidity at Genji, for whom she already
had some liking, and thinking that perhaps there was impropriety in
what she had spoken, went over to her nurse, and said, "Oh! I am very
sleepy, and wish to lie down!"

"See how childish she still is," remarked Shiônagon.

"Why are you so timid, little one, come here and sleep on my knees,"
said Genji.

"Go, my child, as you are asked," observed Shiônagon, and she pushed
her towards Genji.

Half-unconsciously she took her place by his side. He pushed aside a
small shawl which covered her hair, and played with her long tresses,
and then he took her small hand in his. "Ah, my hand!" cried she, and
drawing it back, she ran into a neighboring room. Genji followed her,
and tried to coax her out of her shyness, telling her that he was one
of her best friends, and that she was not to be so timid.

By this time darkness had succeeded to the beautiful evening, and hail
began to fall.

"Close the casement, it is too fearful, I will watch over you this
evening," said Genji, as he led the girl away, to the great surprise
of Shiônagon and others who wondered at his ease in doing this.

By and by she became sleepy, and Genji, as skilfully as any nurse
could, removed all her outer clothing, and placed her on the couch to
sleep, telling her as he sat beside her, "some day you must come with
me to some beautiful palace, and there you shall have as many pictures
and playthings as you like." Many other similar remarks he added to
arrest her attention and to please her.

Her fears gradually subsided, and as she kept looking on the handsome
face of Genji, and taking notice of his kindness, she did not fall
asleep for some time.

When the night was advanced, and the hailstorm had passed away, Genji
at last took his departure. The temperature now suddenly changed, and
the hail was lying white upon the grass. "Can it be," thought he,
"that I am leaving this place as a lover?" At that moment he
remembered that the house of a maiden with whom he had had an
acquaintance was on his road home. When he came near to it he ordered
one of his attendants to knock at the door. No one, however, came
forth. Thereupon Genji turned to another, who had a remarkably good
voice, and ordered him to sing the following lines:--

    "Though wandering in the morning gray,
      This gate is one I cannot pass,
    A tender memory bids me stay
      To see once more a pretty lass."

This was repeated twice, when presently a man came to the door and
sang, in reply, as follows:--

    "If you cannot pass the gate,
    Welcome all to stop and wait.
    Nought prevents you. Do not fear,
    For the gate stands always here."

And then went in, slamming the door in their faces, and appearing no
more. Genji, therefore disappointed, proceeded on his way home.

On the morrow he took up his pen to write a letter to Violet, but
finding that he had nothing in particular to say, he laid it aside,
and instead of a letter several beautiful pictures were sent for her.

From this time Koremitz was sent there very often, partly to do them
service, and partly to watch over their movements. At last the time
when the girl's father was to take her home approached within a night,
and Shiônagon was busily occupied in sewing a dress for the girl, and
was thus consequently unable to take much notice of Koremitz when he
arrived. Noting these preparatory arrangements, Koremitz at once
hastened to inform Genji about them. He happened to be this evening at
the mansion of Sadaijin, but Lady Aoi was not, as was often the case,
with him, and he was amusing himself there with thumping a _wagon_ as
he sang a "Hitachi" song. Koremitz presented himself before him, and
gave him the latest information of what was going on.

Genji, when he had listened to Koremitz, thought, "This will never do;
I must not lose her in this way. But the difficulty is indeed
perplexing. If, on the one hand, she goes to her father, it will not
become me to ask him for her. If, on the other hand, I carry her off,
people may say that I stole her. However, upon consideration, this
latter plan, if I can manage to shut people's mouths beforehand, will
be much better than that I should demand her from her father."

So, turning to Koremitz, he said, "I must go there. See that the
carriage is ready at whatever hour I may appoint. Let two or three
attendants be in readiness." Koremitz, having received these orders,
retired.

Long before dawn broke, Genji prepared to leave the mansion. Lady Aoi,
as usual, was a little out of temper, but Genji told her that he had
some particular arrangements to make at his mansion at Nijiô, but that
he would soon return to her. He soon started, Koremitz alone following
him on horseback.

On their arrival Koremitz proceeded to a small private entrance and
announced himself. Shiônagon recognized his voice and came out, and
upon this he informed her that the Prince had come. She, presuming
that he did so only because he happened to pass by them, said, "What!
at this late hour?" As she spoke, Genji came up and said:--

"I hear that the little one is to go to the Prince, her father, and I
wish to say a few words to her before she goes."

"She is asleep; really, I am afraid that she cannot talk with you at
this hour. Besides, what is the use?" replied Shiônagon, with a smile.

Genji, however, pressed his way into the house, saying:--

"Perhaps the girl is not awake yet, but I will awake her," and, as the
people could not prevent his doing so, he proceeded to the room where
she was unconsciously sleeping on a couch. He shook her gently. She
started up, thinking it was her father who had come.

Genji pushed the hair back from her face, as he said to her, "I am
come from your father;" but this she knew to be false, and was
alarmed. "Don't be frightened," said Genji; "there is nothing in me to
alarm you." And in spite of Shiônagon's request not to disturb her, he
lifted her from the couch, abruptly saying that he could not allow her
to go elsewhere, and that he had made up his mind that he himself
would be her guardian. He also said she should go with him, and that
some of them should go with her.

Shiônagon was thunderstruck. "We are expecting her father to-morrow,
and what are we to say to him?" She added, "Surely, you can find some
better opportunity to manage matters than this."

"All right, you can come afterward; we will go first," retorted Genji,
as he ordered his carriage to drive up.

Shiônagon was perplexed, and Violet also cried, thinking how strange
all this was. At last Shiônagon saw it was no use to resist, and so
having hurriedly changed her own dress for a better one, and taking
with her the pretty dress of Violet which she had been making in the
evening, got into the carriage, where Genji had already placed the
little one.

It was no great distance to Nijiô, and they arrived there before dawn.
The carriage was driven up to the western wing of the mansion. To
Shiônagon the whole affair seemed like a dream. "What am I to do?" she
said to Genji, who teasingly answered, "What you choose. You may go if
you like; so long as this darling is here I am content." Genji lifted
the girl out and carried her into the house. That part of the mansion
in which they now were, had not been inhabited, and the furniture was
scanty and inappropriate; so, calling Koremitz, the Prince ordered him
to see that proper furniture was brought. The beds were therefore
taken from the eastern wing, where he himself lived.

Day broke, and Shiônagon surveyed with admiration all the magnificence
with which she was surrounded. Both the exterior of the building and
its internal arrangements left nothing to be desired. Going to the
casement, she saw the gravelled walks flashing brightly in the sun.
"Ah," thought she, "where am I amidst all this splendor? This is too
grand for me!"

Bath water for their ablutions, and rice soup were now brought into
the apartment, and Genji afterward made his appearance.

"What! no attendants? No one to play with the girl? I will send some,"
and he then ordered some young persons from the eastern wing of the
mansion. Four accordingly came.

Violet was still fast asleep in her night-dress, and now Genji gently
shook and woke her. "Do not be frightened any more," he said quietly
to her; "a good girl would not be so, but would know that it is best
to be obedient." She became more and more pleasing to him, and he
tried to please her by presenting to her a variety of pretty pictures
and playthings, and by consulting her wishes in whatever she desired.
She was still wearing the dress of mourning, of sombre color and of
soft material, and it was only now at last that she began to smile a
little, and this filled Genji with delight. He now had to return to
the eastern wing, and Violet, for the first time, went to the casement
and looked out on the scenery around. The trees covered with foliage,
a small lake, and the plantations round about expanded before her as
in a picture. Here and there young people were going in and out. "Ah!
what a pretty place," she exclaimed, charmed as she gazed around.
Then, turning again into the apartment, she saw beautiful pictures
painted on the screens and walls, which could not but please her.

Genji did not go to the Palace for two or three days, but spent his
time in trying to train Violet. "She must soon take lessons in
writing," he thought, and he wrote several writing copies for her.
Among these was one in plain characters on violet-colored paper, with
the title, "Musashi-no" (The field of Musashi is known for its
violets). She took it up, and in handwriting plain and clear though
small, she found the following:

    Though still a bud the violet be,
      A still unopened blossom here,
    Its tenderness has charms for me,
      Recalling one no longer near.

"Come, _you_ must write one now," said Genji.

"I cannot write well enough," said Violet, looking up at him, with an
extremely charming look.

"Never mind, whether good or bad," said he, "but still write
something, to refuse is unkind. When there is any difficulty I will
help you through with it."

Thereupon she turned aside shyly and wrote something, handling the pen
gracefully with her tiny fingers. "I have done it badly," she cried
out, and tried to conceal what she had written, but Genji insisted on
seeing it and found the following:--

     I wonder what's the floweret's name,
     From which that bud its charm may claim!

This was, of course, written in a childish hand, but the writing was
large and plain, giving promise of future excellence.

"How like her grandmother's it is," thought Genji. "Were she to take
lessons from a good professor she might become a master of the art."

He ordered for her a beautiful doll's house, and played with her
different innocent and amusing games.

In the meantime, the Prince, her father, had duly arrived at the old
home of Violet and asked for her. The servants were embarrassed, but
as they had been requested by Genji not to tell, and as Shiônagon had
also enjoined them to keep silence, they simply told him that the
nurse had taken her and absconded. The Prince was greatly amazed, but
he remembered that the girl's grandmother never consented to send his
daughter to his house, and knowing Shiônagon to be a shrewd and
intelligent woman, he concluded that she had found out the reasons
which influenced her, and that so out of respect to her, and out of
dislike to tell him the reason of it, she had carried the girl off in
order that she might be kept away from him. He therefore merely told
the servants to inform him at once if they heard anything about them,
and he returned home.

Our story again brings us back to Nijiô. The girl gradually became
reconciled to her new home, as she was most kindly treated by Genji.
True, during those evenings when Genji was absent she thought of her
dead grandmother, but the image of her father never presented itself
to her, as she had seldom seen him. And now, naturally enough, Genji,
whom she had learned to look upon as a second father, was the only one
for whom she cared. She was the first to greet him when he came home,
and she came forward to be fondled and caressed by him without shame
or diffidence. Girls at her age are usually shy and under restraint,
but with her it was quite different. And again, if a girl has somewhat
of jealousy in her disposition, and looks upon every little trifle in
a serious light, a man will have to be cautious in his dealings with
her, and she herself, too, will often have to undergo vexation. Thus
many disagreeable and unexpected incidents might often result. In the
case of Violet, however, things were very different, and she was ever
amiable and invariably pleasant.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 61: An Indian theological writing.]

[Footnote 62: In the Buddhist Bible it is stated that there is in
Paradise a divine tree, called Udon, which rarely blossoms. When,
however, it does blossom, Buddha is said to appear in the world,
therefore we make use of this expression when referring to any rare
event.]

[Footnote 63: The name of a song which in those days formed the first
lesson in writing.]

[Footnote 64: The authoress represents her in a subsequent chapter as
suffering punishment in the next world for this sin. The real cause of
Genji's exile is also supposed to have resulted from the same sin.]



CHAPTER VI

SAFFRON FLOWER


The beauteous Yûgao of Genji was lost, but memory of her never
vanished from his mind. Her attractive nature, thoughtfulness, and
patient manner had seemed to him surpassingly charming. At last he
began to think of seeking for some other maiden who might resemble her
in these qualities. True, his thoughts had often reverted to Cicada,
and to her young friend; but it was now of little use thinking of
them, for one had gone to the country, and the other was married.

Now, Genji had another nurse, next in degree to Daini. The daughter of
this nurse, Tayû-no-Miôbu, was in Court service. She was still young,
and full of mirth and life. Genji was wont to make her useful when in
the palace. Her father, who had been remotely connected with the Royal
blood, was an official in the War Department. Her mother, however, had
been married again to the Governor of the province of Chikzen, and had
gone there with her husband; so Tayû made her father's house her home,
and went from there backwards and forwards to the palace. She was an
intimate acquaintance of a young Princess, the daughter of the late
Lord-Lieutenant of Hitachi, and she had been the child of his old age,
and was at this time his survivor. The life that she passed was
somewhat lonely, and her circumstances miserable. Tayû mentioned this
young lady to Genji, who exclaimed:--

"How sad! Tell me all about her."

"I cannot say that I know so much about her," replied Tayû. "She leads
a very retired life, and is seldom seen in society. Perhaps, some
favorable evening, you might see her from a hiding-place. The _koto_
is her favorite instrument, and the favorite amusement of her
solitude."

"Ah!" said Genji, "I see, one of the three friends (as the Chinese
poets call them)--Music, Poetry, and Wine; but, of the other two, one
is not always a good friend." And he added, "Well, you may manage some
time to let me hear her _koto_. The Prince, her father, had great
taste and reputation in such arts; so, I believe, she is no ordinary
performer."

"But, perhaps, after all, not so good as you imagine," replied Tayû,
disingenuously.

"Oh! that remains to be discovered," cried Genji, nibbling at the
bait. "One of these evenings I will come, and you had better be there
also."

Now, the home of Tayû's father was at some distance from the
Princess's mansion; but Tayû used to spend her time very often with
the Princess, when she had leave of absence from the Court, chiefly
because she did not like being at home with her stepmother. For this
reason Tayû had plenty of chances for gratifying the wish of Genji to
see the Princess; so a certain evening was appointed.

It was a sweet balmy day in spring, and the grounds of the palace were
full of silence and repose. Tayû left the palace, and proceeded to the
mansion of the Princess, attracted more by the beauty of the evening
than by the appointment made. Genji also appeared on the scene, with
the newly risen moon, and was soon prattling with Tayû.

"You have not come at a very favorable time," said she. "This is not
the sort of evening when the _koto_ sounds sweetest."

"But take me somewhere, so that I may hear her voice. I cannot go away
without hearing that."

Tayû then led him into a private room, where she made him sit down,
and left him, saying, as she went away, "I am sorry to make you wait,
but you must have a little patience." She proceeded to another part of
the palace occupied by the Princess, whom she found sitting pensively
near an open casement, inhaling the rich perfume of the plum blossoms.

"A good opportunity," thought Tayû; and, advancing to the Princess,
said: "What a lovely evening! How sweet at such an hour is the music
of the _koto_! My official going to and fro to the palace prevents me
from having the pleasure of hearing it often; so do now, if you
please, play me a tune."

"You appreciate music," said the Princess; "but I am afraid that mine
is not good enough to charm the ear of courtiers; but, if you wish it,
I will play one tune." And she ordered the _koto_ to be brought, and
began to strike it. Her skill was certainly not super-excellent; but
she had been well instructed, and the effect was by no means
displeasing to the ear.

Tayû, however, it must be remembered, was rather a sharp girl. She did
not like Genji to hear too much, so as to criticise; and, therefore,
said to the Princess, casting a glance upwards, "How changed and dull
the sky has become. A friend of mine is waiting; and is, perhaps,
impatient. I must have more of this pleasure some other time; at
present I must go and see him." Thus she caused the Princess to cease
playing, and went to Genji, who exclaimed, when she returned, "Her
music seems pretty good; but I had better not have heard it at all.
How can we judge by so little? If you are willing to oblige me at all,
let me hear and see more closely than this." Tayû made a difficulty.
"She is so retiring," she said, "and always keeps herself in the
strictest privacy. Were you to intrude upon her, it would not be
acting rightly."

"Truly so," replied Genji; "her position insures her from intrusion.
Let us, then, seek for some better opportunity." And then he prepared
to take leave, as if he had some other affairs on his hands. Tayû
observed, with a knowing smile, "The Emperor, your father, always
thinks of you as quite guileless, and actually says so. When I hear
these remarks I often laugh in my sleeve. Were his Majesty to see you
in these disguises, what would he then think?"

Genji answered, with a slight laugh: "Nonsense! If these trifling
amusements were thought so improper, how cheerless the life of woman
would be!"

Tayû made no remark in reply; so Genji then left the house, and took a
stroll round the garden, intending to reach that part of the mansion
where the Princess had her apartments. As he sauntered along, he came
to a thick hedge, in which there was a dark bower, and here wished to
stop awhile. He stepped cautiously into it, when he suddenly perceived
a tall man concealed there. "Who can this be?" thought Genji, as he
withdrew to a corner where the moonlight did not reach. This was
Tô-no-Chiûjiô, and the reason of his being there was this:

He had left the Palace that evening in company with Genji, who did not
go to his house in Nijiô, nor to his bride, but separated from him on
the road. Tô-no-Chiûjiô was very anxious to find out where Genji was
going. He therefore followed him unperceived. When he saw Genji enter
the mansion of the Princess, he wished to see how the business would
end; so he waited in the garden, in order that he might witness
Genji's departure, listening, at the same time, to the _koto_ of the
Princess. Genji did not know who the man was, nor did he wish to be
recognized. He therefore began to retreat slowly on tip-toe, when
Tô-no-Chiûjiô came up to him from behind, and addressed him: "You
slighted me, but I have come to watch over you:--

    Though like two wandering moons on high
      We left our vast imperial home,
    We parted on our road, and I
      Knew not where you were bent to roam."

Genji at once recognized his companion; and, being somewhat amused at
his pertinacity, exclaimed: "What an unexpected surprise!

    We all admire the moon, 'tis true,
      Whose home unknown to mortal eye
    Is in the mountains hid, but who
      To find that far-off home, would try?"

Hereupon Tô-no-Chiûjiô gave him a taunt: "What would you do," said he,
"if I were to follow you very often? Were you to maintain true
propriety in your position, you ought always to have trustworthy
attendants; and I am sure, by so doing, you will meet with better
fortune. I cannot say that it is very decorous of you to go wandering
about in such a fashion. It is too frivolous!"

"How very tiresome!" mentally exclaimed Genji; "but he little knows
about his Nadeshiko (little darling). I have him there!"

Neither of them ventured to go to any other rendezvous that night;
but, with many mutual home-thrusts, they got into a carriage together,
and proceeded home, amusing themselves all the way with a duet on
their flutes. Entering the mansion, they went to a small apartment,
where they changed their dresses, and commenced playing the flutes in
such a manner as if they had come from the Palace. The Sadaijin,
hearing this music, could not forbear joining them, and blew skilfully
a Corean flute in concert with theirs. Lady Aoi, also, in her room,
catching the impulse, ordered some practised players on the _koto_ to
perform.

Meantime, both Genji and Tô-no-Chiûjiô, in their secret minds, were
thinking of the notes of the _koto_ heard before on that evening, and
of the bare and pitiable condition of the residence of the Princess
whom they had left--a great contrast to the luxury of their present
quarters. Tô-no-Chiûjiô's idea about her took something of this shape:
"If girls who, from a modest propriety, keep themselves aloof for
years from our society, were at last to be subdued by our attentions,
our affection for them would become irresistible, even braving
whatever remarks popular scandal might pass upon us. She may be like
one of these. The Prince Genji seems to have made her the object of
some attentions. He is not one to waste his time without reason. He
knows what he is doing."

As these thoughts arose in his mind, a slight feeling of jealousy
disturbed him, and made him ready to dare a little rivalry in that
quarter; for, it would appear, that after this day amatory letters
were often sent both by him and Genji to the Princess, who, however,
returned no answer to either.

This silence on her part made Tô-no-Chiûjiô, more especially, think
thus: "A strange rejection; and from one, too, who possesses such a
secluded life. True, her birth is high; but that cannot be the only
reason which makes her bury herself in retirement. There must be some
stronger reason, I presume."

As we have before mentioned, Genji and Tô-no-Chiûjiô were so intimate
that all ceremony was dispensed with between them, and they could ask
each other any question without reserve. From this circumstance
Tô-no-Chiûjiô one day boldly inquired of Genji: "I dare say you have
received some replies from the Princess. Have you not? I for my part
have thrown out some hints in that quarter by way of experiment, but I
gave up in disappointment."

"Ah, then, he too has been trying there," thought Genji, smiling
slightly, and he replied very vaguely, "I am not particularly
concerned whether I get an answer or not, therefore I cannot tell you
whether I have received any."

"I understand that," thought Tô-no-Chiûjiô; "perhaps he has got one; I
suspect so."

To state the truth, Genji was not very deeply smitten by the Princess,
and he was but little concerned at her sending no reply to his letter;
but when he heard the confession of his brother-in-law's attempts in
the same quarter, the spirit of rivalry stirred him once more. "A
girl," thought he, "will yield to him who pays her the most
attentions. I must not allow him to excel me in that." And Genji
determined to achieve what he intended to do, and with this object
still enlisted the aid of Tayû. He told her that the Princess's
treating his letter with such indifference was an act of great
cruelty. "Perhaps she does this," said he, "because she suspects I am
changeable. I am not, however, such a one as that. It is often only
the fault of ladies themselves that causes men to appear so; besides a
lady, like the Princess, who has neither parent nor brother to
interfere with her, is a most desirable acquaintance, as we can
maintain our friendship far better than we could otherwise do."

"Yes! what you say is all very well," replied Tayû, "but the Princess
is not exactly so placed that any one can make himself quite at ease
with her. As I told you before she is very bashful and reserved; but
yet is perhaps more desirable for this very reason," and she detailed
many more particulars about her. This enabled Genji to fully picture
the general bearing of the Princess's character; and he thought,
"Perhaps her mind is not one of brilliant activity, but she may be
modest, and of a quiet nature, worthy of attention." And so he kept
the recollection of her alive in his mind. Before, however, he met
her, many events had taken place. He had been attacked by the ague,
which led to his journey to the mountain and his discovery of Violet,
and his secret affection for a certain one in the palace.

His mind being thus otherwise occupied, the spring and summer passed
away without anything further transpiring about the Princess. As the
autumn advanced his thoughts recurred to past times, and even the
sound of the fuller's hammer, which he had listened to in the home of
Yûgao, came back to his mental ear; and these reveries again brought
him to the recollection of the Princess Hitachi, and now once more he
began to urge Tayû to contrive a meeting.

It would seem that there was no difficulty for Tayû to bring the
matter about, but at the same time no one knew better than herself
that the natural gifts and culture of the Princess were far from
coming up to Genji's standard. She thought, however, that it would
matter very little if he did not care for her, but if, on the other
hand, he did so, he was quite free to come and see her without any
interference. For this reason she at last made up her mind to bring
them together, and she gave several hints to the Princess.

Now it so happened towards the end of August that Tayû was on one
occasion engaged in conversing with the Princess. The evening was as
yet moonless, the stars alone twinkled in the heavens, and the gentle
winds blew plaintively over the tall trees around the mansion. The
conversation gradually led to times gone by, and the Princess was
rendered sad by the contrast of her present circumstances with those
of her father's time. "This is a good opportunity," thought Tayû, and
she sent, it seems, a message to Genji, who soon hastened to the
mansion with his usual alacrity. At the moment when he arrived on the
scene the long-looked-for moon had just made her appearance over the
tops of a distant mountain, and as he looked along the wildly growing
hedges around the residence, he heard the sound of the _koto_, which
was being played by the Princess at Tayû's request. It sounded a
little too old-fashioned, but that was of no consequence to the eager
ears of the Prince. He soon made his way to the entrance, and
requested a domestic to announce him to Tayû.

When the latter heard of this she affected great surprise, and said to
the Princess, "The Prince has come. How annoying! He has often been
displeased because I have not yet introduced him to you. I have often
told him that you do not particularly like it, and therefore I cannot
think what makes him come here. I had better see him and send him
away, but what shall I say. We cannot treat him like an ordinary
person. I am really puzzled what to do. Will you not let me ask you if
you will see him for a few minutes, then all matters will end
satisfactorily?"

"But I am not used to receive people," said the Princess, blushing.
"How simple minded!" rejoined Tayû, coaxingly, "I am sorry for that,
for the bashfulness of young ladies who are under the care of their
parents may sometimes be even desirable, but how then is that parallel
with your case? Besides, I do not see any good in a friendless maiden
refusing the offer of a good acquaintance."

"Well, if you really insist upon it," said the Princess, "perhaps I
will; but don't expose me too much to the gaze of a stranger."

Having thus cunningly persuaded the Princess, Tayû set the
reception-room in order, into which Genji was soon shown. The Princess
was all the while experiencing much nervousness, and as she did not
know exactly how to manage, she left everything to Tayû, and was led
by her to the room to receive her visitor. The room was arranged in
such a way that the Princess had her back to the light so that her
face and emotions could be obscured.

The perfume which she used was rich, still preserving the trait of
high birth, but her demeanor was timid, and her deportment awkward.

Genji at once noticed this. "Just as I imagined. She is so simple,"
thought he, and then he commenced to talk with her, and to explain how
passionately he had desired to see her. She, however, listened to him
almost in silence, and gave no plain answer. Genji was disconcerted,
and at last said,

    "From you I sought so oft reply,
      But you to give one would not deign,
    If you discard me, speak, and I
      Will cease to trouble you again."

The governess of the Princess, Kojijiû by name, who was present, was a
sagacious woman, and noticing the embarrassment of the lady, she
advanced to her side, and made the following reply in such a
well-timed manner that her real object, which was to conceal the
deficiencies of her mistress, did not betray itself--

    "Not by the ringing of a bell,
      Your words we wish to stay;
    But simply, she has nought to tell,
      And nothing much to say."

"Your eloquence has so struck me that my mouth is almost closed," said
Genji, smiling--

    "Not speaking is a wiser part,
      And words are sometimes vain,
    But to completely close the heart
      In silence, gives me pain."

He then tried to speak of this thing and that indifferently, but all
hopes of agreeable responsiveness on the lady's part being vain, he
coolly took his leave, and left the mansion, much disappointed.

This evening he slept in his mansion at Nijiô. The next morning
Tô-no-Chiûjiô appeared before he had risen.

"How late, how late!" he cried, in a peculiar tone. "Were you fatigued
last night, eh?"

Genji rose and presently came out, saying, "I have overslept myself,
that is all; nothing to disturb me. But have you come from the palace?
Was it your official watch-night?"[65]

"Yes," replied Tô-no-Chiûjiô, "and I must inform you that the dancers
and musicians for the _fête_ in Suzak-in are to be nominated to-day. I
came from the palace to report this to my father, so I must now go
home, but I will soon return to you."

"I will go with you," said Genji, "but let us breakfast before we
start."

Breakfast was accordingly brought, of which they partook. Two
carriages, Genji's and Tô-no-Chiûjiô's, were driven to the door, but
Tô-no-Chiûjiô invited the Prince to take a seat with him. Genji
complied, and they drove off. Going along Tô-no-Chiûjiô observed with
an envious tone in his voice, "You look very sleepy;" to which Genji
returned an indifferent reply. From the house of Sadaijin they
proceeded to the Imperial Palace to attend the selection of the
dancers and musicians. Thence Genji drove with his father-in-law to
the mansion of the latter.

Here in the excitement of the coming _fête_ were assembled several
young nobles, in addition to Genji himself. Some practised dancing,
others music, the sound of which echoed everywhere around. A large
_hichiriki_ and a _shakuhachi_ (two kinds of flute) were blown with
the utmost vigor. Even large drums were rolled upon a balcony and
beaten with a will.

During the following days, therefore, Genji was so busily engaged that
no thought came across his mind of revisiting the Princess Hitachi.
Tayû certainly came now and then, and strove to induce him to pay the
Princess another visit, but he made an excuse on the pretext of being
so much occupied.

It was not until the _fête_ was over that one evening he resolved to
pay a visit there. He did not, however, announce his intention openly,
but went there in strict secrecy, making his way to the house
unobserved, as there was no one about.

On his arrival he went up to the latticed window and peeped through.
The curtains were old and half worn out, yet were still left to hang
in the once pretty and decorated chamber. There were a few domestic
maidens there partaking of supper. The table and service seemed to be
old Chinese, but everything else betrayed a scantiness of furniture.

In the further room where the mistress was probably dining, an old
waitress was passing in and out, wearing a peculiar white dress rather
faded in appearance, and an awkward-looking comb in her hair, after
the old-fashioned style of those formerly in the service of the
aristocratic class, of whom a few might still be retained in a family.

"Ah," thought Genji, smiling, "we might see this kind of thing in the
college of ceremonies." One of the maids happened to say, "This poor
cold place! when one's life is too long, such fate comes to us."
Another answered her, "How was it we did not like the mansion when the
late Prince was living?"

Thus they talked about one thing or another connected with their
mistress's want of means.

Genji did not like that they should know that he had seen and heard
all this, so he slyly withdrew some distance, and then advancing with
a firm step, approached the door and knocked.

"Some one is come," cried a servant, who then brought a light, opened
the door, and showed him into a room where he was soon joined by the
Princess, neither Tayû nor Kojijiû being there on this occasion. The
latter was acquainted with the Saiin (the sacred virgin at the Temple
of Kamo),[66] and often spent some time with her. On this occasion she
happened to be visiting her, a circumstance which was not very
convenient for the Princess. The dilapidated state of the mansion was
just as novel to Genji as that which he had seen in the lodge of
Yûgao, but the great drawback consisted in the Princess's want of
responsiveness. He spoke much, she but little. Outside, in the
meantime, the weather had become boisterous and snow fell thickly,
while within in the room where they sat the lamp burned dimly, no one
waiting there even to trim the light.

Some hours were spent between them, and then Genji rose, and throwing
up the shutter in the same way as he did in the lodge of Yûgao, looked
upon the snow which had fallen in the garden. The ground was covered
with a sheet of pure whiteness; no footstep had left its trace,
betraying the fact that few persons came to the mansion. He was about
to take his departure, but some vague impulse arrested him. Turning to
the Princess, he asked her to come near him, and to look out on the
scene, and she somewhat unreadily complied.

The evening was far advanced, but the reflection of the snow threw a
faint light over all. Now, for the first time, he discovered the
imperfections of the personal attractions of the Princess. First, her
stature was very tall, the upper part of her figure being out of
proportion to the lower, then one thing which startled him most was
her nose. It reminded him of the elephant of Fugen. It was high and
long; while its peak, a little drooping, was tinged with pink. To the
refined eyes of Genji this was a sad defect. Moreover, she was thin,
too thin; and her shoulders drooped too much, as if the dress was too
heavy for them.

"Why am I so anxious to examine and criticise?" thought Genji, but his
curiosity impelled him to continue his examination. Her hair and the
shape of her head were good, in no way inferior to those of others he
liked so well. Her complexion was fair, and her forehead well
developed. The train of her dress, which hung down gracefully, seemed
about a foot too long. If I described everything which she wore I
should become loquacious, but in old stories the dress of the
personages is very often more minutely described than anything else;
so I must, I suppose, do the same. Her vest and skirt dress were
double, and were of light green silk, a little worn, over which was a
robe of dark color. Over all this she wore a mantle of sable of good
quality, only a little too antique in fashion. To all these things,
therefore, he felt no strong objection; but the two things he could
not pass unnoticed were her nose, and her style of movement. She moved
in a stiff and constrained manner, like a master of the ceremonies in
some Court procession, spreading out his arms and looking important.
This afforded him amusement, but still he felt for her. "If I say too
much, pardon me," said Genji, "but you seem apparently friendless. I
should advise you to take interest in one with whom you have made
acquaintance. He will sympathize with you. You are much too reserved.
Why are you so?

    The icicle hangs at the gable end,
      But melts when the sun is high,
    Why does your heart not to me unbend,
      And warm to my melting sigh."

A smile passed over the lips of the Princess, but they seemed too
stiff to reply in a similar strain. She said nothing.

The time had now come for Genji to depart. His carriage was drawn up
to the middle gate, which, like everything else that belonged to the
mansion, was in a state of dilapidation. "The spot overgrown with wild
vegetation, spoken of by Sama-no-Kami might be such as this," he
thought. "If one can find a real beauty of elevated character and
obtain her, how delightful would it not be! The spot answers the
description, but the girl does not quite equal the idea; however, I
really pity her, and will look after her. She is a fortunate girl, for
if I were not such a one as I am, I should have little sympathy for
the unfortunate and unfavored. But this is not what I shall do."

He saw an orange tree in the garden covered with snow. He bade his
servant shake it free. A pine tree which stood close by suddenly
jerked its branches as if in emulation of its neighbor, and threw off
its load of snow like a wave. The gate through which he had to drive
out was not yet opened. The gatekeeper was summoned to open it.
Thereupon an aged man came forth from his lodge. A miserable-looking
girl with a pinched countenance stood by, his daughter or his
granddaughter, whose dress looked poorer from the whiteness of the
surrounding snow. She had something containing lighted charcoal which
she held to her breast for warmth.

When she observed that her aged parent could scarcely push back the
gate, she came forward and helped him. And the scene was quite droll.
Genji's servant also approached them, and the gates were thrown open.

Again Genji hummed:--

    "The one who on the time-bent head of age,
      Beholds the gathered snow,
    Nor less his tears of grief may shed,
      For griefs that youth can only know."

and added, "Youth with its body uncovered."[67] Then the pitiable
image of one with a tinged flower[68] on her face presented itself
once more to his thoughts and made him smile.

"If Tô-no-Chiûjiô observed this, what would he not have to say?"
thought he, as he drove back slowly to his mansion.

After this time communications were frequently sent from Genji to the
Princess. This he did because he pitied the helpless condition and
circumstances he had witnessed more than for any other reason. He also
sent her rolls of silk, which might replace the old-fashioned
sable-skins, some damask, calico and the like. Indeed, presents were
made even to her aged servants and to the gatekeeper.

In ordinary circumstances with women, particular attention such as
this might make a blush, but the Princess did not take it in such a
serious light, nor did Genji do this from any other motive than
kindness.

The year approached its end! He was in his apartment in the Imperial
Palace, when one morning Tayû came in. She was very useful to him in
small services, such as hairdressing, so she had easy access to him,
and thus she came to him this morning.

"I have something strange to tell you, but it is somewhat trying for
me to do so," she said, half smiling.

"What can it be? There can be nothing to conceal from me!"

"But I have some reason for my hesitation to reveal it," replied Tayû.

"You make a difficulty, as usual," rejoined Genji.

"This is from the Princess," she said, taking a letter from her pocket
and presenting it.

"Is this a thing of all others that you ought to conceal," cried
Genji, taking the letter and opening it. It was written on thick and
coarse paper of Michinok manufacture. The verse it contained ran as
follows:--

    "Like this, my sleeves are worn away,
    By weeping at your long delay."

These words puzzled Genji. Inclining his head in a contemplative way,
he glanced from the paper to Tayû, and from Tayû to the paper. Then
she drew forth a substantial case of antique pattern, saying, "I
cannot produce such a thing without shame, but the Princess expressly
sent this for your New Year. I could not return it to her nor keep it
myself; I hope you will just look at it."

"Oh, certainly," replied Genji. "It is very kind of her," at the same
time thinking, "What a pitiful verse! This may really be her own
composition. No doubt Kojijiû has been absent, besides she seems to
have had no master to improve her penmanship. This must have been
written with great effort. We ought to be grateful for it, as they
say." Here a smile rose on Genji's cheeks, and a blush upon Tayû's.
The case was opened, and a Naoshi (a kind of gown), of scarlet, shabby
and old-fashioned, of the same color on both sides, was found inside.
The sight was almost too much for Genji from its very absurdity. He
stretched out the paper on which the verse had been written, and began
to write on one side, as if he was merely playing with the pen. Tayû,
glancing slyly, found that he had written:--

    This color pleases not mine eye,
      Too fiery bright its gaudy hue,
    And when the saffron flower was nigh,
      The same pink tinge was plain to view.

He then erased what he had written, but Tayû quickly understood what
he really meant by "saffron flower," referring to the pinkness of its
flower, so she remarked:--

    "Although the dress too bright in hue,
      And scarlet tints may please you not,
    At least to her, who sends, be true,
      Soon will Naoshi be forgot."

While they were thus prattling on the matter, people were entering the
room to see him, so Genji hastily put the things aside, and Tayû
retired.

A few days after, Genji one morning looked into the Daihan-sho (large
parlor), where he found Tayû, and threw a letter to her, saying,
"Tayû, here is the answer. It has cost me some pains," and then passed
through, humming as he went, with a peculiar smile,

    "Like that scarlet-tinged plum."

None but Tayû understood the real allusion. One of the women observed,
"The weather is too frosty, perhaps he has seen some one reddened by
the frost." Another said, "What an absurdity! There is no one among us
of that hue, but perhaps Sakon or Unemé may be like this," and thus
they chattered on till the matter dropped.

The letter was soon sent by Tayû to the Princess, who assembled all
her attendants round her, and they all read it together, when the
following was found in it:--

    Of my rare visits you complain,
      But can the meaning be,
    Pray come not often, nor again,
      For I am tired of thee.

On the last day of the year he made the following presents to the
Princess, sending them in the same case as the Naoshi had been sent to
him: stuff for a complete dress, which had originally been presented
to himself; also rolls of silk, one of the color of the purple grape,
another of the Kerria japonica color, and others. All these were
handed to the Princess by Tayû. It should be observed that these
presents were made by Genji to the Princess chiefly on account of her
reduced circumstances. Her attendants, however, who wished to flatter
their mistress, exclaimed, "Our scarlet dress was very good, too.
Scarlet is a color which never fades. The lines we sent were also
excellent. Those of the Prince are, no doubt, a little amusing, but
nothing more."

The Princess, flattered by the remarks, wrote down her verse in her
album, as if worthy of preservation.

The New Year began with the morrow; and it was announced that the
Otoko-dôka (gentlemen's singing dances) would soon take place in which
Genji would take part. Hence he was busy in going backwards and
forwards, to practise, but the lonely residence of the saffron flower
began to draw his thoughts in that direction. So after the ceremony of
the State Festival, on the seventh day, he betook himself there in the
evening, after he had left the Emperor's presence, having made a
pretence of retiring to his own private apartments. On this occasion
the appearance of the lady happened to be a little more attractive,
and Genji was pleased, thinking there might be a time when she would
improve still more. When the sun shone forth he rose to leave. He
opened the casement on the western side of the mansion, and, looking
at the corridor, perceived that its roof was broken. Through it the
sunshine peeped, and shone upon the slight cover of snow scattered in
the crevices. The scene, as we have before said, betrayed everywhere
dilapidation and decay.

The mirror-stand, combs, and dressing-case were brought in by an
attendant. They were all of an extremely antique pattern. He drew an
"arm-stool" near him, and resting himself upon it began combing his
hair. He was amused at the sight of these articles, which were
doubtless a legacy from her parents. The dress of the Princess was in
every way nicer. It had been made out of the silk of Genji's present.
He recognized it by the tasteful pattern. Turning to her he said,
"This year you might become a little more genial, the only thing I
wait for above all is a change in your demeanor." To which she, with
some awkwardness, said,

     "In the spring, when numerous birds sing."

Such poetic responses were a great delight to Genji, who thought they
were the silent touches of time, and that she had made some
improvement. He then left and returned to his mansion in Nijiô, where
he saw the young Violet innocently amusing herself. She wore with
grace a long close-fitting cherry-colored dress of plain silk. She had
not yet blackened her teeth,[69] but he now made her do so, which gave
a pleasant contrast to her eyebrows. He played at their usual games at
toys with her, trying in every way to please her. She drew pictures
and painted them, so did he also. He drew the likeness of a lady with
long hair, and painted her nose with pink. Even in caricature it was
odd to see. He turned his head to a mirror in which he saw his own
image reflected in great serenity. He then took the brush and painted
his own nose pink. Violet, on seeing this, screamed.

"When I become ornamented in this way what shall I be like?" inquired
Genji.

"That would be a great pity. Do wipe it off, it might stain," she
replied.

Genji partly wiped it off, saying, "Need I wipe it off any more?
Suppose I go with this to the Palace?"

On this Violet approached and carefully wiped it for him. "Don't put
any more color," cried Genji, "and play upon me as Heijiû."[70]

The mild sun of spring descended in the west, and darkness slowly
gathered over the forest tops, obscuring all but the lovely white plum
blossoms which were still visible amidst the gloom. At the front of
the porch, also, a red plum blossom, which usually opens very early,
was deeply tinged with glowing hues. Genji murmured:--

    "The 'red-tinged flower' is far from fair,
      Nor do my eyes delight to see,
    But yon red plum which blossoms there,
      Is full of loveliness to me."

What will become of all these personages!

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 65: Young nobles spent a night in the palace in turns, to
attend to any unexpected official business.]

[Footnote 66: When a new emperor succeeded, two virgins, chosen from
the royal princesses, were sent--one to the Shintô temple at Ise, the
other to the same temple at Kamo--to become vestals, and superintend
the services.]

[Footnote 67: From a Chinese poem about poor people "night advancing,
snow and hail fly white around. Youth with its body uncovered, and the
aged with chilly pain, grief and cold come together, and make them
both sob."]

[Footnote 68: A play upon the word "hana," which means a nose, as well
as a flower.]

[Footnote 69: An old custom in Japan for girls when married, or even
betrothed, is to blacken their teeth. This custom, however, is rapidly
disappearing.]

[Footnote 70: In an old tale it is stated that this man had a
sweetheart. He often pretended to be weeping, and made his eyes moist
by using the water which he kept in his bottle for mixing ink, in
order to deceive her. She discovered this ruse; so one day she put ink
into it secretly. He damped his eyes as usual, when, giving him a hand
mirror, she hummed, "You may show me your tears, but don't show your
blackened face to strangers."]



CHAPTER VII

MAPLE FÊTE


The Royal visit to the Suzak-in was arranged to take place towards the
middle of October, and was anticipated to be a grand affair. Ladies
were not expected to take part in it, and they all regretted their not
being able to be present.

The Emperor, therefore, wished to let his favorite, the Princess
Wistaria, above others, have an opportunity of witnessing a rehearsal
that would represent the coming _fête_, and ordered a preliminary
concert to be performed at the Court, in which Genji danced the "Blue
Main Waves," with Tô-no-Chiûjiô for his partner. They stood and danced
together, forming a most pleasing contrast--one, so to speak, like a
bright flower; the other, an everlasting verdure beside it. The rays
of the setting sun shone over their heads, and the tones of the music
rose higher and higher in measure to their steps. The movements both
of hand and foot were eminently graceful; as well, also, was the song
of Genji, which was sung at the end of his dance, so that some of the
people remarked that the sound of the holy bird, Kariôbinga,[71] might
be even like this. And so the rehearsal ended.

When the day of the _fête_ came, all the Royal Princes, including the
Heir-apparent, and all personages of State, were present at the scene.
On the lake, "the music boat," filled with selected musicians, floated
about, as usual on such occasions; and in the grounds, the bands,
which were divided into two divisions on the right and left, under the
direction of two Ministers and two Yemon-no-Kami, played. With this
music different dances, including Chinese and Corean, were performed,
one after another, by various dancers. As the performance went on, the
high winds rustled against the tall fir-trees, as though Divine
strains of music had broken forth on high in harmony with them. The
tune of the bands became quick and thrilling, as different colored
leaves whirled about overhead.

Then, at length, the hero of the "Blue Main Waves" made his
appearance, to the delight of the suddenly startled spectators, from
the midst of a knoll in the grounds, covered with maple leaves. The
twigs of maple which crowned his head, became thinned as he danced,
and a Sadaishiô, plucking a bunch of chrysanthemums from in front of
the Royal stand, replaced the lessened maple leaves. The sun was by
this time descending, and the sky had become less glaring, while the
face of Nature seemed as if it were smiling on the scene. Genji danced
with unusual skill and energy. All the pages and attendants, who were
severally stationed here under the side of the rock, there under the
shade of the foliage, were quite impressed with the effects of the
performance.

After Genji, a little prince, the child of the Niogo of Jiôkiô-den,
danced the "Autumn Gales," with a success next to that of Genji. Then,
the principal interest of the day being over, as these dances were
finished, the _fête_ ended. This very evening Genji was invested with
the title of Shôsammi, and Tô-no-Chiûjiô with that of Shôshii. Many
other persons also received promotion in rank according to their
merits.

It was after this _fête_ that the young Violet was taken into the
mansion of Genji at Nijiô, and she lived with him. The more care he
took of her the more amiable she became, while nothing pleased him
more than teaching her to read and write.

The full extent of her mourning for her grandmother was three months,
as it is for the maternal side; and on the last day of December her
dress was changed. As she, however, had been always brought up under
the care of her grandmother, her indebtedness to the latter was not to
be held lightly; consequently any bright colors were not advisable for
her, so she wore plain scarlet, mauve, and light yellow, without
trimmings or ornament on them.

The dawn ushered in the New Year's day. Genji was about to leave his
mansion to attend the New Year's _levée_. Just before starting, he
came into Violet's room to see her.

"How are you? Are you becoming less childish now?" said he, with a
smile to the girl who was playing with her Hina (toys).

"I am trying to mend this. Inuki damaged it when he was playing what
he called 'driving out devils,'"[72] replied the girl.

"What carelessness! I will soon get it mended for you. Don't cry this
day, please," said Genji, and he went off, the maidens who attended on
Violet accompanying him to the door. This example was also followed by
Violet herself.

She went back again to her toys, and presented a toy prince, whom she
called Genji, at the Court of her toy house. Shiônagon was beside her.
She said:--

"You might really be a little more womanly, as the Prince told you.
How very childish! a girl older than ten always playing with toys!"

Violet said nothing; but she seemed, for the first time, to have
become aware that she was expected to be a woman in the course of
time.

From the Court, Genji went to the mansion of Sadaijin. Lady Aoi was as
cool to him as ever. His persuasive eloquence availed him but little.
She was older than Genji by four years, and was as cold and stately in
her mien as ever. Her father, however, received him joyfully whenever
he called, although he was not always satisfied with the
capriciousness of his son-in-law.

The next morning Genji rose early, and was arranging his toilet, with
a view of making his New Year's visits, when Sadaijin entered the
room, and officiously assisted him in putting on his dress, except,
perhaps, his boots. He, moreover, had brought him a belt mounted with
rare jewels, and requested him to wear it.

Genji observed: "Such a belt is more suited for some special
occasion--such as a Royal banquet, or the like." But Sadaijin insisted
on his putting it on, telling him that for that sort of occasion he
possessed a much more valuable one.

These New Year's visits were only paid to the Emperor, to the
Heir-apparent, and to the Princess Wistaria at her private residence
in Sanjiô, where she had retired, but she did not receive him
personally. At this time, the Princess was not in her usual state of
health, for she was approaching her confinement. Many people, who
thought that they might have heard of the event in December, now began
to say, "At least we shall receive the intelligence this month," and
the Emperor himself became impatient; but the month passed away, and
yet it did not happen. In the middle of February, however, she was
safely delivered of a Prince. During the following April the child was
presented to the Emperor.[73] He was rather big for his age, and had
already begun to notice those around him.

In these days much of Genji's time was passed at Nijiô with Violet,
and Lady Aoi was still greatly neglected. The circumstances which
induced him to stay at home more than ever were these: He would order
his carriage to be brought in readiness to take him; but, before it
was ready, he would proceed to the western wing, where Violet lived.
Perhaps, with eyes drowsy after dozing, and playing on a flute as he
went, he would find her moping on one side of the room, like a fair
flower moistened with dews. He would then approach her side, and say,
"How are you? Are you not well?" She, without being startled, would
slowly open her eyes, and murmur: "Sad like the weed in a creek," and
then put her hand on her mouth deprecatingly. On this he would remark,
"How knowing you are! Where did you learn such things?" He would then
call for a _koto_, and saying "The worst of the _soh-koto_ is that its
middle chord should break so easily," would arrange it for a Hiôjiô
tune, and when he had struck a few chords on it, would offer it to
her, asking her to play, and would presently accompany her with his
flute. They would then play some difficult air, perhaps Hosoroguseri,
a very ugly name, but a very lively tune, and she would keep very good
time, and display her skill. The lamp would be presently brought in,
and they would look over some pictures together. In due time, the
carriage would be announced. Perhaps it might be added, "It is coming
on to rain." Upon hearing this, she would, perhaps, put her pictures
aside, and become downcast. He would then smooth her wavy hair, and
say, "Are you sorry when I am not here?" To this question she would
indicate her feelings by slightly nodding an affirmative, and she
would lean on his knee and begin to doze.

He would then say, "I shall not go out to-night." The servant having
brought in supper, would tell her that Genji was not going out that
evening. Then she would manifest the greatest delight, and would
partake of the supper. And thus it came to pass that he often
disappointed one who was expecting him.

The way that Genji neglected his bride gradually became known to the
public--nay, to the Emperor himself, who sometimes admonished him,
telling him that his father-in-law always took great interest in him
and great care from his earliest childhood, and saying that he hoped
that he would surely not forget all these benefits, and that it was
strange to be unkind to his daughter. But when these remarks were made
to Genji, he answered nothing.

Let us now change our subject. The Emperor, though he had already
passed the meridian of life, was still fond of the society of the fair
sex. And his Court was full of ladies who were well versed in the ways
of the world. Some of these would occasionally amuse themselves by
paying attentions to Genji. We will here relate the following amusing
incident:--

There was at the Court a Naishi-no-Ske, who was already no longer
young, and commonly called Gen-Naishi-no-Ske. Both her family and
character were good. She was, however, in spite of her age, still
coquettish, which was her only fault. Genji often felt amused at her
being so young in temperament, and he enjoyed occasionally talking
nonsense with her. She used to attend on the Emperor while his hair
was being dressed. One day, after he had retired into his
dressing-room, she remained in the other room, and was smoothing her
own hair. Genji happened to pass by. He stole unperceived into the
room, and slyly tugged the skirt of her robe. She started, and
instinctively half concealed her face with an old-fashioned fan, and
looked back at Genji with an arch glance in her sunken eyes. "What an
unsuitable fan for you!" exclaimed Genji, and took it from her hand.
It was made of reddish paper, apparently long in use, and upon it an
ancient forest had been thickly painted. In a corner was written, in
antique style, the following words:--

    "On grasses old, 'neath forest trees,
      No steed will browse or swain delay,
    However real that grass may be,
      'Tis neither good for food nor play."

Genji was highly amused. "There are many things one might write on
fans," thought he; "what made her think of writing such odd lines as
these?"

"Ah!" said Genji, "I see, 'its summer shade is still thick
though!'"[74]

While he was joking he felt something like nervousness in thinking
what people might say if anyone happened to see him flirting with such
an elderly lady. She, on her side, had no such fear. She replied--

    "If beneath that forest tree,
    The steed should come or swain should be,
    Where that ancient forest grows,
    Is grass for food, and sweet repose."

"What?" retorted Genji,

    "If my steed should venture near,
    Perhaps he'd find a rival there,
    Some one's steed full well, I ween,
    Rejoices in these pastures green."

And quitted the room.

The Emperor, who had been peeping unobserved into it, after he had
finished his toilet, laughed heartily to himself at the scene.

Tô-no-Chiûjiô was somehow informed of Genji's fun with this lady, and
became anxious to discover how far he meant to carry on the joke. He
therefore sought her acquaintance. Genji knew nothing of this. It
happened on a cool summer evening that Genji was sauntering round the
Ummeiden in the palace yard. He heard the sound of a _biwa_ (mandolin)
proceeding from a veranda. It was played by this lady. She performed
well upon it, for she was often accustomed to play it before the
Emperor along with male musicians. It sounded very charming. She was
also singing to it the "Melon grower."

"Ah!" thought Genji, "the singing woman in Gakshoo, whom the poet
spoke of, may have been like this one," and he stood still and
listened. Slowly he approached near the veranda, humming slowly, as
he went, "Adzmaya," which she soon noticed, and took up the song, "Do
open and come in! but

    I do not believe you're in the rain,
    Nor that you really wish to come in."

Genji at once responded,

    "Whose love you may be I know not,
    But I'll not stand outside your cot,"

and was going away, when he suddenly thought, "This is too abrupt!"
and coming back, he entered the apartment.

How great was the joy of Tô-no-Chiûjiô, who had followed Genji
unperceived by him, when he saw this. He contrived a plan to frighten
him, so he reconnoitred in order to find some favorable opportunity.

The evening breeze blew chill, and Genji it appears was becoming very
indifferent. Choosing this moment Tô-no-Chiûjiô slyly stepped forth to
the spot where Genji was resting.

Genji soon noticed his footsteps, but he never imagined that it was
his brother-in-law. He thought it was Suri-no-Kami, a great friend of
the lady. He did not wish to be seen by this man. He reproached her
for knowing that he was expected, but that she did not give him any
hint. Carrying his Naoshi on his arm, he hid himself behind a folding
screen. Tô-no-Chiûjiô, suppressing a laugh, advanced to the side of
the screen, and began to fold it from one end to the other, making a
crashing noise as he did so. The lady was in a dilemma, and stood
aloof. Genji would fain have run out, and concealed himself elsewhere,
but he could not get on his Naoshi, and his head-dress was all awry.
The Chiûjiô spoke not a word lest he should betray himself, but making
a pretended angry expostulation, he drew his sword. All at once the
lady threw herself at his feet, crying, "My lord! my lord!"
Tô-no-Chiûjiô could scarcely constrain himself from laughing. She was
a woman of about fifty seven, but her excitement was more like that of
a girl of twenty.

Genji gradually perceived that the man's rage was only simulated, and
soon became aware who it was that was there; so he suddenly rushed
out, and catching hold of Tô-no-Chiûjiô's sword-arm, pinched it
severely. Tô-no-Chiûjiô no longer maintained his disguise, but burst
into loud laughter.

"How are you my friend, were you in earnest?" exclaimed Genji,
jestingly--"but first let me put on my Naoshi." But Tô-no-Chiûjiô
caught it, and tried to prevent him putting it on.

"Then I will have yours," cried Genji, seizing the end of
Tô-no-Chiûjiô's sash, and beginning to unfasten it, while the latter
resisted. Then they both began to struggle, and their Naoshi soon
began to tear.

"Ah," cried Tô-no-Chiûjiô,

     "Like the Naoshi to the eye,
     Your secrets all discovered lie."

"Well," replied Genji,

     "This secret if so well you know,
     Why am I now disturbed by you?"

And they both quitted the room without much noticing the state of
their garments.

Tô-no-Chiûjiô proceeded to his official chamber, and Genji to his own
apartment. The sash and other things which they had left behind them
were soon afterwards sent to Genji by the lady.

The sash was that of Tô-no-Chiûjiô. Its color was somewhat deeper than
his own, and while he was looking at this, he suddenly noticed that
one end of a sleeve of his own Naoshi was wanting. "Tô-no-Chiûjiô, I
suppose, has carried it off, but I have him also, for here is his
sash!" A page boy from Tô-no-Chiûjiô's office hereupon entered,
carrying a packet in which the missing sleeve was wrapped, and a
message advising Genji to get it mended before all things. "Fancy if I
had not got this sash?" thought Genji, as he made the boy take it back
to his master in return.

In the morning they were in attendance at Court. They were both
serious and solemn in demeanor, as it happened to be a day when there
was more official business than on other days; Tô-no-Chiûjiô (who
being chief of the Kurand, which office has to receive and despatch
official documents) was especially much occupied. Nevertheless they
were amused themselves at seeing each other's solemn gravity.

In an interval, when free from duty, Tô-no-Chiûjiô came up to Genji
and said, with envious eyes, "Have you not been a little scared in
your private expedition?" when Genji replied, "No, why so? there was
nothing serious in it; but I do sympathize with one who took so much
useless trouble."

They then cautioned each other to be discreet about the matter, which
became afterwards a subject for laughter between them.

Now even some Royal Princes would give way to Genji, on account of his
father's favor towards him, but Tô-no-Chiûjiô, on the contrary, was
always prepared to dispute with him on any subject, and did not yield
to him in any way. He was the only brother of the Lady Aoi by the same
Royal mother, with an influential State personage for their father,
and in his eyes there did not seem to be much difference between
himself and Genji.

The incidents of the rivalry between them, therefore, were often very
amusing, though we cannot relate them all.

In the month of July the Princess Wistaria was proclaimed Empress.
This was done because the Emperor had a notion of abdication in favor
of the Heir-apparent and of making the son of the Princess Wistaria
the Heir-apparent to the new Emperor, but there was no appropriate
guardian or supporter, and all relations on the mother's side were of
the Royal blood, and thereby disqualified from taking any active part
in political affairs.

For this reason the Emperor wished to make the position of the mother
firmer.

The mother of the Heir-apparent, whom this arrangement left still a
simple Niogo, was naturally hurt and uneasy at another being
proclaimed Empress. Indeed she was the mother of the Heir-apparent,
and had been so for more than twenty years. And the public remarked
that it was a severe trial for her to be thus superseded by another.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 71: Kalavinka, the beautifully singing holy birds in
Paradise, to whose singing the voice of Buddha is compared.]

[Footnote 72: On New Year's Eve, in Japan, some people fry peas, and
throw them about the rooms, saying, "Avaunt, Devil, avaunt! Come in
happiness!" This is called driving out devils.]

[Footnote 73: An infant born to the Emperor is presented to him only
when it has attained the age of some months.]

[Footnote 74: From an old poem,

    "The shade of Ôaraki forest is thick:
    The summer has come there, the summer has come!"

This is a mere metaphorical pun referring to her still being lively in
spite of age.]



CHAPTER VIII

FLOWER-FEAST


Towards the end of February the cherry flowers at the front of the
Southern Palace were coming into blossom, and a feast was given to
celebrate the occasion. The weather was most lovely, and the merry
birds were singing their melody to the charms of the scene. All the
Royal Princes, nobles and _literati_ were assembled, and among them
the Emperor made his appearance, accompanied by the Princess Wistaria
(now Empress) on the one side, and the Niogo of Kokiden, the mother of
the Heir-apparent on the other; the latter having constrained herself
to take part with her rival in the _fête_, in spite of her uneasiness
at the recent promotion of that rival.

When all the seats were taken the composing[75] of poems, as was the
custom, commenced, and they began picking up the rhymes. The turn came
in due course to Genji, who picked up the word spring. Next to Genji,
Tô-no-Chiûjiô took his.

Many more followed them, including several aged professors, who had
often been present on similar occasions, with faces wrinkled by time,
and figures bowed by the weight of years. The movements and
announcements[76] both of Genji and his brother-in-law were elegant
and graceful, as might be expected; but among those who followed there
were not a few who showed awkwardness, this being more the case with
scholars of ordinary accomplishments, since this was an epoch when the
Emperor, the Heir-apparent and others of high distinction were more or
less accomplished in these arts.

Meanwhile, they all partook of the feast; the selected musicians
joyfully played their parts, and as the sun was setting, "The
Spring-lark Sings" (name of a dance) was danced. This reminded those
present of Genji's dance at the maple _fête_, and the Heir-apparent
pressed him to dance, at the same moment putting on his head a wreath
of flowers. Upon this Genji stood up, and waving his sleeves, danced a
little. Tô-no-Chiûjiô was next requested by the Emperor to do the same
thing, and he danced the "Willow Flower Gardens" most elaborately, and
was honored by the Emperor with a present of a roll of silk. After
them, many young nobles danced indiscriminately, one after another,
but we cannot give an opinion about them as the darkness was already
gathering round. Lamps were at length brought, when the reading of the
poems took place, and late in the evening all present dispersed.

The palace grounds now became quite tranquil, and over them the moon
shone with her soft light.

Genji, his temper mellowed by _saké_, was tempted to take a stroll to
see what he could see. He first sauntered round Fuji-Tsubo (the
chamber of Wistaria) and came up by the side of the corridor of
Kokiden. He noticed a small private door standing open. It seems that
the Niogo was in her upper chamber at the Emperor's quarters, having
gone there after she retired from the feast. The inner sliding door
was also left open, and no human voice was heard from within.

"Such are occasions on which one often compromises one's self,"
thought he, and yet slowly approached the entrance. Just at that
moment he heard a tender voice coming toward him, humming, "Nothing so
sweet as the _oboro_[77] moon-night." Genji waited her approach, and
caught her by the sleeve. It made her start. "Who are you?" she
exclaimed. "Don't be alarmed," he replied, and gently led her back to
the corridor. He then added, "Let us look out on the moonlight
together." She was, of course, nervous, and would fain have cried out.
"Hush," said he; "know that I am one with whom no one will interfere;
be gentle, and let us talk a little while." These words convinced her
that it was Prince Genji, and calmed her fears.

It appears that he had taken more _saké_ than usual, and this made him
rather reckless. The girl, on the other hand, was still very young,
but she was witty and pleasantly disposed, and spent some time in
conversing with him.

He did not yet know who she was, and asked, "Can't you let me know
your name? Suppose I wish to write to you hereafter?" But she gave no
decided answer; so Genji, after exchanging his fan with hers, left her
and quietly returned to his apartments.

Genji's thoughts were now directed to his new acquaintance. He was
convinced that she was one of the younger sisters of the Niogo. He
knew that one of them was married to a Prince, one of his own
relations, and another to his brother-in-law, Tô-no-Chiûjiô. He was
perfectly sure that his new acquaintance was not either of these, and
he presumed her to be the fifth or sixth of them, but was not sure
which of these two.

"How can I ascertain this?" he thought. "If I compromise myself, and
her father becomes troublesome, that won't do; but yet I must know."

The fan which he had just acquired was of the color of cherry. On it
was a picture representing the pale moon coming out of a purple cloud,
throwing a dim light upon the water.

To Genji this was precious. He wrote on one side the following, and
kept it carefully, with a longing for the chance of making it
useful:--

    "The moon I love has left the sky,
      And where 'tis hid I cannot tell;
    I search in vain, in vain I try
      To find the spot where it may dwell."

Now, it so happened that on a certain day at the end of March, an
archery meeting was to be held at Udaijin's, in which numerous noble
youths were to be present, and which was to be succeeded by the
Wistaria flower-feast. The height of the flower season was past, but
there were two cherry-trees, besides the Wistaria in the gardens,
which blossomed later. A new building in the ground, which had been
decorated for the occasion of the Mogi[78] of the two Princesses, was
being beautifully arranged for this occasion.

Genji also had been told one day at Court by Udaijin that he might
join the meeting. When the day came Genji did not arrive early.
Udaijin sent by one of his sons the following haughty message to
Genji, who was at the time with the Emperor:--

     "If the flowers of my home were of every-day hue,
     Why should they so long a time have tarried for you?"

Genji at once showed this to the Emperor, asking whether he had better
go. "Ah!" said the latter, smiling, "This is from a great personage.
You had better go, I should think; besides there are the Princesses
there."

Thereupon he prepared to go, and made his appearance late in the
afternoon.

The party was very pleasant, although the archery-match was almost
finished, and several hours were spent in different amusements. As
twilight fell around, Genji affected to be influenced by the _saké_ he
had taken, left the party, and went to that part of the Palace where
the Princesses lived. The Wistaria flowers in the gardens could also
be seen from this spot, and several ladies were looking out on them.

"I have been too much pressed. Let me take a little quiet shelter
here," said Genji, as he joined them. The room was nicely scented with
burning perfume. There he saw his two half-sisters and some others
with whom he was not acquainted. He was certain that the one he wished
to ascertain about was among them, but from the darkness of the
advancing evening he was unable to distinguish her. He adopted a
device for doing so. He hummed, as he looked vacantly around, the
"Ishi-kawa,"[79] but instead of the original line, "My belt being
taken," artfully, and in an arch tone, substituted the word "fan" for
"belt."

Some were surprised at this change, while others even said, "What a
strange Ishi-kawa!" One only said nothing, but looked down, and thus
betrayed herself as the one whom he was seeking, and Genji was soon at
her side.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 75: Composing poems in Chinese was a principal part of the
feast. The form of it is this, a Court scholar selects in obedience to
Imperial command, the subject, and then writes different words on
pieces of paper and places them on a table in the gardens, folded up.
Two of these are first picked out for the Emperor, and then each one
after another, according to precedence, goes to the table, takes one,
and these words form their rhymes.]

[Footnote 76: It was also the custom, when each had taken his paper,
to read it aloud, and also to announce his particular title or
station.]

[Footnote 77: "Oboro" is an adjective meaning calm, and little
glaring, and is specially attributed to the moon in spring. The line
is from an old ode.]

[Footnote 78: The ceremony of girls putting on a dress marking the
commencement of womanhood, corresponding to the Gembuk in the case of
boys. These princesses were the daughters of the Niogo of Kokiden. It
was the custom that royal children should be brought up at the home of
the mother.]

[Footnote 79: Name of a well-known ballad.]



CHAPTER IX

HOLLYHOCK


The Emperor has at last abdicated his throne, as he has long intended,
in favor of the Heir-apparent, and the only child of the Princess
Wistaria is made Heir-apparent to the new Emperor.

The ex-Emperor now lived in a private palace with this Princess in a
less royal style; and the Niogo of Kokiden, to whom was given the
honorary title of ex-Empress, resided in the Imperial Palace with the
Emperor, her son, and took up a conspicuous position. The ex-Emperor
still felt some anxiety about the Heir-apparent, and appointed Genji
as his guardian, as he had not yet a suitable person for that office.

This change in the reigning Emperor, and the gradual advancement of
Genji's position, gave the latter greater responsibility, and he had
to restrain his wandering.

Now, according to usage, the Saigû[80] and Saiin[81] were selected;
for the latter the second sister of the Emperor was chosen, and for
the former the only daughter of the Lady of Rokjiô, whose husband had
been a Royal Prince.

The day of the departure of the Saigû for Ise was not yet fixed; and
the mind of her mother, who had some reasons for dissatisfaction with
Genji, was still wavering in her indecision, whether or not she should
go to Ise with her daughter.

The case of the Saiin, however, was different, and the day of her
installation was soon fixed. She was the favorite child of her mother
as well as of her father, and the ceremonies for the day of
consecration were arranged with especial splendor. The number of
persons who take a share in the procession on this occasion is defined
by regulations; yet the selection of this number was most carefully
made from the most fashionable of the nobles of the time, and their
dresses and saddles were all chosen of beautiful appearance. Genji was
also directed by special order to take part in the ceremony.

As the occasion was expected to be magnificent, every class of the
people showed great eagerness to witness the scene, and a great number
of stands were erected all along the road. The day thus looked forward
to at last arrived.

Lady Aoi seldom showed herself on such occasions; besides, she was now
in a delicate state of health, near her confinement, and had,
therefore, no inclination to go out. Her attendants, however,
suggested to her that she ought to go. "It is a great pity," they
said, "not to see it; people come from a long distance to see it." Her
mother also said, "You seem better to-day. I think you had better go.
Take these girls with you."

Being pressed in this way, she hastily made up her mind, and went with
a train of carriages. All the road was thronged by multitudes of
people, many dressed in a style which is called Tsubo-Shôzok. Many of
great age prostrated themselves in an attitude of adoration, and many
others, notwithstanding their natural plainness, looked almost
blooming, from the joy expressed in their countenances--nay, even nuns
and aged women, from their retreats, were to be seen amongst them.
Numerous carriages were also squeezed closely together, so that the
broad thoroughfare of the Ichijiô road was made almost spaceless.
When, however, the carriages of the Lady Aoi's party appeared, her
attendants ordered several others to make way, and forced a passage to
the spot where the best view could be obtained, and where the common
people were not allowed. Among these happened to be two _ajiro_[82]
carriages, and their inmates were plainly incognito and persons of
rank.

These belonged to the party of the Lady of Rokjiô. When these
carriages were forced to give place, their attendants cried out,
"These carriages do not belong to people who ought to be so abruptly
forced away." But the attendants of the Lady Aoi, who were slightly
under the influence of drink, would not listen to their
expostulations, and they at last made their way and took up their
position, pushing the other two back where nothing could be seen, even
breaking their poles.

The lady so maltreated was of course extremely indignant, and she
would fain have gone home without seeing the spectacle, but there was
no passage for retiring. Meanwhile the approach of the procession was
announced, and only this calmed her a little.

Genji was as usual conspicuous in the procession. There were several
carriages along the roads on whose occupants his glance was cast; that
of Lady Aoi, however, was the most striking, and as he passed by the
attendants saluted him courteously, which act Genji acknowledged. What
were the feelings of the Lady of Rokjiô, who had been driven back, at
this moment!

In due course the procession passed, and the exciting scene of the day
was over. The quarrels about the carriage naturally came to the ears
of Genji. He thought that Lady Aoi was too modest to be the instigator
of such a dispute; but her house was one of great and powerful
families famous for overweening pride, a tendency shared by its
domestics; and they, for other motives, also of rivalry, were glad to
have an opportunity of mortifying the Lady of Rokjiô.

He felt for the wounded lady, and hastened to see her; but she, under
some pretext, refused to see him.

The day of the hollyhock _fête_ of the same temple came. It was
especially grand, as it was the first one after the installation of
the new Saiin, but neither Lady Aoi or the Lady of Rokjiô was present,
while Genji privately took Violet with him in a close carriage to see
the festival, and saw the horse-races.

We have already mentioned that the mind of the Lady of Rokjiô was
still wavering and unsettled whether or not she should go to Ise with
her daughter; and this state of mind became more and more augmented
and serious after the day of the dispute about the carriages, which
made her feel a bitter disdain and jealousy towards the Lady Aoi.
Strange to say, that from about the same time, Lady Aoi became ill,
and began to suffer from spiritual influences. All sorts of exorcisms
were duly performed, and some spirits came forth and gave their names.
But among them was a spirit, apparently a "living one,"[83] which
obstinately refused to be transmitted to the third party. It caused
her great suffering, and seemed not to be of a casual nature, but a
permanent hostile influence. Some imagined this to be the effect of
fearful jealousy of some one who was intimately known to Genji and who
had most influence over him; but the spirit gave no information to
this effect. Hence some even surmised that the wandering spirit of
some aged nurse, or the like, long since dead, still haunted the
mansion, and might have seized the opportunity of the lady's delicate
health, and taken possession of her. Meanwhile at the mansion of
Rokjiô, the lady, when she was informed of the sufferings of Lady Aoi,
felt somewhat for her, and began to experience a sort of compassion.

This became stronger when she was told that the sufferings of the Lady
Aoi were owing to some living spirit. She thought that she never
wished any evil to her; but, when she reflected, there were several
times when she began to think that a wounded spirit, such as her own,
might have some influence of the kind. She had sometimes dreams, after
weary thinking, between slumber and waking, in which she seemed to fly
to some beautiful girl, apparently Lady Aoi, and to engage in bitter
contention and struggle with her. She became even terrified at these
dreams; but yet they took place very often. "Even in ordinary
matters," she thought, "it is too common a practice, to say nothing of
the good done by people, but to exaggerate the bad; and so, in such
cases, if it should be rumored that mine was that living spirit which
tormented Lady Aoi, how trying it would be to me! It is no rare
occurrence that one's disembodied spirit, after death, should wander
about; but even that is not a very agreeable idea. How much more,
then, must it be disagreeable to have the repute that one's living
spirit was inflicting pain upon another!"

These thoughts still preyed upon her mind, and made her listless and
depressed.

In due course, the confinement of Lady Aoi approached. At the same
time, the jealous spirit still vexed her, and now more vigorous
exorcising was employed. She became much affected by it, and cried
out, "Please release me a little; I have something to tell the
Prince."

Hereupon he was ushered into the room. The curtain was dropped, and
the mother of the lady left the room, as she thought her daughter
might prefer to speak to him in private. The sound of the spells
performed in the next chamber ceased, and Hoke-kiô was read in its
place. The lady was lying on her couch, dressed in a pure white
garment, with her long tresses unfastened. He approached her, and
taking her hand, said: "What sad affliction you cause us!" She then
lifted her heavy eyelids, and gazed on Genji for some minutes.

He tried to soothe her, and said, "Pray don't trouble yourself too
much about matters. Everything will come right. Your illness, I think,
will soon pass away. Even supposing you quit this present world, there
is another where we shall meet, and where I shall see you once more
cheerful, and there will be a time when your mother and father will
also join you."

"Ah! no. I only come here to solicit you to give me a little rest. I
feel extremely disturbed. I never thought of coming here in such a
way; but it seems the spirit of one whose thoughts are much
disconcerted wanders away unknown even to itself.

    Oh, bind my wandering spirit, pray,
    Dear one, nor let it longer stray."

The enunciation of these words was not that of Lady Aoi herself; and
when Genji came to reflect, it clearly belonged to the Lady of Rokjiô.
Always before, when anyone had talked with him about a living spirit
coming to vex Lady Aoi, he felt inclined to suppress such ideas; but
now he began to think that such things might really happen, and he
felt disturbed. "You speak thus," said Genji, as if he was addressing
the spirit, "but you do not tell me who you are. Do, therefore, tell
me clearly." At these words, strange to say, the face of the Lady Aoi
seemed momentarily to assume the likeness of that of Rokjiô. On this,
Genji was still more perplexed and anxious, and put a stop to the
colloquy. Presently she became very calm, and people thought that she
was a little relieved. Soon after this, the lady was safely delivered
of a child.

Now, to perform due thanksgiving for this happy deliverance, the head
of the monastery on Mount Hiye and some other distinguished priests
were sent for. They came in all haste, wiping off the perspiration
from their faces as they journeyed; and, from the Emperor and Royal
princes down to the ordinary nobles, all took an interest in the
ceremony of Ub-yashinai (first feeding), and the more so as the child
was a boy.

To return to the Lady of Rokjiô. When she heard of the safe delivery
of Lady Aoi, a slightly jealous feeling once more seemed to vex her;
and when she began to move about, she could not understand how it was,
but she perceived that her dress was scented with a strange odor.[84]
She thought this most surprising, and took baths and changed her
dress, in order to get rid of it; but the odor soon returned, and she
was disgusted with herself.

Some days passed, and the day of autumn appointments arrived. By this
time, Lady Aoi's health seemed progressing favorably, and Genji left
her in order to attend the Court.

When he said good-by to her, there was a strange and unusual look in
her eyes. Sadaijin also went to Court, as well as his sons, who had
some expectation of promotion, and there were few people left in the
mansion.

It was in the evening of that day that Lady Aoi was suddenly attacked
by a spasm, and before the news of this could be carried to the Court,
she died.

These sad tidings soon reached the Court, and created great distress
and confusion: even the arrangements for appointments and promotion
were disturbed. As it happened late in the evening there was no time
to send for the head of the monastery, or any other distinguished
priest. Messengers of inquiry came one after another to the mansion,
so numerous that it was almost impossible to return them all answers.
We need not add how greatly affected were all her relations.

As the death took place from a malign spiritual influence, she was
left untouched during two or three days, in the hope that she might
revive; but no change took place, and now all hope was abandoned. In
due course the corpse was taken to the cemetery of Toribeno. Numerous
mourners and priests of different churches crowded to the spot, while
representatives of the ex-Emperor, Princess Wistaria, and the
Heir-apparent also were present. The ceremony of burial was performed
with all solemnity and pathos.

Thus the modest and virtuous Lady Aoi passed away forever.

Genji forthwith confined himself to his apartment in the grand mansion
of Sadaijin, for mourning and consolation. Tô-no-Chiûjiô, who was now
elevated to the title of Sammi, constantly bore him company, and
conversed with him both on serious and amusing subjects. Their
struggle in the apartment of Gen-naishi, and also their rencontre in
the garden of the "Saffron Flower," were among the topics of their
consoling conversation.

It was on one of these occasions that a soft shower of rain was
falling. The evening was rendered cheerless, and Tô-no-Chiûjiô came to
see him, walking slowly in his mourning robes of a dull color. Genji
was leaning out of a window, his cheek resting on his hand; and,
looking out upon the half-fading shrubberies, was humming--

    "Has she become rain or cloud?
    'Tis now unknown."

Tô-no-Chiûjiô gently approached him. They had, as usual, some pathetic
conversation, and then the latter hummed, as if to himself--

    "Beyond the cloud in yonder sky,
      From which descends the passing rain,
    Her gentle soul may dwell,
      Though we may cease to trace its form in vain."

This was soon responded to by Genji:--

    "That cloudy shrine we view on high,
      Where my lost love may dwell unseen,
    Looks gloomy now to this sad eye
      That looks with tears on what has been."

There was among the faded plants of the garden a solitary
Rindô-nadeshko.[85] When Tô-no-Chiûjiô had gone, Genji picked this
flower, and sent it to his mother-in-law by the nurse of the infant
child, with the following:--

    "In bowers where all beside are dead
      Survives alone this lovely flower,
    Departed autumn's cherished gem,
      Symbol of joy's departed hour."[86]

Genji still felt lonely. He wrote a letter to the Princess Momo-zono
(peach-gardens). He had known her long. He admired her, too. She had
been a spectator, with her father, on the day of the consecration of
the Saiin, and was one of those to whom the appearance of Genji was
most welcome. In his letter he stated that she might have a little
sympathy with him in his sorrow, and he also sent with it the
following:--

    "Many an autumn have I past
      In gloomy thought, but none I ween
    Has been so mournful as the last,
      Which rife with grief and change hath been."

There was, indeed, nothing serious between Genji and this princess;
yet, as far as correspondence was concerned, they now and then
exchanged letters, so she did not object to receiving this
communication. She felt for him much, and an answer was returned, in
which she expressed her sympathy at his bereavement.

Now, in the mansion of Sadaijin every performance of requiem was
celebrated. The forty-ninth day had passed, and the mementoes of the
dead, both trifling and valuable, were distributed in a due and
agreeable manner; and Genji at length left the grand mansion with the
intention of first going to the ex-Emperor, and then of returning to
his mansion at Nijiô. After his departure, Sadaijin went into the
apartment occupied till lately by him. The room was the same as
before, and everything was unchanged; but his only daughter, the
pride of his old days, was no more, and his son-in-law had gone too.

He looked around him for some moments. He saw some papers lying about.
They were those on which Genji had been practising penmanship for
amusement--some in Chinese, others in Japanese; some in free style,
others in stiff. Among these papers he saw one on which the words "Old
pillows and old quilts" were written, and close to these the
following:--

    "How much the soul departed, still
      May love to linger round this couch,
    My own heart tells me, even I
      Reluctant am to leave it now."

And on another of these papers, accompanying the words, "The white
frost lies upon the tiles," the following:--

    "How many more of nights shall I
    On this lone bed without thee lie;
    The flower has left its well-known bed,
    And o'er its place the dews are shed."

As Sadaijin was turning over these papers a withered flower, which
seems to have marked some particular occasion, dropped from amongst
them.

Return we now to Genji. He went to the ex-Emperor, to whom he still
seemed thin and careworn. He had some affectionate conversation with
him, remained till evening, and then proceeded to his mansion at
Nijiô. He went to the western wing to visit the young Violet. All were
habited in new winter apparel, and looked fresh and blooming.

"How long it seems since I saw you!" he exclaimed. Violet turned her
glance a little aside. She was apparently shy, which only increased
her beauty.

He approached, and after having a little conversation, said, "I have
many things to say to you, but now I must have a little rest," and
returned to his own quarters.

The next morning, first of all he sent a letter to Sadaijin's, making
inquiry after his infant child.

At this time he confined himself more than usual to his own house, and
for companionship he was constantly with Violet, who was now
approaching womanhood. He would sometimes talk with her differently
from the manner in which he would speak to a mere girl; but on her
part she seemed not to notice the difference, and for their daily
amusement either Go or Hentski[87] was resorted to, and sometimes they
would play on till late in the evening.

Some weeks thus passed away, and there was one morning when Violet did
not appear so early as usual. The inmates of the house, who did not
know what was the reason, were anxious about her, thinking she was
indisposed. About noon Genji came. He entered the little room, saying,
"Are you not quite well? Perhaps you would like to play at Go again,
like last night, for a change;" but she was more than ever shy.

"Why are you so shy?" he exclaimed; "be a little more cheerful--people
may think it strange," said he, and stayed with her a long time trying
to soothe her; but to no effect--she still continued silent and shy.

This was the evening of Wild Boar's day, and some _mochi_ (pounded
rice cake) was presented to him, according to custom, on a tray of
plain white wood.

He called Koremitz before him and said, "To-day is not a very
opportune day; I would rather have them to-morrow evening. Do send in
some to-morrow.[88] It need not be of so many colors." So saying, he
smiled a little, and sharp Koremitz soon understood what he meant. And
this he accordingly did on the morrow, on a beautiful flower-waiter.

Up to this time nothing about Violet had been publicly known, and
Genji thought it was time to inform her father about his daughter; but
he considered he had better have the ceremony of Mogi first performed,
and ordered preparations to be made with that object.

Let us here notice that the young daughter of Udaijin, after she saw
Genji, was longing to see him again. This inclination was perceived by
her relations. It seems that her father was not quite averse to this
liking, and he told his eldest daughter, the reigning Emperor's
mother, that Genji was recently bereaved of his good consort, and that
he should not feel discontented if his daughter were to take the place
of Lady Aoi; but this the royal mother did not approve. "It would be
far better for her to be introduced at Court," she said, and began
contriving to bring this about.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 80: The sacred virgin of the temple of Ise.]

[Footnote 81: The same of Kamo, which is situated in the neighborhood
of Kiôto, the then capital.]

[Footnote 82: "Ajiro" means woven bamboo, and here it signifies a
carriage made of woven bamboo.]

[Footnote 83: Before proceeding with the story, it is necessary for
the reader to peruse the following note: In Japan there existed, and
still more or less exists, a certain superstition which is
entertained, that the spirits of the dead have the power of inflicting
injury on mankind; for instance, a woman when slighted or deserted,
dies, her spirit often works evil on the man who forsook her, or on
her rival. This is the spirit of the dead. There is also another
belief that the spirits of the living have sometimes the same power,
but in this case it only takes place when one is fiercely jealous.
When this spirit works upon the rival, the owner of the spirit is not
aware of it; but she herself becomes more gloomy, as if she had, as it
were, lost her own spirit. These spirits can be exorcised, and the act
is performed by a certain sect of priests; but the living one is
considered far more difficult to exorcise than the other, because it
is imagined that the dead spirit can be easily "laid," or driven back
to the tomb, while the living one, being still in its present state,
cannot be settled so easily. The method of exorcism is as follows:
Certain spells are used on the sufferer, and certain religious
addresses are read from the Buddhist bibles, and then the sufferer is
made to speak out all his subjects of complaint; but it is supposed
not to be the man himself who speaks and tells these causes of
complaint, but the spirit of which he is possessed. This process is
sometimes performed on a third party; in that case the priest
temporarily transmits the spirit from the sufferer to the substitute
and makes it speak with his mouth. When he has told all the causes of
his complaint and wrongs, the priest sometimes argues with him,
sometimes chides, sometimes soothes, and sometimes threatens, and at
last says to the spirit, "If you do not go out quietly, I will confine
you by my sacred power." By such means the spirit is exorcised; the
process resembles mesmerism in some points, but of course has no
sensible foundation. In other cases the spirits of those who have
either recently, or even years before, met with cruel wrongs or death,
may in their wanderings seize upon some person in the vicinity, though
totally unconnected with the crime done upon them, and may cause them
suffering, or even spirits, who from any cause, are unable to obtain
rest, may do the same thing.]

[Footnote 84: In the ceremony of exorcism a sacred perfume is burnt,
and it was this scent which the Lady of Rokjiô perceived in her
garment because her spirit was supposed to go to and fro between
herself and Lady Aoi, and to bring with it the smell of this perfume.]

[Footnote 85: A kind of pink; some translate it Gentian.]

[Footnote 86: Here the flower is compared to the child, and autumn to
the mother.]

[Footnote 87: "Hentski," a children's game. It consists in choosing
beforehand a "hen" or half-character, opening a book and seeing which
of the players can most quickly pick out the words beginning with this
"hen."]

[Footnote 88: It seemed to have been the ancient custom, that on the
third night of a wedding, the same kind of rice cake, but only of one
color, was served up.]



CHAPTER X

DIVINE TREE


The departure of the Saigû, the daughter of the Lady of Rokjiô, for
her destination in the Temple of Ise, which was postponed from time to
time, owing to different circumstances, was at length arranged to take
place in September. This definite arrangement delighted the Saigû, to
whom the uncertainty of the event had been somewhat tiresome. Her
mother also made up her mind to accompany her to the temple. Although
there was no precedent for the mother of the Saigû accompanying her
daughter, this lady made up her mind to do so, because she would not
allow her young daughter to go alone.

In a suburban field the "field palace" was built.[89] It was of wood,
and surrounded by a fence of newly cut branches of trees. In front
stood a huge _torii_[90] of logs, and within the compound were the
quarters of the Kandzkasa.[91] Here the Saigû took up her residence,
where her mother also accompanied her. When the sixteenth of
September, which was fixed for the departure, arrived, the ceremony of
her last consecration was duly performed on the banks of the River
Katzra, whence the sacred virgin went to the Imperial Palace to have
the farewell audience with the Emperor. She was accompanied by her
mother. The father of the latter had been a great personage of State,
and she had been married to a Royal Prince at sixteen, when there had
been every possibility of her coming to the Court in a position far
superior to what she now enjoyed. She was, however, bereaved of him at
the age of twenty; and now at thirty she comes to take leave at her
departure for a far-off province with her only daughter. The Saigû was
about fourteen years of age, was extremely delicate and fair to look
upon, and when presented to the Emperor he was struck by the charms
of her youthful appearance.

Numerous carriages were ranged at the front of eight State departments
to see her off in state, besides many others along the road, full of
spectators.

Late in the afternoon her party left the palace, and turned away from
Nijiô round to the highway of Tôin, and passed by the mansion of
Genji, who witnessed their passing, and sent the following to the
lady-mother with a twig of Sakaki (divine tree):--

    "Bravely you quit this scene, 'tis true;
      But though you dauntless fly so far,
    Your sleeve may yet be wet with dew,
      Before you cross Suzukah."[92]

The answer to this was sent to him from beyond the barrier of Ausaka
(meeting-path) in the following form:--

    "Whether my sleeve be wet or not,
      In the waters of the Suzukah,
    Who will care? Too soon forgot
      Will Ise be that lies so far."

And thus the Lady of Rokjiô and her daughter disappear for some time
from our scenes in the capital.

It was about this time that the ex-Emperor was indisposed for some
time, and in October his state became precarious. The anxiety of the
public was general, and the Emperor went to visit him. Notwithstanding
his weakness, the former gave him every injunction, first about the
Heir-apparent, then about Genji, and said:--

"Regard him as your adviser, both in large and small matters, without
reserve, and not otherwise than if I were still alive. He is not
incapable of sharing in the administration of public affairs,
notwithstanding his youth. He has a physiognomy which argues great
qualities, and for this reason, I made him remain in an ordinary
position, without creating him a Royal Prince, with the object that he
should be able to take part in public affairs. Do not misconstrue
these ideas."

There were some more injunctions given of like nature relating to
public matters, and the Emperor sorrowfully and repeatedly assured him
that he would not neglect them. Such, however, are not subjects which
we women are supposed to understand, and even thus much that I have
mentioned is given not without some apprehension.

A few days after the visit of the Emperor the Heir-apparent was
brought before his dying father. There had been some idea that he
should be brought on the day when the Emperor paid his visit, but it
was postponed to avoid any possible confusion. The boy Prince was
apparently more pleased at seeing his father than concerned at his
illness. To him the ex-Emperor told many things, but he was too young
to heed them. Genji was also present, and the ex-Emperor explained to
him in what way he should serve the Government, and how he should look
after this young Prince. When their interview concluded it was already
merging towards the evening, and the young Prince returned to the
palace.

The Royal mother of the reigning Emperor (formerly Koki-den-Niogo)
would also have visited the ex-Emperor but for her repugnance to
encounter the Princess Wistaria, who never left his side.

In the course of a few days the strength of the Emperor began to
decline, and at last he quietly and peacefully passed away.

And now the Court went into general mourning, and Genji, being one of
the principal mourners, put on a dress of Wistaria cloth;[93] so
frequently did misfortune fall on him in the course of a few years,
and his cares became really great.

The funeral and the weekly requiems were performed with all due pomp
and ceremony, and when the forty-ninth day had passed, all the private
household of his late Majesty dispersed in the midst of the dreary
weather of the latter part of December to their own homes; the
Princess Wistaria retiring to her own residence in Sanjiô, accompanied
by her brother, Prince Hiôbkiô.

True, it is that his late Majesty had been for some time off the
throne, but his authority had by no means diminished on that account.
But his death now altered the state of things, and the ascendancy of
the family of Udaijin became assured. The people in general
entertained great fear that infelicitous changes would take place in
public affairs, and among these Genji and the Princess Wistaria were
the most disturbed by such anxieties.

The new year came in, but nothing joyful or exciting accompanied its
presence--the world was still.

Genji kept himself to his mansion. In those days, when his father was
still in power, his courtyard was filled with the carriages of
visitors, especially when the days of the appointments were
approaching; but now this was changed, and his household secretaries
had but little to occupy them.

In January the Princess Momo-zono (peach-gardens) was chosen for the
Saiin, of the Temple of Kamo, her predecessor having retired from
office, on account of the mourning for her father, the late
ex-Emperor.

There were not many precedents for Princesses of the second generation
being appointed to this position; but this Princess was so chosen,
owing, it seems, to the circumstance that there was no immediate issue
of the Imperial blood suitable for this office.

In February the youngest daughter of the Udaijin became the
Naishi-no-Kami,[94] in the place of the former one, who had left
office and become a nun after the death of the ex-Emperor.

She took up her residence in the Kokiden, which was till lately
occupied by her sister, the Empress-mother, who at this period spent
most of her time at her father's, and who when she came to the Court
made the Ume-Tsubo (the plum-chamber) her apartment.

Meanwhile the Empress-mother, who was by nature sagacious and
revengeful, and who during the late Emperor's life had been fain to
disguise her spiteful feelings, now conceived designs of vengeance
against those who had been adverse to her; and this spirit was
directed especially against Genji and his father-in-law,
Sadaijin--against the latter because he had married his only daughter
to Genji against the wishes of the Emperor when Heir-apparent, and
because during the life of the late Emperor his influence eclipsed
that of her father, Udaijin, who had long been his political
adversary.

The Emperor, it is true, never forgot the dying injunctions of his
father, and never failed in sympathy with Genji; but he was still
young, with a weak mind, and therefore he was under the influence of
his mother and grandfather, Udaijin, and was often constrained by
them in his actions to go contrary to his own wishes.

Such being the state of things, Sadaijin seldom appeared at Court, and
his loss of influence became manifest. Genji, too, had become less
adventurous and more steady in his life; and in his mansion Violet
became the favorite object of attraction, in whose behalf the ceremony
of Mogi had been duly performed some time before, and who had been
presented to her father. The latter had for a long time regarded her
as lost, and even now he never forgave the way in which his daughter
had been taken away by Genji.

The summer had passed without any particular events, and autumn
arrived. Genji, wishing to have a little change, went to the monastery
of Unlinin,[95] and spent some days in the chamber of a rissh
(discipline-master), who was a brother of his mother. Maple-trees were
changing their tints, and the beautiful scenery around this spot made
him almost forget his home. His daily amusement was to gather together
several monks, and make them discuss before him.

He himself perused the so-called "sixty volumes,"[96] and would get
the monks to explain any point which was not clear to his
understanding.

When he came to reflect on the various circumstances taking place in
the capital, he would have preferred remaining in his present
retirement; but he could not forget one whom he had left behind there,
and this caused him to return. After he had requested a splendid
expiatory service to be performed, he left the monastery. The monks
and the neighbors came to see him depart. His carriage was still
black, and his sleeves were still of Wistaria, and in this gloomy
state he made his return to his mansion in Nijiô.

He brought back some twigs of maple, whose hues, when compared with
those in his own garden, he perceived were far more beautiful. He,
therefore, sent one of these to the residence of Princess Wistaria,
who had it put in a vase, and hung at the side of her veranda.

Next day he went to the Imperial Palace, to see his brother the
Emperor, who was passing a quiet and unoccupied leisure, and soon
entered into a pleasant conversation on matters both past and present.
This Emperor, it must be remembered, was a person of quiet ways and
moderate ambition. He was kind in heart, and affectionate to his
relatives. His eyes were shut to the more objectionable actions of
Genji. He talked with him on different topics of literature, and asked
his opinions on different questions. He also talked on several
poetical subjects, and on the news of the day--of the departure of the
Saigû.

The conversation then led to the little Prince, the Heir-apparent. The
Emperor said, "Our father has enjoined me to adopt him as my son, and
to be kind to him in every way; but he was always a favorite of mine,
and this injunction was unnecessary, for I could not be any more
particularly kind to him. I am very glad that he is very clever for
his age in penmanship and the like."

Genji replied, "Yes, I also notice that he is of no ordinary promise;
but yet we must admit that his ability may be only partial."

After this conversation Genji left. On his way he came across a nephew
of the Empress-mother, who seems to have been a person of rather
arrogant and rough character. As he crossed Genji's path he stopped
for a minute, and loudly reciting,

    "The white rainbow crossed the sun,
    And the Prince was frightened,"[97]

passed on. Genji at once understood what it was intended for, but
prudently proceeded on his way homeward without taking any notice of
it.

Let us now proceed to the Princess Wistaria. Since she had been
bereaved of the late Emperor she retired to her private residence. She
fully participated in all those inglorious mortifications to which
Genji and his father-in-law were subjected. She was convinced she
would never suffer such cruel treatment as that which Seki-Foojin[98]
did at the hands of her rival, but she was also convinced that some
sort of misfortune was inevitable. These thoughts at last led her to
determine to give up the world. The fortune of her child, however, had
been long a subject of anxiety to her; and though she had determined
to do so, the thought of him had affected her mind still more keenly.
She had hitherto rarely visited the Court, where he was residing; for
her visits might be unpleasing to the feelings of her rival, the other
ex-Empress, and prejudicial to his interests.

However, she now went there unceremoniously, in order to see him
before she carried out her intention to retire. In the course of her
chatting with him, she said, "Suppose, that while I do not see you for
some time, my features become changed, what would you think?"

The little Prince, who watched her face, replied, "Like
Shikib?[99]--no--that can't be." The Princess smiled a little, and
said, "No, that is not so; Shikib's is changed by age, but suppose
mine were different from hers, and my hair became shorter than hers,
and I wore a black dress like a chaplain-in-waiting, and I could not
see you often, any longer." And she became a little sad, which made
the Prince also a little downcast.

Serene was his face, and finely pencilled were his eyebrows. He was
growing up fast, and his teeth were a little decayed and
blackened,[100] which gave a peculiar beauty to his smile, and the
prettiness of his appearance only served to increase her regret; and
with a profound pensiveness she returned to her residence.

In the middle of December she performed Mihakkô (a grand special
service on the anniversary of death), which she was carefully
preparing for some days. The rolls of the Kiô (Buddhist Bible) used
for this occasion were made most magnificently--the spindle of jade,
the covering of rich satin, and its case of woven bamboo ornamented
likewise, as well as the flower-table.

The first day's ceremony was for her father, the second for her
mother, and the third for the late Emperor. Several nobles were
present, and participated, Genji being one of them. Different presents
were made by them all. At the end of the third day's performance her
vows of retirement were, to the surprise of all, announced by the
priest. At the conclusion of the whole ceremony, the chief of the Hiye
monastery, whom she had sent for, arrived, and from whom she received
the "commandments." She then had her hair cut off by her uncle, Bishop
of Yokogawa.

These proceedings cast a gloom over the minds of all present, but
especially on those of Hiôb-Kiô, her brother, and Genji; and soon
after every one departed for his home.

Another New Year came in, and the aspect of the Court was brighter. A
royal banquet and singing dances were soon expected to take place, but
the Princess Wistaria no longer took any heed of them, and most of her
time was devoted to prayer in a new private chapel, which she had had
built expressly for herself in her grounds.

Genji came to pay his New Year's visit on the seventh day, but he saw
no signs of the season. All nobles who used to pay visits of
felicitation, now shunned her house and gathered at the mansion of
Udaijin, near her own. The only things which caught Genji's attention
in her mansion was a white horse,[101] which was being submitted to
her inspection as on former occasions. When he entered, he noticed
that all the hangings of the room and the dresses of the inmates were
of the dark hues of conventual life. The only things that there seemed
to herald spring, were the melting of the thin ice on the surface of
the lake, and the budding of the willows on its banks. The scene
suggested many reflections to his mind; and, after the usual greetings
of the season, and a short conversation, he quitted the mansion.

It should be here noticed that none of her household officers received
any promotion or appointment to any sinecure office, or honorary
title, even where the merit of the individual deserved it, or the
Court etiquette required it. Nay, even the proper income for her
household expenses was, under different pretexts, neglected. As for
the Princess, she must have been prepared for such inevitable
consequences of her giving up the world; but it ought not to be taken
as implying that the sacrifice should be so great. Hence these facts
caused much disappointment to her household, and the mind of the
Princess herself was sometimes moved by feelings of mortification.
Nevertheless, troubled about herself no longer, she only studied the
welfare and prosperity of her child, and persevered in the most
devout prayers for this. She also remembered a secret sin, still
unknown to the world, which tormented the recesses of her soul, and
she was constantly praying to Buddha to lighten her burden.

About the same time, tired of the world, both public and private,
Sadaijin sent in his resignation. The Emperor had not forgotten how
much he was respected by the late ex-Emperor, how the latter had
enjoined him always to regard him as a support of the country, and he
several times refused to accept his resignation; but Sadaijin
persevered in his request, and confined himself to his own mansion.
This gave complete ascendancy to the family of Udaijin. All the sons
of Sadaijin, who formerly had enjoyed considerable distinction at
Court, were now fast sinking into insignificance, and had very little
influence. Tô-no-Chiûjiô, the eldest of them, was one of those
affected by the change of circumstances. True, he was married to the
fourth daughter of Udaijin; but he passed little time with her, she
still residing with her father, and he was not among the favorite
sons-in-law. His name was also omitted in the appointment list on
promotion day, which seems to have been intended by his father-in-law
as a warning.

Under such circumstances he was constantly with Genji, and they
studied and played together. They both well remembered how they used
to compete with each other in such matters as studying and playing,
and they still kept their rivalry alive. They would sometimes send for
some scholars, and would compose poems together, or play the "Covering
Rhymes."[102] They seldom appeared at Court, while in the outer world
different scandals about them were increasing day by day.

One day in summer Tô-no-Chiûjiô came to pay his usual visit to Genji.
He had brought by his page several interesting books, and Genji also
ordered several rare books from his library. Many scholars were sent
for, in such a manner as not to appear too particular; and many nobles
and University students were also present. They were divided into two
parties, the right and the left, and began betting on the game of
"Covering Rhymes." Genji headed the right, and Tô-no-Chiûjiô the left.
To his credit the former often hit on the most difficult rhymes, with
which the scholars were puzzled. At last the left was beaten by the
right, consequently Tô-no-Chiûjiô gave an entertainment to the party,
as arranged in their bet.

They also amused themselves by writing prose and verse. Some roses
were blossoming in front of the veranda, which possessed a quiet charm
different from those of the full season of spring.

The sight of these afforded them a delightful enjoyment while they
were partaking of refreshment. A son of Tô-no-Chiûjiô, about eight or
nine years old, was present. He was the second boy by his wife,
Udaijin's daughter, and a tolerable player on the Sôh-flute. Both his
countenance and disposition were amiable. The party was in full
enjoyment when the boy rose and sang "Takasago" (high sand).[103] When
he proceeded to the last clause of his song,

    "Oh, could I see that lovely flower,
    That blossomed this morn!"

Tô-no-Chiûjiô offered his cup to Genji, saying,

    "How glad am I to see your gentleness,
    Sweet as the newly blooming flower!"

Genji, smiling, took the cup as he replied,

    "Yet that untimely flower, I fear,
    The rain will beat, the wind will tear,
    Ere it be fully blown."

And added,

    "Oh, I myself am but a sere leaf."

Genji was pressed by Tô-no-Chiûjiô to take several more cups, and his
humor reached its height. Many poems, both in Chinese and Japanese,
were composed by those present, most of whom paid high compliment to
Genji. He felt proud, and unconsciously exclaimed, "The son of King
Yuen, the brother of King Mu;" and would have added, "the King Ching's
----"[104] but there he paused.

To describe the scene which followed at a time such as this, when
every mind is not in due equilibrium, is against the warning of
Tsurayuki, the poet, so I will here pass over the rest.

Naishi-no-Kami, the young daughter of Udaijin, now retired to her home
from the Court, having been attacked by ague; and the object of her
retirement was to enjoy rest and repose, as well as to have spells
performed for her illness.

This change did her great good, and she speedily recovered from the
attack.

We had mentioned before that she always had a tender yearning for
Genji, and she was the only one of her family who entertained any
sympathy or good feeling towards him. She had seen, for some time, the
lack of consideration and the indifference with which he was treated
by her friends, and used to send messages of kind inquiry. Genji, on
his part also, had never forgotten her, and the sympathy which she
showed towards him excited in his heart the most lively appreciation.

These mutual feelings led at length to making appointments for meeting
during her retirement. Genji ran the risk of visiting her secretly in
her own apartments. This was really hazardous, more especially so
because her sister, the Empress-mother, was at this time staying in
the same mansion. We cannot regard either the lady or Genji as
entirely free from the charge of imprudence, which, on his part, was
principally the result of his old habits of wandering.

It was on a summer's evening that Genji contrived to see her in her
own apartment, and while they were conversing, a thunderstorm suddenly
broke forth, and all the inmates got up and ran to and fro in their
excitement. Genji had lost the opportunity of escape, and, besides,
the dawn had already broken.

When the storm became lighter and the thunder ceased, Udaijin went
first to the room of his royal daughter, and then to that of
Naishi-no-Kami. The noise of the falling rain made his footsteps
inaudible, and all unexpectedly he appeared at the door and said:
"What a storm it has been! Were you not frightened?"

This voice startled both Genji and the lady. The former hid himself on
one side of the room, and the latter stepped forth to meet her father.
Her face was deeply flushed, which he soon noticed. He said, "You seem
still excited; is your illness not yet quite passed?" While he was so
saying he caught sight of the sash of a man's cloak, twisted round her
skirt.

"How strange!" thought he. The next moment he noticed some papers
lying about, on which something had been scribbled. "This is more
strange!" he thought again; and exclaimed, "Whose writings are these?"
At this request she looked aside, and all at once noticed the sash
round her skirt, and became quite confused. Udaijin was a man of quiet
nature; so, without distressing her further, bent down to pick up the
papers, when by so doing he perceived a man behind the screen, who was
apparently in great confusion and was endeavoring to hide his face.
However, Udaijin soon discovered who he was, and without any further
remarks quitted the room, taking the papers with him.

The troubled state of Genji and the lady may be easily imagined, and
in great anxiety he left the scene.

Now it was the character of Udaijin that he could never keep anything
to himself, even his thoughts. He therefore went to the eldest
daughter--that is, the Empress-mother, and told her that he had found
papers which clearly were in the handwriting of Genji, and that though
venturesomeness is the characteristic of men, such conduct as that
which Genji had indulged in was against all propriety. "People said,"
continued Udaijin, "that he was always carrying on a correspondence
with the present Saiin. Were this true, it would not only be against
public decorum, but his own interest; although I did not entertain any
suspicion before."

When the sagacious Empress-mother heard this, her anger was something
fearful. "See the Emperor," she said; "though he is Emperor, how
little he is respected! When he was Heir-apparent, the ex-Sadaijin,
not having presented his daughter to him, gave her to Genji, then a
mere boy, on the eve of his Gembuk; and now this Genji boldly dares to
carry on such intrigues with a lady who is intended to be the Royal
consort! How daring, also, is his correspondence with the sacred
Saiin! On the whole, his conduct, in every respect, does not appear to
be as loyal as might be expected, and this only seems to arise from
his looking forward to the ascent of the young Prince to the throne."

Udaijin somehow felt the undesirability of this anger, and he began to
change his tone, and tried to soothe her, saying: "You have some
reason for being so affected; yet don't disclose such matters to the
public, and pray don't tell it to the Emperor. It is, of course, an
impropriety on the part of the Prince, but we must admit that our
girl, also, would not escape censure. We had better first warn her
privately among ourselves; and if the matter does not even then come
all right, I will myself be responsible for that."

The Empress-mother, however, could not calm her angry feelings. It
struck her as a great disrespect to her dignity, on Genji's part, to
venture to intrude into the very mansion where she was staying. And
she began to meditate how to turn this incident into a means of
carrying out the design which she had been forming for some time.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 89: A temporary residence expressly built for the Saigû to
undergo purification.]

[Footnote 90: A peculiar gate erected in front of the sacred places.]

[Footnote 91: Shinto priests.]

[Footnote 92: Name of a river of the province of Ise, which the
travellers had to cross.]

[Footnote 93: A dress made of the bark of the Wistaria was worn by
those who were in deep mourning for near relatives.]

[Footnote 94: This was an office held by a Court lady, whose duty it
was to act as a medium of communication in the transmitting of
messages between the Emperor and State officials.]

[Footnote 95: It is said that the tomb of the authoress of this work
is to be found at this spot.]

[Footnote 96: In the Tendai sect of Buddhists there are sixty volumes
of the theological writings which are considered most authoritative
for their doctrine.]

[Footnote 97: A passage of a Chinese history. The story is, that a
Prince of a certain Chinese kingdom contrived to have assassinated an
Emperor, his enemy. When he sent off the assassin this event took
place. The allusion here seems to imply the allegation that Genji
intended high treason.]

[Footnote 98: She was the favorite of the first Emperor of the Hung
dynasty in China, and the rival of the Empress. When the Emperor died,
the Empress, a clever and disdainful woman, revenged herself by
cutting off her feet, and her arms, and making away with her son.]

[Footnote 99: This seems to have been the name of an aged attendant.]

[Footnote 100: Among Japanese children it often happens that the milk
teeth become black and decayed, which often gives a charm to their
expression.]

[Footnote 101: It was the custom to show a white horse on the seventh
day of the new year to the Empress, the superstition being that this
was a protestation against evil spirits.]

[Footnote 102: A game consisting in opening Chinese poetry books and
covering the rhymes, making others guess them.]

[Footnote 103: Name of a ballad.]

[Footnote 104: In Chinese history it is recorded that in giving an
injunction to his son, Duke Choau, a great statesman of the eleventh
century B.C., used these words: "I am the son of King Yuen, the
brother of King Mu, and the uncle of King Ching; but I am so ready in
receiving men in any way distinguished, that I am often interrupted
three times at my dinner, or in my bath." It would seem that Genji, in
the pride of his feeling, unconsciously made the above quotation in
reference to himself.]



CHAPTER XI

VILLA OF FALLING FLOWERS


The troubles of Genji increased day by day, and the world became
irksome to him. One incident, however, deserves a brief notice before
we enter into the main consequences of these troubles.

There was a lady who had been a Niogo at the Court of the late
ex-Emperor, and who was called Reikeiden-Niogo, from the name of her
chamber. She had borne no child to him, and after his death she,
together with a younger sister, was living in straitened
circumstances. Genji had long known both of them, and they were often
aided by the liberality with which he cheerfully assisted them, both
from feelings of friendship, and out of respect to his late father.

He, at this time, kept himself quiet at his own home, but he now paid
these ladies a visit one evening, when the weather, after a
long-continued rain, had cleared up. He conversed with them on topics
of past times until late in the evening. The waning moon threw her
faint light over the tall trees standing in the garden, which spread
their dark shadows over the ground. From among them an orange-tree in
full blossom poured forth its sweet perfume, and a Hototo-gisu[105]
flew over it singing most enchantingly.

"'Ah! how he recollects his own friend!'" said Genji, and continued:--

    "To this home of 'falling flower,'
      The odors bring thee back again,
    And now thou sing'st, in evening hour,
      Thy faithful loving strain."

To this the elder lady replied:--

    "At the home where one lives, all sadly alone,
      And the shadow of friendship but seldom is cast,
    These blossoms reach the bright days that are gone
      And bring to our sadness the joys of the past."

And, after a long and friendly conversation, Genji returned to his
home. One may say that the character of Genji was changeable, it is
true, yet we must do him justice for his kind-heartedness to his old
acquaintances such as these two sisters, and this would appear to be
the reason why he seldom estranged the hearts of those whom he liked.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 105: The name of a small bird which appears about the time
when the orange trees are in blossom. It sings, and is most active in
the evening. In poetry, therefore, the orange blossom and this bird
are associated, and they are both, the blossom and the bird, emblems
of old memories.]



CHAPTER XII

EXILE AT SUMA


Genji at last made up his mind to undergo a voluntary exile, before
the opinion of the Imperial Court should be publicly announced against
him. He heard that the beautiful sea-coast along Suma was a most
suitable place for retirement, and that, though formerly populous,
there were now only a few fishermen's dwellings scattered here and
there. To Suma he finally determined to go into voluntary exile.

When he had thus made up his mind he became somewhat regretful to
leave the capital, although it had hitherto appeared ungenial. The
first thing which disturbed his mind was the young Violet, whom he
could not take with him. The young lady, also, in the "Villa of
Falling Flowers" (notwithstanding that he was not a frequent visitor)
was another object of his regret.

In spite of these feelings he prepared to set off at the end of March,
and at length it came within a few days of the time fixed for his
departure, when he went privately, under the cover of the evening, to
the mansion of the ex-Sadaijin, in an ajiro carriage, generally used
by women. He proceeded into the inner apartments, where he was greeted
by the nurse of his little child. The boy was growing fast, was able
to stand by this time and to toddle about, and run into Genji's arms
when he saw him. The latter took him on his knee, saying, "Ah! my good
little fellow, I have not seen you for some time, but you do not
forget me, do you?" The ex-Sadaijin now entered. He said, "Often have
I thought of coming to have a talk with you, but you see my health has
been very bad of late, and I seldom appear at Court, having resigned
my office. It would be impolitic to give cause to be talked about, and
for it to be said that I stretch my old bones when private matters
please me. Of course, I have no particular reason to fear the world;
still, if there is anything dreadful, it is the demagogical world.
When I see what unpleasant things are happening to you, which were no
more probable than that the heavens should fall, I really feel that
everything in the world is irksome to me."

"Yes, what you say is indeed true," replied Genji. "However, all
things in the world--this or that--are the outcome of what we have
done in our previous existence. Hence if we dive to the bottom we
shall see that every misfortune is only the result of our own
negligence. Examples of men's losing the pleasures of the Court are,
indeed, not wanting. Some of these cases may not go so far as a
deprivation of titles and honors, as is mine;[106] still, if one thus
banished from the pleasures of Court, behaves himself as unconcernedly
as those to whom no such misfortune has happened, this would not be
becoming. So, at least, it is considered in a foreign country.
Repentance is what one ought to expect in such circumstances, and
banishment to a far-off locality is a measure generally adopted for
offences different from ordinary ones. If I, simply relying on my
innocence, pass unnoticed the recent displeasure of the Court, this
would only bring upon me greater dishonor. I have, therefore,
determined to go into voluntary exile, before receiving such a
sentence from the Court."

Then the conversation fell back, as usual, on the times of the late
ex-Emperor, which made them sad; while the child also, who innocently
played near, made them still more gloomy. The ex-Sadaijin went on to
say:--"There is no moment when I ever forget the mother of the boy,
but now I almost dare to think that she was fortunate in being short
lived, and being free from witnessing the dreamlike sorrow we now
suffer. With regard to the boy, the first thing which strikes me as
unbearable is that he may pass some time of his lovely childhood away
from the gaze of your eyes. There are, as you say, no want of
instances of persons suffering a miserable fate, without having
committed any real offence; yet still, in such cases, there was some
pretext to justify their being so treated. I cannot see any such
against you."

While he was thus speaking Tô-no-Chiûjiô joined them, and, partaking
of _saké_, they continued their conversation till late in the
evening. This night Genji remained in the mansion.

Early the next morning he returned to his own residence, and he spent
the whole day with Violet in the western wing. It should here be
noticed that she was scarcely ever with her father, even from
childhood. He strongly disapproved of his daughter being with Genji,
and of the way in which she had been carried off, so he scarcely ever
had any communication with her, or did he visit her. These
circumstances made her feel Genji's affection more keenly than she
otherwise would have; hence her sorrow at the thought of parting with
him in a few days may be easily imagined.

Towards the evening Prince Sotz came with Tô-no-Chiûjiô and some
others to pay him a visit. Genji, in order to receive them, rose to
put on one of his Naoshi, which was plain, without pattern, as proper
for one who had no longer a title. Approaching the mirror, to comb his
hair, he noticed that his face had grown much thinner.

"Oh, how changed I appear," he exclaimed. "Am I really like this image
which I see of myself?" he said, turning to the girl, who cast on him
a sad and tearful glance. Genji continued:--

    "Though changed I wander far away,
      My soul shall still remain with you,
    Perhaps in this mirror's mystic ray,
      My face may linger still in view."

To this Violet replied:--

    "If in this mirror I could see,
    Always your face, then it would be
    My consolation when thou art gone."

As she said this she turned her face to one side of the room, and by
doing so obscured the tears gathering in her soft eyes. Genji then
left her to receive his friends, who, however, did not remain long,
leaving the mansion after a short conversation of a consolatory
nature. This evening Genji paid his visit to the sisters of the
"Falling Flower" villa.

On the following day the final arrangements necessary for his
household affairs were made at his residence. The management of the
mansion was intrusted to a few confidential friends; while that of his
lands and pasture, and the charge of his documents, were intrusted to
the care of Violet, to whom he gave every instruction what she should
do. Besides, he enjoined Shiônagon, in whom he placed his confidence,
to give her every assistance. He told all the inmates who wished to
remain in the mansion, in order to await his return, that they might
do so. He also made an appropriate present to the nurse of his boy,
and to the ladies of the "Villa of Falling Flowers." When all these
things were accomplished, he occupied himself in writing farewell
letters to his intimate friends, such as the young daughter of Udaijin
and others, to none of whom he had paid a visit.

On the evening prior to his departure he went on horseback to visit
the tomb of his father. On his way he called on the Princess Wistaria,
and thence proceeded to the mountain where the remains reposed. The
tomb was placed among tall growing grass, under thick and gloomy
foliage. Genji advanced to the tomb, and, half kneeling down before
it, and half sobbing, uttered many words of remembrance and sorrow. Of
course no reply came forth. The moon by this time was hidden behind
dark clouds, and the winds blew keen and nipping, when suddenly a
shadowy phantom of the dead stood before Genji's eyes.

    "How would his image look on me,
      Knew he the secret of the past;
    As yonder moon in clouded sky,
      Looks o'er the scene mysteriously."

He returned to his mansion late in the night.

Early in the morning he sent a letter to Ô Miôbu, the nurse of the
Heir-apparent, in which he said: "I at last leave the capital, to-day.
I know not when I may come and see the Prince again. On him my
thoughts and anxieties are concentrated, above all else. Realize these
feelings in your own mind, and tell them to him." He also sent the
following, fastened to a bough of cherry flowers, already becoming
thin:--

    "When shall I see these scenes again,
      And view the flowers of spring in bloom,
    Like rustic from his mountain home,
      A mere spectator shall I come?"

These were carefully read by Ô Miôbu to the Prince, and when he was
asked what she should write in answer, he said: "Write that I said
that since I feel every longing to see him, when I do not see him for
a long time, how shall I feel when he goes away altogether?" Thereupon
she wrote an answer, in which she indefinitely stated that she had
shown the letter to the Prince, whose answer was simple, yet very
affectionate, and so on, with the following:--

    "'Tis sad that fair blossoms so soon fade away,
      In the darkness of winter no flower remains,
    But let spring return with its sunshiny ray,
      Then once more the flowers we look on again."

Now, with regard to the recent disgrace of Genji, the public in
general did not approve of the severity which the Court had shown to
him. Moreover, he had been constantly with the Emperor, his father,
since the age of seven, and his requests had been always cheerfully
listened to by the latter; hence there were very many, especially
among public servants of the ordinary class, who were much indebted to
him. However, none of them now came to pay their respects to him. It
seems that in a world of intrigue none dares do what is right for fear
of risking his own interests. Such being the state of things, Genji,
during the whole day, was unoccupied, and the time was entirely spent
with Violet. Then, at his usual late hour in the evening, he, in a
travelling dress of incognito, at length left the capital, where he
had passed five-and-twenty years of his life.

His attendants, Koremitz and Yoshikiyo being among them, were seven or
eight in number. He took with him but little luggage. All ostentatious
robes, all unnecessary articles of luxury were dispensed with. Among
things taken, was a box containing the works of Hak-rak-ten (a famous
Chinese poet), with other books, and besides these a _kin-koto_ for
his amusement. They embarked in a boat and sailed down the river.
Early the next morning they arrived at the sea-coast of Naniwa. They
noticed the Ôye Palace standing lonely amidst the group of pine trees.
The sight of this palace gave a thrill of sadness to Genji, who was
now leaving, and not returning, home. He saw the waves rolling on the
coast and again sweep back. He hummed, as he saw them:--

    "The waves roll back, but unlike me,
      They come again."

From Naniwa they continued their voyage, sailing in the bay. As they
proceeded they looked back on the scenes they had left. They saw all
the mountains veiled in haze, growing more and more distant, while the
rowers gently pulled against the rippling waves. It seemed to them as
if they were really going "three thousand miles' distance."[107]

    "Our home is lost in the mist of the mountain,
      Let us gaze on the sky which is ever the same."

The day was long and the wind was fair, so they soon arrived at the
coast of Suma.[108] The place was near the spot where the exiled
Yukihira had lived, and had watched the beautiful smoke rising from
the salt ovens. There was a thatched house in which the party
temporarily took up their residence. It was a very different home from
what they had been used to, and it might have appeared even novel, had
the circumstances of their coming there been different. The
authorities of the neighborhood were sent for, and a lodge was built
under the direction of Yoshikiyo, in accordance with Genji's wishes.
The work was hurried on, and the building was soon completed. In the
garden, several trees, cherries and others, were planted, and water
was also conducted into it. Here Genji soon took up his abode. The
Governor of the province, who had been at Court, secretly paid
attention to the Prince, with as much respect as was possible.

For some time Genji did not feel settled in his new residence. When he
had become in some degree accustomed to it, the season of continuous
rain had arrived (May); his thoughts more than ever reverted to the
old capital.

The thoughtful expression of Violet's face, the childish affection of
the Heir-apparent, and the innocent playfulness of his little son,
became the objects of his reveries and anxiety, nor did he forget his
old companions and acquaintances. He, therefore, sent a special
messenger to the capital bearing his letters, so that speedy answers
might be returned from every quarter. He also sent a messenger to Ise
to make inquiry after the lady, who also sent one to him in return.

Now the young daughter of Udaijin had been remaining repentingly in
the mansion of her father since the events of the stormy evening. Her
father felt much for her, and interceded with the Empress-mother in
her behalf, and also with her son, that is, the Emperor, thus getting
permission to introduce her once more into Court, an event which took
place in the month of July.

To return to Suma. The rainy season had passed, and autumn arrived.
The sea was at some distance from the residence of Genji, but the dash
of its waves sounded close to their ears as the winds passed by, of
which Yukihira sang,

    "The autumn wind which passes the barrier of Suma."

The autumn winds are, it seems, in such a place as this, far more
plaintive than elsewhere.

It happened one evening that when all the attendants were fast asleep
Genji was awake and alone. He raised his head and rested his arms on
his pillow and listened to the sound of the waves which reached his
ear from a distance. They seemed nearer than ever, as though they were
coming to flood his pillows. He drew his _koto_ towards him and struck
a melancholy air, as he hummed a verse of a poem in a low tone. With
this every one awoke and responded with a sigh.

Such was a common occurrence in the evening, and Genji always felt
saddened whenever he came to think that all his attendants had
accompanied him, having left their families and homes simply for his
sake. In the daytime, however, there were changes. He would then enjoy
pleasant conversations. He also joined several papers into long rolls
on which he might practise penmanship. He spent a good deal of time in
drawing and sketching. He remembered how Yoshikiyo, on one occasion in
Mount Kurama, had described the beautiful scenery of the place on
which he was now gazing. He sketched every beautiful landscape of the
neighborhood, and collected them in albums, thinking how nice it would
be if he could send for Tsunenori, a renowned contemporary artist, and
get him to paint the sketches which he had made.

Out of all the attendants of Genji there were four or five who had
been more especially his favorites, and who had constantly attended on
him. One evening they were all sitting together in a corridor which
commanded a full view of the sea. They perceived the island of Awaji
lying in the distance, as if it were floating on the horizon, and also
several boats with sailors, singing as they rowed to the shore over
the calm surface of the water, like waterfowl in their native element.
Over their heads flocks of wild geese rustled on their way homeward
with their plaintive cry, which made the thoughts of the spectators
revert to their homes. Genji hummed this verse:--

    "Those wandering birds above us flying,
      Do they our far-off friends resemble.
    With their voice of plaintive crying
      Make us full of thoughtful sighing."

Yoshikiyo took up the idea and replied:--

    "Though these birds no friends of ours
      Are, and we to them are nought,
    Yet their voice in these still hours
      Bring those old friends to our thought."

Then Koremitz continued:--

    "Before to-day I always thought
      They flew on pleasure's wing alone,
    But now their fate to me is fraught
      With some resemblance to our own."

Ukon-no-Jiô added:--

    "Though we, like them, have left our home
      To wander forth, yet still for me
    There's joy to think where'er I roam
      My faithful friends are still with me."

Ukon-no-Jiô was the brother of Ki-no-Kami. His father, Iyo-no-Kami,
had now been promoted to be Hitachi-no-Kami (Governor of Hitachi), and
had gone down to that province, but Ukon-no-Jiô did not join his
father, who would have gladly taken him, and faithfully followed
Genji.

This evening happened to be the fifteenth of August, on which day a
pleasant reunion is generally held at the Imperial Palace. Genji
looked at the silvery pale sky, and as he did so the affectionate face
of the Emperor, his brother, whose expression strikingly resembled
their father's, presented itself to his mind. After a deep and long
sigh, he returned to his couch, humming as he went:--

    "Here is still a robe
      His Majesty gave to me."

It should be here noticed that he had been presented by the Emperor on
a certain occasion with a robe, and this robe he had never parted
with, even in his exile.

About this time Daini (the senior Secretary of the Lord-Lieutenant of
Kiûsiû) returned to the capital with his family, having completed his
official term. His daughter had been a virgin dancer, and was known to
Genji. They preferred to travel by water, and slowly sailed up along
the beautiful coast. When they arrived at Suma, the distant sound of a
_kin_[109] was heard, mingled with the sea-coast wind, and they were
told that Genji was there in exile. Daini therefore sent his son
Chikzen-no-Kami to the Prince with these words: "Coming back from a
distant quarter I expected as soon as I should arrive in the capital
to have had the pleasure of visiting you and listening to your
pleasant voice, and talking of events which have taken place there,
but little did I think that you had taken up your residence in this
part of the country. How greatly do I sympathize with you! I ought to
land and see you at once, but there are too many people in the same
boat, therefore I think it better to avoid the slightest grounds which
may cause them to talk. However, possibly I shall pay you a visit
soon."

This Chikzen-no-Kami had been for some time previously a Kurand (a
sort of equerry) to Genji, therefore his visit was especially welcome
to him. He said that since he had left the capital it had become
difficult to see any of his acquaintances, and that therefore this
especial visit was a great pleasure to him. His reply to the message
of Daini was to the same effect. Chikzen-no-Kami soon took his leave,
and returning to the boat, reported to his father and others all he
had seen. His sister also wrote to Genji privately thus: "Pray excuse
me if I am too bold.

    Know you not the mind is swayed
      Like the tow-rope of our boat,
    At the sounds your Kin has made,
      Which around us sweetly float."

When Genji received this, his pleasure was expressed by his placid
smile, and he sent back the following:--

    "If this music moves the mind
      So greatly as you say,
    No one would care to leave behind
      These lonely waves of Suma's bay."

This recalls to our mind that there was in the olden time an exile
who gave a stanza even to the postmaster of a village.[110] Why then
should not Genji have sent to her whom he knew this stanza?

In the meantime, as time went on, more sympathizers with Genji were
found in the capital, including no less a personage than the Emperor
himself. True it is that before Genji left, many even of his relatives
and most intimate friends refrained from paying their respects to him,
but in the course of time not a few began to correspond with him, and
sometimes they communicated their ideas to each other in pathetic
poetry. These things reached the ears of the Empress-mother, who was
greatly irritated by them. She said: "The only thing a man who has
offended the Court should do is to keep himself as quiet as possible.
It is most unpardonable that such a man should haughtily cause scandal
to the Court from his humble dwelling. Does he intend to imitate the
treacherous example of one who made a deer pass for a horse?[111]
Those who intrigue with such a man are equally blamable." These
spiteful remarks once more put a stop to the correspondence.

Meanwhile, at Suma, the autumn passed away and winter succeeded, with
all its dreariness of scene, and with occasional falls of snow. Genji
often spent the evening in playing upon the Kin, being accompanied by
Koremitz's flute and the singing of Yoshikiyo. It was on one of these
evenings that the story of a young Chinese Court lady, who had been
sent to the frozen land of barbarians, occurred to Genji's mind. He
thought what a great trial it would be if one were obliged to send
away one whom he loved, like the lady in the tale, and as he reflected
on this, with some melancholy feelings, it appeared to him as vividly
as if it were only an event of yesterday, and he hummed:--

    "The sound of the piper's distant strain
      Broke on her dreams in the frozen eve."

He then tried to sleep, but could not do so, and as he lay the distant
cry of Chidori reached his ears.[112] He hummed again as he heard
them:--

    "Although on lonely couch I lie
      Without a mate, yet still so near,
    At dawn the cries of Chidori,
      With their fond mates, 'tis sweet to hear."

Having washed his hands, he spent some time in reading a Kiô (Sutra),
and in this manner the winter-time passed away.

Towards the end of February the young cherry-trees which Genji had
planted in his garden blossomed, and this brought to his memory the
well-known cherry-tree in the Southern Palace, and the _fête_ in which
he had taken part. The noble countenance of the late ex-Emperor, and
that of the present one, the then Heir-apparent, which had struck him
much at that time, returned to his recollection with the scene where
he had read out his poem.

    "While on the lordly crowd I muse,
      Which haunts the Royal festive hours,
    The day has come when I've put on
      The crown of fairest cherry flowers."

While thus meditating on the past, strange to say, Tô-no-Chiûjiô,
Genji's brother-in-law, came from the capital to see the Prince. He
had been now made Saishiô (privy councillor). Having, therefore, more
responsibility, he had to be more cautious in dealing with the public.
He had, however, a personal sympathy with Genji, and thus came to see
him, at the risk of offending the Court.

The first thing which struck his eyes was, not the natural beauty of
the scenery, but the style of Genji's residence, which showed the
novelty of pure Chinese fashion. The enclosure was surrounded by "a
trellis-work of bamboo," with "stone steps," and "pillars of
pine-tree."[113]

He entered, and the pleasure of Genji and Tô-no-Chiûjiô was immense,
so much so that they shed tears. The style of the Prince's dress next
attracted the attention of Tô-no-Chiûjiô. He was habited in a plain,
simple country style, the coat being of an unforbidden color, a dull
yellow, the trousers of a subdued green.

The furniture was all of a temporary nature, with Go and Sugorok
playing boards, as well as one for the game of Dagi. He noticed some
articles for the services of religion, showing that Genji was wont to
indulge in devotional exercises. The visitor told Genji many things on
the subject of affairs in the capital, which he had been longing to
impart to him for many months past; telling him also how the
grandfather of his boy always delighted in playing with him, and
giving him many more interesting details.

Several fishermen came with the fish which they had caught. Genji
called them in and made them show their spoils. He also led them to
talk of their lives spent on the sea, and each in his own peculiar
local dialect gave him a narration of his joys and sorrows. He then
dismissed them with the gift of some stuff to make them clothing. All
this was quite a novelty to the eyes of Tô-no-Chiûjiô, who also saw
the stable in which he obtained a glimpse of some horses. The
attendants at the time were feeding them. Dinner was presently served,
at which the dishes were necessarily simple, yet tasteful. In the
evening they did not retire to rest early, but spent their time in
continuing their conversation and in composing verses.

Although Tô-no-Chiûjiô had, in coming, risked the displeasure of the
Court, he still thought it better to avoid any possible slander, and
therefore he made up his mind to set out for his home early next
morning. The _saké_ cup was offered, and they partook of it as they
hummed,

    "In our parting cup, the tears of sadness fall."

Several presents had been brought from the capital for Genji by
Tô-no-Chiûjiô, and, in return, the former made him a present of an
excellent dark-colored horse, and also a celebrated flute, as a token
of remembrance.

As the sun shed forth his brilliant rays Tô-no-Chiûjiô took his leave,
and as he did so he said, "When shall I see you again, you cannot be
here long?" Genji replied,

    "Yon noble crane that soars on high,[114]
      And hovers in the clear blue sky,
    Believe my soul as pure and light;
      As spotless as the spring day bright.

However, a man like me, whose fortune once becomes adverse seldom
regains, even in the case of great wisdom, the prosperity he once
fully enjoyed, and so I cannot predict when I may find myself again in
the capital."

So Tô-no-Chiûjiô, having replied as follows:--

    "The crane mounts up on high, 'tis true,
      But now he soars and cries alone,
    Still fondly thinking of his friend,
      With whom in former days he flew,"

set off on his homeward road, leaving Genji cast down for some time.

Now the coast of Akashi is a very short distance from Suma, and there
lived the former Governor of the province, now a priest, of whom we
have spoken before. Yoshikiyo well remembered his lovely daughter,
and, after he came to Suma with Genji, he wrote to her now and then.
He did not get any answer from her, but sometimes heard from her
father, to whom Genji's exile became soon known, and who wished to see
him for a reason not altogether agreeable to himself. It should be
remembered that this old man always entertained aspirations on behalf
of his daughter, and in his eyes the successive governors of the
province who came after him, and whose influence had been unbounded,
were considered as nobodies. To him, his young daughter was
everything; and he used to send her twice a year to visit the temple
of Sumiyoshi, in order that she might obtain good fortune by the
blessing of the god.

She was not of an ideal beauty, but yet expressive in countenance and
exalted in mind. She could, in this respect, rival any of those of
high birth in the capital.

The priest said one day to his wife, "Prince Genji, the imperial son
of the Kôyi of Kiritsubo is now at Suma in exile, having offended the
Court. How fortunate it would be if we could take the opportunity of
presenting our child to him!"

The wife replied, "Ah, how dreadful, when I heard what the townspeople
talk, I understood that he has several mistresses. He went even so far
as to carry on a secret intimacy, which happened to be obnoxious to
the Emperor, and it is said that this offence was the cause of his
exile."

"I have some reason for mentioning this to you," he interrupted,
impatiently; "it is not a thing which you understand, so make up your
mind, I shall bring the matter about, and take an opportunity of
making him come to us."

"No matter how distinguished a personage he is," replied the wife, "it
is a fact that he has offended the Court and is exiled. I do not
understand why you could take a fancy to such a man for our maiden
daughter. It is not a joking matter. I hope you will take it into
graver consideration."

"That a man of ability and distinction should meet with adverse
fortune is a very common occurrence," said he, still more obstinately,
"both in our empire and in that of China. How then do you venture to
say such things against the Prince? His mother was the daughter of an
Azechi Dainagon, who was my uncle. She enjoyed a good reputation, and
when she was introduced at Court, became both prosperous and
distinguished. Although her life was shortened by the suffering caused
by the fierce jealousy of her rivals, she left behind the royal child,
who is no other person than Prince Genji. A woman should always be
aspiring, as this lady was. What objection then is there in the idea
of introducing our only child to a man like him? Although I am now
only a country gentleman, I do not think he would withdraw his favor
from me."

Such were the opinions of this old man, and hence his discouragement
of the advances of Yoshikiyo.

The first of March came, and Genji was persuaded by some to perform
Horai (prayer for purification) for the coming occasion of the
Third.[115] He therefore sent for a calendar-priest, with whom he went
out, accompanied by attendants, to the sea-shore. Here a tent was
erected ceremoniously, and the priest began his prayers, which were
accompanied by the launching of a small boat, containing figures
representing human images. On seeing this Genji said,

    "Never thought I, in my younger day,
      To be thrown on the wild sea-shore,
    And like these figures to float away,
      And perhaps see my home no more."

As he contemplated the scene around him, he perceived that the wild
surface of the sea was still and calm, like a mirror without its
frame. He offered prayers in profound silence, and then exclaimed,

    "Oh, all ye eight millions of gods,[116] hear my cry,
      Oh, give me your sympathy, aid me, I pray,
    For when I look over my life, ne'er did I
      Commit any wrong, or my fellows betray."

Suddenly, as he spoke these words, the wind arose and began to blow
fiercely. The sky became dark, and torrents of rain soon followed.
This caused great confusion to all present, and each ran back to the
house without finishing the ceremony of prayers. None of them were
prepared for the storm, and all got drenched with the rain. From this
the rain continued to pour down, and the surface of the sea became as
it were tapestried with white, over which the lightning darted and the
thunder rolled. It seemed as if thunderbolts were crashing overhead,
and the force of the rain appeared to penetrate the earth. Everyone
was frightened, for they thought the end of the world was near.

Genji occupied his time in quietly reading his Buddhist Bible. In the
evening, the thunder became less loud, though the wind still blew not
less violently than in the daytime. Everyone in the residence said
that they had heard of what is termed a flood-tide, which often caused
a great deal of damage, but they had never witnessed such a scene as
they had that day. Genji dropped off into a slumber, when indistinctly
the resemblance of a human figure came to him and said, "You are
requested to come to the palace, why don't you come?"

Genji was startled by the words, and awoke. He thought that the king
of the dragon palace[117] might have admired him, and was perhaps the
author of this strange dream. These thoughts made him weary of
remaining at Suma.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 106: When a person was exiled, he was generally deprived of
his own title, or was degraded. Genji appears to have been deprived of
his.]

[Footnote 107: A favorite phrase in Chinese poems describing the
journey of exile.]

[Footnote 108: Suma is about sixty miles from Kiôto, the then
capital.]

[Footnote 109: A musical instrument--often called a _koto._]

[Footnote 110: When Sugawara, before referred to, arrived at Akashi,
on his way to exile, the village postmaster expressed his surprise.
Thereupon Sugawara gave him a stanza, which he composed:

    "Oh, master, be not surprised to see
      This change in my estate, for so
    Once to bloom, and once to fade
      Is spring and autumn's usual lot."
]

[Footnote 111: In Chinese history it is recounted that a certain
artful intriguer made a fool of his Sovereign by bringing a deer to
the Court and presenting it before the Emperor, declaring it to be a
horse. All the courtiers, induced by his great influence, agreed with
him in calling it a horse, to the Emperor's great astonishment and
bewilderment.]

[Footnote 112: The coast along by Suma is celebrated for Chidori, a
small sea-bird that always flies in large flocks. Their cries are
considered very plaintive, and are often spoken of by poets.]

[Footnote 113: Expressions used in a poem by Hak-rak-ten, describing a
tasteful residence.]

[Footnote 114: Here Tô-no-Chiûjiô is compared to the bird.]

[Footnote 115: The third day of March is one of five festival days in
China and Japan, when prayers for purification, or prayers intended to
request the freeing one's self from the influence of fiends, are said
on the banks of a river.]

[Footnote 116: In the Japanese mythology the number of gods who
assemble at their councils is stated to have been eight millions. This
is an expression which is used to signify a large number rather than
an exact one.]

[Footnote 117: In Japanese mythology we have a story that there were
two brothers, one of whom was always very lucky in fishing, and the
other in hunting. One day, to vary their amusements, the former took
his brother's bow and arrows and went to the mountain to hunt. The
latter took the fishing-rod, and went to the sea, but unfortunately
lost his brother's hook in the water. At this he was very miserable,
and wandered abstractedly along the coast. The dragon god of the
dragon palace, under the blue main, admired his beauty, and wishing
him to marry his daughter, lured him into the dragon palace.]



CHAPTER XIII

EXILE AT AKASHI


The storm and thunder still continued for some days, and the same
strange dream visited Genji over and over again.

This made him miserable. To return to the capital was not yet to be
thought of, as to do so before the imperial permission was given,
would only be to increase his disgrace. On the other hand, to render
himself obscure by seeking further retreat was also not to be thought
of, as it might cause another rumor that he had been driven away by
mere fear of the disturbed state of the ocean.

In the meantime, a messenger arrived from the capital with a letter
from Violet. It was a letter of inquiry about himself. It was written
in most affectionate terms, and stated that the weather there was
extremely disagreeable, as rain was pouring down continuously, and
that this made her especially gloomy in thinking of him. This letter
gave Genji great pleasure.

The messenger was of the lowest class. At other times Genji would
never have permitted such sort of people to approach him, but under
the present circumstances of his life he was only too glad to put up
with it. He summoned the man to his presence, and made him talk of all
the latest news in the capital.

The messenger told him, in awkward terms, that in the capital these
storms were considered to be a kind of heavenly warning, that a
Nin-wô-ye[118] was going to be held; and that many nobles who had to
go to Court were prevented from doing so by the storms, adding that he
never remembered such violent storms before.

From the dawn of the next day the winds blew louder, the tide flowed
higher, and the sound of the waves resounded with a deafening noise.
The thunder rolled and the lightning flashed, while everyone was
trembling in alarm, and were all, including Genji, offering up prayers
and vows to the God of Sumiyoshi, whose temple was at no great
distance, and also to other gods. Meanwhile a thunderbolt struck the
corridor of Genji's residence and set fire to it. The Prince and his
friends retired to a small house behind, which served as a kitchen.
The sky was as if blackened with ink, and in that state of darkness
the day ended. In the evening the wind gradually abated, the rain
diminished to a thin shower, and even the stars began to blink out of
the heavens.

This temporary retreat was now irksome, and they thought of returning
to their dwelling quarters, but they saw nothing but ruins and
confusion from the storm, so they remained where they were. Genji was
occupied in prayer. The moon began to smile from above, the flow of
the tide could be seen, and the rippling of the waves heard. He opened
the rude wooden door, and contemplated the scene before him. He seemed
to be alone in the world, having no one to participate in his
feelings. He heard several fishermen talking in their peculiar
dialect. Feeling much wearied by the events of the day, he soon
retired, and resigned himself to slumber, reclining near one side of
the room, in which there were none of the comforts of an ordinary
bedchamber.

All at once his late father appeared before his eyes in the exact
image of life, and said to him, "Why are you in so strange a place?"
and taking his hand, continued, "Embark at once in a boat, as the God
of Sumiyoshi[119] guides you, and leave this coast."

Genji was delighted at this, and replied, "Since I parted from you I
have undergone many misfortunes, and I thought that I might be buried
on this coast."

"It must not be thus," the phantom replied; "your being here is only a
punishment for a trifling sin which you have committed. For my own
part, when I was on the throne, I did no wrong, but I have somehow
been involved in some trifling sin, and before I expiated it I left
the world. Hurt, however, at beholding you oppressed with such
hardships I came up here, plunging into the waves, and rising on the
shore. I am much fatigued; but I have something I wish to tell the
Emperor, so I must haste away," and he left Genji, who felt very much
affected, and cried out, "Let me accompany you!" With this exclamation
he awoke, and looked up, when he saw nothing but the moon's face
shining through the windows, with the clouds reposing in the sky.

The image of his father still vividly remained before his eyes, and he
could not realize that it was only a dream. He became suddenly sad,
and was filled with regret that he did not talk a little more, even
though it was only in a dream. He could not sleep any more this night,
and dawn broke, when a small boat was seen approaching the coast, with
a few persons in it.

A man from the boat came up to the residence of Genji. When he was
asked who he was, he replied that the priest of Akashi (the former
Governor) had come from Akashi in his boat, and that he wished to see
Yoshikiyo, and to tell him the reason of his coming. Yoshikiyo was
surprised, and said, "I have known him for years, but there was a
slight reason why we were not the best of friends, and some time has
now passed without correspondence. What makes him come?"

As to Genji, however, the arrival of the boat made him think of its
coincidence with the subject of his dream, so he hurried Yoshikiyo to
go and see the new comers. Thereupon the latter went to the boat,
thinking as he went, "How could he come to this place amidst the
storms which have been raging?"

The priest now told Yoshikiyo that in a dream which he had on the
first day of the month, a strange being told him a strange thing, and,
said he, "I thought it too credulous to believe in a dream, but the
object appeared again, and told me that on the thirteenth of this
month he will give me a supernatural sign, directing me also to
prepare a boat, and as soon as the storm ceased, to sail out to this
coast. Therefore, to test its truth I launched a boat, but strange to
say, on this day the extraordinarily violent weather of rain, wind,
and thunder occurred. I then thought that in China there had been
several instances of people benefiting the country by believing in
dreams, so though this may not exactly be the case with mine, yet I
thought it my duty, at all events, to inform you of the fact. With
these thoughts I started in the boat, when a slight miraculous breeze,
as it were, blew, and drove me to this coast. I can have no doubt that
this was divine direction. Perhaps there might have been some
inspiration in this place, too; and I wish to trouble you to transmit
this to the Prince."

Yoshikiyo then returned and faithfully told Genji all about his
conversation with the priest. When Genji came to reflect, he thought
that so many dreams having visited him must have some significance. It
might only increase his disgrace if he were to despise such divine
warnings merely from worldly considerations, and from fear of
consequences. It would be better to resign himself to one more
advanced in age, and more experienced than himself. An ancient sage
says, that "resigning one's self makes one happier," besides, his
father had also enjoined him in the dream to leave the coast of Suma,
and there remained no further doubt for taking this step. He,
therefore, gave this answer to the priest, that "coming into an
unknown locality, plunged in solitude, receiving scarcely any visits
from friends in the capital, the only thing I have to regard as
friends of old times are the sun and the moon that pass over the
boundless heavens. Under these circumstances, I shall be only too
delighted to visit your part of the coast, and to find there such a
suitable retreat."

This answer gave the priest great joy, and he pressed Genji to set out
at once and come to him. The Prince did so with his usual four or five
confidential attendants. The same wind which had miraculously blown
the vessel of the priest to Suma now changed, and carried them with
equal favor and speed back to Akashi. On their landing they entered a
carriage waiting for them, and went to the mansion of the priest.

The scenery around the coast was no less novel than that of Suma, the
only difference being that there were more people there. The building
was grand, and there was also a grand Buddha-hall adjoining for the
service of the priest. The plantations of trees, the shrubberies, the
rock-work, and the mimic lakes in the garden were so beautifully
arranged as to exceed the power of an artist to depict, while the
style of the dwelling was so tasteful that it was in no way inferior
to any in the capital.

The wife and the daughter of the priest were not residing here, but
were at another mansion on the hill-side, where they had removed from
fear of the recent high tides.

Genji now took up his quarters with the priest in this seaside
mansion. The first thing he did when he felt a little settled was to
write to the capital, and tell his friends of his change of residence.
The priest was about sixty years old, and was very sincere in his
religious service. The only subject of anxiety which he felt was, as
we have already mentioned, the welfare of his daughter. When Genji
became thoroughly settled he often joined the priest, and spent hours
in conversing with him. The latter, from his age and experience, was
full of information and anecdotes, many of which were quite new to
Genji, but the narration of them seemed always to turn upon his
daughter.

April had now come. The trees began to be clothed with a thick shade
of leaves, which had a peculiar novelty of appearance, differing from
that of the flowers of spring, or the bright dyes of autumn. The Kuina
(a particular bird of summer) commenced their fluttering. The
furniture and dresses were changed for those more suitable to the time
of year. The comfort of the house was most agreeable. It was on one of
these evenings that the surface of the broad ocean spread before the
eye was unshadowed by the clouds, and the Isle of Awaji floated like
foam on its face, just as it appeared to do at Suma. Genji took out
his favorite _kin_, on which he had not practised for some time, and
was playing an air called "Kôriô," when the priest joined him, having
left for awhile his devotions, and said that his music recalled to his
mind the old days and the capital which he had quitted so long. He
sent for a _biwa_ (mandolin)[120] and a _soh-koto_ from the hill-side
mansion, and, after the fashion of a blind singer of ballads to the
_biwa_, played two or three airs.

He then handed the _soh-koto_ to Genji, who also played a few tunes,
saying, as he did so, in a casual manner, "This sounds best when
played upon by some fair hand." The priest smiled, and rejoined: "What
better hand than yours need we wish to hear playing; for my part, my
poor skill has been transmitted to me, through three generations, from
the royal hand of the Emperor Yenghi, though I now belong to the past;
but, occasionally, when my loneliness oppresses me, I indulge in my
old amusement, and there is one who, listening to my strains, has
learnt to imitate them so well that they resemble those of the Emperor
Yenghi himself. I shall be very happy, if you desire, to find an
opportunity for you to hear them."

Genji at once laid aside the instrument, saying: "Ah, how bold! I did
not know I was among proficients," and continued, "From olden time the
_soh-koto_ was peculiarly adopted by female musicians. The fifth
daughter of the Emperor Saga, from whom she had received the secret,
was a celebrated performer, but no one of equal skill succeeded her.
Of course there are several players, but these merely strike or strum
on the instrument; but in this retreat there is a skilful hand. How
delightful it will be."

"If you desire to hear, there is no difficulty. I will introduce her
to you. She also plays the _biwa_ very well. The _biwa_ has been
considered from olden time very difficult to master, and I am proud of
her doing so."

In this manner the priest led the conversation to his own daughter,
while fruit and _sake_ were brought in for refreshment. He then went
on talking of his life since he first came to the coast of Akashi, and
of his devotion to religion, for the sake of future happiness, and
also out of solicitude for his daughter. He continued: "Although I
feel rather awkward in saying it, I am almost inclined to think your
coming to this remote vicinity has something providential in it, as an
answer, as it were, to our earnest prayers, and it may give you some
consolation and pleasure. The reason why I think so is this--it is
nearly eighteen years since we began to pray for the blessing of the
God Sumiyoshi on our daughter, and we have sent her twice a year, in
spring and autumn, to his temple. At the 'six-time' service,[121]
also, the prayers for my own repose on the lotus flower,[122] are only
secondary to those which I put up for the happiness of my daughter. My
father, as you may know, held a good office in the capital, but I am
now a plain countryman, and if I leave matters in their present state,
the status of my family will soon become lower and lower. Fortunately
this girl was promising from her childhood, and my desire was to
present her to some distinguished personage in the capital, not
without disappointment to many suitors, and I have often told her that
if my desire is not fulfilled she had better throw herself into the
sea."

Such was the tedious discourse which the priest held on the subject of
his family affairs; yet it is not surprising that it awakened an
interest in the susceptible mind of Genji for the fair maiden thus
described as so promising. The priest at last, in spite of the shyness
and reserve of the daughter, and the unwillingness of the mother,
conducted Genji to the hill-side mansion, and introduced him to the
maiden. In the course of time they gradually became more than mere
acquaintances to each other. For some time Genji often found himself
at the hill-side mansion, and her society appeared to afford him
greater pleasure than anything else, but this did not quite meet with
the approval of his conscience, and the girl in the mansion at Nijio
returned to his thoughts. If this flirtation of his should become
known to her, he thought, it perhaps would be very annoying to her.
True, she was not much given to be jealous, but he well remembered the
occasional complaints she had now and then made to him while in the
capital. These feelings induced him to write more frequently and more
minutely to her, and he soon began to frequent the hill-side mansion
less often. His leisure hours were spent in sketching, as he used to
do in Suma, and writing short poetic effusions explanatory of the
scenery. This was also going on in the mansion at Nijio, where Violet
passed the long hours away in painting different pictures, and also in
writing, in the form of a diary, what she saw and did. What will be
the issue of all these things?

Now, since the spring of the year there had been several heavenly
warnings in the capital, and things in general were somewhat
unsettled. On the evening of the thirteenth of March, when the rain
and wind had raged, the late Emperor appeared in a dream to his son
the Emperor, in front of the palace, looking reproachfully upon him.
The Emperor showed every token of submission and respect when the dead
Emperor told him of many things, all of which concerned Genji's
interests. The Emperor became alarmed, and when he awoke he told his
mother all about his dream. She, however, told him that on such
occasions, when the storm rages, and the sky is obscured by the
disturbance of the elements, all things, especially on which our
thoughts have been long occupied, appear to us in a dream in a
disturbed sleep; and she continued, "I further counsel you not to be
too hastily alarmed by such trifles." From this time he began to
suffer from sore eyes, which may have resulted from the angry glances
of his father's spirit. About the same time the father of the
Empress-mother died. His death was by no means premature; but yet,
when such events take place repeatedly, it causes the mind to imagine
there is something more than natural going on, and this made the
Empress-mother feel a little indisposed.

The Emperor then constantly told her that if Genji were left in his
present condition it might induce evil, and, therefore, it would be
better to recall him, and restore his titles and honors to him. She
obstinately opposed these ideas, saying, "If a person who proved to be
guilty, and has retired from the capital, were to be recalled before
the expiration of at least three years, it would naturally show the
weakness of authority."

She gained her point, and thus the days were spent and the year
changed.

The Emperor still continually suffered from indisposition, and the
unsettled state of things remained the same as before. A prince had
been born to him, who was now about two years old, and he began to
think of abdicating the throne in favor of the Heir-apparent, the
child of the Princess Wistaria. When he looked around to see who would
best minister public affairs, he came to think that the disgrace of
Genji was a matter not to be allowed to continue, and at last,
contrary to the advice of his mother, he issued a public permission
for Genji's return to the capital, which was repeated at the end of
July. Genji therefore prepared to come back. Before, however, he
started, a month passed away, which time was mostly spent in the
society of the lady of the hill-side mansion. The expected journey of
Genji was now auspicious, even to him, and ought also to have been so
to the family of the priest, but parting has always something painful
in its nature. This was more so because the girl had by this time the
witness of their love in her bosom, but he told her that he would send
for her when his position was assured in the capital.

Towards the middle of August everything was in readiness, and Genji
started on his journey homeward. He went to Naniwa, where he had the
ceremony of Horai performed. To the temple of Sumiyoshi he sent a
messenger to say that the haste of his journey prevented him coming at
this time, but that he would fulfil his vows as soon as circumstances
would permit. From Naniwa he proceeded to the capital, and returned
once more, after an absence of nearly three years, to his mansion at
Nijiô. The joy and excitement of the inmates of the mansion were
unbounded, and the development of Violet charmed his eyes. His delight
was great and the pleasure of his mind was of the most agreeable
nature; still, from time to time, in the midst of this very pleasure,
the recollection of the maiden whom he had left at Akashi occurred to
his thoughts. But this kind of perturbation was only the result of
what had arisen from the very nature of Genji's character.

Before the lapse of many days all his titles and honors were restored
to him, and he was soon created an extra Vice-Dainagon.

All those who had lost dignities or office on account of Genji's
complications were also restored to them. It seemed to these like a
sudden and unexpected return of spring to the leafless tree.

In the course of a few days Genji was invited by the Emperor to come
and see him. The latter had scarcely recovered from his indisposition,
and was still looking weak and thin. When Genji appeared before him,
he manifested great pleasure, and they conversed together in a
friendly way till the evening.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 118: A religious feast in the Imperial Palace, in which
Nin-wô-kiô, one of the Buddhist Bibles, was read, an event which
rarely took place. Its object was to tranquillize the country.]

[Footnote 119: The god of the sea.]

[Footnote 120: The "biwa," more than any other instrument, is played
by blind performers, who accompany it with ballads.]

[Footnote 121: The services performed by rigid priests were six times
daily--namely, at early morn, mid-day, sunset, early evening,
midnight, and after midnight.]

[Footnote 122: The Buddhist idea that when we get into Paradise we
take our seat upon the lotus flower.]



CHAPTER XIV

THE BEACON


Genji well remembered the dream which he had dreamt at Suma, and in
which his father, the late ex-Emperor, had made a faint allusion to
his fallen state. He was always thinking of having solemn service
performed for him, which might prove to be a remedy for evils.

He was now in the capital, and at liberty to do anything he wished. In
October, therefore, he ordered the grand ceremony of Mihakkô to be
performed for the repose of the dead. Meanwhile the respect of the
public towards Genji had now returned to its former state, and he
himself had become a distinguished personage in the capital. The
Empress-mother, though indisposed, regretted she had not ruined Genji
altogether; while the Emperor, who had not forgotten the injunction of
the late ex-Emperor, felt satisfied with his recent disposition
towards his half-brother, which he believed to be an act of goodness.

This he felt the more, because he noticed the improvement in his
health continued from day to day, and he experienced a sensation of
fresh vigor. He did not, however, believe he should be long on the
throne, and when he found himself lonely, he often sent for Genji, and
spent hours conversing with him, without any reserve, on public
affairs.

In February of the next year the ceremony of the "Gembuk" of the
Heir-apparent, who was eleven years of age, was performed.

At the end of the same month the Emperor abdicated the throne in favor
of the Heir-apparent, and his own son was made the Heir-apparent to
the new Emperor.

The suddenness of these changes struck the Empress-mother with
surprise, but she was told by her son that his abdication had been
occasioned by his desire to enjoy quiet and repose.

The new reign opened with several changes in public affairs. Genji had
been made Naidaijin. He filled this extra office of Daijin because
there was no vacancy either in the Sadaijin or the Udaijin. He was to
take an active part in the administration, but as he was not yet
disposed to engage in the busy cares of official life, the
ex-Sadaijin, his father-in-law, was solicited to become the regent for
the young Emperor. He at first declined to accept the office, on the
ground that he was advanced in age, that he had already retired from
official life, and that the decline of his life left him insufficient
energy. There was, however, an example in a foreign State, where some
wise councillors, who resigned and had retired into the far-off
mountains when their country was in a disturbed state, came forth from
their retreat, with their snow-crowned heads, and took part in the
administration of affairs. Nor was it an unusual thing for a statesman
who had retired from political scenes to assume again a place under
another government.

So the ex-Sadaijin did not persist in his refusal, but finally
accepted the post of Dajiôdaijin (the Premier). He was now sixty-three
years of age. His former retirement had taken place more on account of
his disgust with the world than from his indisposition, and hence,
when he accepted his new post, he at once showed how capable he was of
being a responsible Minister. Tô-no-Chiûjiô, his eldest son, was also
made the Gon-Chiûnagon. His daughter by his wife, the fourth daughter
of Udaijin, was now twelve years old, and was shortly expected to be
presented at Court; while his son, who had sung the "high sand" at a
summer-day reunion at Genji's mansion, received a title. The young
Genji too, the son of the late Lady Aoi, was admitted to the Court of
the Emperor and of the Heir-apparent.

The attendants who faithfully served the young Genji, and those in the
mansion at Nijiô, had all received a satisfactory token of
appreciation from Genji, who now began to have a mansion repaired,
which was situated to the east of the one in which he resided, and
which had formerly belonged to his father. This he did with a notion
of placing there some of his intimate friends, such as the younger one
of the ladies in the "Villa of Falling Flowers."

Now the young maiden also, whom Genji had left behind at Akashi, and
who had been in delicate health, did not pass away from his thoughts.
He despatched a messenger there on the first of March, as he deemed
the happy event would take place about that time. When the messenger
returned, he reported that she was safely delivered of a girl on the
sixteenth of the month.

He remembered the prediction of an astrologer who had told him that an
Emperor would be born to him, and another son who would eventually
become a Dajiôdaijin. He also remembered that a daughter, who would be
afterwards an Empress, would be also born to him, by a lady inferior
to the mothers of the other two children. When he reflected on this
prediction and on the series of events, he began thinking of the
remarkable coincidences they betrayed; and as he thought of sending
for her, as soon as the condition of the young mother's health would
admit, he hurried forward the repairs of the eastern mansion. He also
thought that as there might not be a suitable nurse at Akashi for the
child, he ought to send one from the capital. Fortunately there was a
lady there who had lately been delivered of a child. Her mother, who
had waited at Court when the late ex-Emperor lived, and her father,
who had been some time Court Chamberlain, were both dead. She was now
in miserable circumstances. Genji sounded her, through a certain
channel, whether she would not be willing to be useful to him. This
offer on his part she accepted without much hesitation, and was
despatched with a confidential servant to attend on the new-born
child. He also sent with her a sword and other presents. She left the
capital in a carriage, and proceeded by boat to the province of
Settsu, and thence on horseback to Akashi.

When she arrived the priest was intensely delighted, and the young
mother, who had been gradually improving in health, felt great
consolation. The child was very healthy, and the nurse at once began
to discharge her duties most faithfully.

Hitherto Genji did not confide the story of his relations with the
maiden of Akashi to Violet, but he thought he had better do so, as the
matter might naturally reach her ears. He now, therefore, informed her
of all the circumstances, and of the birth of the child, saying, "If
you feel any unpleasantness about the matter, I cannot blame you in
any way. It was not the blessing which I desired. How greatly do I
regret that in the quarter where I wished to see the heavenly gift,
there is none, but see it in another, where there was no expectation.
The child is merely a girl too, and I almost think that I need pay no
further attention. But this would make me heartless towards my
undoubted offspring. I shall send for it and show it to you, and hope
you will be generous to her. Can you assure me you will be so?" At
these words Violet's face became red as crimson, but she did not lose
her temper, and quietly replied:

"Your saying this only makes me contemptible to myself, as I think my
generosity may not yet be fully understood; but I should like to know
when and where I could have learnt to be ungenerous."

"These words sound too hard to me," said he. "How can you be so cruel
to me? Pray don't attribute any blame to me; I never thought of it.
How miserable am I!" And he began to drop tears when he came to
reflect how faithful she had been all the time, and how affectionate,
and also how regular had been her correspondence. He felt sorry for
her, and continued, "In my anxious thoughts about this child, I have
some intentions which may be agreeable to you also, only I will not
tell you too hastily, since, if I do so now, they might not be taken
in a favorable light. The attractions of the mother seem only to have
arisen from the position in which she was placed. You must not think
of the matter too seriously." He then briefly sketched her character
and her skill in music. But on the part of Violet she could not but
think that it was cruel to her to give away part of his heart, while
her thoughts were with no one but him, and she was quite cast down for
some time.

Genji tried to console her. He took up a _kin_ and asked her to play
and sing with him; but she did not touch it, saying that she could not
play it so well as the maiden of Akashi. This very manner of her mild
jealousy made her more captivating to him, and without further remarks
the subject was dropped.

The fifth of May was the fiftieth day of the birth of the child, so
Genji sent a messenger to Akashi a few days before the time when he
would be expected. At Akashi the feast for the occasion was arranged
with great pains, and the arrival of Genji's messenger was most
opportune.

Let us now relate something about the Princess Wistaria.--Though she
had become a nun, her title of ex-Empress had never been lost; and
now the change in the reigning sovereign gave her fresh honors. She
had been recognized as equivalent to an Empress-regnant who had
abdicated. A liberal allowance was granted to her, and a becoming
household was established for her private use. She, however, still
continued her devotion to religion, now and then coming to Court to
see her son, where she was received with all cordiality; so that her
rival, the mother of the ex-Emperor, whose influence was overwhelming
till lately, now began to feel like one to whom the world had become
irksome.

In the meantime, public affairs entirely changed their aspects, and
the world seemed at this time to have been divided between the
Dajiôdaijin and his son-in-law, Genji, by whose influence all things
in public were swayed.

In August, of this year, the daughter of Gon-Chiûnagon (formerly
Tô-no-Chiûjiô) was introduced at Court. She took up her abode in the
Kokiden, which had been formerly occupied by her maternal aunt, and
she was also styled from this time the Niogo of Kokiden. Prince
Hiôb-Kiô had also the intention of introducing his second daughter at
Court, but Genji took no interest in this. What will he eventually do
about this matter?

In the same autumn Genji went to the Temple of Sumiyoshi to fulfil his
vows. His party consisted of many young nobles and Court retainers,
besides his own private attendants.

By a coincidence the maiden of Akashi, who had been prevented from
coming to the Temple since the last year, happened to arrive there on
the same day. Her party travelled in a boat, and when it reached the
beach they saw the procession of Genji's party crossing before them.
They did not know what procession it was, and asked the bystanders
about it, who, in return, asked them sarcastically, "Can there be
anyone who does not know of the coming of Naidaijin, the Prince Genji,
here to-day to fulfil his vows?"

Most of the young nobles were on horseback, with beautifully made
saddles; and others, including Ukon-no-Jiô, Yoshikiyo, and Koremitz,
in fine uniforms of different colors (blue, green, or scarlet),
according to their different ranks, formed the procession, contrasting
with the hue of the range of pine-trees on both sides of the road.

Genji was in a carriage, which was followed by ten boy pages, granted
by the Court in the same way as a late Sadaijin, Kawara, had been
honored. They were dressed in admirable taste, and their hair was
twisted up in the form of a double knot, with ribbons of gorgeous
purple. The young Genji was also in the procession on horseback, and
followed the carriage.

The maiden of Akashi witnessed the procession, but she avoided making
herself known. She thought she had better not go up to the Temple on
that day; but she could not sail back to Akashi, so she had her boat
moored in the bay of Naniwa for the night. As to Genji, he knew
nothing of the maiden being a spectator of the procession, and spent
the whole night in the Temple with his party in performing services
which might please the God.

It was then that he was informed by Koremitz that he had seen the
maiden of Akashi in a boat. On the morrow Genji and his party set off
for their homes. As they proceeded Genji hummed,

    "Ima hata onaji Naniwa nal,"[123]

and he stopped, while contemplating the bay. Koremitz, who stood
beside him, and divined what he was thinking about, took out a small
pen from his pocket and presented it to Genji, who took it and wrote
the following on a piece of paper, which he sent to the maiden by one
of his attendants who knew her whereabouts:--

    "Divinely led by love's bright flame,
      To this lone temple's shrine we come;
    And as yon beacon meets our eye,
      To dream, perchance, of days gone by."

A few words more. The change of the ruler had brought a change of the
Saigû; and the Lady of Rokjiô, with her daughter, returned to the
capital. Her health, however, began to fail, and she became a nun, and
after some time died. Before her death Genji visited her, and with her
last breath she consigned her daughter to his care. Genji was
thinking, therefore, of introducing her at Court at some future time.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 123: A line of an old ode about the beacon in the bay of
Naniwa, at the same time expressing the desire of meeting with a loved
one. It is impossible to translate this ode literally, as in the
original there is a play upon words, the word beacon (in Japanese)
also meaning "enthusiastic endeavor." The word "myo-tzkushi" (=
beacon) more properly means "water-marker" though disused in the
modern Japanese. In the translation a little liberty has been taken.]



CHAPTER XV

OVERGROWN MUGWORT


When Genji was an exile on the sea-coast, many people had been longing
for his return. Among these was the Princess Hitachi. She was, as we
have seen, the survivor of his Royal father, and the kindness which
she had received from Genji was to her like the reflection of the
broad starlit sky in a basin of water. After Genji left the capital,
however, no correspondence ever passed between them. Several of her
servants left her, and her residence became more lonely than ever. A
fox might have found a covert in the overgrown shrubbery, and the cry
of the owl might have been heard among the thick branches. One might
imagine some mysterious "tree-spirit" to reign there. Nevertheless,
such grounds as these, surrounded with lofty trees, are more tempting
to those who desire to have a stylish dwelling. Hence there were
several Duriôs (local governors) who had become rich, and having
returned from different provinces, sounded the Princess to see if she
were inclined to part with her residence; but this she always refused
to do, saying that, however unfortunate she might be, she was not able
to give up a mansion inherited from her parents.

The mansion contained also a store of rare and antique articles.
Several fashionable persons endeavored to induce the Princess to part
with them; but such people appeared only contemptible to her, as she
looked upon them as proposing such a thing solely because they knew
she was poor. Her attendants sometimes suggested to her that it was by
no means an uncommon occurrence for one to dispose of such articles
when destiny necessitated the sacrifice; but her reply was that these
things had been handed down to her only that she might make use of
them, and that she would be violating the wishes of the dead if she
consented to part with them, allowing them to become the ornament of
the dwellings of some lowborn upstarts.

Scarcely anyone paid a visit to her dwelling, her only occasional
visitor being her brother, a priest, who came to see her when he came
to the capital, but he was a man of eccentric character, and was not
very flourishing in his circumstances.

Such being the state of affairs with the Princess Hitachi, the grounds
of her mansion became more and more desolate and wild, the mugwort
growing so tall that it reached the veranda. The surrounding walls of
massive earth broke down here and there and crumbled away, being
trampled over by wandering cattle. In spring and summer boys would
sometimes play there. In the autumn a gale blew down a corridor, and
carried away part of the shingle roof. Only one blessing remained
there--no thief intruded into the enclosure, as no temptation was
offered to them for their attack.

But never did the Princess lose her accustomed reserve, which her
parents had instilled into her mind. Society for her had no
attractions. She solaced the hours of her loneliness by looking over
ancient story-books and poems, which were stored in the old
bookshelves, such as the Karamori, Hakoya-no-toji, or Kakya-hime.
These, with their illustrations, were her chief resources.

Now a sister of the Princess's mother had married a Duriô, and had
already borne him a daughter. This marriage had been considered an
unequal match by the father of the Princess, and for this reason she
was not very friendly with the family. Jijiû, however, who was a
daughter of the Princess's nurse, and who still remained with the
Princess, used to go to her. This aunt was influenced by a secret
feeling of spite, and when Jijiû visited her she often whispered to
her many things which did not become her as a lady. It seems to me
that where a lady of ordinary degree is elevated to a higher position,
she often acquires a refinement like one originally belonging to it;
but there are other women, who when degraded from their rank spoil
their taste and habits just like the lady in question. She fondly
hoped to revenge herself for having been formerly looked down upon, by
showing an apparent kindness to the Princess Hitachi, and by wishing
to take her into her home, and make her wait upon her daughters. With
this view she told Jijiu to tell her mistress to come to her, and
Jijiu did so; but the Princess did not comply with this request.

In the meantime the lady's husband was appointed Daini (Senior
Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant), and they were to go down to Tzkushi
(modern Kiusiu). She wished to take the Princess with her, and told
her that she felt sorry to go to such a far-off locality, leaving her
in her present circumstances; but the latter still unhesitatingly
replied in the negative, and declined the offer; whereupon her aunt
tauntingly remarked that she was too proud, and that, however exalted
she might think herself, no one, not even Genji, would show her any
further attention.

About this time Genji returned, but for some while she heard nothing
from him, and only the public rejoicing of many people, and the news
about him from the outside world reached her ears. This gave her aunt
a further opportunity of repeating the same taunts. She said, "See now
who cares for you in your present circumstances. It is not
praiseworthy to display such self-importance as you did in the
lifetime of your father." And again she pressed her to go with her,
but the Princess still clung to the hope that the time would come when
Genji would remember her and renew his kindness.

Winter came! One day, quite unexpectedly, the aunt arrived at the
mansion, bringing as a present a dress for the Princess. Her carriage
dashed into the garden in a most pompous style, and drove right up to
the southern front of the building. Jijiu went to meet her, and
conducted her into the Princess's apartment.

"I must soon be leaving the capital," said the visitor. "It is not my
wish to leave you behind, but you would not listen to me, and now
there is no help. But this one, this Jijiu at least, I wish to take
with me. I have come to-day to fetch her. I cannot understand how you
can be content with your present condition."

Here she manifested a certain sadness, but her delight at her
husband's promotion was unmistakable, and she continued:--

"When your father was alive, I was looked down upon by him, which
caused a coolness between us. But nevertheless I at no time
entertained any ill-will towards you, only you were much favored by
Prince Genji, as I heard, which made me abstain from visiting you
often; but fortune is fickle, for those in a humble position often
enjoy comfort, and those that are higher in station are not quite so
well circumstanced. I do really feel sorry to leave you behind."

The Princess said very little, but her answer was, "I really thank you
for your kind attention, but I do not think I am now fit to move about
in the world. I shall be quite happy to bury myself under this roof."

"Well, you may think so, but it is simply foolish to abandon one's
self, and to bury one's life under such a mass of dilapidation. Had
Prince Genji been kind enough to repair the place, it might have
become transformed into a golden palace, and how joyous would it not
be? but this you cannot expect. As far as I am informed the daughter
of Prince Hiob-Kio is the only favorite of the Prince, and no one else
shares his attention, all his old favorites being now abandoned. How,
then, can you expect him to say that, because you have been faithful
to him, he will therefore come to you again?"

These words touched the Princess, but she gave no vent to her
feelings. The visitor, therefore, hurried Jijiu to get ready, saying
that they must leave before the dusk.

"When I hear what the lady says," said Jijiu, "it sounds to me very
reasonable; but when I see how anxious the Princess is, that also
seems natural. Thus I am puzzled between the two. Let me, however, say
this, I will only see the lady off to-day."

Nevertheless, the Princess foresaw that Jijiu was going to leave her,
and she thought of giving her some souvenir. Her own dress was not to
be thought of, as it was too old; fortunately she had a long tress of
false hair, about nine feet long, made of the hair which had fallen
from her own head. This she put into an old casket, and gave it to
Jijiu, with a jar of rare perfume.

Jijiu had been an attendant on the Princess for a very long time,
besides, her mother (the nurse), before she died, told the Princess
and her daughter that she hoped they might be long together; so the
parting with Jijiu was very trying to the Princess who said to her
that though she could not blame her for leaving, she still felt sorry
to lose her. To this Jijiu replied, that she never forgot the wishes
of her mother, and was only too happy to share joy and sorrow with the
Princess; yet she was sorry to say that circumstances obliged her to
leave her for some time; but before she could say much, she was
hurried away by the visitor.

It was one evening in April of the following year that Genji happened
to be going to the villa of "the falling flowers," and passed by the
mansion of the Princess. There was in the garden a large pine-tree,
from whose branches the beautiful clusters of a wistaria hung in rich
profusion. A sigh of the evening breeze shook them as they hung in the
silver moonlight, and scattered their rich fragrance towards the
wayfarer. There was also a weeping willow close by, whose pensile
tresses of new verdure touched the half-broken walls of earth
underneath.

When Genji beheld this beautiful scene from his carriage, he at once
remembered it was a place he had seen before. He stopped his carriage,
and said to Koremitz, who was with him as usual--

"Is this not the mansion of the Princess Hitachi?"

"Yes, it is," replied Koremitz.

"Do ask if she is still here," said Genji; "this is a good chance; I
will see her if she is at home--ask!"

Koremitz entered, and proceeding to the door, called out. An old woman
from the inside demanded to know who he was. Koremitz announced
himself, and asked if Jijiû was within. The old women replied that she
was not, but that she herself was the same as Jijiû.

Koremitz recognized her as an aunt of the latter. He then asked her
about the Princess, and told her of Genji's intention. To his
inquiries he soon obtained a satisfactory answer, and duly reported it
to Genji, who now felt a pang of remorse for his long negligence of
one so badly circumstanced. He descended from his carriage, but the
pathway was all but overgrown with tall mugwort, which was wet with a
passing shower; so Koremitz whisked them with his whip, and led him
in.

Inside, meanwhile, the Princess, though she felt very pleased,
experienced a feeling of shyness. Her aunt, it will be remembered, had
presented her with a suitable dress, which she had hitherto had no
pleasure in wearing, and had kept it in a box which had originally
contained perfume. She now took this out and put it on. Genji was
presently shown into the room.

"It is a long time since I saw you last," said Genji, "but still I
have never forgotten you, only I heard nothing from you; so I waited
till now, and here I find myself once more."

The Princess, as usual, said very little, only thanking him for his
visit. He then addressed her in many kind and affectionate words, many
of which he might not really have meant, and after a considerable stay
he at last took his departure.

This was about the time of the feast in the Temple of Kamo, and Genji
received several presents under various pretexts. He distributed these
presents among his friends, such as those in the villa of "the falling
flowers," and to the Princess. He also sent his servant to the mansion
of the latter to cut down the rampant mugwort, and he restored the
grounds to proper order. Moreover, he had a wooden enclosure placed
all round the garden.

So far as the world hitherto knew about Genji, he was supposed only to
cast his eyes on extraordinary and pre-eminent beauties; but we see in
him a very different character in the present instance. He showed so
much kindness to the Princess Hitachi, who was by no means
distinguished for her beauty, and who still bore a mark on her nose
which might remind one of a well-ripened fruit carried by
mountaineers. How was this? it might have been preordained to be so.

The Princess continued to live in the mansion for two years, and then
she removed to a part of a newly built "eastern mansion" belonging to
Genji, where she lived happily under the kind care of the Prince,
though he had much difficulty in coming often to see her. I would fain
describe the astonishment of her aunt when she returned from the
Western Island and saw the Princess's happy condition, and how Jijiu
regretted having left her too hastily; but my head is aching and my
fingers are tired, so I shall wait for some future opportunity when I
may again take up the thread of my story.



CHAPTER XVI

BARRIER HOUSE


We left beautiful Cicada at the time when she quitted the capital with
her husband. Now this husband Iyo-no-Kami, had been promoted to the
governorship of Hitachi, in the year which followed that of the demise
of the late ex-Emperor, and Cicada accompanied him to the province. It
was a year after Genji's return that they came back to the capital. On
the day when they had to pass the barrier house of Ausaka
(meeting-path) on their homeward way, Hitachi's sons, the eldest known
to us as Ki-no-Kami, now became Kawachi-no-Kami, and others went from
the city to meet them. It so happened that Genji was to pay his visit
to the Temple of Ishiyama on this very day. This became known to
Hitachi, who, thinking it would be embarrassing if they met with his
procession on the road, determined to start very early; but, somehow
or another, time passed on, and when they came to the lake coast of
Uchiide (modern Otz, a place along Lake Biwa), the sun had risen high,
and this was the moment when Genji was crossing the Awata Road. In the
course of a few hours the outriders of Genji's cortège came in sight;
so that Hitachi's party left their several carriages, and seated
themselves under the shade of the cedars on the hill-side of Ausaka,
in order to avoid encountering Genji and his procession. It was the
last day of September. All the herbage was fading under the influence
of the coming winter, and many tinted autumn leaves displayed their
different hues over the hills and fields. The scene was in every way
pleasing to the eyes of the spectators. The number of the carriages of
Hitachi's party was about ten in all, and the style and appearance of
the party showed no traces of rusticity of taste. It might have been
imagined that the party of the Saigû journeying towards or from Ise,
might be something similar to this one.

Genji soon caught sight of them, and became aware that it was Hitachi.
He therefore sent for Cicada's brother--whom we know as Kokimi, and
who had now been made Uyemon-no-Ske--from the party, and told him that
he hoped his attention in coming there to meet them would not be
considered unfavorable. This Kokimi, as we know, had received much
kindness from Genji up to the time of his becoming a man; but when
Genji had to quit the capital he left him and joined his
brother-in-law in his official province. This was not viewed as very
satisfactory; but Genji manifested no bad feeling to him, and treated
him still as one of his household attendants. Ukon-no-Jiô, a
brother-in-law of Cicada, on the other hand, had faithfully followed
Genji to his exile, and after their return he was more than ever
favored by Genji. This state of things made many feel for the bad
taste of the ordinary weakness of the world, exhibited by the
faithfully following of one when circumstances are flourishing, and
deserting him in the time of adversity. Kokimi himself was one of
those who fully realized these feelings, and was pained by them. When
Genji finished his visit to the Temple, and was coming back, Kokimi
once more came from the capital to meet him. Through him Genji sent a
letter to his sister, asking her if she had recognized him when he
passed at Ausaka, adding the following verse:--

    "As onward we our way did take,
      On Meeting-Path, both I and you,
    We met not, for by the saltless lake,
      No _milme_[124] by its waters grew."

In handing the letter to Kokimi, Genji said, "Give this to your
sister; it is a long time since I heard anything from her, still the
past seems to me only like yesterday. But do you disapprove of my
sending this?" Kokimi replied in a few words, and took the letter back
to his sister, and told her, when he gave it, that she might easily
give him some sort of answer. She did indeed disapprove of treating
the matter in any way more seriously than she had formerly done, yet
she wrote the following:--

    "By Barrier-House--oh, name unkind,
      That bars the path of friendly greeting;
    We passed along with yearning mind,
      But passed, alas! without a meeting."

After this time some other correspondence now and then passed between
them. As time rolled on the health of her aged husband visibly
declined; and after fervently enjoining his sons to be kind and
attentive to her, in due time he breathed his last.

For some time they were kind and attentive to her, as their father had
requested, and there was nothing unsatisfactory in their behavior
towards her, yet many things which were not altogether pleasant
gradually presented themselves to her, and so it is always in life.
Finally Cicada, telling her intentions to no one beforehand, became a
nun.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 124: The name of a seaweed, but also meaning the eyes that
meet, and hence the twofold sense of the word.]



CHAPTER XVII

COMPETITIVE SHOW OF PICTURES


The introduction of the late Saigû, the daughter of the Lady of
Rokjiô, at Court, was now arranged to take place, with the approval of
the Empress-mother (the Princess Wistaria). All the arrangements and
preparations were made, though not quite openly, under the eye of
Genji, who took a parental interest in her. It may be remembered that
the ex-Emperor was once struck by her charms, on the eve of her
departure for Ise; and though he never encouraged this fancy to become
anything more than an ordinary partiality, he took no small interest
in all that concerned her welfare.

When the day of introduction arrived, he made her several beautiful
presents, such as a comb-box, a dressing-table, and a casket
containing rare perfumes. At her residence all her female attendants,
and some others, assembled, who made every preparation with the utmost
pains.

In the Palace, the Empress-mother was with her Royal son on this day.
He was still a mere boy, and scarcely understood what was going on;
but he was now fully informed on the subject by his mother, and was
told that a very interesting lady was going to reside in the Palace to
attend on him, and that he must be good and kind to her. The
presentation took place late in the evening, and henceforth she was
called the Niogo of the Ume-Tsubo (plum-chamber), from the name of her
apartment.

She was a charming lady, and the Emperor was not without a certain
liking for her; yet Lady Kokiden, the daughter of Gon-Chiûnagon
(Tô-no-Chiûjiô), who had been introduced some time previously, and
consequently was an acquaintance of an older date, was much more
frequently preferred by him to the other for society in daily
amusement. When Gon-Chiûnagon introduced his daughter, he did not of
course do so without hope of her further elevation; but now Lady Plum
came to assume a position through Genji's influence, as if to compete
with his daughter for the royal favor; and it was by no means glad
tidings for him. It may be here mentioned that Prince Hiob-Kio had
also, as we have already seen, an intention of introducing one of his
daughters at Court; but this hope was doomed to disappointment by the
establishing of the two ladies already introduced, and he was induced
to defer his intention, at least for the present.

The Emperor was very fond of pictures, and painted with considerable
ability. Lady Plum, too, as it happened, possessed the same taste as
the Emperor, and used often to amuse herself by painting. If,
therefore, he liked ordinary courtiers who exhibited a taste for
painting, it was no matter of surprise that he liked to see the
delicate hands of the lady occupied in carefully laying on colors.
This similarity of taste gradually drew his attention to her, and led
to frequent visits to the "plum-chamber." When Gon-Chiûnagon was
informed of these circumstances, he took the matter into his own
hands. He himself determined to excite a spirit of rivalry. He
contrived means to counteract the influence of painting, and
commissioned several famous artists of the times to execute some
elaborate pictures. Most of these were subjects taken from old
romances, as he conceived that these were always more attractive than
mere fanciful pictures. He had also caused to be painted a
representation of every month of the year, which would also be likely,
he thought, to interest the Emperor. When these pictures were finished
he took them to Court, and submitted them to his inspection; but he
would not agree that he should take any of them to the plum-chamber;
and they were all deposited in the chamber of his daughter.

Genji, when he heard of this, said of his brother-in-law, "He is
young; he never could be behind others." He was, however, unable to
pass the matter over unnoticed. He told the Emperor that he would
present him with some old pictures, and returning to his mansion at
Nijio he opened his picture cabinet, where numbers of old and new
pictures were kept. From these, with the assistance of Violet, he made
a selection of the best. But such pictures as illustrations of the
"Long Regrets," or representations of "O-shio-kun," were reserved,
because the terminations of these stories were not happy ones. He
also took out of his cabinet the sketches which he had made while in
Suma and Akashi, and showed them for the first time to Violet, who was
a little angry at his not having shown them to her sooner.

It was about the tenth of February, and the face of Nature began to
smile with the approach of spring, making the hearts and tempers of
people more calm and cheerful; besides, it was just the time when the
Court was unoccupied with the keeping of any festival. There could be
no better chance than this for such an exhibition of pictures to
attract the attention of people enjoying leisure. Genji, therefore,
sent his collection of pictures to the Palace in behalf of the lady of
the plum-chamber.

This soon created a sensation in the Palace. Most of the pictures that
were in the possession of the lady of the plum-chamber were from old
romances, and the pictures themselves were of ancient date, being
rare, while those of Kokiden were more modern subjects and by living
artists. Thus each of them had their special merits, so that it became
difficult to say which were more excellent. Talking of these pictures
became quite a fashionable subject of conversation of the courtiers of
the day. The Imperial-mother happened to be at Court, and when she saw
these pictures and heard different persons at Court discussing their
relative merits, she suggested that they should divide themselves into
two parties, right and left, and regularly to give their judgment.
This was accordingly done: Hei-Naishi-no-Ske, Jijiû-no-Naishi, and
Shiôshiô-no-Miôbu took the left, on the side of the lady of the
plum-chamber; while Daini-no-Naishi-no-Ske, Chiûjiô-no-Miôbu, and
Hiôye-no-Miôbu took the right, on the side of the Kokiden.

The first picture selected was the illustration of the "Bamboo
Cutter,"[125] by the left, as it was the most appropriate to come
first for the discussion of its merits, as being the parent of
romance. To compete with this, that of "Toshikagè,"[126] from "The
Empty Wood," was selected by the right. The left now stated their
case, saying, "The bamboo--indeed, its story too--may be an old and
commonly known thing, but the maiden Kakya, in keeping her purity
unsullied in this world, is highly admirable; besides, it was an
occurrence that belongs to a pre-historical period. No ordinary woman
would ever be equal to her, and so this picture has an excellence."
Thereupon the right argued in opposition to this, saying, "The sky,
where the maiden Kakya has gone away, may indeed be high, but it is
beyond human reach, so we may put it aside. When she made her
appearance in this world she was, after all, a creature of bamboo;
and, indeed, we may consider her even lower than ourselves. It may
also be true that she threw a bright radiance over the inside of a
cottage, but she never shone in the august society of a palace.
Abe-no-oshi's[127] spending millions of money in order to get the
so-called fire-proof rat, which, when obtained, was consumed in the
flames in a moment, is simply ridiculous. Prince Kuramochi's[128]
pretended jewel branch was simply a delusion. Besides, this picture is
by Kose-no-Omi, with notes[129] by Tsurayuki. These are not very
uncommon. The paper is Kamiya, only covered with Chinese satin. The
outer cover is reddish purple, and the centre stick is purple
Azedarach. These are very common ornaments. Now Toshikagè, though he
had undergone a severe trial from the raging storm, and had been
carried to a strange country, arrived at length at the country to
which he was originally despatched, and from there returned to his
native land, having achieved his object, and having made his ability
recognized both at home and abroad. This picture is the life of this
man, and it represents many scenes, not only of his country but of
foreign ones, which cannot fail to be interesting. We therefore dare
to place this one above the other in merit."

The ground of this picture was thick white tinted paper, the outer
cover was green, and the centre stick jade. The picture was by
Tsunenori, and the writing by Michikage. It was in the highest taste
of the period.

The left made no more protestation against the right.

Next the romance of Ise by the left, and that of Shiô-Sammi by the
right, were brought into competition. Here again the relative merit
was very difficult to be decided at once. That of the right had
apparently more charms than that of the other, since it beautifully
represented the society of a more recent period.

Hei-Naishi, of the left, therefore said,

    "If leaving the depths of Ise's night-sea,
      We follow the fancies of new-fashioned dreams,
    All the beauty and skill of the ancients will be
      Swept away by the current of art's modern streams.

Who would run down the fame of Narihira for the sake of the
pretentious humbug of our own days?"

Then Daini-no-Naishi-no-Ske, of the right, replied,

    "The noble mind that soars on high,
      Beyond the star-bespangled sky;
    Looks down with ease on depths that lie
      A thousand fathoms 'neath his eye."[130]

Upon this, the Empress-mother interceded. She said, that "The exalted
nobility of Lord Hiôye[131] may not, indeed, be passed over without
notice, yet the name of Narihira could not altogether be eclipsed by
his.

    Though too well-known to all may be
      The lovely shore of Ise's sea;
    Its aged fisher's honored name,
      A tribute of respect may claim."

There were several more rolls to be exhibited, and the rival
protestations on both sides became very warm, so that one roll
occasioned considerable discussion.

While this was going on, Genji arrived on the scene. He suggested to
them that if there was any competition at all it should be decided on
a specially appointed day, in a more solemn manner, in the presence of
the Emperor. This suggestion having been adopted, the discussion came
to an end.

The day for this purpose was fixed. The ex-Emperor, who had been
informed of this, presented several pictures to the lady of the
plum-chamber. They were mostly illustrations of Court Festivals, on
which there were explanatory remarks written by the Emperor Yenghi.
Besides these, there was one which had been expressly executed at his
own order by Kim-mochi. This was an illustration of the ceremony which
took place at his palace on the departure of the lady for Ise, some
time back, when she had gone there as the Saigû. It was also probable
that some of his pictures came into the possession of her rival, the
Lady Kokiden, through his mother (as the mother of the former was a
sister of the latter).

When the day arrived every arrangement was made in the large saloon at
the rear of the Palace, where the Imperial seat was placed at the top.
The Court ladies of both parties--those of the lady of the
plum-chamber, and those of the lady of Kokiden--were arranged
respectively left and right, the left, or those of the lady of the
plum-chamber, facing southwards, and those of the right, northwards.
All the courtiers also took the places allotted to them. Here the
pictures were brought. The box, containing those of the left was of
purple Azedarach. The stand on which the box was placed was of safran,
and over this was thrown a cover of Chinese brocade with a mauve
ground. The seat underneath was of Chinese colored silk. Six young
girls brought all this in, and arranged it all in order. Their Kazami
(outer dress) was of red and cherry color, with tunics of Wistaria
lining (light purple outside, and light green within).

The box which contained the pictures of the right was of "Jin" wood,
the stand of light colored "Jin," the cover of Corean silk with a
green ground. The legs of the stand, which were trellised round with a
silken cord, showed modern and artistic taste. The Kazami of the young
girls was of willow lining (white outside and green within), and their
tunics were of Kerria japonica lining (or yellow outside and light red
within). Both Genji and Gon-Chiûnagon were present, by the Emperor's
special invitation, as also the Prince Lord-Lieutenant of Tzkushi who
loved pictures above all things, and he was consequently chosen umpire
for this day's competition. Many of the pictures were highly
admirable, and it was most difficult to make any preference between
them. For instance, if there was produced by one party a roll of "The
Season," which was the masterpiece of some old master, on selected
subjects; there was produced also, by the other party, a roll of
sketches on paper, which were scarcely inferior to, and more
ornamented with flourishing than the ancient works, in spite of the
necessary limitation of space which generally makes the wide expanse
of scenery almost too difficult to express. Thus the disputes on both
sides were very warm.

Meanwhile the Imperial-mother (the Princess Wistaria) also came into
the saloon, pushing aside the sliding screen of the breakfast chamber.
The criticisms still continued, in which Genji made, now and then,
suggestive remarks. Before all was finished the shades of evening
began to fall on them. There remained, on the right, one more roll,
when the roll of "Suma" was produced on the left. It made
Gon-Chiûnagon slightly embarrassed. The last roll of the right was, of
course, a selected one, but it had several disadvantages in comparison
with that of "Suma." The sketches on this roll had been done by Genji,
with great pains and time. They were illustrations of different bays
and shores. They were most skilfully executed, and carried away the
minds of the spectators to the actual spots. On them illustrative
remarks were written, sometimes in the shape of a diary, occasionally
mingled with poetical effusions in style both grave and easy. These
made a great impression on the Emperor, and on everyone present; and
finally, owing to this roll, the left was decided to have won the
victory.

Then followed the partaking of refreshments, as was usual on such
occasions. In the course of conversation, Genji remarked to the
Lord-Lieutenant, "From my boyhood I paid much attention to reading and
writing, and perhaps my father noticed that I had benefited by these
pursuits. He observed that 'few very clever men enjoyed worldly
happiness and long life'; perhaps because ability and knowledge are
too highly valued in the world to admit of other blessings. True it
is, that even a man whose high birth assures him a certain success in
life, ought not to be devoid of learning, but I advise you to moderate
your exertions. After this time, he took more pains in instructing me
in the ways and manners of men of high position than in the minute
details of science. For these reasons, though on the one hand I was
not quite clumsy, I cannot, on the other, say in what particular
subject I am well versed and efficient. Drawing, however, was a
favorite object of my taste and ambition, and I also desired to
execute a work to the full extent of my ideas. In the meantime, I
enjoyed quiet leisure by the sea-shore, and as I contemplated the wide
expanse of scenery, my conception seemed to enlarge as I gazed upon
it. This made me take up my brush, but not a few parts of the work
have fallen short of those conceptions. Therefore, I thought them
altogether unworthy to be shown expressly, though I have now boldly
submitted them to your inspection on this good opportunity."

"Nothing can be well learned that is not agreeable to one's natural
taste," replied the Lord-Lieutenant. "It is true, but every art has
its special instructor, and by this means their methods can be copied
by their pupils, though there may be differences in skill and
perfection. Among arts, however, nothing betrays one's tastes and
nature more than work of pen or brush (writing and painting), and
playing the game of Go. Of course men of low origin, and of little
accomplishment, often happen to excel in these arts, but not so
frequently as persons of position. Under the auspicious care of the
late Emperor, what prince or princess could have failed to attain the
knowledge of such arts? a care which was directed towards yourself
especially. I will not speak of literature and learning too. Your
accomplishments comprised the _kin_, next the flute, the mandolin, and
_soh-koto_--this we all knew, and so, too, the late Emperor said: your
painting, however, has been hitherto thought to be mere amusement, but
we now have seen your sketches executed with a skill not unequal to
the ancient famous draughtsmen in black ink."

It was about the twentieth of the month, and the evening moon appeared
in the sky, while they were thus conversing. Her radiance was too weak
to make the ground near them bright, but afar-off the sky became
palely white. Several musical instruments were sent for from the
guardian of the library. Genji played a _kin_, Gon-Chiûnagon a
_wagon_, the Lord-Lieutenant a _soh-koto_, and Shiôshiô-no-Miôbu a
mandolin. The _hiôshi_ (beating time to music) was undertaken by a
courtier. As this went on, the darkness of night began to diminish,
and the hues of the flowers in the garden, and the countenance of each
of the party, became gradually visible, while the birds themselves
began to chirp in the trees. It was a pleasant dawn. Several presents
were made to the company by the Imperial-mother, and to the
Lord-Lieutenant a robe was given in addition, as an acknowledgment of
his services as judge in the competition. And so the party broke up.
The roll of "Suma" was left, as was requested, in the hands of the
Imperial-mother. Genji had some more rolls of the same series, but
they were reserved for some future occasion.

During the reign of this Emperor every care was taken on the occasion
of all Court Festivals, so that future generations should hold that
such and such precedents took their origin in this reign. Hence a
meeting even such as above described, which was only private in its
nature, was carried out in a manner as pleasant and enlightened as
possible.

As to Genji, he thought he had obtained a position too exalted, and an
influence too great. There were, indeed, several instances of public
men surprised by misfortune, who, in premature age, obtained high
position and vast influence. He thought of these examples, and though
he had hitherto enjoyed his position and authority, as if he regarded
them as a compensation for his former fall, he began, as the Emperor
was now becoming older, to retire gradually from public life, so as to
prepare his mind and thoughts, and devote himself to the attainment of
happiness in the world to come, and also for the prolongation of life.
For these reasons he ordered a chapel to be built for himself on a
mountain side, where he might retire. In the meantime he had the
ambition to see his children satisfactorily brought out into the
world--an ambition which restrained him from carrying out his wishes
of retiring.

It is not easy to understand or define the exact state of his mind at
this period.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 125: A short romance, supposed to be the oldest work of the
kind ever written in Japan, as the authoress states. The story is,
that once upon a time there was an aged man whose occupation was to
cut bamboo. One day he found a knot in a bamboo cane which was radiant
and shining, and upon cutting it he found in it a little girl who was
named Kakya-hime. He took her home and brought her up. She grew a
remarkable beauty. She had many suitors, but she refused to listen to
their addresses, and kept her maiden reputation unsullied. Finally, in
leaving this world, she ascended into the moon, from which she
professed to have originally come down.]

[Footnote 126: This is another old romance, and Toshikagè is its
principal hero. When twelve or thirteen years of age he was sent to
China, but the ship in which he was, being driven by a hurricane to
Persia, he met there with a mystic stranger, from whom he learned
secrets of the "Kin;" from thence he reached China, and afterwards
returned to Japan.]

[Footnote 127: This man was one of the maiden's suitors. He was told
by her that if he could get for her the skin of the fire-proof rat she
might possibly accept his hand. With this object he gave a vast sum of
money to a Chinese merchant, who brought him what he professed to be
the skin of the fire-proof rat, but when it was put to the test, it
burnt away, and he lost his suit.]

[Footnote 128: This Prince was another suitor of the maiden. His task
was to find a sacred island called Horai, and to get a branch of a
jewelled tree which grew in this island. He pretended to have embarked
for this purpose, but really concealed himself in an obscure place. He
had an artificial branch made by some goldsmith; but, of course, this
deception was at once detected.]

[Footnote 129: Japanese pictures usually have explanatory notes
written on them.]

[Footnote 130: It seems that this stanza alludes to some incident in
the Shiô-Sammi, at the same time praising the picture.]

[Footnote 131: This seems to be the name of the hero in the story
alluded to above.]

       *       *       *       *       *



CLASSICAL POETRY OF JAPAN

[_Selections translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain_]



INTRODUCTION


The poetry of a nation is always the best revealer of its genuine
life: the range of its spiritual as well as of its intellectual
outlook. This is the case even where poetry is imitative, for
imitation only pertains to the form of poetry, and not to its essence.
Vergil copied the metre and borrowed the phraseology of Homer, but is
never Homeric. In one sense, all national poetry is original, even
though it be shackled by rules of traditional prosody, and has adopted
the system of rhyme devised by writers in another language, whose
words seem naturally to bourgeon into assonant terminations. But
Japanese poetry is original in every sense of the term. Imitative as
the Japanese are, and borrowers from other nations in every department
of plastic, fictile, and pictorial art, as well as in religion,
politics, and manufactures, the poetry of Japan is a true-born flower
of the soil, unique in its mechanical structure, spontaneous and
unaffected in its sentiment and subject.

The present collection of Japanese poetry is compiled and translated
into English from what the Japanese call "The Collection of Myriad
Leaves," and from a number of other anthologies made by imperial
decree year by year from the tenth until the fifteenth century. This
was the golden age of Japanese literature, and nowadays, when poetry
is dead in Japan, and the people and their rulers are aiming at
nothing but the benefits of material civilization, these ancient
anthologies are drawn upon for vamping up and compiling what pass for
the current verses of the hour. The twenty volumes of the "Myriad
Leaves" were probably published first in the latter half of the eighth
century, in the reign of the Mikado Shiyaumu; the editor was Prince
Moroye, for in those days the cultivation of verse was especially
considered the privilege of the princely and aristocratic. A poem
written by a man of obscure rank was sometimes included in the royal
collections, but the name of the author never. And indeed some of the
distinctive quality of Japanese poetry is undoubtedly due to the air
in which it flourished. It is never religious, and it is often
immoral, but it is always suffused with a certain hue of courtliness,
even gentleness. The language is of the most refined delicacy, the
thought is never boorish or rude; there is the self-collectedness
which we find in the poetry of France and Italy during the
Renaissance, and in England during the reign of Queen Anne. It
exhibits the most exquisite polish, allied with an avoidance of every
shocking or perturbing theme. It seems to combine the enduring lustre
of a precious metal with the tenuity of gold-leaf. Even the most vivid
emotions of grief and love, as well as the horrors of war, were
banished from the Japanese Parnassus, where the Muse of Tragedy
warbles, and the lyric Muse utters nothing but ditties of exquisite
and melting sweetness, which soothe the ear, but never stir the heart:
while their meaning is often so obscure as even to elude the
understanding.

Allied to this polite reserve of the courtly poets of Japan is the
simplicity of their style, which is, doubtless, in a large measure,
due to the meagre range of spiritual faculties which characterize the
Japanese mind. This intellectual poverty manifests itself in the
absence of all personification and reference to abstract ideas. The
narrow world of the poet is here a concrete and literal sphere of
experience. He never rises on wings above the earth his feet are
treading, and the things around him that his fingers touch. But within
this limited area he revels in a great variety of subjects. In the
present anthology will be found ballads, love-songs, elegies, as well
as short stanzas composed with the strictest economy of word and
phrase. These we must characterize as epigrams. They are gems,
polished with almost passionless nicety and fastidious care. They
remind us very much of Roman poetry under the later Empire, and many
of them might have been written by Martial, at the court of Domitian.
They contain references to court doings, compliments, and sentiments
couched in pointed language. The drama of Japan is represented by two
types, one of which may be called lyrical, and the other the comedy of
real life. Specimens of both are found in the present collection,
which will furnish English readers with a very fair idea of what the
most interesting and enterprising of Oriental nations has done in the
domain of imaginative literature.

E. W.



BALLADS

THE FISHER-BOY URASHIMA


    'Tis spring, and the mists come stealing
    O'er Suminóye's shore,
    And I stand by the seaside musing
    On the days that are no more.

    I muse on the old-world story,
    As the boats glide to and fro,
    Of the fisher-boy, Urashima,
    Who a-fishing loved to go;

    How he came not back to the village
    Though sev'n suns had risen and set,
    But rowed on past the bounds of ocean,
    And the sea-god's daughter met;

    How they pledged their faith to each other,
    And came to the Evergreen Land,
    And entered the sea-god's palace
    So lovingly hand in hand,

    To dwell for aye in that country,
    The ocean-maiden and he--
    The country where youth and beauty
              Abide eternally.

    But the foolish boy said, "To-morrow
    I'll come back with thee to dwell;
    But I have a word to my father,
    A word to my mother to tell."

    The maiden answered, "A casket
    I give into thine hand;
    And if that thou hopest truly
    To come back to the Evergreen Land,

    "Then open it not, I charge thee!
    Open it not, I beseech!"
    So the boy rowed home o'er the billows
    To Suminóye's beach.

    But where is his native hamlet?
    Strange hamlets line the strand.
    Where is his mother's cottage?
    Strange cots rise on either hand.

    "What, in three short years since I left it,"
    He cries in his wonder sore,
    "Has the home of my childhood vanished?
    Is the bamboo fence no more?

    "Perchance if I open the casket
    Which the maiden gave to me,
    My home and the dear old village
    Will come back as they used to be."

    And he lifts the lid, and there rises
    A fleecy, silvery cloud,
    That floats off to the Evergreen Country:--
    And the fisher-boy cries aloud;

    He waves the sleeve of his tunic,
    He rolls over on the ground,
    He dances with fury and horror,
    Running wildly round and round.[132]

    But a sudden chill comes o'er him
    That bleaches his raven hair,
    And furrows with hoary wrinkles
    The form erst so young and fair.

    His breath grows fainter and fainter,
    Till at last he sinks dead on the shore;
    And I gaze on the spot where his cottage
    Once stood, but now stands no more.

_Anon_.



ON SEEING A DEAD BODY


    Methinks from the hedge round the garden
    His bride the fair hemp hath ta'en,
    And woven the fleecy raiment
    That ne'er he threw off him again.

    For toilsome the journey he journeyed
    To serve his liege and lord,[133]
    Till the single belt that encircled him
    Was changed to a thrice-wound cord;

    And now, methinks, he was faring
    Back home to the country-side,
    With thoughts all full of his father,
    Of his mother, and of his bride.

    But here 'mid the eastern mountains,
    Where the awful pass climbs their brow,
    He halts on his onward journey
    And builds him a dwelling low;

    And here he lies stark in his garments,
    Dishevelled his raven hair,
    And ne'er can he tell me his birthplace,
    Nor the name that he erst did bear.

_Sakimaro_.



THE MAIDEN OF UNÁHI[134]


    In Ashinóya village dwelt
    The Maiden of Unáhi,
    On whose beauty the next-door neighbors e'en
    Might cast no wandering eye;

    For they locked her up as a child of eight,
    When her hair hung loosely still;
    And now her tresses were gathered up,
    To float no more at will.[135]

    And the men all yearned that her sweet face
    Might once more stand reveal'd,
    Who was hid from gaze, as in silken maze
    The chrysalis lies concealed.

    And they formed a hedge round the house,
    And, "I'll wed her!" they all did cry;
    And the Champion of Chinu he was there,
    And the Champion of Unáhi.

    With jealous love these champions twain
    The beauteous girl did woo,
    Each had his hand on the hilt of his sword,
    And a full-charged quiver, too,

    Was slung o'er the back of each champion fierce,
    And a bow of snow-white wood
    Did rest in the sinewy hand of each;
    And the twain defiant stood.

    Crying, "An 'twere for her dear sake,
    Nor fire nor flood I'd fear!"
    The maiden heard each daring word,
    But spoke in her mother's ear:--

    "Alas! that I, poor country girl,
    Should cause this jealous strife!
    As I may not wed the man I love
    What profits me my life?

    "In Hades' realm I will await
    The issue of the fray."
    These secret thoughts, with many a sigh,
    She whisper'd and pass'd away.

    To the Champion of Chinu in a dream
    Her face that night was shown;
    So he followed the maid to Hades' shade,
    And his rival was left alone;

    Left alone--too late! too late!
    He gapes at the vacant air,
    He shouts, and he yells, and gnashes his teeth,
    And dances in wild despair.

    "But no! I'll not yield!" he fiercely cries,
    "I'm as good a man as he!"
    And girding his poniard, he follows after,
    To search out his enemy.

    The kinsmen then, on either side,
    In solemn conclave met,
    As a token forever and evermore--
    Some monument for to set,

    That the story might pass from mouth to mouth,
    While heav'n and earth shall stand;
    So they laid the maiden in the midst,
    And the champions on either hand.

    And I, when I hear the mournful tale,
    I melt into bitter tears,
    As though these lovers I never saw
    Had been mine own compeers.

_Mushimaro_.



THE GRAVE OF THE MAIDEN OF UNÁHI


    I stand by the grave where they buried
    The Maiden of Unáhi,
    Whom of old the rival champions
    Did woo so jealously.

    The grave should hand down through ages
    Her story for evermore,
    That men yet unborn might love her,
    And think on the days of yore.

    And so beside the causeway
    They piled up the bowlders high;
    Nor e'er till the clouds that o'ershadow us
    Shall vanish from the sky,

    May the pilgrim along the causeway
    Forget to turn aside,
    And mourn o'er the grave of the Maiden;
    And the village folk, beside,

    Ne'er cease from their bitter weeping,
    But cluster around her tomb;
    And the ages repeat her story,
    And bewail the Maiden's doom.

    Till at last e'en I stand gazing
    On the grave where she now lies low,
    And muse with unspeakable sadness
    On the old days long ago.

_Sakimaro_.

[Note.--The existence of the Maiden of Unáhi is not doubted by any of
the native authorities, and, as usual, the tomb is there (or said to
be there, for the present writer's search for it on the occasion of a
somewhat hurried visit to that part of the country was vain) to attest
the truth of the tradition. Ashinóya is the name of the village, and
Unáhi of the district. The locality is in the province of Setsutsu,
between the present treaty ports of Kobe and Osaka.]



THE MAIDEN OF KATSUSHIKA


    Where in the far-off eastern land
    The cock first crows at dawn,
    The people still hand down a tale
    Of days long dead and gone.

    They tell of Katsushika's maid,
    Whose sash of country blue
    Bound but a frock of home-spun hemp,
    And kirtle coarse to view;

    Whose feet no shoe had e'er confined,
    Nor comb passed through her hair;
    Yet all the queens in damask robes
    Might nevermore compare.

    With this dear child, who smiling stood,
    A flow'ret of the spring--
    In beauty perfect and complete,
    Like to the moon's full ring.

    And, as the summer moths that fly
    Towards the flame so bright,
    Or as the boats that deck the port
    When fall the shades of night,

    So came the suitors; but she said:--
    "Why take me for your wife?
    Full well I know my humble lot,
    I know how short my life."[136]

    So where the dashing billows beat
    On the loud-sounding shore,
    Hath Katsushika's tender maid
    Her home for evermore.

    Yes! 'tis a tale of days long past;
    But, listening to the lay,
    It seems as I had gazed upon
    Her face but yesterday.

_Anon_.



THE BEGGAR'S COMPLAINT[137]


    The heaven and earth they call so great,
    For me are mickle small;
    The sun and moon they call so bright,
    For me ne'er shine at all.

    Are all men sad, or only I?
    And what have I obtained--
    What good the gift of mortal life,
    That prize so rarely gained,[138]

    If nought my chilly back protects
    But one thin grass-cloth coat,
    In tatters hanging like the weeds
    That on the billows float--

    If here in smoke-stained, darksome hut,
    Upon the bare cold ground,
    I make my wretched bed of straw,
    And hear the mournful sound--

    Hear how mine aged parents groan,
    And wife and children cry,
    Father and mother, children, wife,
    Huddling in misery--

    If in the rice-pan, nigh forgot,
    The spider hangs its nest,[139]
    And from the hearth no smoke goes up
    Where all is so unblest?

    And now, to make our wail more deep,
    That saying is proved true
    Of "snipping what was short before":--
    Here comes to claim his due,

    The village provost, stick in hand
    He's shouting at the door;--
    And can such pain and grief be all
    Existence has in store?

_Stanza_

    Shame and despair are mine from day to day;
    But, being no bird, I cannot fly away.

_Anon._



A SOLDIER'S REGRETS ON LEAVING HOME


    When _I left_ to keep guard on the frontier
    (For such was the monarch's decree),
    My mother, with skirt uplifted,[140]
    Drew near and fondled me;

    And my father, the hot tears streaming
    His snow-white beard adown,
    Besought me to tarry, crying:--
    "Alas! when thou art gone,

    "When thou leavest our gate in the morning,
    No other sons have I,
    And mine eyes will long to behold thee
    As the weary years roll by;

    "So tarry but one day longer,
    And let me find some relief
    In speaking and hearing thee speak to me!"
    So wail'd the old man in his grief.

    And on either side came pressing
    My wife and my children dear,
    Fluttering like birds, and with garments
    Besprinkled with many a tear;

    And clasped my hands and would stay me,
    For 'twas so hard to part;
    But mine awe of the sovereign edict
    Constrained my loving heart.

    I went; yet each time the pathway
    O'er a pass through the mountains did wind,
    I'd turn me round--ah! so lovingly!--
    And ten thousand times gaze behind.

    But farther still, and still farther,
    Past many a land I did roam,
    And my thoughts were all thoughts of sadness,
    All loving, sad thoughts of home;--

    Till I came to the shores of Sumi,
    Where the sovereign gods I prayed,
    With off'rings so humbly offered--
    And this the prayer that I made:--

    "Being mortal, I know not how many
    The days of my life may be;
    And how the perilous pathway
    That leads o'er the plain of the sea,

    "Past unknown islands will bear me:--
    But grant that while I am gone
    No hurt may touch father or mother,
    Or the wife now left alone!"

    Yes, such was my prayer to the sea-gods;
    And now the unnumbered oars,
    And the ship and the seamen to bear me
    From breezy Naníha's shores,

    Are there at the mouth of the river:--
    Oh! tell the dear ones at home,
    That I'm off as the day is breaking
    To row o'er the ocean foam.

_Anon._

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 132: Such frantic demonstrations of grief are very
frequently mentioned in the early poetry, and sound strangely to those
who are accustomed to the more than English reserve of the modern
Japanese. Possibly, as in Europe, so in Japan, there may have been a
real change of character in this respect.]

[Footnote 133: The Mikado is meant. The feudal system did not grow up
till many centuries later.]

[Footnote 134: The N-á-h-i are sounded like our English word nigh, and
therefore form but one syllable to the ear.]

[Footnote 135: Anciently (and this custom is still followed in some
parts of Japan) the hair of female children was cut short at the neck
and allowed to hang down loosely till the age of eight. At twelve or
thirteen the hair was generally bound up, though this ceremony was
often frequently postponed till marriage. At the present day, the
methods of doing the hair of female children, of grown-up girls, and
of married women vary considerably.]

[Footnote 136: The original of this stanza is obscure, and the native
commentators have no satisfactory interpretation to offer.]

[Footnote 137: In the original the title is "The Beggar's Dialogue,"
there being two poems, of which that here translated is the second.
The first one, which is put into the mouth of an unmarried beggar, who
takes a cheerier view of poverty, is not so well fitted for
translation into English.]

[Footnote 138: Because, according to the Buddhist doctrine of
perpetually recurring births, it is at any given time more probable
that the individual will come into the world in the shape of one of
the lower animals.]

[Footnote 139: A literal translation of the Japanese idiom.]

[Footnote 140: The Japanese commentators are puzzled over the meaning
of the passage "with skirt uplifted, drew near and fondled me." To the
European mind there seems to be nothing obscure in it. The mother
probably lifted her skirt to wipe her eyes, when she was crying. It is
evidently a figurative way of saying that the mother was crying.]



LOVE SONGS

ON BEHOLDING THE MOUNTAIN

_Composed by the commander of the forces of the Mikado Zhiyomei_


    The long spring day is o'er, and dark despond
    My heart invades, and lets the tears flow down,
    As all alone I stand, when from beyond
    The mount our heav'n-sent monarch's throne doth crown.

    There breathes the twilight wind and turns my sleeve.
    Ah, gentle breeze! to turn, home to return,
    Is all my prayer; I cannot cease to grieve
    On this long toilsome road; I burn, I burn!

    Yes! the poor heart I used to think so brave
    Is all afire, though none the flame may see,
    Like to the salt-kilns there by Tsunu's wave,
    Where toil the fisher-maidens wearily.

_Anon_.



LOVE IS PAIN


    'Twas said of old, and still the ages say,
    "The lover's path is full of doubt and woe."
    Of me they spake: I know not, nor can know,
    If she I sigh for will my love repay.
    My heart sinks on my breast; with bitter strife
    My heart is torn, and grief she cannot see.
    All unavailing is this agony
    To help the love that has become my life.

_Anon_.



HITOMARO TO HIS MISTRESS


    Tsunu's shore, Ihámi's brine,
    To all other eyes but mine
    Seem, perchance, a lifeless mere,
    And sands that ne'er the sailor cheer.

    Ah, well-a-day! no ports we boast,
    And dead the sea that bathes our coast;
    But yet I trow the wingèd breeze
    Sweeping at morn across our seas,

    And the waves at eventide
    From the depths of ocean wide,
    Onward to Watadzu bear
    The deep-green seaweed, rich and fair;

    And like that seaweed gently swaying,
    Wingèd breeze and waves obeying,
    So thy heart hath swayed and bent
    And crowned my love with thy content.

    But, dear heart! I must away,
    As fades the dew when shines the day;
    Nor aught my backward looks avail,
    Myriad times cast down the vale,

    From each turn the winding road
    Takes upward; for thy dear abode
    Farther and still farther lies,
    And hills on hills between us rise.

    Ah! bend ye down, ye cruel peaks,
    That the gate my fancy seeks,
    Where sits my pensive love alone,
    To mine eyes again be shown!

_Hitomaro._



NO TIDINGS


    The year has come, the year has gone again,
    And still no tidings of mine absent love!
    Through the long days of spring all heaven above
    And earth beneath, re-echo with my pain.

    In dark cocoon my mother's silk-worms dwell;
    Like them, a captive, through the livelong day
    Alone I sit and sigh my soul away,
    For ne'er to any I my love may tell.

    Like to the pine-trees I must stand and pine,[141]
    While downward slanting fall the shades of night,
    Till my long sleeve of purest snowy white,
    With showers of tears, is steeped in bitter brine.

_Anon._



HOMEWARD


    From Kaminábi's crest
    The clouds descending pour in sheeted rain,
    And, 'midst the gloom, the wind sighs o'er the plain:--
      Oh! he that sadly press'd,
    Leaving my loving side, alone to roam
    Magami's des'late moor, has he reached home?

_Anon._



THE MAIDEN AND THE DOG


    As the bold huntsman on some mountain path
    Waits for the stag he hopes may pass that way,
    So wait I for my love both night and day:--
    Then bark not at him, as thou fearest my wrath.

_Anon_.



LOVE IS ALL


    Where in spring the sweetest flowers
    Fill Mount Kaminábi's bowers,
    Where in autumn dyed with red,
    Each ancient maple rears its head,
    And Aska's flood, with sedges lin'd,
    As a belt the mound doth bind:--
    There see my heart--a reed that sways,
    Nor aught but love's swift stream obeys,
    And now, if like the dew, dear maid,
    Life must fade, then let it fade:--
    My secret love is not in vain,
    For thou lov'st me back again.



HUSBAND AND WIFE


WIFE.--

    Though other women's husbands ride
    Along the road in proud array,
    My husband, up the rough hill-side,
    On foot must wend his weary way.

    The grievous sight with bitter pain
    My bosom fills, and many a tear
    Steals down my cheek, and I would fain
    Do aught to help my husband dear.

    Come! take the mirror and the veil,
    My mother's parting gifts to me;
    In barter they must sure avail
    To buy an horse to carry thee!

HUSBAND.--

    And I should purchase me an horse,
    Must not my wife still sadly walk?
    No, no! though stony is our course,
    We'll trudge along and sweetly talk.

_Anon._



HE COMES NOT


    He comes not! 'tis in vain I wait;
    The crane's wild cry strikes on mine ear,
    The tempest howls, the hour is late,
    Dark is the raven night and drear:--
        And, as I thus stand sighing,
        The snowflakes round me flying
    Light on my sleeve, and freeze it crisp and clear.

    Sure 'tis too late! he cannot come;
    Yet trust I still that we may meet,
    As sailors gayly rowing home
    Trust in their ship so safe and fleet.
        Though waking hours conceal him,
        Oh! may my dreams reveal him,
    Filling the long, long night with converse sweet!

_Anon_.



HE AND SHE


    HE.--To Hatsúse's vale I'm come,
          To woo thee, darling, in thy home;
          But the rain rains down apace,
          And the snow veils ev'ry place,
          And now the pheasant 'gins to cry,
          And the cock crows to the sky:--
            Now flees the night, the night hath fled,
            Let me in to share thy bed!

    SHE.--To Hatsúse's vale thou'rt come,
          To woo me, darling, in my home:--
          But my mother sleeps hard by,
          And my father near doth lie;
          Should I but rise, I'll wake her ear;
          Should I go out, then he will hear:--
            The night hath fled! it may not be,
            For our love's a mystery!

_Anon._



THE PEARLS


    Oh! he my prince, that left my side
      O'er the twain Lover Hills[142] to roam,
    Saying that in far Kíshiu's tide
      He'd hunt for pearls to bring them home.

    When will he come? With trembling hope
      I hie me on the busy street,
    To ask the evening horoscope,
      That straightway thus gives answer meet--

    The lover dear, my pretty girl,
      For whom thou waitest, comes not yet,
    Because he's seeking ev'ry pearl
      Where out at sea the billows fret.

    "He comes not yet, my pretty girl!
      Because among the riplets clear
    He's seeking, finding ev'ry pearl;
      'Tis that delays thy lover dear.

    "Two days at least must come and go,
      Sev'n days at most will bring him back;
    'Twas he himself that told me so:--
      Then cease, fair maid, to cry Alack!"

_Anon._



A DAMSEL CROSSING A BRIDGE


    Across the bridge, with scarlet lacquer glowing,
    That o'er the Katashiha's stream is laid,
    All trippingly a tender girl is going,
    In bodice blue and crimson skirt arrayed.
    None to escort her: would that I were knowing
    Whether alone she sleeps on virgin bed,
    Or if some spouse has won her by his wooing:--
    Tell me her house! I'll ask the pretty maid!

_Anon_.



SECRET LOVE


    If as my spirit yearns for thine
    Thine yearns for mine, why thus delay?
    And yet, what answer might be mine
      If, pausing on her way,
      Some gossip bade me tell
    Whence the deep sighs that from my bosom swell?

    And thy dear name my lips should pass,
    My blushes would our love declare;
    No, no! I'll say my longing was
      To see the moon appear
      O'er yonder darkling hill;
    Yet 'tis on thee mine eyes would gaze their fill.

_Anon_.



THE OMEN[143]


    Yes! 'twas the hour when all my hopes
    Seemed idle as the dews that shake
    And tremble in their lotus-cups
    By deep Tsurúgi's lake--
    'Twas then the omen said:--
      "Fear not! he'll come his own dear love to wed."
    What though my mother bids me flee
    Thy fond embrace? No heed I take;
    As pure, as deep my love for thee
    As Kiyosúmi's lake.
    One thought fills all my heart:--
      When wilt thou come no more again to part?

_Anon_.



A MAIDEN'S LAMENT


    Full oft he swore, with accents true and tender,
    "Though years roll by, my love shall ne'er wax old!"
    And so to him my heart I did surrender,
    Clear as a mirror of pure burnished gold;

    And from that day, unlike the seaweed bending
    To ev'ry wave raised by the summer gust,
    Firm stood my heart, on him alone depending,
    As the bold seaman in his ship doth trust.

    Is it some cruel god that hath bereft me?
    Or hath some mortal stol'n away his heart?
    No word, no letter since the day he left me,
    Nor more he cometh, ne'er again to part!

    In vain I weep, in helpless, hopeless sorrow,
    From earliest morn until the close of day;
    In vain, till radiant dawn brings back the morrow,
    I sigh the weary, weary nights away.

    No need to tell how young I am and slender--
    A little maid that in thy palm could lie:--
    Still for some message comforting and tender,
    I pace the room in sad expectancy.

_The Lady Sakanouhe_.



RAIN AND SNOW


    Forever on Mikáne's crest,
      That soars so far away,
    The rain it rains in ceaseless sheets,
      The snow it snows all day.

    And ceaseless as the rain and snow
      That fall from heaven above,
    So ceaselessly, since first we met,
      I love my darling love.

_Anon_.



MOUNT MIKASH


      Oft in the misty spring
    The vapors roll o'er Mount Mikash's crest,
    While, pausing not to rest,
    The birds each morn with plaintive note do sing.
      Like to the mists of spring
    My heart is rent; for, like the song of birds,
    Still all unanswered ring
    The tender accents of my passionate words.
      I call her ev'ry day
    Till daylight fades away;
    I call her ev'ry night
    Till dawn restores the light;--
    But my fond prayers are all too weak to bring
      My darling back to sight.

_Akahito._



EVENING


    From the loud wave-washed shore
      Wend I my way,
    Hast'ning o'er many a flow'r,
    At close of day--
      On past Kusaka's crest,
    Onward to thee,
    Sweet as the loveliest
      Flower of the lea!

_Anon._

[Note.--A note to the original says: "The name of the composer of the
above song was not given because he was of obscure rank," a reason
which will sound strange to European ears.]

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 141: The play in the original is on the word Matsu, which
has the double signification of "a pine-tree" and "to wait."]

[Footnote 142: Mount Lover and Mount Lady-love (Se-yama and Imo-yama)
in the province of Yamato.]

[Footnote 143: The reference in this song is to an old superstition.
It used to be supposed that the chance words caught from the mouths of
passers-by would solve any doubt on questions to which it might
otherwise be impossible to obtain an answer. This was called the
yufu-ura, or "evening divination," on account of its being practised
in the evening. It has been found impossible in this instance to
follow the original very closely.]



ELEGIES

ON THE DEATH OF THE MIKADO TENJI[144]

_By One of His Ladies_


    Alas! poor mortal maid! unfit to hold
    High converse with the glorious gods above,[145]
    Each morn that breaks still finds me unconsoled,
    Each hour still hears me sighing for thy love.

    Wert thou a precious stone, I'd clasp thee tight
    Around mine arm; wert thou a silken dress
    I'd ne'er discard thee, either day or night:--
    Last night, sweet love! I dreamt I saw thy face.



ON THE DEATH OF THE POET'S MISTRESS


    How fondly did I yearn to gaze
      (For was there not the dear abode
    Of her whose love lit up my days?)
      On Karu's often-trodden road.

    But should I wander in and out,
      Morning and evening ceaselessly,
    Our loves were quickly noised about,
      For eyes enough there were to see.

    So, trusting that as tendrils part
      To meet again, so we might meet,
    As in deep rocky gorge my heart,
      Unseen, unknown, in secret beat.

    But like the sun at close of day,
      And as behind a cloud the moon,
    So passed my gentle love away,
      An autumn leaf ta'en all too soon.

    When came the fatal messenger,
      I knew not what to say or do:--
    But who might sit and simply hear?
      Rather, methought, of all my woe.

    Haply one thousandth part might find
      Relief if my due feet once more,
    Where she so often trod, should wind
      Through Karu's streets and past her door.

    But mute that noise, nor all the crowd
      Could show her like, or soothe my care;
    So, calling her dear name aloud,
      I waved my sleeve in blank despair.

_Hitomaro_.



ELEGY ON THE POET'S WIFE


    The gulls that twitter on the rush-grown shore
    When fall the shades of night,
    That o'er the waves in loving pairs do soar
    When shines the morning light--
    'Tis said e'en these poor birds delight
    To nestle each beneath his darling's wing
              That, gently fluttering,
    Through the dark hours wards off the hoar-frost's might.

    Like to the stream that finds
    The downward path it never may retrace,
    Like to the shapeless winds,
    Poor mortals pass away without a trace:--
    So she I love has left her place,
    And, in a corner of my widowed couch,
    Wrapped in the robe she wove me,
              I must crouch,
    Far from her fond embrace.

_Nibi_.



ON THE DEATH OF PRINCE HINAMI


I

    When began the earth and heaven,
    By the banks of heaven's river[146]
    All the mighty gods assembled,
    All the mighty gods in council.
    And, for that her sov'reign grandeur
    The great goddess of the day-star
    Rul'd th' ethereal realms of heaven,
    Downward through the many-piled
    Welkin did they waft her grandson,
    Bidding him, till earth and heaven,
    Waxing old, should fall together,
    O'er the middle land of reed-plains,
    O'er the land of waving rice-fields,
    Spread abroad his power imperial.

II

    But not his Kiyomi's palace:--
    'Tis his sov'reign's, hers the empire;
    And the sun's divine descendant,
    Ever soaring, passeth upward
    Through the heav'n's high rocky portals.

III

    Why, dear prince, oh! why desert us?
    Did not all beneath the heaven,
    All that dwell in earth's four quarters,
    Pant, with eye and heart uplifted,
    As for heav'n-sent rain in summer,
    For thy rule of flow'ry fragrance,
    For thy plenilune of empire?
    Now on lone Mayúmi's hillock,
    Firm on everlasting columns,
    Pilest thou a lofty palace,
    Whence no more, when day is breaking,
    Sound thine edicts, awe-compelling.
    Day to day is swiftly gathered,
    Moon to moon, till e'er thy faithful
    Servants from thy palace vanish.

_Hitomaro_.



ON THE DEATH OF THE NUN RIGUWAÑ


    Ofttimes in far Corea didst thou hear
      Of our Cipango as a goodly land;
    And so, to parents and to brethren dear
      Bidding adieu, thou sailed'st to the strand
    Of these domains, that own th' imperial pow'r,
      Where glittering palaces unnumbered rise;
    Yet such might please thee not, nor many a bow'r
      Where village homesteads greet the pilgrim's eyes:--
    But in this spot, at Sahoyáma's base,
      Some secret influence bade thee find thy rest--
    Bade seek us out with loving eagerness,
      As seeks the weeping infant for the breast.
    And here with aliens thou didst choose to dwell,
      Year in, year out, in deepest sympathy;
    And here thou buildest thee an holy cell;
      And so the peaceful years went gliding by.
    But ah! what living thing mote yet avoid
      Death's dreary summons?--And thine hour did sound
    When all the friends on whom thine heart relied
      Slept on strange pillows on the mossy ground.
    So, while the moon lit up Kasuga's crest,
      O'er Sahogáha's flood thy corse they bore
    To fill a tomb upon yon mountain's breast,
      And dwell in darkness drear for evermore.
    No words, alas! nor efforts can avail:--
      Nought can I do, poor solitary child!
    Nought can I do but make my bitter wail,
      And pace the room with cries and gestures wild,
    Ceaselessly weeping, till my snowy sleeve
      Is wet with tears. Who knows? Perchance, again
    Wafted, they're borne upon the sighs I heave,
      On 'Arima's far distant heights to rain.

_Sakanouhe_.



ON THE POET'S SON FURUBI


    Sev'n are the treasures mortals most do prize,
      But I regard them not:--
    One only jewel could delight mine eyes--
      The child that I begot.

    My darling boy, who with the morning sun
      Began his joyous day;
    Nor ever left me, but with child-like fun
      Would make me help him play;

    Who'd take my hand when eve its shadows spread,
      Saying, "I'm sleepy grown;
    'Twixt thee and mother I would lay my head:--
      Oh! leave me not alone!"

    Then with his pretty prattle in mine ears,
      I'd lie awake and scan
    The good and evil of the coming years,
      And see the child a man.

    And, as the seaman trusts his bark, I'd trust
      That nought could harm the boy:--
    Alas! I wist not that the whirling gust
      Would shipwreck all my joy!

    Then with despairing, helpless hands I grasp'd
      The sacred mirror's[147] sphere;
    And round my shoulder I my garments clasp'd,
      And prayed with many a tear:--

    "'Tis yours, great gods, that dwell in heav'n on high,
      Great gods of earth! 'tis yours
    To heed, or heed not, a poor father's cry,
      Who worships and implores!"

    Alas! vain pray'rs, that more no more avail!
      He languished day by day,
    Till e'en his infant speech began to fail,
      And life soon ebbed away.

    Stagg'ring with grief I strike my sobbing breast,
      And wildly dance and groan:--
    Ah! such is life! the child that I caress'd
      Far from mine arms hath flown.



SHORT STANZA ON THE SAME OCCASION


    So young, so young! he cannot know the way:--
      On Hades' porter I'll a bribe bestow,
    That on his shoulders the dear infant may
      Be safely carried to the realms below.

_Attributed to Okura._

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 144: Died A.D. 671.]

[Footnote 145: Viz., with the departed and deified Mikado.]

[Footnote 146: The Milky Way.]

[Footnote 147: The part played by the mirror in the devotions of the
Japanese is carried back by them to a tale in their mythology which
relates the disappearance into a cavern of the Sun-goddess Amaterasu,
and the manner in which she was enticed forth by being led to believe
that her reflection in a mirror that was shown to her was another
deity more lovely than herself.]



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS

VIEW FROM MOUNT KAGO

_Composed by the Mikado Zhiyomei_


    Countless are the mountain-chains
    Tow'ring o'er Cipango's plains;
    But fairest is Mount Kago's peak,
    Whose heav'nward soaring heights I seek,
    And gaze on all my realms beneath--
    Gaze on the land where vapors wreath
    O'er many a cot; gaze on the sea,
    Where cry the sea-gulls merrily.
    Yes! 'tis a very pleasant land,
    Fill'd with joys on either hand,
    Sweeter than aught beneath the sky,
    Dear islands of the dragon-fly![148]



THE MIKADO'S BOW[149]


    When the dawn is shining,
    He takes it up and fondles it with pride;
    When the day's declining,
    He lays it by his pillow's side.
        Hark to the twanging of the string!
    This is the Bow of our great Lord and King!
    Now to the morning chase they ride,
    Now to the chase again at eventide:
        Hark to the twanging of the string!
    This is the Bow of our great Lord and King!

_Hashibito_.



SPRING AND AUTUMN


    When winter turns to spring,
    Birds that were songless make their songs resound,
    Flow'rs that were flow'rless cover all the ground;
    Yet 'tis no perfect thing:--
    I cannot walk, so tangled is each hill;
    So thick the herbs I cannot pluck my fill.
        But in the autumn-tide
    I cull the scarlet leaves and love them dear,
    And let the green leaves stay, with many a tear,
        All on the fair hill-side:--
    No time so sweet as that. Away! Away!
    Autumn's the time I fain would keep alway.

_Ohogimi._



SPRING


    When winter turns to spring,
    The dews of morn in pearly radiance lie,
    The mists of eve rise circling to the sky,
    And Kaminábi's thickets ring
    With the sweet notes the nightingale doth sing.

_Anon._



RECOLLECTIONS OF MY CHILDREN


      Ne'er a melon can I eat,
    But calls to mind my children dear;
      Ne'er a chestnut crisp and sweet,
    But makes the lov'd ones seem more near.
    Whence did they come, my life to cheer?
      Before mine eyes they seem to sweep,
      So that I may not even sleep.
    What use to me the gold and silver hoard?
      What use to me the gems most rich and rare?
      Brighter by far--aye! bright beyond compare--
    The joys my children to my heart afford!

_Yamagami-no Okura._



THE BROOK OF HATSÚSE


    Pure is Hatsúse mountain-brook--
    So pure it mirrors all the clouds of heaven;
    Yet here no fishermen for shelter look
    When sailing home at even:--
    'Tis that there are no sandy reaches,
    Nor sheltering beaches,
    Where the frail craft might find some shelt'ring nook.
    Ah, well-a-day! we have no sandy reaches:--
            But heed that not;
            Nor shelving beaches:--
            But heed that not!
    Come a-jostling and a-hustling
    O'er our billows gayly bustling:--
    Come, all ye boats, and anchor in this spot!

_Anon._



LINES TO A FRIEND


    Japan is not a land where men need pray,
    For 'tis itself divine:--
    Yet do I lift my voice in prayer and say:--
    "May ev'ry joy be thine!
    And may I too, if thou those joys attain,
    Live on to see thee blest!"
    Such the fond prayer, that, like the restless main,
    Will rise within my breast.

_Hitomaro._



A VERY ANCIENT ODE


    Mountains and ocean-waves
        Around me lie;
    Forever the mountain-chains
        Tower to the sky;
    Fixed is the ocean
        Immutably:--
    Man is a thing of nought,
        Born but to die!

_Anon._



THE BRIDGE TO HEAVEN[150]


    Oh! that that ancient bridge,
    Hanging 'twixt heaven and earth, were longer still!
    Oh! that yon tow'ring mountain-ridge
    So boldly tow'ring, tow'red more boldly still!
    Then from the moon on high
    I'd fetch some drops of the life-giving stream--
    A gift that might beseem
    Our Lord, the King, to make him live for aye!

_Anon._



ODE TO THE CUCKOO


    Nightingales built the nest
    Where, as a lonely guest,
    First thy young head did rest,
        Cuckoo, so dear!
    Strange to the father-bird,
    Strange to the mother-bird,
    Sounded the note they heard,
        Tender and clear.
    Fleeing thy native bow'rs,
    Bright with the silv'ry flow'rs,
    Oft in the summer hours
        Hither thou fliest;
    Light'st on some orange tall,
    Scatt'ring the blossoms all,
    And, while around they fall,
        Ceaselessly criest.
    Through, through the livelong day
    Soundeth thy roundelay,
    Never its accents may
        Pall on mine ear:--
    Come, take a bribe of me!
    Ne'er to far regions flee;
    Dwell on mine orange-tree,
        Cuckoo, so dear!

_Anon._



THE ASCENT OF MOUNT TSUKÚBA


    When my lord, who fain would look on
    Great Tsukúba, double-crested,
    To the highlands of Hitachi
    Bent his steps, then I, his servant,
    Panting with the heats of summer,
    Down my brow the sweat-drops dripping,
    Breathlessly toil'd onward, upward,
    Tangled roots of timber clutching.
    "There, my lord! behold the prospect!"
    Cried I, when we scaled the summit.
    And the gracious goddess gave us
    Smiling welcome, while her consort
    Condescended to admit us
    Into these, his sacred precincts,
    O'er Tsukúba, double-crested,
    Where the clouds do have their dwelling.
    And the rain forever raineth,
    Shedding his divine refulgence,
    And revealing to our vision
    Ev'ry landmark that in darkness
    And in shapeless gloom was shrouded;--
    Till for joy our belts we loosen'd,
    Casting off constraint, and sported.
    Danker now than in the dulcet
    Spring-time grew the summer grasses;
    Yet to-day our bliss was boundless.

_Anon._



COUPLET


    When the great men of old pass'd by this way,
    Could e'en their pleasures vie with ours to-day?

_Anon._

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 148: One of the ancient names of Japan, given to the country
on account of a supposed resemblance in shape to that insect. The
dragon-flies of Japan are various and very beautiful.]

[Footnote 149: The Mikado referred to is Zhiyomei, who died in A.D.
641.]

[Footnote 150: The poet alludes to the so-called Ama-no-Ukihashi, or
"floating bridge of heaven"--the bridge by which, according to the
Japanese mythology, the gods passed up and down in the days of old.]



SHORT STANZAS


I

    Spring, spring has come, while yet the landscape bears
      Its fleecy burden of unmelted snow!
      Now may the zephyr gently 'gin to blow,
    To melt the nightingale's sweet frozen tears.

_Anon._


II

    Amid the branches of the silv'ry bowers
      The nightingale doth sing: perchance he knows
      That spring hath come, and takes the later snows
    For the white petals of the plum's sweet flowers.[151]

_Sosei._


III

    Too lightly woven must the garments be--
      Garments of mist--that clothe the coming spring:--
      In wild disorder see them fluttering
    Soon as the zephyr breathes adown the lea.

_Yukihara._


IV

    Heedless that now the mists of spring do rise,
      Why fly the wild geese northward?--Can it be
    Their native home is fairer to their eyes,
      Though no sweet flowers blossom on its lea?

_Ise_.


V

    If earth but ceased to offer to my sight
      The beauteous cherry-trees when blossoming,
    Ah! then indeed, with peaceful, pure delight,
      My heart might revel in the joys of spring!

_Narihira._


VI

    Tell me, doth any know the dark recess
      Where dwell the winds that scatter the spring flow'rs?
      Hide it not from me! By the heav'nly pow'rs,
    I'll search them out to upbraid their wickedness!

_Sosei._


VII

    No man so callous but he heaves a sigh
      When o'er his head the withered cherry-flowers
      Come flutt'ring down.--Who knows? the spring's soft show'rs
    May be but tears shed by the sorrowing sky.

_Kuronushi._


VIII

    Whom would your cries, with artful calumny,
      Accuse of scatt'ring the pale cherry-flow'rs?
      'Tis your own pinions flitting through these bow'rs
    That raise the gust which makes them fall and die!

_Sosei._


IX

    In blossoms the wistaria-tree to-day
      Breaks forth, that sweep the wavelets of my lake:--
      When will the mountain cuckoo come and make
    The garden vocal with his first sweet lay?

_Attributed to Hitomaro._


X

    Oh, lotus leaf! I dreamt that the wide earth
      Held nought more pure than thee--held nought more true:--
      Why, then, when on thee rolls a drop of dew,
    Pretend that 'tis a gem of priceless worth?[152]

_Heñzeu._


XI

    Can I be dreaming? 'Twas but yesterday
      We planted out each tender shoot again;[153]
      And now the autumn breeze sighs o'er the plain,
    Where fields of yellow rice confess its sway.

_Anon._


XII

    A thousand thoughts of tender, vague regret,
      Crowd on my soul, what time I stand and gaze
    On the soft-shining autumn moon; and yet
      Not to me only speaks her silv'ry haze.

_Chisato._


XIII

    What bark impelled by autumn's fresh'ning gale
      Comes speeding t'ward me?--'Tis the wild geese arriv'n
      Across the fathomless expanse of Heav'n,
    And lifting up their voices for a sail!

_Anon._


XIV

_Autumn_

    The silv'ry dewdrops that in autumn light
      Upon the moors, must surely jewels be;
      For there they hang all over hill and lea,
    Strung on the threads the spiders weave so tight.

_Asayasu._


XV

_Autumn_

    The trees and herbage, as the year doth wane,
      For gold and russet leave their former hue--
    All but the wave-toss'd flow'rets of the main,
      That never yet chill autumn's empire knew.

_Yasuhide._


XVI

_Autumn_

    The dews are all of one pale silv'ry white:--
      Then tell me, if thou canst, oh! tell me why
      These silv'ry dews so marvellously dye
    The autumn leaves a myriad colors bright?

_Toshiyuki._


XVII

_Autumn_

    The warp is hoar-frost and the woof is dew--
      Too frail, alas! the warp and woof to be:--
    For scarce the woods their damask robes endue,
      When, torn and soiled, they flutter o'er the lea.

_Sekiwo._


XVIII

_Autumn_

    E'en when on earth the thund'ring gods held sway
      Was such a sight beheld?--Calm Tatsta's flood,
      Stain'd, as by Chinese art, with hues of blood,
    Rolls o'er Yamáto's peaceful fields away.

_Narihira._


XIX

_Winter_

    When falls the snow, lo! ev'ry herb and tree,
      That in seclusion through the wintry hours
      Long time had been held fast, breaks forth in flow'rs
    That ne'er in spring were known upon the lea.

_Tsurayuki._


XX

_Winter_

    When from the skies, that wintry gloom enshrouds,
      The blossoms fall and flutter round my head,
      Methinks the spring e'en now his light must shed
    O'er heavenly lands that lie beyond the clouds.

_Fukayabu._


XXI

_Congratulations_

    A thousand years of happy life be thine!
      Live on, my lord, till what are pebbles now,
      By age united, to great rocks shall grow,
    Whose venerable sides the moss doth line!

_Anon._


XXII

_Congratulations_[154]

    Of all the days and months that hurry by
      Nor leave a trace, how long the weary tale!
      And yet how few the springs when in the vale
    On the dear flow'rets I may feast mine eye!

_Okikaze._


XXIII

_Congratulations_

    If ever mortal in the days of yore
      By Heav'n a thousand years of life was lent,
    I wot not; but if never seen before,
      Be thou the man to make the precedent.

_Sosei._


XXIV

_Parting_

    Mine oft-reiterated pray'rs in vain
      The parting guest would stay: Oh, cherry-flow'rs!
      Pour down your petals, that from out these bow'rs
    He ne'er may find the homeward path again!

_Anon._


XXV

_Travelling_

    With roseate hues that pierce th' autumnal haze
      The spreading dawn lights up Akashi's shore;
      But the fair ship, alas! is seen no more:--
    An island veils it from my loving gaze.

_Attributed to Hitomaro._


XXVI

_Travelling_

    Miyako-bird! if not in vain men give
      Thy pleasing name, my question deign to hear:--
      And has she pass'd away, my darling dear,
    Or doth she still for Narihira live?

_Narihira._

       *       *       *       *       *


XXVIII

_Love_

    The barest ledge of rock, if but a seed
      Alight upon it, lets the pine-tree grow:--
    If, then, thy love for me be love indeed,
      We'll come together, dear; it must be so!

_Anon._


XXIX

_Love_

    There is on earth a thing more bootless still
      Than to write figures on a running stream:--
    And that thing is (believe me if you will)
      To dream of one who ne'er of you doth dream.

_Anon._

       *       *       *       *       *


XXXI

_Love_

    Since that first night when, bath'd in hopeless tears,
      I sank asleep, and he I love did seem
      To visit me, I welcome ev'ry dream,
    Sure that they come as heav'n-sent messengers.

_Komachi._


XXXII

_Love_

    Methinks my tenderness the grass must be,
      Clothing some mountain desolate and lone;
    For though it daily grows luxuriantly,
      To ev'ry mortal eye 'tis still unknown.

_Yoshiki._


XXXIII

_Love_

    Upon the causeway through the land of dreams
      Surely the dews must plentifully light:--
      For when I've wandered up and down all night,
    My sleeve's so wet that nought will dry its streams.

_Tsurayuki._


XXXIV

_Love_

    Fast fall the silv'ry dews, albeit not yet
      'Tis autumn weather; for each drop's a tear,
    Shed till the pillow of my hand is wet,
      As I wake from dreaming of my dear.

_Anon._


XXXV

_Love_

    I ask'd my soul where springs th' ill-omened seed
      That bears the herb of dull forgetfulness;[155]
    And answer straightway came:--Th' accursed weed
      Grows in that heart which knows no tenderness.

_Sosei._


XXXVI

_Elegies_[156]

    So frail our life, perchance to-morrow's sun
      May never rise for me. Ah! well-a-day!
      Till comes the twilight of the sad to-day,
    I'll mourn for thee, O thou beloved one!

_Tsurayuki._


XXXVII

_Elegies_

    The perfume is the same, the same the hue
      As that which erst my senses did delight:--
    But he who planted the fair avenue
      Is here no more, alas! to please my sight!

_Tsurayuki._


XXXVIII

_Elegies_

    One thing, alas! more fleeting have I seen
      Than wither'd leaves driv'n by the autumn gust:--
      Yea, evanescent as the whirling dust
    Is man's brief passage o'er this mortal scene!

_Chisato._


XXXIX

    Softly the dews upon my forehead light:--
      From off the oars, perchance, as feather'd spray,
      They drop, while some fair skiff bends on her way
    Across the Heav'nly Stream[157] on starlit night.

_Anon._


XL

    What though the waters of that antique rill
      That flows along the heath, no more are cold;
      Those who remember what it was of old
    Go forth to draw them in their buckets still.

_Anon._


XLI[158]

    Old Age is not a friend I wish to meet;
      And if some day to see me he should come,
    I'd lock the door as he walk'd up the street,
      And cry, "Most honored sir! I'm not at home!"

_Anon_.


XLII[159]

    Yes, I am old; but yet with doleful stour
      I will not choose to rail 'gainst Fate's decree.
      An' I had not grown old, then ne'er for me
    Had dawned the day that brings this golden hour.

_Toshiyuki._


XLIII[160]

    The roaring torrent scatters far and near
      Its silv'ry drops:--Oh! let me pick them up!
      For when of grief I drain some day the cup,
    Each will do service as a bitter tear.

_Yukihira._


XLIV

_Composed on beholding the cascade of Otoha on Mount Hiye_

    Long years, methinks, of sorrow and of care
      Must have pass'd over the old fountain-head
      Of the cascade; for, like a silv'ry thread,
    It rolls adown, nor shows one jet-black hair.

_Tadamine._


XLV

    If e'en that grot where thou didst seek release
      From worldly strife in lonesome mountain glen
      Should find thee sometimes sorrowful, ah! then
    Where mayest thou farther flee to search for peace?

_Mitsune._


XLVI[161]

    So close thy friendly roof, so near the spring,
      That though not yet dull winter hath gone hence,
      The wind that bloweth o'er our parting fence
    From thee to me the first gay flow'rs doth bring.

_Fukayabu._


XLVII

    If to this frame of mine in spring's first hour,
      When o'er the moor the lightsome mists do curl,
    Might but be lent the shape of some fair flower,
      Haply thou 'dst deign to pluck me, cruel girl!

_Okikaze._


XLVIII

    "Love me, sweet girl! thy love is all I ask!"
      "Love thee?" she laughing cries; "I love thee not!"
      "Why, then I'll cease to love thee on the spot,
    Since loving thee is such a thankless task!"

_Anon._


XLIX

    A youth once lov'd me, and his love I spurn'd.
      But see the vengeance of the pow'rs above
      On cold indiff'rence:--now 'tis I that love,
    And my fond love, alas! is not returned.

_Anon._


L

    Beneath love's heavy weight my falt'ring soul
      Plods, like the packman, o'er life's dusty road.
    Oh! that some friendly hand would find a pole
      To ease my shoulders of their grievous load!

_Anon._

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 151: The plum-tree, cherry-tree, etc., are in Japan
cultivated, not for their fruit, but for their blossoms. Together with
the wistaria, the lotus, the iris, the lespedeza, and a few others,
these take the place which is occupied in the West by the rose, the
lily, the violet, etc.]

[Footnote 152: The lotus is the Buddhist emblem of purity, and the
lotus growing out of the bud is a frequent metaphor for the heart that
remains unsullied by contact with the world.]

[Footnote 153: The transplanting of the rice occupies the whole rural
population during the month of June, when men and women may all be
seen working in the fields, knee-deep in water. The crops are gathered
in October.]

[Footnote 154: This ode was composed on beholding a screen presented
to the Empress by Prince Sadayasu at the festival held in honor of her
fiftieth birthday, whereon was painted a man seated beneath the
falling cherry blossoms and watching them flutter down.]

[Footnote 155: The "Herb of Forgetfulness" answers in the poetical
diction of the Japanese to the classical waters Lethe.]

[Footnote 156: It is the young poet Ki-no-Tomonori who is mourned in
this stanza.]

[Footnote 157: The Milky Way.]

[Footnote 158: This stanza is remarkable for being (so far as the
present writer is aware) the only instance in Japanese literature of
that direct impersonation of an abstract idea which is so very
strongly marked a characteristic of Western thoughts and modes of
expression.]

[Footnote 159: Composed on the occasion of a feast at the palace.]

[Footnote 160: One of a number of stanzas composed by a party of
courtiers who visited the cascade of Nunobiki, near the site of the
modern treaty-port of Kobe.]

[Footnote 161: This stanza was composed and sent to the owner of the
neighboring house on the last day of winter, when the wind had blown
some snow across from it into the poet's dwelling.]

       *       *       *       *       *



THE DRAMA OF JAPAN

[_Selected Plays, translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain_]



NAKAMITSU


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ


MITSUNAKA, Lord of the Horse to the Emperor Murakami.

BIJIYAU, Son of Mitsunaka, and still a boy.

NAKAMITSU, retainer of Mitsunaka.

KAUZHIYU, son of Nakamitsu, and foster-brother of Bijiyau.

WESHIÑ, Abbot of the great monastery on Mount Hiyei, near Kiyauto
(Miaco).

The Chorus.

Scene.--The Temple of Chiynuzañzhi, and my Lord Mitsunaka's palace in
Kiyauto.

Time.--Early in the Tenth Century.



NAKAMITSU

PART I

Scene I.--Near the Monastery of Chiynuzañzhi


_Enter Nakamitsu._

NAKAMITSU.--I am Nakamitsu, a man of the Fujihara clan, and retainer
of Mitsunaka, Lord of Tada in the land of Setsushiu. Now you must know
that my lord hath an only son, and him hath he sent to a certain
monastery amid the mountains named Chiynuzañzhi, while I, too, have a
son called Kauzhiyu, who is gone as page to young my lord. But young
my lord doth not condescend to apply his mind unto study, loving
rather nothing so well as to spend from morn to night in quarrelling
and disturbance. Wherefore, thinking doubtless to disinherit young my
lord, my lord already this many a time, hath sent his messengers to
the temple with summons to return home to Kiyauto. Nevertheless, as he
cometh not, me hath he now sent on the same errand.

[_The above words are supposed to be spoken during the journey, and
Nakamitsu now arrives at the monastery[162]._]

Prithee! is any within?

KAUZHIYU.--Who is it that deigneth to ask admittance?

NAKAMITSU.--What! Is that Kauzhiyu? Tell young my lord that I have
come to fetch him home.

KAUZHIYU.--Your commands shall be obeyed. [_He goes to his master's
apartment._] How shall I dare address my lord? Nakamitsu is come to
fetch my lord.

BIJIYAU.--Call him hither.

KAUZHIYU.--Your commands shall be obeyed. [_He returns to the outer
hall and addresses his father._] Condescend to come this way.
           [_They go to Bijiyau's apartment._

NAKAMITSU.--It is long since I was last here.

BIJIYAU.--And what is it that hath now brought thee?

NAKAMITSU.--'Tis that my lord, your father, hath sent me to bid your
lordship follow me home without delay.

BIJIYAU.--Shall I, then, go without saying anything to the priests, my
preceptors?

NAKAMITSU.--Yes; if the priests be told, they will surely wish to see
your lordship on the way, whereas, my lord, your father's commands
were, that I alone was to escort you.

BIJIYAU.--Then we will away.

NAKAMITSU.--Kauzhiyu! thou, too, shalt accompany thy master.

KAUZHIYU.--Your commands shall be obeyed.

    [_They depart from the temple, and arrive at Mitsunaka's palace._

NAKAMITSU.--How shall I dare address my lord? I have brought hither
his lordship Bijiyau.

MITSUNAKA.--Well, Bijiyau! my only reason for sending thee up to the
monastery was to help thy learning; and I would fain begin, by hearing
thee read aloud from the Scriptures.
    And with these words, and bidding him read on,
    He lays on ebon desk before his son
    The sacred text, in golden letters writ.

BIJIYAU.--But how may he who never bent his wit
    To make the pencil trace Asaka's[163] line
    Spell out one letter of the book divine?
    In vain, in vain his sire's behest he hears:--
    Nought may he do but choke with idle tears.

MITSUNAKA.--Ah! surely 'tis that, being my child, he respecteth the
Scriptures too deeply, and chooseth not to read them except for
purposes of devotion. What of verse-making, then?

BIJIYAU.--I cannot make any.

MITSUNAKA.--And music?      [_Bijiyau makes no answer._

MITSUNAKA.--What! no reply? Hast lost thy tongue, young fool?

CHORUS.--Whom, then, to profit wentest thou to school?
    And can it be that e'en a father's word,
    Like snow that falling melts, is scarcely heard,
    But 'tis unheeded? Ah! 'twill drive me wild
    To point thee out to strangers as my child!
    No sooner said, than out the scabbard flies
    His trusty sword, and with fierce flashing eyes
    Forward he darts; but rushing in between,
    Good Nakamitsu checks the bloody scene--
    Firm, though respectful, stays his master's arm,
    And saves the lad from perilous alarm.

NAKAMITSU.--Good my lord, deign to be merciful this once!

MITSUNAKA.--Why stayed'st thou my hand? Haste thou now and slay
Bijiyau with this my sword.

NAKAMITSU.--Your commands shall be obeyed. [_He retires into another
apartment._] What is this horror unutterable? 'Tis no mere passing fit
of anger. What shall I do?--Ah! I have it! I have it! I will take upon
myself to contrive some plan for his escape. Kauzhiyu, Kauzhiyu, art
thou there?

KAUZHIYU.--Behold me at thy service.

NAKAMITSU.--Where is my lord Bijiyau?

KAUZHIYU.--All my prayers have been unavailing to make him leave this
spot.

NAKAMITSU.--But why will he not seek refuge somewhere? Here am I come
from my lord, his father, as a messenger of death!     [_Bijiyau shows
himself._

BIJIYAU.--That I am alive here at this moment is thy doing. But
through the lattice I heard my father's words to thee just now.
    Little imports it an' I die or live,
    But 'tis for thee I cannot choose but grieve
    If thou do vex thy lord: to avert his ire
    Strike off my head, and show it to my sire!

NAKAMITSU.--My lord, deign to be calm! I will take upon myself to
contrive some plan for your escape.--What! say you a messenger hath
come? My heart sinks within me.--What! another messenger?

    [_These are messengers from Mitsunaka to ask whether his orders be not
    yet carried into execution_.

NAKAMITSU.--Alas! each joy, each grief we see unfurl'd
    Rewards some action in a former world.

KAUZHIYU.--In ages past thou sinned;

BIJIYAU.--And to-day

CHORUS.--Comes retribution! think not then to say
    'Tis others' fault, nor foolishly upbraid
    The lot thyself for thine own self hast made.
    Say not the world's askew! with idle prate
    Of never-ending grief the hour grows late.
    Strike off my head! with many a tear he cries,
    And might, in sooth, draw tears from any eyes.[164]

NAKAMITSU.--Ah! young my lord, were I but of like age with thee, how
readily would I not redeem thy life at the cost of mine own! Alas!
that so easy a sacrifice should not be possible!

KAUZHIYU.--Father, I would make bold to speak a word unto thee.

NAKAMITSU.--What may it be?

KAUZHIYU.--'Tis, father, that the words thou hast just spoken have
found a lodgment in mine ears. Thy charge, truly, is Mitsunaka; but
Mitsunaka's son is mine. This, if any, is a great occasion, and my
years point to me as of right the chief actor in it. Be quick! be
quick! strike off my head, and show it to Mitsunaka[165] as the head
of my lord Bijiyau!

NAKAMITSU.--Thou'st spoken truly, Nakamitsu cries,
    And the long sword from out his scabbard flies,
    What time he strides behind his boy.

BIJIYAU.--But no!
    The youthful lord on such stupendous woe
    May never gaze unmov'd; with bitter wail
    The father's sleeve he clasps. Nought may 't avail,
    He weeping cries, e'en should the deed be done,
    For I will slay myself if falls thy son.

KAUZHIYU.--But 'tis the rule--a rule of good renown--
    That for his lord a warrior must lay down
    His lesser life.

BIJIYAU.--          But e'en if lesser, yet
    He, too, is human; neither shouldst forget
    What shame will e'er be mine if I survive

NAKAMITSU.--Alas! alas! and 'tis for death they strive!

KAUZHIYU.--Me deign to hear.

BIJIYAU.--No! mine the truer word!

NAKAMITSU.--Ah! this my child!

KAUZHIYU.--And there behold thy lord!

NAKAMITSU.--Betwixt the two see Nakamitsu stand:--

CHORUS.--His own brave life, an' 'twere his lord's command,
    Were freely giv'n; but now, in sore dismay,
    E'en his fierce courage fades and droops away.

BIJIYAU.--Why heed a life my sire himself holds cheap?
    Nought may thy pity do but sink more deep
    My soul in wretchedness.

KAUZHIYU.--Mistake me not!
    Think not 'tis pity moves me; but a blot
    The martial honor of our house will stain,
    If, when I might have bled, my lord be slain.

CHORUS.--On either side 'tis infancy that pleads.

NAKAMITSU.--And yet how well they've learnt where duty leads!

CHORUS.--Dear is thy lord!

NAKAMITSU.--And mine own child how dear!

CHORUS.--But Nakamitsu knows full well that ne'er,
    To save the child his craven heart ador'd,
    Warrior yet dar'd lay hands upon his lord.
    He to the left, the trembling father cries,
    Was sure my boy, nor lifts his tear-stain'd eyes:--
    A flash, a moment, the fell sabre gleams,
    And sends his infant to the land of dreams.[166]

NAKAMITSU.--Oh, horror unutterable! to think that I should have slain
mine own innocent child! But I must go and inform my lord. [_He goes
to Mitsunaka's apartment._ How shall I dare to address my lord? I
have slain my lord Bijiyau according to your commands.

MITSUNAKA.--So thou hast killed the fellow? I trow his last moments
were those of a coward. Is it not true?

NAKAMITSU.--Not so, my lord. As I stood there aghast, holding in my
hand the sword your lordship gave me, your son called out, "Why doth
Nakamitsu thus delay?" and those were the last words he was pleased to
utter.

MITSUNAKA.--As thou well knowest, Bijiyau was mine only child. Go and
call thy son Kauzhiyu, and I will adopt him as mine heir.

NAKAMITSU.--Kauzhiyu, my lord, in despair at being separated from
young my lord, hath cut off his locks,[167] and vanished none knows
whither.
    I, too, thy gracious license would obtain.
    Hence to depart, and in some holy fane
    To join the priesthood.

MITSUNAKA.--Harsh was my decree,
    Yet can I think what thy heart's grief must be
    That as its own my recreant child receiv'd,
    And now of both its children is bereav'd.
    But 'tis a rule of universal sway
    That a retainer ever must obey.

CHORUS.--Thus would my lord, with many a suasion fond,
    Have rais'd poor Nakamitsu from despond.
    Nor eke himself, with heart all stony hard,
    Might, as a father, ev'ry pang discard:--
    Behold him now, oh! lamentable sight!
    O'er his own son perform the fun'ral rite.



PART II

Scene I.--Mitsunaka's Palace


_Some time is supposed to have elapsed, and Weshiñ, abbot of the
monastery on Mount Hiyei, comes down from that retreat to Mitsunaka's
palace in the capital, bringing with him Bijiyau, who had been
persuaded by Nakamitsu to take refuge with the holy man._

WESHIÑ.--I am the priest Weshiñ, and am hastening on my way to my lord
Mitsunaka's palace, whither certain motives guide me. [_They arrive at
the gate and he cries out_:] I would fain crave admittance.

NAKAMITSU.--Who is it that asks to be admitted? Ah! 'tis his
reverence, Weshiñ.

WESHIÑ.--Alas, for poor Kauzhiyu!

Nakamitsu.--Yes; but prithee speak not of this before his lordship.
[_He goes to Mitsunaka's apartment._] How shall I venture to address
my lord? His reverence, Weshiñ, hath arrived from Mount Hiyei.

MITSUNAKA.--Call him hither.

Nakamitsu.--Your commands shall be obeyed. [_He goes to the room where
Weshiñ is waiting, and says_:] Be pleased to pass this way.

    [_They enter Mitsunaka's apartment._

MITSUNAKA.--What may it be that has brought your reverence here
to-day?

WESHIÑ.--'Tis this, and this only. I come desiring to speak to your
lordship anent my lord Bijiyau.

MITSUNAKA.--Respecting him I gave orders to Nakamitsu, which orders
have been carried out.

WESHIÑ.--Ah! my lord, 'tis that, 'tis that I would discourse of. Be
not agitated, but graciously deign to give me thine attention while I
speak. Thou didst indeed command that my lord Bijiyau's head should
be struck off. But never might Nakamitsu prevail upon himself to lay
hands on one to whom, as his lord, he knew himself bound in reverence
through all the changing scenes of the Three Worlds.[168] Wherefore he
slew his own son, Kauzhiyu, to save my lord Bijiyau's life. And now
here I come bringing Bijiyau with me, and would humbly supplicate thee
to forgive one who was so loved that a man hath given his own son in
exchange for him.[169]

MITSUNAKA.--Then he was a coward, as I thought! Wherefore, if Kauzhiyu
was sacrificed, did he, too, not slay himself?

WESHIÑ.--My lord, put all other thoughts aside, and if it be only as
an act of piety towards Kauzhiyu's soul--curse not thy son!

CHORUS.--As thus the good man speaks,
    Tears of entreaty pour adown his cheeks.
    The father hears, and e'en his ruthless breast,
    Soft'ning at last, admits the fond request,
    While Nakamitsu, crowning their delight,
    The flow'ry wine brings forth, and cups that might
    Have served the fays: but who would choose to set
    Their fav'rite's bliss that, home returning, wet
    His grandson's grandson's still remoter line,
    Beside the joy that doth itself entwine
    Round the fond hearts of father and of son,
    Parted and now in the same life made one?

WESHIÑ.--Prithee, Nakamitsu, wilt thou not dance and sing to us
awhile, in honor of this halcyon hour?

    [_During the following song Nakamitsu dances._

NAKAMITSU.--Water-bird, left all alone
    Now thy little mate hath flown,
    On the billows to and fro
    Flutter, flutter, full of woe!

CHORUS.--Full of woe, so full of woe,
    Flutter, flutter, full of woe!

NAKAMITSU.--Ah! if my darling were but here to-day
    I'd make the two together dance and play
    While I beat time, and, gazing on my boy,
    Instead of tears of grief, shed tears of joy!

CHORUS.--Behold him weep!

NAKAMITSU.--But the gay throng perceive
    Nought but the rhythmic waving of my sleeve.

CHORUS.--Hither and thither, flutt'ring in the wind.

NAKAMITSU.--Above, beneath, with many a dewdrop lin'd!

CHORUS.--Ah, dewy tears! in this our world of woe
    If any stay, the friends he loves must go:--
    Thus 'tis ordain'd, and he that smiles to-day
    To-morrow owns blank desolation's sway.
    But now 'tis time to part, the good priest cries--
    Him his disciple follows, and they rise;
    While Nakamitsu walking in their train,
    The palanquin escorts; for he would fain
    Last counsel give: "Beware, young lord, beware!
    Nor cease from toilsome study; for if e'er
    Thy sire again be anger'd, all is lost!"
    Then takes his leave, low bending to the dust.
    Forward they're borne; but Nakamitsu stays,
    Watching and weeping with heart-broken gaze,
    And, mutely weeping, thinks how ne'er again
    He'll see his child borne homeward o'er the plain.



ABSTRACTION

[_The Japanese title is "Za-zeñ"._]


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

A HUSBAND.

HIS WIFE.

TARAUKUWAZHIYA, their servant.



ABSTRACTION

Scene I.--A Room in a Private House in Kiyauto


HUSBAND.--I am a resident in the suburbs of the metropolis. On the
occasion of a recent journey down[170] East, I was served (at a
tea-house) in the post-town of Nogami, in the province of Mino, by a
girl called Hana, who, having since then heard of my return to the
capital, has followed me up here, and settled down at Kita-Shira-kaha,
where she expects me this evening according to a promise made by
letter. But my vixen of a wife has got scent of the affair and thus
made it difficult for me to go. So what I mean to do is to call her,
and tell her some pretty fable that may set me free. Halloo! halloo!
are you there, pray? are you there?

WIFE.--So it seems you are pleased to call me. What may it be that
makes you thus call me?

HUSBAND.--Well, please to come in.

WIFE.--Your commands are obeyed.

HUSBAND.--My reason for calling you is just simply this: I want to
tell you how much my spirits have been affected by continual dreams
that I have had. That is why I have called you.

WIFE.--You are talking rubbish. Dreams proceed from organic
disturbance, and do not come true; so pray don't trouble your head
about them.

HUSBAND.--What you say is quite correct. Dreams, proceeding as they do
from organic disturbance, do not come true nine times out of ten.
Still, mine have affected my spirits to such an extent, that I think
of making some pilgrimage or other to offer up prayers both on your
behalf and on my own.

WIFE.--Then where shall you go?

HUSBAND.--I mean (to say nothing of those in the metropolis and in the
suburbs) to worship at every Shiñtau shrine and every Buddhist temple
throughout the land.

WIFE.--No, no! I won't allow you to go out of the house for a single
hour. If you are so completely bent upon it, choose some devotion that
can be performed at home.

HUSBAND.--Some devotion to be performed at home? What devotion could
it be?

WIFE.--Burning incense on your arm or on your head.[171]

HUSBAND.--How thoughtlessly you do talk! What! is a devotion like that
to suit _me_--a layman if ever there was one?

WIFE.--I won't tolerate any devotion that cannot be performed at home.

HUSBAND.--Well, I never! You _are_ one for talking at random. Hang it!
what devotion shall it be? [_He reflects a few moments._] Ah! I have
it! I will perform the devotion of abstraction.

WIFE.--Abstraction? What is that?

HUSBAND.--Your want of familiarity with the term is but natural. It is a
devotion that was practised in days of old by Saint Daruma[172]--(blessings
on him!) you put your head under what is called the "abstraction blanket,"
and obtain salvation by forgetting all things past and to come--a most
difficult form of devotion.

WIFE.--About how long does it take?

HUSBAND.--Well, I should say about a week or two.

WIFE.--That won't do, either, if it is to last so many days.

HUSBAND.--Then for how long would my darling consent to it without
complaining?

WIFE.--About one hour is what I should suggest; but, however, if you
can do it in a day, you are welcome to try.

HUSBAND.--Never, never! This important devotion is not a thing to be
so easily performed within the limits of a single day. Please, won't
you grant me leave for at least a day and a night?

WIFE.--A day and a night?

HUSBAND.--Yes.

WIFE.--I don't much relish the idea; but if you are so completely bent
upon it, take a day and a night for your devotion.

HUSBAND.--Really and truly?

WIFE.--Really and truly.

HUSBAND.--Oh! that is indeed too delightful! But I have something to
tell you: know then, that if a woman so much as peep through a chink,
to say nothing of her coming into the actual room where the devotee is
sitting, the spell of the devotion is instantly broken. So be sure not
to come to where I am.

WIFE.--All right. I will not come to you. So perform away.

HUSBAND.--Well, then, we will meet again after it shall have been
happily accomplished.

WIFE.--I shall have the pleasure of seeing you when it is over.

HUSBAND AND WIFE.--Good-by! good-by!      [_She moves away._

HUSBAND.--I say!

WIFE.--What is it?

HUSBAND.--As I mentioned before, mind you don't come to me. We have
the Buddhist's warning words: "When there is a row in the kitchen, to
be rapt in abstraction is an impossibility."[173] So whatever you do,
do not come to me.

WIFE.--Please feel no uneasiness. I shall not think of intruding.

HUSBAND.--Well, then, we shall meet again when the devotion is over.

WIFE.--When it is done, I shall have the pleasure of seeing you.

HUSBAND AND WIFE.--Good-by! Good-by!

HUSBAND [_laughing_].--What fools women are, to be sure! To think of
the delight of her taking it all for truth, when I tell her that I am
going to perform the religious devotion of abstraction for one whole
day and night! Taraukuwazhiya, are you there? halloo?

SERVANT.--Yes, sir!

HUSBAND.--Are you there?

SERVANT.--At your service.

HUSBAND.--Oh! you have been quick in coming.

SERVANT.--You seem, master, to be in good spirits.

HUSBAND.--For my good spirits there is a good reason. I have made, as
you know, an engagement to go and visit Hana this evening. But as my
old woman has got scent of the affair, thus making it difficult for me
to go, I have told her that I mean to perform the religious devotion
of abstraction for a whole day and night--a very good denial, is it
not? for carrying out my plan of going to see Hana!

SERVANT.--A very good device indeed, sir.

HUSBAND.--But in connection with it, I want to ask you to do me a good
turn. Will you?

SERVANT.--Pray, what may it be?

HUSBAND.--Why, just simply this: it is that I have told my old woman
not to intrude on my devotions; but, being the vixen that she is, who
knows but what she may not peep and look in? in which case she would
make a fine noise if there were no semblance of a religious practice
to be seen; and so, though it is giving you a great deal of trouble, I
wish you would oblige me by taking my place until my return.

SERVANT.--Oh! it would be no trouble; but I shall get such a scolding
if found out, that I would rather ask you to excuse me.

HUSBAND.--What nonsense you talk! Do oblige me by taking my place; for
I will not allow her to scold you.

SERVANT.--Oh sir! that is all very well; but pray excuse me for this
time.

HUSBAND.--No, no! you must please do this for me; for I will not so
much as let her point a finger at you.

SERVANT.--Please, please let me off!

HUSBAND.--Gracious goodness! The fellow heeds what my wife says, and
won't heed what I say myself! Do you mean that you have made up your
mind to brave me?

    [_Threatening to beat him._

SERVANT.--Oh! I will obey.

HUSBAND.--No, no! you mean to brave me!

SERVANT.--Oh no, sir! surely I have no choice but to obey.

HUSBAND.--Really and truly?

SERVANT.--Yes, really and truly.

HUSBAND.--My anger was only a feint. Well, then, take my place,
please.

SERVANT.--Yes, to be sure; if it is your desire, I will do so.

HUSBAND.--That is really too delightful. Just stop quiet while I set
things to rights for you to sit in abstraction.

SERVANT.--Your commands are laid to heart.

HUSBAND.--Sit down here.

SERVANT.--Oh! what an unexpected honor!

HUSBAND.--Now, then; I fear it will be uncomfortable, but oblige me by
putting your head under this "abstraction blanket."

SERVANT.--Your commands are laid to heart.

HUSBAND.--Well, it is scarcely necessary to say so; but even if my old
woman should tell you to take off the abstraction blanket, be sure not
to do so until my return.

SERVANT.--Of course not. I should not think of taking it off. Pray
don't be alarmed.

HUSBAND.--I will be back soon.

SERVANT.--Please be good enough to return quickly.

HUSBAND.--Ah! that is well over! No doubt Hana is waiting impatiently
for me. I will make haste and go.

WIFE.--I am mistress of this house. I perfectly understood my partner
the first time he asked me not to come to him on account of the
religious devotion which he was going to perform. But there is
something suspicious in his insisting on it a second time with a
"Don't come to look at me! don't come to look at me!" So I will just
peep through some hidden corner, and see what the thing looks like.
[_Peeping._] What's this? Why, it seems much more uncomfortable than I
had supposed! [_Coming in and drawing near._] Please, please; you told
me not to come to you, and therefore I had intended not to do so; but
I felt anxious, and so I have come. Won't you lift off that
"abstraction blanket," and take something, if only a cup of tea, to
unbend your mind a little? [_The figure under the blanket shakes its
head._] You are quite right. The thought of my being so disobedient
and coming to you after the care you took to tell me not to intrude
may justly rouse your anger; but please forgive my rudeness, and do
please take that blanket off and repose yourself, do! [_The figure
shakes its head again._] You may say no again and again, but I _will_
have it off. You _must_ take it off. Do you hear? [_She pulls it off,
and Taraukuwazhiya stands exposed._] What! you, you rascal? Where has
my old man gone? Won't you speak? Won't you speak?

SERVANT.--Oh! I know nothing.

WIFE.--Oh! how furious I am! Oh! how furious I am! Of course he must
have gone to that woman's house. Won't you speak? Won't you speak? I
shall tear you in pieces?

SERVANT.--In that case, how can I keep anything from you? Master has
walked out to see Miss Hana.

WIFE.--What! _Miss_ Hana, do you say? Say, _Minx_, say _Minx_.
Gracious me, what a rage I am in! Then he really has gone to Hana's
house, has he?

SERVANT.--Yes, he really has gone there.

WIFE.--Oh! when I hear he has gone to Hana's house, I feel all ablaze,
and oh! in such a passion! oh! in such a passion!      [_She bursts out
crying._

SERVANT.--Your tears are but natural.

WIFE.--Ah! I had meant not to let you go if you had kept it from me.
But as you have told the truth I forgive you. So get up.

SERVANT.--I am extremely grateful for your kindness.

WIFE.--Now tell me, how came you to be sitting there?

SERVANT.--It was master's order that I should take his place; and so,
although it was most repugnant to me, there was no alternative but for
me to sit down, and I did so.

WIFE.--Naturally. Now I want to ask you to do me a good turn. Will
you?

SERVANT.--Pray, what may it be?

WIFE.--Why, just simply this: you will arrange the blanket on top of
me just as it was arranged on the top of you; won't you?

SERVANT.--Oh! your commands ought of course to be laid to heart; but I
shall get such a scolding if the thing becomes known, that I would
rather ask you to excuse me.

WIFE.--No, no! I will not allow him to scold you; so you must really
please arrange me.

SERVANT.--Please, please, let me off this time.

WIFE.--No, no! you must arrange me, as I will not so much as let him
point a finger at you.

SERVANT.--Well, then, if it comes to my getting a scolding, I count on
you, ma'am, as an intercessor.

WIFE.--Of course. I will intercede for you; so do you please arrange
me.

SERVANT.--In that case, be so good as to sit down here.

WIFE.--All right.

SERVANT.--I fear it will be uncomfortable, but I must ask you to put
your head under this.

WIFE.--Please arrange me so that he cannot possibly know the
difference between us.

SERVANT.--He will never know. It will do very nicely like this.

WIFE.--Will it?

SERVANT.--Yes.

WIFE.--Well, then! do you go and rest.

SERVANT.--Your commands are laid to heart.

    [_He moves away._

WIFE.--Wait a moment, Taraukuwazhiya!

SERVANT.--Yes, ma'am.

WIFE.--It is scarcely necessary to say so, but be sure not to tell him
that it is I.

SERVANT.--Of course not, I should not think of telling him.

WIFE.--It has come to my ears that you have been secretly wishing for
a purse and silk wrapper.[174] I will give you one of each which I
have worked myself.

SERVANT.--I am extremely grateful for your kindness.

WIFE.--Now be off and rest.

SERVANT.--Yes, ma'am.

    _Enter husband, singing as he walks along the road._

     Why should the lonely sleeper heed
      The midnight bell, the bird of dawn?
    But ah! they're sorrowful indeed
      When loosen'd was the damask zone.

    Her image still, with locks that sleep
      Had tangled, haunts me, and for aye;
    Like willow-sprays where winds do sweep,
      All tangled too, my feelings lie.

As the world goes, it rarely happens even with the most ardent secret
love; but in my case I never see her but what I care for her more and
more:--

    'Twas in the spring-time that we first did meet,
    Nor e'er can I forget my flow'ret sweet.

Ah well! ah well! I keep talking like one in a dream, and meantime
Taraukuwazhiya is sure to be impatiently awaiting me. I must get home.
How will he have been keeping my place for me? I feel a bit uneasy.
[_He arrives at his house._] Halloo! halloo! Taraukuwazhiya! I'm back!
I'm back! [_He enters the room._] I'm just back. Poor fellow! the time
must have seemed long to you. There now! [_Seating himself._] Well, I
should like to tell you to take off the "abstraction blanket"; but you
would probably feel ashamed at being exposed.[175] Anyhow I will
relate to you what Hana said last night if you care to listen. Do you?
[_The figure nods acquiescence._] So you would like to? Well, then,
I'll tell you all about it: I made all the haste I could, but yet it
was nearly dark before I arrived; and I was just going to ask
admittance, my thoughts full of how anxiously Hana must be waiting for
me in her loneliness, saying, perhaps, with the Chinese poet[176]:--

    He promised but he comes not, and I lie on my pillow in the fifth
        watch of the night:--
    The wind shakes the pine trees and the bamboos; can it be my beloved?

when there comes borne to me the sound of her voice, humming as she
sat alone:--

    "The breezes through the pine trees moan,
      The dying torch burns low;
    Ah me! 'tis eerie all alone!
      Say, will he come or no?"

So I gave a gentle rap on the back door, on hearing which she cried
out: "Who's there? who's there?" Well, a shower was falling at the
time. So I answered by singing:--

    Who comes to see you Hana dear,
      Regardless of the soaking rain?
    And do your words, Who's there, who's there?
      Mean that you wait for lovers twain?

to which Hana replied:--

    "What a fine joke! well, who can tell?
      On such a dark and rainy night
    Who ventures out must love me well,
      And I, of course, must be polite,
      And say: Pray sir, pass this way."

And, with these words, she loosened the ring and staple with a
cling-a-ring, and pushed open the door with a crick-a-tick; and while
the breeze from the bamboo blind poured towards me laden with the
scent of flowers, out she comes to me, and, "At your service, sir,"
says she, "though I am but a poor country maid." So in we went, hand
in hand, to the parlor. But yet her first question, "Who's there?" had
left me so doubtful as to whether she might not be playing a double
game, that I turned my back on her, and said crossly that I supposed
she had been expecting a number of lovers, and that the thought quite
spoiled my pleasure. But oh! what a darling Hana is! Coming to my side
and clasping tight my hand, she whispered, saying:

    "If I do please you not, then from the first
    Better have said that I do please you not;
    But wherefore pledge your troth, and after turn
    Against me? Alas! alas!

"Why be so angry? I am playing no double game." Then she asked why I
had not brought you, Taraukuwazhiya, with me; and on my telling her
the reason why you had remained at home, "Poor fellow!" said she, "how
lonely he must be all by himself! Never was there a handier lad at
everything than he, though doubtless it is a case of the mugwort
planted among the hemp, which grows straight without need of twisting,
and of the sand mixed with the mud, which gets black without need of
dyeing,[177] and it is his having been bound to you from a boy that
has made him so genteel and clever. Please always be a kind master to
him." Yes, those are the things you have said of you when Hana is the
speaker. As for my old vixen, she wouldn't let as much fall from her
mug in the course of a century, I'll warrant! [_Violent shaking under
the blanket._] Then she asked me to pass into the inner room to rest
awhile. So in we went to the inner room, hand in hand. And then she
brought out wine and food, and pressed me to drink, so that what with
drinking one's self, and passing the cup to her, and pressing each
other to drink, we kept feasting until quite far into the night, when
at her suggestion another room was sought and a little repose taken.
But soon day began to break, and I said I would go home. Then Hana
exclaimed:--

    "Methought that when I met thee, dearest heart!
    I'd tell thee all that swells within my breast:--
    But now already 'tis the hour to part,
    And oh! how much still lingers unexpress'd!

Please stay and rest a little longer!" "But no!" said I, "I must get
home. All the temple-bells are a-ringing." "And heartless priests they
are," cried she, "that ring them! Horrid wretches to begin their
ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong, when it is still the middle of the
night!" But for all her entreaties, and for all my own regrets, I
remembered that "meeting is but parting," and,

    Tearing me loose, I made to go; farewell!
    Farewell a thousand times, like ocean sands
    Untold! and followed by her distant gaze
    I went; but as I turn'd me round, the moon,
    A slender rim, sparkling remain'd behind,
    And oh! what pain it was to me to part!

[_He sheds tears._] And so I came home. Oh! isn't it a pity? [_Weeping
again._] Ah well! out of my heart's joy has flamed all this long
history, and meanwhile you must be very uncomfortable. Take off that
"abstraction blanket." Take it off, for I have nothing more to tell
you. Gracious goodness! what a stickler you are! Well, then! I must
pull it off myself. I _will_ have it off, man! do you hear me?

    [_He pulls off the blanket, and up jumps his wife._

WIFE.--Oh! how furious I am! Oh! how furious I am! To hoax me and go
off to Hana in that manner!

HUSBAND.--Oh! not at all, not at all! I never went to Hana. I have
been performing my devotions, indeed I have.

WIFE.--What! so he means to come and tell me that he has been
performing his devotions? and then into the bargain to talk about
"things the old vixen would never have let drop"! Oh! I'm all ablaze
with rage! Hoaxing me and going off--where? Going off where?

    [_Pursuing her husband round the stage._

HUSBAND.--Not at all, not at all! I never said anything of the kind.
Do, do forgive me! do forgive me!

WIFE.--Oh! how furious I am! Oh! how furious I am! Where have you
been, sir? where have you been?

HUSBAND.--Well, then! why should I conceal it from you? I have been to
pray both for your welfare and for my own at the Temple of the Five
Hundred Disciples[178] in Tsukushi.

WIFE.--Oh! how furious I am! Oh! how furious I am! as if you could
have got as far as the Five Hundred Disciples!

HUSBAND.--Do, do forgive me! Do forgive me!

WIFE.--Oh! how furious I am! Oh! how furious I am!

    [_The husband runs away._

Where's the unprincipled wretch off to? Is there nobody there? Please
catch him! I won't let him escape! I won't let him escape!

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 162: The reader will call to mind the extreme simplicity
which distinguishes the method of representing the Japanese lyric
dramas. In accordance with this simplicity, all the changes of place
mentioned in the text are indicated merely by a slight movement to and
fro of the actors upon the stage.]

[Footnote 163: It is said that in antiquity an ode commencing with the
name of Mount Asaka was the first copybook put into the hands of
children. The term is therefore now used as the "Pillow-word" for
learning to write.]

[Footnote 164: The doctrine of retribution set forth in the above
lines is a cardinal point of the Buddhist teaching; and, as the
afflicted Christian seeks support in the expectation of future rewards
for goodness, so will the pious Buddhist find motives for resignation
in the consideration of his present sufferings as the consequence of
sins committed in past stages of existence.]

[Footnote 165: A little further on, Kauzhiyu says it is a "rule" that
a retainer must lay down his life for his lord. Though it would be
difficult to find either in the Buddhist or in the Confucian teaching
any explicit statement of such a duty, it is nevertheless true that
the almost frantic loyalty of the mediæval and modern Japanese was but
the natural result of such teaching domiciled amid a feudal society.
We may see in this drama the whole distance that had been traversed by
the Japanese mind since the time of the "Mañyefushifu" poets, whose
means of life and duty were so much nearer to those of the simply
joyous and unmoral, though not immoral, children of nature.]

[Footnote 166: Literally, "turns his child into a dream."]

[Footnote 167: During the Middle Ages it was very usual for afflicted
persons to renounce secular life, the Buddhist tonsure being the
outward sign of the step thus taken.]

[Footnote 168: The Past World, the Present World, and the World to
Come. According to the Buddhist teaching, the relations subsisting
between parents and children are for one life only; those between
husband and wife are for two lives; while those uniting a servant to
his lord or a disciple to his master endure for the space of three
consecutive lives.]

[Footnote 169: This sentence, which so strangely reminds us of John
iii., 16, is, like all the prose passages of these dramas, a literal
rendering of the Japanese original.]

[Footnote 170: In Japan, as in England, it is usual to talk of going
"up" to the capital and "down" to the country.]

[Footnote 171: A form of mortification current in the Shiñgoñ sect of
Buddhists.]

[Footnote 172: Bôdhidharma, the first Buddhist Patriarch of China,
whither he came from India in A.D. 520. He is said to have remained
seated in abstraction gazing at a wall for nine years, till his legs
rotted off. His name is, in Japan, generally associated with the
ludicrous. Thus certain legless and shapeless dolls are called after
him, and snow-figures are denominated Yuki-daruma (Snow Daruma).]

[Footnote 173: Needless to say that no such text exists.]

[Footnote 174: Used for carrying parcels, and for presenting anything
to, and receiving anything from, a superior. The touch of the
inferior's hand would be considered rude.]

[Footnote 175: The meaning is that, as one of the two must be under
the blanket in readiness for a possible visit from the wife, the
servant would doubtless feel it to be contrary to their respective
positions for him to take his ease outside while his master is sitting
cramped up inside--a peculiarly uncomfortable position, moreover, for
the teller of a long story.]

[Footnote 176: The lines are in reality a bad Japanese imitation of
some in a poem by Li Shang-Yin.]

[Footnote 177: Proverbial expressions.]

[Footnote 178: Properly, the Five Hundred "Arhân," or personal
disciples of Sâkya. The island of Tsukushi forms the southwestern
extremity of Japan.]





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