This estimate, however, contains no allowance for empties, repairs, insurance, etc., so that the loss to the rates would be considerably more than 5s. 9d.

It is not suggested that a system identical in all its details would be suitable for this country; but the Irish system, in its broad outlines and as laid down in the Boscawen Bill, is the solution we must seek.

One important point of difference between an Irish and an English scheme would be in the rental to be charged for the cottage. In Ireland the rentals vary from 9d. to 1s. 3d.; in England a rental of 2s. 6d. could conceivably be charged. If we apply such a rental to the balance-sheet quoted above we get the following result:

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We see that, whereas there is a deficit on an Irish scheme of 5s. 9d. at a rental of 1s. 3d., there would be a balance of 21. 15s. 10d. on an English scheme at a rental of 2s. 6d.

This balance should about cover other outgoings, as empties, repairs, etc. So that under a scheme such as is here outlined, there should be no burden whatsoever upon the rates.

Loans to the extent of 8,000,000l. have already been granted to Ireland for housing purposes, and at the present moment the annual charge in respect of the 36 per cent. grant is 81,3361. It has lately been estimated that 100,000 additional cottages are required to meet the dearth in rural England, and on this basis an annual loss of 208,000l. would fall upon the Exchequer if the Irish terms were adhered to. This expenditure would really be one of the soundest investments that the country could possibly embark upon, for it is almost impossible to over-estimate the advantages of good and ample housing accommodation in our villages.

Farmers complain that they are unable to find a sufficiency of good labour; expert ploughmen, hedgers, and ditchers are by no means easy to obtain. No one disputes the gravity of the decline in our agricultural population, and it now seems evident that this fact is intimately connected with the lack of cottage accommodation. Not only are the cottages too few, but many of the existing ones are very poor. The labourer of the present day is no longer

I take 1787. 58. as the cost of land and building; this being the average price given in the White Paper (No. 293) issued by the Local Government Board in May.

content to live as his forefathers did. Small wonder that he becomes discontented with his surroundings, and ends by emigrating to the towns or to the Colonies.

It is true that no immediate benefit would result to the taxpayer from the erection of additional cottages, but the ultimate benefit to the State cannot be over-estimated-a benefit financial, physical, and moral. Bad conditions of housing must necessarily be a financial burden upon the State; they are responsible to a very large degree for the periodic epidemics that rage in our villages, prostrating both rich and poor alike, and every one of these epidemics is a financial loss. The moral effects are self-evident. You cannot crowd people of both sexes and all ages into two small bedrooms, and then expect them to conduct themselves according to the ordinary standards of morality which are attained by people living under proper conditions.

The whole question of rural housing is one which is in urgent need of settlement. If cottages cannot be built without the imposition of further burdens on the rates, then the Exchequer must come to the rescue. If the local authorities cannot shoulder the burden-and it is evident that they cannot-the State must step in. It has done so in Ireland, and if rural life is ever to be revived, must do so in England. The sooner the system of State grants is adopted the better for us. There is now a Bill before Parliament which embodies this remedy, and which-if given fresh facilities-will soon remedy this canker at the heart of the nation.




Two or three friends of mine in Japan have joined in sending me the Japanese drama books from time to time since last two years. Now I believe I have collected almost all the famous dramas in Japan. It has been my habit to read them when I was laid in my ill-bed, and whenever I read these dramas I am always struck with all sorts of sentiment.

In my very early age while I was in Japan, I often went to the theatres. But I was too young to understand those compli cated dramas. Only I used to pick up a few dialogues here and there, which I can still remember and recite. Now, reading the whole pieces of those dramas, I can seize their full constructions, which contain many familiar verses to my ears. It is one of my greatest pleasures to let my recollections go back more than twenty years ago and understand the plays thoroughly at last. Sometimes I feel I can see those actors' expressions and movements and hear their voices clearly. However, let me now not only be in such a dreaming pleasure, but step forward to criticise those dramas in Japan.

When the dramatists had splendid historical materials they could display their fluent verses upon our beautiful Bushido and the deepest taste in humanity. Now let me quote a few parts.


The Scene. The little cottage of Sabro Ise who, under an assumed name, Gōemon is doing the surgical treatment to support his dying mother, with his wife.

Many patients called on him and they all had Gōemon's service, such as washing the wounds, and bandaging etc. etc. And now they are all gone. Sabro Ise peeping into his mother's room whispers to his wife-' Mother is honourably sleeping fast and all the patients are gone. We are quite alone now. So tell me once more that story you told me last night. If that was true the murderer of my father is not our honourable Lord

Yoshitsune. O, how glad I am! For I can fulfil my duty of vengeance without any difficulty.


'But who was the assassin then? Could you not find out any clue to the assassin from your conversation with Suruga?' (one of the subjects of Yoshitsune).

The Wife. No, nothing whatever! Suruga has identified all the victims with whom our honourable Lord Yoshitsune had a fight thirteen years ago. Your father was not in that list. That was all that I learnt from him!

Sabro Ise. How very unfortunate am I, not to be able to find my father's enemy. It is just like to grasp the cloud. Now shall I be able to find ..

[A STRANGER comes to the door. He is a tall and

handsome Samurai.

The Stranger. Is the famous surgeon Gōemon in?

[THE WIFE goes to the door. The Wife. Yes, my lord. Fortunately my husband is at home.


The Stranger. Ah, you are Dr. Goemon? Under some circumstance I cannot disclose my own name to you. But will you be good enough to have your surgical treatment upon the wound I received last night?

Sabro Ise. It is my intention, especially at this warsome time, to cure everybody-enemies as well as my kinsmen-therefore you need not tell me your name. Now let me see your


The Stranger. Thanks for your honourable martyrdom.

[He undresses his left shoulder. Sabro Ise examines the wound.

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Sabro lse. Um! The wound is very slight. But it was done with a very blunt sword. You must feel a great pain. Never mind, my lord, it will be cured quite soon. Nyobo (the equivalent to the English dear,' to call the wife) bring up all the instruments and some plaster. O, I see another old wound just an inch underneath! This is different from the new wound! Evidently it was cut deeply with a superior sword. You must have suffered very much.

The Stranger. Ah, about that old wound, I suffered very much because I was a Ronin (a fugitive) at that time and I could not afford to get the treatment of any professional surgeon.

Sabro Ise. How have you received such a wound then? If you were a Ronin, perhaps you have committed some crime. Were you a robber? or a thief? or a murderer?

1 At that time in Japan it was our national law that the children of the murdered man should take revenge on the murderer.

The Stranger. Well, Doctor, it is rather an awkward predicament for me to be asked so many questions. I feel I should tell you the truth all about that wound now.

It was about thirteen years ago when the red flags of the tyrannical Taira families were waving flourishingly all over the country. They banished my honourable master to the eastern boundary and confiscated all the lands which belonged to us. Then I myself alone went up to Kioto (the Metropolis) to detect the movement of Taira. It was just the Spring-blossom season and Munemori, the inheritor of the autocratic Taira, was going to have the most luxurious picnic with his favourite woman, Yuya. I thought it was a splendid chance to assassinate him. I hid myself in that gloomy bamboo bush of Rokuhara to wait his return journey. Then there was a man. I thought he must be a detective sent by that suspicious Taira family. So I attacked him with my sword at once. He was a good fighter and he attacked me too. Now you see this wound is what I received from his sword. However, I killed him without much difficulty. But afterwards I found him to be an old man over sixty, and there were a bow and arrows beside him. Alas! I recognised that he too was my own kinsman, the survivor of Minamoto (the White Flag family), who went there for the exactly same purpose with me, to assassinate Munemori.

I wept! I lamented! And I grieved, but it was too late. Then hundreds of the Taira's guards were marching toward me with their brilliant red lanterns. I knew it would give a great diffi culty to me if I and that dead corpse were found out by them. Therefore I dragged the corpse in a great haste and put it near the Gojo bridge where I heard some one was fighting. Quite lately I heard that the fighter was our honourable Lord YoshitBut of course I did not know that then, and I did it only

for the temporary device.

Now everything is changed. The tyrannical Taira families have been annihilated and our glorious White Flags are governing all over the country. I have no-one to be afraid of. However, the world is always too curious. Therefore I pray thee not to tell this story to anybody else.

Sabro Ise. Rest assured, My Lord, I shall not repeat it to anybody. But what is your name, anyhow?

The Stranger. My name is Sho-shun Tosabo.

[SABRO ISE draws his sword at once. Sabro Ise. Sho-shun Tosabo, you shall not escape from my sword. You are my father's enemy.

[SABRO ISE strikes Tosabo with his sword which the latter parries with his sheathed sword in his haste.

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