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ticism or interpretation, will ever divert from their proper purpose and ineaning.
Mr. Wilson's Inquiry is one of the fairest and most temperate publications which we have seen on the subject wbich it brings under discussion : he does justice to the opinions of his opponents, and treats them with respectful attention, wisely concluding that misrepresentation and the use of irritating language are not required for the service of truth. We have only further to express our wish that more care had been employed in preparing the present work for the public, wbich wish the Author may consider as intended to serve his own interests by suggesting the necessity of a complete revisal of the Inquiry, should a second edition be demanded.
Art. VIII. Narrative of my Captivity in Japan, during the Years
1811,1812, and 1813. With Observations on the Country and the People. By Captain Golownin, R. N. To which is added, an Account of Voyages to the Coasts of Japan; and of Negociations with the Japanese for the Release of the Author and his Com
panions. By Captain Rickord, 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1818. ** W ITH regard to nations not less than individuals, it must
always be agreeable to a benevolent mind to have prejudices remover!, and to exchange an unfavourable opinion for a favourable one. There is, perhaps, no country against which Europeans entertain more dislike and suspicion than Japan. Except, indeed, to the Dutch, whose uniform policy has been either to conceal or to misrepresent, the Japanese are a people almost unkoown. The timidity of character which is in them a far more striking feature than the cruelty of which' it has sometimes given them the appearance, has induced them to seclude theinselves from almost every advantage of commerce, lest it should likewise subject them to innovations in" their habits, or to the discovery of their weakness. Although the field of Captain Golownin's' observations was unavoidably very limited, yet, from the peculiarity of his situation, he was brought into much nearer contact with the Japanese, than he would have been under circumstances, which might have commanded more of the shew of respect, but would, at the same time, have induced more of their characteristic dissimulation and reserve. His Narrative is written in an unaffected style, and the simplicity which pervades it has the appearance of being the simplicity of truth. He professes to describe only what came within bis own observation and experience, and to report only what the saw with his own eyes.
Captain Golownin was in 1811 appointed by the Russian Government to the command of the Diana, imperial sloop of war, with orders to explore as minutely as possible, the southern
Kurile and Shantar Islands, and ihe coast of Tartary from la- litude 53° 381 north to Okotzk. The object of his destination
was one which had at different periods awakened the curiosity , and excited the enterprising spirit of the most celebrated na. vigators, among whom we may reckon our own countrymen
Gore and Broughton. The Japanese at this time manifested „so lit le inclination to return the advances which the Empress Catherine had made a few years before, with the view of gailuing their friendship, that they had not only forbidden a!! Russian vessels to touch at any of their ports, on pretence of either trade or negotiation, but had even ordered that in case of any of their own people being wrecked on the coasts of Russia, they should be conveyed back to their coun:ry in Dutch, and not Russian vessels. The causes of this dislike, wbich are detailed at some length, 'were such as 'rendered the utmost prudence and caution requisite oir Captain Golownin's part, in case of his being subjected to any intercourse with the
Japanese during his inspection of the islands under their dominion. It was not long before the excrcise of these qualilies was called for. By what might seem a fatality, he was ją. duced to send a boat towards the island of Eetoorpoo, imagining it to be inbabited by Kuriles, but perceiving this boat to be met by another from the shore, and fearful of the reception his people might meet with, he ran the sloop close into the shore, and hastened in another armed boat to their assistance. On landing, be, to bis great surprise, saw Mr. Moor, the midshipman, upder whose command the first boat had been sent out, in conversation with some Japanese, and was still more concerned to hear that these Japanese had sent the Russian Kuriles, who it appeared, bad been accidentally cast on the island a year before, and detained prisoners there froin that time, to meet the boat, and entreat those who were in it pot to set foot on shore. Captain Golownin, on hearing this, justly reprimanded Mr. Moor for his rashness in persisting in his original destination witbout turning back to cousult bis superior officer. The young man excused himself by alleging that such conduct might, he feared, have been imputed to cowardice. From this over-tenderness for his own reputation, sprang all the calamities which subsequently befel himself, as well as bis commander. After much prevarication on the part of the Japanese, and the hairy Kuriles, an appellation by the bye, which does not convey an idea very flattering to the personal vanity of any tribe of the human species, the Russians sailed from Eetoorpoo, accompanied by a Kurile of the name of Alexei Maxiinovitsch, who engaged to act as their interpreter among the Kuriles and Japanese. By the advice of (bis person, they afterwards, being fearful of wanting provisions, them they would meet with safe anchorage, and a fortified willage which could supply them with wood, water, rice, and
fresh roots. • Captain Golownin, being desirous of examining the harbour
of Kuñaschin, as well as the channel which separates that island from Matsmai, which has never bitherto been described by European navigators, willingly acceded to this proposal, but he procoeded with the greatest caution, in order that he might pot alarm the Japanese, who on the first approach of the vessel shewed every disposition towards hostility and dislike. After
an intercourse of signs and negotiations somewbat minutely * describedl, he was at last induced to go on shore to confer with
the Governor, who sent biin an invitation for that purpose, and who met him in a manner which he most likely thought would convince the Russian Captain of the importance of the
personage with whom he had the bonour to be admitted to - converse. He appeared completely armed, and accompanied
by two soldiers, one of whom carried bis long spear, and the - other his cap and helmet, which was adorned with the figuro
of the moon. In addition to these outward signs of dignity, he assumed a demeanour, intended, we may presume, to be
.''. His eyes were cast down and fixed upon the earth, his hands
pressed close against his sides ; hc besides proceeded at so slow a - pace, that he scarcely extended one foot, beyond the other, and kept
his feet as wide apart, as though a stream of water bad been running betwixt them. Vol. I p. 61.
During the interview with this slow-walking personage, many circumstances occurred, whicha ought to have put Captain Golownin on bis guard; but it seemed as if he ivas deterinined to oppose Russian credulity to Japanese suspicion,--the most Task confidence to che most cautious artifice. Another in vita, tion was given by the Governor, and accepted; in a fatal moment
the Captain landed with Mr. Moor, the midshipman, Mr. Chleb- nikoff, the pilot, the Kurile Alexei, and four able seamen.
An interesting account of their receptioy follows; but in its very
outset there was enough to aların any one who possessed ' ordinary penetration.. inis ini .
Das "On entering the castle.gale, I was astonished at the number of men I saw assembled there. Of soldiers alone, I observed from three to four hundred, armed with muskets, bows and arrows, and spears, ' sitting in a circle; in an open space tụ the right of the gate : on the left, a countless multitude of Kuriles surrounded a tent of striped cotton cloth, erected about thirty paces from the gate. I never could , haye supposed this small insignificant place capable of containing so many men, and concluded that they must have been collected from
all the neighbou ring garrisons since we appeared in the harbour.' Vol.l. p. 69.
Still wo suspicions were awakened in the breast of the wortby Captain, who, to avoid the very appearance of distrust on his pari, bad orelered the boat which had brought him, to be bauled op on the shore, uniil it was half out of the water, leaving only one sailor with it ; nor could even the information given him by Alr. Moor, that naked sahres were distributing among the soliliers, who were sitting in the open space, convey to him ały idea beyond that of two or three having been accidentally drawn out of their sheaths. His eyes were not opened, till on his irritiry concerning a supply of provisions, a hostage was demanded while a message on the subject should be sent to the Governor of Mats nai, under whose jurisdiction the Governor of Kunaschin cunsidered himself. To this proposal, Captain Golownin replied, that lie could say nothing, without consulting the officers who remained on board the Diana: he then rose to go away, upon which, the Governor suddenly altering the tone of his voice, broke firib into a loud and velemnent speeclı, in which lie made frequent mention of certain Russians, who bad a few years before committed several wanton injuries on the Japanese coasts, in burning their villages, and destroying their provisions, and accompanied his words with striking several times on bis sabre.
• In this manner, he made a long speech, of which the terrified Alexei interpreted to us only the following sentence : ” the Governor says, that it he lets a single one of us out of the castle, his own bawels will be ript up." This was brief and decisive! We instantly made all the haste we could to escape. The Japanese did not venture to close upon us, but set up a loud cry, and threw oars, and large pieces pt wool at us to knock us down. On our reaching the gate, they tired several times on uis, but without effect, though one of their balls whistled past the head of Mr. Chlebnikoff. We now found that they had succeeded in detaining Mr. Moor, the sailor Makaroff, and our Kurile Alexei in the castle We ran, however, to our landing place; but on arrivias there, perceived with horror, tbat the tide had ebbed, ahout five fat!:oms, and left the strand quite dry. As the Japanese saw that it was impossible for us to get the boat afloat, and had previously ascertained that it contained no arms, they became confident, advanced against us with drawn sabres, which they held in both binds, inuskets, and spears, and surrounded us beside the boat. I cast a look upon the boat, and said to inyself:-It must be so ;-our Last reiige is lost; our fuie is unavoidable; I surrendered. The Japanese seized me by the arms and conducted me to the castle, into which ny unfortunate companions were also conveyed. On the way thither a soldier struck me several times on the shoulder with a small irna bar,, but one of the officers said something to him, accompanied with a look of displeasure, and he inmediately discontinued.' Vol. I. p. 74.
$83 There is something not a little ludicrouis in the idca of several hundreds of Japanese and Kuriles assembled together to seize seven Russians, and yet not venturing to come into contact with thein, until they had ascertained that they were without means of either flight or defence. 'In the same spirit of cowardice, when they had got their prisoners in their power, we find thein binding them with small cords, as carefully as the Lilliputiaos fastened down the Man-Mountain, and even in this state, they were deemed objects of sufficient Terror to require conductors fully armed, and an inspection of their bonds every quarter of an hour. Much that appeared cruelty to the Russians on their first acquaintance with the Japanese, proved, lowever, on a farther intercourse, to be only the effect of that excessive caution' which is the offspring of timidity and ignorance. On ascending a bill in their way to the place of their final destination, these unfortunate men beheld their séssel uoder sail, upon which Chlebnikoff, who, however, never suffered either murmur or reproach to break from his lips, exclaimed • Wassly Michailovitsch ! take a last look of our Diana!' It is impossible not to sympathize in the feelings which these words awakened in Captain Golownin, who in addition to every other cause of anxiety, suffered all the torments of self-reproach and ineffectual regret, under the thought that his own misfortunes, and those of his companions, were all attributed to his ill-judged confidence in the Japanese. Nothing, however, could be more honourable and generous, than the manner in which they uniformly acted towards their comivauder and each other, with the exception of Mr. Moor, who, there can be little doubt, acted under the influence of an intellect disordered by long confinement. · The Japanese are represented as having treatel their prisoners with a delicacy and kindness, well worthy of imitation jo more refined countries. During a long march, every attestion was paid to their comfort, except in regard to the tightness of the higatures which were considered as requisite to their safe keeping. Every accidental manifestation of abuse of power, or undue curiosity, was immediately reprimanded and repressed by those who were superior in command. When any thing of an unpleasant nature was to be communicateil, it was always, we are told, preceded by the addition of some little delicacy to their hill of fare, as if to testify their disposition to initigate it as far as lay in their power. After a journey of nearly a moutlı, altended by inuch personal suberius and fatigne, our travellers arrived at the city of Chakodade, on the outskirts of which they were met by vast numbers of old and young, of both sexes.