Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
April 4th, 1889
Grand Hotel, Yokohama, Japan
My Beloved Angee,
A mail from Europe via America is delivered here today and I quite expected my letters by it, but none have arrived, so I conclude they will come by the other route via the straits of China. I left Kobe on Monday last the 1st at Noon by a Japanese coasting steamer and reached this port on Tuesday evening the 2nd at about 7. The Captain and Officers were English which I was glad to see and there were only two other saloon passengers – American lady missionaries. The weather on leaving Kobe harbour was about as unpropitious as it could well be – very cold and wet and a falling glass, but the sea was not rough during the afternoon and the sight of the mountainous coast was very fine – we passed two volcanoes that were active and earthquakes are common enough as you are aware – we had a slight shock here yesterday. Well as the evening came on we found the sea rising and I certainly never had such an experience in the way of rolling before and the continued groans of my missionary friends during the night out of the depths of their sufferings poor creatures and I was very sick too and it was pretty hard work altogether for everything moveable in the way of my baggage kept up a continual skirmish and defied all our efforts to keep them in their place. We were all able to appreciate the smooth water as we drew near to Yokohama and the Captain said he had never known the ship to roll so much before. The weather continues a raw cold, cloudy and wet most days and I am really wishing to get into the sunny climes once more as the cold seems to penetrate to one's vitals. I have been suffering a little from indigestion lately and pains about the liver part of my body at night similar to that experienced some years ago when I consulted Dr Clarke. This necessitates special care with the diet and I trust may soon pass again. The Japan I have heard so much about for its wonderful beauty has not come into view yet – it is rather too early and they are having a very cold spring. The business too is very poor compared with China so that I shall not stay long in the country. One of the best merchants at Kobe gave me a good order and another has promised one on my return – I must pass through Kobe again on my way to Nagasaki and my lady missionary friends have given me a letter of introduction to a minister there and wish me to give a word if possible.
I heard at Hong Kong and Shanghai of two very bright Christians in this place called Austen (Mr & Miss) keeping a seaman's mission, so I called upon them yesterday and they invited a few friends in the evening for a reading which we all enjoyed. They are both from Torquay and had often been with Sunday School children to Mr James Peek's grounds at Walcomb. Have just had a note from our dear brother Mr Brand from Tokyo – dear fellow he seems very thankful at the prospect of a visit from a brother and it is not surprising that he finds it a trying place in many ways. D.V. I hope to get up in a day or two and shall probably spend a few days in the capital. Trust the Lord may give us mutual cheer and comfort together. How well He knows where we are and all that we are passing through and that He is at God's right hand, ever living to make intercession for us.
Tokyo, Lord's day, April 7th
Arrived here about midday yesterday – it is only one hour's sail from Yokohama and brought up and interpreter and called upon all the leading merchants in the afternoon, but it is all very small and I do not expect to do much business. I am not much pre-possessed in favour of the Japanese who seem to me to be full of conceit and ape anything European – they seem to me to be utterly void of anything solid or honest in their character. In the evening I found our dear brother Mr Brand and remained with him until nearly ten. You may judge what a cheer it was for us – he is plodding away with the language under a tutor who seems a nice fellow and a believer and this is no small comfort to dear Brand, who finds it a deep trial to his heart in many ways but he seems to have a real missionary spirit and is longing to proclaim God's salvation to the poor degraded creatures of this land in their own language. He was at Cambridge while William's son was there and spoke highly of him as decided for the Lord – he has since been living with our brother Mr Champney of Cambridge who has a large school there and was showing me a group of all the boys he had brought with him, among them two little fellows called Page which I think must be Nellie's sons and they are much like her. Mr Champney's wife was a Miss Smith of Ramsgate I knew well and a sister of the one formerly living with Captain Moxan. Mr Beard is coming to spend the Lord's day with me and in the afternoon we purpose visiting one or two that he knows. He is a very bright dear fellow and seems to have but one thought filling his soul – the worthiness and glory of that blessed Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ. I wrote him from Shanghai telling him about the young Japanese I met on board the steamer from Singapore – the son of an ambassador residing here so he called with his Tutor and found the son was away for the present, but he had a long talk with the Father and thought his Tutor put the gospel very distinctly before him which was received with much interest and attention. Mr Brand tells me this noble is only second to the Prime Minister and he hopes to call again as soon as the son returns. I was disappointed yesterday at Yokohama when my English mail arrived to find your usual letter not among them – it may however turn up by the next mail which I hope to receive at Nagasaki in another week or so. I received one from Arundel and also from Henry – very glad to hear dear Harriett is keeping so well – it is sad that Herbert should be out of berth[?] – his grievance was that he could not be received as a pastor – he does not like travelling so his father says, but I am afraid he will find it harder work to be engaged as a salesman in a large establishment. Well I must bring this to a close and trust you are keeping well and with much love to you each all believe me my dearly beloved Angee.
Being very affectionate Husband
Am thankful to say I am now relieved from the pain I have been feeling and quite well again – had a happy day yesterday with dear Brand.
While at Yokohama fell in at the hotel with a gentleman called Clark who had travelled with Mr Robertshaw through Egypt – I dare say Mr R. will remember him – he has lived in India.