PREFACE





Why should I hesitate to express the pleasure I felt on learning that the

public, already deeply interested in the teachings of Yoritomo-Tashi,

desired to be made familiar with them in a new form?



This knowledge meant many interesting and pleasant hours of work in

prospect for me, recalling the time passed in an atmosphere of that peace

which gives birth to vibrations of healthful thoughts whose radiance

vitalizes the soul.



It was also with a zeal, intensified by memories of the little deserted

room in the provincial museum, where silence alone could lend rhythm to

meditation, that I turned over again and again the leaves of those

precious manuscripts, translating the opinions of him whose keen and

ornate psychology we have so often enjoyed together.



It was with the enthusiastic attention of the disciple that once more I

scanned the pages, where the broadest and most humane compassion allies

itself with those splendid virtues: energy, will and reason.



For altho Yoritomo glorifies the will and energy under all their aspects,

he knows also how to find, in his heart, that tenderness which transforms

these forces, occasionally somewhat brutal, into powers for good, whose

presence are always an indication of favorable results.



He knows how to clothe his teachings in fable and appealing legend, and

his exotic soul, so near and yet so far, reminds one of a flower, whose

familiar aspect is transmuted into rare perfume.



By him the sternest questions are stripped of their hostile aspects and

present themselves in the alluring form of the simplest allegories of

striking poetic intensity.



When reading his works, one recalls unconsciously the orations of the

ancient philosophers, delivered in those dazzling gardens, luxuriant in

sunlight and fragrant with flowers.



In this far-away past, one sees also the silhouette of a majestic figure,

whose school of philosophy became a religion, which interested the world

because it spoke both of love and goodness.



But in spite of this fact, the doctrines of Yoritomo are of an

imaginative type. His kingdom belongs to this world, and his theories

seek less the joys of the hereafter than of that tangible happiness which

is found in the realization of the manly virtues and in that effort to

create perfect harmony from which flows perfect peace.



He takes us by the hand, in order to lead us to the center of that Eden

of Knowledge where we have already discovered the art of persuasion, and

that art, most difficult of all to acquire--the mastery of timidity.



Following him, we shall penetrate once more this Eden, that we may study

with Yoritomo the manner of acquiring this art--somewhat unattractive

perhaps but essentially primordial--called Common Sense.





B. DANGENNES.





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