No. 309.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Evarts .

No. 712.]

Sir: His Majesty the Emperor, as is the custom, invited the foreign representatives to audience at the imperial palace on the first day of the year, for the purpose of exchanging congratulations.

On this occasion, as on a former one, Her Majesty the Empress was also present, which I before noted, and now again note, as an evidence of the advancing civilization of this empire, in which, through twenty-six centuries preceding the present reign, no such consideration was shown to woman in her character of wife or mother.

I have the honor to inclose herewith copies, in English, of the address made on that occasion by the foreign representatives to His Majesty, and His Majesty’s reply thereto.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure No. 1.]

Address of the foreign representatives on the occasion of their reception by the Emperor, January 1, 1878.

The anniversary of the new year furnishes the foreign representatives accredited to Your Majesty an opportunity, of which they gladly avail themselves, of presenting their congratulations to Your Majesty. It affords them sincere pleasure to know that the relations of Your Majesty with the sovereigns and presidents of the states which they have the honor to represent continue to be of the most friendly character, and they trust that Your Majesty and the imperial family will long enjoy the blessings of health, and that Your Majesty’s wishes for the peace and prosperity of your people will be fully attained.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Reply of the Emperor to the address of the diplomatic corps, January 1, 1878.

I am glad to receive the congratulations of your excellencies at the favorable season of the new year, and rejoice to celebrate this happy occasion along with the sovereigns and presidents of the friendly powers.

I am glad, also, that your excellencies have entered upon the new year in health.