Five Classics‎ > ‎THE I-LI‎ > ‎



I. Apprising the Guests. 

(a) In pursuance of the ceremonial observed when the Prince gives a dinner to the great officer in charge of a smaller mission. 

(h) The Prince sends a great officer to apprise the commissioner, 1 selecting one who holds the same office as the commissioner himself. 

(c) The commissioner's chief of suite comes out, and, asking the great officer's business, goes in to report it. 

(d) The commissioner declines the honour in the usual way. 

(e) Then he goes out and bows, in acknowledgment of the ruler's condescension, the great officer making no bows in reply, 2 but communicating his message. On hearing it the commissioner kowtows twice. 

2. The Commissioner Goes to His Place 3 Outside the Great Door. 

Arrayed in his dress clothes, the commissioner goes to his place outside the great door of the palace, as is done in the case of a great mission. 


3. Laying Out the Apparatus. 

(a) When the commissioner has gone to his place, the assistants get ready all the apparatus for the feast. 

(b) Then, when the stew is ready, 

(c) The cooks set out seven tripods abreast of the door, facing south, and graded from the west. They also set the tripod poles and covers, the latter being of rushes either tied or plaited together. 

(d) The used-water jar is set as at the feast. 4 

(e) A retainer gets ready the slop-pail and wash- hand-basin 5 at the foot of the east hall. 

(f) Then the under-steward sets a floor-mat  6 to the west of the room-door, and lays on it a sitting-mat and a body-rest. 

(g) No wine-holder is provided."  7

(h) But the clear wine in ordinary use, and the drinks of various kinds, 8 are laid ready in goblets in the east chamber. 

(i) All the things provided 9 by the under-steward are laid out in the east chamber. 

4. Meeting the Commissioner. 

(a) The Prince, dressed like his guest, awaits the commissioner inside the great gate, and a great officer goes out to receive him. 

(b) As the commissioner enters to the left of the door, the Prince bows twice, and the commissioner, drawing aside, kowtows twice. Then the Prince salutes and enters, followed by the commissioner. 

(c) When they come to the gate of the temple the Prince salutes and enters, the commissioner entering also. The usual salutes are exchanged during their progress, and when they come to the steps they yield precedence in the usual manner. 


(d) When the Prince has gone up two steps the commissioner ascends. 

5. All the Officials and the Suite go to Their Places. 

(a) The great officers take their stand to the south of the east side hall, facing west, and graded from the north. 

(b) The ordinary officers stand to the east of the temple gate, facing north, and graded from the west. 

(c) The retainers stand below the east hall, facing south, and graded from the west. 

(d) The members of the Princess' stewards' department stand to the north of the east side hall, facing west, and graded from the south. 10 

(e) The under officials of the Princess' household stand east of the same place, facing west, and graded from the south. 

(f) The commissioner's suite stand to the west of the door, facing north, and graded from the east. 

6. Bowing to the Commissioner on His Arrival. 

(a) The Prince stands in the hall, under the second rafter, facing north, and bows twice as the commissioner arrives. The commissioner then descends, and the Prince bows twice again. 

(b) Then the commissioner, to the east of the west steps, faces north, and replies with a bow, the usher declining the honour on behalf of the Prince. The commissioner, however, continues to bow. The Prince himself then descends one step, and the usher says for him : " My unworthy Prince would follow your honour. If you will do obeisance, come up." 

(c) The commissioner then strides up the steps two at a time, but does not bow. 


(d) Then the Prince instructs him to complete his obeisance, and accordingly he faces north at the top of the steps and kowtows twice. 

7. The Tripods are Brought in and the Stands Filled. 

(a) Ordinary officers take up the tripods, leaving the covers outside the gate, and, entering the door in order, lay them to the south of the tablet, facing south, and graded from the west. The men on the right draw out the poles, and, sitting down, lay them to the west of the tripods, afterwards going out in order by the west of the tripods. The men on the left then await the order to set the meat on the stands. 

(b) Then the cooks 11 bring in the stands and set them out to the south of the tripods, the pantry-men, facing south, putting the ladles into the tripods and withdrawing. 

(c) Then the great officers, in order of precedence, wash their hands, standing to the south-west of the water-jar, and facing west, graded from the north. They go forward and wash in turn, the man with- drawing meeting in front of the jar the other coming forward. When their washing is finished, they go forward in turn, and, facing south, ladle out the meat. 

(d) Those who set the meat on the stands face west. 

(e) When the fish and the dried game are cooked, 

(f) They set the joints on their stands, with the underside foremost. 

(g) The fish are seven in number, laid lengthwise on the stand, and resting on their right sides. 

(h) The set of entrails and stomachs are seven in number, and occupy the same stand. 

(i) There are seven sides of pork on one stand. 246 

(j ) The entrails, stomachs, and sides of pork are all laid across the stands, and hang down at either side. 

(k) When the great officers have finished the ladling, they place the ladles in the tripods, and, withdrawing in the reverse order of their coming, return to their places. 

8. Laying Out the Principal Set of Viands. 

(a) The Prince goes down to wash his hands, and the commissioner descends also, the Prince declining the honour. When the washing is finished, the Prince, with one salute and one yielding of precedence, goes up the steps, the commissioner going up also, 

(b) Then the under-steward brings the wet hash and sauce from the east chamber, and the Prince sets them down. The commissioner, declining, and sitting down with his face to the north, removes them, and sets them on the east in their proper place. 

(c) Then the Prince takes his stand on the inside of the inner wall, looking west, and the commissioner stands to the west of the steps in an expectant attitude. 

(d) Then the under-steward brings out from the east chamber six holders and places them to the east of the sauce, and graded from the west. There are pickled vegetables, and on their east the pickled hashes. Then come pickled rush-roots, with, to their south, elk flesh hash with the bones in, and on the west of this, pickled leek flowers, with deer flesh hash following. 

(e) Then the officers place the meat-stands to the south of the holders, and graded from the west. The beef comes first, then the mutton, and then the pork. The fish is to the south of the beef, and is followed by the dried game and the entrails and stomachs, the sides of pork being by themselves on the east side. 


(f) Then the pantry-men take the ladles, and the cooks lift the tripods, and, going out in order, lay them in their original places. 

(g) Thereafter the under-steward sets out the glutinous and panelled millets in six round tortoise- covered holders in pairs to the west of the meat- stands, and graded from the east and north. The glutinous millet is set opposite the stand of beef, with the panelled millet to the west of it, and the order alternates throughout, the line being laid out south- wards. 

(h) The Grand Soup of beef-juice is not seasoned, and is served in an earthenware tureen. The steward takes this in his right hand, and the cover in his left, and carrying them in by the temple door, ascends the east steps to the top, but does not enter the hall. He gives the soup to the Prince, and taking the cover with him, goes down and out, returning to his place. The Prince then places the soup to the west of the sauce, and the commissioner, declining the honour, sits down and removes it. 

(i) Then the assistant-steward sets the four tureens to the west of the holders, grading them from the east. On the west of the beef broth is the mutton broth, with, to its south, the pork broth, and the other tureen of beef broth to the east of that again. 

(j) The wine for drinking is poured into a goblet, which is set on a stand. The steward takes the goblet in his right hand, and the stand in his left, and, going forward, sets the goblet to the east of the holders. 

(k) He then faces east, and, sitting down, lifts off the covers of the holders and places them upturned^ each to the north of its holder. 


9. The Commissioner Makes Offerings from the Principal Viands. 

(a) The assistant, standing with his back to the east chamber and facing south, announces to the Prince that all is ready. The Prince bows twice, and with a salute invites the commissioner to eat. 

(b) The commissioner then descends to bow. The Prince excuses himself the honour. Then the com- missioner ascends and kowtows twice. 

(c) Then he goes on to his mat, and, sitting, takes the pickled vegetables, and dipping them in the dishes of hash all round, makes an offering of them between the first two holders. 

(d) The assistant, facing east, sits, and taking the glutinous millet, puts it in his left hand, going through all the dishes of this kind in the same manner. He also takes the panciled millet from all the holders of this grain in the same manner, and then, pouring the grain from his left into his right hand, rises and gives it to the commissioner, who makes an offering with it. 

(e) The lungs of the three animals are not divided, so the assistant, taking them as a whole, and handing them one by one to the commissioner, the latter rising and receiving them, sits and offers them. 

(f) Then he wipes his hands, and lifting some vegetables with the spoon out of the first tureen, he dips them into the others, and offers them between the first two tureens. 

(g) He offers the drinking-wine between the first two holders, but makes no offering of the fish, dried game, sauce, or Grand Soup.