Five Classics‎ > ‎THE I-LI‎ > ‎



I, Appointing the Commissioner and His Suite. 

(a) The Prince and his ministers deliberate on the matter. 

(b) And then the commissioner is appointed. 

(c) The commissioner kowtows twice, declining the honour ; 

(d) But accepts when the Prince refuses to allow him to decline, and withdraws. 

(e) When all the deliberations are complete, the chief of the commissioner's suite is apprised of his appointment in the same manner. 

(f) Then the court steward orders the master-at- arms to appoint the rest of the suite, and they all consent to the appointment, in accordance with the instructions of the Duke. 

2. Getting Ready the Presents to be Taken by the Mission, 

(a) The steward writes out a list of the presents to be taken. 

(b) He then orders the officials in his department to get them ready. 


3. Exhibiting the Presents the Evening Before. 

(a) When the time has come for the departure of the mission, the presents 1 are exhibited the evening before the start. 

(b) The commissioner, in dress clothes, leads his suite to attend the exhibition. 

(c) The officials in charge of the tents 2 erect a canvas marquee outside the door of the private apartments. 3 

(d) The officials then lay out the presents. The skins are placed with the head to the north, and graded from the west ; and the things to be presented with them are placed on the left pair of skins. If there are horses among the things to be sent, they are stood facing north, the presents being laid out in front of them. 

(e) The commissioner stands facing north, his suite being on his left hand, and all graded from the east. 

(f) The ministers and great officers stand east of the marquee, facing west, and graded from the north. 

(g) The steward then enters the private apartments and announces to the Prince that all is ready. He, in dress clothes, comes out by the left of the door, and stands facing south. 

(h) Then the recorder goes over the list and ex- amines the presents. 

(i) The steward takes the list, and, announcing that everything is in order, hands the list to the com- missioner, who receives it and hands it to his chief of suite. 

(j) The Duke 4 then invites them all to enter the private apartments. 

(k) The officials place the presents in carts and store them for the night in the hall of audience. 


(l) The chief of suite scrutinizes the loads, compares them with the list he has received, and lets them go. 

4. Laying Out the Present. 

(a) At early dawn on the day of their departure the commissioner lays out a present in the ancestral temple of the Prince.' 5 

(b) An assistant sets a mat 6 and body-rest in the middle of the room. Then the liturgist enters, followed by the Master of Ceremonies, who takes his place on the right of the liturgist and bows twice. Then the liturgist makes the announcement concerning the mission, bowing twice as he does so. 

(c) The commissioner then lays down the present for the spirit — a bundle of rolls of black and red silk, the pieces being of full size. Laying it at the foot of the body-rest, they go out. 

(d) The Master of Ceremonies 7 stands to the east of the door, and the liturgist to the west of the window, waiting for the spirit to view the present. 

(e) Then they enter again, and, taking up the present, go down the steps, where the Master of Ceremonies rolls up the silk, places it in a basket, and buries it to the east of the west steps. 

(f) He also lays out a present at the road-head. 8 

(g) Then the commissioner goes to the audience hall and receives his instructions. 

(h) The chief of suite also lays out presents in the same way. 

5. Receiving His Instructions, 

(a) The chief and the rest of the suite stand at attention outside the commissioner's door. 

(b) And the commissioner, carrying the banner, 


leads them to the audience hall to receive his instructions. 

(c) The Prince, in dress clothes, takes his place in the hall of audience, with his face to the south, the ministers and great officers facing west, and grading from the north. Then the Prince calls on a minister to bring forward the commissioner. 

(d) The latter enters, followed by his suite, and they stand, facing north, and graded from the east. The Prince then calls the commissioner forward with a salute, and his chief of suite stands at his left hand to hear the instructions along with him. 

(e) Then the appraiser 9 sits, facing west, and, opening the case, takes out the jade symbol 10 of authority, letting the wrapper hang down over his hands, and, without rising, hands it to the steward. 

(f) The steward, sitting, takes the symbol, folds the wrapper over it, and, going from the left side of the Prince, hands it to the commissioner. 

(g) The commissioner, facing north, as the steward does, receives the symbol, and allows the wrapper to hang down while he receives his instructions. 

(h) When he has repeated the instructions, he hands the symbol to the chief of staff, who is facing in the same direction. 

(i) He receives it, folds the wrapper over it, goes out, and hands it to the appraiser attached to the mission, the rest of the suite not following him. 

(j ) They receive the presents for the Prince of the State to be visited — silk, with a round jade symbol laid on it ; and the half jade symbol for presentation to the Princess, and rolls of black and red silk, having a star-shaped symbol upon them, all with the ceremonial noted above. 



Tc face p. 193. 

6. The S end-Off, 

(a) Then they set off, and put up for the night 11 in the suburbs. 

(b) And the banner is furled. 

7. Passing Through Another State, 

(a) If they have to pass through another territory on the way, when they arrive at the frontier a member of the suite is sent to ask permission to use the road. Carrying rolls of silk, he goes to the court of the Prince of the State, with his instructions, and saying, " We ask permission to use the road," lays down his present. 

(h) An under great officer takes the message in to the Prince. Coming out again, he announces that the request is granted, and takes up the present. 

(c) The living animals presented to the members of the mission are according to the standing of each. The chief of suite gets a great set of animals, 12 and the fodder is only grass and grain in the ear. Animals are also sent for the rest of the suite. 

(d) An ordinary officer is appointed to conduct them right through the territory. 

(e) Instructions are issued to the company regarding their conduct when passing through the territory. The commissioner stands facing south, 13 with the chief of suite facing west, and the rest north, and graded from the east. The recorder then reads the instructions, the master-at-arms standing behind him and holding a rod. 

8. A Rehearsal of the Ceremonial. 

(a) Before they enter the territory of the State to which they are accredited they hold a rehearsal. 

VOL. I. 193 o 

(b) An earthen platform is constructed to represent the audience hall, the steps being drawn on the ground. At the back a curtain is suspended, but no surrounding wall is raised. 

(c) Dress clothes are worn by all, but no Master of Ceremonies is appointed, nor is anyone told off to carry the symbol. 

(d) All the suite take part, and stand facing north, and graded from the west. 

(e) They practise the presentation, an under officer taking charge of the things to be laid out in the court. 

9. The Arrival on the Frontier. 

(a) When the mission arrives at the frontier the banner is unfurled, and instructions as to conduct are issued. 

(b) Then they announce themselves to the warden of the barrier. 

(c) He asks how many there are in the escort. 

(d) The number of the suite is given him in reply. 

10. Asking Their Business, 

The Prince then sends an ordinary officer to ask their business. On receiving their reply, he immediately leads them into the State. 

11. Displaying the Presents. 

(a) When they enter the State they furl the banner and display the presents. 

(b) A marquee is erected, and the commissioner, in dress clothes, stands to the east of it, facing west, his suite facing north, and graded from the east. The appraiser sits facing north, and wipes the symbol. 


(c) Then he grasps and holds it up to display it. The chief of suite faces north and examines it, there- after returning to his place. 

(d) The symbol is then packed up again. 

(e) Then the skins are laid out, heads to the north, and graded from the west. The round jade symbol is also wiped and displayed, and, along with the other presents, is laid on the left pair of skins. The chief of suite looks them over and withdraws. 

(f) If there are horses for presentation, they are placed south of the marquee, with their heads north, the presents being laid in front of them. 

(g) The mission's presents for the Prince's lady are also displayed in the same way. 

(h) The appraiser announces to the chief of staff that all the presents are displayed, and he passes on the announcement to the commissioner. 

(i) An assistant lays all the unofficial presents 14 out, and himself announces that they are displayed. 

(j) When the suburb is reached a similar display is made. 

(k) Then, when they reach the rest-house, a display is made in the appraiser's quarters, as above. 

12. Inviting Them to Advance, and Compensating Them for Their Toils. 

(a) When the commissioner reaches the suburbs near the palace the banner is displayed. The Prince then sends an under great officer with an invitation to the mission to advance, and when he returns with his report, the Prince sends a minister, in dress clothes, with a bundle of silks as a present to recompense them for their toils. 15 

(b) The chief of suite goes out and asks the 


messenger for his message, and, entering, announces it. The commissioner formally declines the honour, and, meeting the messenger outside the door of the lodging, bows twice. 

(c) The messenger sent with the present does not bow in return. 

(d) The commissioner then salutes and precedes him in, and receives the present inside the door of the lodging. 

(e) The messenger, carrying the present in both hands, enters, and, facing east, communicates his instructions. 

(f) Then the commissioner faces north to hear the message, and, turning, withdraws a little, and, kowtowing twice, receives the present. Thereafter the messenger departs. 

(g) The commissioner hands the gift to the retainer, and goes out again to greet the messenger, saying that he wishes to reward him. 

(h) The messenger formally declines, and the com- missioner, saluting him, enters first, followed by the messenger. The set of deer-skins is then laid out within the doorway. 

(i) The commissioner then rewards the messenger with a roll of brocade. 

(j ) The messenger kowtows twice as he receives it. 

(k) The commissioner also kowtows twice in giving him the present. 

(l) The messenger then invites them, with a salute, to take up the skins for him, and himself withdraws, the commissioner bidding him farewell with two bows. 

(m) The Prince's lady sends an under great officer to recompense their toil. Her presents are in two square holders, black outside and red inside, with tortoise-shaped covers. 


(n) The contents of the first are stewed dates, and of the other cooked and skinned chestnuts. The messenger takes one in each hand and goes forward. 

(o) The commissioner takes the dates, and then the messenger hands him the chestnuts with both hands. 

(p) The commissioner receives them with the ceremonial as before. 

(q) And he rewards the messenger in the same fashion. 

13. The Arrival at the Palace. 

(a) The under great officer who had taken them the presents then leads the commissioner in. 

(b) When they come to the outer hall, the Master of Ceremonies says: "The temple of the unworthy former Prince is swept and awaits you." 

(c) The commissioner replies : "I await your leisure." 

14. Assigning the Quarters, 

(a) A great officer leads the way to the quarters assigned to the mission, and a minister makes them over to them. 

(b) The commissioner meets the minister, and bows twice, the latter communicating to him the instructions he has received. The commissioner then kowtows twice, and the minister withdraws, the commissioner bidding him farewell with two bows. 

15. Setting the Supper. 

(a) An under-steward, in dress clothes, lays the supper. 

(b) A set of animals, cooked, is set on the v;est side in nine tripods, with three tripods for the dainties. On 


the eastern side are put a set of animals, raw, in seven tripods. 

(c) Up in the hall are eight sets of viands, with six sets to face them on the west side. 

(d) Then outside the door is rice in the ear in twenty carts. 

(e) The firewood and fodder are in twice as many carts as the grain. 

(f) The animals for the chief of suite are a large set, cooked, and placed on the west side in seven tripods, with three tripods of dainties ; and up in the hall are six sets of viands, and outside the door ten carts of rice in the ear, with twice as many carts of fodder and firewood. 

(g) The other members of the suite have each a small set of animals.