CHAPTER XX THE PRINCE GIVES A DINNER TO THE COMMISSIONER (Part II.)
I. Setting Out the Additional Courses.
(a) The under-steward then hands to the Prince the spiked millet porridge, and he lays it on the west of the Grand Soup. The commissioner then faces north, and, declining the honour, sits down and moves the porridge;
(b) Then the Prince and the commissioner both return to their former places.
(c) The under-steward serves the rice porridge, laying it to the west of the millet porridge.
(d) Then the assistant-officers serve the general delicacies, each having a piece of the choicest on the top. The carrying of the covers and the holders is done as when the steward served the Grand Soup.
(e) Those who go up first come down for more. 1
(j) The other viands are brought in by the door and up by the west stair.
(g) One of those who first enters goes up to the hall and places them to the south of the rice porridge and the west of the millet holders, with a space between sufficient to allow a man to pass.
(h) Four rows are laid at the side, facing west, and graded from the north.
(i) There is the beef broth with the mutton and pork broths in succession on the east of it. Then comes the broiled beef with the dry pickled hash on its south side. South again of that is the sliced beef, and dry pickled hash following it, and following that minced beef. To the south of the mince is broiled mutton, and east of that sliced mutton, the pickled dry hash follows, with broiled pork, and to its south pickled hash. To the west of these comes sliced pork and mustard sauce, followed by minced fish.
(j) All of those who bring in the delicacies go to the top of the stair, but do not enter the hall, and handing over the dishes, take the covers with them and go out.
2. The Commissioner Makes an Offering from the Extra Dishes.
(a) The assistant, standing with his face to the east chamber, announces to the Prince that all is ready.
(b) He then commands the commissioner to get on to his mat, which he does, and, sitting at the end of it, takes the millet porridge and then the rice porridge, and offers them between the sauce and the Grand Soup.
(c) The assistant, facing north, sits and takes the choice pieces from the several dishes of delicacies, and, rising, hands them one by one to the commissioner. He receives and offers them one by one.
3. The Commissioner Eats.
(a) The commissioner goes down to bow, and the Prince declining the honour, the commissioner ascends and kowtows twice, the Prince replying with two bows.
(b) Then the commissioner, sitting down between the principal dishes and the extra ones, takes the bowl of millet porridge in his left hand and the Grand Soup in his right and goes down.
(c) But the Prince declines to allow this, so he faces west, and, sitting down, lays them at the western steps, and, facing east, replies consenting. Then, facing west, he sits, and taking them up, rises and strides up the steps two at a time, faces north, and replaces them.
(d) He then descends and asks to be excused the presence of the Prince at his meal. The Prince assents, and the commissioner ascends, the Prince saluting and withdrawing into the east side hall.
(e) Then the usher also withdraws and stands with his back to the east gate-house.
(f) The commissioner then sits down, rolling up the second mat. The Prince, informed of the act by his assistant, does not decline to allow it.
(g) Then the commissioner takes three draughts of the Grand Soup, seasoning it with the sauce.
(h) The under-steward then takes the goblet of wine or other drink, 2 and carries it forward along with its stand. The commissioner wipes his hands, rises and receives it, the under-steward setting the stand to the west of the rice porridge.
(i) Then the things laid in the court are set out, and the commissioner, sitting down, pours a libation, and, drinking, lays the goblet on its stand.
4. The Dinner Gifts.
(a) The Prince, taking a bundle of silk from the under-steward, goes out to give it as a present to the commissioner, and stands facing west, the commissioner leaving his mat and facing north.
(h) The usher comes forward to assist at the presentation. The commissioner goes down the steps to decline the gift, and, ascending, takes his orders. He then descends and bows, the Prince declining the
honour, and the commissioner ascending and kowtowing twice.
(c) He receives the present abreast the east pillar, and with his face to the north. Then he withdraws and stands to the west of the west pillar, with his face east.
(d) The Prince bows once, and the commissioner goes down, the Prince bowing twice again.
(e) The suite go out in the reverse order of their entrance, and the commissioner, facing north, salutes, and, taking the things laid in the court, proceeds to go out with them. The Prince descends and stands, and the chief of the commissioner's suite receives the silk laid in the court, the attendants on the commissioner meeting him and taking the skins.
5. The Commissioner Returns Thanks for the Presents.
(a) The commissioner enters by the left of the gate, where, in line with the southern rain-gutter, he faces north and kowtows twice.
(b) The Prince declines the honour, and after salutes and yieldings of precedence as before, they ascend, and the commissioner kowtows twice, the Prince replying with two bows.
6. Finishing His Dinner.
(a) Then the commissioner descends and declines the honour of the Prince's present, as before. He reascends, and the Prince, with a salute, withdraws to the side-hall.
(b) The commissioner then finishes his dinner, rounding up with the boiled millet, and drinking three times, but taking neither the sauce nor the Grand Soup.
(c) He then wipes his hands, and, rising, faces north, sits, and, taking up the spiked millet porridge and sauce, descends, and, facing west, sits and places them to the west of the steps.
(d) Then, facing east, he kowtows twice, returning thanks to the Prince.
(e) The Prince then descends and bows twice.
7. The Commissioner Leaves.
The members of the suite go out in the reverse order of their entering, and the commissioner leaves, escorted by the Prince to the inside of the great gate. There the Prince bows twice, the commissioner not looking round as he goes away.
8. Returning the Commissioner's Meat-Stand to Him.
(a) Assistants take up the stands with the flesh of the domestic animals on them and carry them to the commissioner's quarters.
(h) But the fish and the dried game are not among the things sent.
9. The Commissioner Returns Thanks for the Prince's
(a) On the morrow the commissioner dons his dress clothes, and returns thanks for the Prince's bounty, outside the palace gate. In bowing his thanks for the gifts at the dinner and for the dinner itself he kowtows twice.
(b) He is met by an officer 3 and his message received.
10. The Ceremonial Dinner to a Superior Great Officer.
(a) Should the commissioner be a superior great officer, he gets eight holders, eight tortoise-covered holders, six tureens, and nine meat-stands, the fish and the dried game being each on two stands.
(b) The fish, entrails, and sides of pork are in nine or eleven stands ; but if the guest be an inferior great officer, he has seven stands or nine. 4
(c) In the case of the general delicacies the number of four is not to be exceeded in the rows on the east and west, for officers of either grading.
(d) The general delicacies for a superior great officer are twenty in number, and he has in addition to the delicacies of an inferior great officer pheasant, hare, quail, and jay.
1 1 . The Ceremonial in Sending the Materials for a Dinner.
(a) If the Prince cannot attend the dinner in person, he sends a great officer whose office corresponds to that of the commissioner, in dress clothes to hand over to him the dinner present.
(b) The contents of the holders are placed in jars and set outside the pillars in pairs, and laid out north- wards. The contents of the tortoise-covered holders are put into baskets and set on the inside of the pillars, and between them, also in pairs and laid out towards the south.
(c) The general delicacies are laid out in the space within the tablet.
(d) The things set out in the court are laid outside the tablet.
(e) The living ox, sheep, and pig are set within the door, and on the west side, graded from the east.
(f) The commissioner dons dress clothes to receive them as when receiving the present of slaughtered animals at his first coming, and gives no present to the messenger.
(g) On the morrow the commissioner goes to court in dress clothes to acknowledge the Prince's bounty, and is met and his message received.
12. A Great Officer's Dinner to His Equal.
(a) When a great officer gives a dinner to one of his own standing, he goes in person to apprise and again to speed the guest.
(b) His meeting of the guest outside the door and bowing in acknowledgment of his coming are both conducted as in the case of the feast.
(c) He goes down to wash his hands in the usual fashion.
(d) When the host is receiving the sauce, Grand Soup, and dinner present (which on this occasion consists of rolls of brocade), in every case he goes down by the east steps. The person handing them to him ascends one step to hand them over, and the guest remains above in the hall.
(e) The guest takes the millet porridge and Grand Soup and goes to the end of the west inner wall, as a less honourable place in which to eat. When the host declines the honour, he returns these things to their places.
(f) When the guest rolls up the second mat, the host declines to allow him, and he returns it to its place.
(g) In declining the present he descends one step, and the host does the same.
(h) Then, when receiving the dinner present, he
kowtows twice, and the host with the same ceremony invites him to accept it.
(i) In excusing himself the honour of the host's presence at his meal the guest goes down the steps, and the host does the same.
(j) When the guest has finished his dinner, he removes what is over to the end of the west inner wall.
(k) Then the guest faces east, bows twice, and goes out.
(l) In all other respects the ceremonial is the same as that which the Prince uses in giving a dinner to a great officer.
13. When the Great Officer cannot Give the Dinner in Person.
(a) If the great officer cannot give the dinner in person, the Prince sends another great officer in dress clothes to give the dinner presents to the guest.
(b) The guest receives the gift in his hall, and gives no return present to the messenger.
14. Ten Notes.
(1) On Various Matters Connected with the Ceremonial of the Dinner.
(a) The guest is not apprised the evening before, and after being apprised is not again bidden.
(h) There is no body-rest given, and no mat is spread at the top of the east steps.
(c) The cooking is done outside the temple door, on the east side.
(2) The Mats.
(a) The keeper of the sacrificial vessels prepares the body-rest and lays the 16-foot floor-mat of flags
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with a dark cloth border. On this he lays a 6-foot rush mat with a black silk border, and rolls both up together from the end.
(b) The mats are produced by the under-steward from the east chamber.
(3) The Commissioner s Carriage. The commissioner's carriage and team stand facing north outside the great door and on the west side.
(4) The Vegetables in the Tureens, The vegetables put into the tureens are : for the beef soup, bean vine ; for the mutton broth, bitter gourd runners ; and for the pork broth, vetch vines — all with their seed vessels attached.
(5) The Time when the Assistant Goes Up.
The assistant washes his hands, and follows the meat-stands up to the hall.
(6) The Square Tortoise-Covered Holders.
These holders, in which the rice and spiked millet are placed, have cloth covers in addition to their own.
(7) The Broiled Meats. No sauce is served with the broiled meats.
(8) The Floor- Mat for a Superior Great Officer. This floor-mat of flags has a rush mat laid over it, and the borders of both are like the borders of the mats of an inferior great officer.
(9) The Usher and the Assistant.
The minister appointed for the purpose carries out his duties as usher in the court, and does not come up
to the hall. The assistant who performs his duties in the hall is an inferior great officer.
(10) The Way to Serve a Superior Great Officer.
(a) When a superior great officer is eating the general dainties, wine or other drinks may be served, to be taken along with them as is desired.
(b) In returning thanks for the dinner and the dinner gift, in both cases a double kowtow is the rule.