An Authentic Account of the Embassy of the Dutch East-India Company. 2

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An Authentic Account of the Embassy of the Dutch East-India Company. 2
An authentic account of the Embassy of the Dutch East-India Company, to the court of the Emperor of China, in the years 1794 and 1795
André Everard Van Braam Houckgeest (1739-1801)
London: R. Phillips
Translation of Translation of: Voyage de l'ambassade de la Compagnie des Indes. Orientales hollandaises, vers l'empereur de la Chine, dans les annees 1794 et 1795, by M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Mery (missing from our cataglogue). N.B. Everard and Houckgeest are two different people; moreover, their journals furnish the source material for this book. The author is Moreau de Saint-Mery.
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At half past eleven we were taken to the Imperial court, a building
constructed in all the capital cities of provinces, and even in some
others that are not dignified with that title. The Emperor’s tablet
(chap) which is placed upon an altar in the principal hall, receives the
salute of honour at every new and full moon from all the Mandarins. A
discharge of artillery and military music announced our passage; first,
before the troops that were drawn up in a line, and then in front of a
long file of Mandarins. After these was the Governor of the Province and
another great Mandarin who congratulated his Excellency and me on our
arrival, and who conducted us to an outer hall to shew us the Emperor’s
presents and entertainment, and then to the great hall beyond it. There,
with the two great Mandarins and our two first conductors, we performed
the salute before the Emperor’s chap with our heads covered. We then
returned to the outer hall, where we were desired to fit down upon
cushions, by little tables covered with sweetmeats and paltry.

As soon as we were seated a company of comedians began to perform upon a
very neat theatre, erected on purpose opposite the hall. Several hot
dishes, particularly roast and boiled meat, were afterwards served up,
and cups of Samsou were presented to us for our beverage. We were waited
upon by Mandarins of the gold button. We tasted a variety of things, and
after having remained till nearly half past twelve, we rose, took leave,
and departed.

The presents consisted of four half rolls of silk, and four pieces of
narrow flowered silk (pelang) for the Ambassador, and the same for me.
Half as much of the same articles was given to each of the five
gentlemen in the suite of the Embassy, and the rest of his retinue
received a few pieces of plain panche. The whole of these gifts were put
into a little box, of which one of the Mandarins took charge.