Page:Inside Canton.djvu/201

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thought it sufficient to salute an officer of lower rank by crossing his hands and bowing; but to the Viceroy and the Tartar General he exhausted the whole formulary of Chinese etiquette. He met them upon the outer threshold, and bowed low; he raised his joined hands over his head, and bowed again twice, and lower than before; then, having covered his left hand with the lappet of his coat, he presented it to the exalted individual, and conducted him to the sofa placed in front of the door in the centre of the semicircle. When he had reached the sofa, Pan-se-Chen made another bow to his visitor—and also to his visitor's seat!—and made a feint of wiping the dust off the hard, shining wood, with his sleeve; after which he retired to his own chair,with a final reverence to his guest, who was now comfortably settled. Such was the ceremonial I witnessed, and at that moment I thought these Chinese really resembled the conventional Chinamen of chintzes and screens.