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A Chinese Dinner

A Chinese Dinner image
Parent Issue
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An oíficer on board the U. S. ship Vincennes, gives the following description of i Chinese entertainment. "I have spent ten days in Cantón, and ïad the gratificaron of being invlted to a arge Chinese dinner and sing-song, vhich I attended. The sing-song, is theatrical ; men and women dressed in the most splendid costumes, covered with silver and gold, ilourish about, brandishing sticks and swords, singing songs that you cannot comprehend, accompanied all the time by the gong and dozens of other instrumnnts, little less euphonious than the Irst, if that be possible. It seems to resemble tho opera, but I could not form an idea of the plot. Upon the whole, it is both ludicrous and ridiculous ; and one lu'ght be excited to laughter, were it not !br a greater sympathy for the sense of ïearing than of sight. The dinner was given almost exclusively to foreigners ; and I am told that it is the first thing of the kind that has ever come off; and, as it may not be un interest ing, I will endeavor to give you a description. The invitation informed the guests that boats would bo in waiting. So about seven o'clock several ofiicers of the Vincennse found ourselves at the foreign landing, embarkéd, and were soon rowed over the ferry. On entering the hall, we were most elabarately 'chinchineó,' with gongs and other noise-making instruments. - We ascended a ílight of steps, and were received by the heads of the family. - The tables were arraigned about the room after the fashion of the French - that is, each table accommodated six persons. - As soon as we were seatcd, the host carne up to usr carrying in lrs hand a metal teapot, filled with warm arrack, aliquor havingvery much the taste of rum, and exclusively usedby the higher classes of Chinese. He iïllod our cups, holding about a teaspoonful, which we were compelled to drink, making at the same time a bow to our polite host. This done, he was frep, so fnr as we were concerned, for the rest of the evening. Now commenced the dinner. There was an old resident merchant sitting by me, and he gave me the namesofthe dishes, orí am sure I should have never made them out. I took down the courses, and will give them to you as they made their appearancc. 1, bird's nest soup ; 2, pork fat, fried with potatoes ; 3, hogs' hoofs ; 4, mushroom stewed ; 5, bird's nest salad : G,giblet soup; 7, kitten hash ; 8, fried Irish potatoes; 9, rat hash ; 10, tea; 11, shark's fins ; 12, fried ducks ; 13, dog stew : 14, stewed chicleen ; 15, ham stew ; 16, pork stew ; 17, fried cucumbers ; IS, patcof rats ; 19, fel i ne ragout ; 20, ham stewed with pork ; 21. sucking pig ; 22, snail pate ; 23, snail soup. I tasted the first dish, and became so disgusted that I could not procced. They were brought on, one dish at a time, in exquisitely beautiful china bowls, with a top very much rcsembling a saucer. which fitted into the formor - all the time the tables were covered with a varictyof sweetmeats, of which watermolen seeds secmed to be the greatest favorite. We sat until 11 o'clock, when we were ushe'red out with the same ceremonies wilh which we were introduccd. The performances of the sing-song continued