At the gate of the main hall, we met a woman who was similar to King Qing's dress, but there was a phoenix in the middle of her pearl crown. The woman smiled and held out her hand to us. Her posture was very calm and natural. In my eyes, even the European lady was just so elegant. Later, I learned that she was the queen, the emperor's wife. She said to us:
"Let me pick you up." The queen is gentle and elegant. Although she is not a very beautiful woman, she makes people feel very knowledgeable. Then a voice came from the palace:
"Tell them to come in!" we went into the hall immediately. An old lady in a yellow Satin Robe came into my sight. That was the Empress Dowager. The crown of the Empress Dowager is decorated with jewels. In the middle is a jade phoenix. On both sides are decorated with various kinds of pearl flowers. Another string of beads is hung on the left side of the crown. The Empress Dowager's yellow embroidered robe is full of large red peonies, on which is a net shawl. The shawl is made of 3500 pearls the size of bird eggs. Each pearl is the same size and color, round and smooth, and the edge of the shawl is also full of pearls. The Empress Dowager's hands are two pairs of pearl bracelets, a pair of jade bracelets and several jewel rings. The middle finger and the little finger of her right hand are respectively wearing three inch long gold protective fingers, and the two fingers of her left hand are wearing jade protective fingers of the same length. Finally, I saw the Queen's shoes, which were also covered with beads and inlaid with various kinds of jewelry.
Seeing us coming, the Empress Dowager smiled and stood up to shake hands with us. At that moment, she was very surprised that we were so familiar with court etiquette. She said to my mother, "Mrs. Yu, I admire you so much and teach your two daughters so well. Although they have lived abroad for many years, they speak Chinese as fluently as I do, and they know the book and the etiquette. "
"Their father has always been very strict with them," the mother replied. "We teach them Chinese in foreign countries, and they like to learn."
"I quite agree with their father's practice," said the Empress Dowager. "He is so attentive to his daughter that they are well educated." She kissed me on the cheek, took my hand and said to my mother:
"I like your daughters very much. Let them stay in the palace with me." We thanked the queen mother and accepted her invitation. Later, the Empress Dowager asked us a lot of questions about Paris clothes. She said that she didn't have the chance to see this kind of dress in the palace, so she hoped that we would often wear this kind of clothes. We also found that the Empress Dowager especially liked Louis 15's high heels. When we talked with the empress dowager, a dignified man stood not far away from us. After a while, the queen mother said to us:
"I'd like to introduce Emperor Guangxu to you. You should call him" long live master "and me" ancestor. " Guangxu is a beautiful man: his forehead is broad, his nose is high, his eyes are dark, his lips are wide, his teeth are white, his height is about five feet seven inches. Although he looks very thin, his expression is very firm. After the Empress Dowager's introduction, he shook hands with us slightly shyly. He always smiled in front of us, but I found that he seemed to have a lot of worries.
In again. He knelt down and reported to the Empress Dowager that the sedan chairs of the previous dynasty had been prepared. The Empress Dowager invited us to go with him, and said that the place of the previous dynasty was only five minutes away from here. The Empress Dowager's sedan chair is very large, which is carried by 8 people in palace clothes. Li Lianying's sedan chair is on the left, and another second-class eunuch's sedan chair is on the right. In front of the sedan chair are four eunuchs of five grades, and behind them are 12 eunuchs of six grades. Each of them holds the Empress Dowager's clothes, shoes, towels, combs, brushes, powder boxes, mirrors, pen and ink, paper, dry cigarettes and water cigarettes. The last one holds the Empress Dowager's yellow Satin stool. Two old mothers and four maids also went with them. The long line was very interesting. It was like a dressing room for ladies with wheels, which could be pushed and run. The emperor's sedan chair is on the right of the empress dowager, the Queen's sedan chair is on the left, and the sedan chairs of other palace members are on the left.
The hall is about 200 feet long and 150 feet wide. On the left side of the hall is a long table covered with yellow satin. The Empress Dowager stepped into the palace and ascended the throne. The emperor took a seat in a smaller seat on the left of the Empress Dowager. The ministers knelt down to the Empress Dowager across the long table and shouted "long live".
Behind the hall is a platform about 20 feet long and 18 feet wide. The platform is surrounded by two foot high, beautifully carved railings. In front of it are two doors, which can only be accessed by one person after climbing six steps. Behind the platform is a small screen. The front of the screen is the Queen's throne. Behind the throne is a screen. The screen is carved in wood. I have never seen such a delicate thing in my life. It is about 20 feet long and 10 feet high. In front of the Empress Dowager's throne is a long and narrow table. On the left is still the throne of the emperor. All kinds of utensils and decorations on the platform have gorgeous carvings, probably all of which are Phoenix and peony flowers. On both sides of the Empress Dowager's throne is a large palm fan made of peacock hair, and its handle is made of ebony. The whole palace seemed to be built of ebony, and all the furnishings in the palace were decorated with yellow velvet.
When the Empress Dowager is seated, we, the empress, the maids and so on should all stand behind the screen. There, we can clearly hear the conversation between the Empress Dowager and the minister. Soon, you will know how I have fulfilled my wish with this opportunity.
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