Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/172

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ing respectfully saluted him, helped him to descend from the carriage, and led him through the great gate and across a vast garden, to the entrance of a palace whose front appeared to extend, west and east, to a distance of miles. Akinosuké was then shown into a reception-room of wonderful size and splendor. His guides conducted him to the place of honor, and respectfully seated themselves apart; while serving-maids, in costume of ceremony, brought refreshments. When Akinosuké had partaken of the refreshments, the two purple-robed attendants bowed low before him, and addressed him in the following words,—each speaking alternately, according to the etiquette of courts:—

"It is now our honorable duty to inform you … as to the reason of your having been summoned hither. … Our master, the King, augustly desires that you become his son-in-law; … and it is his wish and command that you shall wed this very day … the August Princess, his maiden-daughter. … We shall soon conduct you to the presence-chamber … where His Augustness even now is waiting to receive you. … But it will be necessary that we first invest you … with the appropriate garments of ceremony."[1]

  1. The last phrase, according to old custom, had to be ut-