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151. Feasts.

294

The Rohandrians, or nobles, of 295Madagascar, kill their cattle themselves at their feasts;.. this is one of their privileges. One stage on in civilization, and the giver of the feast is the cook; next he becomes the serving-man, then the carver,.. lastly, he only presides at the board. The fears of eastern despotism have brought back the kitchen into the banqueting room.

Persian cookery is sometimes performed in the presence of the sovereign or of the nobles, in the apartment where they eat. The fire is sunk in the floor, and the smoke carried off by an underground chimney: a fountain plays by, to supply water, and wash the dishes, and this also runs off by a covered drain. Suspicion has been the motive for this; they live in fear of poison, and chuse to see their food prepared. Shah Abbas would often be his own cook, for this reason.

Pietro dalle Valle.