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The dinner was exceedingly handsome, and there were all the servants, and all the articles of plate which Mr. Collins had promised; and, as he had likewise foretold, he took his seat at the bottom of the table, by her ladyship's desire, and looked as if he felt that life could furnish nothing greater.
By being requested to sit at the "bottom" of the table, Mr. Collins is agreeing to undertake the one domestic duty associated with dining that typically fell to a male in a gentry household of Austen's time. What is it?