Lee's Travel Guide

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Title: The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 2

Author: Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

Release Date: May 22, 2004 [eBook #12410]

Language: English


E-text prepared by Charles Franks, Robert Connal, John Williams, and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders


Go to the beginning of the Book of Marco Polo Volume II
Go to Volume I

Including the unabridged third edition (1903) of Henry Yule's annotated translation, as revised by Henri Cordier; together with Cordier's later volume of notes and addenda (1920)


Containing the second volume of the 1903 edition and the 1920 volume of addenda (two original volumes bound as one)


Copied by permission from a painting bearing the above inscription in the
Gallery of Monsignore Padia in Rome]





BOOK SECOND—(Continued).


Journey to the West and South-West of Cathay.


NOTES.—1. Marco's Route. 2. The Bridge Pul-i-sangin, or Lu-ku-k'iao.


  NOTES.—1. The Silks called Sendals. 2. Chochau. 3. Bifurcation of Two
  Great Roads at this point.


NOTES.—1. Acbaluc. 2. T'ai-yuan fu. 3. Grape-wine of that place. 4. P'ing-yang fu.


NOTES.—1. The Story and Portrait of the Roi d'Or. 2. Effeminacy reviving in every Chinese Dynasty.


  NOTES.—1. The Kará Muren. 2. Former growth of silk in Shan-si and
  Shen-si. 3. The akché or asper.


  NOTES.—1. Morus alba. 2. Geography of the Route since Chapter XXXVIII.
  3. Kenjanfu or Si-ngan fu; the Christian monument there. 4. Prince


NOTE.—The Mountain Road to Southern Shen-si.


  NOTES.—1. Geography, and doubts about Acbalec. 2. Further Journey into


NOTES.—1. Ch'êng-tu fu. 2. The Great River or Kiang. 3. The word Comereque. 4. The Bridge-Tolls. 5. Correction of Text.


NOTES.—1. The Part of Tibet and events referred to. 2. Noise of burning bamboos. 3. Road retains its desolate character. 4. Persistence of eccentric manners illustrated. 5. Name of the Musk animal.


  NOTES.—1. Explanatory. 2. "Or de Paliolle." 3. Cinnamon. 4. 5. Great
  Dogs, and Beyamini oxen.


NOTES.—1. Explanation from Ramusio. 2. Pearls of Inland Waters. 3. Lax manners. 4. Exchange of Salt for Gold. 5. Salt currency. 6. Spiced Wine. 7. Plant like the Clove, spoken of by Polo. Tribes of this Tract.


NOTES.—1. Geography of the Route between Sindafu or Ch'êng-tu fu, and Carajan or Yun-nan. 2. Christians and Mahomedans in Yun-nan. 3. Wheat. 4. Cowries. 5. Brine-spring. 6. Parallel.


NOTES.—1. City of Talifu. 2. Gold. 3. Crocodiles. 4. Yun-nan horses and riders. Arms of the Aboriginal Tribes. 5. Strange superstition and parallels.


NOTES.—1. Carajan and Zardandan. 2. The Gold-Teeth. 3. Male Indolence. 4. The Couvade. (See App. L. 8.) 5. Abundance of Gold. Relation of Gold to Silver. 6. Worship of the Ancestor. 7. Unhealthiness of the climate. 8. Tallies. 9.-12. Medicine-men or Devil-dancers; extraordinary identity of practice in various regions.


  NOTES.—1. Chronology. 2. Mien or Burma. Why the King may have been
  called King of Bengal also. 3. Numbers alleged to have been carried on


  NOTES.—1. Nasruddin. 2. Cyrus's Camels. 3. Chinese Account of the
  Action. General Correspondence of the Chinese and Burmese Chronologies.


NOTES.—1. Market-days. 2. Geographical difficulties.


  NOTES.—1. Amien. 2. Chinese Account of the Invasion of Burma. Comparison
  with Burmese Annals. The City intended. The Pagodas. 3. Wild Oxen.


NOTES.—1. Polo's view of Bengal; and details of his account illustrated. 2. Great Cattle.


NOTE.—A Part of Laos. Papesifu. Chinese Geographical Etymologies.


NOTES.—1. The Name. Probable identification of territory. 2. Textual.


NOTES.—1. The Name. The Kolo-man. 2. Natural defences of Kwei-chau.


NOTES.—1. Kwei-chau. Phungan-lu. 2. Grass-cloth. 3. Tigers. 4. Great Dogs. 5. Silk. 6. Geographical Review of the Route since Chapter LV. 7. Return to Juju.




Journey Southward through Eastern Provinces of Cathay and Manzi.


  NOTES.—1. Pauthier's Identifications. 2. Changlu. The Burning of the
  Dead ascribed to the Chinese.


  NOTES.—1. T'si-nan fu. 2. Silk of Shan-tung. 3. Title Sangon. 4. Agul
  and Mangkutai. 5. History of Litan's Revolt.


NOTE.—The City intended. The Great Canal.


NOTES.—1. Linju. 2. Piju.


NOTES.—1. Siju. 2. The Hwang-Ho and its changes. 3. Entrance to Manzi; that name for Southern China.


NOTES.—1. Meaning and application of the title Faghfur. 2. Chinese self-devotion. 3. Bayan the Great Captain. 4. His lines of Operation. 5. The Juggling Prophecy. 6. The Fall of the Sung Dynasty. 7. Exposure of Infants, and Foundling Hospitals.


NOTE.—Hwai-ngan fu.


NOTE.—Pao-yng and Kao-yu.


  NOTES.—1. Cities between the Canal and the Sea. 2. Yang-chau. 3. Marco
  Polo's Employment at this City.




NOTES.—1. and 2. Various Readings. 3. Digression on the Military Engines of the Middle Ages. 4. Mangonels of Coeur de Lion. 5. Difficulties connected with Polo's Account of this Siege.


NOTES.—1. I-chin hien. 2. The Great Kiang. 3. Vast amount of tonnage on Chinese Waters. 4. Size of River Vessels. 5. Bamboo Tow-lines. 6. Picturesque Island Monasteries.


  NOTES.—1. Kwa-chau. 2. The Grand Canal and Rice-Transport. 3. The Golden


NOTE.—Chin-kiang fu. Mar Sarghis, the Christian Governor.


NOTES.—1. Chang-chau. 2. Employment of Alans in the Mongol Service. 3. The Chang-chau Massacre. Mongol Cruelties.


NOTES.—1. Su-chau. 2. Bridges of that part of China. 3. Rhubarb; its mention here seems erroneous. 4. The Cities of Heaven and Earth. Ancient incised Plan of Su-chau. 5. Hu-chau, Wu-kiang and Kya-hing.


NOTES.—1. King-szé now Hang-chau. 2. The circuit ascribed to the City; the Bridges. 3. Hereditary Trades. 4. The Si-hu or Western Lake. 5. Dressiness of the People. 6. Charitable Establishments. 7. Paved roads. 8. Hot and Cold Baths. 9. Kanpu, and the Hang-chau Estuary. 10. The Nine Provinces of Manzi. 11. The Kaan's Garrisons in Manzi. 12. Mourning costume. 13. 14. Tickets recording inmates of houses.

(From Ramusio only.)

NOTES.—1. Remarks on these supplementary details. 2. Tides in the Hang-chau Estuary. 3. Want of a good Survey of Hang-chau. The Squares. 4. Marco ignores pork. 5. Great Pears: Peaches. 6. Textual. 7. Chinese use of Pepper. 8. Chinese claims to a character for Good Faith. 9. Pleasure-parties on the Lake. 10. Chinese Carriages. 11. The Sung Emperor. 12. The Sung Palace. Extracts regarding this Great City from other mediaeval writers, European and Asiatic. Martini's Description.


NOTES.—1. Textual. 2. Calculations as to the values spoken of.


NOTES.—1. Route from Hang-chau southward. 2. Bamboos. 3. Identification of places. Chang-shan the key to the route.


  NOTES.—1. "Fruit like Saffron." 2. 3. Cannibalism ascribed to Mountain
  Tribes on this route. 4 Kien-ning fu. 5. Galingale. 6. Fleecy Fowls.
  7. Details of the Journey in Fo-kien and various readings. 8. Unken.
  Introduction of Sugar-refining into China.


NOTES.—1. The name Chonka, applied to Fo-kien here. Cayton or Zayton. 2. Objections that have been made to identity of Fuju and Fu-chau. 3. The Min River.


NOTES.—1. The Camphor Laurel. 2. The Port of Zayton or T'swan-chau; Recent objections to this identity. Probable origin of the word Satin. 3. Chinese Consumption of Pepper. 4. Artists in Tattooing. 5. Position of the Porcelain manufacture spoken of. Notions regarding the Great River of China. 6. Fo-kien dialects and variety of spoken language in China. 7. From Ramusio.


Japan, the Archipelago, Southern India, and the Coasts and Islands of the
Indian Sea.


NOTES.—1. Pine Timber. 2. Rudder and Masts. 3. Watertight Compartments. 4. Chinese substitute for Pitch. 5. Oars used by Junks. 6. Descriptions of Chinese Junks from other Mediaeval Writers.


  NOTES.—1. Chipangu or Japan. 2. Abundance of Gold. 3. The Golden Palace.
  4. Japanese Pearls. Red Pearls.


NOTES.—1. Kúblái's attempts against Japan. Japanese Narrative of the Expedition here spoken of. (See App. L. 9.) 2. Species of Torture. 3. Devices to procure Invulnerability.


NOTES.—1. Many-limbed Idols. 2. The Philippines and Moluccas. 3. The name Chin or China. 4. The Gulf of Cheinan.


NOTES.—1. Champa, and Kúblái's dealings with it. (See App. L. 10). 2. Chronology. 3. Eagle-wood and Ebony. Polo's use of Persian words.


  NOTE.—Java; its supposed vast extent. Kúblái's expedition against it and


  NOTES.—1. Textual. 2. Pulo Condore. 3. The Kingdom of Locac, Southern


  NOTES.—1. Bintang. 2. The Straits of Singapore. 3. Remarks on the Malay
  Chronology. Malaiur probably Palembang.


  NOTES.—1. The Island of Sumatra: application of the term Java.
  2. Products of Sumatra. The six kingdoms. 3. Ferlec or Parlák. The
  Battas. 4. Basma, Pacem, or Pasei. 5. The Elephant and the Rhinoceros.
  The Legend of Monoceros and the Virgin. 6. Black Falcon.


NOTES.—1. Samara, Sumatra Proper. 2. The Tramontaine and the Mestre. 3. The Malay Toddy-Palm. 4. Dagroian. 5. Alleged custom of eating dead relatives.


  NOTES.—1. Lambri. 2. Hairy and Tailed Men. 3. Fansur and Camphor
  Fansuri. Sumatran Camphor. 4. The Sago-Palm. 5. Remarks on Polo's
  Sumatran Kingdoms.


NOTE.—Gauenispola, and the Nicobar Islands.


NOTE.—The Andaman Islands.


  NOTES.—1. Chinese Chart. 2. Exaggeration of Dimensions. The Name.
  3. Sovereigns then ruling Ceylon. 4. Brazil Wood and Cinnamon. 5. The
  Great Ruby.


  NOTES.—1. Adam's Peak, and the Foot thereon. 2. The Story of Sakya-Muni
  Buddha. The History of Saints Barlaam and Josaphat; a Christianised
  version thereof. 3. High Estimate of Buddha's Character. 4. Curious
  Parallel Passages. 5. Pilgrimages to the Peak. 6. The Pátra of Buddha,
  and the Tooth-Relic. 7. Miraculous endowments of the Pátra; it is the
  Holy Grail of Buddhism.


  NOTES.—1. Ma'bar, its definition, and notes on its Mediaeval History.
  2. The Pearl Fishery.


  NOTES.—1. Costume. 2. Hindu Royal Necklace. 3. Hindu use of the Rosary.
  4. The Saggio. 5. Companions in Death; the word Amok. 6. Accumulated
  Wealth of Southern India at this time. 7. Horse Importation from the
  Persian Gulf. 8. Religious Suicides. 9. Suttees. 10. Worship of the Ox.
  The Govis. 11. Verbal. 12. The Thomacides. 13. Ill-success of
  Horse-breeding in S. India. 14. Curious Mode of Arrest for Debt. 15. The
  Rainy Seasons. 16. Omens of the Hindus. 17. Strange treatment of Horses.
  18. The Devadásis. 19. Textual.


  NOTES.—1. Mailapúr. 2. The word Avarian. 3. Miraculous Earth. 4. The
  Traditions of St. Thomas in India. The ancient Church at his Tomb; the
  ancient Cross preserved on St. Thomas's Mount. 5. White Devils. 6. The
  Yak's Tail.


NOTES.—1. Motapallé. The Widow Queen of Telingana. 2. The Diamond Mines, and the Legend of the Diamond Gathering. 3. Buckram.


NOTES.—1. Abraiaman. The Country of Lar. Hindu Character. 2. The Kingdom of Soli or Chola. 3. Lucky and Unlucky Days and Hours. The Canonical Hours of the Church. 4. Omens. 5. Jogis. The Ox-emblem. 6. Verbal. 7. Recurrence of Human Eccentricities.


  NOTES.—1. Káyal; its true position. Kolkhoi identified. 2. The King
  Ashar or As-char. 3. Correa, Note. 4. Betel-chewing. 5. Duels.


NOTES.—1. Coilum, Coilon, Kaulam, Columbum, Quilon. Ancient Christian Churches. 2. Brazil Wood: notes on the name. 3. Columbine Ginger and other kinds. 4. Indigo. 5. Black Lions. 6. Marriage Customs.


NOTES.—1. Cape Comorin. 2. The word Gat-paul.


NOTES.—1. Mount D'Ely, and the City of Hili-Marawi. 2. Textual. 3. Produce. 4. Piratical custom. 5. Wooden Anchors.


NOTES.—1. Dislocation of Polo's Indian Geography. The name of Malabar. 2. Verbal. 3. Pirates. 4. Cassia: Turbit: Cubebs. 5. Cessation of direct Chinese trade with Malabar.


NOTES.—1. Topographical Confusion. 2. Tamarina. 3. Tall Cotton Trees. 4. Embroidered Leather-work.


NOTES.—1. Tana, and the Konkan. 2. Incense of Western India.




NOTE.—Somnath, and the so-called Gates of Somnath.


  NOTES.—1. Kij-Mekrán. Limit of India. 2. Recapitulation of Polo's Indian


NOTE.—The Legend and its diffusion.


  NOTES.—1. Whales of the Indian Seas. 2. Socotra and its former
  Christianity. 3. Piracy at Socotra. 4. Sorcerers.


NOTES.—1. Madagascar; some confusion here with Magadoxo. 2. Sandalwood. 3. Whale-killing. The Capidoglio or Sperm-Whale. 4. The Currents towards the South. 5. The Rukh (and see Appendix L. 11). 6. More on the dimensions assigned thereto. 7. Hippopotamus Teeth.


NOTES.—1. Zangibar; Negroes. 2. Ethiopian Sheep. 3. Giraffes. 4. Ivory trade. 5. Error about Elephant-taming. 6. Number of Islands assigned to the Indian Sea. 7. The Three Indies, and various distributions thereof. Polo's Indian Geography.


NOTES.—1. Habash or Abyssinia. Application of the name India to it. 2. Fire Baptism ascribed to the Abyssinian Christians. 3. Polo's idea of the position of Aden. 4. Taming of the African Elephant for War. 5. Marco's Story of the Abyssinian Invasion of the Mahomedan Low-Country, and Review of Abyssinian Chronology in connection therewith. 6. Textual.


NOTES.—1. The Trade to Alexandria from India viâ Aden. 2. "Roncins à deux selles." 3. The Sultan of Aden. The City and its Great Tanks. 4. The Loss of Acre.


  NOTES.—1. Shihr. 2. Frankincense. 3. Four-horned Sheep. 4. Cattle fed on
  Fish. 5. Parallel passage.


NOTES.—1. Dhofar. 2. Notes on Frankincense.


NOTES.—1. Kalhát. 2. "En fra terre." 3. Maskat.


NOTES.—1. Polo's distances and bearings in these latter chapters. 2. Persian Bád-gírs or wind-catching chimneys. 3. Island of Kish.


Wars among the Tartar Princes, and some Account of the Northern


NOTES.—1. Kaidu Khan. 2. His frontier towards the Great Kaan.


  NOTES.—1. Textual. 2. "Araines." 3. Chronology in connection with the
  events described.


NOTE.—Her name explained. Remarks on the story.


NOTES.—1. Government of the Khorasan frontier. 2. The Historical Events.


NOTES.—1. Death of Abaka. 2. Textual. 3. Ahmad Tigudar.


NOTES.—1. Verbal. 2. Historical.


NOTES.—1. The historical circumstances and persons named in these chapters. 2. Arghún's accession and death.


NOTE.—The reign and character of Kaikhátú.


NOTES.—1. Baidu's alleged Christianity. 2. Gházán Khan.


NOTES.—1. Kaunchi Khan. 2. Siberia. 3. Dog-sledges. 4. The animal here styled Erculin. The Vair. 5. Yugria.


  NOTES.—1. The Land of Darkness. 2. The Legend of the Mares and their
  Foals. 3. Dumb Trade with the People of the Darkness.


  NOTES.—1. Old Accounts of Russia. Russian Silver and Rubles. 2. Lac, or
  Wallachia. 3. Oroech, Norway (?) or the Waraeg Country (?)


  NOTES.—1. The Comanians; the Alans; Majar; Zic; the Goths of the Crimea;
  Gazaria. 2. The Khans of Kipchak or the Golden Horde; errors in Polo's
  list. Extent of their Empire.

THEY FOUGHT (Extracts and Substance.)

  NOTES.—1. Verbal. 2. The Sea of Sarai. 3. The War here spoken of.
  Wassáf's rigmarole.


  NOTE.—Confusions in the Text. Historical circumstances connected with
  the Persons spoken of. Toctai and Noghai Khan. Symbolic Messages.


[1] Of chapters so marked nothing is given but the substance in brief.


A. Genealogy of the House of Chinghiz to the End of the Thirteenth Century

B. The Polo Families:—
  (I.) Genealogy of the Family of Marco Polo the Traveller
  (II.) The Polos of San Geremia

C. Calendar of Documents relating to Marco Polo and his Family

D. Comparative Specimens of the Different Recensions of Polo's Text

E. Preface to Pipino's Latin Version

F. Note of MSS. of Marco Polo's Book, so far as known:
  General Distribution of MSS.
  List of Miniatures in two of the finer MSS.
  List of MSS. of Marco Polo's Book, so far as they are known

G. Diagram showing Filiation of Chief MSS. and Editions of Marco Polo

H. Bibliography:—
  (I.) Principal Editions of Marco Polo's Book
  (II.) Bibliography of Printed Editions
  (III.) Titles of Sundry Books and Papers treating of Marco Polo and his

I. Titles of Works quoted by Abbreviated References in this Book

K. Values of Certain Moneys, Weights, and Measures occurring in this Book.

L. Supplementary Notes to the Book of Marco Polo 1. The Polos at Acre. 2. Sorcery in Kashmir. 3. PAONANO PAO. 4. Pamir. 5. Number of Pamirs. 6. Site of Pein. 7. Fire-arms. 8. La Couvade. 9. Alacan 10. Champa. 11. Ruck Quills. 12. A Spanish Marco Polo. 13. Sir John Mandeville.




Portrait bearing the inscription "MARCUS POLVS VENETVS TOTIVS ORBIS ET INDIE PEREGRATOR PRIMVS." In the Gallery of Monsignor Badia at Rome; copied by Sign. GIUSEPPE GNOLI, Rome.

Medallion, representing Marco Polo in the PRISON of GENOA, dictating his story to Master RUSTICIAN of PISA, drawn by Signor QUINTO CENNI from a rough design by Sir HENRY YULE.

The celebrated CHRISTIAN INSCRIPTION OF SI-NGAN FU. Photolithographed by Mr W. GRIGG, from a Rubbing of the original monument, given to the Editor by the Baron F. von Richthofen.

  This rubbing is more complete than that used in the first edition, for
  which the Editor was indebted to the kindness of William Lockhart, Esq.

The LAKE of TALI (CARAJAN of Polo) from the Northern End. Woodcut after
Lieut. DELAPORTE, borrowed from Lieut. GARNIER'S Narrative in the Tour du

Suspension Bridge, neighbourhood of TALI. From a photograph by M. Tannant.

The CITY of MIEN, with the Gold and Silver Towers. From a drawing by the
Editor, based upon his sketches of the remains of the City so called by
Marco Polo, viz., PAGÁN, the mediaeval capital of Burma.

Itineraries of Marco Polo. No. V. The INDO-CHINESE COUNTRIES. With a small
sketch extracted from a Chinese Map in the possession of Baron von
Richthofen, showing the position of KIEN-CH'ANG, the Caindu of Marco

Sketch Map exhibiting the VARIATIONS of the TWO GREAT RIVERS of China, within the Period of History.

The CITY of SU-CHAU. Reduced by the Editor from a Rubbing of a Plan incised on Marble, and preserved in the Great Confucian Temple in the City.

The date of the original set of Maps, of which this was one, is uncertain, owing to the partial illegibility of the Inscription; but it is subsequent to A.D. 1000. They were engraved on the Marble A.D. 1247. Many of the names have been obliterated, and a few of those given in the copy are filled up from modern information, as the Editor learns from Mr. Wylie, to whom he owes this valuable illustration.

Map of HANG-CHAU FU and its LAKE, from Chinese Sources.

The Map as published in the former edition was based on a Chinese Map in the possession of Dr. W. Lockhart, with some particulars from Maps in a copy of the Local Topography, Hang-Chau-fu-chi, in the B. Museum Library. In the second edition the Map has been entirely redrawn by the Editor, with many corrections, and with the aid of new materials, supplied by the kindness of the Rev. G. Moule of the Church Mission at Hang-chau. These materials embrace a Paper read by Mr. Moule before the N. China Branch of the R. As. Soc. at Shang-hai; a modern engraved Map of the City on a large scale; and a large MS. Map of the City and Lake, compiled by John Shing, Tailor, a Chinese Christian and Catechist;

The small Side-plan is the City of SI-NGAN FU, from a plan published during the Mongol rule, in the 14th century, a tracing of which was sent by Mr. Wylie. The following references could not be introduced in lettering for want of space:—

1. Yuen-Tu-Kwan (Tauist Monastery). 2. Chapel of Hien-ning Prince. 3. Leih-Ching Square (Fang). 4. Tauist Monastery. 5. Kie-lin General Court. 6. Ancestral Chapel of Yang-Wan-Kang. 7. Chapel of the Mid-year Genius. 8. Temple of the Martial Peaceful King. 9. Stone where officers are selected. 10. Mews. 11. Jasper-Waves Square (Fang). 12. Court of Enquiry. 13. Gate of the Fang-Yuen Circuit. 14. Bright Gate. 15. Northern Tribunal. 16. Refectory. 17. Chapel of the Fang-Yuen Prince. 18. Embroidery manufactory. 19. Hwa-li Temple. 20. Old Superintendency of Investigations. 21. Superintendent of Works. 22. Ka-yuen Monastery. 23. Prefectural Confucian Temple. 24. Benevolent Institution. 25. Temple of Tu-Ke-King. 26. Balustrade enclosure. 27. Medicine-Bazar Street. 28. Tsin and Ching States Chapel. 29. Square of the Double Cassia Tree.

  N.B.—The shaded spaces are marked in the original Min-Keu
  "Dwellings of the People."

Plan of SOUTHERN PART of the CITY of KING-SZÉ (or Hang-chau), with the PALACE of the SUNG EMPERORS. From a Chinese Plan forming part of a Reprint of the official Topography of the City during the period Hien-Shun (1265-1274) of the Sung Dynasty, i.e. the period terminated by the Mongol conquest of the City and Empire. Mr. Moule, who possesses the Chinese plan (with others of the same set), has come to the conclusion that it is a copy at second-hand. Names that are underlined are such as are preserved in the modern Map of Hang-chau. I am indebted for the use of the original plan to Mr. Moule; for the photographic copy and rendering of the names to Mr. Wylie.

Sketch Map of the GREAT PORTS of FO-KIEN, to illustrate the identity of Marco Polo's ZAYTON. Besides the Admiralty Charts and other well-known sources the Editor has used in forming this a "Missionary Map of Amoy and the Neighbouring Country," on a large scale, sent him by the Rev. Carstairs Douglas, LL.D., of Amoy. This contains some points not to be found in the others.

Itineraries of MARCO POLO, No. VI. The Journey through KIANG-NAN,

1. Map to illustrate Marco Polo's Chapters on the MALAY COUNTRIES. 2. Map to illustrate his Chapters on SOUTHERN INDIA.

1. Sketch showing the Position of KÁYAL in Tinnevelly. 2. Map showing the Position of the Kingdom of ELY in MALABAR.

ADEN, with the attempted Escalade under Alboquerque in 1513, being the Reduced Facsimile of a large contemporary Wood Engraving in the Map Department of the British Museum. (Size of the original 42-1/2 inches by 19-1/8 inches.) Photolithographic Reduction by Mr. G.B. PRAETORIUS, through the assistance of R. H. Major, Esq.

Facsimile of the Letters sent to PHILIP the FAIR, King of France, by ARGHÚN
KHAN, in A.D. 1289, and by OLJAÏTU, in A.D. 1305, preserved in the Archives
of France, and reproduced from the Recueil des Documents de l'Epoque
by kind permission of H.H. Prince ROLAND BONAPARTE.

Some of the objects found by Dr. M.A. Stein, in Central Asia. From a photograph kindly lent by the Traveller.



The BRIDGE of PULISANGHIN, the Lu-ku-k'iao of the Chinese, reduced from a large Chinese Engraving in the Geographical work called Ki-fu-thung-chi in the Paris Library. I owe the indication of this, and of the Portrait of Kúblái Kaan in vol. i. to notes in M. Pauthier's edition.

The BRIDGE of PULISANGHIN. From the Livre des Merveilles.

BRIDGE of LU-KU-K'IAO. From a photograph by Count de SEMALLÉ.

BRIDGE of LU-KU-K'IAO. From a photograph by Count de SEMALLÉ.

The ROI D'OR. Professed Portrait of the Last of the Altun Khans or Kin
Emperors of Cathay, from the (fragmentary) Arabic Manuscript of
Rashiduddin's History in the Library of the Royal Asiatic Society. This
Manuscript is supposed to have been transcribed under the eye of
Rashiduddin, and the drawings were probably derived from Chinese originals.

Plan of Ki-chau, after Duhalde.

The CROSS incised at the head of the GREAT CHRISTIAN INSCRIPTION of SI-NGAN FU (A.D. 781); actual size, from copy of a pencil rubbing made on the original by the Rev. J. Lees. Received from Mr. A. Wylie.

Diagram to elucidate the cities of Ch'êng-tu fu.

Plan of Ch'êng-tu. From MARCEL MONNIER'S Tour d'Asie, by kind permission of M. PLON.

Bridge near Kwan-hsien (Ch'êng-tu). From MARCEL MONNIER'S Tour d'Asie, by kind permission of M. PLON.

MOUNTAINEERS on the Borders of SZE-CH'WAN and TIBET, from one of the illustrations to Lieut. Garnier's Narrative (see p. 48). From Tour du Monde.

VILLAGE of EASTERN TIBET on Sze-ch'wan Frontier. From Mr. Cooper's Travels of a Pioneer of Commerce.

Example of ROADS on the TIBETAN FRONTIER of China (being actually a view of the Gorge of the Lan t'sang Kiang). From Mr. Cooper's Travels of a Pioneer of Commerce.

The VALLEY of the KIN-SHA KIANG, near the lower end of the CAINDU of Marco
Polo. From Lieut. Garnier in the Tour du Monde.

SALT PANS in Yun-nan. From the same.

Black Lolo.

White Lolo. From DEVÉRIA'S Frontière Sino-annamite.

Pa-y Script. From the T'oung-Pao.

Garden-House on the LAKE of YUN-NAN-FU, YACHI of Polo. From Lieut.
Garnier in the Tour du Monde.

Road descending from the Table-Land of YUN-NAN into the VALLEY of the
KIN-SHA KIANG (the BRIUS of Polo). From the same.

"A SARACEN of CARAJAN," being the portrait of a Mahomedan Mullah in Western
Yun-nan. From the same.

The Canal at YUN-NAN FU. From a photograph by M. TANNANT.

"Riding long like FRENCHMEN," exemplified from the Bayeux Tapestry. After
Lacroix, Vie Militaire du Moyen Age.

The SANG-MIAU tribe of KWEI-CHAU, with the Cross-bow. From a coloured drawing in a Chinese work on the Aboriginal Tribes, belonging to W. Lockhart, Esq.

Portraits of a KAKHYEN man and woman. Drawn by Q. CENNI from a photograph (anonymous).

Temple called GAUDAPALÉN in the city of MIEN (i.e. Pagán in Burma), erected circa A.D. 1160. Engraving after a sketch by the first Editor, from Fergusson's History of Architecture.

The PALACE of the KING of MIEN in modern times (viz., the Palace at
Amarapura). From the same, being partly from a sketch by the first

Script Pa-pe. From the T'oung-Pao.

HO-NHI and other Tribes in the Department of Lin-ngan in S. Yun-nan, supposed to be the Anin country of Marco Polo. From Garnier in the Tour du Monde.

The KOLOMAN tribe, on borders of Kwei-chau and Yun-nan. From coloured drawing in Mr. Lockhart's book as above (under p. 83).

Script thaï of Xieng-hung. From the T'oung-Pao.

Iron SUSPENSION BRIDGE at Lowatong. From Garnier in Tour du Monde.

FORTIFIED VILLAGES on Western Frontier of KWEI-CHAU. From the same.


YANG-CHAU: the three Cities under the Sung.

YANG-CHAU: the Great City under the Sung. From Chinese Plans kindly sent to the present Editor by the late Father H. Havret, S.J., Zi-ka-wei.

MEDIAEVAL ARTILLERY ENGINES. Figs, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, are CHINESE. The first four are from the Encyclopaedia San-Thsai-Thou-hoei (Paris Library), the last from Amyot, vol. viii.

Figs. 6, 7, 8 are SARACEN, 6 and 7 are taken from the work of Reinaud and Favé, Du Feu Grégeois, and by them from the Arabic MS. of Hassan al Raumah (Arab Anc. Fonds, No. 1127). Fig. 8 is from Lord Munster's Arabic Catalogue of Military Works, and by him from a MS. of Rashiduddin's History.

The remainder are EUROPEAN. Fig. 9 is from Pertz, Scriptores, vol. xviii., and by him from a figure of the Siege of Arbicella, 1227, in a MS. of Genoese Annals (No. 773, Supp. Lat. of Bib. Imp.). Fig. 10 from Shaw's Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages, vol. i., No. 21, after B. Mus. MS. Reg. 16, G. vi. Fig. 11 from Perts as above, under A.D. 1182. Fig. 12, from Valturius de Re Militari, Verona, 1483. Figs. 13 and 14 from the Poliorceticon of Justus Lipsius. Fig. 15 is after the Bodleian MS. of the Romance of Alexander (A.D. 1338), but is taken from the Gentleman's Magazine, 3rd ser. vol. vii. p. 467. Fig. 16 from Lacroix's Art au Moyen Age, after a miniature of 13th cent. in the Paris Library. Figs. 17 and 18 from the Emperor Napoleon's Études de l'Artillerie, and by him taken from the MS. of Paulus Santinus (Lat. MS. 7329 in Paris Library). Fig. 19 from Professor Moseley's restoration of a Trebuchet, after the data in the Mediaeval Note-book of Villars de Honcourt, in Gentleman's Magazine as above. Figs. 20 and 21 from the Emperor's Book. Fig. 22 from a German MS. in the Bern Library, the Chronicle of Justinger and Schilling.

COIN from a treasure hidden during the siege of SIANG-YANG in 1268-73, and lately discovered in that city.

Island MONASTERIES on the YANG-TZU KIANG; viz.:—

  1. Uppermost. The "Little Orphan Rock," after a cut in Oliphant's

  2. Middle. The "Golden Island" near Chin-kiang fu, after Fisher's
. (This has been accidentally reversed in the drawing.)

  3. Lower. The "Silver Island," below the last, after Mr. Lindley's
  book on the T'ai-P'ings.

The West Gate of CHIN-KIANG FU. From an engraving in Fisher's China after a sketch made by Admiral Stoddart, R.N., in 1842.

South-West Gate and Water Gate of SU-CHAU; facsimile on half scale from the incised Map of 1247. (See List of Inserted Plates preceding, under p. 182.)

The old LUH-HO-TA or Pagoda of Six Harmonies near HANG-CHAU, and anciently marking the extreme S.W. angle of the city. Drawn by Q. CENNI from an anonymous photograph received from the Rev. G. Moule.

Imperial City of HANG-CHAU in the 13th Century.

Metropolitan City of HANG-CHAU in the 13th Century. From the Notes of the
Right Rev. G.E. Moule.

Fang of SI-NGAN FU. Communicated by A. Wylie.

Stone Chwang or UMBRELLA COLUMN, one of two which still mark the site of the ancient Buddhist Monastery called Fan-T'ien-Sze or "Brahma's Temple" at Hang-chau. Reduced from a pen-and-ink sketch by Mr. Moule.

Mr. PHILLIPS' Theory of Marco Polo's Route through Fo-Kien.

Scene in the BOHEA MOUNTAINS, on Polo's route between Kiang-Si and Fo-Kien. From Fortune's Three Years' Wanderings.
Scene on the MIN RIVER below Fu-chau. From the same.

The KAAN'S FLEET leaving the Port of ZAYTON. The scenery is taken from an engraving in Fisher's China, purporting to represent the mouth of the Chinchew River (or River of Tswan-chau), after a sketch by Capt. (now Adm.) Stoddart. But the Rev. Dr. Douglas, having pointed out that this cut really supported his view of the identity of Zayton, being a view of the Chang-chau River, reference was made to Admiral Stoddart, and Dr. Douglas proves to be quite right. The View was really one of the Chang-chau River; but the Editor has not been able to procure material for one of the Tswan-chau River, and so he leaves it.


The KAAN'S FLEET passing through the Indian ARCHIPELAGO. From a drawing by the Editor.

Ancient JAPANESE EMPEROR, after a Native Drawing. From the Tour du Monde.

Ancient JAPANESE ARCHER, after a native drawing. From the same.

The JAPANESE engaged in combat with the CHINESE, after an ancient native drawing. From Charton, Voyageurs Anciens et Modernes.

JAVA. A view in the interior. From a sketch of the slopes of the Gedéh
Volcano, taken by the Editor in 1860.

Bas Relief of one of the VESSELS frequenting the Ports of JAVA in the Middle Ages. From one of the sculptures of the BORO BODOR, after a photograph.

The three Asiatic RHINOCEROSES. Adapted from a proof of a woodcut given to the Editor for the purpose by the late eminent zoologist, Edward Blyth. It is not known to the Editor whether the cut appeared in any other publication.

MONOCEROS and the MAIDEN. From a mediaeval drawing engraved in Cahier et
Martin, Mélanges d'Archéologie
, II. Pl. 30.

The BORÚS. From a manuscript belonging to the late CHARLES SCHEFER, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

The CYNOCEPHALI. From the Livre des Merveilles.

ADAM'S PEAK from the Sea.

SAKYA MUNI as a Saint of the Roman Martyrology. Facsimile from an old German version of the story of Barlaam and Josaphat (circa 1477), printed by Zainer at Augsburg, in the British Museum.

TOOTH Reliques of BUDDHA. 1. At Kandy, after Emerson Tennent. 2. At
Fu-chau, after Fortune.

"CHINESE PAGODA" (so called) at Negapatam. From a sketch taken by Sir
Walter Elliot, K.C.S.I., in 1846.

PAGODA at TANJORE. From Fergusson's History of Architecture.

Ancient CROSS with Pehlvi Inscription, preserved in the church on ST. THOMAS'S MOUNT near Madras. From a photograph, the gift of A. Burnell, Esq., of the Madras Civil Service, assisted by a lithographic drawing in his unpublished pamphlet on Pehlvi Crosses in South India. N.B.—The lithograph has now appeared in the Indian Antiquary, November, 1874.

The Little MOUNT of ST. THOMAS, near Madras. After Daniel.

Small Map of the ST. THOMAS localities at Madras.

Ancient Christian CHURCH at PARÚR or Palúr, on the Malabar Coast; from an engraving in Pearson's Life of Claudius Buchanan, after a sketch by the latter.

SYRIAN CHURCH at Karanyachirra, showing the quasi-Jesuit Façade generally adopted in modern times. From the Life of Bishop Daniel Wilson.

INTERIOR of Syrian CHURCH at Kötteiyam. From the same.

CAPE COMORIN. From an original sketch by Mr. FOOTE of the Geological Survey of India.

MOUNT D'ELY. From a nautical sketch of last century.

Mediaeval ARCHITECTURE in GUZERAT, being a view of Gateway at Jinjawára, given in Forbes's Ras Mala. From Fergusson's History of Architecture.

The GATES of SOMNATH (so called), as preserved in the British Arsenal at Agra. From a photograph by Messrs. SHEPHERD and BOURNE, converted into an elevation.

The RUKH, after a Persian drawing. From Lane's Arabian Nights.

Frontispiece of A. Müller's Marco Polo, showing the Bird Rukh.

The ETHIOPIAN SHEEP. From a sketch by Miss Catherine Frere.

View of ADEN in 1840. From a sketch by Dr. R. KIRK in the Map-room of the
Royal Geographical Society.

The Harvest of FRANKINCENSE in Arabia. Facsimile of an engraving in Thevet's Cosmographie Universelle (1575). Reproduced from Cassell's Bible Educator, by the courtesy of the publishers.

BOSWELLIA FREREANA, from a drawing by Mr. W.H. FITCH. The use of this engraving is granted by the India Museum through the kindness of Sir George Birdwood.

A Persian BÁD-GÍR, or Wind-Catcher. From a drawing in the Atlas to Hommaire de Hell's Persia. Engraved by ADENEY.


Tomb of OLJAITU KHAN, the brother of Polo's CASAN, at Sultaniah. From Fergusson's History of Architecture.

The Siberian DOG-SLEDGE. From the Tour du Monde.

Mediaeval RUSSIAN Church. From Fergusson's History of Architecture.

Figure of a TARTAR under the Feet of Henry Duke of Silesia, Cracow, and
Poland, from the tomb at Breslau of that Prince, killed in battle with the
Tartar host, 9th April, 1241. After a plate in Schlesische Fürstenbilder
des Mittelalters
, Breslau, 1868.

Asiatic WARRIORS of Polo's Age. From the MS. of Rashiduddin's History, noticed under cut at p. 19. Engraved by ADENEY.


FIGURE of MARCO POLO, from the first printed edition of his Book, published in German at Nuremberg 1477. Traced from a copy in the Berlin Library. (This tracing was the gift of Mr. Samuel D. Horton, of Cincinnati, through Mr. Marsh.)

Marco Polo's rectified Itinerary from Khotan to Nia.


[Illustration: MARCO POLO in the Prison of Genoa]





Now you must know that the Emperor sent the aforesaid Messer Marco Polo, who is the author of this whole story, on business of his into the Western Provinces. On that occasion he travelled from Cambaluc a good four months' journey towards the west.[NOTE 1] And so now I will tell you all that he saw on his travels as he went and returned.

[Illustration: The Bridge of Pulisanghin. (Reduced from a Chinese original.)

"—et desus cest flum a un mout biaus pont de pieres: car sachiez qe pont n'a en tout le monde de si biaus ne son pareil."]

When you leave the City of Cambaluc and have ridden ten miles, you come to a very large river which is called PULISANGHIN, and flows into the ocean, so that merchants with their merchandise ascend it from the sea. Over this River there is a very fine stone bridge, so fine indeed, that it has very few equals. The fashion of it is this: it is 300 paces in length, and it must have a good eight paces of width, for ten mounted men can ride across it abreast. It has 24 arches and as many water-mills, and 'tis all of very fine marble, well built and firmly founded. Along the top of the bridge there is on either side a parapet of marble slabs and columns, made in this way. At the beginning of the bridge there is a marble column, and under it a marble lion, so that the column stands upon the lion's loins, whilst on the top of the column there is a second marble lion, both being of great size and beautifully executed sculpture. At the distance of a pace from this column there is another precisely the same, also with its two lions, and the space between them is closed with slabs of grey marble to prevent people from falling over into the water. And thus the columns run from space to space along either side of the bridge, so that altogether it is a beautiful object.[NOTE 2]

NOTE 1.—[When Marco leaves the capital, he takes the main road, the "Imperial Highway," from Peking to Si-ngan fu, via Pao-ting, Cheng-ting, Hwai-luh, Taï-yuan, Ping-yang, and T'ung-kwan, on the Yellow River. Mr. G. F. Eaton, writing from Han-chung (Jour. China Br. R. As. Soc. XXVIII. No. 1) says it is a cart-road, except for six days between Taí-yuan and Hwai-luh, and that it takes twenty-nine days to go from Peking to Si-ngan, a figure which agrees well with Polo's distances; it is also the time which Dr. Forke's journey lasted; he left Peking on the 1st May, 1892, reached Taï-yuan on the 12th, and arrived at Si-ngan on the 30th (Von Peking nach Ch'ang-an). Mr. Rockhill left Peking on the 17th December, 1888, reached T'aï-yuan on the 26th, crossed the Yellow River on the 5th January, and arrived at Si-ngan fu on the 8th January, 1889, in twenty-two days, a distance of 916 miles. (Land of the Lamas, pp. 372-374.) M. Grenard left Si-ngan on the 10th November and reached Peking on the 16th December, 1894 = thirty-six days; he reckons 1389 kilometres = 863 miles. (See Rev. C. Holcombe, Tour through Shan-hsi and Shen-hsi in Jour. North China Br.R.A.S.N.S. X. pp. 54-70.)—H.C.]

[Illustration: The Bridge of Pulisanghin. (From the Livre des

NOTE 2.—Pul-i-Sangín, the name which Marco gives the River, means in Persian simply (as Marsden noticed) "The Stone Bridge." In a very different region the same name often occurs in the history of Timur applied to a certain bridge, in the country north of Badakhshan, over the Wakhsh branch of the Oxus. And the Turkish admiral Sidi 'Ali, travelling that way from India in the 16th century, applies the name, as it is applied here, to the river; for his journal tells us that beyond Kulíb he crossed "the River Pulisangin."

We may easily suppose, therefore, that near Cambaluc also, the Bridge, first, and then the River, came to be known to the Persian-speaking foreigners of the court and city by this name. This supposition is however a little perplexed by the circumstance that Rashiduddin calls the River the Sangín and that Sangkan-Ho appears from the maps or citations of Martini, Klaproth, Neumann, and Pauthier to have been one of the Chinese names of the river, and indeed, Sankang is still the name of one of the confluents forming the Hwan Ho.

[By Sanghin, Polo renders the Chinese Sang-kan, by which name the River Hun-ho is already mentioned, in the 6th century of our era. Hun-ho is also an ancient name; and the same river in ancient books is often called Lu-Kou River also. All these names are in use up to the present time; but on modern Chinese maps, only the upper part of the river is termed Sang-Kan ho, whilst south of the inner Great Wall, and in the plain, the name of Hun-ho is applied to it. Hun ho means "Muddy River," and the term is quite suitable. In the last century, the Emperor K'ien-lung ordered the Hun-ho to be named Yung-ting ho, a name found on modern maps, but the people always call it Hun ho (Bretschneider, Peking, p. 54.)—H.C.]

The River is that which appears in the maps as the Hwan Ho, Hun-ho, or Yongting Ho, flowing about 7 miles west of Peking towards the south-east and joining the Pe-Ho at Tientsin; and the Bridge is that which has been known for ages as the Lu-kou-Kiao or Bridge of Lukou, adjoining the town which is called in the Russian map of Peking Feuchen, but in the official Chinese Atlas Kung-Keih-cheng. (See Map at ch. xi. of Bk. II. in the first Volume.) ["Before arriving at the bridge the small walled city of Kung-ki cheng is passed. This was founded in the first half of the 17th century. The people generally call it Fei-ch'eng" (Bretschneider, Peking, p. 50.)—H.C.] It is described both by Magaillans and Lecomte, with some curious discrepancies, whilst each affords particulars corroborative of Polo's account of the character of the bridge. The former calls it the finest bridge in China. Lecomte's account says the bridge was the finest he had yet seen. "It is above 170 geometrical paces (850 feet) in length. The arches are small, but the rails or side-walls are made of a hard whitish stone resembling marble. These stones are more than 5 feet long, 3 feet high, and 7 or 8 inches thick; supported at each end by pilasters adorned with mouldings and bearing the figures of lions…. The bridge is paved with great flat stones, so well joined that it is even as a floor."

Magaillans thinks Polo's memory partially misled him, and that his description applies more correctly to another bridge on the same road, but some distance further west, over the Lieu-li Ho. For the bridge over the Hwan Ho had really but thirteen arches, whereas that on the Lieu-li had, as Polo specifies, twenty-four. The engraving which we give of the Lu-kou K'iao from a Chinese work confirms this statement, for it shows but thirteen arches. And what Polo says of the navigation of the river is almost conclusive proof that Magaillans is right, and that our traveller's memory confounded the two bridges. For the navigation of the Hwan Ho, even when its channel is full, is said to be impracticable on account of rapids, whilst the Lieu-li Ho, or "Glass River," is, as its name implies, smooth, and navigable, and it is largely navigated by boats from the coal-mines of Fang-shan. The road crosses the latter about two leagues from Cho-chau. (See next chapter.)

[Illustration: Bridge of Lu-ku k'iao]

[The Rev. W.S. Ament (M. Polo in Cambaluc, p. 116-117) remarks regarding Yule's quotation from Magaillans that "a glance at Chinese history would have explained to these gentlemen that there was no stone bridge over the Liu Li river till the days of Kia Tsing, the Ming Emperor, 1522 A.D., or more than one hundred and fifty years after Polo was dead. Hence he could not have confounded bridges, one of which he never saw. The Lu Kou Bridge was first constructed of stone by She Tsung, fourth Emperor of the Kin, in the period Ta Ting 1189 A.D., and was finished by Chang Tsung 1194 A.D. Before that time it had been constructed of wood, and had been sometimes a stationary and often a floating bridge. The oldest account [end of 16th century] states that the bridge was pu 200 in length, and specifically states that each pu was 5 feet, thus making the bridge 1000 feet long. It was called the Kuan Li Bridge. The Emperor, Kia Tsing of the Ming, was a great bridge builder. He reconstructed this bridge, adding strong embankments to prevent injury by floods. He also built the fine bridge over the Liu Li Ho, the Cho Chou Bridge over the Chü Ma Ho. What cannot be explained is Polo's statement that the bridge had twenty-four arches, when the oldest accounts give no more than thirteen, there being eleven at the present time. The columns which supported the balustrade in Polo's time rested upon the loins of sculptured lions. The account of the lions after the bridge was repaired by Kia Tsing says that there are so many that it is impossible to count them correctly, and gossip about the bridge says that several persons have lost their minds in making the attempt. The little walled city on the east end of the bridge, rightly called Kung Chi, popularly called Fei Ch'eng, is a monument to Ts'ung Ch'êng, the last of the Ming, who built it, hoping to check the advance of Li Tzu ch'eng, the great robber chief who finally proved too strong for him."—H.C.]

The Bridge of Lu-kou is mentioned more than once in the history of the conquest of North China by Chinghiz. It was the scene of a notable mutiny of the troops of the Kin Dynasty in 1215, which induced Chinghiz to break a treaty just concluded, and led to his capture of Peking.

This bridge was begun, according to Klaproth, in 1189, and was five years a-building. On the 17th August, 1688, as Magaillans tells us, a great flood carried away two arches of the bridge, and the remainder soon fell. [Father Intorcetta, quoted by Bretschneider (Peking, p. 53), gives the 25th of July, 1668, as the date of the destruction of the bridge, which agrees well with the Chinese accounts.—H.C.] The bridge was renewed, but with only nine arches instead of thirteen, as appears from the following note of personal observation with which Dr. Lockhart has favoured me:

"At 27 li from Peking, by the western road leaving the gate of the Chinese city called Kwang-'an-man, after passing the old walled town of Feuchen, you reach the bridge of Lo-Ku-Kiao. As it now stands it is a very long bridge of nine arches (real arches) spanning the valley of the Hwan Ho, and surrounded by beautiful scenery. The bridge is built of green sandstone, and has a good balustrade with short square pilasters crowned by small lions. It is in very good repair, and has a ceaseless traffic, being on the road to the coal-mines which supply the city. There is a pavilion at each end of the bridge with inscriptions, the one recording that K'anghi (1662-1723) built the bridge, and the other that Kienlung (1736-1796) repaired it." These circumstances are strictly consistent with Magaillans' account of the destruction of the mediaeval bridge. Williamson describes the present bridge as about 700 feet long, and 12 feet wide in the middle part.

[Dr. Bretschneider saw the bridge, and gives the following description of it: "The bridge is 350 ordinary paces long and 18 broad. It is built of sandstone, and has on either side a stone balustrade of square columns, about 4 feet high, 140 on each side, each crowned by a sculptured lion over a foot high. Beside these there are a number of smaller lions placed irregularly on the necks, behind the legs, under the feet, or on the back of the larger ones. The space between the columns is closed by stone slabs. Four sculptured stone elephants lean with their foreheads against the edge of the balustrades. The bridge is supported by eleven arches. At each end of the bridge two pavilions with yellow roofs have been built, all with large marble tablets in them; two with inscriptions made by order of the Emperor K'ang-hi (1662-1723); and two with inscriptions of the time of K'ien-lung (1736-1796). On these tablets the history of the bridge is recorded." Dr. Bretschneider adds that Dr. Lockhart is also right in counting nine arches, for he counts only the waterways, not the arches resting upon the banks of the river. Dr. Forke (p. 5) counts 11 arches and 280 stone lions.—H.C.]

(P. de la Croix, II. 11, etc.; Erskine's Baber, p. xxxiii.; Timour's Institutes, 70; J. As. IX. 205; Cathay, 260; Magaillans, 14-18, 35; Lecomte in Astley, III. 529; J. As. sér. II. tom. i. 97-98; D'Ohsson, I. 144.)

[Illustration: Bridge of Lu ku Kiao]



When you leave the Bridge, and ride towards the west, finding all the way excellent hostelries for travellers, with fine vineyards, fields, and gardens, and springs of water, you come after 30 miles to a fine large city called JUJU, where there are many abbeys of idolaters, and the people live by trade and manufactures. They weave cloths of silk and gold, and very fine taffetas.[NOTE 1] Here too there are many hostelries for travellers.[NOTE 2]

After riding a mile beyond this city you find two roads, one of which goes west and the other south-east. The westerly road is that through Cathay, and the south-easterly one goes towards the province of Manzi.[NOTE 3]

Taking the westerly one through Cathay, and travelling by it for ten days, you find a constant succession of cities and boroughs, with numerous thriving villages, all abounding with trade and manufactures, besides the fine fields and vineyards and dwellings of civilized people; but nothing occurs worthy of special mention; and so I will only speak of a kingdom called TAIANFU.

NOTE 1.—The word sendaus (Pauthier), pl. of sendal, and in G.T. sandal. It does not seem perfectly known what this silk texture was, but as banners were made of it, and linings for richer stuffs, it appears to have been a light material, and is generally rendered taffetas. In Richard Coeur de Lion we find

  "Many a pencel of sykelatoun
  And of sendel of grene and broun,"

and also pavilions of sendel; and in the Anglo-French ballad of the death of William Earl of Salisbury in St. Lewis's battle on the Nile—

  "Le Meister du Temple brace les chivaux
   Et le Count Long-Espée depli les sandaux."

The oriflamme of France was made of cendal. Chaucer couples taffetas and sendal. His "Doctor of Physic"

  "In sanguin and in persë clad was allë,
  Linëd with taffata and with sendallë."

[La Curne, Dict., s.v. Sendaus has: Silk stuff: "Somme de la delivrance des sendaus" (Nouv. Compt. de l'Arg. p. 19).—Godefroy, Dict., gives: "Sendain, adj., made with the stuff called cendal: Drap d'or sendains (1392, Test. de Blanche. duch d'Orl., Ste-Croix, Arch. Loiret)." He says s.v. CENDAL, "cendau, cendral, cendel, … sendail, … étoffe légère de soie unie qui parait avoir été analogue au taffetas." "'On faisait des cendaux forts ou faibles, et on leur donnait toute sorte de couleurs. On s'en servait surtout pour vêtements et corsets, pour doublures de draps, de fourrures et d'autres étoffes de soie plus précieuses, enfin pour tenture d'appartements.' (Bourquelot, Foir. de Champ. I. 261)."

  "J'ay de toilles de mainte guise,
  De sidonnes et de cendaulx.
  Soyes, satins blancs et vermaulx."
      —Greban, Mist. de la Pass., 26826, G. Paris.—H.C.]

The origin of the word seems also somewhat doubtful. The word [Greek: Sendès] occurs in Constant. Porphyrog. de Ceremoniis (Bonn, ed. I. 468), and this looks like a transfer of the Arabic Sandas or Sundus, which is applied by Bakui to the silk fabrics of Yezd. (Not. et Ext. II. 469.) Reiske thinks this is the origin of the Frank word, and connects its etymology with Sind. Others think that sendal and the other forms are modifications of the ancient Sindon, and this is Mr. Marsh's view. (See also Fr. Michel, Recherches, etc. I. 212; Dict. des Tissus, II. 171 seqq.)

NOTE 2.—JÚJÚ is precisely the name given to this city by Rashiduddin, who notices the vineyards. Juju is CHO-CHAU, just at the distance specified from Peking, viz. 40 miles, and nearly 30 from Pulisanghin or Lu-kou K'iao. The name of the town is printed Tsochow by Mr. Williamson, and Chechow in a late Report of a journey by Consul Oxenham. He calls it "a large town of the second order, situated on the banks of a small river flowing towards the south-east, viz. the Kiu-ma-Ho, a navigable stream. It had the appearance of being a place of considerable trade, and the streets were crowded with people." (Reports of Journeys in China and Japan, etc. Presented to Parliament, 1869, p. 9.) The place is called Jújú also in the Persian itinerary given by 'Izzat Ullah in J.R.A.S. VII. 308; and in one procured by Mr. Shaw. (Proc.R.G.S. XVI. p. 253.)

[The Rev. W.S. Ament (Marco Polo, 119-120) writes, "the historian of the city of Cho-chau sounds the praises of the people for their religious spirit". He says:—"It was the custom of the ancients to worship those who were before them. Thus students worshipped their instructors, farmers worshipped the first husbandman, workers in silk, the original silk-worker. Thus when calamities come upon the land, the virtuous among the people make offerings to the spirits of earth and heaven, the mountains, rivers, streams, etc. All these things are profitable. These customs should never be forgotten.' After such instruction, we are prepared to find fifty-eight temples of every variety in this little city of about 20,000 inhabitants. There is a temple to the spirits of Wind, Clouds, Thunder, and Rain, to the god of silk-workers, to the Horse-god, to the god of locusts, and the eight destructive insects, to the Five Dragons, to the King who quiets the waves. Besides these, there are all the orthodox temples to the ancient worthies, and some modern heroes. Liu Pei and Chang Fei, two of the three great heroes of the San Kuo Chih, being natives of Cho Chou, are each honoured with two temples, one in the native village, and one in the city. It is not often that one locality can give to a great empire two of its three most popular heroes: Liu Pei, Chang Fei, Kuan Yu."

"Judging from the condition of the country," writes the Rev. W.S. Ament (p. 120), "one could hardly believe that this general region was the original home of the silk-worm, and doubtless the people who once lived here are the only people who ever saw the silk-worm in his wild state. The historian of Cho-Chou honestly remarks that he knows of no reason why the production of silk should have ceased there, except the fact that the worms refused to live there…. The palmy days of the silk industry were in the T'ang dynasty."—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—"About a li from the southern suburbs of this town, the great road to Shantung and the south-east diverged, causing an immediate diminution in the number of carts and travellers" (Oxenham). [From Peking "to Cheng-ting fu, says Colonel Bell (Proc.R.G.S., XII. 1890, p. 58), the route followed is the Great Southern highway; here the Great Central Asian highway leaves it." The Rev. W.S. Ament says (l.c., 121) about the bifurcation of the road, one branch going on south-west to Pao-Ting fu and Shan-si, and one branch to Shantung and Ho-nan: "The union of the two roads at this point, bringing the travel and traffic of ten provinces, makes Cho Chou one of the most important cities in the Empire. The magistrate of this district is the only one, so far as we know, in the Empire who is relieved of the duty of welcoming and escorting transient officers. It was the multiplicity of such duties, so harassing, that persuaded Fang Kuan-ch'eng to write the couplet on one of the city gateways: Jih pien ch'ung yao, wu shuang ti: T'ien hsia fan nan, ti yi Chou. 'In all the world, there is no place so public as this: for multiplied cares and trials, this is the first Chou.' The people of Cho-Chou, of old celebrated for their religious spirit, are now well known for their literary enterprise."—H.C.] This bifurcation of the roads is a notable point in Polo's book. For after following the western road through Cathay, i.e. the northern provinces of China, to the borders of Tibet and the Indo-Chinese regions, our traveller will return, whimsically enough, not to the capital to take a fresh departure, but to this bifurcation outside of Chochau, and thence carry us south with him to Manzi, or China south of the Yellow River.

Of a part of the road of which Polo speaks in the latter part of the chapter Williamson says: "The drive was a very beautiful one. Not only were the many villages almost hidden by foliage, but the road itself hereabouts is lined with trees…. The effect was to make the journey like a ramble through the avenues of some English park." Beyond Tingchau however the country becomes more barren. (I. 268.)



After riding then those ten days from the city of Juju, you find yourself in a kingdom called TAIANFU, and the city at which you arrive, which is the capital, is also called Taianfu, a very great and fine city. [But at the end of five days' journey out of those ten, they say there is a city unusually large and handsome called ACBALUC, whereat terminate in this direction the hunting preserves of the Emperor, within which no one dares to sport except the Emperor and his family, and those who are on the books of the Grand Falconer. Beyond this limit any one is at liberty to sport, if he be a gentleman. The Great Kaan, however, scarcely ever went hunting in this direction, and hence the game, particularly the hares, had increased and multiplied to such an extent that all the crops of the Province were destroyed. The Great Kaan being informed of this, proceeded thither with all his Court, and the game that was taken was past counting.][NOTE 1]

Taianfu[NOTE 2] is a place of great trade and great industry, for here they manufacture a large quantity of the most necessary equipments for the army of the Emperor. There grow here many excellent vines, supplying great plenty of wine; and in all Cathay this is the only place where wine is produced. It is carried hence all over the country.[NOTE 3] There is also a great deal of silk here, for the people have great quantities of mulberry-trees and silk-worms.

From this city of Taianfu you ride westward again for seven days, through fine districts with plenty of towns and boroughs, all enjoying much trade and practising various kinds of industry. Out of these districts go forth not a few great merchants, who travel to India and other foreign regions, buying and selling and getting gain. After those seven days' journey you arrive at a city called PIANFU, a large and important place, with a number of traders living by commerce and industry. It is a place too where silk is largely produced.[NOTE 4]

So we will leave it and tell you of a great city called Cachanfu. But stay—first let us tell you about the noble castle called Caichu.

NOTE 1.—Marsden translates the commencement of this passage, which is peculiar to Ramusio, and runs "E in capo di cinque giornate delle predette dieci," by the words "At the end of five days' journey beyond the ten," but this is clearly wrong.[1] The place best suiting in position, as halfway between Cho-chau and T'ai-yuan fu, would be CHENG-TING FU, and I have little doubt that this is the place intended. The title of Ak-Báligh in Turki,[2] or Chaghán Balghásun in Mongol, meaning "White City," was applied by the Tartars to Royal Residences; and possibly Cheng-ting fu may have had such a claim, for I observe in the Annales de la Prop. de la Foi (xxxiii. 387) that in 1862 the Chinese Government granted to the R.C. Vicar-Apostolic of Chihli the ruined Imperial Palace at Cheng-ting fu for his cathedral and other mission establishments. Moreover, as a matter of fact, Rashiduddin's account of Chinghiz's campaign in northern China in 1214, speaks of the city of "Chaghan Balghasun which the Chinese call Jintzinfu." This is almost exactly the way in which the name of Cheng-ting fu is represented in 'Izzat Ullah's Persian Itinerary (Jigdzinfu, evidently a clerical error for Jingdzinfu), so I think there can be little doubt that Cheng-ting fu is the place intended. The name of Hwai-luh'ien (see Note 2), which is the first stage beyond Cheng-ting fu, is said to mean the "Deer-lair," pointing apparently to the old character of the tract as a game-preserve. The city of Cheng-ting is described by Consul Oxenham as being now in a decayed and dilapidated condition, consisting only of two long streets crossing at right angles. It is noted for the manufacture of images of Buddha from Shan-si iron. (Consular Reports, p. 10; Erdmann, 331.)

[The main road turns due west at Cheng-ting fu, and enters Shan-si through what is known among Chinese travellers as the Ku-kwan, Customs' Barrier.—H.C.]

Between Cheng-ting fu and T'ai-yuan fu the traveller first crosses a high and rugged range of mountains, and then ascends by narrow defiles to the plateau of Shan-si. But of these features Polo's excessive condensation takes no notice.

The traveller who quits the great plain of Chihli [which terminates at Fu-ch'eng-i, a small market-town, two days from Pao-ting.—H.C.] for "the kingdom of Taianfu," i.e. Northern Shan-si, enters a tract in which predominates that very remarkable formation called by the Chinese Hwang-tu and to which the German name Löss has been attached. With this formation are bound up the distinguishing characters of Northern Interior China, not merely in scenery but in agricultural products, dwellings, and means of transport. This Löss is a brownish-yellow loam, highly porous, spreading over low and high ground alike, smoothing over irregularities of surface, and often more than 1000 feet in thickness. It has no stratification, but tends to cleave vertically, and is traversed in every direction by sudden crevices, almost glacier-like, narrow, with vertical walls of great depth, and infinite ramification. Smooth as the löss basin looks in a bird's-eye view, it is thus one of the most impracticable countries conceivable for military movements, and secures extraordinary value to fortresses in well-chosen sites, such as that of Tung-kwan mentioned in Note 2 to chap. xli.

Agriculture may be said in N. China to be confined to the alluvial plains and the löss; as in S. China to the alluvial plains and the terraced hill-sides. The löss has some peculiar quality which renders its productive power self-renewing without manure (unless it be in the form of a surface coat of fresh löss), and unfailing in returns if there be sufficient rain. This singular formation is supposed by Baron Richthofen, who has studied it more extensively than any one, to be no subaqueous deposit, but to be the accumulated residue of countless generations of herbaceous plants combined with a large amount of material spread over the face of the ground by the winds and surface waters.

[I do not agree with the theory of Baron von Richthofen, of the almost exclusive Eolian formation of loess; water has something to do with it as well as wind, and I think it is more exact to say that loess in China is due to a double action, Neptunian as well as Eolian. The climate was different in former ages from what it is now, and rain was plentiful and to its great quantity was due the fertility of this yellow soil. (Cf. A. de Lapparent, Leçons de Géographie Physique, 2'e éd. 1898, p. 566.)—H.C.]

Though we do not expect to find Polo taking note of geological features, we are surprised to find no mention of a characteristic of Shan-si and the adjoining districts, which is due to the löss; viz. the practice of forming cave dwellings in it; these in fact form the habitations of a majority of the people in the löss country. Polo has noticed a similar usage in Badakhshan (I. p. 161), and it will be curious if a better acquaintance with that region should disclose a surface formation analogous to the löss. (Richthofen's Letters, VII. 13 et passim.)

NOTE 2.—Taianfu is, as Magaillans pointed out, T'AI-YUAN FU, the capital of the Province of Shan-si, and Shan-si is the "Kingdom." The city was, however, the capital of the great T'ang Dynasty for a time in the 8th century, and is probably the Tájah or Taiyúnah of old Arab writers. Mr. Williamson speaks of it as a very pleasant city at the north end of a most fertile and beautiful plain, between two noble ranges of mountains. It was a residence, he says, also of the Ming princes, and is laid out in Peking fashion, even to mimicking the Coal-Hill and Lake of the Imperial Gardens. It stands about 3000 feet above the sea [on the left bank of the Fen-ho.—H.C.]. There is still an Imperial factory of artillery, matchlocks, etc., as well as a powder mill; and fine carpets like those of Turkey are also manufactured. The city is not, however, now, according to Baron Richthofen, very populous, and conveys no impression of wealth or commercial importance. [In an interesting article on this city, the Rev. G. B. Farthing writes (North China Herald, 7th September, 1894): "The configuration of the ground enclosed by T'ai-yuan fu city is that of a 'three times to stretch recumbent cow.' The site was chosen and described by Li Chun-feng, a celebrated professor of geomancy in the days of the T'angs, who lived during the reign of the Emperor T'ai Tsung of that ilk. The city having been then founded, its history reaches back to that date. Since that time the cow has stretched twice…. T'ai-yuan city is square, and surrounded by a wall of earth, of which the outer face is bricked. The height of the wall varies from thirty to fifty feet, and it is so broad that two carriages could easily pass one another upon it. The natives would tell you that each of the sides is three miles, thirteen paces in length, but this, possibly, includes what it will be when the cow shall have stretched for the third and last time. Two miles is the length of each side; eight miles to tramp if you wish to go round the four of them."—H. C.] The district used to be much noted for cutlery and hardware, iron as well as coal being abundantly produced in Shan-si. Apparently the present Birmingham of this region is a town called Hwai-lu, or Hwo-luh'ien, about 20 miles west of Cheng-ting fu, and just on the western verge of the great plain of Chihli. [Regarding Hwai-lu, the Rev. C. Holcombe calls it "a miserable town lying among the foot hills, and at the mouth of the valley, up which the road into Shan-si lies." He writes (p. 59) that Ping-ting chau, after the Customs' barrier (Ku Kwan) between Chih-li and Shan-si, would, under any proper system of management, at no distant day become the Pittsburg, or Birmingham, of China.—H.C.] (Richthofen's Letters, No. VII. 20; Cathay, xcvii. cxiii. cxciv.; Rennie, II. 265; Williamson's Journeys in North China; Oxenham, u.s. II; Klaproth in J. As. sér. II. tom. i. 100; Izzat Ullah's Pers. Itin. in J.R.A.S. VII. 307; Forke, Von Peking nach Ch'ang-an, p. 23.)

["From Khavailu (Hwo-luh'ien), an important commercial centre supplying
Shansi, for 130 miles to Sze-tien, the road traverses the loess hills,
which extend from the Peking-Kalgan road in a south-west direction to the
Yellow River, and which are passable throughout this length only by the
Great Central Asian trade route to T'ai-yuan fu and by the Tung-Kwan,
Ho-nan, i.e. the Yellow River route. (Colonel Bell, Proc.R.G.S. XII.
1890, p. 59.) Colonel Bell reckons seven days (218 miles) from Peking to
Hwo-lu-h'ien and five days from this place to T'ai-yuan fu."—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—Martini observes that the grapes in Shan-si were very abundant and the best in China. The Chinese used them only as raisins, but wine was made there for the use of the early Jesuit Missions, and their successors continue to make it. Klaproth, however, tells us that the wine of T'ai-yuan fu was celebrated in the days of the T'ang Dynasty, and used to be sent in tribute to the Emperors. Under the Mongols the use of this wine spread greatly. The founder of the Ming accepted the offering of wine of the vine from T'aiyuan in 1373, but prohibited its being presented again. The finest grapes are produced in the district of Yukau-hien, where hills shield the plain from north winds, and convert it into a garden many square miles in extent. In the vintage season the best grapes sell for less than a farthing a pound. [Mr. Theos. Sampson, in an article on "Grapes in China," writes (Notes and Queries on China and Japan, April, 1869, p. 50): "The earliest mention of the grape in Chinese literature appears to be contained in the chapter on the nations of Central Asia, entitled Ta Yuan Chwan, or description of Fergana, which forms part of the historical records (Sze-Ki) of Sze-ma Tsien, dating from B.C. 100. Writing of the political relations instituted shortly before this date by the Emperor Wu Ti with the nations beyond the Western frontiers of China, the historian dwells at considerable length, but unluckily with much obscurity, on the various missions despatched westward under the leadership of Chang K'ien and others, and mentions the grape vine in the following passage:—'Throughout the country of Fergana, wine is made from grapes, and the wealthy lay up stores of wine, many tens of thousands of shih in amount, which may be kept for scores of years without spoiling. Wine is the common beverage, and for horses the mu-su is the ordinary pasture. The envoys from China brought back seeds with them, and hereupon the Emperor for the first time cultivated the grape and the mu-su in the most productive soils.' In the Description of Western regions, forming part of the History of the Han Dynasty, it is stated that grapes are abundantly produced in the country of K'i-pin (identified with Cophene, part of modern Afghanistan) and other adjacent countries, and referring, if I mistake not, to the journeys of Chang K'ien, the same work says, that the Emperor Wu-Ti despatched upwards of ten envoys to the various countries westward of Fergana, to search for novelties, and that they returned with grape and mu-su seeds. These references appear beyond question to determine the fact that grapes were introduced from Western- or, as we term it, Central-Asia, by Chang K'ien."

Dr. Bretschneider (Botanicon Sinicum, I. p. 25), relating the mission of Chang K'ien (139 B.C. Emperor Wu-Ti), who died about B.C. 103, writes:—"He is said to have introduced many useful plants from Western Asia into China. Ancient Chinese authors ascribe to him the introduction of the Vine, the Pomegranate, Safflower, the Common Bean, the Cucumber, Lucerne, Coriander, the Walnut-tree, and other plants."—H.C.] The river that flows down from Shan-si by Cheng-ting-fu is called "Putu-ho, or the Grape River." (J. As. u.s.; Richthofen, u.s.)

[Regarding the name of this river, the Rev. C. Holcombe (l.c. p. 56) writes: "Williamson states in his Journeys in North China that the name of this stream is, properly Poo-too Ho—'Grape River,' but is sometimes written Hu-t'ou River incorrectly. The above named author, however, is himself in error, the name given above [Hu-t'o] being invariably found in all Chinese authorities, as well as being the name by which the stream is known all along its course."

West of the Fan River, along the western border of the Central Plain of Shan-si, in the extreme northern point of which lies T'aï-yuan fu, the Rev. C. Holcombe says (p. 61), "is a large area, close under the hills, almost exclusively given up to the cultivation of the grape. The grapes are unusually large, and of delicious flavour."—H.C.]

NOTE 4.—+In no part of China probably, says Richthofen, do the towns and villages consist of houses so substantial and costly as in this. Pianfu is undoubtedly, as Magaillans again notices, P'ING-YANG FU.[3] It is the Bikan of Shah Rukh's ambassadors. [Old P'ing yang, 5 Lis to the south] is said to have been the residence of the primitive and mythical Chinese Emperor Yao. A great college for the education of the Mongols was instituted at P'ing-yang, by Yeliu Chutsai, the enlightened minister of Okkodai Khan. [Its dialect differs from the T'aï-yuan dialect, and is more like Pekingese.] The city, lying in a broad valley covered with the yellow löss, was destroyed by the T'ai-P'ing rebels, but it is reviving. [It is known for its black pottery.] The vicinity is noted for large paper factories. ["From T'ai-yuan fu to P'ing-yang fu is a journey of 185 miles, down the valley of the Fuen-ho." (Colonel Bell, Proc.R.G.S. XII. 1890, p. 61.) By the way, Mr. Rockhill remarks (Land of the Lamas, p. 10): "Richthofen has transcribed the name of this river Fuen. This spelling has been adopted on most of the recent maps, both German and English, but Fuen is an impossible sound in Chinese." (Read Fen ho.)—H.C.] (Cathay, ccxi.; Ritter, IV. 516; D'Ohsson, II. 70; Williamson, I. 336.)

[1] And I see Ritter understood the passage as I do (IV. 515).

[2] Báligh is indeed properly Mongol.

[3] It seems to be called Piyingfu (miswritten Piying_ku_) in Mr. Shaw's Itinerary from Yarkand (Pr.R.G.S. XVI. 253.) We often find the Western modifications of Chinese names very persistent.



On leaving Pianfu you ride two days westward, and come to the noble castle of CAICHU, which was built in time past by a king of that country, whom they used to call the GOLDEN KING, and who had there a great and beautiful palace. There is a great hall of this palace, in which are pourtrayed all the ancient kings of the country, done in gold and other beautiful colours, and a very fine sight they make. Each king in succession as he reigned added to those pictures.[NOTE 1]

[This Golden King was a great and potent Prince, and during his stay at this place there used to be in his service none but beautiful girls, of whom he had a great number in his Court. When he went to take the air about the fortress, these girls used to draw him about in a little carriage which they could easily move, and they would also be in attendance on the King for everything pertaining to his convenience or pleasure.[NOTE 2]]

Now I will tell you a pretty passage that befell between the Golden King and Prester John, as it was related by the people of the Castle.

It came to pass, as they told the tale, that this Golden King was at war with Prester John. And the King held a position so strong that Prester John was not able to get at him or to do him any scathe; wherefore he was in great wrath. So seventeen gallants belonging to Prester John's Court came to him in a body, and said that, an he would, they were ready to bring him the Golden King alive. His answer was, that he desired nothing better, and would be much bounden to them if they would do so.

So when they had taken leave of their Lord and Master Prester John, they set off together, this goodly company of gallants, and went to the Golden King, and presented themselves before him, saying that they had come from foreign parts to enter his service. And he answered by telling them that they were right welcome, and that he was glad to have their service, never imagining that they had any ill intent. And so these mischievous squires took service with the Golden King; and served him so well that he grew to love them dearly.

And when they had abode with that King nearly two years, conducting themselves like persons who thought of anything but treason, they one day accompanied the King on a pleasure party when he had very few else along with him: for in those gallants the King had perfect trust, and thus kept them immediately about his person. So after they had crossed a certain river that is about a mile from the castle, and saw that they were alone with the King, they said one to another that now was the time to achieve that they had come for. Then they all incontinently drew, and told the King that he must go with them and make no resistance, or they would slay him. The King at this was in alarm and great astonishment, and said: "How then, good my sons, what thing is this ye say? and whither would ye have me go?" They answered, and said: "You shall come with us, will ye: nill ye, to Prester John our Lord."

[Illustration: The "Roi d'Or." (From a MS. in the Royal Asiatic Society's

"Et en ceste chastians ha un mout bians paleis en quel a une grandisme sale là ou il sunt portrait à mont belles pointures tout les rois de celes provences que furent ansienemant, et ce est mout belle viste à voir."]

NOTE 1.—The name of the castle is very doubtful. But of that and the geography, which in this part is tangled, we shall speak further on.

Whilst the original French texts were unknown, the king here spoken of figured in the old Latin versions as King Darius, and in Ramusio as Re Dor. It was a most happy suggestion of Marsden's, in absence of all knowledge of the fact that the original narrative was French, that this Dor represented the Emperor of the Kin or Golden Dynasty, called by the Mongols Altun Khán, of which Roi D'Or is a literal translation.

Of the legend itself I can find no trace. Rashiduddin relates a story of the grandfather of Aung Khan (Polo's Prester John), Merghuz Boirúk Khan, being treacherously made over to the King of the Churché (the Kin sovereign), and put to death by being nailed to a wooden ass. But the same author tells us that Aung Khan got his title of Aung (Ch. Wang) or king from the Kin Emperor of his day, so that no hereditary feud seems deducible.

Mr. Wylie, who is of opinion, like Baron Richthofen, that the Caichu which Polo makes the scene of that story, is Kiai-chau (or Hiai-chau as it seems to be pronounced), north of the Yellow River, has been good enough to search the histories of the Liao and Kin Dynasties,[1] but without finding any trace of such a story, or of the Kin Emperors having resided in that neighbourhood.

On the other hand, he points out that the story has a strong resemblance to a real event which occurred in Central Asia in the beginning of Polo's century.

The Persian historians of the Mongols relate that when Chinghiz defeated and slew Taiyang Khan, the king of the Naimans, Kushluk, the son of Taiyang, fled to the Gur-Khan of Karakhitai and received both his protection and the hand of his daughter (see i. 237); but afterwards rose against his benefactor and usurped his throne. "In the Liao history I read," Mr. Wylie says, "that Chih-lu-ku, the last monarch of the Karakhitai line, ascended the throne in 1168, and in the 34th year of his reign, when out hunting one day in autumn, Kushluk, who had 8000 troops in ambush, made him prisoner, seized his throne and adopted the customs of the Liao, while he conferred on Chih-lu-ku the honourable title of Tai-shang-hwang 'the old emperor.'"[2]

It is this Kushluk, to whom Rubruquis assigns the rôle of King (or Prester) John, the subject of so many wonderful stories. And Mr. Wylie points out that not only was his father Taiyang Khan, according to the Chinese histories, a much more important prince than Aung Khan or Wang Khan the Kerait, but his name Tai-Yang-Khan is precisely "Great King John" as near as John (or Yohana) can be expressed in Chinese. He thinks therefore that Taiyang and his son Kushluk, the Naimans, and not Aung Khan and his descendants, the Keraits, were the parties to whom the character of Prester John properly belonged, and that it was probably this story of Kushluk's capture of the Karakhitai monarch (Roi de Fer) which got converted into the form in which he relates it of the Roi d'Or.

The suggestion seems to me, as regards the story, interesting and probable; though I do not admit that the character of Prester John properly belonged to any real person.

I may best explain my view of the matter by a geographical analogy. Pre-Columbian maps of the Atlantic showed an Island of Brazil, an Island of Antillia, founded—who knows on what?—whether on the real adventure of a vessel driven in sight of the Azores or Bermudas, or on mere fancy and fogbank. But when discovery really came to be undertaken, men looked for such lands and found them accordingly. And there they are in our geographies, Brazil and the Antilles!

The cut which we give is curious in connection with our traveller's notice of the portrait-gallery of the Golden Kings. For it is taken from the fragmentary MS. of Rashiduddin's History in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society, a MS. believed to be one of those executed under the great Vazír's own supervision, and is presented there as the portrait of the last sovereign of the Dynasty in question, being one of a whole series of similar figures. There can be little doubt, I think, that these were taken from Chinese originals, though, it may be, not very exactly.

NOTE 2.—The history of the Tartar conquerors of China, whether Khitan, Churché, Mongol, or Manchu, has always been the same. For one or two generations the warlike character and manly habits were maintained; and then the intruders, having adopted Chinese manners, ceremonies, literature, and civilization, sank into more than Chinese effeminacy and degradation. We see the custom of employing only female attendants ascribed in a later chapter (lxxvii.) to the Sung Emperors at Kinsay; and the same was the custom of the later Ming emperors, in whose time the imperial palace was said to contain 5000 women. Indeed, the precise custom which this passage describes was in our own day habitually reported of the T'ai-P'ing sovereign during his reign at Nanking: "None but women are allowed in the interior of the Palace, and he is drawn to the audience-chamber in a gilded sacred dragon-car by the ladies" (Blakiston, p. 42; see also Wilson's Ever-Victorious Army, p. 41.)

[1] [There is no trace of it in Harlez's French translation from the Manchu
    of the History of the Kin Empire, 1887.—H.C.]

[2] See also Oppert (p. 157), who cites this story from Visdelou, but does
    not notice its analogy to Polo's.



And on this the Golden King was so sorely grieved that he was like to die. And he said to them: "Good, my sons, for God's sake have pity and compassion upon me. Ye wot well what honourable and kindly entertainment ye have had in my house; and now ye would deliver me into the hands of mine enemy! In sooth, if ye do what ye say, ye will do a very naughty and disloyal deed, and a right villainous." But they answered only that so it must be, and away they had him to Prester John their Lord.

And when Prester John beheld the King he was right glad, and greeted him with something like a malison.[1] The King answered not a word, as if he wist not what it behoved him to say. So Prester John ordered him to be taken forth straightway, and to be put to look after cattle, but to be well looked after himself also. So they took him and set him to keep cattle. This did Prester John of the grudge he bore the King, to heap contumely on him, and to show what a nothing he was, compared to himself.

And when the King had thus kept cattle for two years, Prester John sent for him, and treated him with honour, and clothed him in rich robes, and said to him: "Now Sir King, art thou satisfied that thou wast in no way a man to stand against me?" "Truly, my good Lord, I know well and always did know that I was in no way a man to stand against thee." And when he had said this Prester John replied: "I ask no more; but henceforth thou shalt be waited on and honourably treated." So he caused horses and harness of war to be given him, with a goodly train, and sent him back to his own country. And after that he remained ever friendly to Prester John, and held fast by him.

So now I will say no more of this adventure of the Golden King, but I will proceed with our subject.

[1] "Lui dist que il feust le mal venuz."



When you leave the castle, and travel about 20 miles westward, you come to a river called CARAMORAN,[NOTE 1] so big that no bridge can be thrown across it; for it is of immense width and depth, and reaches to the Great Ocean that encircles the Universe,—I mean the whole earth. On this river there are many cities and walled towns, and many merchants too therein, for much traffic takes place upon the river, there being a great deal of ginger and a great deal of silk produced in the country.[NOTE 2]

Game birds here are in wonderful abundance, insomuch that you may buy at least three pheasants for a Venice groat of silver. I should say rather for an asper, which is worth a little more.[NOTE 3]

[On the lands adjoining this river there grow vast quantities of great canes, some of which are a foot or a foot and a half (in girth), and these the natives employ for many useful purposes.]

After passing the river and travelling two days westward you come to the noble city of CACHANFU, which we have already named. The inhabitants are all Idolaters. And I may as well remind you again that all the people of Cathay are Idolaters. It is a city of great trade and of work in gold-tissues of many sorts, as well as other kinds of industry.

There is nothing else worth mentioning, and so we will proceed and tell you of a noble city which is the capital of a kingdom, and is called Kenjanfu.

NOTE 1.—Kará-Muren, or Black River, is one of the names applied by the
Mongols to the Hwang Ho, or Yellow River, of the Chinese, and is used by
all the mediaeval western writers, e.g. Odoric, John Marignolli,

The River, where it skirts Shan-si, is for the most part difficult both of access and of passage, and ill adapted to navigation, owing to the violence of the stream. Whatever there is of navigation is confined to the transport of coal down-stream from Western Shan-si, in large flats. Mr. Elias, who has noted the River's level by aneroid at two points 920 miles apart, calculated the fall over that distance, which includes the contour of Shan-si, at 4 feet per mile. The best part for navigation is above this, from Ning-hia to Chaghan Kuren (in about 110° E. long.), in which Captain Prjevalski's observations give a fall of less than 6 inches per mile. (Richthofen, Letter VII. 25; Williamson, I. 69; J.R.G.S. XLIII. p. 115; Petermann, 1873, pp. 89-91.)

[On 5th January, 1889, Mr. Rockhill coming to the Yellow River from P'ing-yang, found (Land of the Lamas, p. 17) that "the river was between 500 and 600 yards wide, a sluggish, muddy stream, then covered with floating ice about a foot thick…. The Yellow River here is shallow, in the main channel only is it four or five feet deep." The Rev. C. Holcombe, who crossed in October, says (p. 65): that "it was nowhere more than 6 feet deep, and on returning, three of the boatmen sprang into the water in midstream and waded ashore, carrying a line from the ferry-boat to prevent us from rapidly drifting down with the current. The water was just up to their hips."—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—It is remarkable that the abundance of silk in Shan-si and Shen-si is so distinctly mentioned in these chapters, whereas now there is next to no silk at all grown in these districts. Is this the result of a change of climate, or only a commercial change? Baron Richthofen, to whom I have referred the question, believes it to be due to the former cause: "No tract in China would appear to have suffered so much by a change of climate as Shen-si and Southern Shan-si." [See pp. 11-12.]

NOTE 3.—The asper or akché (both meaning "white") of the Mongols at Tana or Azov I have elsewhere calculated, from Pegolotti's data (Cathay, p. 298), to have contained about 0_s._ 2.8_d._ worth of silver, which is less than the grosso; but the name may have had a loose application to small silver coins in other countries of Asia. Possibly the money intended may have been the 50 tsien note. (See note 1, ch. xxiv. supra.)



And when you leave the city of Cachanfu of which I have spoken, and travel eight days westward, you meet with cities and boroughs abounding in trade and industry, and quantities of beautiful trees, and gardens, and fine plains planted with mulberries, which are the trees on the leaves of which the silkworms do feed.[NOTE 1] The people are all Idolaters. There is also plenty of game of all sorts, both of beasts and birds.

And when you have travelled those eight days' journey, you come to that great city which I mentioned, called KENJANFU.[NOTE 2] A very great and fine city it is, and the capital of the kingdom of Kenjanfu, which in old times was a noble, rich, and powerful realm, and had many great and wealthy and puissant kings.[NOTE 3] But now the king thereof is a prince called MANGALAI, the son of the Great Kaan, who hath given him this realm, and crowned him king thereof.[NOTE 4] It is a city of great trade and industry. They have great abundance of silk, from which they weave cloths of silk and gold of divers kinds, and they also manufacture all sorts of equipments for an army. They have every necessary of man's life very cheap. The city lies towards the west; the people are Idolaters; and outside the city is the palace of the Prince Mangalai, crowned king, and son of the Great Kaan, as I told you before.

This is a fine palace and a great, as I will tell you. It stands in a great plain abounding in lakes and streams and springs of water. Round about it is a massive and lofty wall, five miles in compass, well built, and all garnished with battlements. And within this wall is the king's palace, so great and fine that no one could imagine a finer. There are in it many great and splendid halls, and many chambers, all painted and embellished with work in beaten gold. This Mangalai rules his realm right well with justice and equity, and is much beloved by his people. The troops are quartered round about the palace, and enjoy the sport (that the royal demesne affords).

So now let us quit this kingdom, and I will tell you of a very mountainous province called Cuncun, which you reach by a road right wearisome to travel.

NOTE 1.—["Morus alba is largely grown in North China for feeding silkworms." (Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc. I. p. 4.)—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Having got to sure ground again at Kenjanfu, which is, as we shall explain presently, the city of SI-NGAN FU, capital of Shen-si, let us look back at the geography of the route from P'ing-yang fu. Its difficulties are great.

The traveller carries us two days' journey from P'ing-yang fu to his castle of the Golden King. This is called in the G. Text and most other MSS. Caicui, Caytui, or the like, but in Ramusio alone Thaigin. He then carries us 20 miles further to the Caramoran; he crosses this river, travels two days further, and reaches the great city Cachanfu; eight days more (or as in Ramusio seven) bring him to Si-ngan fu.

There seems scarcely room for doubt that CACHANFU is the HO-CHUNG FU [the ancient capital of Emperor Shun—H.C.] of those days, now called P'U-CHAU FU, close to the great elbow of the Hwang Ho (Klaproth). But this city, instead of being two days west of the great river, stands near its eastern bank.

[The Rev. C. Holcombe writes (pp. 64-65): "P'u-chau fu lies on a level with the Yellow River, and on the edge of a large extent of worthless marsh land, full of pools of brackish, and in some places, positively salt water…. The great road does not pass into the town, having succeeded in maintaining its position on the high ground from which the town has backslided…. The great road keeping to the bluff, runs on, turning first south, and then a trifle to the east of south, until the road, the bluff, and Shan-si, all end together, making a sudden plunge down a precipice and being lost in the dirty waters of the Yellow River."—H.C.]

Not maintaining the infallibility of our traveller's memory, we may conceive confusion here, between the recollections of his journey westward and those of his return; but this does not remove all the difficulties.

The most notable fortress of the Kin sovereigns was that of T'ungkwan, on the right bank of the river, 25 miles below P'u-chau fu, and closing the passage between the river and the mountains, just where the boundaries of Ho-nan, Shan-si, and Shen-si meet. It was constantly the turning-point of the Mongol campaigns against that Dynasty, and held a prominent place in the dying instructions of Chinghiz for the prosecution of the conquest of Cathay. This fortress must have continued famous to Polo's time—indeed it continues so still, the strategic position being one which nothing short of a geological catastrophe could impair,—but I see no way of reconciling its position with his narrative.

[Illustration: Plan of Ki-chau, after Duhalde.]

The name in Ramusio's form might be merely that of the Dynasty, viz. Tai-Kin= Great Golden. But we have seen that Thaigin is not the only reading. That of the MSS. seems to point rather to some name like Kaichau. A hypothesis which has seemed to me to call for least correction in the text is that the castle was at the Ki-chau of the maps, nearly due west of P'ing-yang fu, and just about 20 miles from the Hwang Ho; that the river was crossed in that vicinity, and that the traveller then descended the valley to opposite P'u-chau fu, or possibly embarked and descended the river itself to that point. This last hypothesis would mitigate the apparent disproportion in the times assigned to the different parts of the journey, and would, I think, clear the text of error. But it is only a hypothesis. There is near Kichau one of the easiest crossing places of the River, insomuch that since the Shen-si troubles a large garrison has been kept up at Ki-chau to watch it.[1] And this is the only direction in which two days' march, at Polo's rate, would bring him within 20 miles of the Yellow River. Whether there is any historic castle at Ki-chau I know not; the plan of that place in Duhalde, however, has the aspect of a strong position. Baron v. Richthofen is unable to accept this suggestion, and has favoured me with some valuable remarks on this difficult passage, which I slightly abridge:—

"The difficulties are, (1) that for either reading, Thaigin or Caichu, a corresponding place can be found; (2) in the position of Cachanfu, setting both at naught.

"Thaigin. There are two passages of the Yellow River near its great bend. One is at T'ungkwan, where I crossed it; the other, and more convenient, is at the fortress of Taiching-kwan, locally pronounced Taigin-kwan. This fortress, or rather fortified camp, is a very well-known place, and to be found on native maps; it is very close to the river, on the left bank, about 6 m. S.W. of P'u-chau fu. The road runs hence to Tung-chau fu and thence to Si-ngan fu. T'aiching-kwan could not possibly (at Polo's rate) be reached in 2 days from P'ing-yang fu.

"Caichu. If this reading be adopted Marsden may be right in supposing Kiai-chau, locally Khaidju, to be meant. This city dominates the important salt marsh, whence Shan-si and Shen-si are supplied with salt. It is 70 or 80 m. from P'ing-yang fu, but could be reached in 2 days. It commands a large and tolerably populous plain, and is quite fit to have been an imperial residence.

"May not the striking fact that there is a place corresponding to either name suggest that one of them was passed by Polo in going, the other in returning? and that, this being the only locality between Ch'êng-tu fu and Chu-chau where there was any deviation between the two journeys, his geographical ideas may have become somewhat confused, as might now happen to any one in like case and not provided with a map? Thus the traveller himself might have put into Ramusio's text the name of Thaigin instead of Caichu. From Kiai-chau he would probably cross the River at T'ungkwan, whilst in returning by way of Taiching-kwan he would pass through P'uchau-fu (or vice versâ). The question as to Caichu may still be settled, as it must be possible to ascertain where the Kin resided."[2]

[Mr. Rockhill writes (Land of the Lamas, p. 17): "One hundred and twenty li south-south-west of the city is Kiai Chou, with the largest salt works in China." Richthofen has estimated that about 150,000 tons of salt are produced annually from the marshes around it.—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—The eight days' journey through richly cultivated plains run up the basin of the Wei River, the most important agricultural region of North-West China, and the core of early Chinese History. The löss is here more than ever predominant, its yellow tinge affecting the whole landscape, and even the atmosphere. Here, according to Baron v. Richthofen, originated the use of the word hwang "yellow," as the symbol of the Earth, whence the primeval emperors were styled Hwang-ti, "Lord of the Earth," but properly "Lord of the Löss."

[The Rev. C. Holcombe (l.c. p. 66) writes: "From T'ung-kwan to Si-ngan fu, the road runs in a direction nearly due west, through a most lovely section of country, having a range of high hills upon the south, and the Wei River on the north. The road lies through one long orchard, and the walled towns and cities lie thickly along, for the most part at a little distance from the highway." Mr. Rockhill says (Land of the Lamas, pp. 19-20): "The road between T'ung-kwan and Si-ngan fu, a distance of 110 miles, is a fine highway—for China—with a ditch on either side, rows of willow-trees here and there, and substantial stone bridges and culverts over the little streams which cross it. The basin of the Wei ho, in which this part of the province lies, has been for thousands of years one of the granaries of China. It was the colour of its loess-covered soil, called 'yellow earth' by the Chinese, that suggested the use of yellow as the colour sacred to imperial majesty. Wheat and sorghum are the principal crops, but we saw also numerous paddy fields where flocks of flamingoes were wading, and fruit-trees grew everywhere."—H.C.]

[Illustration: Reduced Facsimile of the celebrated Christian Inscription of Singan fu in Chinese and Syrian Characters]

Kenjanfu, or, as Ramusio gives it, Quenzanfu, is SI-NGAN FU, or as it was called in the days of its greatest fame, Chang-ngan, probably the most celebrated city in Chinese history, and the capital of several of the most potent dynasties. It was the metropolis of Shi Hwang-ti of the T'sin Dynasty, properly the first emperor and whose conquests almost intersected those of his contemporary Ptolemy Euergetes. It was, perhaps, the Thinae of Claudius Ptolemy, as it was certainly the Khumdán[3] of the early Mahomedans, and the site of flourishing Christian Churches in the 7th century, as well as of the remarkable monument, the discovery of which a thousand years later disclosed their forgotten existence.[4] Kingchao-fu was the name which the city bore when the Mongol invasions brought China into communication with the west, and Klaproth supposes that this was modified by the Mongols into KENJANFU. Under the latter name it is mentioned by Rashiduddin as the seat of one of the Twelve Sings or great provincial administrations, and we find it still known by this name in Sharifuddin's history of Timur. The same name is traceable in the Kansan of Odoric, which he calls the second best province in the world, and the best populated Whatever may have been the origin of the name Kenjanfu, Baron v. Richthofen was, on the spot, made aware of its conservation in the exact form of the Ramusian Polo. The Roman Catholic missionaries there emphatically denied that Marco could ever have been at Si-ngan fu, or that the city had ever been known by such a name as Kenjan-fu. On this the Baron called in one of the Chinese pupils of the Mission, and asked him directly what had been the name of the city under the Yuen Dynasty. He replied at once with remarkable clearness: "QUEN-ZAN-FU." Everybody present was struck by the exact correspondence of the Chinaman's pronunciation of the name with that which the German traveller had adopted from Ritter.

[The vocabulary Hweï Hwei (Mahomedan) of the College of Interpreters at Peking transcribes King chao from the Persian Kin-chang, a name it gives to the Shen-si province. King chao was called Ngan-si fu in 1277. (Devéria, Epigraphie, p. 9.) Ken-jan comes from Kin-chang = King-chao = Si-ngan fu.—H.C.]

Martini speaks, apparently from personal knowledge, of the splendour of the city, as regards both its public edifices and its site, sloping gradually up from the banks of the River Wei, so as to exhibit its walls and palaces at one view like the interior of an amphitheatre. West of the city was a sort of Water Park, enclosed by a wall 30 li in circumference, full of lakes, tanks, and canals from the Wei, and within this park were seven fine palaces and a variety of theatres and other places of public diversion. To the south-east of the city was an artificial lake with palaces, gardens, park, etc., originally formed by the Emperor Hiaowu (B.C. 100), and to the south of the city was another considerable lake called Fan. This may be the Fanchan Lake, beside which Rashid says that Ananda, the son of Mangalai, built his palace.

The adjoining districts were the seat of a large Musulman population, which in 1861-1862 [and again in 1895 (See Wellby, Tibet, ch. XXV.) —H.C.] rose in revolt against the Chinese authority, and for a time was successful in resisting it. The capital itself held out, though invested for two years; the rebels having no artillery. The movement originated at Hwachau, some 60 miles east of Si-ngan fu, now totally destroyed. But the chief seat of the Mahomedans is a place which they call Salar, identified with Hochau in Kansuh, about 70 miles south-west of Lanchau-fu, the capital of that province. [Mr. Rockhill (Land of the Lamas, p. 40) writes: "Colonel Yule, quoting a Russian work, has it that the word Salar is used to designate Ho-chou, but this is not absolutely accurate. Prjevalsky (Mongolia, II. 149) makes the following complicated statement: 'The Karatangutans outnumber the Mongols in Koko-nor, but their chief habitations are near the sources of the Yellow River, where they are called Salirs; they profess the Mohammedan religion, and have rebelled against China.' I will only remark here that the Salar have absolutely no connection with the so-called Kara-tangutans, who are Tibetans. In a note by Archimandrite Palladius, in the same work (II. 70), he attempts to show a connection between the Salar and a colony of Mohammedans who settled in Western Kan-Suh in the last century, but the Ming shih (History of the Ming Dynasty) already makes mention of the Salar, remnants of various Turkish tribes (Hsi-ch'iang) who had settled in the districts of Ho-chou, Huang-chou, T'ao-chou, and Min-chou, and who were a source of endless trouble to the Empire. (See Wei Yuen, Sheng-wu-ki, vii. 35; also Huang ch'ing shih kung t'u, v. 7.) The Russian traveller, Potanin, found the Salar living in twenty-four villages, near Hsün-hua t'ing, on the south bank of the Yellow River. (See Proc.R.G.S. ix. 234.) The Annals of the Ming Dynasty (Ming Shíh, ch. 330) say that An-ting wei, 1500 li south-west of Kan-chou, was in old times known as Sa-li Wei-wu-ehr. These Sari Uigurs are mentioned by Du Plan Carpin, as Sari Huiur. Can Sala be the same as Sari?"

"Mohammedans," says Mr. Rockhill (Ibid. p. 39), "here are divided into two sects, known as 'white-capped Hui-hui,' and 'black-capped Hui-hui.' One of the questions which separate them is the hour at which fast can be broken during the Ramadan. Another point which divides them is that the white-capped burn incense, as do the ordinary Chinese; and the Salar condemn this as Paganish. The usual way by which one finds out to which sect a Mohammedan belongs is by asking him if he burns incense. The black-capped Hui-hui are more frequently called Salar, and are much the more devout and fanatical. They live in the vicinity of Ho-chou, in and around Hsün-hua t'ing, their chief town being known as Salar Pakun or Paken."

[Illustration: Cross on the Monument at Si-ngan fu (actual size). (From a rubbing.)]

Ho-chou, in Western Kan-Suh, about 320 li (107 miles) from Lan-chau, has a population of about 30,000 nearly entirely Mahomedans with 24 mosques; it is a "hot-bed of rebellion." Salar-pa-kun means "the eight thousand Salar families," or "the eight thousands of the Salar." The eight kiun (Chinese t'sun? a village, a commune) constituting the Salar pa-kun are Ka-tzu, the oldest and largest, said to have over 1300 families living in it, Chang-chia, Némen, Ch'ing-shui, Munta, Tsu-chi, Antasu and Ch'a-chia. Besides these Salar kiun there are five outer (wai) kiun: Ts'a-pa, Ngan-ssu-to, Hei-ch'eng, Kan-tu and Kargan, inhabited by a few Salar and a mixed population of Chinese and T'u-ssu: each of these wai-wu kiun has, theoretically, fifteen villages in it. Tradition says that the first Salar who came to China (from Rúm or Turkey) arrived in this valley in the third year of Hung-wu of the Ming (1370). (Rockhill, Land of the Lamas, Journey; Grenard, II. p. 457)—H.C.] (Martini; Cathay, 148, 269; Pétis de la Croix, III. 218; Russian paper on the Dungen, see supra, vol. i. p. 291; Williamson's North China, u.s.; Richthofen's Letters, and MS. Notes.)

NOTE 4.—Mangalai, Kúblái's third son, who governed the provinces of Shen-si and Sze-ch'wan, with the title of Wang or king (supra ch. ix. note 2), died in 1280, a circumstance which limits the date of Polo's journey to the west. It seems unlikely that Marco should have remained ten years ignorant of his death, yet he seems to speak of him as still governing.

[With reference to the translation of the oldest of the Chinese-Mongol inscriptions known hitherto (1283) in the name of Ananda, King of Ngan-si, Professor Devéria (Notes d'Épigraphie Mongolo-Chinoise, p. 9) writes: "In 1264, the Emperor Kúblái created in this region [Shen si] the department of Ngan-si chau, occupied by ten hordes of Si-fan (foreigners from the west). All this country became in 1272, the apanage of the Imperial Prince Mangala; this prince, third son of Kúblái, had been invested with the title of King of Ngan-si, a territory which included King-chao fu (modern Si-ngan fu). His government extended hence over Ho-si (west of the Yellow River), the T'u-po (Tibetans), and Sze-ch'wan. The following year (1273) Mangala received from Kúblái a second investiture, this of the Kingdom of Tsin, which added to his domain part of Kan-Suh; he established his royal residence at K'ia-ch'eng (modern Ku-yuan) in the Liu-p'an shan, while King-chao remained the centre of the command he exercised over the Mongol garrisons. In 1277 this prince took part in military operations in the north; he died in 1280 (17th year Che Yuan), leaving his principality of Ngan-si to his eldest son Ananda, and this of Tsin to his second son Ngan-tan Bu-hoa. Kúblái, immediately after the death of his son Mangala, suppressed administrative autonomy in Ngan-si." (Yuan-shi lei pien).—H.C.]

[1] I am indebted for this information to Baron Richthofen.

[2] See the small map attached to "Marco Polo's Itinerary Map, No. IV.," at end of Vol. I.

[3] [It is supposed to come from kang (king) dang.—H.C.]

[4] In the first edition I was able to present a reduced facsimile of a rubbing in my possession from this famous inscription, which I owed to the generosity of Dr. Lockhart. To the Baron von Richthofen I am no less indebted for the more complete rubbing which has afforded the plate now published. A tolerably full account of this inscription is given in Cathay, p. xcii. seqq., and p. clxxxi. seqq., but the subject is so interesting that it seems well to introduce here the most important particulars:—

The stone slab, about 7-1/2 feet high by 3 feet wide, and some 10 inches in thickness,[A] which bears this inscription, was accidentally found in 1625 by some workmen who were digging in the Chang-ngan suburb of the city of Singanfu. The cross, which is engraved at p. 30, is incised at the top of the slab, and beneath this are 9 large characters in 3 columns, constituting the heading, which runs: "Monument commemorating the introduction and propagation of the noble Law of Ta T'sin in the Middle Kingdom;" Ta T'sin being the term applied in Chinese literature to the Roman Empire, of which the ancient Chinese had much such a shadowy conception as the Romans had, conversely, of the Chinese as Sinae and Seres. Then follows the body of the inscription, of great length and beautiful execution, consisting of 1780 characters. Its chief contents are as follows:— 1st. An abstract of Christian doctrine, of a vague and figurative kind; 2nd. An account of the arrival of the missionary OLOPAN (probably a Chinese form of Rabban = Monk),[B] from Ta T'sin in the year equivalent to A.D. 635 bringing sacred books and images, of the translation of the said books, of the Imperial approval of the doctrine and permission to teach it publicly. There follows a decree of the Emperor (T'ai Tsung, a very famous prince) issued in 638 in favour of the new doctrine and ordering a church to be built in the Square of Peace and Justice (I ning Fang) at the capital. The Emperor's portrait was to be placed in the church. After this comes a description of Ta T'sin (here apparently implying Syria), and then some account of the fortunes of the Church in China. Kao Tsung (650-683 the devout patron also of the Buddhist traveller and Dr. Hiuen Tsang) continued to favour it. In the end of the century, Buddhism gets the upper hand, but under HIUAN TSUNG (713-755) the Church recovers its prestige, and KIHO, a new missionary, arrives. Under TE TSUNG (780-783) the monument was erected, and this part ends with the eulogy of ISSE, a statesman and benefactor of the Church. 3rd. There follows a recapitulation of the purport in octosyllabic verse.

The Chinese inscription concludes with the date of erection, viz. the second year Kienchung of the Great T'ang Dynasty, the seventh day of the month Tait su, the feast of the great Yaosan. This corresponds, according to Gaubil, to 4th February, 781, and Yaosan is supposed to stand for Hosanna (i.e. Palm Sunday, but this apparently does not fit, see infra). There are added the name chief of the law, NINGCHU (presumed to be the Chinese name of the Metropolitan), the name of the writer, and the official sanction.

The Great Hosanna was, though ingenious, a misinterpretation of Gaubil's. Mr. Wylie has sent me a paper of his own (in Chin. Recorder and Miss. Journal, July, 1871, p. 45), which makes things perfectly clear. The expression transcribed by Pauthier, Yao san wen, and rendered "Hosanna," appears in a Chinese work, without reference to this inscription, as Yao san wah, and is in reality only a Chinese transcript of the Persian word for Sunday, "Yak shambah." Mr. Wylie verified this from the mouth of a Peking Mahomedan. The 4th of February, 781 was Sunday, why Great Sunday? Mr. Wylie suggests, possibly because the first Sunday of the (Chinese) year.

The monument exhibits, in addition to the Chinese text, a series of short inscriptions in the Syriac language, and Estranghelo character, containing the date of erection, viz. 1092 of the Greeks (= A.D. 781), the name of the reigning Patriarch of the Nestorian church MAR HANAN ISHUA (dead in 778, but the fact apparently had not reached China), that of ADAM, Bishop and Pope of Tzinisthán (i.e. China), and those of the clerical staff of the capital which here bears the name, given it by the early Arab Travellers, of Kumdan. There follow sixty-seven names of persons in Syriac characters, most of whom are characterised as priests (Kashísha), and sixty-one names of persons in Chinese, all priests save one.

[It appears that Adam (King tsing), who erected the monument under Te Tsung was, under the same Emperor, with a Buddhist the translator of a Buddhist sûtra, the Satparamita from a Hu text. (See a curious paper by Mr. J. Takakusu in the T'oung Pao, VII pp. 589-591.)

Mr. Rockhill (Rubruck, p. 157, note) makes the following remarks. "It is strange, however, that the two famous Uigur Nestorians, Mar Jabalaha and Rabban Cauma, when on their journey from Koshang in Southern Shan hsi to Western Asia in about 1276, while they mention 'the city of Tangut, or Ning hsia on the Yellow River as an important Nestorian centre' do not once refer to Hsi anfu or Chang an. Had Chang an been at the time the Nestorian Episcopal see, one would think that these pilgrims would have visited it, or at least referred to it. (Chabot, Mar Jabalaha, 21)"—H.C.]

Kircher gives a good many more Syriac names than appear on the rubbing, probably because some of these are on the edge of the slab now built in. We have no room to speak of the controversies raised by this stone. The most able defence of its genuine character, as well as a transcript with translation and commentary, a work of great interest, was published by the late M. Pauthier. The monument exists intact, and has been visited by the Rev. Mr. Williamson, Baron Richthofen, and other recent travellers. [The Rev. Moir Duncan wrote from Shen si regarding the present state of the stone. (London and China Telegraph, 5th June, 1893) "Of the covering rebuilt so recently, not a trace remains save the pedestals for the pillars and atoms of the tiling. In answer to a question as to when and how the covering was destroyed, the old priest replied, with a twinkle in his eye as if his conscience pinched, 'There came a rushing wind and blew it down.' He could not say when, for he paid no attention to such mundane affairs. More than one outsider however, said it had been deliberately destroyed, because the priests are jealous of the interest manifested in it. The stone has evidently been recently tampered with, several characters are effaced and there are other signs of malicious hands."—H.C.] Pauthier's works on the subject are—De l'Authenticité de l'Inscription Nestorienne, etc., B. Duprat, 1857, and l'Inscription Syro Chinoise de Si ngan fou, etc., Firmin Didot, 1858. (See also Kircher, China Illustrata, and article by Mr. Wylie in J. Am. Or. Soc., V. 278.) [Father Havret, S.J., of Zi ka wei, near Shang hai, has undertaken to write a large work on this inscription with the title of La Stele Chrétienne de Si ngan fou, the first part giving the inscription in full size, and the second containing the history of the monument, have been published at Shang-hai in 1895 and 1897; the author died last year (29th September, 1901), and the translation which was to form a third part has not yet appeared. The Rev. Dr. J. Legge has given a translation and the Chinese text of the monument, in 1888.—H.C.]

Stone monuments of character strictly analogous are frequent in the precincts of Buddhist sanctuaries, and probably the idea of this one was taken from the Buddhists. It is reasonably supposed by Pauthier that the monument may have been buried in 845, when the Emperor Wu-Tsung issued an edict, still extant, against the vast multiplication of Buddhist convents, and ordering their destruction. A clause in the edict also orders the foreign bonzes of Ta-T'sin and Mubupa (Christian and Mobed or Magian?) to return to secular life.

[A] [M. Grenard, who reproduces (III. p. 152) a good facsimile of the inscription, gives to the slab the following dimensions: high 2m. 36, wide 0m. 86, thick 0m. 25.—H.C.]

[B] [Dr. F. Hirth (China and the Roman Orient, p. 323) writes: "O-LO-PÊN = Ruben, Rupen?" He adds (Jour. China Br. R. As. Soc. XXI. 1886, pp. 214-215): "Initial r is also quite commonly represented by initial l. I am in doubt whether the two characters o-lo in the Chinese name for Russia (O-lo-ssu) stand for foreign ru or ro alone. This word would bear comparison with a Chinese transcription of the Sanskrit word for silver, rupya which in the Pen ts ao kang mu (ch. 8, p. 9) is given as o lu pa. If we can find further analogies, this may help us to read that mysterious word in the Nestorian stone inscription, being the name of the first Christian missionary who carried the cross to China, O lo pên, as 'Ruben'. This was indeed a common name among the Nestorians, for which reason I would give it the preference over Pauthier's Syriac 'Alopeno'. But Father Havret (Stele Chrétienne, Leide, 1897, p. 26) objects to Dr. Hirth that the Chinese character lo, to which he gives the sound ru, is not to be found as a Sanskrit phonetic element in Chinese characters but that this phonetic element ru is represented by the Chinese characters pronounced lu and therefore, he, Father Havret, adopts Colonel Yule's opinion as the only one being fully satisfactory."—H.C.]



On leaving the Palace of Mangalai, you travel westward for three days, finding a succession of cities and boroughs and beautiful plains, inhabited by people who live by trade and industry, and have great plenty of silk. At the end of those three days, you reach the great mountains and valleys which belong to the province of CUNCUN.[NOTE 1] There are towns and villages in the land, and the people live by tilling the earth, and by hunting in the great woods; for the region abounds in forests, wherein are many wild beasts, such as lions, bears, lynxes, bucks and roes, and sundry other kinds, so that many are taken by the people of the country, who make a great profit thereof. So this way we travel over mountains and valleys, finding a succession of towns and villages, and many great hostelries for the entertainment of travellers, interspersed among extensive forests.

NOTE 1.—The region intended must necessarily be some part of the southern district of the province of Shen-si, called HAN-CHUNG, the axis of which is the River Han, closed in by exceedingly mountainous and woody country to north and south, dividing it on the former quarter from the rest of Shen-si, and on the latter from Sze-ch'wan. Polo's C frequently expresses an H, especially the Guttural H of Chinese names, yet Cuncun is not satisfactory as the expression of Hanchung.

The country was so ragged that in ancient times travellers from Si-ngan fu had to make a long circuit eastward by the frontier of Ho-nan to reach Han-chung; but, at an early date, a road was made across the mountains for military purposes; so long ago indeed that various eras and constructors are assigned to it. Padre Martini's authorities ascribed it to a general in the service of Liu Pang, the founder of the first Han Dynasty (B.C. 202), and this date is current in Shan-si, as Baron v. Richthofen tells me. But in Sze-ch'wan the work is asserted to have been executed during the 3rd century, when China was divided into several states, by Liu Pei, of the Han family, who, about A.D. 226, established himself as Emperor [Minor Han] of Western China at Ch'eng-tu fu.[1] This work, with its difficulties and boldness, extending often for great distances on timber corbels inserted in the rock, is vividly described by Martini. Villages and rest-houses were established at convenient distances. It received from the Chinese the name of Chien-tao, or the "Pillar Road." It commenced on the west bank of the Wei, opposite Pao-ki h'ien, 100 miles west of Si-ngan fu, and ended near the town of Paoching-h'ien, some 15 or 20 miles north-west from Han-chung.

We are told that Tului, the son of Chinghiz, when directing his march against Ho-nan in 1231 by this very line from Paoki, had to make a road with great difficulty; but, as we shall see presently, this can only mean that the ancient road had fallen into decay, and had to be repaired. The same route was followed by Okkodai's son Kutan, in marching to attack the Sung Empire in 1235, and again by Mangku Kaan on his last campaign in 1258. These circumstances show that the road from Paoki was in that age the usual route into Han-chung and Sze-ch'wan; indeed there is no other road in that direction that is more than a mere jungle-track, and we may be certain that this was Polo's route.

This remarkable road was traversed by Baron v. Richthofen in 1872. To my questions, he replies: "The entire route is a work of tremendous engineering, and all of this was done by Liu Pei, who first ordered the construction. The hardest work consisted in cutting out long portions of the road from solid rock, chiefly where ledges project on the verge of a river, as is frequently the case on the He-lung Kiang…. It had been done so thoroughly from the first, that scarcely any additions had to be made in after days. Another kind of work which generally strikes tourists like Father Martini, or Chinese travellers, is the poling up of the road on the sides of steep cliffs….[2] Extensive cliffs are frequently rounded in this way, and imagination is much struck with the perils of walking on the side of a precipice, with the foaming river below. When the timbers rot, such passages of course become obstructed, and thus the road is said to have been periodically in complete disuse. The repairs, which were chiefly made in the time of the Ming, concerned especially passages of this sort." Richthofen also notices the abundance of game; but inhabited places appear to be rarer than in Polo's time. (See Martini in Blaeu; Chine Ancienne, p. 234; Ritter, IV. 520; D'Ohsson, II. 22, 80, 328; Lecomte, II. 95; Chin. Rep. XIX. 225; Richthofen, Letter VII. p. 42, and MS. Notes).

[1] The last is also stated by Klaproth. Ritter has overlooked the discrepancy of the dates (B.C. and A.D.) and has supposed Liu Pei and Liu Pang to be the same. The resemblance of the names, and the fact that both princes were founders of Han Dynasties, give ample room for confusion.

[2] See cut from Mr. Cooper's book at p. 51 below. This so exactly illustrates Baron R.'s description that I may omit the latter.



After you have travelled those 20 days through the mountains of CUNCUN that I have mentioned, then you come to a province called ACBALEC MANZI, which is all level country, with plenty of towns and villages, and belongs to the Great Kaan. The people are Idolaters, and live by trade and industry. I may tell you that in this province, there grows such a great quantity of ginger, that it is carried all over the region of Cathay, and it affords a maintenance to all the people of the province, who get great gain thereby. They have also wheat and rice, and other kinds of corn, in great plenty and cheapness; in fact the country abounds in all useful products. The capital city is called ACBALEC MANZI [which signifies "the White City of the Manzi Frontier"].[NOTE 1]

This plain extends for two days' journey, throughout which it is as fine as I have told you, with towns and villages as numerous. After those two days, you again come to great mountains and valleys, and extensive forests, and you continue to travel westward through this kind of country for 20 days, finding however numerous towns and villages. The people are Idolaters, and live by agriculture, by cattle-keeping, and by the chase, for there is much game. And among other kinds, there are the animals that produce the musk, in great numbers.[NOTE 2]

NOTE 1.—Though the termini of the route, described in these two chapters, are undoubtedly Si-ngan fu and Ch'êng-tu fu, there are serious difficulties attending the determination of the line actually followed.

The time according to all the MSS., so far as I know, except those of one type, is as follows:

  In the plain of Kenjanfu . . . . . 3 days.
  In the mountains of Cuncun . . . . 20 "
  In the plain of Acbalec . . . . . 2 "
  In mountains again . . . . . . 20 "
                                          45 days.

[From Si-ngan fu to Ch'êng-tu (Sze-ch'wan), the Chinese reckon 2300 li (766 miles). (Cf. Rockhill, Land of the Lamas, p. 23.) Mr. G.F. Eaton, writing from Han-chung (Jour. China Br.R.A.S. xxviii. p. 29) reckons: "From Si-ngan Fu S.W. to Ch'êng-tu, via K'i-shan, Fung-sien, Mien, Kwang-yuan and Chao-hwa, about 30 days, in chairs." He says (p. 24): "From Ch'êng-tu via Si-ngan to Peking the road does not touch Han-chung, but 20 li west of the city strikes north to Pao-ch'eng. The road from Han-chung to Ch'êng-tu made by Ts'in Shi Hwang-ti to secure his conquest of Sze-ch'wan, crosses the Ta-pa-shan."—H.C.]

It seems to me almost impossible to doubt that the Plain of Acbalec represents some part of the river-valley of the Han, interposed between the two ranges of mountains called by Richthofen T'sing-Ling-Shan and Ta-pa-Shan. But the time, as just stated, is extravagant for anything like a direct journey between the two termini.

The distance from Si-ngan fu to Pao-ki is 450 li, which could be done in 3 days, but at Polo's rate would probably require 5. The distance by the mountain road from Pao-ki to the Plain of Han-chung, could never have occupied 20 days. It is really a 6 or 7 days' march.

But Pauthier's MS. C (and its double, the Bern MS.) has viii. marches instead of xx., through the mountains of Cuncun. This reduces the time between Kenjanfu and the Plain to 11 days, which is just about a proper allowance for the whole journey, though not accurately distributed. Two days, though ample, would not be excessive for the journey across the Plain of Han-chung, especially if the traveller visited that city. And "20 days from Han-chung, to Ch'êng-tu fu would correspond with Marco Polo's rate of travel." (Richthofen).

So far then, provided we admit the reading of the MS. C, there is no ground for hesitating to adopt the usual route between the two cities, via Han-chung.

But the key to the exact route is evidently the position of Acbalec Manzi, and on this there is no satisfactory light.

For the name of the province, Pauthier's text has Acbalec Manzi, for the name of the city Acmalec simply. The G.T. has in the former case Acbalec Mangi, in the latter "Acmelic Mangi qe vaut dire le une de le confine dou Mangi." This is followed literally by the Geographic Latin, which has "Acbalec Mangi et est dictum in lingua nostra unus ex confinibus Mangi." So also the Crusca; whilst Ramusio has "Achbaluch Mangi, che vuol dire Città Bianca de' confini di Mangi." It is clear that Ramusio alone has here preserved the genuine reading.

Klaproth identified Acbalec conjecturally with the town of Pe-ma-ching, or "White-Horse-Town," a place now extinct, but which stood like Mien and Han-chung on the extensive and populous Plain that here borders the Han.

It seems so likely that the latter part of the name Pe-MACHING ("White Maching") might have been confounded by foreigners with Máchín and Manzi (which in Persian parlance were identical), that I should be disposed to overlook the difficulty that we have no evidence produced to show that Pemaching was a place of any consequence.

It is possible, however, that the name Acbalec may have been given by the Tartars without any reference to Chinese etymologies. We have already twice met with the name or its equivalent (Acbaluc in ch. xxxvii. of this Book, and Chaghan Balghasun in note 3 to Book I. ch. lx.), whilst Strahlenberg tells us that the Tartars call all great residences of princes by this name (Amst. ed. 1757, I. p. 7). It may be that Han-chung itself was so named by the Tartars; though its only claim that I can find is, that it was the first residence of the Han Dynasty. Han-chung fu stands in a beautiful plain, which forms a very striking object to the traveller who is leaving the T'sing-ling mountains. Just before entering the plains, the Helung Kiang passes through one of its wildest gorges, a mere crevice between vertical walls several hundred feet high. The road winds to the top of one of the cliffs in zigzags cut in the solid rock. From the temple of Kitau Kwan, which stands at the top of the cliff, there is a magnificent view of the Plain, and no traveller would omit this, the most notable feature between the valley of the Wei and Ch'êng-tu-fu. It is, moreover, the only piece of level ground, of any extent, that is passed through between those two regions, whichever road or track be taken. (Richthofen, MS. Notes.)

[In the China Review (xiv. p. 358) Mr. E.H. Parker, has an article on Acbalec Manzi, but does not throw any new light on the subject.—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Polo's journey now continues through the lofty mountainous region in the north of Sze-ch'wan.

The dividing range Ta-pa-shan is less in height than the T'sing-ling range, but with gorges still more abrupt and deep; and it would be an entire barrier to communication but for the care with which the road, here also, has been formed. But this road, from Han-chung to Ch'êng-tu fu, is still older than that to the north, having been constructed, it is said, in the 3rd century B.C. [See supra.] Before that time Sze-ch'wan was a closed country, the only access from the north being the circuitous route down the Han and up the Yang-tz'u. (Ibid.)

[Mr. G.G. Brown writes (Jour. China Br. R. As. Soc. xxviii. p. 53): "Crossing the Ta-pa-shan from the valley of the Upper Han in Shen-si we enter the province of Sze-ch'wan, and are now in a country as distinct as possible from that that has been left. The climate which in the north was at times almost Arctic, is now pluvial, and except on the summits of the mountains no snow is to be seen. The people are ethnologically different…. More even than the change of climate the geological aspect is markedly different. The loess, which in Shen-si has settled like a pall over the country, is here absent, and red sandstone rocks, filling the valleys between the high-bounding and intermediate ridges of palaeozoic formation, take its place. Sze-ch'wan is evidently a region of rivers flowing in deeply eroded valleys, and as these find but one exit, the deep gorges of Kwei-fu, their disposition takes the form of the innervations of a leaf springing from a solitary stalk. The country between the branching valleys is eminently hilly; the rivers flow with rapid currents in well-defined valleys, and are for the most part navigable for boats, or in their upper reaches for lumber-rafts…. The horse-cart, which in the north and north-west of China is the principal means of conveyance, has never succeeded in gaining an entrance into Sze-ch'wan with its steep ascents and rapid unfordable streams; and is here represented for passenger traffic by the sedan-chair, and for the carriage of goods, with the exception of a limited number of wheel-barrows, by the backs of men or animals, unless where the friendly water-courses afford the cheapest and readiest means of intercourse."—H.C.]

Martini notes the musk-deer in northern Sze-ch'wan.



When you have travelled those 20 days westward through the mountains, as I have told you, then you arrive at a plain belonging to a province called Sindafu, which still is on the confines of Manzi, and the capital city of which is (also) called SINDAFU. This city was in former days a rich and noble one, and the Kings who reigned there were very great and wealthy. It is a good twenty miles in compass, but it is divided in the way that I shall tell you.

You see the King of this Province, in the days of old, when he found himself drawing near to death, leaving three sons behind him, commanded that the city should be divided into three parts, and that each of his three sons should have one. So each of these three parts is separately walled about, though all three are surrounded by the common wall of the city. Each of the three sons was King, having his own part of the city, and his own share of the kingdom, and each of them in fact was a great and wealthy King. But the Great Kaan conquered the kingdom of these three Kings, and stripped them of their inheritance.[NOTE 1]

Through the midst of this great city runs a large river, in which they catch a great quantity of fish. It is a good half mile wide, and very deep withal, and so long that it reaches all the way to the Ocean Sea,—a very long way, equal to 80 or 100 days' journey. And the name of the River is KIAN-SUY. The multitude of vessels that navigate this river is so vast, that no one who should read or hear the tale would believe it. The quantities of merchandize also which merchants carry up and down this river are past all belief. In fact, it is so big, that it seems to be a Sea rather than a River![NOTE 2]

Let us now speak of a great Bridge which crosses this River within the city. This bridge is of stone; it is seven paces in width and half a mile in length (the river being that much in width as I told you); and all along its length on either side there are columns of marble to bear the roof, for the bridge is roofed over from end to end with timber, and that all richly painted. And on this bridge there are houses in which a great deal of trade and industry is carried on. But these houses are all of wood merely, and they are put up in the morning and taken down in the evening. Also there stands upon the bridge the Great Kaan's Comercque, that is to say, his custom-house, where his toll and tax are levied.[NOTE 3] And I can tell you that the dues taken on this bridge bring to the Lord a thousand pieces of fine gold every day and more. The people are all Idolaters.[NOTE 4]

When you leave this city you travel for five days across a country of plains and valleys, finding plenty of villages and hamlets, and the people of which live by husbandry. There are numbers of wild beasts, lions, and bears, and such like.

I should have mentioned that the people of Sindu itself live by manufactures, for they make fine sendals and other stuffs.[NOTE 5]

After travelling those five days' march, you reach a province called Tebet, which has been sadly laid waste; we will now say something of it.

NOTE 1.—We are on firm ground again, for SINDAFU is certainly CH'ÊNG-TU FU, the capital of Sze-ch'wan. Probably the name used by Polo was Sindu-fu, as we find Sindu in the G.T. near the end of the chapter. But the same city is, I observe, called Thindafu by one of the Nepalese embassies, whose itineraries Mr. Hodgson has given in the J.A.S.B. XXV. 488.

The modern French missions have a bishop in Ch'eng-tu fu, and the city has been visited of late years by Mr. T.T. Cooper, by Mr. A. Wylie, by Baron v. Richthofen, [Captain Gill, Mr. Baber, Mr. Hosie, and several other travellers]. Mr. Wylie has kindly favoured me with the following note:—"My notice all goes to corroborate Marco Polo. The covered bridge with the stalls is still there, the only difference being the absence of the toll-house. I did not see any traces of a tripartite division of the city, nor did I make any enquiries on the subject during the 3 or 4 days I spent there, as it was not an object with me at the time to verify Polo's account. The city is indeed divided, but the division dates more than a thousand years back. It is something like this, I should say [see diagram]".[1]

    | |
|—-| |—-| |
| B | | C | A |
|___| |___| |
    | |

A. The Great City.
B. The Little City.
C. The Imperial City.]

"The Imperial City (Hwang Ching) was the residence of the monarch Lew Pé (i.e. Liu Pei of p. 32) during the short period of the 'Three Kingdoms' (3rd century), and some relics of the ancient edifice still remain. I was much interested in looking over it. It is now occupied by the Public Examination Hall and its dependencies."

I suspect Marco's story of the Three Kings arose from a misunderstanding about this historical period of the San-Kwé or Three Kingdoms (A.D. 222-264). And this tripartite division of the city may have been merely that which we see to exist at present.

[Mr. Baber, leaving Ch'eng-tu, 26th July, 1877, writes (Travels, p. 28): "We took ship outside the East Gate on a rapid narrow stream, apparently the city moat, which soon joins the main river, a little below the An-shun Bridge, an antiquated wooden structure some 90 yards long. This is in all probability the bridge mentioned by Marco Polo. The too flattering description he gives of it leads one to suppose that the present handsome stone bridges of the province were unbuilt at the time of his journey." Baber is here mistaken.

Captain Gill writes (l.c. II. p. 9): "As Mr. Wylie in recent days had said that Polo's covered bridge was still in its place, we went one day on an expedition in search of it. Polo, however, speaks of a bridge full half a mile long, whilst the longest now is but 90 yards. On our way we passed over a fine nine-arched stone bridge, called the Chin-Yen-Ch'iao. Near the covered bridge there is a very pretty view down the river."—H.C.]

Baron Richthofen observes that Ch'eng-tu is among the largest of Chinese cities, and is of all the finest and most refined. The population is called 800,000. The walls form a square of about 3 miles to the side, and there are suburbs besides. The streets are broad and straight, laid out at right angles, with a pavement of square flags very perfectly laid, slightly convex and drained at each side. The numerous commemorative arches are sculptured with skill; there is much display of artistic taste; and the people are remarkably civil to foreigners. This characterizes the whole province; and an air of wealth and refinement prevails even in the rural districts. The plain round Ch'eng-tu fu is about 90 miles in length (S.E. to N.W.), by 40 miles in width, with a copious irrigation and great fertility, so that in wealth and population it stands almost unrivalled. (Letter VII. pp. 48-66.)

[Illustration: PLAN OF CHENG-TU.

Eglises ou Etablissements français des "Missions etrangeres"
Reproduction d'une carte chinoise]

[Mr. Baber (Travels, p. 26) gives the following information regarding the population of Ch'eng-tu: "The census of 1877 returned the number of families at about 70,000, and the total population at 330,000—190,000 being males and 140,000 females; but probably the extensive suburb was not included in the enumeration. Perhaps 350,000 would be a fair total estimate." It is the seat of the Viceroy of the Sze-ch'wan province. Mr. Hosie says (Three Years in Western China, p. 86): "It is without exception the finest city I have seen in China; Peking and Canton will not bear comparison with it." Captain Gill writes (River of Golden Sand, II. p. 4): "The city of Ch'êng-Tu is still a rich and noble one, somewhat irregular in shape, and surrounded by a strong wall, in a perfect state of repair. In this there are eight bastions, four being pierced by gates."

"It is one of the largest of Chinese cities, having a circuit of about 12 miles." (Baber, p. 26.) "It is now three and a half miles long by about two and a half miles broad, the longest side lying about east-south-east, and west-north-west, so that its compass in the present day is about 12 miles." (Captain Gill, II. p. 4.)—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Ramusio is more particular: "Through the city flow many great rivers, which come down from distant mountains, and run winding about through many parts of the city. These rivers vary in width from half a mile to 200 paces, and are very deep. Across them are built many bridges of stone," etc. "And after passing the city these rivers unite and form one immense river called Kian," etc. Here we have the Great River or KIANG, Kian (Quian) as in Ramusio, or KIANG-SHUI, "Waters of the Kiang," as in the text. So Pauthier explains. [Mr. Baber remarks at Ch'êng-tu (Travels, p. 28): "When all allowance is made for the diminution of the river, one cannot help surmising that Marco Polo must have felt reluctant to call it the Chiang-Sui or 'Yangtzu waterway.' He was, however, correct enough, as usual, for the Chinese consider it to be the main upper stream of the Yangtzu."—H.C.] Though our Geographies give the specific names of Wen and Min to the great branch which flows by Ch'êng-tu fu, and treat the Tibetan branch which flows through northern Yunnan under the name of Kin Sha or "Golden Sand," as the main river, the Chinese seem always to have regarded the former as the true Kiang; as may be seen in Ritter (IV. 650) and Martini. The latter describes the city as quite insulated by the ramifications of the river, from which channels and canals pass all about it, adorned with many quays and bridges of stone.

The numerous channels in reuniting form two rivers, one the Min, and the other the To-Kiang, which also joins the Yangtzu at Lu-chau.

[In his Introductory Essay to Captain Gill's River of Golden Sand, Colonel Yule (p. 37) writes: "Captain Gill has pointed out that, of the many branches of the river which ramify through the plain of Ch'êng-tu, no one now passes through the city at all corresponding in magnitude to that which Marco Polo describes, about 1283, as running through the midst of Sin-da-fu, 'a good half-mile wide, and very deep withal.' The largest branch adjoining the city now runs on the south side, but does not exceed a hundred yards in width; and though it is crossed by a covered bridge with huxters' booths, more or less in the style described by Polo, it necessarily falls far short of his great bridge of half a mile in length. Captain Gill suggests that a change may have taken place in the last five (this should be six) centuries, owing to the deepening of the river-bed at its exit from the plain, and consequent draining of the latter. But I should think it more probable that the ramification of channels round Ch'êng-tu, which is so conspicuous even on a small general map of China, like that which accompanies this work, is in great part due to art; that the mass of the river has been drawn off to irrigate the plain; and that thus the wide river, which in the 13th century may have passed through the city, no unworthy representative of the mighty Kiang, has long since ceased, on that scale, to flow. And I have pointed out briefly that the fact, which Baron Richthofen attests, of an actual bifurcation of waters on a large scale taking place in the plain of Ch'êng-tu—one arm 'branching east to form the To' (as in the terse indication of the Yü-Kung)—viz. the To Kiang or Chung-Kiang flowing south-east to join the great river at Lu-chau, whilst another flows south to Sü-chau or Swi-fu, does render change in the distribution of the waters about the city highly credible."] [See Irrigation of the Ch'eng-tu Plain, by Joshua Vale, China Inland Mission in Jour. China Br.R.A.S.Soc. XXXIII. 1899-1900, pp. 22-36.—H.C.]

[Above Kwan Hsien, near Ch'êng-tu, there is a fine suspension bridge, mentioned by Marcel Monnier (Itinéraires, p. 43), from whom I borrow the cut reproduced on this page. This bridge is also spoken of by Captain Gill (l.c. I. p. 335): "Six ropes, one above the other, are stretched very tightly, and connected by vertical battens of wood laced in and out. Another similar set of ropes is at the other side of the roadway, which is laid across these, and follows the curve of the ropes. There are three or four spans with stone piers."—H.C.]

[Illustration: Bridge near Kwan-hsien (Ch'êng-tu).]

NOTE 3.—(G.T.) "Hi est le couiereque dou Grant Sire, ce est cilz qe recevent la rente dou Seignor." Pauthier has couvert. Both are, I doubt not, misreadings or misunderstandings of comereque or comerc. This word, founded on the Latin commercium, was widely spread over the East with the meaning of customs-duty or custom-house. In Low Greek it appeared as [Greek: kommérkion] and [Greek: koumérkion], now [Greek: komérki]; in Arabic and Turkish as [Arabic] and [Turkish] (kumruk and gyumruk), still in use; in Romance dialects as comerchio, comerho, comergio, etc.

NOTE 4.—The word in Pauthier's text which I have rendered pieces of gold is pois, probably equivalent to saggi or miskáls.[2] The G.T. has "is well worth 1000 bezants of gold," no doubt meaning daily, though not saying so. Ramusio has "100 bezants daily." The term Bezant may be taken as synonymous with Dínár, and the statement in the text would make the daily receipt of custom upwards of 500_l._, that in Ramusio upwards of 50_l._ only.

NOTE 5.—I have recast this passage, which has got muddled, probably in the original dictation, for it runs in the G. text: "Et de ceste cité se part l'en et chevauche cinq jornée por plain et por valée, et treve-l'en castiaus et casaus assez. Les homes vivent dou profit qu'il traient de la terre. Il hi a bestes sauvajes assez, lions et orses et autres bestes. Il vivent d'ars: car il hi se laborent des biaus sendal et autres dras. Il sunt de Sindu meisme." I take it that in speaking of Ch'êng-tu fu, Marco has forgotten to fill up his usual formula as to the occupation of the inhabitants; he is reminded of this when he speaks of the occupation of the peasantry on the way to Tibet, and reverts to the citizens in the words which I have quoted in Italics. We see here Sindu applied to the city, suggesting Sindu-fu for the reading at the beginning of the chapter.

Silk is a large item in the produce and trade of Sze-ch'wan; and through extensive quarters of Ch'êng-tu fu, in every house, the spinning, dying, weaving, and embroidering of silk give occupation to the people. And though a good deal is exported, much is consumed in the province, for the people are very much given to costly apparel. Thus silk goods are very conspicuous in the shops of the capital. (Richthofen.)

[1] My lamented friend Lieutenant F. Garnier had kindly undertaken to send me a plan of Ch'eng-tu fu from the place itself, but, as is well known, he fell on a daring enterprise elsewhere. [We hope that the plan from a Chinese map we give from M. Marcel Monnier's Itinéraires will replace the promised one.

    It will be seen that Ch'eng-tu is divided into three cities: the Great
    City containing both the Imperial and Tartar cities.—H.C.

[2] I find the same expression applied to the miskál or dinár in a MS. letter written by Giovanni dell' Affaitado, Venetian Agent at Lisbon in 1503, communicated to me by Signor Berchet. The King of Melinda was to pay to Portugal a tribute of 1500 pesi d'oro, "che un peso val un ducato e un quarto."



After those five days' march that I spoke of, you enter a province which has been sorely ravaged; and this was done in the wars of Mongu Kaan. There are indeed towns and villages and hamlets, but all harried and destroyed.[NOTE 1]

In this region you find quantities of canes, full three palms in girth and fifteen paces in length, with some three palms' interval between the joints. And let me tell you that merchants and other travellers through that country are wont at nightfall to gather these canes and make fires of them; for as they burn they make such loud reports that the lions and bears and other wild beasts are greatly frightened, and make off as fast as possible; in fact nothing will induce them to come nigh a fire of that sort. So you see the travellers make those fires to protect themselves and their cattle from the wild beasts which have so greatly multiplied since the devastation of the country. And 'tis this great multiplication of the wild beasts that prevents the country from being reoccupied. In fact but for the help of these canes, which make such a noise in burning that the beasts are terrified and kept at a distance, no one would be able even to travel through the land.

I will tell you how it is that the canes make such a noise. The people cut the green canes, of which there are vast numbers, and set fire to a heap of them at once. After they have been awhile burning they burst asunder, and this makes such a loud report that you might hear it ten miles off. In fact, any one unused to this noise, who should hear it unexpectedly, might easily go into a swound or die of fright. But those who are used to it care nothing about it. Hence those who are not used to it stuff their ears well with cotton, and wrap up their heads and faces with all the clothes they can muster; and so they get along until they have become used to the sound. 'Tis just the same with horses. Those which are unused to these noises are so alarmed by them that they break away from their halters and heel-ropes, and many a man has lost his beasts in this way. So those who would avoid losing their horses take care to tie all four legs and peg the ropes down strongly, and to wrap the heads and eyes and ears of the animals closely, and so they save them. But horses also, when they have heard the noise several times, cease to mind it. I tell you the truth, however, when I say that the first time you hear it nothing can be more alarming. And yet, in spite of all, the lions and bears and other wild beasts will sometimes come and do much mischief; for their numbers are great in those tracts.[NOTE 2]

You ride for 20 days without finding any inhabited spot, so that travellers are obliged to carry all their provisions with them, and are constantly falling in with those wild beasts which are so numerous and so dangerous. After that you come at length to a tract where there are towns and villages in considerable numbers.[NOTE 3] The people of those towns have a strange custom in regard to marriage which I will now relate.

No man of that country would on any consideration take to wife a girl who was a maid; for they say a wife is nothing worth unless she has been used to consort with men. And their custom is this, that when travellers come that way, the old women of the place get ready, and take their unmarried daughters or other girls related to them, and go to the strangers who are passing, and make over the young women to whomsoever will accept them; and the travellers take them accordingly and do their pleasure; after which the girls are restored to the old women who brought them, for they are not allowed to follow the strangers away from their home. In this manner people travelling that way, when they reach a village or hamlet or other inhabited place, shall find perhaps 20 or 30 girls at their disposal. And if the travellers lodge with those people they shall have as many young women as they could wish coming to court them! You must know too that the traveller is expected to give the girl who has been with him a ring or some other trifle, something in fact that she can show as a lover's token when she comes to be married. And it is for this in truth and for this alone that they follow that custom; for every girl is expected to obtain at least 20 such tokens in the way I have described before she can be married. And those who have most tokens, and so can show they have been most run after, are in the highest esteem, and most sought in marriage, because they say the charms of such an one are greatest.[NOTE 4] But after marriage these people hold their wives very dear, and would consider it a great villainy for a man to meddle with another's wife; and thus though the wives have before marriage acted as you have heard, they are kept with great care from light conduct afterwards.

Now I have related to you this marriage custom as a good story to tell, and to show what a fine country that is for young fellows to go to!

The people are Idolaters and an evil generation, holding it no sin to rob and maltreat: in fact, they are the greatest brigands on earth. They live by the chase, as well as on their cattle and the fruits of the earth.

I should tell you also that in this country there are many of the animals that produce musk, which are called in the Tartar language Gudderi. Those rascals have great numbers of large and fine dogs, which are of great service in catching the musk-beasts, and so they procure great abundance of musk. They have none of the Great Kaan's paper money, but use salt instead of money. They are very poorly clad, for their clothes are only of the skins of beasts, and of canvas, and of buckram.[NOTE 5] They have a language of their own, and they are called Tebet. And this country of TEBET forms a very great province, of which I will give you a brief account.

NOTE 1.—The mountains that bound the splendid plain of Ch'êng-tu fu on the west rise rapidly to a height of 12,000 feet and upwards. Just at the skirt of this mountain region, where the great road to Lhása enters it, lies the large and bustling city of Yachaufu, forming the key of the hill country, and the great entrepôt of trade between Sze-ch'wan on the one side, and Tibet and Western Yunnan on the other. The present political boundary between China Proper and Tibet is to the west of Bathang and the Kin-sha Kiang, but till the beginning of last century it lay much further east, near Ta-t'sien-lu, or, as the Tibetans appear to call it, Tartsédo or Tachindo, which a Chinese Itinerary given by Ritter makes to be 920 li, or 11 marches from Ch'êng-tu fu. In Marco's time we must suppose that Tibet was considered to extend several marches further east still, or to the vicinity of Yachau.[1] Mr. Cooper's Journal describes the country entered on the 5th march from Ch'êng-tu as very mountainous, many of the neighbouring peaks being capped with snow. And he describes the people as speaking a language mixed with Tibetan for some distance before reaching Ta-t'sien-lu. Baron Richthofen also who, as we shall see, has thrown an entirely new light upon this part of Marco's itinerary, was exactly five days in travelling through a rich and populous country, from Ch'eng-tu to Yachau. [Captain Gill left Ch'eng-tu on the 10th July, 1877, and reached Ya-chau on the 14th, a distance of 75 miles.—H. C] (Ritter, IV. 190 seqq.; Cooper, pp. 164-173; Richthofen in Verhandl. Ges. f. Erdk. zu Berlin, 1874, p. 35.)

Tibet was always reckoned as a part of the Empire of the Mongol Kaans in the period of their greatness, but it is not very clear how it came under subjection to them. No conquest of Tibet by their armies appears to be related by either the Mahomedan or the Chinese historians. Yet it is alluded to by Plano Carpini, who ascribes the achievement to an unnamed son of Chinghiz, and narrated by Sanang Setzen, who says that the King of Tibet submitted without fighting when Chinghiz invaded his country in the year of the Panther (1206). During the reign of Mangku Kaan, indeed, Uriangkadai, an eminent Mongol general [son of Subudai] who had accompanied Prince Kúblái in 1253 against Yunnan, did in the following year direct his arms against the Tibetans. But this campaign, that no doubt to which the text alludes as "the wars of Mangu Kaan," appears to have occupied only a part of one season, and was certainly confined to the parts of Tibet on the frontiers of Yunnan and Sze-ch'wan. ["In the Yuen-shi, Tibet is mentioned under different names. Sometimes the Chinese history of the Mongols uses the ancient name T'u-fan. In the Annals, s.a. 1251, we read: 'Mangu Khan entrusted Ho-li-dan with the command of the troops against T'u-fan." Sub anno 1254 it is stated that Kúblái (who at that time was still the heir-apparent), after subduing the tribes of Yun-nan, entered T'u-fan, when So-ho-to, the ruler of the country, surrendered. Again, s.a. 1275: 'The prince Al-lu-chi (seventh son of Kúblái) led an expedition to T'u-fan.' In chap, ccii., biography of Ba-sz'-ba, the Lama priest who invented Kúblái's official alphabet, it is stated that this Lama was a native of Sa-sz'-kia in T'u-fan. (Bretschneider, Med Res. II. p. 23.)—H.C.] Koeppen seems to consider it certain that there was no actual conquest of Tibet, and that Kúblái extended his authority over it only by diplomacy and the politic handling of the spiritual potentates who had for several generations in Tibet been the real rulers of the country. It is certain that Chinese history attributes the organisation of civil administration in Tibet to Kúblái. Mati Dhwaja, a young and able member of the family which held the hereditary primacy of the Satya [Sakya] convent, and occupied the most influential position in Tibet, was formerly recognised by the Emperor as the head of the Lamaite Church and as the tributary Ruler of Tibet. He is the same person that we have already (vol. i. p. 28) mentioned as the Passepa or Bashpah Lama, the inventor of Kúblái's official alphabet. (Carpini, 658, 709; D'Avezac, 564; S. Setzen, 89; D'Ohsson, II. 317; Koeppen, II. 96; Amyot, XIV. 128.)

With the caution that Marco's Travels in Tibet were limited to the same mountainous country on the frontier of Sze-ch'wan, we defer further geographical comment till he brings us to Yunnan.

NOTE 2.—Marco exaggerates a little about the bamboos; but before gunpowder became familiar, no sharp explosive sounds of this kind were known to ordinary experience, and exaggeration was natural. I have been close to a bamboo jungle on fire. There was a great deal of noise comparable to musketry; but the bamboos were not of the large kind here spoken of. The Hon. Robert Lindsay, describing his elephant-catching in Silhet, says: "At night each man lights a fire at his post, and furnishes himself with a dozen joints of the large bamboo, one of which he occasionally throws into the fire, and the air it contains being rarefied by the heat, it explodes with a report as loud as a musket." (Lives of the Lindsays, III. 191.)

[Dr. Bretschneider (Hist. of Bot. Disc. I. p. 3) says: "In corroboration of Polo's statement regarding the explosions produced when burning bamboos, I may adduce Sir Joseph Hooker's Himalayan Journals (edition of 1891, p. 100), where in speaking of the fires in the jungles, he says: 'Their triumph is in reaching a great bamboo clump, when the noise of the flames drowns that of the torrents, and as the great stem-joints burst, from the expansion of the confined air, the report is as that of a salvo from a park of artillery.'"—H. C]

[Illustration: Mountaineers on the Borders of Sze ch'wan and Yun-nan.]

Richthofen remarks that nowhere in China does the bamboo attain such a size as in this region. Bamboos of three palms in girth (28 to 30 inches) exist, but are not ordinary, I should suppose, even in Sze-ch'wan. In 1855 I took some pains to procure in Pegu a specimen of the largest attainable bamboo. It was 10 inches in diameter.

NOTE 3.—M. Gabriel Durand, a missionary priest, thus describes his journey in 1861 to Kiangka, via Ta-t'sien-lu, a line of country partly coincident with that which Polo is traversing: "Every day we made a journey of nine or ten leagues, and halted for the night in a Kung-kuan. These are posts dotted at intervals of about ten leagues along the road to Hlassa, and usually guarded by three soldiers, though the more important posts have twenty. With the exception of some Tibetan houses, few and far between, these are the only habitations to be seen on this silent and deserted road…. Lytang was the first collection of houses that we had seen in ten days' march." (Ann. de la Propag. de la Foi, XXXV. 352 seqq.)

NOTE 4.—Such practices are ascribed to many nations. Martini quotes something similar from a Chinese author about tribes in Yunnan; and Garnier says such loose practices are still ascribed to the Sifan near the southern elbow of the Kin-sha Kiang. Even of the Mongols themselves and kindred races, Pallas asserts that the young women regard a number of intrigues rather as a credit and recommendation than otherwise. Japanese ideas seem to be not very different. In old times Aelian gives much the same account of the Lydian women. Herodotus's Gindanes of Lybia afford a perfect parallel, "whose women wear on their legs anklets of leather. Each lover that a woman has gives her one; and she who can show most is the best esteemed, as she appears to have been loved by the greatest number of men." (Martini Garnier, I. 520; Pall. Samml. II. 235; Ael. Var. Hist. III. 1; Rawl. Herod. Bk. IV. ch. clxxvi.)

["Among some uncivilised peoples, women having many gallants are esteemed better than virgins, and are more anxiously desired in marriage. This is, for instance, stated to be the case with the Indians of Quito, the Laplanders in Regnard's days, and the Hill Tribes of North Aracan. But in each of these cases we are expressly told that want of chastity is considered a merit in the bride, because it is held to be the best testimony to the value of her attractions." (Westermarck, Human Marriage, p. 81.)—H.C.]

Mr. Cooper's Journal, when on the banks of the Kin-sha Kiang, west of Bathang, affords a startling illustration of the persistence of manners in this region: "At 12h. 30m. we arrived at a road-side house, near which was a grove of walnut-trees; here we alighted, when to my surprise I was surrounded by a group of young girls and two elderly women, who invited me to partake of a repast spread under the trees…. I thought I had stumbled on a pic-nic party, of which the Tibetans are so fond. Having finished, I lighted my pipe and threw myself on the grass in a state of castle-building. I had not lain thus many seconds when the maidens brought a young girl about 15 years old, tall and very fair, placed her on the grass beside me, and forming a ring round us, commenced to sing and dance. The little maid beside me, however, was bathed in tears. All this, I must confess, a little puzzled me, when Philip (the Chinese servant) with a long face, came to my aid, saying, 'Well, Sir, this is a bad business … they are marrying you.' Good heavens! how startled I was." For the honourable conclusion of this Anglo-Tibetan idyll I must refer to Mr. Cooper's Journal. (See the now published Travels, ch. x.)

NOTE 5.—All this is clearly meant to apply only to the rude people towards the Chinese frontier; nor would the Chinese (says Richthofen) at this day think the description at all exaggerated, as applied to the Lolo who occupy the mountains to the south of Yachaufu. The members of the group at p. 47, from Lieutenant Garnier's book, are there termed Man-tzu; but the context shows them to be of the race of these Lolos. (See below, pp. 60, 61.) The passage about the musk animal, both in Pauthier and in the G.T., ascribes the word Gudderi to the language "of that people," i.e. of the Tibetans. The Geog. Latin, however, has "linguâ Tartaricâ," and this is the fact. Klaproth informs us that Guderi is the Mongol word. And it will be found (Kuderi) in Kovalevski's Dictionary, No. 2594. Musk is still the most valuable article that goes from Ta-t'sien-lu to China. Much is smuggled, and single travellers will come all the way from Canton or Si-ngan fu to take back a small load of it. (Richthofen.)

[1] Indeed Richthofen says that the boundary lay a few (German) miles west of Yachau. I see that Martini's map puts it (in the 17th century) 10 German geographical miles, or about 46 statute miles, west of that city.



This province, called Tebet, is of very great extent. The people, as I have told you, have a language of their own, and they are Idolaters, and they border on Manzi and sundry other regions. Moreover, they are very great thieves.

The country is, in fact, so great that it embraces eight kingdoms, and a vast number of cities and villages.[NOTE 1] It contains in several quarters rivers and lakes, in which gold-dust is found in great abundance. [NOTE 2] Cinnamon also grows there in great plenty. Coral is in great demand in this country and fetches a high price, for they delight to hang it round the necks of their women and of their idols.[NOTE 3] They have also in this country plenty of fine woollens and other stuffs, and many kinds of spices are produced there which are never seen in our country.

Among this people, too, you find the best enchanters and astrologers that exist in all that quarter of the world; they perform such extraordinary marvels and sorceries by diabolic art, that it astounds one to see or even hear of them. So I will relate none of them in this book of ours; people would be amazed if they heard them, but it would serve no good purpose. [NOTE 4]

These people of Tebet are an ill-conditioned race. They have mastiff dogs as bigs as donkeys, which are capital at seizing wild beasts [and in particular the wild oxen which are called Beyamini, very great and fierce animals] They have also sundry other kinds of sporting dogs, and excellent lanner falcons [and sakers], swift in flight and well-trained, which are got in the mountains of the country.[NOTE 5]

Now I have told you in brief all that is to be said about Tebet, and so we will leave it, and tell you about another province that is called Caindu.

[Illustration: Village of Eastern Tibet on Szechwan Frontier (From

As regards Tebet, however, you should understand that it is subject to the Great Kaan. So, likewise, all the other kingdoms, regions, and provinces which are described in this book are subject to the Great Kaan, nay, even those other kingdoms, regions, and provinces of which I had occasion to speak at the beginning of the book as belonging to the son of Argon, the Lord of the Levant, are also subject to the Emperor; for the former holds his dominion of the Kaan, and is his liegeman and kinsman of the blood Imperial. So you must know that from this province forward all the provinces mentioned in our book are subject to the Great Kaan; and even if this be not specially mentioned, you must understand that it is so.

[Illustration: Roads in Eastern Tibet. (Gorge of the Lan t'sang Kiang, from Cooper.)]

Now let us have done with this matter, and I will tell you about the
Province of Caindu.

NOTE 1.—Here Marco at least shows that he knew Tibet to be much more extensive than the small part of it that he had seen. But beyond this his information amounts to little.

NOTE 2.—"Or de paliolle" "Oro di pagliuola" (pagliuola, "a spangle") must have been the technical phrase for what we call gold-dust, and the French now call or en paillettes, a phrase used by a French missionary in speaking of this very region. (Ann. de la Foi, XXXVII. 427.) Yet the only example of this use of the word cited in the Voc. Ital. Universale is from this passage of the Crusca MS.; and Pipino seems not to have understood it, translating "aurum quod dicitur Deplaglola"; whilst Zurla says erroneously that pajola is an old Italian word for gold. Pegolotti uses argento in pagliuola (p. 219). A Barcelona tariff of 1271 sets so much on every mark of Pallola. And the old Portuguese navigators seem always to have used the same expression for the gold-dust of Africa, ouro de pajola. (See Major's Prince Henry, pp. 111, 112, 116; Capmany Memorias, etc., II. App. p. 73; also "Aurum de Pajola," in Usodimare of Genoa, see Graberg, Annali, II. 290, quoted by Peschel, p. 178.)

NOTE 3.—The cinnamon must have been the coarser cassia produced in the lower parts of this region (See note to next chapter.) We have already (Book I. ch. xxxi.) quoted Tavernier's testimony to the rage for coral among the Tibetans and kindred peoples. Mr. Cooper notices the eager demand for coral at Bathang: (See also Desgodins, La Mission du Thibet, 310.)

NOTE 4.—See supra, Bk. I. ch. lxi. note 11.

NOTE 5.—The big Tibetan mastiffs are now well known. Mr. Cooper, at Ta-t'sien lu, notes that the people of Tibetan race "keep very large dogs, as large as Newfoundlands." And he mentions a pack of dogs of another breed, tan and black, "fine animals of the size of setters." The missionary M. Durand also, in a letter from the region in question, says, speaking of a large leopard: "Our brave watch-dogs had several times beaten him off gallantly, and one of them had even in single combat with him received a blow of the paw which had laid his skull open." (Ann. de la Prop de la Foi, XXXVII. 314.) On the title-page of vol. i. we have introduced one of these big Tibetan dogs as brought home by the Polos to Venice.

The "wild oxen called Beyamini" are probably some such species as the Gaur. Beyamini I suspect to be no Oriental word, but to stand for Buemini, i.e. Bohemian, a name which may have been given by the Venetians to either the bison or urus. Polo's contemporary, Brunetto Latini, seems to speak of one of these as still existing in his day in Germany: "Autre buef naissent en Alemaigne qui ont grans cors, et sont bons por sommier et por vin porter." (Paris ed., p. 228; see also Lubbock, Pre-historic Times, 296-7.)

[Mr. Baber (Travels, pp. 39, 40) writes: "A special interest attaches to the wild oxen, since they are unknown in any other part of China Proper. From a Lolo chief and his followers, most enthusiastic hunters, I afterwards learnt that the cattle are met with in herds of from seven to twenty head in the recesses of the Wilderness, which may be defined as the region between the T'ung River and Yachou, but that in general they are rarely seen…. I was lucky enough to obtain a pair of horns and part of the hide of one of these redoubtable animals, which seem to show that they are a kind of bison." Sir H. Yule remarks in a footnote (Ibid. p. 40): "It is not possible to say from what is stated here what the species is, but probably it is a gavoeus, of which Jerdan describes three species. (See Mammals of India, pp. 301-307.) Mr. Hodgson describes the Gaur (Gavoeus gaurus of Jerdan) of the forests below Nepaul as fierce and revengeful."—H.C.]



CAINDU is a province lying towards the west,[NOTE 1] and there is only one king in it. The people are Idolaters, subject to the Great Kaan, and they have plenty of towns and villages. [The chief city is also called Caindu, and stands at the upper end of the province.] There is a lake here,[1] in which are found pearls [which are white but not round]. But the Great Kaan will not allow them to be fished, for if people were to take as many as they could find there, the supply would be so vast that pearls would lose their value, and come to be worth nothing. Only when it is his pleasure they take from the lake so many as he may desire; but any one attempting to take them on his own account would be incontinently put to death.

There is also a mountain in this country wherein they find a kind of stone called turquoise, in great abundance; and it is a very beautiful stone. These also the Emperor does not allow to be extracted without his special order.[NOTE 2]

I must tell you of a custom that they have in this country regarding their women. No man considers himself wronged if a foreigner, or any other man, dishonour his wife, or daughter, or sister, or any woman of his family, but on the contrary he deems such intercourse a piece of good fortune. And they say that it brings the favour of their gods and idols, and great increase of temporal prosperity. For this reason they bestow their wives on foreigners and other people as I will tell you.

When they fall in with any stranger in want of a lodging they are all eager to take him in. And as soon as he has taken up his quarters the master of the house goes forth, telling him to consider everything at his disposal, and after saying so he proceeds to his vineyards or his fields, and comes back no more till the stranger has departed. The latter abides in the caitiffs house, be it three days or be it four, enjoying himself with the fellow's wife or daughter or sister, or whatsoever woman of the family it best likes him; and as long as he abides there he leaves his hat or some other token hanging at the door, to let the master of the house know that he is still there. As long as the wretched fellow sees that token, he must not go in. And such is the custom over all that province. [NOTE 3]

The money matters of the people are conducted in this way. They have gold in rods which they weigh, and they reckon its value by its weight in saggi, but they have no coined money. Their small change again is made in this way. They have salt which they boil and set in a mould [flat below and round above],[NOTE 4] and every piece from the mould weighs about half a pound. Now, 80 moulds of this salt are worth one saggio of fine gold, which is a weight so called. So this salt serves them for small change.[NOTE 5]

[Illustration: The Valley of the Kin-Sha Kiang, near the lower end of
Caindu, i.e. Kienchang. (From Garnier.)

"Et quant l'en est alés ceste dix jornée adonc treuve-l'en un grant fluv qe est apéle Brius, auquel se fenist la provence de Cheindu."]

The musk animals are very abundant in that country, and thus of musk also they have great store. They have likewise plenty of fish which they catch in the lake in which the pearls are produced. Wild animals, such as lions, bears, wolves, stags, bucks and roes, exist in great numbers; and there are also vast quantities of fowl of every kind. Wine of the vine they have none, but they make a wine of wheat and rice and sundry good spices, and very good drink it is.[NOTE 6] There grows also in this country a quantity of clove. The tree that bears it is a small one, with leaves like laurel but longer and narrower, and with a small white flower like the clove.[NOTE 7] They have also ginger and cinnamon in great plenty, besides other spices which never reach our countries, so we need say nothing about them.

Now we may leave this province, as we have told you all about it. But let me tell you first of this same country of Caindu that you ride through it ten days, constantly meeting with towns and villages, with people of the same description that I have mentioned. After riding those ten days you come to a river called Brius, which terminates the province of Caindu. In this river is found much gold-dust, and there is also much cinnamon on its banks. It flows to the Ocean Sea.

There is no more to be said about this river, so I will now tell you about another province called Carajan, as you shall hear in what follows.

NOTE 1.—Ramusio's version here enlarges: "Don't suppose from my saying towards the west that these countries really lie in what we call the west, but only that we have been travelling from regions in the east-north-east towards the west, and hence we speak of the countries we come to as lying towards the west."

NOTE 2.—Chinese authorities quoted by Ritter mention mother-o'-pearl as a product of Lithang, and speak of turquoises as found in Djaya to the west of Bathang. (Ritter, IV. 235-236.) Neither of these places is, however, within the tract which we believe to be Caindu. Amyot states that pearls are found in a certain river of Yun-nan. (See Trans.R.A.Soc. II. 91.)

NOTE 3.—This alleged practice, like that mentioned in the last chapter but one, is ascribed to a variety of people in different parts of the world. Both, indeed, have a curious double parallel in the story of two remote districts of the Himalaya which was told to Bernier by an old Kashmiri. (See Amst. ed. II. 304-305.) Polo has told nearly the same story already of the people of Kamul. (Bk. I. ch. xli.) It is related by Strabo of the Massagetae; by Eusebius of the Geli and the Bactrians; by Elphinstone of the Hazaras; by Mendoza of the Ladrone Islanders; by other authors of the Nairs of Malabar, and of some of the aborigines of the Canary Islands. (Caubul, I. 209; Mendoza, II. 254; Müller's Strabo, p. 439; Euseb. Praep. Evan. vi. 10; Major's Pr. Henry, p. 213.)

NOTE 4.—Ramusio has here: "as big as a twopenny loaf," and adds, "on the money so made the Prince's mark is printed; and no one is allowed to make it except the royal officers…. And merchants take this currency and go to those tribes that dwell among the mountains of those parts in the wildest and most unfrequented quarters; and there they get a saggio of gold for 60, or 50, or 40 pieces of this salt money, in proportion as the natives are more barbarous and more remote from towns and civilised folk. For in such positions they cannot dispose at pleasure of their gold and other things, such as musk and the like, for want of purchasers; and so they give them cheap…. And the merchants travel also about the mountains and districts of Tebet, disposing of this salt money in like manner to their own great gain. For those people, besides buying necessaries from the merchants, want this salt to use in their food; whilst in the towns only broken fragments are used in food, the whole cakes being kept to use as money." This exchange of salt cakes for gold forms a curious parallel to the like exchange in the heart of Africa, narrated by Cosmas in the 6th century, and by Aloisio Cadamosto in the 15th. (See Cathay, pp. clxx-clxxi.) Ritter also calls attention to an analogous account in Alvarez's description of Ethiopia. "The salt," Alvarez says, "is current as money, not only in the kingdom of Prester John, but also in those of the Moors and the pagans, and the people here say that it passes right on to Manicongo upon the Western Sea. This salt is dug from the mountain, it is said, in squared blocks…. At the place where they are dug, 100 or 120 such pieces pass for a drachm of gold … equal to 3/4 of a ducat of gold. When they arrive at a certain fair … one day from the salt mine, these go 5 or 6 pieces fewer to the drachm. And so, from fair to fair, fewer and fewer, so that when they arrive at the capital there will be only 6 or 7 pieces to the drachm." (Ramusio, I. 207.) Lieutenant Bower, in his account of Major Sladen's mission, says that at Momein the salt, which was a government monopoly, was "made up in rolls of one and two viss" (a Rangoon viss is 3 lbs. 5 oz. 5-1/2 drs.), "and stamped" (p. 120).

[At Hsia-Kuan, near Ta-li, Captain Gill remarked to a friend (II. p. 312) "that the salt, instead of being in the usual great flat cakes about two or two and a half feet in diameter, was made in cylinders eight inches in diameter and nine inches high. 'Yes,' he said, 'they make them here in a sort of loaves,' unconsciously using almost the words of old Polo, who said the salt in Yun-Nan was in pieces 'as big as a twopenny loaf.'" (See also p. 334.)—H.C.]

M. Desgodins, a missionary in this part of Tibet, gives some curious details of the way in which the civilised traders still prey upon the simple hill-folks of that quarter; exactly as the Hindu Banyas prey upon the simple forest-tribes of India. He states one case in which the account for a pig had with interest run up to 2127 bushels of corn! (Ann. de la Prop de la Foi, XXXVI. 320.)

Gold is said still to be very plentiful in the mountains called Gulan
Sigong, to the N.W. of Yun-nan, adjoining the great eastern branch of the
Irawadi, and the Chinese traders go there to barter for it. (See J.A.S.B.
VI. 272.)

NOTE 5.—Salt is still an object highly coveted by the wild Lolos already alluded to, and to steal it is a chief aim of their constant raids on Chinese villages. (Richthofen in Verhandlungen, etc., u.s. p. 36.) On the continued existence of the use of salt currency in regions of the same frontier, I have been favoured with the following note by M. Francis Garnier, the distinguished leader of the expedition of the great Kamboja River in its latter part: "Salt currency has a very wide diffusion from Muang Yong [in the Burman-Shan country, about lat. 21° 43'] to Sheu-pin [in Yun-nan, about lat. 23° 43']. In the Shan markets, especially within the limits named, all purchases are made with salt. At Sse-mao and Pou-erl [Esmok and Puer of some of our maps], silver, weighed and cut in small pieces, is in our day tending to drive out the custom, but in former days it must have been universal in the tract of which I am speaking. The salt itself, prime necessity as it is, has there to be extracted by condensation from saline springs of great depth, a very difficult affair. The operation consumes enormous quantities of fuel, and to this is partly due the denudation of the country". Marco's somewhat rude description of the process, 'Il prennent la sel e la font cuire, et puis la gitent en forme,' points to the manufacture spoken of in this note. The cut which we give from M. Garnier's work illustrates the process, but the cakes are vastly greater than Marco's. Instead of a half pound they weigh a preul, i.e. 133-1/3 lbs. In Sze-ch'wan the brine wells are bored to a depth of 700 to 1000 feet, and the brine is drawn up in bamboo tubes by a gin. In Yun-nan the wells are much less deep, and a succession of hand pumps is used to raise the brine.

[Illustration: Salt pans in Yun-nan (From Garnier.)

"Il prennent la sel e la font cuire, et puis la gitent en forme."]

[Mr. Hosie has a chapter (Three Years in W. China, VII.) to which he has given the title of Through Caindu to Carajan, regarding salt he writes (p. 121). "The brine wells from which the salt is derived be at Pai yen ching, 14 miles to the south west of the city [of Yen yuan] … [they] are only two in number, and comparatively shallow, being only 50 feet in depth. Bamboo tubes, ropes and buffaloes are here dispensed with, and small wooden tubs, with bamboos fixed to their sides as handles for raising, are considered sufficient. At one of the wells a staging was erected half way down, and from it the tubs of brine were passed up to the workmen above. Passing from the wells to the evaporating sheds, we found a series of mud furnaces with round holes at the top, into which cone shaped pans, manufactured from iron obtained in the neighbourhood, and varying in height from one to two and a half feet, were loosely fitted. When a pan has been sufficiently heated, a ladleful of the brine is poured into it, and, bubbling up to the surface, it sinks, leaving a saline deposit on the inside of the pan. This process is repeated until a layer, some four inches thick, and corresponding to the shape of the pan, is formed, when the salt is removed as a hollow cone ready for market. Care must be taken to keep the bottom of the pan moist; otherwise, the salt cone would crack, and be rendered unfit for the rough carriage which it experiences on the backs of pack animals. A soft coal, which is found just under the surface of the yellow-soiled hills seven miles to the west of Pai-yen-ching, is the fuel used in the furnaces. The total daily output of salt at these wells does not exceed two tons a day, and the cost at the wells, including the Government tax, amounts to about three half-pence a pound. The area of supply, owing to the country being sparsely populated, is greater than the output would lead one to expect."—H.C.]

NOTE 6.—The spiced wine of Kien-ch'ang (see note to next chapter) has even now a high repute. (Richthofen.)

NOTE 7.—M. Pauthier will have it that Marco was here the discoverer of Assam tea. Assam is, indeed, far out of our range, but his notice of this plant, with the laurel-like leaf and white flower, was brought strongly to my recollection in reading Mr. Cooper's repeated notices, almost in this region, of the large-leaved tea-tree, with its white flowers; and, again, of "the hills covered with tea-oil trees, all white with flowers." Still, one does not clearly see why Polo should give tea-trees the name of cloves.

Failing explanation of this, I should suppose that the cloves of which the text speaks were cassia-buds, an article once more prominent in commerce (as indeed were all similar aromatics) than now, but still tolerably well known. I was at once supplied with them at a drogheria, in the city where I write (Palermo), on asking for Fiori di Canella, the name under which they are mentioned repeatedly by Pegolotti and Uzzano, in the 14th and 15th centuries. Friar Jordanus, in speaking of the cinnamon (or cassia) of Malabar, says, "it is the bark of a large tree which has fruit and flowers like cloves" (p. 28). The cassia-buds have indeed a general resemblance to cloves, but they are shorter, lighter in colour, and not angular. The cinnamon, mentioned in the next lines as abundantly produced in the same region, was no doubt one of the inferior sorts, called cassia-bark.

Williams says: "Cassia grows in all the southern provinces of China, especially Kwang-si and Yun-nan, also in Annam, Japan, and the Isles of the Archipelago. The wood, bark, buds, seeds, twigs, pods, leaves, oil, are all objects of commerce….. The buds (kwei-tz') are the fleshy ovaries of the seeds; they are pressed at one end, so that they bear some resemblance to cloves in shape." Upwards of 500 piculs (about 30 tons), valued at 30 dollars each, are annually exported to Europe and India. (Chin. Commercial Guide, 113-114).

The only doubt as regards this explanation will probably be whether the cassia would be found at such a height as we may suppose to be that of the country in question above the sea-level. I know that cassia bark is gathered in the Kasia Hills of Eastern Bengal up to a height of about 4000 feet above the sea, and at least the valleys of "Caindu" are probably not too elevated for this product. Indeed, that of the Kin-sha or Brius, near where I suppose Polo to cross it, is only 2600 feet. Positive evidence I cannot adduce. No cassia or cinnamon was met with by M. Garnier's party where they intersected this region.

But in this 2nd edition I am able to state on the authority of Baron
Richthofen that cassia is produced in the whole length of the valley of
Kien-ch'ang (which is, as we shall see in the notes on next chapter,
Caindu), though in no other part of Sze-ch'wan nor in Northern Yun-nan.

[Captain Gill (River of Golden Sand, II. p. 263) writes: "There were chestnut trees..; and the Kwei-Hua, a tree 'with leaves like the laurel, and with a small white flower, like the clove,' having a delicious, though rather a luscious smell. This was the Cassia, and I can find no words more suitable to describe it than those of Polo which I have just used."—H. C]

Ethnology.—The Chinese at Ch'êng-tu fu, according to Richthofen, classify the aborigines of the Sze-ch'wan frontier as Man-tzu, Lolo, Si-fan, and Tibetan. Of these the Si-fan are furthest north, and extend far into Tibet. The Man-tzu (properly so called) are regarded as the remnant of the ancient occupants of Sze-ch'wan, and now dwell in the mountains about the parallel 30°, and along the Lhása road, Ta-t'sien lu being about the centre of their tract. The Lolo are the wildest and most independent, occupying the mountains on the left of the Kin-sha Kiang where it runs northwards (see above p. 48, and below p. 69) and also to some extent on its right. The Tibetan tribes lie to the west of the Man-tzu, and to the west of Kien-ch'ang. (See next chapter.)

Towards the Lan-ts'ang Kiang is the quasi-Tibetan tribe called by the Chinese Mossos, by the Tibetans Guions, and between the Lan-ts'ang and the Lú-Kiang or Salwen are the Lissús, wild hill-robbers and great musk hunters, like those described by Polo at p. 45. Garnier, who gives these latter particulars, mentions that near the confluence of the Yalung and Kin-sha Kiang there are tribes called Pa-i, as there are in the south of Yun-nan, and, like the latter, of distinctly Shan or Laotian character. He also speaks of Si-fan tribes in the vicinity of Li-kiang fu, and coming south of the Kin-sha Kiang even to the east of Ta-li. Of these are told such loose tales as Polo tells of Tebet and Caindu.

[In the Topography of the Yun-nan Province (edition of 1836) there is a catalogue of 141 classes of aborigines, each with a separate name and illustration, without any attempt to arrive at a broader classification. Mr. Bourne has been led to the conviction that exclusive of the Tibetans (including Si-fan and Ku-tsung), there are but three great non-Chinese races in Southern China: the Lolo, the Shan, and the Miao-tzu. (Report, China, No. 1, 1888, p. 87.) This classification is adopted by Dr. Deblenne. (Mission Lyonnaise.)

Man-tzu, Man, is a general name for "barbarian" (see my note in Odoric de Pordenone, p. 248 seqq.); it is applied as well to the Lolo as to the Si-fan.

Mr. Parker remarks (China Review, XX. p. 345) that the epithet of Man-tzu, or "barbarians," dates from the time when the Shans, Annamese, Miao-tzu, etc., occupied nearly all South China, for it is essentially to the Indo-Chinese that the term Man-tzu belongs.

Mr. Hosie writes (Three years in W. China, 122): "At the time when Marco
Polo passed through Caindu, this country was in the possession of the
Si-fans…. At the present day, they occupy the country to the west, and
are known under the generic name of Man-tzu."

"It has already been remarked that Si-fan, convertible with Man-tzu, is a loose Chinese expression of no ethnological value, meaning nothing more than Western barbarians; but in a more restricted sense it is used to designate a people (or peoples) which inhabits the valley of the Yalung and the upper T'ung, with contiguous valleys and ranges, from about the twenty-seventh parallel to the borders of Koko-nor. This people is sub-divided into eighteen tribes." (Baber, p. 81.)

Si-fan or Pa-tsiu is the name by which the Chinese call the Tibetan tribes which occupy part of Western China. (Devéria, p. 167.)

Dr. Bretschneider writes (Med. Res. II. p. 24): "The north-eastern part of Tibet was sometimes designated by the Chinese name Si-fan, and Hyacinth [Bitchurin] is of opinion that in ancient times this name was even applied to the whole of Tibet. Si-fan means, 'Western Barbarians.' The biographer of Hiuen-Tsang reports that when this traveller, in 629, visited Liang-chau (in the province of Kan-Suh), this city was the entrepôt for merchants from Si-fan and the countries east of the Ts'ung-ling mountains. In the history of the Hia and Tangut Empire (in the Sung-shi) we read, s.a. 1003, that the founder of this Empire invaded Si-fan and then proceeded to Si-liang (Liang-chau). The Yuen-shi reports, s.a. 1268: 'The (Mongol) Emperor ordered Meng-gu-dai to invade Si-fan with 6000 men.' The name Si-fan appears also in ch. ccii., biography of Dan-ba." It is stated in the Ming-shi, "that the name Si-fan is applied to the territory situated beyond the frontiers of the Chinese provinces of Shen-si (then including the eastern part of present Kan-Suh) and Sze-ch'wan, and inhabited by various tribes of Tangut race, anciently known in Chinese history under the name of Si Kiang…. The Kuang yu ki notices that Si-fan comprises the territory of the south-west of Shen-si, west of Sze-ch'wan and north-west of Yun-nan…. The tribute presented by the Si-fan tribes to the Emperor used to be carried to the court at Peking by way of Ya-chau in Sze-ch'wan." (Bretschneider, 203.) The Tangutans of Prjevalsky, north-east of Tibet, in the country of Ku-ku nor, correspond to the Si-fan.

"The Ta-tu River may be looked upon as the southern limit of the region inhabited by Sifan tribes, and the northern boundary of the Lolo country which stretches southwards to the Yang-tzu and east from the valley of Kien-ch'ang towards the right bank of the Min." (Hosie, p. 102.)

[Illustration: Black Lolo.]

To Mr. E.C. Baber we owe the most valuable information regarding the Lolo people:

"'Lolo' is itself a word of insult, of unknown Chinese origin, which should not be used in their presence, although they excuse it and will even sometimes employ it in the case of ignorant strangers. In the report of Governor-General Lo Ping-chang, above quoted, they are called 'I,' the term applied by Chinese to Europeans. They themselves have no objection to being styled 'I-chia' (I families), but that word is not their native name. Near Ma-pien they call themselves 'Lo-su'; in the neighbourhood of Lui-po T'ing their name is 'No-su' or 'Ngo-su' (possibly a mere variant of 'Lo-su'); near Hui-li-chou the term is 'Lé-su'—the syllable Lé being pronounced as in French. The subject tribes on the T'ung River, near Mount Wa, also name themselves 'Ngo-su.' I have found the latter people speak very disrespectfully of the Lé-su, which argues an internal distinction; but there can be no doubt that they are the same race, and speak the same language, though with minor differences of dialect." (Baber, Travels, 66-67.)

"With very rare exceptions the male Lolo, rich or poor, free or subject, may be instantly known by his horn. All his hair is gathered into a knot over his forehead and there twisted up in a cotton cloth so as to resemble the horn of a unicorn. The horn with its wrapper is sometimes a good nine inches long. They consider this coiffure sacred, so at least I was told, and even those who wear a short pig-tail for convenience in entering Chinese territory still conserve the indigenous horn, concealed for the occasion under the folds of the Sze-ch'wan turban." (Baber, p. 61.) See these horns on figures, Bk. II. ch. lviii.

[Illustration: White Lolo.]

"The principal clothing of a Lolo is his mantle, a capacious sleeveless garment of grey or black felt gathered round his neck by a string, and reaching nearly to his heels. In the case of the better classes the mantle is of fine felt—in great request among the Chinese—and has a fringe of cotton-web round its lower border. For journeys on horseback they have a similar cloak differing only in being slit half-way up the back; a wide lappet covering the opening lies easily along the loins and croup of the horse. The colour of the felt is originally grey, but becomes brown-black or black, in process of time. It is said that the insects which haunt humanity never infest these gabardines. The Lolo generally gathers this garment closely round his shoulders and crosses his arms inside. His legs, clothed in trousers of Chinese cotton, are swathed in felt bandages bound on with strings, and he has not yet been super-civilised into the use of foot-gear. In summer a cotton cloak is often substituted for the felt mantle. The hat, serving equally for an umbrella, is woven of bamboo, in a low conical shape, and is covered with felt. Crouching in his felt mantle under this roof of felt the hardy Lolo is impervious to wind or rain." (Baber, Travels, 61-62.)

"The word, 'Black-bone,' is generally used by the Chinese as a name for the independent Lolos, but in the mouth of a Lolo it seems to mean a 'freeman' or 'noble,' in which sense it is not a whit more absurd than the 'blue-blood,' of Europeans. The 'White-bones,' an inferior class, but still Lolo by birth, are, so far as I could understand, the vassals and retainers of the patricians—the people, in fact. A third class consists of Wa-tzu, or slaves, who are all captive Chinese. It does not appear whether the servile class is sub-divided, but, at any rate, the slaves born in Lolodom are treated with more consideration than those who have been captured in slave-hunts." (Baber, Travels, 67.)

According to the French missionary, Paul Vial (Les Lolos, Shang-hai, 1898) the Lolos say that they come from the country situated between Tibet and Burma. The proper manner to address a Lolo in Chinese is Lao-pen-kia. The book of Father Vial contains a very valuable chapter on the writing of the Lolos. Mr. F.S.A. Bourne writes (Report, China, No. I. 1888, p. 88):—"The old Chinese name for this race was 'Ts'uan Man'— 'Ts'uan barbarians,' a name taken from one of their chiefs. The Yun-nan Topography says:—'The name of "Ts'uan Man" is a very ancient one, and originally the tribes of Ts'uan were very numerous. There was that called "Lu-lu Man," for instance, now improperly called "Lo-Lo."' These people call themselves 'Nersu,' and the vocabularies show that they stretch in scattered communities as far as Ssu-mao and along the whole southern border of Yun-nan. It appears from the Topography that they are found also on the Burmese border."

The Moso call themselves Nashi and are called Djiung by the Tibetans; their ancient capital is Li-kiang fu which was taken by their chief Meng-ts'u under the Sung Dynasty; the Mongols made of their country the kingdom of Chaghan-djang. Li-kiang is the territory of Yuê-si Chao, called also Mo-sie (Moso), one of the six Chao of Nan-Chao. The Moso of Li-kiang call themselves Ho. They have an epic styled Djiung-Ling (Moso Division) recounting the invasion of part of Tibet by the Moso. The Moso were submitted during the 8th century, by the King of Nan-Chao. They have a special hieroglyphic scrip, a specimen of which has been given by Devéria. (Frontière, p. 166.) A manuscript was secured by Captain Gill, on the frontier east of Li-t'ang, and presented by him to the British Museum (Add SS. Or. 2162); T. de Lacouperie gave a facsimile of it. (Plates I., II. of Beginnings of Writing.) Prince Henri d'Orléans and M. Bonin both brought home a Moso manuscript with a Chinese explanation.

Dr. Anderson (Exped. to Yunnan, Calcutta, p. 136) says the Li-sus, or Lissaus are "a small hill-people, with fair, round, flat faces, high cheek bones, and some little obliquity of the eye." These Li-su or Li-siè, are scattered throughout the Yunnanese prefectures of Yao-ngan, Li-kiang, Ta-li and Yung-ch'ang; they were already in Yun-Nan in the 4th century when the Chinese general Ch'u Chouang-kiao entered the country. (Devéria, Front., p. 164.)

The Pa-y or P'o-y formed under the Han Dynasty the principality of P'o-tsiu and under the T'ang Dynasty the tribes of Pu-hiung and of Si-ngo, which were among the thirty-seven tribes dependent on the ancient state of Nan-Chao and occupied the territory of the sub-prefectures of Kiang-Chuen (Ch'êng-kiang fu) and of Si-ngo (Lin-ngan fu). They submitted to China at the beginning of the Yuen Dynasty; their country bordered upon Burma (Mien-tien) and Ch'ê-li or Kiang-Hung (Xieng-Hung), in Yun-Nan, on the right bank of the Mekong River. According to Chinese tradition, the Pa-y descended from Muong Tsiu-ch'u, ninth son of Ti Muong-tsiu, son of Piao-tsiu-ti (Asôka). Devéria gives (p. 105) a specimen of the Pa-y writing (16th century). (Devéria, Front., 99, 117; Bourne, Report, p. 88.) Chapter iv. of the Chinese work, Sze-i-kwan-k'ao, is devoted to the Pa-y, including the sub-divisions of Muong-Yang, Muong-Ting, Nan-tien, Tsien-ngaï, Lung-chuen, Wei-yuan, Wan-tien, Chen-k'ang, Ta-how, Mang-shi, Kin-tung, Ho-tsin, Cho-lo tien. (Devéria, Mél. de Harlez, p. 97.) I give a specimen of Pa-yi writing from a Chinese work purchased by Father Amiot at Peking, now in the Paris National Library (Fonds chinois, No. 986). (See on this scrip, F.W.K. Müller, T'oung-Pao, III. p. 1, and V. p. 329; E.H. Parker, The Muong Language, China Review, I. 1891, p. 267; P. Lefèvre-Pontalis, Etudes sur quelques alphabets et vocab. Thais, T'oung Pao, III. pp. 39-64.)—H.C.

[Illustration: Pa-y script.]

These ethnological matters have to be handled cautiously, for there is great ambiguity in the nomenclature. Thus Man-tzu is often used generically for aborigines, and the Lolos of Richthofen are called Man-tzu by Garnier and Blakiston; whilst Lolo again has in Yun-nan apparently a very comprehensive generic meaning, and is so used by Garnier. (Richt. Letter VII. 67-68 and MS. notes; Garnier, I. 519 seqq. [T.W. Kingsmill, Han Wu-ti, China Review, XXV. 103-109.])

[1] Ramusio alone has "a great salt lake."



When you have passed that River you enter on the province of CARAJAN, which is so large that it includes seven kingdoms. It lies towards the west; the people are Idolaters, and they are subject to the Great Kaan. A son of his, however, is there as King of the country, by name ESSENTIMUR; a very great and rich and puissant Prince; and he well and justly rules his dominion, for he is a wise man, and a valiant.

After leaving the river that I spoke of, you go five days' journey towards the west, meeting with numerous towns and villages. The country is one in which excellent horses are bred, and the people live by cattle and agriculture. They have a language of their own which is passing hard to understand. At the end of those five days' journey you come to the capital, which is called YACHI, a very great and noble city, in which are numerous merchants and craftsmen.[NOTE 1]

The people are of sundry kinds, for there are not only Saracens and Idolaters, but also a few Nestorian Christians.[NOTE 2] They have wheat and rice in plenty. Howbeit they never eat wheaten bread, because in that country it is unwholesome.[NOTE 3] Rice they eat, and make of it sundry messes, besides a kind of drink which is very clear and good, and makes a man drunk just as wine does.

Their money is such as I will tell you. They use for the purpose certain white porcelain shells that are found in the sea, such as are sometimes put on dogs' collars; and 80 of these porcelain shells pass for a single weight of silver, equivalent to two Venice groats, i.e. 24 piccoli. Also eight such weights of silver count equal to one such weight of gold. [NOTE 4]

They have brine-wells in this country from which they make salt, and all the people of those parts make a living by this salt. The King, too, I can assure you, gets a great revenue from this salt.[NOTE 5]

There is a lake in this country of a good hundred miles in compass, in which are found great quantities of the best fish in the world; fish of great size, and of all sorts.

They reckon it no matter for a man to have intimacy with another's wife, provided the woman be willing.

Let me tell you also that the people of that country eat their meat raw, whether it be of mutton, beef, buffalo, poultry, or any other kind. Thus the poor people will go to the shambles, and take the raw liver as it comes from the carcase and cut it small, and put it in a sauce of garlic and spices, and so eat it; and other meat in like manner, raw, just as we eat meat that is dressed.[NOTE 6]

Now I will tell you about a further part of the Province of Carajan, of which I have been speaking.

NOTE 1.—We have now arrived at the great province of CARAJAN, the KARÁJÁNG of the Mongols, which we know to be YUN-NAN, and at its capital YACHI, which—I was about to add—we know to be YUN-NAN-FU. But I find all the commentators make it something else. Rashiduddin, however, in his detail of the twelve Sings or provincial governments of China under the Mongols, thus speaks: "10th, KARÁJÁNG. This used to be an independent kingdom, and the Sing is established at the great city of YÁCHI. All the inhabitants are Mahomedans. The chiefs are Noyan Takin, and Yakub Beg, son of 'Ali Beg, the Belúch." And turning to Pauthier's corrected account of the same distribution of the empire from authentic Chinese sources (p. 334), we find: "8. The administrative province of Yun-nan…. Its capital, chief town also of the canton of the same name, was called Chung-khing, now YUN-NAN-FU," Hence Yachi was Yun-nan-fu. This is still a large city, having a rectangular rampart with 6 gates, and a circuit of about 6 1/2 miles. The suburbs were destroyed by the Mahomedan rebels. The most important trade there now is in the metallic produce of the Province. [According to Oxenham, Historical Atlas, there were ten provinces or sheng (Liao-yang, Chung-shu, Shen-si, Ho-nan, Sze-ch'wan, Yun-nan, Hu-kwang, Kiang-che, Kiang-si and Kan-suh) and twelve military governorships.—H.C.]

Yachi was perhaps an ancient corruption of the name Yichau, which the territory bore (according to Martini and Biot) under the Han; but more probably Yichau was a Chinese transformation of the real name Yachi. The Shans still call the city Muang Chi, which is perhaps another modification of the same name.

We have thus got Ch'êng-tu fu as one fixed point, and Yun-nan-fu as another, and we have to track the traveller's itinerary between the two, through what Ritter called with reason a terra incognita. What little was known till recently of this region came from the Catholic missionaries. Of late the veil has begun to be lifted; the daring excursion of Francis Garnier and his party in 1868 intersected the tract towards the south; Mr. T.T. Cooper crossed it further north, by Ta-t'sien lu, Lithang and Bathang; Baron v. Richthofen in 1872 had penetrated several marches towards the heart of the mystery, when an unfortunate mishap compelled his return, but he brought back with him much precious information.

[Illustration: Garden-House on the Lake at Yun-nan-fu, Yachi of Polo.
(From Garnier).

"Je boz di q'il ont un lac qe gire environ bien cent miles."]

Five days forward from Ch'êng-tu fu brought us on Tibetan ground. Five days backward from Yun-nan fu should bring us to the river Brius, with its gold-dust and the frontier of Caindu. Wanting a local scale for a distance of five days, I find that our next point in advance, Marco's city of Carajan undisputably Tali-fu, is said by him to be ten days from Yachi. The direct distance between the cities of Yun-nan and Ta-li I find by measurement on Keith Johnston's map to be 133 Italian miles. [The distance by road is 215 English miles. (See Baber, p. 191.)—H.C.] Taking half this as radius, the compasses swept from Yun-nan-fu as centre, intersect near its most southerly elbow the great upper branch of the Kiang, the Kin-sha Kiang of the Chinese, or "River of the Golden Sands," the MURUS USSU and BRICHU of the Mongols and Tibetans, and manifestly the auriferous BRIUS of our traveller.[1] Hence also the country north of this elbow is CAINDU.

I leave the preceding paragraph as it stood in the first edition, because it shows how near the true position of Caindu these unaided deductions from our author's data had carried me. That paragraph was followed by an erroneous hypothesis as to the intermediate part of that journey, but, thanks to the new light shed by Baron Richthofen, we are enabled now to lay down the whole itinerary from Ch'eng-tu fu to Yun-nan fu with confidence in its accuracy.

The Kin-sha Kiang or Upper course of the Great Yang-tzu, descending from Tibet to Yun-nan, forms the great bight or elbow to which allusion has just been made, and which has been a feature known to geographers ever since the publication of D'Anville's atlas. The tract enclosed in this elbow is cut in two by another great Tibetan River, the Yarlung, or Yalung-Kiang, which joins the Kin-sha not far from the middle of the great bight; and this Yalung, just before the confluence, receives on the left a stream of inferior calibre, the Ngan-ning Ho, which also flows in a valley parallel to the meridian, like all that singular fascis of great rivers between Assam and Sze-ch'wan.

This River Ngan-ning waters a valley called Kien-ch'ang, containing near its northern end a city known by the same name, but in our modern maps marked as Ning-yuan fu; this last being the name of a department of which it is the capital, and which embraces much more than the valley of Kien-ch'ang. The town appears, however, as Kien-ch'ang in the Atlas Sinensis of Martini, and as Kienchang-ouei in D'Anville. This remarkable valley, imbedded as it were in a wilderness of rugged highlands and wild races, accessible only by two or three long and difficult routes, rejoices in a warm climate, a most productive soil, scenery that seems to excite enthusiasm even in Chinamen, and a population noted for amiable temper. Towns and villages are numerous. The people are said to be descended from Chinese immigrants, but their features have little of the Chinese type, and they have probably a large infusion of aboriginal blood. [Kien-ch'ang, "otherwise the Prefecture of Ning-yuan, is perhaps the least known of the Eighteen Provinces," writes Mr. Baber. (Travels, p. 58.) "Two or three sentences in the book of Ser Marco, to the effect that after crossing high mountains, he reached a fertile country containing many towns and villages, and inhabited by a very immoral population, constitute to this day the only description we possess of Cain-du, as he calls the district." Baber adds (p. 82): "Although the main valley of Kien-ch'ang is now principally inhabited by Chinese, yet the Sifan or Menia people are frequently met with, and most of the villages possess two names, one Chinese, and the other indigenous. Probably in Marco Polo's time a Menia population predominated, and the valley was regarded as part of Menia. If Marco had heard that name, he would certainly have recorded it; but it is not one which is likely to reach the ears of a stranger. The Chinese people and officials never employ it, but use in its stead an alternative name, Chan-tu or Chan-tui, of precisely the same application, which I make bold to offer as the original of Marco's Caindu, or preferably Ciandu." —H.C.]

This valley is bounded on the east by the mountain country of the Lolos, which extends north nearly to Yachau (supra, pp. 45, 48, 60), and which, owing to the fierce intractable character of the race, forms throughout its whole length an impenetrable barrier between East and West. [The Rev. Gray Owen, of Ch'eng-tu, wrote (Jour. China B.R.A.S. xxviii. 1893-1894, p. 59): "The only great trade route infested by brigands is that from Ya-chau to Ning-yuan fu, where Lo-lo brigands are numerous, especially in the autumn. Last year I heard of a convoy of 18 mules with Shen-si goods on the above-mentioned road captured by these brigands, muleteers and all taken inside the Lo-lo country. It is very seldom that captives get out of Lo-lo-dom, because the ransom asked is too high, and the Chinese officials are not gallant enough to buy out their unfortunate countrymen. The Lo-los hold thousands of Chinese in slavery; and more are added yearly to the number."—H.C.] Two routes run from Ch'êng-tu fu to Yun-nan; these fork at Ya-chau and thenceforward are entirely separated by this barrier. To the east of it is the route which descends the Min River to Siu-chau, and then passes by Chao-tong and Tong-chuan to Yun-nan fu: to the west of the barrier is a route leading through Kien-ch'ang to Ta-li fu, but throwing off a branch from Ning-yuan southward in the direction of Yun-nan fu.

This road from Ch'êng-tu fu to Ta-li by Ya-chau and Ning-yuan appears to be that by which the greater part of the goods for Bhamó and Ava used to travel before the recent Mahomedan rebellion; it is almost certainly the road by which Kúblái, in 1253, during the reign of his brother Mangku Kaan, advanced to the conquest of Ta-li, then the head of an independent kingdom in Western Yun-nan. As far as Ts'ing-k'i hien, 3 marches beyond Ya-chau, this route coincides with the great Tibet road by Ta-t'sien lu and Bathang to L'hása, and then it diverges to the left.

We may now say without hesitation that by this road Marco travelled. His Tibet commences with the mountain region near Ya-chau; his 20 days' journey through a devastated and dispeopled tract is the journey to Ning-yuan fu. Even now, from Ts'ing-k'i onwards for several days, not a single inhabited place is seen. The official route from Ya-chau to Ning-yuan lays down 13 stages, but it generally takes from 15 to 18 days. Polo, whose journeys seem often to have been shorter than the modern average,[2] took 20. On descending from the highlands he comes once more into a populated region, and enters the charming Valley of Kien-ch'ang. This valley, with its capital near the upper extremity, its numerous towns and villages, its cassia, its spiced wine, and its termination southward on the River of the Golden Sands, is CAINDU. The traveller's road from Ningyuan to Yunnanfu probably lay through Hwei-li, and the Kin-sha Kiang would be crossed as already indicated, near its most southerly bend, and almost due north of Yun-nan fu. (See Richthofen as quoted at pp. 45-46.)

As regards the name of CAINDU or GHEINDU (as in G.T.), I think we may safely recognise in the last syllable the do which is so frequent a termination of Tibetan names (Amdo, Tsiamdo, etc.); whilst the Cain, as Baron Richthofen has pointed out, probably survives in the first part of the name _Kien_chang.

[Baber writes (pp. 80-81): "Colonel Yule sees in the word Caindu a variation of 'Chien-ch'ang,' and supposes the syllable 'du' to be the same as the termination 'du,' 'do,' or 'tu,' so frequent in Tibetan names. In such names, however, 'do' never means a district, but always a confluence, or a town near a confluence, as might almost be guessed from a map of Tibet…. Unsatisfied with Colonel Yule's identification, I cast about for another, and thought for a while that a clue had been found in the term 'Chien-t'ou' (sharp-head), applied to certain Lolo tribes. But the idea had to be abandoned, since Marco Polo's anecdote about the 'caitiff,' and the loose manners of his family, could never have referred to the Lolos, who are admitted even by their Chinese enemies to possess a very strict code indeed of domestic regulations. The Lolos being eliminated, the Si-fans remained; and before we had been many days in their neighbourhood, stories were told us of their conduct which a polite pen refuses to record. It is enough to say that Marco's account falls rather short of the truth, and most obviously applies to the Si-fan."

[Illustration: Road descending from the Table-Land of Yun-nan into the
Valley of the Kin-sha Kiang (the Brius of Polo).

(After Garnier.)]

Devéria (Front. p. 146 note) says that Kien-ch'ang is the ancient territory of Kiung-tu which, under the Han Dynasty, fell into the hands of the Tibetans, and was made by the Mongols the march of Kien-ch'ang (Che-Kong-t'u); it is the Caindu of Marco Polo; under the Han Dynasty it was the Kiun or division of Yueh-sui or Yueh-hsi. Devéria quotes from the Yuen-shi-lei pien the following passage relating to the year 1284: "The twelve tribes of the Barbarians to the south-west of Kien-tou and Kin-Chi submitted; Kien-tou was administered by Mien (Burma); Kien-tou submits because the Kingdom of Mien has been vanquished." Kien-tou is the Chien-t'ou of Baber, the Caindu of Marco Polo. (Mélanges de Harlez, p. 97.) According to Mr. E.H. Parker (China Review, xix. p. 69), Yueh-hsi or Yueh-sui "is the modern Kien-ch'ang Valley, the Caindu of Marco Polo, between the Yalung and Yang-tzu Rivers; the only non-Chinese races found there now are the Si-fan and Lolos."—H.C.]

Turning to minor particulars, the Lake of Caindu in which the pearls were found is doubtless one lying near Ning-yuan, whose beauty Richthofen heard greatly extolled, though nothing of the pearls. [Mr. Hosie writes (Three Years, 112-113): "If the former tradition be true (the old city of Ning-yuan having given place to a large lake in the early years of the Ming Dynasty), the lake had no existence when Marco Polo passed through Caindu, and yet we find him mentioning a lake in the country in which pearls were found. Curiously enough, although I had not then read the Venetian's narrative, one of the many things told me regarding the lake was that pearls are found in it, and specimens were brought to me for inspection." The lake lies to the south-east of the present city.—H.C.] A small lake is marked by D'Anville, close to Kien-ch'ang, under the name of Gechoui-tang. The large quantities of gold derived from the Kin-sha Kiang, and the abundance of musk in that vicinity, are testified to by Martini. The Lake mentioned by Polo as existing in the territory of Yachi is no doubt the Tien-chi, the Great Lake on the shore of which the city of Yun-nan stands, and from which boats make their way by canals along the walls and streets. Its circumference, according to Martini, is 500 li. The cut (p. 68), from Garnier, shows this lake as seen from a villa on its banks. [Devéria (p. 129) quotes this passage from the Yuen-shi-lei pien: "Yachi, of which the U-man or Black Barbarians made their capital, is surrounded by Lake Tien-chi on three sides." Tien-chi is one of the names of Lake Kwen-ming, on the shore of which is built Yun-nan fu.—H.C.]

Returning now to the Karájang of the Mongols, or Carajan, as Polo writes it, we shall find that the latter distinguishes this great province, which formerly, he says, included seven kingdoms, into two Mongol Governments, the seat of one being at Yachi, which we have seen to be Yun-nan fu, and that of the other at a city to which he gives the name of the Province, and which we shall find to be the existing Ta-li fu. Great confusion has been created in most of the editions by a distinction in the form of the name as applied to these two governments. Thus Ramusio prints the province under Yachi as Carajan, and that under Ta-li as Carazan, whilst Marsden, following out his system for the conversion of Ramusio's orthography, makes the former Karaian and the latter Karazan. Pauthier prints Caraian all through, a fact so far valuable as showing that his texts make no distinction between the names of the two governments, but the form impedes the recognition of the old Mongol nomenclature. I have no doubt that the name all through should be read Carajan, and on this I have acted. In the Geog. Text we find the name given at the end of ch. xlvii. Caragian, in ch. xlviii. as Carajan, in ch. xlix. as Caraian, thus just reversing the distinction made by Marsden. The Crusca has Charagia(n) all through.

The name then was Kará-jáng, in which the first element was the Mongol or Turki Kárá, "Black." For we find in another passage of Rashid the following information:[3]—"To the south-west of Cathay is the country called by the Chinese Dailiu or 'Great Realm,' and by the Mongols Karájáng, in the language of India and Kashmir Kandar, and by us Kandahár. This country, which is of vast extent, is bounded on one side by Tibet and Tangut, and on others by Mongolia, Cathay, and the country of the Gold-Teeth. The King of Karajang uses the title of Mahárá, i.e. Great King. The capital is called Yachi, and there the Council of Administration is established. Among the inhabitants of this country some are black, and others are white; these latter are called by the Mongols Chaghán-Jáng ('White Jang')." Jang has not been explained; but probably it may have been a Tibetan term adopted by the Mongols, and the colours may have applied to their clothing. The dominant race at the Mongol invasion seems to have been Shans;[4] and black jackets are the characteristic dress of the Shans whom one sees in Burma in modern times. The Kara-jang and Chaghan-jang appear to correspond also to the U-man and Pe-man, or Black Barbarians and White Barbarians, who are mentioned by Chinese authorities as conquered by the Mongols. It would seem from one of Pauthier's Chinese quotations (p. 388), that the Chaghan-jang were found in the vicinity of Li-kiang fu. (D'Ohsson, II. 317; J. R. Geog. Soc. III. 294.) [Dr. Bretschneider (Med. Res. I. p. 184) says that in the description of Yun-nan, in the Yuen-shi, "Cara-jang and Chagan-jang are rendered by Wu-man and Po-man (Black and White Barbarians). But in the biographies of Djao-a-k'o-p'an, A-r-szelan (Yuen-shi, ch. cxxiii.), and others, these tribes are mentioned under the names of Ha-la-djang and Ch'a-han-djang, as the Mongols used to call them; and in the biography of Wu-liang-ho t'ai. [Uriang kadai], the conqueror of Yun-nan, it is stated that the capital of the Black Barbarians was called Yach'i. It is described there as a city surrounded by lakes from three sides."—H.C.]

[Illustration: A Saracen of Carajan, being a portrait of a Mahomedan
Mullah in Western Yun-nan. (From Garnier's Work.)

"Les sunt des plosors maineres, car il hi a jens qe aorent Maomet." ]

Regarding Rashiduddin's application of the name Kandahár or Gandhára to Yun-nan, and curious points connected therewith, I must refer to a paper of mine in the J.R.A.Society (N.S. IV. 356). But I may mention that in the ecclesiastical translation of the classical localities of Indian Buddhism to Indo-China, which is current in Burma, Yun-nan represents Gandhára,[5] and is still so styled in state documents (Gandálarít).

What has been said of the supposed name Caraian disposes, I trust, of the fancies which have connected the origin of the Karens of Burma with it. More groundless still is M. Pauthier's deduction of the Talains of Pegu (as the Burmese call them) from the people of Ta-li, who fled from Kúblái's invasion.

NOTE 2.—The existence of Nestorians in this remote province is very notable [see Bonin, J. As. XV. 1900, pp. 589-590.—H.C.] and also the early prevalence of Mahomedanism, which Rashiduddin intimates in stronger terms. "All the inhabitants of Yachi," he says, "are Mahomedans." This was no doubt an exaggeration, but the Mahomedans seem always to have continued to be an important body in Yun-nan up to our own day. In 1855 began their revolt against the imperial authority, which for a time resulted in the establishment of their independence in Western Yun-nan under a chief whom they called Sultan Suleiman. A proclamation in remarkably good Arabic, announcing the inauguration of his reign, appears to have been circulated to Mahomedans in foreign states, and a copy of it some years ago found its way through the Nepalese agent at L'hasa, into the hands of Colonel Ramsay, the British Resident at Katmandu.[6]

NOTE 3.—Wheat grows as low as Ava, but there also it is not used by natives for bread, only for confectionery and the like. The same is the case in Eastern China. (See ch. xxvi. note 4, and Middle Kingdom, II. 43.)

NOTE 4.—The word piccoli is supplied, doubtfully, in lieu of an unknown symbol. If correct, then we should read "24 piccoli each" for this was about the equivalent of a grosso. This is the first time Polo mentions cowries, which he calls porcellani. This might have been rendered by the corresponding vernacular name "Pig-shells," applied to certain shells of that genus (Cypraea) in some parts of England. It is worthy of note that as the name porcellana has been transferred from these shells to China-ware, so the word pig has been in Scotland applied to crockery; whether the process has been analogous, I cannot say.

Klaproth states that Yun-nan is the only country of China in which cowries had continued in use, though in ancient times they were more generally diffused. According to him 80 cowries were equivalent to 6 cash, or a half-penny. About 1780 in Eastern Bengal 80 cowries were worth 3/8th of a penny, and some 40 years ago, when Prinsep compiled his tables in Calcutta (where cowries were still in use a few years ago, if they are not now), 80 cowries were worth 3/10 of a penny.

At the time of the Mahomedan conquest of Bengal, early in the 13th century, they found the currency exclusively composed of cowries, aided perhaps by bullion in large transactions, but with no coined money. In remote districts this continued to modern times. When the Hon. Robert Lindsay went as Resident and Collector to Silhet about 1778, cowries constituted nearly the whole currency of the Province. The yearly revenue amounted to 250,000 rupees, and this was entirely paid in cowries at the rate of 5120 to the rupee. It required large warehouses to contain them, and when the year's collection was complete a large fleet of boats to transport them to Dacca. Before Lindsay's time it had been the custom to count the whole before embarking them! Down to 1801 the Silhet revenue was entirely collected in cowries, but by 1813, the whole was realised in specie. (Thomas, in J.R.A.S. N.S. II. 147; Lives of the Lindsays, III. 169, 170.)

Klaproth's statement has ceased to be correct. Lieutenant Garnier found cowries nowhere in use north of Luang Prabang; and among the Kakhyens in Western Yun nan these shells are used only for ornament. [However, Mr. E. H. Parker says (China Review, XXVI. p. 106) that the porcelain money still circulates in the Shan States, and that he saw it there himself.—H.C.]

[Illustration: The Canal at Yun nan fu.]

NOTE 5.—See ch. xlvii. note 4. Martini speaks of a great brine-well to the N.E. of Yaogan (W.N.W. of the city of Yun-nan), which supplied the whole country round.

NOTE 6.—Two particulars appearing in these latter paragraphs are alluded to by Rashiduddin in giving a brief account of the overland route from India to China, which is unfortunately very obscure: "Thence you arrive at the borders of Tibet, where they eat raw meat and worship images, and have no shame respecting their wives." (Elliot, I. p. 73.)

[1] Baber writes (p. 107): "The river is never called locally by any other name than Kin-ke or 'Gold River.'[A] The term Kin-sha-Kiang should in strictness be confined to the Tibetan course of the stream; as applied to other parts it is a mere book name. There is no great objection to its adoption, except that it is unintelligible to the inhabitants of the banks, and is liable to mislead travellers in search of indigenous information, but at any rate it should not be supposed to asperse Marco Polo's accuracy. Gold River is the local name from the junction of the Yalung to about P'ing-shan; below P'ing-shan it is known by various designations, but the Ssu-ch'uanese naturally call it 'the River,' or, by contrast with its affluents, the 'Big River' (Ta-ho)." I imagine that Baber here makes a slight mistake, and that they use the name kiang, and not ho, for the river.—H.C.

[Mr. Rockhill remarks (Land of the Lamas, p. 196 note) that "Marco Polo speaks of the Yang-tzu as the Brius, and Orazio della Penna calls it Biciu, both words representing the Tibetan Dré ch'u. This last name has been frequently translated 'Cow yak River,' but this is certainly not its meaning, as cow yak is dri-mo, never pronounced dré, and unintelligible without the suffix, mo. Dré may mean either mule, dirty, or rice, but as I have never seen the word written, I cannot decide on any of these terms, all of which have exactly the same pronunciation. The Mongols call it Murus osu, and in books this is sometimes changed to Murui osu, 'Tortuous river.' The Chinese call it Tung t'ien ho, 'River of all Heaven.' The name Kin-sha kiang, 'River of Golden Sand,' is used for it from Bat'ang to Sui-fu, or thereabouts." The general name for the river is Ta-Kiang (Great River), or simply Kiang, in contradistinction to Ho, for Hwang-Ho (Yellow River) in Northern China.—H.C.]

[A] Marco Polo nowhere calls the river "Gold River," the name he gives it is Brius.—H.Y.

[2] Baron Richthofen, who has travelled hundreds of miles in his footsteps, considers his allowance of time to be generally from 1/4 to 1/9 greater than that now usual.

[3] See Quatremère's Rashiduddin, pp. lxxxvi.-xcvi. My quotation is made up from two citations by Quatremère, one from his text of Rashiduddin, and the other from the History of Benakeli, which Quatremère shows to have been drawn from Rashiduddin, whilst it contains some particulars not existing in his own text of that author.

[4] The title Chao in Nan-Chao (infra, p. 79) is said by a Chinese author (Pauthier, p. 391) to signify King in the language of those barbarians. This is evidently the Chao which forms an essential part of the title of all Siamese and Shan princes.

[Regarding the word Nan-Chao, Mr. Parker (China Review, XX. p. 339) writes "In the barbarian tongue 'prince is Chao," says the Chinese author; and there were six Chao, of which the Nan or Southern was the leading power. Hence the name Nan-Chao … it is hardly necessary for me to say that chao or kyiao is still the Shan-Siamese word for 'prince.' Pallegoix (Dict. p. 85) has Chào, Princeps, rex.—H.C.]

[5] Gandhára, Arabicé Kandahár, is properly the country about
    Peshawar, Gandaritis of Strabo.

[6] This is printed almost in full in the French Voyage d'Exploration,
    I. 564.



After leaving that city of Yachi of which I have been speaking, and travelling ten days towards the west, you come to another capital city which is still in the province of Carajan, and is itself called Carajan. The people are Idolaters and subject to the Great Kaan; and the King is COGACHIN, who is a son of the Great Kaan.[NOTE 1]

In this country gold-dust is found in great quantities; that is to say in the rivers and lakes, whilst in the mountains gold is also found in pieces of larger size. Gold is indeed so abundant that they give one saggio of gold for only six of the same weight in silver. And for small change they use porcelain shells as I mentioned before. These are not found in the country, however, but are brought from India.[NOTE 2]

In this province are found snakes and great serpents of such vast size as to strike fear into those who see them, and so hideous that the very account of them must excite the wonder of those to hear it. I will tell you how long and big they are.

You may be assured that some of them are ten paces in length; some are more and some less. And in bulk they are equal to a great cask, for the bigger ones are about ten palms in girth. They have two forelegs near the head, but for foot nothing but a claw like the claw of a hawk or that of a lion. The head is very big, and the eyes are bigger than a great loaf of bread. The mouth is large enough to swallow a man whole, and is garnished with great [pointed] teeth. And in short they are so fierce-looking and so hideously ugly, that every man and beast must stand in fear and trembling of them. There are also smaller ones, such as of eight paces long, and of five, and of one pace only.

The way in which they are caught is this. You must know that by day they live underground because of the great heat, and in the night they go out to feed, and devour every animal they can catch. They go also to drink at the rivers and lakes and springs. And their weight is so great that when they travel in search of food or drink, as they do by night, the tail makes a great furrow in the soil as if a full ton of liquor had been dragged along. Now the huntsmen who go after them take them by certain gyn which they set in the track over which the serpent has past, knowing that the beast will come back the same way. They plant a stake deep in the ground and fix on the head of this a sharp blade of steel made like a razor or a lance-point, and then they cover the whole with sand so that the serpent cannot see it. Indeed the huntsman plants several such stakes and blades on the track. On coming to the spot the beast strikes against the iron blade with such force that it enters his breast and rives him up to the navel, so that he dies on the spot [and the crows on seeing the brute dead begin to caw, and then the huntsmen know that the serpent is dead and come in search of him].

This then is the way these beasts are taken. Those who take them proceed to extract the gall from the inside, and this sells at a great price; for you must know it furnishes the material for a most precious medicine. Thus if a person is bitten by a mad dog, and they give him but a small pennyweight of this medicine to drink, he is cured in a moment. Again if a woman is hard in labour they give her just such another dose and she is delivered at once. Yet again if one has any disease like the itch, or it may be worse, and applies a small quantity of this gall he shall speedily be cured. So you see why it sells at such a high price.

They also sell the flesh of this serpent, for it is excellent eating, and the people are very fond of it. And when these serpents are very hungry, sometimes they will seek out the lairs of lions or bears or other large wild beasts, and devour their cubs, without the sire and dam being able to prevent it. Indeed if they catch the big ones themselves they devour them too; they can make no resistance.[NOTE 3]

[Illustration: "Riding long like Frenchmen."

"Et encore sachié qe ceste gens chebauchent lonc come franchois."]

[Illustration: Suspension Bridge, neighbourhood of Tali]

In this province also are bred large and excellent horses which are taken to India for sale. And you must know that the people dock two or three joints of the tail from their horses, to prevent them from flipping their riders, a thing which they consider very unseemly. They ride long like Frenchmen, and wear armour of boiled leather, and carry spears and shields and arblasts, and all their quarrels are poisoned.[NOTE 4] [And I was told as a fact that many persons, especially those meditating mischief, constantly carry this poison about with them, so that if by any chance they should be taken, and be threatened with torture, to avoid this they swallow the poison and so die speedily. But princes who are aware of this keep ready dog's dung, which they cause the criminal instantly to swallow, to make him vomit the poison. And thus they manage to cure those scoundrels.]

I will tell you of a wicked thing they used to do before the Great Kaan conquered them. If it chanced that a man of fine person or noble birth, or some other quality that recommended him, came to lodge with those people, then they would murder him by poison, or otherwise. And this they did, not for the sake of plunder, but because they believed that in this way the goodly favour and wisdom and repute of the murdered man would cleave to the house where he was slain. And in this manner many were murdered before the country was conquered by the Great Kaan. But since his conquest, some 35 years ago, these crimes and this evil practice have prevailed no more; and this through dread of the Great Kaan who will not permit such things.[NOTE 5]

NOTE 1.—There can be no doubt that this second chief city of Carajan is TALI-FU, which was the capital of the Shan Kingdom called by the Chinese Nan-Chao. This kingdom had subsisted in Yun-nan since 738, and probably had embraced the upper part of the Irawadi Valley. For the Chinese tell us it was also called Maung, and it probably was identical with the Shan Kingdom of Muang Maorong or of Pong, of which Captain Pemberton procured a Chronicle. [In A.D. 650, the Ai-Lao, the most ancient name by which the Shans were known to the Chinese, became the Nan-Chao. The Mêng family ruled the country from the 7th century; towards the middle of the 8th century, P'i-lo-ko, who is the real founder of the Thai kingdom of Nan-Chao, received from the Chinese the title of King of Yun-Nan and made T'ai-ho, 15 lis south of Ta-li, his residence; he died in 748. In A.D. 938, Twan Sze-ying, of an old Chinese family, took Ta-li and established there an independent kingdom. In 1115 embassies with China were exchanged, and the Emperor conferred (1119) upon Twan Ch'êng-ya the title of King of Ta-li (Ta-li Kwo Wang). Twan Siang-hing was the last king of Ta-li (1239-1251). In 1252 the Kingdom of Nan-Chao was destroyed by the Mongols; the Emperor She Tsu (Kúblái) gave the title of Maháraja (Mo-ho Lo-tso) to Twan Hing-che (son of Twan Siang-hing), who had fled to Yun-Nan fu and was captured there. Afterwards (1261) the Twan are known as the eleven Tsung-Kwan (governors); the last of them, Twan Ming, was made a prisoner by an army sent by the Ming Emperors, and sent to Nan-King (1381). (E. H. Parker, Early Laos and China, China Review, XIX. and the Old Thai or Shan Empire of Western Yun-Nan, Ibid., XX.; E. Rocher, Hist. des Princes du Yunnan, T'oung Pao, 1899; E. Chavannes, Une Inscription du roy de Nan Tchao, J.A., November-December, 1900; M. Tchang, Tableau des Souverains de Nan-Tchao, Bul. Ecole Franç. d'Ext. Orient, I. No. 4.)—H.C.] The city of Ta-li was taken by Kúblái in 1253-1254. The circumstance that it was known to the invaders (as appeals from Polo's statement) by the name of the province is an indication of the fact that it was the capital of Carajan before the conquest. ["That Yachi and Carajan represent Yünnan-fu and Tali, is proved by topographical and other evidence of an overwhelming nature. I venture to add one more proof, which seems to have been overlooked.

"If there is a natural feature which must strike any visitor to those two cities, it is that they both lie on the shore of notable lakes, of so large an extent as to be locally called seas; and for the comparison, it should be remembered that the inhabitants of the Yünnan province have easy access to the ocean by the Red River, or Sung Ka. Now, although Marco does not circumstantially specify the fact of these cities lying on large bodies of water, yet in both cases, two or three sentences further on, will be found mention of lakes; in the case of Yachi, 'a lake of a good hundred miles in compass'—by no means an unreasonable estimate.

"Tali-fu is renowned as the strongest hold of Western Yünnan, and it certainly must have been impregnable to bow and spear. From the western margin of its majestic lake, which lies approximately north and south, rises a sloping plain of about three miles average breadth, closed in by the huge wall of the Tien-tsang Mountains. In the midst of this plain stands the city, the lake at its feet, the snowy summits at its back. On either flank, at about twelve and six miles distance respectively, are situated Shang-Kuan and Hsia-Kuan (upper and lower passes), two strongly fortified towns guarding the confined strip between mountain and lake; for the plain narrows at the two extremities, and is intersected by a river at both points." (Baber, Travels 155.)—H.C.]

The distance from Yachi to this city of Karajang is ten days, and this corresponds well with the distance from Yun-nan fu to Tali-fu. For we find that, of the three Burmese Embassies whose itineraries are given by Burney, one makes 7 marches between those cities, specifying 2 of them as double marches, therefore equal to 9, whilst the other two make 11 marches; Richthofen's information gives 12. Ta-li-fu is a small old city overlooking its large lake (about 24 miles long by 6 wide), and an extensive plain devoid of trees. Lofty mountains rise on the south side of the city. The Lake appears to communicate with the Mekong, and the story goes, no doubt fabulous, that boats have come up to Ta-li from the Ocean. [Captain Gill (II. pp. 299-300) writes: "Ta-li fu is an ancient city … it is the Carajan of Marco Polo…. Marco's description of the lake of Yun-Nan may be perfectly well applied to the Lake of Ta-li…. The fish were particularly commended to our notice, though we were told that there were no oysters in this lake, as there are said to be in that of Yun-Nan; if the latter statement be true, it would illustrate Polo's account of another lake somewhere in these regions in which are found pearls (which are white but not round)."—H.C.]

Ta-li fu was recently the capital of Sultan Suleiman [Tu Wen-siu]. It was reached by Lieutenant Garnier in a daring détour by the north of Yun-nan, but his party were obliged to leave in haste on the second day after their arrival. The city was captured by the Imperial officers in 1873, when a horrid massacre of the Mussulmans took place [19th January]. The Sultan took poison, but his head was cut off and sent to Peking. Momein fell soon after [10th June], and the Panthé kingdom is ended.

We see that Polo says the King ruling for Kúblái at this city was a son of the Kaan, called COGACHIN, whilst he told us in the last chapter that the King reigning at Yachi was also a son of the Kaan, called ESSENTIMUR. It is probably a mere lapsus or error of dictation calling the latter a son of the Kaan, for in ch. li. infra, this prince is correctly described as the Kaan's grandson. Rashiduddin tells us that Kúblái had given his son HUKÁJI (or perhaps Hogáchi, i.e. Cogachin) the government of Karajang,[1] and that after the death of this Prince the government was continued to his son ISENTIMUR. Klaproth gives the date of the latter's nomination from the Chinese Annals as 1280. It is not easy to reconcile Marco's statements perfectly with a knowledge of these facts; but we may suppose that, in speaking of Cogachin as ruling at Karajang (or Tali-fu) and Esentimur at Yachi, he describes things as they stood when his visit occurred, whilst in the second reference to "Sentemur's" being King in the province and his father dead, he speaks from later knowledge. This interpretation would confirm what has been already deduced from other circumstances, that his visit to Yun-nan was prior to 1280. (Pemberton's Report on the Eastern Frontier, 108 seqq.; Quat. Rashid. pp. lxxxix-xc.; Journ. Asiat. sér. II. vol. i.)

NOTE 2.—[Captain Gill writes (II. p. 302): "There are said to be very rich gold and silver mines within a few days' journey of the city" (of Ta-li). Dr. Anderson says (Mandalay to Momien, p. 203): "Gold is brought to Momein from Yonephin and Sherg-wan villages, fifteen days' march to the north-east; but no information could be obtained as to the quantity found. It is also brought in leaf, which is sent to Burma, where it is in extensive demand."—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—It cannot be doubted that Marco's serpents here are crocodiles, in spite of his strange mistakes about their having only two feet and one claw on each, and his imperfect knowledge of their aquatic habits. He may have seen only a mutilated specimen. But there is no mistaking the hideous ferocity of the countenance, and the "eyes bigger than a fourpenny loaf," as Ramusio has it. Though the actual eye of the crocodile does not bear this comparison, the prominent orbits do, especially in the case of the Ghariyál of the Ganges, and form one of the most repulsive features of the reptile's physiognomy. In fact, its presence on the surface of an Indian river is often recognisable only by three dark knobs rising above the surface, viz. the snout and the two orbits. And there is some foundation for what our author says of the animal's habits, for the crocodile does sometimes frequent holes at a distance from water, of which a striking instance is within my own recollection (in which the deep furrowed track also was a notable circumstance).

The Cochin Chinese are very fond of crocodile's flesh, and there is or was a regular export of this dainty for their use from Kamboja. I have known it eaten by certain classes in India. (J.R.G.S. XXX. 193.)

The term serpent is applied by many old writers to crocodiles and the like, e.g. by Odoric, and perhaps allusively by Shakspeare ("Where's my Serpent of Old Nile?"). Mr. Fergusson tells me he was once much struck with the snake-like motion of a group of crocodiles hastily descending to the water from a high sand-bank, without apparent use of the limbs, when surprised by the approach of a boat.[2]

Matthioli says the gall of the crocodile surpasses all medicines for the removal of pustules and the like from the eyes. Vincent of Beauvais mentions the same, besides many other medical uses of the reptile's carcass, including a very unsavoury cosmetic. (Matt. p. 245; Spec. Natur. Lib. XVII. c. 106, 108.)

["According to Chinese notions, Han Yü, the St. Patrick of China, having persuaded the alligators in China that he was all-powerful, induced the stupid saurians to migrate to Ngo Hu or 'Alligators' Lake' in the Kwang-tung province." (North-China Herald, 5th July, 1895, p. 5.)

Alligators have been found in 1878 at Wu-hu and at Chen-kiang (Ngan-hwei and Kiang-Su). (See A. A. Fauvel, Alligators in China, in Jour. N. China B.R.A.S. XIII. 1879, 1-36.)—H.C.]

NOTE 4.—I think the great horses must be an error, though running through all the texts, and that grant quantité de chevaus was probably intended. Valuable ponies are produced in those regions, but I have never heard of large horses, and Martini's testimony is to like effect (p. 141). Nor can I hear of any race in those regions in modern times that uses what we should call long stirrups. It is true that the Tartars rode very short—"brevissimas habent strepas," as Carpini says (643); and the Kirghiz Kazaks now do the same. Both Burmese and Shans ride what we should call short; and Major Sladen observes of the people on the western border of Yun-nan: "Kachyens and Shans ride on ordinary Chinese saddles. The stirrups are of the usual average length, but the saddles are so constructed as to rise at least a foot above the pony's back." He adds with reference to another point in the text: "I noticed a few Shan ponies with docked tails. But the more general practice is to loop up the tail in a knot, the object being to protect the rider, or rather his clothes, from the dirt with which they would otherwise be spattered from the flipping of the animal's tail." (MS. Notes.)

[After Yung-ch'ang, Captain Gill writes (II. p. 356): "The manes were hogged and the tails cropped of a great many of the ponies these men were riding; but there were none of the docked tails mentioned by Marco Polo."—H.C.]

Armour of boiled leather—"armes cuiracés de cuir bouilli"; so Pauthier's text; the material so often mentioned in mediaeval costume; e.g. in the leggings of Sir Thopas:—

  "His jambeux were of cuirbouly,
   His swerdës sheth of ivory,
     His helme of latoun bright."

But the reading of the G. Text which is "cuir de bufal," is probably the right one. Some of the Miau-tzu of Kweichau are described as wearing armour of buffalo-leather overlaid with iron plates. (Ritter, IV. 768-776.) Arblasts or crossbows are still characteristic weapons of many of the wilder tribes of this region; e.g. of some of the Singphos, of the Mishmis of Upper Assam, of the Lu-tzu of the valley of the Lukiang, of tribes of the hills of Laos, of the Stiens of Cambodia, and of several of the Miau-tzu tribes of the interior of China. We give a cut copied from a Chinese work on the Miau-tzu of Kweichau in Dr. Lockhart's possession, which shows three little men of the Sang-Miau tribe of Kweichau combining to mend a crossbow, and a chief with armes cuiracés and jambeux also. [The cut (p. 83) is well explained by this passage of Baber's Travels among the Lolos (p. 71): "They make their own swords, three and a half to five spans long, with square heads, and have bows which it takes three men to draw, but no muskets."—H.C.]

NOTE 5.—I have nowhere met with a precise parallel to this remarkable superstition, but the following piece of Folk-Lore has a considerable analogy to it. This extraordinary custom is ascribed by Ibn Fozlan to the Bulgarians of the Volga: "If they find a man endowed with special intelligence then they say: 'This man should serve our Lord God;' and so they take him, run a noose round his neck and hang him on a tree, where they leave him till the corpse falls to pieces." This is precisely what Sir Charles Wood did with the Indian Corps of Engineers;—doubtless on the same principle.

Archbishop Trench, in a fine figure, alludes to a belief prevalent among the Polynesian Islanders, "that the strength and valour of the warriors whom they have slain in battle passes into themselves, as their rightful inheritance." (Fraehn, Wolga-Bulgaren, p. 50; Studies in the Gospels, p. 22; see also Lubbock, 457.)

[Illustration: The Sangmiau Tribe of Kweichau, with the Crossbow. (From a
Chinese Drawing.)

"Ont armes corases de cuir de bufal, et ont lances et scuz et ont balestres."]

There is some analogy also to the story Polo tells, in the curious Sindhi tradition, related by Burton, of Bahá-ul-hakk, the famous saint of Multán. When he visited his disciples at Tatta they plotted his death, in order to secure the blessings of his perpetual presence. The people of Multán are said to have murdered two celebrated saints with the same view, and the Hazáras to "make a point of killing and burying in their own country any stranger indiscreet enough to commit a miracle or show any particular sign of sanctity." The like practice is ascribed to the rude Moslem of Gilghit; and such allegations must have been current in Europe, for they are the motive of Southey's St. Romuald:

      "'But,' quoth the Traveller, 'wherefore did he leave
  A flock that knew his saintly worth so well?'

      "'Why, Sir,' the Host replied,
  'We thought perhaps that he might one day leave us;
      And then, should strangers have
      The good man's grave,
  A loss like that would naturally grieve us;
      For he'll be made a saint of, to be sure.
      Therefore we thought it prudent to secure
    His relics while we might;
    And so we meant to strangle him one night.'"

(See Sindh, pp. 86, 388; Ind. Antiq. I. 13; Southey's Ballads, etc., ed. Routledge, p. 330.)

[Captain Gill (I. p. 323) says that he had made up his mind to visit a place called Li-fan Fu, near Ch'êng-tu. "I was told," he writes, "that this place was inhabited by the Man-Tzu, or Barbarians, as the Chinese call them; and Monseigneur Pinchon told me that, amongst other pleasing theories, they were possessed of the belief that if they poisoned a rich man, his wealth would accrue to the poisoner; that, therefore, the hospitable custom prevailed amongst them of administering poison to rich or noble guests; that this poison took no effect for some time, but that in the course of two or three months it produced a disease akin to dysentery, ending in certain death."—H.C.]

[1] Mr. E.H. Parker writes (China Review, XXIV. p. 106): "Polo's Kogatin is Hukoch'ih, who was made King of Yun-nan in 1267, with military command over Ta-li, Shen-shen, Chagan Chang, Golden-Teeth, etc."—H.C.

[2] Though the bellowing of certain American crocodiles is often spoken of, I have nowhere seen allusion to the roaring of the ghariyál, nor does it seem to be commonly known. I have once only heard it, whilst on the bank of the Ganges near Rampúr Boliah, waiting for a ferry-boat. It was like a loud prolonged snore; and though it seemed to come distinctly from a crocodile on the surface of the river, I made sure by asking a boatman who stood by: "It is the ghariyál speaking," he answered.



When you have left Carajan and have travelled five days westward, you find a province called ZARDANDAN. The people are Idolaters and subject to the Great Kaan. The capital city is called VOCHAN.[NOTE 1]

The people of this country all have their teeth gilt; or rather every man covers his teeth with a sort of golden case made to fit them, both the upper teeth and the under. The men do this, but not the women[NOTE 2] [The men also are wont to gird their arms and legs with bands or fillets pricked in black, and it is done thus; they take five needles joined together, and with these they prick the flesh till the blood comes, and then they rub in a certain black colouring stuff, and this is perfectly indelible. It is considered a piece of elegance and the sign of gentility to have this black band.] The men are all gentlemen in their fashion, and do nothing but go to the wars, or go hunting and hawking. The ladies do all the business, aided by the slaves who have been taken in war.[NOTE 3]

And when one of their wives has been delivered of a child, the infant is washed and swathed, and then the woman gets up and goes about her household affairs, whilst the husband takes to bed with the child by his side, and so keeps his bed for 40 days; and all the kith and kin come to visit him and keep up a great festivity. They do this because, say they, the woman has had a hard bout of it, and 'tis but fair the man should have his share of suffering.[NOTE 4]

They eat all kinds of meat, both raw and cooked, and they eat rice with their cooked meat as their fashion is. Their drink is wine made of rice and spices, and excellent it is. Their money is gold, and for small change they use pig-shells. And I can tell you they give one weight of gold for only five of silver; for there is no silver-mine within five months' journey. And this induces merchants to go thither carrying a large supply of silver to change among that people. And as they have only five weights of silver to give for one of fine gold, they make immense profits by their exchange business in that country.[NOTE 5]

These people have neither idols nor churches, but worship the progenitor of their family, "for 'tis he," say they, "from whom we have all sprung." [NOTE 6] They have no letters or writing; and 'tis no wonder, for the country is wild and hard of access, full of great woods and mountains which 'tis impossible to pass, the air in summer is so impure and bad; and any foreigners attempting it would die for certain.[NOTE 7] When these people have any business transactions with one another, they take a piece of stick, round or square, and split it, each taking half. And on either half they cut two or three notches. And when the account is settled the debtor receives back the other half of the stick from the creditor. [NOTE 8]

And let me tell you that in all those three provinces that I have been speaking of, to wit Carajan, Vochan, and Yachi, there is never a leech. But when any one is ill they send for their magicians, that is to say the Devil-conjurors and those who are the keepers of the idols. When these are come the sick man tells what ails him, and then the conjurors incontinently begin playing on their instruments and singing and dancing; and the conjurors dance to such a pitch that at last one of them shall fall to the ground lifeless, like a dead man. And then the devil entereth into his body. And when his comrades see him in this plight they begin to put questions to him about the sick man's ailment. And he will reply: "Such or such a spirit hath been meddling with the man,[NOTE 9] for that he hath angered the spirit and done it some despite." Then they say: "We pray thee to pardon him, and to take of his blood or of his goods what thou wilt in consideration of thus restoring him to health." And when they have so prayed, the malignant spirit that is in the body of the prostrate man will (mayhap) answer: "The sick man hath also done great despite unto such another spirit, and that one is so ill-disposed that it will not pardon him on any account;"—this at least is the answer they get, an the patient be like to die. But if he is to get better the answer will be that they are to bring two sheep, or may be three; and to brew ten or twelve jars of drink, very costly and abundantly spiced.[NOTE 10] Moreover it shall be announced that the sheep must be all black-faced, or of some other particular colour as it may hap; and then all those things are to be offered in sacrifice to such and such a spirit whose name is given. [NOTE 11] And they are to bring so many conjurors, and so many ladies, and the business is to be done with a great singing of lauds, and with many lights, and store of good perfumes. That is the sort of answer they get if the patient is to get well. And then the kinsfolk of the sick man go and procure all that has been commanded, and do as has been bidden, and the conjuror who had uttered all that gets on his legs again.

So they fetch the sheep of the colour prescribed, and slaughter them, and sprinkle the blood over such places as have been enjoined, in honour and propitiation of the spirit. And the conjurors come, and the ladies, in the number that was ordered, and when all are assembled and everything is ready, they begin to dance and play and sing in honour of the spirit. And they take flesh-broth and drink and lign-aloes, and a great number of lights, and go about hither and thither, scattering the broth and the drink and the meat also. And when they have done this for a while, again shall one of the conjurors fall flat and wallow there foaming at the mouth, and then the others will ask if he have yet pardoned the sick man? And sometimes he shall answer yea! and sometimes he shall answer no! And if the answer be no, they shall be told that something or other has to be done all over again, and then he will be pardoned; so this they do. And when all that the spirit has commanded has been done with great ceremony, then it shall be announced that the man is pardoned and shall be speedily cured. So when they at length receive such a reply, they announce that it is all made up with the spirit, and that he is propitiated, and they fall to eating and drinking with great joy and mirth, and he who had been lying lifeless on the ground gets up and takes his share. So when they have all eaten and drunken, every man departs home. And presently the sick man gets sound and well.[NOTE 12]

Now that I have told you of the customs and naughty ways of that people, we will have done talking of them and their province, and I will tell you about others, all in regular order and succession.

NOTE 1.—[Baber writes (Travels, p. 171) when arriving to the Lan-tsang kiang (Mekong River): "We were now on the border-line between Carajan and Zardandan: 'When you have travelled five days you find a province called Zardandan,' says Messer Marco, precisely the actual number of stages from Tali-fu to the present boundary of Yung-ch'ang. That this river must have been the demarcation between the two provinces is obvious; one glance into that deep rift, the only exit from which is by painful worked artificial zigzags which, under the most favourable conditions, cannot be called safe, will satisfy the most sceptical geographer. The exact statement of distance is a proof that Marco entered the territory of Yung-ch'ang." Captain Gill says (II. p. 343-344) that the five marches of Marco Polo "would be very long ones. Our journey was eight days, but it might easily have been done in seven, as the first march to Hsia-Kuan was not worthy of the name. The Grosvenor expedition made eleven marches with one day's halt—twelve days altogether, and Mr. Margary was nine or ten days on the journey. It is true that, by camping out every night, the marches might be longer; and, as Polo refers to the crackling of the bamboos in the fires, it is highly probable that he found no 'fine hostelries' on this route. This is the way the traders still travel in Tibet; they march until they are tired, or until they find a nice grassy spot; they then off saddles, turn their animals loose, light a fire under some adjacent tree, and halt for the night; thus the longest possible distance can be performed every day, and the five days from Ta-li to Yung-Ch'ang would not be by any means an impossibility."—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Ramusio says that both men and women use this gold case. There can be no better instance of the accuracy with which Polo is generally found to have represented Oriental names, when we recover his real representation of them, than this name Zardandan. In the old Latin editions the name appeared as Ardandan, Ardadam, etc.; in Ramusio as Cardandan, correctly enough, only the first letter should have been printed Ç. Marsden, carrying out his systematic conversion of the Ramusian spelling, made this into Kardandan, and thus the name became irrecognizable. Klaproth, I believe, first showed that the word was simply the Persian ZAR-DANDÁN, "Gold-Teeth," and produced quotations from Rashiduddin mentioning the people in question by that identical name. Indeed that historian mentions them several times. Thus: "North-west of China is the frontier of Tibet, and of the ZARDANDAN, who lie between Tibet and Karájáng. These people cover their teeth with a gold case, which they take off when they eat." They are also frequently mentioned in the Chinese annals about this period under the same name, viz. Kin-Chi, "Gold-Teeth," and some years after Polo's departure from the East they originated a revolt against the Mongol yoke, in which a great number of the imperial troops were massacred. (De Mailla, IX. 478-479.)

[Baber writes (p. 159): "In Western Yünnan the betel-nut is chewed with prepared lime, colouring the teeth red, and causing a profuse expectoration. We first met with the practice near Tali-fu.

"Is it not possible that the red colour imparted to the teeth by the practice of chewing betel with lime may go some way to account for the ancient name of this region, 'Zar-dandan,' 'Chin-Ch'ih,' or 'Golden-Teeth'? Betel-chewing is, of course, common all over China; but the use of lime is almost unknown and the teeth are not necessarily discoloured.

"In the neighbourhood of Tali, one comes suddenly upon a lime-chewing people, and is at once struck with the strange red hue of their teeth and gums. That some of the natives used formerly to cover their teeth with plates of gold (from which practice, mentioned by Marco Polo, and confirmed elsewhere, the name is generally derived) can scarcely be considered a myth; but the peculiarity remarked by ourselves would have been equally noticeable by the early Chinese invaders, and seems not altogether unworthy of consideration. It is interesting to find the name 'Chin-Ch'ih' still in use.

"When Tu Wên-hsiu sent his 'Panthay' mission to England with tributary boxes of rock from the Tali Mountains, he described himself in his letter 'as a humble native of the golden-teeth country.'"—H.C.]

Vochan seems undoubtedly to be, as Martini pointed out, the city called by the Chinese YUNG-CH'ANG-FU. Some of the old printed editions read Unciam, i.e. Uncham or Unchan, and it is probable that either this or Vocian, i.e. VONCHAN, was the true reading, coming very close to the proper name, which is WUNCHEN. (See J.A.S.B. VI. 547.) [In an itinerary from Ava to Peking, we read on the 10th September, 1833: "Slept at the city Wun-tsheng (Chinese Yongtchang fú and Burmese Wun-zen)." (Chin. Rep. IX. p. 474):—Mr. F.W.K. Müller in a study on the Pa-yi language from a Chinese manuscript entitled Hwa-i-yi-yü found by Dr. F. Hirth in China, and belonging now to the Berlin Royal Library, says the proper orthography of the word is Wan-chang in Pa-yi. (T'oung Pao, III. p. 20.) This helps to find the origin of the name Vochan.—H.C.] This city has been a Chinese one for several centuries, and previous to the late Mahomedan revolt its population was almost exclusively Chinese, with only a small mixture of Shans. It is now noted for the remarkable beauty and fairness of the women. But it is mentioned by Chinese authors as having been in the Middle Ages the capital of the Gold-Teeth. These people, according to Martini, dwelt chiefly to the north of the city. They used to go to worship a huge stone, 100 feet high, at Nan-ngan, and cover it annually with gold-leaf. Some additional particulars about the Kin-Chi, in the time of the Mongols, will be found in Pauthier's notes (p. 398).

[In 1274, the Burmese attacked Yung ch'ang, whose inhabitants were known under the name of Kin-Chi (Golden-Teeth). (E. Rocher, Princes du Yun-nan, p. 71.) From the Annals of Momein, translated by Mr. E.H. Parker (China Review, XX. p. 345), we learn that: "In the year 1271, the General of Ta-li was sent on a mission to procure the submission of the Burmese, and managed to bring a Burmese envoy named Kiai-poh back with him. Four years later Fu A-pih, Chief of the Golden-Teeth, was utilised as a guide, which so angered the Burmese that they detained Fu A-pih and attacked Golden-Teeth: but he managed to bribe himself free. A-ho, Governor of the Golden-Teeth, was now sent as a spy, which caused the Burmese to advance to the attack once more, but they were driven back by Twan Sin-cha-jih. These events led to the Burmese war," which lasted till 1301.

According to the Hwang-tsing Chi-kung t'u (quoted by Devéria, Front. p.
130), the Pei-jen were Kin-chi of Pa-y race, and were surnamed
Min-kia-tzu; the Min-kia, according to F. Garnier, say that they come from
Nan-king, but this is certainly an error for the Pei-jen. From another
Chinese work, Devéeria (p. 169) gives this information: The Piao are the
Kin-Chi; they submitted to the Mongols in the 13th century; they are
descended from the people of Chu-po or Piao Kwo (Kingdom of Piao), ancient
Pegu; P'u-p'iao, in a little valley between the Mekong and the Salwen
Rivers, was the place through which the P'u and the Piao entered China.

The Chinese geographical work Fang-yu-ki-yao mentions the name of Kin-Chi Ch'eng, or city of Kin-Chi, as the ancient denomination of Yung-ch'ang. A Chinese Pa-y vocabulary, belonging to Professor Devéria, translates Kin-Chi by Wan-Chang (Yung-ch'ang). (Devéria, Front. p. 128.)—H.C.]

It has not been determined who are the representatives of these Gold-Teeth, who were evidently distinct from the Shans, not Buddhist, and without literature. I should think it probable that they were Kakhyens or Singphos, who, excluding Shans, appear to form the greatest body in that quarter, and are closely akin to each other, indeed essentially identical in race.[1] The Singphos have now extended widely to the west of the Upper Irawadi and northward into Assam, but their traditions bring them from the borders of Yunnan. The original and still most populous seat of the Kakhyen or Singpho race is pointed out by Colonel Hannay in the Gulansigung Mountains and the valley of the eastern source of the Irawadi. This agrees with Martini's indication of the seat of the Kin-Chi as north of Yung-ch'ang. One of Hannay's notices of Singpho customs should also be compared with the interpolation from Ramusio about tattooing: "The men tattoo their limbs slightly, and all married females are tattooed on both legs from the ankle to the knee, in broad horizontal circular bands. Both sexes also wear rings below the knee of fine shreds of rattan varnished black" (p. 18). These rings appear on the Kakhyen woman in our cut.

[Illustration: Kakhyens. (From a Photograph.)]

The only other wild tribe spoken of by Major Sladen as attending the markets on the frontier is that of the Lissus already mentioned by Lieutenant Garnier (supra, ch. xlvii. note 6), and who are said to be the most savage and indomitable of the tribes in that quarter. Garnier also mentions the Mossos, who are alleged once to have formed an independent kingdom about Li-kiang fu. Possibly, however, the Gold-Teeth may have become entirely absorbed in the Chinese and Shan population.

The characteristic of casing the teeth in gold should identify the tribe did it still exist. But I can learn nothing of the continued existence of such a custom among any tribe of the Indo-Chinese continent. The insertion of gold studs or spots, which Bürck confounds with it, is common enough among Indo-Chinese races, but that is quite a different thing. The actual practice of the Zardandan is, however, followed by some of the people of Sumatra, as both Marsden and Raffles testify: "The great men sometimes set their teeth in gold, by casing with a plate of that metal the under row … it is sometimes indented to the shape of the teeth, but more usually quite plain. They do not remove it either to eat or sleep." The like custom is mentioned by old travellers at Macassar, and with the substitution of silver for gold by a modern traveller as existing in Timor; but in both, probably, it was a practice of Malay tribes, as in Sumatra. (Marsden's Sumatra, 3rd ed., p. 52; Raffles's Java, I. 105; Bickmore's Ind. Archipelago.)

[In his second volume of The River of Golden Sand, Captain Gill has two chapters (viii. and ix.) with the title: In the footsteps of Marco Polo and of Augustus Margary devoted to The Land of the Gold-Teeth and The Marches of the Kingdom of Mien.—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—This is precisely the account which Lieutenant Garnier gives of the people of Laos: "The Laos people are very indolent, and when they are not rich enough to possess slaves they make over to their women the greatest part of the business of the day; and 'tis these latter who not only do all the work of the house, but who husk the rice, work in the fields, and paddle the canoes. Hunting and fishing are almost the only occupations which pertain exclusively to the stronger sex." (Notice sur le Voyage d'Exploration, etc., p. 34.)

NOTE 4.—This highly eccentric practice has been ably illustrated and explained by Mr. Tylor, under the name of the Couvade, or "Hatching," by which it is known in some of the Béarn districts of the Pyrenees, where it formerly existed, as it does still or did recently, in some Basque districts of Spain. [In a paper on La Couvade chez les Basques, published in the République Française, of 19th January, 1877, and reprinted in Etudes de Linguistique et a' Ethnographie par A. Hovelacque et Julien Vinson, Paris, 1878, Prof. Vinson quotes the following curious passage from the poem in ten cantos, Luciniade, by Sacombe, of Carcassonne (Paris and Nîmes, 1790):

  "En Amérique, en Corse, et chez l'Ibérien,
  En France même encor chez le Vénarnien,
  Au pays Navarrois, lorsqu'une femme accouche,
  L'épouse sort du lit et le mari se couche;
  Et, quoiqu'il soit très sain et d'esprit et de corps,
  Contre un mal qu'il n'a point l'art unit ses efforts.
  On le met au régime, et notre faux malade,
  Soigné par l'accouchée, en son lit fait couvade:
  On ferme avec grand soin portes, volets, rideaux;
  Immobile, on l'oblige à rester sur le dos,
  Pour étouffer son lait, qui gêné dans sa course,
  Pourrait en l'étouffant remonter vers sa source.
  Un mari, dans sa couche, au médecin soumis,
  Reçoit, en cet état, parents, voisins, amis,
  Qui viennent l'exhorter à prendre patience
  Et font des voeux au ciel pour sa convalescence."

Professor Vinson, who is an authority on the subject, comes to the conclusion that it is not possible to ascribe to the Basques the custom of the couvade.

Mr. Tylor writes to me that he "did not quite begin the use of this good French word in the sense of the 'man-child-bed' as they call it in Germany. It occurs in Rochefort, Iles Antilles, and though Dr. Murray, of the English Dictionary, maintains that it is spurious, if so, it is better than any genuine word I know of."—H.C.] "In certain valleys of Biscay," says Francisque-Michel, "in which the popular usages carry us back to the infancy of society, the woman immediately after her delivery gets up and attends to the cares of the household, whilst the husband takes to bed with the tender fledgeling in his arms, and so receives the compliments of his neighbours."

The nearest people to the Zardandan of whom I find this custom elsewhere recorded, is one called Langszi,[2] a small tribe of aborigines in the department of Wei-ning, in Kweichau, but close to the border of Yun-nan: "Their manners and customs are very extraordinary. For example, when the wife has given birth to a child, the husband remains in the house and holds it in his arms for a whole month, not once going out of doors. The wife in the mean time does all the work in doors and out, and provides and serves up both food and drink for the husband, she only giving suck to the child." I am informed also that, among the Miris on the Upper Assam border, the husband on such occasions confines himself strictly to the house for forty days after the event.

The custom of the Couvade has especially and widely prevailed in South America, not only among the Carib races of Guiana, of the Spanish Main, and (where still surviving) of the West Indies, but among many tribes of Brazil and its borders from the Amazons to the Plate, and among the Abipones of Paraguay; it also exists or has existed among the aborigines of California, in West Africa, in Bouro, one of the Moluccas, and among a wandering tribe of the Telugu-speaking districts of Southern India. According to Diodorus it prevailed in ancient Corsica, according to Strabo among the Iberians of Northern Spain (where we have seen it has lingered to recent times), according to Apollonius Rhodius among the Tibareni of Pontus. Modified traces of a like practice, not carried to the same extent of oddity, are also found in a variety of countries besides those that have been named, as in Borneo, in Kamtchatka, and in Greenland. In nearly all cases some particular diet, or abstinence from certain kinds of food and drink, and from exertion, is prescribed to the father; in some, more positive and trying penances are inflicted.

Butler had no doubt our Traveller's story in his head when he made the widow in Hudibras allude in a ribald speech to the supposed fact that

    —"Chineses go to bed
  And lie in, in their ladies' stead."

The custom is humorously introduced, as Pauthier has noticed, in the Mediaeval Fabliau of Aucasin and Nicolete. Aucasin arriving at the castle of Torelore asks for the king and is told he is in child-bed. Where then is his wife? She is gone to the wars and has taken all the people with her. Aucasin, greatly astonished, enters the palace, and wanders through it till he comes to the chamber where the king lay:—

  "En le canbre entre Aucasins
  Li cortois et li gentis;
  Il est venus dusqu'au lit
  Alec ú li Rois se gist.
  Pardevant lui s'arestit
  Si parla, Oès que dist;
  Diva fau, que fais-tu ci?
  Dist le Rois, Je gis d'un fil,
  Quant mes mois sera complis,
  Et ge serai bien garis,
  Dont irai le messe oïr
  Si comme mes ancessor fist," etc.

Aucasin pulls all the clothes off him, and cudgels him soundly, making him promise that never a man shall lie in again in his country.

This strange custom, if it were unique, would look like a coarse practical joke, but appearing as it does among so many different races and in every quarter of the world, it must have its root somewhere deep in the psychology of the uncivilised man. I must refer to Mr. Tylor's interesting remarks on the rationale of the custom, for they do not bear abridgment. Professor Max Müller humorously suggests that "the treatment which a husband receives among ourselves at the time of his wife's confinement, not only from mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and other female relations, but from nurses, and from every consequential maid-servant in the house," is but a "survival," as Mr. Tylor would call it, of the couvade; or at least represents the same feeling which among those many uncivilised nations thus drove the husband to his bed, and sometimes (as among the Caribs) put him when there to systematic torture.

(Tylor Researches, 288-296; Michel, Le Pays Basque, p. 201; Sketches of the Meau-tsze, transl. by Bridgman in J. of North China Br. of R. As. Soc., p. 277; Hudibras, Pt. III., canto I. 707; Fabliaus et Contes par Barbazan, éd. Méon, I. 408-409; Indian Antiq. III. 151; Müller's Chips, II. 227 seqq.; many other references in TYLOR, and in a capital monograph by Dr. H.H. Ploss of Leipzig, received during revision of this sheet: 'Das Mannerkindbett.' What a notable example of the German power of compounding is that title!)

[This custom seems to be considered generally as a survival of the matriarchate in a society with a patriarchal régime. We may add to the list of authorities on this subject: E. Westermarck, Hist. of Human Marriage, 106, seqq.; G. A. Wilken, De Couvade bij de Volken v.d. Indischen Archipel, Bijdr. Ind. Inst., 5th ser., iv. p. 250. Dr. Ernest Martin, late physician of the French Legation at Peking, in an article on La Couvade en Chine (Revue Scientifique, 24th March, 1894), gave a drawing representing the couvade from a sketch by a native artist.

In the China Review (XI. pp. 401-402), "Lao Kwang-tung" notes these interesting facts: "The Chinese believe that certain actions performed by the husband during the pregnancy of his wife will affect the child. If a dish of food on the table is raised by putting another dish, or anything else below it, it is not considered proper for a husband, who is expecting the birth of a child, to partake of it, for fear the two dishes should cause the child to have two tongues. It is extraordinary that the caution thus exercised by the Chinese has not prevented many of them from being double-tongued. This result, it is supposed, however, will only happen if the food so raised is eaten in the house in which the future mother happens to be. It is thought that the pasting up of the red papers containing antithetical and felicitous sentences on them, as at New Year's time, by a man under similar circumstances, and this whether the future mother sees the action performed or not, will cause the child to have red marks on the face or any part of the body. The causes producing naevi materni have probably been the origin of such marks, rather than the idea entertained by the Chinese that the father, having performed an action by some occult mode, influences the child yet unborn. A case is said to have occurred in which ill effects were obviated, or rather obliterated, by the red papers being torn down, after the birth of the infant, and soaked in water, when as the red disappeared from the paper, so the child's face assumed a natural hue. Lord Avebury also speaks of la couvade as existing among the Chinese of West Yun-Nan. (Origin of Civilisation and Primitive Condition of Man, p. 18)."

Dr. J.A.H. Murray, editor of the New English Dictionary, wrote, in The Academy, of 29th October, 1892, a letter with the heading of Couvade, The Genesis of an Anthropological Term, which elicited an answer from Dr. E.B. Tylor (Academy, 5th November): "Wanting a general term for such customs," writes Dr. Tylor, "and finding statements in books that this male lying-in lasted on till modern times, in the south of France, and was there called couvade, that is brooding or hatching (couver), I adopted this word for the set of customs, and it has since become established in English." The discussion was carried on in The Academy, 12th and 19th November, 10th and 17th December; Mr. A.L. Mayhew wrote (12th November): "There is no doubt whatever that Dr. Tylor and Professor Max Müller (in a review of Dr. Tylor's book) share the glory of having given a new technical sense to an old provincial French word, and of seeing it accepted in France, and safely enshrined in the great Dictionary of Littré."

Now as to the origin of the word; we have seen above that Rochefort was the first to use the expression faire la couvade. This author, or at least the author (see Barbier, Ouvrages anonymes) of the Histoire naturelle … des Iles Antilles, which was published for the first time at Rotterdam, in 1658, 4to., writes: "C'est qu'au méme tems que la femme est delivrée le mary se met au lit, pour s'y plaindre et y faire l'acouchée: coutume, qui bien que Sauvage et ridicule, se trouve neantmoins à ce que l'on dit, parmy les paysans d'vne certaine Province de France. Et ils appellent cela faire la couvade. Mais ce qui est de fâcheus pour le pauvre Caraïbe, qui s'est mis au lit au lieu de l'acouchée, c'est qu'on luy fait faire diéte dix on douze jours de suite, ne luy donnant rien par jour qu'vn petit morceau de Cassave, et un peu d'eau dans la quelle on a aussi fait boüillir un peu de ce pain de racine…. Mais ils ne font ce grand jeusne qu'à la naissance de leur premier enfant …" (II. pp. 607-608).

Lafitau (Maeurs des Sauvages Ameriquains, I. pp. 49-50) says on the
authority of Rochefort: "Je la trouve chez les Ibériens ou les premiers
Peuples d'Espagne … elle est aujourd'hui dans quelques unes de nos
Provinces d'Espagne."

The word couvade, forgotten in the sense of lying-in bed, recalled by
Sacombe, has been renovated in a happy manner by Dr. Tylor.

As to the custom itself, there can be no doubt of its existence, in spite of some denials. Dr. Tylor, in the third edition of his valuable Early History of Mankind, published in 1878 (Murray), since the last edition of The Book of Ser Marco Polo, has added (pp. 291 seqq.) many more proofs to support what he had already said on the subject.

There may be some strong doubts as to the couvade in the south of France, and the authors who speak of it in Bèarn and the Basque Countries seem to have copied one another, but there is not the slightest doubt of its having been and of its being actually practised in South America. There is a very curious account of it in the Voyage dans le Nord du Brésil made by Father Yves d'Evreux in 1613 and 1614 (see pp. 88-89 of the reprint, Paris, 1864, and the note of the learned Ferdinand Denis, pp. 411-412). Compare with Durch Central-Brasilien … im Jahre 1884 von K.v. den Steinen. But the following extract from Among the Indians of Guiana…. By Everard im Thurn (1883), will settle, I think, the question:

"Turning from the story of the day to the story of the life, we may begin at the beginning, that is, at the birth of the children. And here, at once, we meet with, perhaps, the most curious point in the habits of the Indians; the couvade or male child-bed. This custom, which is common to the uncivilized people of many parts of the world, is probably among the strangest ever invented by the human brain. Even before the child is born, the father abstains for a time from certain kinds of animal food. The woman works as usual up to a few hours before the birth of the child. At last she retires alone, or accompanied only by some other women, to the forest, where she ties up her hammock; and then the child is born. Then in a few hours—often less than a day—the woman, who, like all women living in a very unartificial condition, suffers but little, gets up and resumes her ordinary work. According to Schomburgk, the mother, at any rate among the Macusis, remains in her hammock for some time, and the father hangs his hammock, and lies in it, by her side; but in all cases where the matter came under my notice, the mother left her hammock almost at once. In any case, no sooner is the child born than the father takes to his hammock and, abstaining from every sort of work, from meat and all other food, except weak gruel of cassava meal, from smoking, from washing himself, and, above all, from touching weapons of any sort, is nursed and cared for by all the women of the place. One other regulation, mentioned by Schomburgk, is certainly quaint; the interesting father may not scratch himself with his finger-nails, but he may use for this purpose a splinter, specially provided, from the mid-rib of a cokerite palm. This continues for many days, and sometimes even weeks. Couvade is such a wide-spread institution, that I had often read and wondered at it; but it was not until I saw it practised around me, and found that I was often suddenly deprived of the services of my best hunters or boat-hands, by the necessity which they felt, and which nothing could persuade them to disregard, of observing couvade, that I realized its full strangeness. No satisfactory explanation of its origin seems attainable. It appears based on a belief in the existence of a mysterious connection between the child and its father-far closer than that which exists between the child and its mother,—and of such a nature that if the father infringes any of the rules of the couvade, for a time after the birth of the child, the latter suffers. For instance, if he eats the flesh of a water-haas (Capybara), a large rodent with very protruding teeth, the teeth of the child will grow as those of the animal; or if he eats the flesh of the spotted-skinned labba, the child's skin will become spotted. Apparently there is also some idea that for the father to eat strong food, to wash, to smoke, or to handle weapons, would have the same result as if the new-born babe ate such food, washed, smoked, or played with edged tools" (pp. 217-219.)

I have to thank Dr. Edward B. Tylor for the valuable notes he kindly sent me.—H.C.]

NOTE 5.—"The abundance of gold in Yun-nan is proverbial in China, so that if a man lives very extravagantly they ask if his father is governor of Yun-nan." (Martini, p. 140.)

Polo has told us that in Eastern Yun-nan the exchange was 8 of silver for one of gold (ch. xlviii.); in the Western division of the province 6 of silver for one of gold (ch. xlix.); and now, still nearer the borders of Ava, only 5 of silver for one of gold. Such discrepancies within 15 days' journey would be inconceivable, but that in both the latter instances at least he appears to speak of the rates at which the gold was purchased from secluded, ignorant, and uncivilised tribes. It is difficult to reconcile with other facts the reason which he assigns for the high value put on silver at Vochan, viz., that there was no silver-mine within five months' journey. In later days, at least, Martini speaks of many silver-mines in Yun-nan, and the "Great Silver Mine" (Bau-dwen gyi of the Burmese) or group of mines, which affords a chief supply to Burma in modern times, is not far from the territory of our Traveller's Zardandan. Garnier's map shows several argentiferous sites in the Valley of the Lan-t'sang.

In another work[3] I have remarked at some length on the relative values of gold and silver about this time. In Western Europe these seem to have been as 12 to 1, and I have shown grounds for believing that in India, and generally over civilised Asia, the ratio was 10 to 1. In Pauthier's extracts from the Yuen-shi or Annals of the Mongol Dynasty, there is an incidental but precise confirmation of this, of which I was not then aware. This states (p. 321) that on the issue of the paper currency of 1287 the official instructions to the local treasuries were to issue notes of the nominal value of two strings, i.e. 2000 wen or cash, for every ounce of flowered silver, and 20,000 cash for every ounce of gold. Ten to 1 must have continued to be the relation in China down to about the end of the 17th century if we may believe Lecomte; but when Milburne states the same value in the beginning of the 19th he must have fallen into some great error. In 1781 Sonnerat tells us that formerly gold had been exported from China with a profit of 25 per cent., but at that time a profit of 18 to 20 per cent, was made by importing it. At present[4] the relative values are about the same as in Europe, viz. 1 to 15-1/2 or 1 to 16; but in Canton, in 1844, they were 1 to 17; and Timkowski states that at Peking in 1821 the finest gold was valued at 18 to 1. And as regards the precise territory of which this chapter speaks I find in Lieutenant Bower's Commercial Report on Sladen's Mission that the price of pure gold at Momein in 1868 was 13 times its weight in silver (p. 122); whilst M. Garnier mentions that the exchange at Ta-li in 1869 was 12 to 1 (I. 522).

Does not Shakspeare indicate at least a memory of 10 to 1 as the traditional relation of gold to silver when he makes the Prince of Morocco, balancing over Portia's caskets, argue:

  "Or shall I think in silver she's immured,
  Being ten times undervalued to tried gold?
  O sinful thought."

In Japan, at the time trade was opened, we know from Sir R. Alcock's work the extraordinary fact that the proportionate value set upon gold and silver currency by authority was as 3 to 1.

(Cathay, etc., p. ccl. and p. 442; Lecomte, II. 91; Milburne's Oriental Commerce, II. 510; Sonnerat, II. 17; Hedde, Etude, Pratique, etc., p. 14; Williams, Chinese Commercial Guide, p. 129; Timkowski, II. 202; Alcock, I. 281; II. 411, etc.)

NOTE 6.—Mr. Lay cites from a Chinese authority a notice of a tribe of
"Western Miautsze," who "in the middle of autumn sacrifice to the Great
Ancestor or Founder of their Race." (The Chinese as they are, p. 321.)

NOTE 7.—Dr. Anderson confirms the depressing and unhealthy character of the summer climate at Momein, though standing between 5000 and 6000 feet above the sea (p. 41).

NOTE 8.—"Whereas before," says Jack Cade to Lord Say, "our forefathers had no books but score and tally, thou hast caused printing to be used." The use of such tallies for the record of contracts among the aboriginal tribes of Kweichau is mentioned by Chinese authorities, and the French missionaries of Bonga speak of the same as in use among the simple tribes in that vicinity. But, as Marsden notes, the use of such rude records was to be found in his day in higher places and much nearer home. They continued to be employed as records of receipts in the British Exchequer till 1834, "and it is worthy of recollection that the fire by which the Houses of Parliament were destroyed was supposed to have originated in the over-heating of the flues in which the discarded tallies were being burnt." I remember often, when a child, to have seen the tallies of the colliers in Scotland, and possibly among that class they may survive. They appear to be still used by bakers in various parts of England and France, in the Canterbury hop-gardens, and locally in some other trades. (Martini, 135; Bridgman, 259, 262; Eng. Cyclop. sub v. Tally; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. X. 485.)

[According to Father Crabouillet (Missions Cath. 1873, p. 105), the
Lolos use tallies for their contracts; Dr. Harmand mentions (Tour du
, 1877, No. VII.) the same fact among the Khas of Central Laos; and
M. Pierre Lefèvre-Pontalis Populations du nord de l'Indo-Chine, 1892,
p. 22, from the J. As. says he saw these tallies among the Khas of

"In Illustration of this custom I have to relate what follows. In the year 1863 the Tsaubwa (or Prince) of a Shan Province adjoining Yun-nan was in rebellion against the Burmese Government. He wished to enter into communication with the British Government. He sent a messenger to a British Officer with a letter tendering his allegiance, and accompanying this letter was a piece of bamboo about five inches long. This had been split down the middle, so that the two pieces fitted closely together, forming a tube in the original shape of the bamboo. A notch at one end included the edges of both pieces, showing that they were a pair. The messenger said that if the reply were favourable one of the pieces was to be returned and the other kept. I need hardly say the messenger received no written reply, and both pieces of bamboo were retained." (MS. Note by Sir Arthur Phayre.)

NOTE 9.—Compare Mr. Hodgson's account of the sub-Himalayan Bodos and Dhimals: "All diseases are ascribed to supernatural agency. The sick man is supposed to be possessed by one of the deities, who racks him with pain as a punishment for impiety or neglect of the god in question. Hence not the mediciner, but the exorcist, is summoned to the sick man's aid." (J.A.S.B. XVIII. 728.)

NOTE 10.—Mr. Hodgson again: "Libations of fermented liquor always accompany sacrifice—because, to confess the whole truth, sacrifice and feast are commutable words, and feasts need to be crowned with copious potations." (Ibid.)

NOTE 11.—And again: "The god in question is asked what sacrifice he requires? a buffalo, a hog, a fowl, or a duck, to spare the sufferer; … anxious as I am fully to illustrate the topic, I will not try the patience of my readers by describing all that vast variety of black victims and white, of red victims and blue, which each particular deity is alleged to prefer." (Ibid. and p. 732.)

NOTE 12.—The same system of devil-dancing is prevalent among the tribes on the Lu-kiang, as described by the R.C. Missionaries. The conjurors are there called Mumos. (Ann. de la Prop. de la Foi, XXXVI. 323, and XXXVII. 312-313.)

"Marco's account of the exorcism of evil spirits in cases of obstinate illness exactly resembles what is done in similar cases by the Burmese, except that I never saw animals sacrificed on such occasions." (Sir A. Phayre.)

Mouhot says of the wild people of Cambodia called Stiens: "When any one is ill they say that the Evil Spirit torments him; and to deliver him they set up about the patient a dreadful din which does not cease night or day, until some one among the bystanders falls down as if in a syncope, crying out, 'I have him,—he is in me,—he is strangling me!' Then they question the person who has thus become possessed. They ask him what remedies will save the patient; what remedies does the Evil Spirit require that he may give up his prey? Sometimes it is an ox or a pig; but too often it is a human victim." (J.R.G.S. XXXII. 147.)

See also the account of the Samoyede Tadibeï or Devil-dancer in
Klaproth's Magasin Asiatique (II. 83).

In fact these strange rites of Shamanism, devil-dancing, or what not, are found with wonderful identity of character among the non-Caucasian races over parts of the earth most remote from one another, not only among the vast variety of Indo-Chinese Tribes, but among the Tamulian tribes of India, the Veddahs of Ceylon, the races of Siberia, and the red nations of North and South America. Hinduism has assimilated these "prior superstitions of the sons of Tur" as Mr. Hodgson calls them, in the form of Tantrika mysteries, whilst, in the wild performance of the Dancing Dervishes at Constantinople, we see perhaps again the infection of Turanian blood breaking out from the very heart of Mussulman orthodoxy.

Dr. Caldwell has given a striking account of the practice of devil-dancing among the Shanars of Tinnevelly, which forms a perfect parallel in modern language to our Traveller's description of a scene of which he also had manifestly been an eye-witness: "When the preparations are completed and the devil-dance is about to commence, the music is at first comparatively slow; the dancer seems impassive and sullen, and he either stands still or moves about in gloomy silence. Gradually, as the music becomes quicker and louder, his excitement begins to rise. Sometimes, to help him to work himself up into a frenzy, he uses medicated draughts, cuts and lacerates himself till the blood flows, lashes himself with a huge whip, presses a burning torch to his breast, drinks the blood which flows from his own wounds, or drains the blood of the sacrifice, putting the throat of the decapitated goat to his mouth. Then, as if he had acquired new life, he begins to brandish his staff of bells, and to dance with a quick but wild unsteady step. Suddenly the afflatus descends; there is no mistaking that glare, or those frantic leaps. He snorts, he stares, he gyrates. The demon has now taken bodily possession of him, and though he retains the power of utterance and motion, both are under the demon's control, and his separate consciousness is in abeyance. The bystanders signalise the event by raising a long shout, attended with a peculiar vibratory noise, caused by the motion of the hand and tongue, or the tongue alone. The devil-dancer is now worshipped as a present deity, and every bystander consults him respecting his diseases, his wants, the welfare of his absent relatives, the offerings to be made for the accomplishment of his wishes, and in short everything for which superhuman knowledge is supposed to be available." (Hodgson, J.R.As.Soc. XVIII. 397; The Tinnevelly Shanars, by the Rev. R. Caldwell, B.A., Madras, 1849, pp. 19-20.)

[1] "Singpho," says Colonel Hannay, "signifies in the Kakhyen language 'a man,' and all of this race who have settled in Hookong or Assam are thus designated; the reason of their change of name I could not ascertain, but so much importance seems to be attached to it, that the Singphos, in talking of their eastern and southern neighbours, call them Kakhyens or Kakoos, and consider it an insult to be called so themselves." (Sketch of the Singphos, or the Kakhyens of Burma, Calcutta, 1847, pp. 3-4.) If, however, the Kakhyens, or Kachyens (as Major Sladen calls them), are represented by the Go-tchang of Pauthier's Chinese extracts, these seem to be distinguished from the Kin-Chi, though associated with them. (See pp. 397, 411.)

[2] [Mr. E.H. Parker (China Review, XIV. p. 359) says that Colonel Yule's Langszi are evidently the Szilang, one of the six Chao, but turned upside down.—H.C.]

[3] Cathay, etc., pp. ccl. seqq. and p. 441.

[4] Written in 1870.



But I was forgetting to tell you of a famous battle that was fought in the kingdom of Vochan in the Province of Zardandan, and that ought not to be omitted from our Book. So we will relate all the particulars.

You see, in the year of Christ, 1272,[NOTE 1] the Great Kaan sent a large force into the kingdoms of Carajan and Vochan, to protect them from the ravages of ill-disposed people; and this was before he had sent any of his sons to rule the country, as he did afterwards when he made Sentemur king there, the son of a son of his who was deceased.

Now there was a certain king, called the king of Mien and of Bangala, who was a very puissant prince, with much territory and treasure and people; and he was not as yet subject to the Great Kaan, though it was not long after that the latter conquered him and took from him both the kingdoms that I have named.[NOTE 2] And it came to pass that when this king of Mien and Bangala heard that the host of the Great Kaan was at Vochan, he said to himself that it behoved him to go against them with so great a force as should insure his cutting off the whole of them, insomuch that the Great Kaan would be very sorry ever to send an army again thither [to his frontier].

So this king prepared a great force and munitions of war; and he had, let me tell you, 2000 great elephants, on each of which was set a tower of timber, well framed and strong, and carrying from twelve to sixteen well-armed fighting men.[NOTE 3] And besides these, he had of horsemen and of footmen good 60,000 men. In short, he equipped a fine force, as well befitted such a puissant prince. It was indeed a host capable of doing great things.

And what shall I tell you? When the king had completed these great preparations to fight the Tartars, he tarried not, but straightway marched against them. And after advancing without meeting with anything worth mentioning, they arrived within three days of the Great Kaan's host, which was then at Vochan in the territory of Zardandan, of which I have already spoken. So there the king pitched his camp, and halted to refresh his army.

NOTE 1.—This date is no doubt corrupt. (See note 3, ch. lii.)

NOTE 2.—MIEN is the name by which the kingdom of Burma or Ava was and is known to the Chinese. M. Garnier informs me that Mien-Kwé or Mien-tisong is the name always given in Yun-nan to that kingdom, whilst the Shans at Kiang Hung call the Burmese Man (pronounced like the English word).

The title given to the sovereign in question of King of BENGAL, as well as of Mien, is very remarkable. We shall see reason hereafter to conceive that Polo did more or less confound Bengal with Pegu, which was subject to the Burmese monarchy up to the time of the Mongol invasion. But apart from any such misapprehension, there is not only evidence of rather close relations between Burma and Gangetic India in the ages immediately preceding that of our author, but also some ground for believing that he may be right in his representation, and that the King of Burma may have at this time arrogated the title of "King of Bengal," which is attributed to him in the text.

Anaurahta, one of the most powerful kings in Burmese history (1017-1059), extended his conquests to the frontiers of India, and is stated to have set up images within that country. He also married an Indian princess, the daughter of the King of Wethali (i. e, Vaiçali in Tirhút).

There is also in the Burmese Chronicle a somewhat confused story regarding a succeeding king, Kyan-tsittha (A.D. 1064), who desired to marry his daughter to the son of the King of Patteik-Kará, a part of Bengal.[1] The marriage was objected to by the Burmese nobles, but the princess was already with child by the Bengal prince; and their son eventually succeeded to the Burmese throne under the name of Alaungtsi-thu. When king, he travelled all over his dominions, and visited the images which Anaurahta had set up in India. He also maintained intercourse with the King of Patteik Kara and married his daughter. Alaungtsi-thu is stated to have lived to the age of 101 years, and to have reigned 75. Even then his death was hastened by his son Narathu, who smothered him in the temple called Shwé-Ku ("Golden Cave"), at Pagán, and also put to death his Bengali step-mother. The father of the latter sent eight brave men, disguised as Brahmans, to avenge his daughter's death. Having got access to the royal presence through their sacred character, they slew King Narathu and then themselves. Hence King Narathu is known in the Burmese history as the Kalá-Kya Meng or "King slain by the Hindus." He was building the great Temple at Pagán called Dhammayangyi, at the time of his death, which occurred about the year 1171. The great-grandson of this king was Narathihapade (presumably Narasinha-pati), the king reigning at the time of the Mongol invasion.

All these circumstances show tolerably close relations between Burma and Bengal, and also that the dynasty then reigning in Burma was descended from a Bengal stock. Sir Arthur Phayre, after noting these points, remarks: "From all these circumstances, and from the conquests attributed to Anaurahta, it is very probable that, after the conquest of Bengal by the Mahomedans in the 13th century, the kings of Burma would assume the title of Kings of Bengal. This is nowhere expressly stated in the Burmese history, but the course of events renders it very probable. We know that the claim to Bengal was asserted by the kings of Burma in long after years. In the Journal of the Marquis of Hastings, under the date of 6th September, 1818, is the following passage: 'The king of Burma favoured us early this year with the obliging requisition that we should cede to him Moorshedabad and the provinces to the east of it, which he deigned to say were all natural dependencies of his throne.' And at the time of the disputes on the frontier of Arakan, in 1823-1824, which led to the war of the two following years, the Governor of Arakan made a similar demand. We may therefore reasonably conclude that at the close of the 13th century of the Christian era the kings of Pagán called themselves kings of Burma and of Bengala." (MS. Note by Sir Arthur Phayre; see also his paper in J.A.S.B. vol. XXXVII. part I.)

NOTE 3.—It is very difficult to know what to make of the repeated assertions of old writers as to the numbers of men carried by war-elephants, or, if we could admit those numbers, to conceive how the animal could have carried the enormous structure necessary to give them space to use their weapons. The Third Book of Maccabees is the most astounding in this way, alleging that a single elephant carried 32 stout men, besides the Indian Mahaut. Bochart indeed supposes the number here to be a clerical error for 12, but this would even be extravagant. Friar Jordanus is, no doubt, building on the Maccabees rather than on his own Oriental experience when he says that the elephant "carrieth easily more than 30 men." Philostratus, in his Life of Apollonius, speaks of 10 to 15; Ibn Batuta of about 20; and a great elephant sent by Timur to the Sultan of Egypt is said to have carried 20 drummers. Christopher Borri says that in Cochin China the elephant did ordinarily carry 13 or 14 persons, 6 on each side in two tiers of 3 each, and 2 behind. On the other hand, among the ancients, Strabo and Aelian speak of three soldiers only in addition to the driver, and Livy, describing the Battle of Magnesia, of four. These last are reasonable statements.

(Bochart, Hierozoicon, ed. 3rd, p. 266; Jord., p. 26; Philost. trad. par A. Chassaing, liv. II. c. ii.; Ibn Bat. II. 223; N. and E. XIV. 510; Cochin China, etc., London, 1633, ed. 3; Armandi, Hist. Militaire des Eléphants, 259 seqq. 442.)

[1] Sir A. Phayre thinks this may have been Vikrampúr, for some time the capital of Eastern Bengal before the Mahomedan conquest. Vikrampúr was some miles east of Dacca, and the dynasty in question was that called Vaidya. (See Lassen, III. 749.) Patteik-Kará is apparently an attempt to represent some Hindi name such as Patthargarh, "The Stone-Fort."



And when the Captain of the Tartar host had certain news that the king aforesaid was coming against him with so great a force, he waxed uneasy, seeing that he had with him but 12,000 horsemen. Natheless he was a most valiant and able soldier, of great experience in arms and an excellent Captain; and his name was NESCRADIN.[NOTE 1] His troops too were very good, and he gave them very particular orders and cautions how to act, and took every measure for his own defence and that of his army. And why should I make a long story of it? The whole force of the Tartars, consisting of 12,000 well-mounted horsemen, advanced to receive the enemy in the Plain of Vochan, and there they waited to give them battle. And this they did through the good judgment of the excellent Captain who led them; for hard by that plain was a great wood, thick with trees. And so there in the plain the Tartars awaited their foe. Let us then leave discoursing of them a while; we shall come back to them presently; but meantime let us speak of the enemy.

After the King of Mien had halted long enough to refresh his troops, he resumed his march, and came to the Plain of Vochan, where the Tartars were already in order of battle. And when the king's army had arrived in the plain, and was within a mile of the enemy, he caused all the castles that were on the elephants to be ordered for battle, and the fighting-men to take up their posts on them, and he arrayed his horse and his foot with all skill, like a wise king as he was. And when he had completed all his arrangements he began to advance to engage the enemy. The Tartars, seeing the foe advance, showed no dismay, but came on likewise with good order and discipline to meet them. And when they were near and nought remained but to begin the fight, the horses of the Tartars took such fright at the sight of the elephants that they could not be got to face the foe, but always swerved and turned back; whilst all the time the king and his forces, and all his elephants, continued to advance upon them.[NOTE 2]

And when the Tartars perceived how the case stood, they were in great wrath, and wist not what to say or do; for well enough they saw that unless they could get their horses to advance, all would be lost. But their Captain acted like a wise leader who had considered everything beforehand. He immediately gave orders that every man should dismount and tie his horse to the trees of the forest that stood hard by, and that then they should take to their bows, a weapon that they know how to handle better than any troops in the world. They did as he bade them, and plied their bows stoutly, shooting so many shafts at the advancing elephants that in a short space they had wounded or slain the greater part of them as well as of the men they carried. The enemy also shot at the Tartars, but the Tartars had the better weapons, and were the better archers to boot.

And what shall I tell you? Understand that when the elephants felt the smart of those arrows that pelted them like rain, they turned tail and fled, and nothing on earth would have induced them to turn and face the Tartars. So off they sped with such a noise and uproar that you would have trowed the world was coming to an end! And then too they plunged into the wood and rushed this way and that, dashing their castles against the trees, bursting their harness and smashing and destroying everything that was on them.

So when the Tartars saw that the elephants had turned tail and could not be brought to face the fight again, they got to horse at once and charged the enemy. And then the battle began to rage furiously with sword and mace. Right fiercely did the two hosts rush together, and deadly were the blows exchanged. The king's troops were far more in number than the Tartars, but they were not of such metal, nor so inured to war; otherwise the Tartars who were so few in number could never have stood against them. Then might you see swashing blows dealt and taken from sword and mace; then might you see knights and horses and men-at-arms go down; then might you see arms and hands and legs and heads hewn off: and besides the dead that fell, many a wounded man, that never rose again, for the sore press there was. The din and uproar were so great from this side and from that, that God might have thundered and no man would have heard it! Great was the medley, and dire and parlous was the fight that was fought on both sides; but the Tartars had the best of it.[NOTE 3]

In an ill hour indeed, for the king and his people, was that battle begun, so many of them were slain therein. And when they had continued fighting till midday the king's troops could stand against the Tartars no longer; but felt that they were defeated, and turned and fled. And when the Tartars saw them routed they gave chase, and hacked and slew so mercilessly that it was a piteous sight to see. But after pursuing a while they gave up, and returned to the wood to catch the elephants that had run away, and to manage this they had to cut down great trees to bar their passage. Even then they would not have been able to take them without the help of the king's own men who had been taken, and who knew better how to deal with the beasts than the Tartars did. The elephant is an animal that hath more wit than any other; but in this way at last they were caught, more than 200 of them. And it was from this time forth that the Great Kaan began to keep numbers of elephants.

So thus it was that the king aforesaid was defeated by the sagacity and superior skill of the Tartars as you have heard.

NOTE 1.—Nescradin for Nesradin, as we had Bascra for Basra.

This NÁSRUDDIN was apparently an officer of whom Rashiduddin speaks, and whom he calls governor (or perhaps commander) in Karájáng. He describes him as having succeeded in that command to his father the Sayad Ajil of Bokhara, one of the best of Kúblái's chief Ministers. Nasr-uddin retained his position in Yun-nan till his death, which Rashid, writing about 1300, says occurred five or six years before. His son Bayan, who also bore the grandfather's title of Sayad Ajil, was Minister of Finance under Kúblái's successor; and another son, Hálá, is also mentioned as one of the governors of the province of Fu-chau. (See Cathay, pp. 265, 268, and D'Ohsson, II. 507-508.)

Nasr-uddin (Nasulating) is also frequently mentioned as employed on this frontier by the Chinese authorities whom Pauthier cites.

[Na-su-la-ding [Nasr-uddin] was the eldest of the five sons of the Mohammedan Sai-dien-ch'i shan-sze-ding, Sayad Ajil, a native of Bokhara, who died in Yun-nan, where he had been governor when Kúblái, in the reign of Mangu, entered the country. Nasr-uddin "has a separate biography in ch. cxxv of the Yuen-shi. He was governor of the province of Yun-nan, and distinguished himself in the war against the southern tribes of Kiao-chi (Cochin-China) and Mien (Burma). He died in 1292, the father of twelve sons, the names of five of which are given in the biography, viz. Bo-yen-ch'a-rh [Bayan], who held a high office, Omar, Djafar, Hussein, and Saadi." (Bretschneider, Med. Res. I. 270-271). Mr. E.H. Parker writes in the China Review, February-March, 1901, pp. 196-197, that the Mongol history states that amongst the reforms of Nasr-uddin's father in Yun-nan, was the introduction of coffins for the dead, instead of burning them.—H.C.]

[NOTE 2.—In his battle near Sardis, Cyrus "collected together all the camels that had come in the train of his army to carry the provisions and the baggage, and taking off their loads, he mounted riders upon them accoutred as horsemen. These he commanded to advance in front of his other troops against the Lydian horse…. The reason why Cyrus opposed his camels to the enemy's horse was, because the horse has a natural dread of the camel, and cannot abide either the sight or the smell of that animal…. The two armies then joined battle, and immediately the Lydian warhorses, seeing and smelling the camels, turned round and galloped off." (Herodotus, Bk. I. i. p. 220, Rawlinson's ed.)—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—We are indebted to Pauthier for very interesting illustrations of this narrative from the Chinese Annalists (p. 410 seqq.). These latter fix the date to the year 1277, and it is probable that the 1272 or MCCLXXII of the Texts was a clerical error for MCCLXXVII. The Annalists describe the people of Mien as irritated at calls upon them to submit to the Mongols (whose power they probably did not appreciate, as their descendants did not appreciate the British power in 1824), and as crossing the frontier of Yung-ch'ang to establish fortified posts. The force of Mien, they say, amounted to 50,000 men, with 800 elephants and 10,000 horses, whilst the Mongol Chief had but seven hundred men. "When the elephants felt the arrows (of the Mongols) they turned tail and fled with the platforms on their backs into a place that was set thickly with sharp bamboo-stakes, and these their riders laid hold of to prick them with." This threw the Burmese army into confusion; they fled, and were pursued with great slaughter.

The Chinese author does not mention Nasr-uddin in connection with this battle. He names as the chief of the Mongol force Huthukh (Kutuka?), commandant of Ta-li fu. Nasr-uddin is mentioned as advancing, a few months later (about December, 1277), with nearly 4000 men to Kiangtheu (which appears to have been on the Irawadi, somewhere near Bhamó, and is perhaps the Kaungtaung of the Burmese), but effecting little (p. 415).

[I have published in the Rev. Ext. Orient, II. 72-88, from the British Museum Add. MS. 16913, the translation by Mgr. Visdelou, of Chinese documents relating to the Kingdom of Mien and the wars of Kúblái; the battle won by Hu-tu, commandant of Ta-li, was fought during the 3rd month of the 14th year (1277). (Cf. Pauthier, supra.)—H.C.]

These affairs of the battle in the Yung-ch'ang territory, and the advance of Nasr-uddin to the Irawadi are, as Polo clearly implies in the beginning of ch. li., quite distinct from the invasion and conquest of Mien some years later, of which he speaks in ch. liv. They are not mentioned in the Burmese Annals at all.

Sir Arthur Phayre is inclined to reject altogether the story of the battle near Yung-ch'ang in consequence of this absence from the Burmese Chronicle, and of its inconsistency with the purely defensive character which that record assigns to the action of the Burmese Government in regard to China at this time. With the strongest respect for my friend's opinion I feel it impossible to assent to this. We have not only the concurrent testimony of Marco and of the Chinese Official Annals of the Mongol Dynasty to the facts of the Burmese provocation and of the engagement within the Yung-ch'ang or Vochan territory, but we have in the Chinese narrative a consistent chronology and tolerably full detail of the relations between the two countries.

[Baber writes (p. 173): "Biot has it that Yung-ch'ang was first established by the Mings, long subsequent to the time of Marco's visit, but the name was well known much earlier. The mention by Marco of the Plain of Vochan (Unciam would be a perfect reading), as if it were a plain par excellence, is strikingly consistent with the position of the city on the verge of the largest plain west of Yünnan-fu. Hereabouts was fought the great battle between the 'valiant soldier and the excellent captain Nescradin,' with his 12,000 well-mounted Tartars, against the King of Burmah and a large army, whose strength lay in 2000 elephants, on each of which was set a tower of timber full of well-armed fighting men.

"There is no reason to suppose this 'dire and parlous fight' to be mythical, apart from the consistency of annals adduced by Colonel Yule; the local details of the narrative, particularly the prominent importance of the wood as an element of the Tartar success, are convincing. It seems to have been the first occasion on which the Mongols engaged a large body of elephants, and this, no doubt, made the victory memorable.

"Marco informs us that 'from this time forth the Great Khan began to keep numbers of elephants.' It is obvious that cavalry could not manoeuvre in a morass such as fronts the city. Let us refer to the account of the battle.

"'The Great Khan's host was at Yung-ch'ang, from which they advanced into the plain, and there waited to give battle. This they did through the good judgment of the captain, for hard by that plain was a great wood thick with trees.' The general's purpose was more probably to occupy the dry undulating slopes near the south end of the valley. An advance of about five miles would have brought him to that position. The statement that 'the King's army arrived in the plain, and was within a mile of the enemy,' would then accord perfectly with the conditions of the ground. The Burmese would have found themselves at about that distance from their foes as soon as they were fairly in the plain.

"The trees 'hard by the plain,' to which the Tartars tied their horses, and in which the elephants were entangled, were in all probability in the corner below the 'rolling hills' marked in the chart. Very few trees remain, but in any case the grove would long ago have been cut down by the Chinese, as everywhere on inhabited plains. A short distance up the hill, however, groves of exceptionally fine trees are passed. The army, as it seems to us, must have entered the plain from its southernmost point. The route by which we departed on our way to Burmah would be very embarrassing, though perhaps not utterly impossible, for so great a number of elephants."—H.C.]

Between 1277 and the end of the century the Chinese Annals record three campaigns or expeditions against MIEN; viz. (1) that which Marco has related in this chapter; (2) that which he relates in ch. liv.; and (3) one undertaken in 1300 at the request of the son of the legitimate Burmese King, who had been put to death by an usurper. The Burmese Annals mention only the two latest, but, concerning both the date and the main circumstances of these two, Chinese and Burmese Annals are in almost entire agreement. Surely then it can scarcely be doubted that the Chinese authority is amply trustworthy for the first campaign also, respecting which the Burmese book is silent; even were the former not corroborated by the independent authority of Marco.

Indeed the mutual correspondence of these Annals, especially as to chronology, is very remarkable, and is an argument for greater respect to the chronological value of the Burmese Chronicle and other Indo-Chinese records of like character than we should otherwise be apt to entertain. Compare the story of the expedition of 1300 as told after the Chinese Annals by De Mailla, and after the Burmese Chronicle by Burney and Phayre. (See De Mailla, IX. 476 seqq.; and J.A.S.B. vol. vi. pp. 121-122, and vol. xxxvii. Pt. I. pp. 102 and 110.)



After leaving the Province of which I have been speaking you come to a great Descent. In fact you ride for two days and a half continually down hill. On all this descent there is nothing worthy of mention except only that there is a large place there where occasionally a great market is held; for all the people of the country round come thither on fixed days, three times a week, and hold a market there. They exchange gold for silver; for they have gold in abundance; and they give one weight of fine gold for five weights of fine silver; so this induces merchants to come from various quarters bringing silver which they exchange for gold with these people; and in this way the merchants make great gain. As regards those people of the country who dispose of gold so cheaply, you must understand that nobody is acquainted with their places of abode, for they dwell in inaccessible positions, in sites so wild and strong that no one can get at them to meddle with them. Nor will they allow anybody to accompany them so as to gain a knowledge of their abodes.[NOTE 1]

After you have ridden those two days and a half down hill, you find yourself in a province towards the south which is pretty near to India, and this province is called AMIEN. You travel therein for fifteen days through a very unfrequented country, and through great woods abounding in elephants and unicorns and numbers of other wild beasts. There are no dwellings and no people, so we need say no more of this wild country, for in sooth there is nothing to tell. But I have a story to relate which you shall now hear[NOTE 2].

NOTE 1.—In all the Shan towns visited by Major Sladen on this frontier he found markets held every fifth day. This custom, he says, is borrowed from China, and is general throughout Western Yun-nan. There seem to be traces of this five-day week over Indo-China, and it is found in Java; as it is in Mexico. The Kakhyens attend in great crowds. They do not now bring gold for sale to Momein, though it is found to some extent in their hills, more especially in the direction of Mogaung, whence it is exported towards Assam.

Major Sladen saw a small quantity of nuggets in the possession of a
Kakhyen who had brought them from a hill two days north of Bhamó. (MS.
Notes by Major Sladen

NOTE 2.—I confess that the indications in this and the beginning of the following chapter are, to me, full of difficulty. According to the general style of Polo's itinerary, the 2-1/2 days should be reckoned from Yung-ch'ang; the distance therefore to the capital city of Mien would be 17-1/2 days. The real capital of Mien or Burma at this time was, however, Pagán, in lat. 21° 13', and that city could hardly have been reached by a land traveller in any such time. We shall see that something may be said in behalf of the supposition that the point reached was Tagaung or Old Pagán, on the upper Irawadi, in lat. 23° 28'; and there was perhaps some confusion in the traveller's mind between this and the great city. The descent might then be from Yung-ch'ang to the valley of the Shwéli, and that valley then followed to the Irawadi. Taking as a scale Polo's 5 marches from Tali to Yung-ch'ang, I find we should by this route make just about 17 marches from Yung-ch'ang to Tagaung. We have no detailed knowledge of the route, but there is a road that way, and by no other does the plain country approach so near to Yung-ch'ang. (See Anderson's Report on Expedition to Western Yunnan, p. 160.)

Dr. Anderson's remarks on the present question do not in my opinion remove the difficulties. He supposes the long descent to be the descent into the plains of the Irawadi near Bhamo; and from that point the land journey to Great Pagán could, he conceives, "easily be accomplished in 15 days." I greatly doubt the latter assumption. By the scale I have just referred to it would take at least 20 days. And to calculate the 2-1/2 days with which the journey commences from an indefinite point seems scarcely admissible. Polo is giving us a continuous itinerary; it would be ruptured if he left an indefinite distance between his last station and his "long descent." And if the same principle were applied to the 5 days between Carajan (or Tali) and Vochan (Yung-ch'ang), the result would be nonsense.

[Illustration: Temple of Gaudapalén (in the city of Mien), erected circa
A.D. 1160.]

[Mien-tien, to which is devoted ch. vii. of the Chinese work Sze-i-kwan-k'ao, appears to have included much more than Burma proper. (See the passage supra, pp. 70-71, quoted by Devéria from the Yuen-shi lei pien regarding Kien-tou and Kin-Chi.)—H.C.]

The hypothesis that I have suggested would suit better with the traveller's representation of the country traversed as wild and uninhabited. In a journey to Great Pagán the most populous and fertile part of Burma would be passed through.

[Baber writes (p. 180): "The generally received theory that 'the great descent which leads towards the Kingdom of Mien,' on which 'you ride for two days and a half continually downhill,' was the route from Yung-ch'ang to T'eng-Yueh, must be at once abandoned. Marco was, no doubt, speaking from hearsay, or rather, from a recollection of hearsay, as it does not appear that he possessed any notes; but there is good reason for supposing that he had personally visited Yung-ch'ang. Weary of the interminable mountain-paths, and encumbered with much baggage—for a magnate of Marco's court influence could never, in the East, have travelled without a considerable state—impeded, in addition, by a certain quantity of merchandise, for he was 'discreet and prudent in every way,' he would have listened longingly to the report of an easy ride of two and a half days downhill, and would never have forgotten it. That such a route exists I am well satisfied. Where is it? The stream which drains the Yung-ch'ang plain communicates with the Salwen by a river called the 'Nan-tien,' not to be confounded with the 'Nan-ting,' about 45 miles south of that city, a fair journey of two and a half days. Knowing, as we now do, that it must descend some 3500 feet in that distance, does it not seem reasonable to suppose that the valley of this rivulet is the route alluded to? The great battle on the Yung-ch'ang plain, moreover, was fought only a few years before Marco's visit, and seeing that the king and his host of elephants in all probability entered the valley from the south, travellers to Burma would naturally have quitted it by the same route.

"But again, our mediaeval Herodotus reports that 'the country is wild and hard of access, full of great woods and mountains which 'tis impossible to pass, the air is so impure and unwholesome; and any foreigners attempting it would die for certain.'

"This is exactly and literally the description given us of the district in which we crossed the Salwen.

"To insist on the theory of the descent by this route is to make the traveller ride downhill, 'over mountains it is impossible to pass.'

"The fifteen days' subsequent journey described by Marco need not present much difficulty. The distance from the junction of the Nan-tien with the Salwen to the capital of Burma (Pagán) would be something over 300 miles; fifteen days seems a fair estimate for the distance, seeing that a great part of the journey would doubtless be by boat."

Regarding this last paragraph, Captain Gill says (II. 345): "An objection may be raised that no such route as this is known to exist; but it must be remembered that the Burmese capital changes its position every now and then, and it is obvious that the trade routes would be directed to the capital, and would change with it. Altogether, with the knowledge at present available, this certainly seems the most satisfactory interpretation of the old traveller's story."—H.C.]



And when you have travelled those 15 days through such a difficult country as I have described, in which travellers have to carry provisions for the road because there are no inhabitants, then you arrive at the capital city of this Province of Mien, and it also is called AMIEN, and is a very great and noble city.[NOTE 1] The people are Idolaters and have a peculiar language, and are subject to the Great Kaan.

And in this city there is a thing so rich and rare that I must tell you about it. You see there was in former days a rich and puissant king in this city, and when he was about to die he commanded that by his tomb they should erect two towers [one at either end], one of gold and the other of silver, in such fashion as I shall tell you. The towers are built of fine stone; and then one of them has been covered with gold a good finger in thickness, so that the tower looks as if it were all of solid gold; and the other is covered with silver in like manner so that it seems to be all of solid silver. Each tower is a good ten paces in height and of breadth in proportion. The upper part of these towers is round, and girt all about with bells, the top of the gold tower with gilded bells and the silver tower with silvered bells, insomuch that whenever the wind blows among these bells they tinkle. [The tomb likewise was plated partly with gold, and partly with silver.] The King caused these towers to be erected to commemorate his magnificence and for the good of his soul; and really they do form one of the finest sights in the world; so exquisitely finished are they, so splendid and costly. And when they are lighted up by the sun they shine most brilliantly and are visible from a vast distance.

Now you must know that the Great Kaan conquered the country in this fashion.


You see at the Court of the Great Kaan there was a great number of gleemen and jugglers; and he said to them one day that he wanted them to go and conquer the aforesaid province of Mien, and that he would give them a good Captain to lead them and other good aid. And they replied that they would be delighted. So the Emperor caused them to be fitted out with all that an army requires, and gave them a Captain and a body of men-at-arms to help them; and so they set out, and marched until they came to the country and province of Mien. And they did conquer the whole of it! And when they found in the city the two towers of gold and silver of which I have been telling you, they were greatly astonished, and sent word thereof to the Great Kaan, asking what he would have them do with the two towers, seeing what a great quantity of wealth there was upon them. And the Great Kaan, being well aware that the King had caused these towers to be made for the good of his soul, and to preserve his memory after his death, said that he would not have them injured, but would have them left precisely as they were. And that was no wonder either, for you must know that no Tartar in the world will ever, if he can help it, lay hand on anything appertaining to the dead.[NOTE 2]

They have in this province numbers of elephants and wild oxen;[NOTE 3] also beautiful stags and deer and roe, and other kinds of large game in plenty.

Now having told you about the province of Mien, I will tell you about another province which is called Bangala, as you shall hear presently.

NOTE 1.—The name of the city appears as Amien both in Pauthier's text here, and in the G. Text in the preceding chapter. In the Bern MS. it is Aamien. Perhaps some form like Amien was that used by the Mongols and Persians. I fancy it may be traced in the Arman or Uman of Rashiduddin, probably corrupt readings (in Elliot I. 72).

NOTE 2.—M. Pauthier's extracts are here again very valuable. We gather from them that the first Mongol communication with the King of Mien or Burma took place in 1271, when the Commandant of Tali-fu sent a deputation to that sovereign to demand an acknowledgment of the supremacy of the Emperor. This was followed by various negotiations and acts of offence on both sides, which led to the campaign of 1277, already spoken of. For a few years no further events appear to be recorded, but in 1282, in consequence of a report from Násruddin of the ease with which Mien could be conquered, an invasion was ordered under a Prince of the Blood called Siangtaur [called Siam-ghu-talh, by Visdelou.—H.C.]. This was probably Singtur, great-grandson of one of the brothers of Chinghiz, who a few years later took part in the insurrection of Nayan. (See D'Ohsson, II. 461.) The army started from Yun-nan fu, then called Chung-khing (and the Yachi of Polo) in the autumn of 1283. We are told that the army made use of boats to descend the River Oho to the fortified city of Kiangtheu (see supra, note 3, ch. lii.), which they took and sacked; and as the King still refused to submit, they then advanced to the "primitive capital," Taikung, which they captured. Here Pauthier's details stop. (Pp. 405, 416; see also D'Ohsson, II. 444 [and Visdelou].)

[Illustration: The Palace of the King of Mien in modern times]

It is curious to compare these narratives with that from the Burmese Royal Annals given by Colonel Burney, and again by Sir A. Phayre in the J.A.S.B. (IV. 401, and XXXVII. Pt. I. p. 101.) Those annals afford no mention of transactions with the Mongols previous to 1281. In that year they relate that a mission of ten nobles and 1000 horse came from the Emperor to demand gold and silver vessels as symbols of homage on the ground of an old precedent. The envoys conducted themselves disrespectfully (the tradition was that they refused to take off their boots, an old grievance at the Burmese court), and the King put them all to death. The Emperor of course was very wroth, and sent an army of 6,000,000 of horse and 20,000,000 of foot(!) to invade Burma. The Burmese generals had their point d'appui at the city of Nga tshaung gyan, apparently somewhere near the mouth of the Bhamó River, and after a protracted resistance on that river, they were obliged to retire. They took up a new point of defence on the Hill of Malé, which they had fortified. Here a decisive battle was fought, and the Burmese were entirely routed. The King, on hearing of their retreat from Bhamó, at first took measures for fortifying his capital Pagán, and destroyed 6000 temples of various sizes to furnish material. But after all he lost heart, and embarking with his treasure and establishments on the Irawadi, fled down that river to Bassein in the Delta. The Chinese continued the pursuit long past Pagán till they reached the place now called Tarokmau or "Chinese Point," 30 miles below Prome. Here they were forced by want of provisions to return. The Burmese Annals place the abandonment of Pagán by the King in 1284, a most satisfactory synchronism with the Chinese record. It is a notable point in Burmese history, for it marked the fall of an ancient Dynasty which was speedily followed by its extinction, and the abandonment of the capital. The King is known in the Burmese Annals as Tarok-pyé-Meng, "The King who fled from the Tarok."[1]

In Dr. Mason's abstract of the Pegu Chronicle we find the notable statement with reference to this period that "the Emperor of China, having subjugated Pagán, his troops with the Burmese entered Pegu and invested several cities."

We see that the Chinese Annals, as quoted, mention only the "capitale primitive" Taikung, which I have little doubt Pauthier is right in identifying with Tagaung, traditionally the most ancient royal city of Burma, and the remains of which stand side by side with those of Old Pagán, a later but still very ancient capital, on the east bank of the Irawadi, in about lat. 23° 28'. The Chinese extracts give no idea of the temporary completeness of the conquest, nor do they mention Great Pagán (lat. 21° 13'), a city whose vast remains I have endeavoured partially to describe.[2] Sir Arthur Phayre, from a careful perusal of the Burmese Chronicle, assures me that there can be no doubt that this was at the time in question the Burmese Royal Residence, and the city alluded to in the Burmese narrative. M. Pauthier is mistaken in supposing that Tarok-Mau, the turning-point of the Chinese Invasion, lay north of this city: he has not unnaturally confounded it with Tarok-Myo or "China-Town," a district not far below Ava. Moreover Malé, the position of the decisive victory of the Chinese, is itself much to the south of Tagaung (about 22° 55').

Both Pagán and Malé are mentioned in a remarkable Chinese notice extracted in Amyot's Mémoires (XIV. 292): "Mien-Tien … had five chief towns, of which the first was Kiangtheu (supra, pp. 105, 111), the second Taikung, the third Malai, the fourth Ngan-cheng-kwé (? perhaps the Nga-tshaung gyan of the Burmese Annals), the fifth PUKAN MIEN-WANG (Pagán of the Mien King?). The Yuen carried war into this country, particularly during the reign of Shun-Ti, the last Mongol Emperor [1333-1368], who, after subjugating it, erected at Pukan Mien-Wang a tribunal styled Hwen-wei-she-sé, the authority of which extended over Pang-ya and all its dependencies." This is evidently founded on actual documents, for Panya or Pengya, otherwise styled Vijáyapúra, was the capital of Burma during part of the 14th century, between the decay of Pagán and the building of Ava. But none of the translated extracts from the Burmese Chronicle afford corroboration. From Sangermano's abstract, however, we learn that the King of Panya from 1323 to 1343 was the son of a daughter of the Emperor of China (p. 42). I may also refer to Pemberton's abstract of the Chronicle of the Shan State of Pong in the Upper Irawadi valley, which relates that about the middle of the 14th century the Chinese invaded Pong and took Maung Maorong, the capital.[3] The Shan King and his son fled to the King of Burma for protection, but the Burmese surrendered them and they were carried to China. (Report on E. Frontier of Bengal, p. 112.)

I see no sufficient evidence as to whether Marco himself visited the "city of Mien." I think it is quite clear that his account of the conquest is from the merest hearsay, not to say gossip. Of the absurd story of the jugglers we find no suggestion in the Chinese extracts. We learn from them that Násruddin had represented the conquest of Mien as a very easy task, and Kúblái may have in jest asked his gleemen if they would undertake it. The haziness of Polo's account of the conquest contrasts strongly with his graphic description of the rout of the elephants at Vochan. Of the latter he heard the particulars on the spot (I conceive) shortly after the event; whilst the conquest took place some years later than his mission to that frontier. His description of the gold and silver pagodas with their canopies of tinkling bells (the Burmese Hti), certainly looks like a sketch from the life;[4] and it is quite possible that some negotiations between 1277 and 1281 may have given him the opportunity of visiting Burma, though he may not have reached the capital. Indeed he would in that case surely have given a distincter account of so important a city, the aspect of which in its glory we have attempted to realize in the plate of "the city of Mien."

It is worthy of note that the unfortunate King then reigning in Pagán, had in 1274 finished a magnificent Pagoda called Mengala-dzedi (Mangala Chaitya) respecting which ominous prophecies had been diffused. In this pagoda were deposited, besides holy relics, golden images of the Disciples of Buddha, golden models of the holy places, golden images of the King's fifty-one predecessors in Pagán, and of the King and his Family. It is easy to suspect a connection of this with Marco's story. "It is possible that the King's ashes may have been intended to be buried near those relics, though such is not now the custom; and Marco appears to have confounded the custom of depositing relics of Buddha and ancient holy men in pagodas with the supposed custom of the burial of the dead. Still, even now, monuments are occasionally erected over the dead in Burma, although the practice is considered a vain folly. I have known a miniature pagoda with a hti complete, erected over the ashes of a favourite disciple by a P'hungyi or Buddhist monk." The latter practice is common in China. (Notes by Sir A. Phayre; J.A.S.B. IV. u.s., also V. 164, VI. 251; Mason's Burmah, 2nd ed. p. 26; Milne's Life in China, pp. 288, 450.)

NOTE 3.—The Gaur—Bos Gaurus, or B. (Bibos) Cavifrons of Hodgson—exists in certain forests of the Burmese territory; and, in the south at least, a wild ox nearer the domestic species, Bos Sondaicus. Mr. Gouger, in his book The Prisoner in Burma, describes the rare spectacle which he once enjoyed in the Tenasserim forests of a herd of wild cows at graze. He speaks of them as small and elegant, without hump, and of a light reddish dun colour (pp. 326-327).

[1] This is the name now applied in Burma to the Chinese. Sir A. Phayre supposes it to be Túrk, in which case its use probably began at this time.

[2] In the Narrative of Phayre's Mission, ch. ii.

[3] Dr. Anderson has here hastily assumed a discrepancy of sixty years between the chronology of the Shan document and that of the Chinese Annals. But this is merely because he arbitrarily identifies the Chinese invasion here recorded with that of Kúblái in the preceding century. (See Anderson's Western Yunnan, p. 8.) We see in the quotation above from Amyot that the Chinese Annals also contain an obscure indication of the later invasion.

[4] Compare the old Chinese Pilgrims Hwui Seng and Seng Yun, in their admiration of a vast pagoda erected by the great King Kanishka in Gandhára (at Peshawur in fact): "At sunrise the gilded disks of the vane are lit up with dazzling glory, whilst the gentle breeze of morning causes the precious bells to tinkle with a pleasing sound." (Beal, p. 204.)



Bangala is a Province towards the south, which up to the year 1290, when the aforesaid Messer Marco Polo was still at the Court of the Great Kaan, had not yet been conquered; but his armies had gone thither to make the conquest. You must know that this province has a peculiar language, and that the people are wretched Idolaters. They are tolerably close to India. There are numbers of eunuchs there, insomuch that all the Barons who keep them get them from that Province.[NOTE 1]

The people have oxen as tall as elephants, but not so big.[NOTE 2] They live on flesh and milk and rice. They grow cotton, in which they drive a great trade, and also spices such as spikenard, galingale, ginger, sugar, and many other sorts. And the people of India also come thither in search of the eunuchs that I mentioned, and of slaves, male and female, of which there are great numbers, taken from other provinces with which those of the country are at war; and these eunuchs and slaves are sold to the Indian and other merchants who carry them thence for sale about the world.

There is nothing more to mention about this country, so we will quit it, and I will tell you of another province called Caugigu.

NOTE 1.—I do not think it probable that Marco even touched at any port of Bengal on that mission to the Indian Seas of which we hear in the prologue; but he certainly never reached it from the Yun-nan side, and he had, as we shall presently see (infra, ch. lix. note 6), a wrong notion as to its position. Indeed, if he had visited it at all, he would have been aware that it was essentially a part of India, whilst in fact he evidently regarded it as an Indo-Chinese region, like Zardandan, Mien, and Caugigu.

There is no notice, I believe, in any history, Indian or Chinese, of an attempt by Kúblái to conquer Bengal. The only such attempt by the Mongols that we hear of is one mentioned by Firishta, as made by way of Cathay and Tibet, during the reign of Aláuddin Masa'úd, king of Delhi, in 1244, and stated to have been defeated by the local officers in Bengal. But Mr. Edward Thomas tells me he has most distinctly ascertained that this statement, which has misled every historian "from Badauni and Firishtah to Briggs and Elphinstone, is founded purely on an erroneous reading" (and see a note in Mr. Thomas's Pathan Kings of Dehli, p. 121).

The date 1290 in the text would fix the period of Polo's final departure from Peking, if the dates were not so generally corrupt.

The subject of the last part of this paragraph, recurred to in the next, has been misunderstood and corrupted in Pauthier's text, and partially in Ramusio's. These make the escuillés or escoilliez (vide Ducange in v. Escodatus, and Raynouard, Lex. Rom. VI. 11) into scholars and what not. But on comparison of the passages in those two editions with the Geographic Text one cannot doubt the correct reading. As to the fact that Bengal had an evil notoriety for this traffic, especially the province of Silhet, see the Ayeen Akbery, II. 9-11, _Barbosa's _chapter on Bengal, and De Barros (Ramusio I. 316 and 391).

On the cheapness of slaves in Bengal, see Ibn Batuta, IV. 211-212. He says people from Persia used to call Bengal Dúzakh pur-i ni'amat, "a hell crammed with good things," an appellation perhaps provoked by the official style often applied to it of Jannat-ul-balád or "Paradise of countries."

Professor H. Blochmann, who is, in admirable essays, redeeming the long neglect of the history and archaeology of Bengal Proper by our own countrymen, says that one of the earliest passages, in which the name Bangálah occurs, is in a poem of Hafiz, sent from Shiraz to Sultan Gbiássuddín, who reigned in Bengal from 1367 to 1373. Its occurrence in our text, however, shows that the name was in use among the Mahomedan foreigners (from whom Polo derived his nomenclature) nearly a century earlier. And in fact it occurs (though corruptly in some MSS.) in the history of Rashiduddin, our author's contemporary. (See Elliot, I. p. 72.)

NOTE 2.—"Big as elephants" is only a façon de parler, but Marsden quotes modern exaggerations as to the height of the Arna or wild buffalo, more specific and extravagant. The unimpeachable authority of Mr. Hodgson tells us that the Arna in the Nepal Tarai sometimes does reach a height of 6 ft. 6 in. at the shoulder, with a length of 10 ft. 6 in. (excluding tail), and horns of 6 ft. 6 in. (J.A.S.B., XVI. 710.) Marco, however, seems to be speaking of domestic cattle. Some of the breeds of Upper India are very tall and noble animals, far surpassing in height any European oxen known to me; but in modern times these are rarely seen in Bengal, where the cattle are poor and stunted. The Aín Akbari, however, speaks of Sharífábád in Bengal, which appears to have corresponded to modern Bardwán, as producing very beautiful white oxen, of great size, and capable of carrying a load of 15 mans, which at Prinsep's estimate of Akbar's man would be about 600 lbs.



Caugigu is a province towards the east, which has a king.[NOTE 1] The people are Idolaters, and have a language of their own. They have made their submission to the Great Kaan, and send him tribute every year. And let me tell you their king is so given to luxury that he hath at the least 300 wives; for whenever he hears of any beautiful woman in the land, he takes and marries her.

They find in this country a good deal of gold, and they also have great abundance of spices. But they are such a long way from the sea that the products are of little value, and thus their price is low. They have elephants in great numbers, and other cattle of sundry kinds, and plenty of game. They live on flesh and milk and rice, and have wine made of rice and good spices. The whole of the people, or nearly so, have their skin marked with the needle in patterns representing lions, dragons, birds, and what not, done in such a way that it can never be obliterated. This work they cause to be wrought over face and neck and chest, arms and hands, and belly, and, in short, the whole body; and they look on it as a token of elegance, so that those who have the largest amount of this embroidery are regarded with the greatest admiration.

NOTE 1.—No province mentioned by Marco has given rise to wider and wilder conjectures than this, Cangigu as it has been generally printed.

M. Pauthier, who sees in it Laos, or rather one of the states of Laos called in the Chinese histories Papesifu, seems to have formed the most probable opinion hitherto propounded by any editor of Polo. I have no doubt that Laos or some part of that region is meant to be described, and that Pauthier is right regarding the general direction of the course here taken as being through the regions east of Burma, in a north-easterly direction up into Kwei-chau. But we shall be able to review the geography of this tract better, as a whole, at a point more advanced. I shall then speak of the name CAUGIGU, and why I prefer this reading of it.

I do not believe, for reasons which will also appear further on, that Polo is now following a route which he had traced in person, unless it be in the latter part of it.

M. Pauthier, from certain indications in a Chinese work, fixes on Chiangmai or Kiang-mai, the Zimmé of the Burmese (in about latitude 18° 48' and long. 99° 30') as the capital of the Papesifu and of the Caugigu of our text. It can scarcely however be the latter, unless we throw over entirely all the intervals stated in Polo's itinerary; and M. Garnier informs me that he has evidence that the capital of the Papesifu at this time was Muang-Yong, a little to the south-east of Kiang-Tung, where he has seen its ruins.[1] That the people called by the Chinese Papesifu were of the great race of Laotians, Sháns, or Thai, is very certain, from the vocabulary of their language published by Klaproth.

[Illustration: Script Pa-pe.]

Pauthier's Chinese authority gives a puerile interpretation of Papesifu as signifying "the kingdom of the 800 wives," and says it was called so because the Prince maintained that establishment. This may be an indication that there were popular stories about the numerous wives of the King of Laos, such as Polo had heard; but the interpretation is doubtless rubbish, like most of the so-called etymologies of proper names applied by the Chinese to foreign regions. At best these seem to be merely a kind of Memoria Technica, and often probably bear no more relation to the name in its real meaning than Swift's All-eggs-under-the-grate bears to Alexander Magnus. How such "etymologies" arise is obvious from the nature of the Chinese system of writing. If we also had to express proper names by combining monosyllabic words already existing in English, we should in fact be obliged to write the name of the Macedonian hero much as Swift travestied it. As an example we may give the Chinese name of Java, Kwawa, which signifies "gourd-sound," and was given to that Island, we are told, because the voice of its inhabitants is very like that of a dry gourd rolled upon the ground! It is usually stated that Tungking was called Kiao-chi meaning "crossed-toes," because the people often exhibit that malformation (which is a fact), but we may be certain that the syllables were originally a phonetic representation of an indigenous name which has no such meaning. As another example, less ridiculous but not more true, Chin-tan, representing the Indian name of China, Chínasthána, is explained to mean "Eastern-Dawn" (Aurore Orientale). (Amyot, XIV. 101; Klapr. Mém. III. 268.)

The states of Laos are shut out from the sea in the manner indicated; they abound in domestic elephants to an extraordinary extent; and the people do tattoo themselves in various degrees, most of all (as M. Garnier tells me) about Kiang Hung. The style of tattooing which the text describes is quite that of the Burmese, in speaking of whom Polo has omitted to mention the custom: "Every male Burman is tattooed in his boyhood from the middle to his knees; in fact he has a pair of breeches tattooed on him. The pattern is a fanciful medley of animals and arabesques, but it is scarcely distinguishable, save as a general tint, except on a fair skin." (Mission to Ava, 151.)

[1] Indeed documents in Klaproth's Asia Polyglotta show that the Papé state was also called Muang-Yong (pp. 364-365). I observe that the river running to the east of Pu-eul and Ssemao (Puer and Esmok) is called Papien-Kiang, the name of which is perhaps a memorial of the Papé.

[The old Laocian kingdom of Xieng-mai [Kiang-mai], called Muong-Yong by the Pa-y, was inhabited by the Pa-pe Si-fu or Bát-bá T'úc-phu; the inhabitants called themselves Thai-niai or great Thai. (Devéria, Frontière, p. 100. Ch. ix. of the Chinese work Sze-i-kwan-kao is devoted to Xieng-mai Pa-pe), which includes the subdivisions of Laos, Xieng Hung [Kiang Hung] and Muong-Ken. (Devéria, Mél. de Harlez, p. 97.)—H.C.]



Anin is a Province towards the east, the people of which are subject to the Great Kaan, and are Idolaters. They live by cattle and tillage, and have a peculiar language. The women wear on the legs and arms bracelets of gold and silver of great value, and the men wear such as are even yet more costly. They have plenty of horses which they sell in great numbers to the Indians, making a great profit thereby. And they have also vast herds of buffaloes and oxen, having excellent pastures for these. They have likewise all the necessaries of life in abundance.[NOTE 1]

Now you must know that between Anin and Caugigu, which we have left behind us, there is a distance of [25] days' journey;[NOTE 2] and from Caugigu to Bangala, the third province in our rear, is 30 days' journey. We shall now leave Anin and proceed to another province which is some 8 days' journey further, always going eastward.

NOTE 1.—Ramusio, the printed text of the Soc. de Géographie, and most editions have Amu; Pauthier reads Aniu and considers the name to represent Tungking or Annam, called also Nan-yué. The latter word he supposes to be converted into Anyué, Aniu. And accordingly he carries the traveller to the capital of Tungking.

Leaving the name for the present, according to the scheme of the route as I shall try to explain it below, I should seek for Amu or Aniu or Anin in the extreme south-east of Yun-nan. A part of this region was for the first time traversed by the officers of the French expedition up the Mekong, who in 1867 visited Sheu-ping, Lin-ngan and the upper valley of the River of Tungking on their way to Yun-nan-fu. To my question whether the description in the text, of Aniu or Anin and its fine pastures, applied to the tract just indicated, Lieut. Garnier replied on the whole favourably (see further on), proceeding: "The population about Sheu-ping is excessively mixt. On market days at that town one sees a gathering of wild people in great number and variety, and whose costumes are highly picturesque, as well as often very rich. There are the Pa-is, who are also found again higher up, the Ho-nhi, the Khato, the Lopé, the Shentseu. These tribes appear to be allied in part to the Laotians, in part to the Kakhyens…. The wilder races about Sheuping are remarkably handsome, and you see there types of women exhibiting an extraordinary regularity of feature, and at the same time a complexion surprisingly white. The Chinese look quite an inferior race beside them…. I may add that all these tribes, especially the Ho-nhi and the Pa-ï, wear large amounts of silver ornament; great collars of silver round the neck, as well as on the legs and arms."

Though the whiteness of the people of Anin is not noticed by Polo, the distinctive manner in which he speaks in the next chapter of the dark complexion of the tribes described therein seems to indicate the probable omission of the opposite trait here.

The prominent position assigned in M. Garnier's remarks to a race called Ho-nhi first suggested to me that the reading of the text might be ANIN instead of Aniu. And as a matter of fact this seems to my eyes to be clearly the reading of the Paris Livre des Merveilles (Pauthier's MS. B), while the Paris No. 5631 (Pauthier's A) has Auin, and what may be either Aniu or Anin. Anyn is also found in the Latin Brandenburg MS. of Pipino's version collated by Andrew Müller, to which, however, we cannot ascribe much weight. But the two words are so nearly identical in mediaeval writing, and so little likely to be discriminated by scribes who had nothing to guide their discrimination, that one need not hesitate to adopt that which is supported by argument. In reference to the suggested identity of Anin and Ho-nhi, M. Garnier writes again: "All that Polo has said regarding the country of Aniu, though not containing anything very characteristic, may apply perfectly to the different indigenous tribes, at present subject to the Chinese, which are dispersed over the country from Talan to Sheuping and Lin-ngan. These tribes bearing the names (given above) relate that they in other days formed an independent state, to which they give the name of Muang Shung. Where this Muang was situated there is no knowing. These tribes have langage par euls, as Marco Polo says, and silver ornaments are worn by them to this day in extraordinary profusion; more, however, by the women than the men. They have plenty of horses, buffaloes and oxen, and of sheep as well. It was the first locality in which the latter were seen. The plateau of Lin-ngan affords pasture-grounds which are exceptionally good for that part of the world.

[Illustration: Ho-nhi and other Tribes in the Department of Lin-ngan in S.
Yun-nan (supposed to be the Anin country of Marco Polo). (From Garnier's

"Beyond Lin-ngan we find the Ho-nhi, properly so called, no longer. But ought one to lay much stress on mere names which have undergone so many changes, and of which so many have been borne in succession by all those places and peoples?.. I will content myself with reminding you that the town of Homi-cheu near Lin-ngan in the days of the Yuen bore the name of Ngo-ning."

Notwithstanding M. Garnier's caution, I am strongly inclined to believe that ANIN represents either HO-NHI or NGO-NING, if indeed these names be not identical. For on reference to Biot I see that the first syllable of the modern name of the town which M. Garnier writes Ho_mi_, is expressed by the same character as the first syllable of NGO_ning_.

[The Wo-nhi are also called Ngo-ni, Kan-ni, Ho-ni, Lou-mi, No-pi, Ko-ni and Wa-heh; they descend from the southern barbarians called Ho-nhi. At the time of the kingdom of Nan-Chao, the Ho-nhi, called In-yuen, tribes were a dependence of the Kiang (Xieng) of Wei-yuen (Prefecture of P'u-erh). They are now to be found in the Yunnanese prefectures of Lin-ngan, King-tung, Chen-yuen, Yuen-kiang and Yun-nan. (See Devéria, p. 135.)—H.C.]

We give one of M. Garnier's woodcuts representing some of the races in this vicinity. Their dress, as he notices, has, in some cases, a curious resemblance to costumes of Switzerland, or of Brittany, popular at fancy balls.[1] Coloured figures of some of these races will be found in the Atlas to Garnier's work; see especially Plate 35.

NOTE 2.—All the French MSS. and other texts except Ramusio's read 15. We adopt Ramusio's reading, 25, for reasons which will appear below.

[1] There is a little uncertainty in the adjustment of names and figures of some of these tribes, between the illustrations and the incidental notices in Lieutenant Garnier's work. But all the figures in the present cut certainly belong to the tract to which we point as Anin; and the two middle figures answer best to what is said of the Ho-nhi.



Coloman is a province towards the east, the people of which are Idolaters and have a peculiar language, and are subject to the Great Kaan. They are a [tall and] very handsome people, though in complexion brown rather than white, and are good soldiers.[NOTE 1] They have a good many towns, and a vast number of villages, among great mountains, and in strong positions.[NOTE 2]

When any of them die, the bodies are burnt, and then they take the bones and put them in little chests.

These are carried high up the mountains, and placed in great caverns, where they are hung up in such wise that neither man nor beast can come at them.

A good deal of gold is found in the country, and for petty traffic they use porcelain shells such as I have told you of before. All these provinces that I have been speaking of, to wit Bangala and Caugigu and Anin, employ for currency porcelain shells and gold. There are merchants in this country who are very rich and dispose of large quantities of goods. The people live on flesh and rice and milk, and brew their wine from rice and excellent spices.

NOTE 1.—The only MSS. that afford the reading Coloman or Choloman instead of Toloman or Tholoman, are the Bern MS., which has Coloman in the initial word of the chapter, Paris MS. 5649 (Pauthier's C) which has Coloman in the Table of Chapters, but not in the text, the Bodleian, and the Brandenburg MS. quoted in the last note. These variations in themselves have little weight. But the confusion between c and t in mediaeval MSS., when dealing with strange names, is so constant that I have ventured to make the correction, in strong conviction that it is the right reading. M. Pauthier indeed, after speaking of tribes called Lo on the south-west of China, adds, "on les nommait To-lo-man ('les nombreux Barbares Lo')." Were this latter statement founded on actual evidence we might retain that form which is the usual reading. But I apprehend from the manner in which M. Pauthier produces it, without corroborative quotation, that he is rather hazarding a conjecture than speaking with authority. Be that as it may, it is impossible that Polo's Toloman or Coloman should have been in the south of Kwangsi, where Pauthier locates it.

On the other hand, we find tribes of both Kolo and Kihlau Barbarians (i.e. Mán, whence KOLO-MÁN or Kihlau-mán) very numerous on the frontier of Kweichau. (See Bridgman's transl. of Tract on Meautsze, pp. 265, 269, 270, 272, 273, 274, 275, 278, 279, 280.) Among these the Kolo, described as No. 38 in that Tract, appear to me from various particulars to be the most probable representatives of the Coloman of Polo, notwithstanding the sentence with which the description opens: "Kolo originally called Luluh; the modern designation Kolo is incorrect."[1] They are at present found in the prefecture of Tating (one of the departments of Kweichau towards the Yun-nan side). "They are tall, of a dark complexion, with sunken eyes, aquiline nose, wear long whiskers, and have the beard shaved off above the mouth. They pay great deference to demons, and on that account are sometimes called 'Dragons of Lo.' … At the present time these Kolo are divided into 48 clans, the elders of which are called Chieftains (lit. 'Head-and-Eyes') and are of nine grades…. The men bind their hair into a tuft with blue cloth and make it fast on the forehead like a horn. Their upper dresses are short, with large sleeves, and their lower garments are fine blue. When one of the chieftains dies, all that were under him are assembled together clad in armour and on horseback. Having dressed his corpse in silk and woollen robes, they burn it in the open country; then, invoking the departed spirit, they inter the ashes. Their attachment to him as their sole master is such that nothing can drive or tempt them from their allegiance. Their large bows, long spears, and sharp swords, are strong and well-wrought. They train excellent horses, love archery and hunting; and so expert are they in tactics that their soldiers rank as the best among all the uncivilized tribes. There is this proverb: 'The Lo Dragons of Shwui-si rap the head and strike the tail,' which is intended to indicate their celerity in defence." (Bridgman, pp. 272-273.)

The character Lo, here applied in the Chinese Tract to these people, is the same as that in the name of the Kwangsi Lo of M. Pauthier.

I append a cut (opposite page) from the drawing representing these Kolo-man in the original work from which Bridgman translated, and which is in the possession of Dr. Lockhart.

[I believe we must read To-lo-man. Man, barbarian, T'u-lao or
Shan-tzu (mountaineers) who live in the Yunnanese prefectures of
Lin-ngan, Cheng-kiang, etc. T'u-la-Man or T'u-la barbarians of the Mongol
Annals. (Yuen-shi lei-pien, quoted by Devéria, p. 115.)—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Magaillans, speaking of the semi-independent tribes of Kwei-chau and Kwang-si, says: "Their towns are usually so girt by high mountains and scarped rocks that it seems as if nature had taken a pleasure in fortifying them" (p. 43). (See cut at p. 131.)

[1] On the other hand, M. Garnier writes: "I do not know any name at all like Kolo, except Lolo, the generic name given by the Chinese to the wild tribes of Yun-nan." Does not this look as if Kolo were really the old name, Luluh or Lolo the later?



Cuiju is a province towards the East.[NOTE 1] After leaving Coloman you travel along a river for 12 days, meeting with a good number of towns and villages, but nothing worthy of particular mention. After you have travelled those twelve days along the river you come to a great and noble city which is called FUNGUL.

The people are Idolaters and subject to the Great Kaan, and live by trade and handicrafts. You must know they manufacture stuffs of the bark of certain trees which form very fine summer clothing.[NOTE 2] They are good soldiers, and have paper-money. For you must understand that henceforward we are in the countries where the Great Kaan's paper-money is current.

[Illustration: The Koloman after a Chinese drawing

  "Coloman est une provence vers levant
  El sunt mult belles jens et ne
  sunt mie bien blances mes biunz
  El sunt bien homes d'armes"]

The country swarms with lions to that degree that no man can venture to sleep outside his house at night.[NOTE 3] Moreover, when you travel on that river, and come to a halt at night, unless you keep a good way from the bank the lions will spring on the boat and snatch one of the crew and make off with him and devour him. And but for a certain help that the inhabitants enjoy, no one could venture to travel in that province, because of the multitude of those lions, and because of their strength and ferocity.

But you see they have in this province a large breed of dogs, so fierce and bold that two of them together will attack a lion.[NOTE 4] So every man who goes a journey takes with him a couple of those dogs, and when a lion appears they have at him with the greatest boldness, and the lion turns on them, but can't touch them for they are very deft at eschewing his blows. So they follow him, perpetually giving tongue, and watching their chance to give him a bite in the rump or in the thigh, or wherever they may. The lion makes no reprisal except now and then to turn fiercely on them, and then indeed were he to catch the dogs it would be all over with them, but they take good care that he shall not. So, to escape the dogs' din, the lion makes off, and gets into the wood, where mayhap he stands at bay against a tree to have his rear protected from their annoyance. And when the travellers see the lion in this plight they take to their bows, for they are capital archers, and shoot their arrows at him till he falls dead. And 'tis thus that travellers in those parts do deliver themselves from those lions.

They have a good deal of silk and other products which are carried up and down, by the river of which we spoke, into various quarters.[NOTE 5]

You travel along the river for twelve days more, finding a good many towns all along, and the people always Idolaters, and subject to the Great Kaan, with paper-money current, and living by trade and handicrafts. There are also plenty of fighting men. And after travelling those twelve days you arrive at the city of Sindafu of which we spoke in this book some time ago.[NOTE 6]

From Sindafu you set out again and travel some 70 days through the provinces and cities and towns which we have already visited, and all which have been already particularly spoken of in our Book. At the end of those 70 days you come to Juju where we were before.[NOTE 7]

From Juju you set out again and travel four days towards the south, finding many towns and villages. The people are great traders and craftsmen, are all Idolaters, and use the paper-money of the Great Kaan their Sovereign. At the end of those four days you come to the city of Cacanfu belonging to the province of Cathay, and of it I shall now speak.

NOTE 1.—In spite of difficulties which beset the subject (see Note 6 below) the view of Pauthier, suggested doubtingly by Marsden, that the Cuiju of the text is KWEI-CHAU, seems the most probable one. As the latter observes, the reappearance of paper money shows that we have got back into a province of China Proper. Such, Yun nan, recently conquered from a Shan prince, could not be considered. But, according to the best view we can form, the traveller could only have passed through the extreme west of the province of Kwei-chau.

The name of Fungul, if that be a true reading, is suggestive of Phungan, which under the Mongols was the head of a district called PHUNGAN-LU. It was founded by that dynasty, and was regarded as an important position for the command of the three provinces Kwei-chau, Kwang-si, and Yun-nan. (Biot, p. 168; Martini, p. 137.) But we shall explain presently the serious difficulties that beset the interpretation of the itinerary as it stands.

NOTE 2.—Several Chinese plants afford a fibre from the bark, and some of these are manufactured into what we call grass-cloths. The light smooth textures so called are termed by the Chinese Hiapu or "summer cloths." Kwei-chau produces such. But perhaps that specially intended is a species of hemp (Urtica Nivea?) of which M. Perny of the R.C. Missions says, in his notes on Kwei-chau: "It affords a texture which may be compared to batiste. This has the notable property of keeping so cool that many people cannot wear it even in the hot weather. Generally it is used only for summer clothing." (Dict. des Tissus, VII. 404; Chin. Repos. XVIII. 217 and 529; Ann. de la Prop. de la Foi, XXXI. 137.)

NOTE 3.—Tigers of course are meant. (See supra, vol. i. p. 399.) M. Perny speaks of tigers in the mountainous parts of Kwei-chau. (Op. cit. 139.)

NOTE 4.—These great dogs were noticed by Lieutenant (now General) Macleod, in his journey to Kiang Hung on the great River Mekong, as accompanying the caravans of Chinese traders on their way to the Siamese territory. (See Macleod's Journal, p. 66.)

NOTE 5.—The trade in wild silk (i.e. from the oak-leaf silkworm) is in truth an important branch of commerce in Kwei-chau. But the chief seat of this is at Tsuni-fu, and I do not think that Polo's route can be sought so far to the eastward. (Ann. de la Prop. XXXI. 136; Richthofen, Letter VII. 81.)

NOTE 6.—We have now got back to Sindafu, i.e. Ch'êng-tu fu in Sze-çh'wan, and are better able to review the geography of the track we have been following. I do not find it possible to solve all its difficulties.

The different provinces treated of in the chapters from lv. to lix. are strung by Marco upon an easterly, or, as we must interpret, north-easterly line of travel, real or hypothetical. Their names and intervals are as follows: (1) Bangala; whence 30 marches to (2) Caugigu; 25 marches to (3) Anin; 8 marches to (4) Toloman or Coloman; 12 days in Cuiju along a river to the city of (5) Fungul, Sinugul (or what not); 12 days further, on or along the same river, to (6) Ch'êng-tu fu. Total from Bangala to Ch'êng-tu fu 87 days.

I have said that the line of travel is real or hypothetical, for no doubt a large part of it was only founded on hearsay. We last left our traveller at Mien, or on the frontier of Yun-nan and Mien. Bangala is reached per sallum with no indication of interval, and its position is entirely misapprehended. Marco conceives of it, not as in India, but as being, like Mien, a province on the confines of India, as being under the same king as Mien, as lying to the south of that kingdom, and as being at the (south) western extremity of a great traverse line which runs (north) east into Kwei-chau and Sze-ch'wan. All these conditions point consistently to one locality; that, however, is not Bengal but Pegu. On the other hand, the circumstances of manners and products, so far as they go, do belong to Bengal. I conceive that Polo's information regarding these was derived from persons who had really visited Bengal by sea, but that he had confounded what he so heard of the Delta of the Ganges with what he heard on the Yun-nan frontier of the Delta of the Irawadi. It is just the same kind of error that is made about those great Eastern Rivers by Fra Mauro in his Map. And possibly the name of Pegu (in Burmese Bagóh) may have contributed to his error, as well as the probable fact that the Kings of Burma did at this time claim to be Kings of Bengal, whilst they actually were Kings of Pegu.

Caugigu.—We have seen reason to agree with M. Pauthier that the description of this region points to Laos, though we cannot with him assign it to Kiang-mai. Even if it be identical with the Papesifu of the Chinese, we have seen that the centre of that state may be placed at Muang Yong not far from the Mekong; whilst I believe that the limits of Caugigu must be drawn much nearer the Chinese and Tungking territory, so as to embrace Kiang Hung, and probably the Papien River. (See note at p. 117.)

As regards the name, it is possible that it may represent some specific name of the Upper Laos territory. But I am inclined to believe that we are dealing with a case of erroneous geographical perspective like that of Bangala; and that whilst the circumstances belong to Upper Laos, the name, read as I read it, Caugigu (or Cavgigu), is no other than the Kafchikúe of Rashiduddin, the name applied by him to Tungking, and representing the KIAOCHI-KWÊ of the Chinese. D'Anville's Atlas brings Kiaochi up to the Mekong in immediate contact with Che-li or Kiang Hung. I had come to the conclusion that Caugigu was probably the correct reading before I was aware that it is an actual reading of the Geog. Text more than once, of Pauthier's A more than once, of Pauthier's C at least once and possibly twice, and of the Bern MS.; all which I have ascertained from personal examination of those manuscripts.[1]

Anin or Aniu.—I have already pointed out that I seek this in the territory about Lin-ngan and Homi. In relation to this M. Garnier writes: "In starting from Muang Yong, or even if you prefer it, from Xieng Hung (Kiang Hung of our maps), … it would be physically impossible in 25 days to get beyond the arc which I have laid down on your map (viz. extending a few miles north-east of Homi). There are scarcely any roads in those mountains, and easy lines of communication begin only after you have got to the Lin-ngan territory. In Marco Polo's days things were certainly not better, but the reverse. All that has been done of consequence in the way of roads, posts, and organisation in the part of Yun-nan between Lin-ngan and Xieng Hung, dates in some degree from the Yuen, but in a far greater degree from K'ang-hi." Hence, even with the Ramusian reading of the itinerary, we cannot place Anin much beyond the position indicated already.

[Illustration: Script thaï of Xieng-hung.]

Koloman.—We have seen that the position of this region is probably near the western frontier of Kwei-chau. Adhering to Homi as the representative of Anin, and to the 8 days' journey of the text, the most probable position of Koloman would be about Lo-ping which lies about 100 English miles in a straight line north-east from Homi. The first character of the name here is again the same as the Lo of the Kolo tribes.

Beyond this point the difficulties of devising an interpretation, consistent at once with facts and with the text as it stands, become insuperable.

The narrative demands that from Koloman we should reach Fungul, a great and noble city, by travelling 12 days along a river, and that Fungul should be within twelve days' journey of Ch'êng-tu fu, along the same river, or at least along rivers connected with it.

In advancing from the south-west guided by the data afforded by the texts, we have not been able to carry the position of Fungul (Sinugul, or what not of G.T. and other MSS.) further north than Phungan. But it is impossible that Ch'êng-tu fu should have been reached in 12 days from this point. Nor is it possible that a new post in a secluded position, like Phungan, could have merited to be described as "a great and noble city."

Baron v. Richthofen has favoured me with a note in which he shows that in reality the only place answering the more essential conditions of Fungul is Siu-chau fu at the union of the two great branches of the Yang-tzu, viz. the Kin-sha Kiang, and the Min-Kiang from Ch'eng-tu fu. (1) The distance from Siu-chau to Ch'eng-tu by land travelling is just about 12 days, and the road is along a river. (2) In approaching "Fungul" from the south Polo met with a good many towns and villages. This would be the case along either of the navigable rivers that join the Yang-tzu below Siu-chau (or along that which joins above Siu-chau, mentioned further on). (3) The large trade in silk up and down the river is a characteristic that could only apply to the Yang-tzu.

These reasons are very strong, though some little doubt must subsist until we can explain the name (Fungul, or Sinugul) as applicable to Siu-chau.[2] And assuming Siu-chau to be the city we must needs carry the position of Coloman considerably further north than Lo-ping, and must presume the interval between Anin and Coloman to be greatly understated, through clerical or other error. With these assumptions we should place Polo's Coloman in the vicinity of Wei-ning, one of the localities of Kolo tribes.

From a position near Wei-ning it would be quite possible to reach Siu-chau in 12 days, making use of the facilities afforded by one or other of the partially navigable rivers to which allusion has just been made.

"That one," says M. Garnier in a letter, "which enters the Kiang a little above Siu-chau fu, the River of Lowa-tong, which was descended by our party, has a branch to the eastward which is navigable up to about the latitude of Chao-tong. Is not this probably Marco Polo's route? It is to this day a line much frequented, and one on which great works have been executed; among others two iron suspension bridges, works truly gigantic for the country in which we find them."

[Illustration: Iron Suspension Bridge at Lowatong. (From Garnier.)]

An extract from a Chinese Itinerary of this route, which M. Garnier has since communicated to me, shows that at a point 4 days from Wei-ning the traveller may embark and continue his voyage to any point on the great Kiang.

We are obliged, indeed, to give up the attempt to keep to a line of communicating rivers throughout the whole 24 days. Nor do I see how it is possible to adhere to that condition literally without taking more material liberties with the text.


Indo Chinese Regions (Book II, Chaps. 44-59)]

My theory of Polo's actual journey would be that he returned from Yun-nan fu to Ch'êng-tu fu through some part of the province of Kwei-chau, perhaps only its western extremity, but that he spoke of Caugigu, and probably of Anin, as he did of Bangala, from report only. And, in recapitulation, I would identify provisionally the localities spoken of in this difficult itinerary as follows: Caugigu with Kiang Hung; Anin with Homi; Coloman with the country about Wei-ning in Western Kwei-chau; Fungul or Sinugul with Siu-chau.

[This itinerary is difficult, as Sir Henry Yule says. It takes Marco Polo 24 days to go from Coloman or Toloman to Ch'êng-tu. The land route is 22 days from Yun-nan fu to Swi-fu, via Tung-ch'wan and Chao-t'ung. (J. China B.R.A.S. XXVIII. 74-75.) From the Toloman province, which I place about Lin-ngan and Cheng-kiang, south of Yun-nan fu, Polo must have passed a second time through this city, which is indeed at the end of all the routes of this part of South-Western China. He might go back to Sze-ch'wan by the western route, via Tung-ch'wan and Chao-t'ung to Swi-fu, or, by the eastern, easier and shorter route by Siuen-wei chau, crossing a corner of the Kwei-chau province (Wei-ning), and passing by Yun-ning hien to the Kiang, this is the route followed by Mr. A. Hosie in 1883 and by Mr. F.S.A. Bourne in 1885, and with great likelihood by Marco Polo; he may have taken the Yun-ning River to the district city of Na-ch'i hien, which lies on the right bank both of this river and of the Kiang; the Kiang up to Swi-fu and thence to Ch'êng-tu. I do not attempt to explain the difficulty about Fungul.

I fully agree with Sir H. Yule when he says that Polo spoke of Caugigu and of Bangala, probably of Anin, from report only. However, I believe that Caugigu is the Kiao-Chi kwé of the Chinese, that Ani_n_ must be read Ani_u_, that Aniu is but a transcription of Nan-yué that both Nan-yué and Kiao-Chi represent Northern Annam, i.e. the portion of Annam which we call Tung-king. Regarding the tattooed inhabitants of Caugigu, let it be remembered that tattooing existed in Annam till it was prohibited by the Chinese during the occupation of Tung-king at the beginning of the 15th century.—H.C.]

NOTE 7.—Here the traveller gets back to the road-bifurcation near Juju, i.e. Chochau (ante p. 11), and thence commences to travel southward.

[Illustration: Fortified Villages on Western frontier of Kweichau. (From

"Chastians ont-il grant quantité en grandismes montagnes et fortres."]

[1] A passing suggestion of the identity of Kafchi Kué and Caugigu is made
    by D'Ohsson, and I formerly objected. (See Cathay, p. 272.)

[2] Cuiju might be read Ciuju—representing Siuchau, but the
    difficulty about Fungul would remain.

BOOK II.—Continued.




Cacanfu is a noble city. The people are Idolaters and burn their dead; they have paper-money, and live by trade and handicrafts. For they have plenty of silk from which they weave stuffs of silk and gold, and sendals in large quantities. [There are also certain Christians at this place, who have a church.] And the city is at the head of an important territory containing numerous towns and villages. [A great river passes through it, on which much merchandise is carried to the city of Cambaluc, for by many channels and canals it is connected therewith.[NOTE 1]]

We will now set forth again, and travel three days towards the south, and then we come to a town called CHANGLU. This is another great city belonging to the Great Kaan, and to the province of Cathay. The people have paper-money, and are Idolaters and burn their dead. And you must know they make salt in great quantities at this place; I will tell you how 'tis done.[NOTE 2]

A kind of earth is found there which is exceedingly salt. This they dig up and pile in great heaps. Upon these heaps they pour water in quantities till it runs out at the bottom; and then they take up this water and boil it well in great iron cauldrons, and as it cools it deposits a fine white salt in very small grains. This salt they then carry about for sale to many neighbouring districts, and get great profit thereby.

There is nothing else worth mentioning, so let us go forward five days' journey, and we shall come to a city called Chinangli.

NOTE 1.—In the greater part of the journey which occupies the remainder of Book II., Pauthier is a chief authority, owing to his industrious Chinese reading and citation. Most of his identifications seem well founded, though sometimes we shall be constrained to dissent from them widely. A considerable number have been anticipated by former editors, but even in such cases he is often able to bring forward new grounds.

CACANFU is HO-KIEN FU in Pe Chih-li, 52 miles in a direct line south by east of Chochau. It was the head of one of the Lu or circuits into which the Mongols divided China. (Pauthier.)

NOTE 2.—Marsden and Murray have identified Changlu with T'SANG-CHAU in Pe Chih-li, about 30 miles east by south of Ho-kien fu. This seems substantially right, but Pauthier shows that there was an old town actually called CH'ANGLU, separated from T'sang-chau only by the great canal. [Ch'ang-lu was the name of T'sang-chau under the T'ang and the Kin. (See Playfair, Dict., p. 34.)—H.C.]

The manner of obtaining salt, described in the text, is substantially the same as one described by Duhalde, and by one of the missionaries, as being employed near the mouth of the Yang-tzu kiang. There is a town of the third order some miles south-east of T'sang-chau, called Yen-shan or "salt-hill," and, according to Pauthier, T'sang-chau is the mart for salt produced there. (Duhalde in Astley, IV. 310; Lettres Edif. XI. 267 seqq.; Biot. p. 283.)

Polo here introduces a remark about the practice of burning the dead, which, with the notice of the idolatry of the people, and their use of paper-money, constitutes a formula which he repeats all through the Chinese provinces with wearisome iteration. It is, in fact, his definition of the Chinese people, for whom he seems to lack a comprehensive name.

A great change seems to have come over Chinese custom, since the Middle Ages, in regard to the disposal of the dead. Cremation is now entirely disused, except in two cases; one, that of the obsequies of a Buddhist priest, and the other that in which the coffin instead of being buried has been exposed in the fields, and in the lapse of time has become decayed. But it is impossible to reject the evidence that it was a common practice in Polo's age. He repeats the assertion that it was the custom at every stage of his journey through Eastern China; though perhaps his taking absolutely no notice of the practice of burial is an instance of that imperfect knowledge of strictly Chinese peculiarities which has been elsewhere ascribed to him. It is the case, however, that the author of the Book of the Estate of the Great Kaan (circa 1330) also speaks of cremation as the usual Chinese practice, and that Ibn Batuta says positively: "The Chinese are infidels and idolaters, and they burn their dead after the manner of the Hindus." This is all the more curious, because the Arab Relations of the 9th century say distinctly that the Chinese bury their dead, though they often kept the body long (as they do still) before burial; and there is no mistaking the description which Conti (15th century) gives of the Chinese mode of sepulture. Mendoza, in the 16th century, alludes to no disposal of the dead except by burial, but Semedo in the early part of the 17th says that bodies were occasionally burnt, especially in Sze-ch'wan.

I am greatly indebted to the kindness of an eminent Chinese scholar, Mr.
W.F. Mayers, of Her Majesty's Legation at Peking, who, in a letter, dated
Peking, 18th September, 1874, sends me the following memorandum on the

"Colonel Yule's Marco Polo, II. 97 [First Edition], Burning of the Dead.

"On this subject compare the article entitled Huo Tsang, or 'Cremation Burials,' in Bk. XV of the Jih Che Luh, or 'Daily Jottings,' a great collection of miscellaneous notes on classical, historical, and antiquarian subjects, by Ku Yen-wu, a celebrated author of the 17th century. The article is as follows:—

"'The practice of burning the dead flourished (or flourishes) most extensively in Kiang-nan, and was in vogue already in the period of the Sung Dynasty. According to the history of the Sung Dynasty, in the 27th year of the reign Shao-hing (A.D. 1157), the practice was animadverted upon by a public official.' Here follows a long extract, in which the burning of the dead is reprehended, and it is stated that cemeteries were set apart by Government on behalf of the poorer classes.

"In A.D. 1261, Hwang Chên, governor of the district of Wu, in a memorial praying that the erection of cremation furnaces might thenceforth be prohibited, dwelt upon the impropriety of burning the remains of the deceased, for whose obsequies a multitude of observances were prescribed by the religious rites. He further exposed the fallacy of the excuse alleged for the practice, to wit, that burning the dead was a fulfilment of the precepts of Buddha, and accused the priests of a certain monastery of converting into a source of illicit gain the practice of cremation."

[As an illustration of the cremation of a Buddhist priest, I note the following passage from an article published in the North-China Herald, 20th May, 1887, p. 556, on Kwei Hua Ch'eng, Mongolia: "Several Lamas are on visiting terms with me and they are very friendly. There are seven large and eight small Lamaseries, in care of from ten to two hundred Lamas. The principal Lamas at death are cremated. A short time ago, a friendly Lama took me to see a cremation. The furnace was roughly made of mud bricks, with four fire-holes at the base, with an opening in which to place the body. The whole was about 6 feet high, and about 5 feet in circumference. Greased fuel was arranged within and covered with glazed foreign calico, on which were written some Tibetan characters. A tent was erected and mats arranged for the Lamas. About 11:30 A.M. a scarlet covered bier appeared in sight carried by thirty-two beggars. A box 2 feet square and 2-1/2 feet high was taken out and placed near the furnace. The Lamas arrived and attired themselves in gorgeous robes and sat cross-legged. During the preparations to chant, some butter was being melted in a corner of the tent. A screen of calico was drawn round the furnace in which the cremator placed the body, and filled up the opening. Then a dozen Lamas began chanting the burial litany in Tibetan in deep bass voices. Then the head priest blessed the torches and when the fires were lit he blessed a fan to fan the flames, and lastly some melted butter, which was poured in at the top to make the whole blaze. This was frequently repeated. When fairly ablaze, a few pieces of Tibetan grass were thrown in at the top. After three days the whole cooled, and a priest with one gold and one silver chopstick collects the bones, which are placed in a bag for burial. If the bones are white it is a sign that his sin is purged, if black that perfection has not been attained."—H.C.]

And it is very worthy of note that the Chinese envoy to Chinla (Kamboja) in 1295, an individual who may have personally known Marco Polo, in speaking of the custom prevalent there of exposing the dead, adds: "There are some, however, who burn their dead. These are all descendants of Chinese immigrants."

[Professor J.J.M. de Groot remarks that "being of religious origin, cremation is mostly denoted in China by clerical terms, expressive of the metamorphosis the funeral pyre is intended to effect, viz. 'transformation of man'; 'transformation of the body'; 'metamorphosis by fire.' Without the clerical sphere it bears no such high-sounding names, being simply called 'incineration of corpses.' A term of illogical composition, and nevertheless very common in the books, is 'fire burial.'" It appears that during the Sung Dynasty cremation was especially common in the provinces of Shan-si, Cheh-kiang, and Kiang-su. During the Mongol Dynasty, the instances of cremation which are mentioned in Chinese books are, relatively speaking, numerous. Professor de Groot says also that "there exists evidence that during the Mongol domination cremation also throve in Fuhkien." (Religious System of China, vol. iii. pp. 1391, 1409, 1410.) —H.C.]

(Doolittle, 190; Deguignes, I. 69; Cathay, pp. 247, 479; Reinaud, I. 56; India in the XVth Century, p. 23; Semedo, p. 95; Rém. Mél. Asiat. I. 128.)



Chinangli is a city of Cathay as you go south, and it belongs to the Great Kaan; the people are Idolaters, and have paper-money. There runs through the city a great and wide river, on which a large traffic in silk goods and spices and other costly merchandize passes up and down.

When you travel south from Chinangli for five days, you meet everywhere with fine towns and villages, the people of which are all Idolaters, and burn their dead, and are subject to the Great Kaan, and have paper-money, and live by trade and handicrafts, and have all the necessaries of life in great abundance. But there is nothing particular to mention on the way till you come, at the end of those five days, to TADINFU.[NOTE 1]

This, you must know, is a very great city, and in old times was the seat of a great kingdom; but the Great Kaan conquered it by force of arms. Nevertheless it is still the noblest city in all those provinces. There are very great merchants here, who trade on a great scale, and the abundance of silk is something marvellous. They have, moreover, most charming gardens abounding with fruit of large size. The city of Tadinfu hath also under its rule eleven imperial cities of great importance, all of which enjoy a large and profitable trade, owing to that immense produce of silk.[NOTE 2]

Now, you must know, that in the year of Christ, 1273, the Great Kaan had sent a certain Baron called LIYTAN SANGON,[NOTE 3] with some 80,000 horse, to this province and city, to garrison them. And after the said captain had tarried there a while, he formed a disloyal and traitorous plot, and stirred up the great men of the province to rebel against the Great Kaan. And so they did; for they broke into revolt against their sovereign lord, and refused all obedience to him, and made this Liytan, whom their sovereign had sent thither for their protection, to be the chief of their revolt.

When the Great Kaan heard thereof he straightway despatched two of his Barons, one of whom was called AGUIL and the other MONGOTAY;[NOTE 4] giving them 100,000 horse and a great force of infantry. But the affair was a serious one, for the Barons were met by the rebel Liytan with all those whom he had collected from the province, mustering more than 100,000 horse and a large force of foot. Nevertheless in the battle Liytan and his party were utterly routed, and the two Barons whom the Emperor had sent won the victory. When the news came to the Great Kaan he was right well pleased, and ordered that all the chiefs who had rebelled, or excited others to rebel, should be put to a cruel death, but that those of lower rank should receive a pardon. And so it was done. The two Barons had all the leaders of the enterprise put to a cruel death, and all those of lower rank were pardoned. And thenceforward they conducted themselves with loyalty towards their lord.[NOTE 5]

Now having told you all about this affair, let us have done with it, and I will tell you of another place that you come to in going south, which is called SINJU-MATU.

NOTE 1.—There seems to be no solution to the difficulties attaching to the account of these two cities (Chinangli and Tadinfu) except that the two have been confounded, either by a lapse of memory on the traveller's part or by a misunderstanding on that of Rusticiano.

The position and name of CHINANGLI point, as Pauthier has shown, to T'SI-NAN FU, the chief city of Shan-tung. The second city is called in the G. Text and Pauthier's MSS. Candinfu, Condinfu, and Cundinfu, names which it has not been found possible to elucidate. But adopting the reading Tadinfu of some of the old printed editions (supported by the Tudinfu of Ramusio and the Tandifu of the Riccardian MS.), Pauthier shows that the city now called Yen-chau bore under the Kin the name of TAI-TING FU, which may fairly thus be recognised. [Under the Sung Dynasty Yen-chau was named T'ai-ning and Lung-k'ing. (Playfair's Dict. p. 388.)—H.C.]

It was not, however, Yen-chau, but T'si-nan fu, which was "the noblest city in all those provinces," and had been "in old times the seat of a kingdom," as well as recently the scene of the episode of Litan's rebellion. T'si-nan fu lies in a direct line 86 miles south of T'sang-chau (Changlu), near the banks of the Ta-t'singho, a large river which communicates with the great canal near T'si-ning chau, and which was, no doubt, of greater importance in Polo's time than in the last six centuries. For up nearly to the origin of the Mongol power it appears to have been one of the main discharges of the Hwang-Ho. The recent changes in that river have again brought its main stream into the same channel, and the "New Yellow River" passes three or four miles to the north of the city. T'si-nan fu has frequently of late been visited by European travellers, who report it as still a place of importance, with much life and bustle, numerous book-shops, several fine temples, two mosques, and all the furniture of a provincial capital. It has also a Roman Catholic Cathedral of Gothic architecture. (Williamson, I. 102.)

[Tsi-nan "is a populous and rich city; and by means of the river (Ta Tsing ho, Great Clear River) carries on an extensive commerce. The soil is fertile, and produces grain and fruits in abundance. Silk of an excellent quality is manufactured, and commands a high price. The lakes and rivers are well stored with fish." (Chin. Rep. XI. p. 562.)—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—The Chinese Annals, more than 2000 years B.C., speak of silk as an article of tribute from Shan-tung; and evidently it was one of the provinces most noted in the Middle Ages for that article. Compare the quotation in note on next chapter from Friar Odoric. Yet the older modern accounts speak only of the wild silk of Shan-tung. Mr. Williamson, however, points out that there is an extensive produce from the genuine mulberry silkworm, and anticipates a very important trade in Shan-tung silk. Silk fabrics are also largely produced, and some of extraordinary quality. (Williamson, I. 112, 131.)

The expressions of Padre Martini, in speaking of the wild silk of Shan-tung, strongly remind one of the talk of the ancients about the origin of silk, and suggest the possibility that this may not have been mere groundless fancy: "Non in globum aut ovum ductum, sed in longissimum filum paulatim ex ore emissum, albi coloris, quae arbustis dumisque, adhaerentia, atque a vento huc illucque agitata colliguntur," etc. Compare this with Pliny's "Seres lanitia silvarum nobiles, perfusam aqua depectentes frondium caniciem," or Claudian's "Stamine, quod molli tondent de stipite Seres, Frondea lanigerae carpentes vellera silvae; Et longum tenues tractus producit in aurum."

NOTE 3.—The title Sangon is, as Pauthier points out, the Chinese Tsiang-kiun, a "general of division", [or better "Military Governor". —H.C.] John Bell calls an officer, bearing the same title, "Merin Sanguin" I suspect T'siang-kiun is the Jang-Jang of Baber.

NOTE 4.—AGUL was the name of a distant cousin of Kúblái, who was the
father of Nayan (supra, ch. ii. and Genealogy of the House of Chinghiz in
Appendix A). MANGKUTAI, under Kúblái, held the command of the third Hazara
(Thousand) of the right wing, in which he had succeeded his father Jedi
Noyan. lie was greatly distinguished in the invasion of South China under
Bayan. (Erdmann's Temudschin, pp. 220, 455; Gaubil, p. 160.)

NOTE 5.—LITAN, a Chinese of high military position and reputation under the Mongols, in the early part of Kúblái's reign, commanded the troops in Shan-tung and the conquered parts of Kiang-nan. In the beginning of 1262 he carried out a design that he had entertained since Kúblái's accession, declared for the Sung Emperor, to whom he gave up several important places, put detached Mongol garrisons to the sword, and fortified T'si-nan and T'sing-chau. Kúblái despatched Prince Apiché and the General Ssetienché against him. Litan, after some partial success, was beaten and driven into T'si-nan, which the Mongols immediately invested. After a blockade of four months, the garrison was reduced to extremities. Litan, in despair, put his women to death and threw himself into a lake adjoining the city; but he was taken out alive and executed. T'sing-chau then surrendered. (Gaubil, 139-140; De Mailla, IX. 298 seqq.; D'Ohsson, II. 381.)

Pauthier gives greater detail from the Chinese Annals, which confirm the amnesty granted to all but the chiefs of the rebellion.

The date in the text is wrong or corrupt, as is generally the case.



On leaving Tadinfu you travel three days towards the south, always finding numbers of noble and populous towns and villages flourishing with trade and manufactures. There is also abundance of game in the country, and everything in profusion.

When you have travelled those three days you come to the noble city of SINJUMATU, a rich and fine place, with great trade and manufactures. The people are Idolaters and subjects of the Great Kaan, and have paper-money, and they have a river which I can assure you brings them great gain, and I will tell you about it.

You see the river in question flows from the South to this city of Sinjumatu. And the people of the city have divided this larger river in two, making one half of it flow east and the other half flow west; that is to say, the one branch flows towards Manzi and the other towards Cathay. And it is a fact that the number of vessels at this city is what no one would believe without seeing them. The quantity of merchandize also which these vessels transport to Manzi and Cathay is something marvellous; and then they return loaded with other merchandize, so that the amount of goods borne to and fro on those two rivers is quite astonishing.[NOTE 1]

NOTE 1.—Friar Odoric, proceeding by water northward to Cambaluc about 1324-1325, says: "As I travelled by that river towards the east, and passed many towns and cities, I came to a certain city which is called SUNZUMATU, which hath a greater plenty of silk than perhaps any place on earth, for when silk is at the dearest you can still have 40 lbs. for less than eight groats. There is in the place likewise great store of merchandise," etc. When commenting on Odoric, I was inclined to identify this city with Lin-t'sing chau, but its position with respect to the two last cities in Polo's itinerary renders this inadmissible; and Murray and Pauthier seem to be right in identifying it with T'SI-NING CHAU. The affix Matu (Ma-t'eu, a jetty, a place of river trade) might easily attach itself to the name of such a great depôt of commerce on the canal as Marco here describes, though no Chinese authority has been produced for its being so styled. The only objection to the identification with T'si-ning chau is the difficulty of making 3 days' journey of the short distance between Yen-chau and that city.

Polo, according to the route supposed, comes first upon the artificial part of the Great Canal here. The rivers Wen and Sse (from near Yen-chau) flowing from the side of Shan-tung, and striking the canal line at right angles near T'si-ning chau, have been thence diverted north-west and south-east, so as to form the canal; the point of their original confluence at Nan-wang forming, apparently, the summit level of the canal. There is a little confusion in Polo's account, owing to his describing the river as coming from the south, which, according to his orientation, would be the side towards Hunan. In this respect his words would apply more accurately to the Wei River at Lin-t'sing (see Biot in J. As. sér. III. tom. xiv. 194, and J.N.C.B.R.A.S., 1866, p. ii; also the map with ch. lxiv.) [Father Gandar (Canal Impérial, p. 22, note) says that the remark of Marco Polo: "The river flows from the south to this city of Sinjumatu," cannot be applied to the Wen-ho nor to the Sse-ho, which are rivers of little importance and running from the east, whilst the Wei-ho, coming from the south-east, waters Lin-ts'ing, and answers well to our traveller's text.—H.C.] Duhalde calls T'si-ning chau "one of the most considerable cities of the empire"; and Nieuhoff speaks of its large trade and population. [Sir John F. Davis writes that Tsi-ning chau is a town of considerable dimensions…. "The ma-tow, or platforms, before the principal boats had ornamental gateways over them…. The canal seems to render this an opulent and flourishing place, to judge by the gilded and carved shops, temples, and public offices, along the eastern banks." (Sketches of China, I. pp. 255-257.)—H.C.]



On leaving the city of Sinju-matu you travel for eight days towards the south, always coming to great and rich towns and villages flourishing with trade and manufactures. The people are all subjects of the Great Kaan, use paper-money, and burn their dead. At the end of those eight days you come to the city of LINJU, in the province of the same name of which it is the capital. It is a rich and noble city, and the men are good soldiers, natheless they carry on great trade and manufactures. There is great abundance of game in both beasts and birds, and all the necessaries of life are in profusion. The place stands on the river of which I told you above. And they have here great numbers of vessels, even greater than those of which I spoke before, and these transport a great amount of costly merchandize[NOTE 1].

So, quitting this province and city of Linju, you travel three days more towards the south, constantly finding numbers of rich towns and villages. These still belong to Cathay; and the people are all Idolaters, burning their dead, and using paper-money, that I mean of their Lord the Great Kaan, whose subjects they are. This is the finest country for game, whether in beasts or birds, that is anywhere to be found, and all the necessaries of life are in profusion.

At the end of those three days you find the city of PIJU, a great, rich, and noble city, with large trade and manufactures, and a great production of silk. This city stands at the entrance to the great province of Manzi, and there reside at it a great number of merchants who despatch carts from this place loaded with great quantities of goods to the different towns of Manzi. The city brings in a great revenue to the Great Kaan.[NOTE 2]

NOTE 1.—Murray suggests that Lingiu is a place which appears in D'Anville's Map of Shan-tung as Lintching-y and in Arrowsmith's Map of China (also in those of Berghaus and Keith Johnston) as Lingchinghien. The position assigned to it, however, on the west bank of the canal, nearly under the 35th degree of latitude, would agree fairly with Polo's data. [Lin-ch'ing, Lin-tsing, lat. 37° 03', Playfair's Dict. No. 4276; Biot, p. 107.—H.C.]

In any case, I imagine Lingiu (of which, perhaps, Lingin may be the correct reading) to be the Lenzin of Odoric, which he reached in travelling by water from the south, before arriving at Sinjumatu. (Cathay, p. 125.)

NOTE 2.—There can be no doubt that this is PEI-CHAU on the east bank of the canal. The abundance of game about here is noticed by Nieuhoff (in Astley, III. 417). [See D. Gandar, Canal Impérial, 1894.—H.C.]



When you leave Piju you travel towards the south for two days, through beautiful districts abounding in everything, and in which you find quantities of all kinds of game. At the end of those two days you reach the city of SIJU, a great, rich, and noble city, flourishing with trade and manufactures. The people are Idolaters, burn their dead, use paper-money, and are subjects of the Great Kaan. They possess extensive and fertile plains producing abundance of wheat and other grain.[NOTE 1] But there is nothing else to mention, so let us proceed and tell you of the countries further on.

On leaving Siju you ride south for three days, constantly falling in with fine towns and villages and hamlets and farms, with their cultivated lands. There is plenty of wheat and other corn, and of game also; and the people are all Idolaters and subjects of the Great Kaan.

At the end of those three days you reach the great river CARAMORAN, which flows hither from Prester John's country. It is a great river, and more than a mile in width, and so deep that great ships can navigate it. It abounds in fish, and very big ones too. You must know that in this river there are some 15,000 vessels, all belonging to the Great Kaan, and kept to transport his troops to the Indian Isles whenever there may be occasion; for the sea is only one day distant from the place we are speaking of. And each of these vessels, taking one with another, will require 20 mariners, and will carry 15 horses with the men belonging to them, and their provisions, arms, and equipments.[NOTE 2]

Hither and thither, on either bank of the river, stands a town; the one facing the other. The one is called COIGANJU and the other CAIJU; the former is a large place, and the latter a little one. And when you pass this river you enter the great province of MANZI. So now I must tell you how this province of Manzi was conquered by the Great Kaan.[NOTE 3]

NOTE 1.—SIJU can scarcely be other than Su-t'sien (Sootsin of Keith Johnston's map) as Murray and Pauthier have said. The latter states that one of the old names of the place was Si-chau, which corresponds to that given by Marco. Biot does not give this name.

The town stands on the flat alluvial of the Hwang-Ho, and is approached by high embanked roads. (Astley, III. 524-525.)

[Sir J.F. Davis writes: "From Sootsien Hien to the point of junction with the Yellow River, a length of about fifty miles, that great stream and the canal run nearly parallel with each other, at an average distance of four or five miles, and sometimes much nearer." (Sketches of China, I. p. 265.)—H.C.]

[Illustration: Sketch Map, exhibiting the VARIATIONS of the TWO GREAT
RIVERS OF CHINA Within the Period of History]

NOTE 2.—We have again arrived on the banks of the Hwang-Ho, which was crossed higher up on our traveller's route to Karájang.

No accounts, since China became known to modern Europe, attribute to the Hwang-Ho the great utility for navigation which Polo here and elsewhere ascribes to it. Indeed, we are told that its current is so rapid that its navigation is scarcely practicable, and the only traffic of the kind that we hear of is a transport of coal in Shan-si for a certain distance down stream. This rapidity also, bringing down vast quantities of soil, has so raised the bed that in recent times the tide has not entered the river, as it probably did in our traveller's time, when, as it would appear from his account, seagoing craft used to ascend to the ferry north of Hwai-ngan fu, or thereabouts. Another indication of change is his statement that the passage just mentioned was only one day's journey from the sea, whereas it is now about 50 miles in a direct line. But the river has of late years undergone changes much more material.

In the remotest times of which the Chinese have any record, the Hwang-Ho discharged its waters into the Gulf of Chih-li, by two branches, the most northerly of which appears to have followed the present course of the Pei-ho below Tien-tsing. In the time of the Shang Dynasty (ending B.C. 1078) a branch more southerly than either of the above flowed towards T'si-ning, and combined with the T'si River, which flowed by T'si-nan fu, the same in fact that was till recently called the Ta-t'sing. In the time of Confucius we first hear of a branch being thrown off south-east towards the Hwai, flowing north of Hwai-ngan, in fact towards the embouchure which our maps still display as that of the Hwang-Ho. But, about the 3rd and 4th centuries of our era, the river discharged exclusively by the T'si; and up to the Mongol age, or nearly so, the mass of the waters of this great river continued to flow into the Gulf of Chih-li. They then changed their course bodily towards the Hwai, and followed that general direction to the sea; this they had adopted before the time of our traveller, and they retained it till a very recent period. The mass of Shan-tung thus forms a mountainous island rising out of the vast alluvium of the Hwang-Ho, whose discharge into the sea has alternated between the north and the south of that mountainous tract. (See Map opposite.)

During the reign of the last Mongol emperor, a project was adopted for restoring the Hwang-Ho to its former channel, discharging into the Gulf of Chih-li; and discontents connected with this scheme promoted the movement for the expulsion of the dynasty (1368).

A river whose regimen was liable to such vast changes was necessarily a constant source of danger, insomuch that the Emperor Kia-K'ing in his will speaks of it as having been "from the remotest ages China's sorrow." Some idea of the enormous works maintained for the control of the river may be obtained from the following description of their character on the north bank, some distance to the west of Kai-fung fu:

"In a village, apparently bounded by an earthen wall as large as that of the Tartar city of Peking, was reached the first of the outworks erected to resist the Hwang-Ho, and on arriving at the top that river and the gigantic earthworks rendered necessary by its outbreaks burst on the view. On a level with the spot on which I was standing stretched a series of embankments, each one about 70 feet high, and of breadth sufficient for four railway trucks to run abreast on them. The mode of their arrangement was on this wise: one long bank ran parallel to the direction of the stream; half a mile distant from it ran a similar one; these two embankments were then connected by another series exactly similar in size, height, and breadth, and running at right angles to them right down to the edge of the water."

In 1851, the Hwang-Ho burst its northern embankment nearly 30 miles east of Kai-fung fu; the floods of the two following years enlarged the breach; and in 1853 the river, after six centuries, resumed the ancient direction of its discharge into the Gulf of Chih-li. Soon after leaving its late channel, it at present spreads, without defined banks, over the very low lands of South-Western Shan-tung, till it reaches the Great Canal, and then enters the Ta-t'sing channel, passing north of T'si-nan to the sea. The old channel crossed by Polo in the present journey is quite deserted. The greater part of the bed is there cultivated; it is dotted with numerous villages; and the vast trading town of Tsing-kiang pu was in 1868 extending so rapidly from the southern bank that a traveller in that year says he expected that in two years it would reach the northern bank.

The same change has destroyed the Grand Canal as a navigable channel for many miles south of Lin-t'sing chau. (J.R.G.S. XXVIII. 294-295; Escayrac de Lauture, Mém. sur la Chine; Cathay, p. 125; Reports of Journeys in China, etc. [by Consuls Alabaster, Oxenham, etc., Parl. Blue Book], 1869, pp. 4-5, 14; Mr. Elias in J.R.G.S. XL. p. 1 seqq.)

[Since the exploration of the Hwang-Ho in 1868 by Mr. Ney Elias and by Mr. H.G. Hollingworth, an inspection of this river was made in 1889 and a report published in 1891 by the Dutch Engineers J.G.W. Fijnje van Salverda, Captain P.G. van Schermbeek and A. Visser, for the improvement of the Yellow River.—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—Coiganju will be noticed below. Caiju does not seem to be traceable, having probably been carried away by the changes in the river. But it would seem to have been at the mouth of the canal on the north side of the Hwang-Ho, and the name is the same as that given below (ch. lxxii.) to the town (Kwachau) occupying the corresponding position on the Kiang.

"Khatai," says Rashiduddin, "is bounded on one side by the country of Máchín, which the Chinese call MANZI…. In the Indian language Southern China is called Mahá-chín, i.e. 'Great China,' and hence we derive the word Machin. The Mongols call the same country Nangiass. It is separated from Khatai by the river called KARAMORAN, which comes from the mountains of Tibet and Kashmir, and which is never fordable. The capital of this kingdom is the city of Khingsai, which is forty days' journey from Khanbalik." (Quat. Rashid., xci.-xciii.)

MANZI (or Mangi) is a name used for Southern China, or more properly for the territory which constituted the dominion of the Sung Dynasty at the time when the Mongols conquered Cathay or Northern China from the Kin, not only by Marco, but by Odoric and John Marignolli, as well as by the Persian writers, who, however, more commonly call it Máchín. I imagine that some confusion between the two words led to the appropriation of the latter name, also to Southern China. The term Man-tzu or Man-tze signifies "Barbarians" ("Sons of Barbarians"), and was applied, it is said, by the Northern Chinese to their neighbours on the south, whose civilisation was of later date.[1] The name is now specifically applied to a wild race on the banks of the Upper Kiang. But it retains its mediaeval application in Manchuria, where Mantszi is the name given to the Chinese immigrants, and in that use is said to date from the time of Kúblái. (Palladius in J.R.G.S. vol. xlii. p. 154.) And Mr. Moule has found the word, apparently used in Marco's exact sense, in a Chinese extract of the period, contained in the topography of the famous Lake of Hang-chau (infra, ch. lxxvi.-lxxvii.)

Though both Polo and Rashiduddin call the Karamoran the boundary between Cathay and Manzi, it was not so for any great distance. Ho-nan belonged essentially to Cathay.

[1] Magaillans says the Southerns, in return, called the Northerns Pe-tai, "Fools of the North"!



You must know that there was a King and Sovereign lord of the great territory of Manzi who was styled FACFUR, so great and puissant a prince, that for vastness of wealth and number of subjects and extent of dominion, there was hardly a greater in all the earth except the Great Kaan himself. [NOTE 1] But the people of his land were anything rather than warriors; all their delight was in women, and nought but women; and so it was above all with the King himself, for he took thought of nothing else but women, unless it were of charity to the poor.

In all his dominion there were no horses; nor were the people ever inured to battle or arms, or military service of any kind. Yet the province of Manzi is very strong by nature, and all the cities are encompassed by sheets of water of great depth, and more than an arblast-shot in width; so that the country never would have been lost, had the people but been soldiers. But that is just what they were not; so lost it was.[NOTE 2]

Now it came to pass, in the year of Christ's incarnation, 1268, that the Great Kaan, the same that now reigneth, despatched thither a Baron of his whose name was BAYAN CHINCSAN, which is as much as to say "Bayan Hundred Eyes." And you must know that the King of Manzi had found in his horoscope that he never should lose his Kingdom except through a man that had an hundred eyes; so he held himself assured in his position, for he could not believe that any man in existence could have an hundred eyes. There, however, he deluded himself, in his ignorance of the name of Bayan.[NOTE 3]

This Bayan had an immense force of horse and foot entrusted to him by the Great Kaan, and with these he entered Manzi, and he had also a great number of boats to carry both horse and food when need should be. And when he, with all his host, entered the territory of Manzi and arrived at this city of COIGANJU—whither we now are got, and of which we shall speak presently—he summoned the people thereof to surrender to the Great Kaan; but this they flatly refused. On this Bayan went on to another city, with the same result, and then still went forward; acting thus because he was aware that the Great Kaan was despatching another great host to follow him up.[NOTE 4]

What shall I say then? He advanced to five cities in succession, but got possession of none of them; for he did not wish to engage in besieging them and they would not give themselves up. But when he came to the sixth city he took that by storm, and so with a second, and a third, and a fourth, until he had taken twelve cities in succession. And when he had taken all these he advanced straight against the capital city of the kingdom, which was called KINSAY, and which was the residence of the King and Queen.

And when the King beheld Bayan coming with all his host, he was in great dismay, as one unused to see such sights. So he and a great company of his people got on board a thousand ships and fled to the islands of the Ocean Sea, whilst the Queen who remained behind in the city took all measures in her power for its defence, like a valiant lady.

Now it came to pass that the Queen asked what was the name of the captain of the host, and they told her that it was Bayan Hundred-Eyes. So when she wist that he was styled Hundred-Eyes, she called to mind how their astrologers had foretold that a man of an hundred eyes should strip them of the kingdom.[NOTE 5] Wherefore she gave herself up to Bayan, and surrendered to him the whole kingdom and all the other cities and fortresses, so that no resistance was made. And in sooth this was a goodly conquest, for there was no realm on earth half so wealthy.[NOTE 6] The amount that the King used to expend was perfectly marvellous; and as an example I will tell you somewhat of his liberal acts.

In those provinces they are wont to expose their newborn babes; I speak of the poor, who have not the means of bringing them up. But the King used to have all those foundlings taken charge of, and had note made of the signs and planets under which each was born, and then put them out to nurse about the country. And when any rich man was childless he would go to the King and obtain from him as many of these children as he desired. Or, when the children grew up, the King would make up marriages among them, and provide for the couples from his own purse. In this manner he used to provide for some 20,000 boys and girls every year.[NOTE 7]

I will tell you another thing this King used to do. If he was taking a ride through the city and chanced to see a house that was very small and poor standing among other houses that were fine and large, he would ask why it was so, and they would tell him it belonged to a poor man who had not the means to enlarge it. Then the King would himself supply the means. And thus it came to pass that in all the capital of the kingdom of Manzi, Kinsay by name, you should not see any but fine houses.

This King used to be waited on by more than a thousand young gentlemen and ladies, all clothed in the richest fashion. And he ruled his realm with such justice that no malefactors were to be found therein. The city in fact was so secure that no man closed his doors at night, not even in houses and shops that were full of all sorts of rich merchandize. No one could do justice in the telling to the great riches of that country, and to the good disposition of the people. Now that I have told you about the kingdom, I will go back to the Queen.

You must know that she was conducted to the Great Kaan, who gave her an honourable reception, and caused her to be served with all state, like a great lady as she was. But as for the King her husband, he never more did quit the isles of the sea to which he had fled, but died there. So leave we him and his wife and all their concerns, and let us return to our story, and go on regularly with our account of the great province of Manzi and of the manners and customs of its people. And, to begin at the beginning, we must go back to the city of Coiganju, from which we digressed to tell you about the conquest of Manzi.

NOTE 1.—Faghfúr or Baghbúr was a title applied by old Persian and Arabic writers to the Emperor of China, much in the way that we used to speak of the Great Mogul, and our fathers of the Sophy. It is, as Neumann points out, an old Persian translation of the Chinese title Tien-tzu, "Son of Heaven"; Bagh-Púr = "The Son of the Divinity," as Sapor or Sháh-Púr = "The Son of the King." Faghfur seems to have been used as a proper name in Turkestan. (See Baber, 423.)

There is a word, Takfúr, applied similarly by the Mahomedans to the Greek emperors of both Byzantium and Trebizond (and also to the Kings of Cilician Armenia), which was perhaps adopted as a jingling match to the former term; Faghfur, the great infidel king in the East; Takfur, the great infidel king in the West. Defréméry says this is Armenian, Tagavor, "a king." (I.B., II. 393, 427.)

["The last of the Sung Emperors (1276) 'Facfur' (i.e. the Arabic for Tien Tzu) was freed by Kúblái from the (ancient Kotan) indignity of surrendering with a rope round his neck, leading a sheep, and he received the title of Duke: In 1288 he went to Tibet to study Buddhism, and in 1296 he and his mother, Ts'iuen T'aï How, became a bonze and a nun, and were allowed to hold 360 k'ing (say 5000 acres) of land free of taxes under the then existing laws." (E. H. Parker, China Review, February, March 1901, p. 195.)—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Nevertheless the history of the conquest shows instances of extraordinary courage and self-devotion on the part of Chinese officers, especially in the defence of fortresses—virtues often shown in like degree, under like circumstances, by the same class, in the modern history of China.

NOTE 3.—Bayan (signifying "great" or "noble") is a name of very old renown among the Nomad nations, for we find it as that of the Khagan of the Avars in the 6th century. The present BAYAN, Kúblái's most famous lieutenant, was of princely birth, in the Mongol tribe called Barin. In his youth he served in the West of Asia under Hulaku. According to Rashiduddin, about 1265 he was sent to Cathay with certain ambassadors of the Kaan's who were returning thither. He was received with great distinction by Kúblái, who was greatly taken with his prepossessing appearance and ability, and a command was assigned him. In 1273, after the capture of Siang-Yang (infra, ch. lxx.) the Kaan named him to the chief command in the prosecution of the war against the Sung Dynasty. Whilst Bayan was in the full tide of success, Kúblái, alarmed by the ravages of Kaidu on the Mongolian frontier, recalled him to take the command there, but, on the general's remonstrance, he gave way, and made him a minister of state (CHINGSIANG). The essential part of his task was completed by the surrender of the capital King-szé (Lin-ngan, now Hang-chau) to his arms in the beginning of 1276. He was then recalled to court, and immediately despatched to Mongolia, where he continued in command for seventeen years, his great business being to keep down the restless Kaidu. ["The biography of this valiant captain is found in the Yuen-shi (ch. cxxvii.). It is quite in accordance with the biographical notices Rashid gives of the same personage. He calls him Bayan." (Bretschneider, Med. Res. I. p. 271, note).]

["The inventory, records, etc., of Kinsai, mentioned by Marco Polo, as also the letter from the old empress, are undoubted facts: complete stock was taken, and 5,692,656 souls were added to the population (in the two Chên alone). The Emperor surrendered in person to Bayan a few days after his official surrender, which took place on the 18th day of the 1st moon in 1276. Bayan took the Emperor to see Kúblái." (E. H. Parker, China Review, XXIV. p. 105.)—H.C.]

In 1293, enemies tried to poison the emperor's ear against Bayan, and they seemed to have succeeded; for Kúblái despatched his heir, the Prince Teimur, to supersede him in the frontier command. Bayan beat Kaidu once more, and then made over his command with characteristic dignity. On his arrival at court, Kúblái received him with the greatest honour, and named him chief minister of state and commandant of his guards and the troops about Cambaluc. The emperor died in the beginning of the next year (1294), and Bayan's high position enabled him to take decisive measures for preserving order, and maintaining Kúblái's disposition of the succession. Bayan was raised to still higher dignities, but died at the age of 59, within less than a year of the master whom he had served so well for 30 years (about January, 1295). After his death, according to the peculiar Chinese fashion, he received yet further accessions of dignity.

The language of Chinese historians in speaking of this great man is thus rendered by De Mailla; it is a noble eulogy of a Tartar warrior:—

"He was endowed with a lofty genius, and possessed in the highest measure the art of handling great bodies of troops. When he marched against the Sung, he directed the movements of 200,000 men with as much ease and coolness as if there had been but one man under his orders. All his officers looked up to him as a prodigy; and having absolute trust in his capacity, they obeyed him with entire submission. Nobody knew better how to deal with soldiers, or to moderate their ardour when it carried them too far. He was never seen sad except when forced to shed blood, for he was sparing even of the blood of his enemy…. His modesty was not inferior to his ability…. He would attribute all the honour to the conduct of his officers, and he was ever ready to extol their smallest feats. He merited the praises of Chinese as well as Mongols, and both nations long regretted the loss of this great man." De Mailla gives a different account from Rashiduddin and Gaubil, of the manner in which Bayan first entered the Kaan's service. (Gaubil, 145, 159, 169, 179, 183, 221, 223-224; Erdmann, 222-223; De Mailla, IX. 335, 458, 461-463.)

NOTE 4.—As regards Bayan personally, and the main body under his command, this seems to be incorrect. His advance took place from Siang-yang along the lines of the Han River and of the Great Kiang. Another force indeed marched direct upon Yang-chau, and therefore probably by Hwai-ngan chau (infra, p. 152); and it is noted that Bayan's orders to the generals of this force were to spare bloodshed. (Gaubil, 159; D'Ohsson, II. 398.)

NOTE 5.—So in our own age ran the Hindu prophecy that Bhartpúr should never fall till there came a great alligator against it; and when it fell to the English assault, the Brahmans found that the name of the leader was Combermere = Kumhír-Mír, the Crocodile Lord!

  —"Be those juggling fiends no more believed
  That palter with us in a double sense;
  That keep the word of promise to our ear
  And break it to our hope!"

It would seem from the expression, both in Pauthier's text and in the G. T., as if Polo intended to say that Chincsan (Cinqsan) meant "One Hundred Eyes"; and if so we could have no stronger proof of his ignorance of Chinese. It is Pe-yen, the Chinese form of Bayan, that means, or rather may be punningly rendered, "One Hundred Eyes." Chincsan, i.e. Ching-siang, was the title of the superior ministers of state at Khanbaligh, as we have already seen. The title occurs pretty frequently in the Persian histories of the Mongols, and frequently as a Mongol title in Sanang Setzen. We find it also disguised as Chyansam in a letter from certain Christian nobles at Khanbaligh, which Wadding quotes from the Papal archives. (See Cathay, pp. 314-315.)

But it is right to observe that in the Ramusian version the mistranslation which we have noticed is not so undubitable: "Volendo sapere come avea nome il Capitano nemico, le fu detto, Chinsambaian, cioè Cent'occhi."

A kind of corroboration of Marco's story, but giving a different form to the pun, has been found by Mr. W.F. Mayers, of the Diplomatic Department in China, in a Chinese compilation dating from the latter part of the 14th century. Under the heading, "A Kiang-nan Prophecy," this book states that prior to the fall of the Sung a prediction ran through Kiang-nan: "If Kiang-nan fall, a hundred wild geese (Pê-yen) will make their appearance." This, it is added, was not understood till the generalissimo Peyen Chingsiang made his appearance on the scene. "Punning prophecies of this kind are so common in Chinese history, that the above is only worth noticing in connection with Marco Polo's story." (N. and Q., China and Japan, vol. ii. p. 162.)

But I should suppose that the Persian historian Wassáf had also heard a bungled version of the same story, which he tells in a pointless manner of the fortress of Sináfúr (evidently a clerical error for Saianfu, see below, ch. lxx.): "Payan ordered this fortress to be assaulted. The garrison had heard how the capital of China had fallen, and the army of Payan was drawing near. The commandant was an experienced veteran who had tasted all the sweets and bitters of fortune, and had borne the day's heat and the night's cold; he had, as the saw goes, milked the world's cow dry. So he sent word to Payan: 'In my youth' (here we abridge Wassáf's rigmarole) 'I heard my father tell that this fortress should be taken by a man called Payan, and that all fencing and trenching, fighting and smiting, would be of no avail. You need not, therefore, bring an army hither; we give in; we surrender the fortress and all that is therein.' So they opened the gates and came down." (Wassáf, Hammer's ed., p. 41).

NOTE 6.—There continues in this narrative, with a general truth as to the course of events, a greater amount of error as to particulars than we should have expected. The Sung Emperor Tu Tsong, a debauched and effeminate prince, to whom Polo seems to refer, had died in 1274, leaving young children only. Chaohien, the second son, a boy of four years of age, was put on the throne, with his grandmother Siechi, as regent. The approach of Bayan caused the greatest alarm; the Sung Court made humble propositions, but they were not listened to. The brothers of the young emperor were sent off by sea into the southern provinces; the empress regent was also pressed to make her escape with the young emperor, but, after consenting, she changed her mind and would not move. The Mongols arrived before King-szé, and the empress sent the great seal of the empire to Bayan. He entered the city without resistance in the third month (say April), 1276, riding at the head of his whole staff with the standard of the general-in-chief before him. It is remarked that he went to look at the tide in the River Tsien Tang, which is noted for its bore. He declined to meet the regent and her grandson, pleading that he was ignorant of the etiquettes proper to such an interview. Before his entrance Bayan had nominated a joint-commission of Mongol and Chinese officers to the government of the city, and appointed a committee to take charge of all the public documents, maps, drawings, records of courts, and seals of all public offices, and to plant sentinels at necessary points. The emperor, his mother, and the rest of the Sung princes and princesses, were despatched to the Mongol capital. A desperate attempt was made, at Kwa-chau (infra, ch. lxxii.) to recapture the young emperor, but it failed. On their arrival at Ta-tu, Kúblái's chief queen, Jamui Khatun, treated them with delicate consideration. This amiable lady, on being shown the spoils that came from Lin-ngan, only wept, and said to her husband, "So also shall it be with the Mongol empire one day!" The eldest of the two boys who had escaped was proclaimed emperor by his adherents at Fu-chau, in Fo-kien, but they were speedily driven from that province (where the local histories, as Mr. G. Phillips informs me, preserve traces of their adventures in the Islands of Amoy Harbour), and the young emperor died on a desert island off the Canton coast in 1278. His younger brother took his place, but a battle, in the beginning of 1279 finally extinguished these efforts of the expiring dynasty, and the minister jumped with his young lord into the sea. It is curious that Rashiduddin, with all his opportunities of knowledge, writing at least twenty years later, was not aware of this, for he speaks of the Prince of Manzi as still a fugitive in the forests between Zayton and Canton. (Gaubil; D'Ohsson; De Mailla; Cathay, p. 272.) [See Parker, supra, p. 148 and 149.—H.C.]

There is a curious account in the Lettres Édifiantes (xxiv. 45 seqq.) by P. Parrenin of a kind of Pariah caste at Shao-hing (see ch. lxxix. note 1), who were popularly believed to be the descendants of the great lords of the Sung Court, condemned to that degraded condition for obstinately resisting the Mongols. Another notice, however, makes the degraded body rebels against the Sung. (Milne, p. 218.)

NOTE 7.—There is much about the exposure of children, and about Chinese foundling hospitals, in the Lettres Édifiantes, especially in Recueil xv. 83, seqq. It is there stated that frequently a person not in circumstances to pay for a wife for his son, would visit the foundling hospital to seek one. The childless rich also would sometimes get children there to pass off as their own; adopted children being excluded from certain valuable privileges.

Mr. Milne (Life in China), and again Mr. Medhurst (Foreigner in Far Cathay), have discredited the great prevalence of infant exposure in China; but since the last work was published, I have seen the translation of a recent strong remonstrance against the practice by a Chinese writer, which certainly implied that it was very prevalent in the writer's own province. Unfortunately, I have lost the reference. [See Father G. Palatre, L'Infanticide et l'Oeuvre de la Ste. Enfance en Chine, 1878. —H.C.]



Coiganju is, as I have told you already, a very large city standing at the entrance to Manzi. The people are Idolaters and burn their dead, and are subject to the Great Kaan. They have a vast amount of shipping, as I mentioned before in speaking of the River Caramoran. And an immense quantity of merchandize comes hither, for the city is the seat of government for this part of the country. Owing to its being on the river, many cities send their produce thither to be again thence distributed in every direction. A great amount of salt also is made here, furnishing some forty other cities with that article, and bringing in a large revenue to the Great Kaan.[NOTE 1]

NOTE 1.—Coiganju is HWAI-NGAN CHAU, now -Fu on the canal, some miles south of the channel of the Hwang-Ho; but apparently in Polo's time the great river passed close to it. Indeed, the city takes its name from the River Hwai, into which the Hwang-Ho sent a branch when first seeking a discharge south of Shantung. The city extends for about 3 miles along the canal and much below its level. [According to Sir J.F. Davis, the situation of Hwai-ngan "is in every respect remarkable. A part of the town was so much below the level of the canal, that only the tops of the walls (at least 25 feet high) could be seen from our boats…. It proved to be, next to Tien-tsin, by far the largest and most populous place we had yet seen, the capital itself excepted." (Sketches of China, I. pp. 277-278.)—H.C.]

The headquarters of the salt manufacture of Hwai-ngan is a place called Yen-ching ("Salt-Town"), some distance to the S. of the former city (Pauthier).



When you leave Coiganju you ride south-east for a day along a causeway laid with fine stone, which you find at this entrance to Manzi. On either hand there is a great expanse of water, so that you cannot enter the province except along this causeway. At the end of the day's journey you reach the fine city of PAUKIN. The people are Idolaters, burn their dead, are subject to the Great Kaan, and use paper-money. They live by trade and manufactures and have great abundance of silk, whereof they weave a great variety of fine stuffs of silk and gold. Of all the necessaries of life there is great store.

When you leave Paukin you ride another day to the south-east, and then you arrive at the city of CAYU. The people are Idolaters (and so forth). They live by trade and manufactures and have great store of all necessaries, including fish in great abundance. There is also much game, both beast and bird, insomuch that for a Venice groat you can have three good pheasants. [NOTE 1]

NOTE 1.—Paukin is PAO-YING-Hien [a populous place, considerably below the level of the canal (Davis, Sketches, I. pp. 279-280)]; Caya is KAO-YU-chan, both cities on the east side of the canal. At Kao-yu, the country east of the canal lies some 20 feet below the canal level; so low indeed that the walls of the city are not visible from the further bank of the canal. To the west is the Kao-yu Lake, one of the expanses of water spoken of by Marco, and which threatens great danger to the low country on the east. (See Alabaster's Journey in Consular Reports above quoted, p. 5 [and Gandar, Canal Impérial, p. 17.—H.C.])

There is a fine drawing of Pao-ying, by Alexander, in the Staunton collection, British Museum.



When you leave Cayu, you ride another day to the south-east through a constant succession of villages and fields and fine farms until you come to TIJU, which is a city of no great size but abounding in everything. The people are Idolaters (and so forth). There is a great amount of trade, and they have many vessels. And you must know that on your left hand, that is towards the east, and three days' journey distant, is the Ocean Sea. At every place between the sea and the city salt is made in great quantities. And there is a rich and noble city called TINJU, at which there is produced salt enough to supply the whole province, and I can tell you it brings the Great Kaan an incredible revenue. The people are Idolaters and subject to the Kaan. Let us quit this, however, and go back to Tiju. [NOTE 1]

Again, leaving Tiju, you ride another day towards the south-east, and at the end of your journey you arrive at the very great and noble city of YANJU, which has seven-and-twenty other wealthy cities under its administration; so that this Yanju is, you see, a city of great importance.[NOTE 2] It is the seat of one of the Great Kaan's Twelve Barons, for it has been chosen to be one of the Twelve Sings. The people are Idolaters and use paper-money, and are subject to the Great Kaan. And Messer Marco Polo himself, of whom this book speaks, did govern this city for three full years, by the order of the Great Kaan.[NOTE 3] The people live by trade and manufactures, for a great amount of harness for knights and men-at-arms is made there. And in this city and its neighbourhood a large number of troops are stationed by the Kaan's orders.

There is no more to say about it. So now I will tell you about two great provinces of Manzi which lie towards the west. And first of that called Nanghin.

NOTE 1.—Though the text would lead us to look for Tiju on the direct line between Kao-yu and Yang-chau, and like them on the canal bank (indeed one MS., C. of Pauthier, specifies its standing on the same river as the cities already passed, i.e. on the canal), we seem constrained to admit the general opinion that this is TAI-CHAU, a town lying some 25 miles at least to the eastward of the canal, but apparently connected with it by a navigable channel.

Tinju or Chinju (for both the G.T. and Ramusio read Cingui) cannot be identified with certainty. But I should think it likely, from Polo's "geographical style," that when he spoke of the sea as three days distant he had this city in view, and that it is probably TUNG-CHAU, near the northern shore of the estuary of the Yang-tzu, which might be fairly described as three days from Tai-chau. Mr. Kingsmill identifies it with I-chin hien, the great port on the Kiang for the export of the Yang-chau salt. This is possible; but I-chin lies west of the canal, and though the form Chinju would really represent I-chin as then named, such a position seems scarcely compatible with the way, vague as it is, in which Tinju or Chinju is introduced. Moreover, we shall see that I-chin is spoken of hereafter. (Kingsmill in N. and Q. Ch. and Japan, I. 53.)

NOTE 2.—Happily, there is no doubt that this is YANG-CHAU, one of the oldest and most famous great cities of China. [Abulfeda (Guyard, II. ii. 122) says that Yang-chau is the capital of the Faghfûr of China, and that he is called Tamghâdj-khan.—H.C.] Some five-and-thirty years after Polo's departure from China, Friar Odoric found at this city a House of his own Order (Franciscans), and three Nestorian churches. The city also appears in the Catalan Map as Iangio. Yang-chau suffered greatly in the T'aï-P'ing rebellion, but its position is an "obligatory point" for commerce, and it appears to be rapidly recovering its prosperity. It is the headquarters of the salt manufacture, and it is also now noted for a great manufacture of sweetmeats (See Alabaster's Report, as above, p 6)

[Illustration: Yang chau: the three Cities Under the Sung]

[Through the kindness of the late Father H. Havret, S J, of Zi ka wei, I am enabled to give two plans from the Chronicles of Yang chau, Yang chau fu ché (ed. 1733); one bears the title "The Three Cities under the Sung," and the other. "The Great City under the Sung" The three cities are Pao yew cheng, built in 1256, Sin Pao cheng or Kia cheng, built after 1256, and Tacheng, the "Great City," built in 1175; in 1357, Ta cheng was rebuilt, and in 1557 it was augmented, taking the place of the three cities; from 553 B.C. until the 12th century, Yang-chau had no less than five enclosures; the governor's yamen stood where a cross is marked in the Great City. Since Yang-chau has been laid in ruins by the T'aï-P'ing insurgents, these plans offer now a new interest.—H.C.]

[Illustration: Yang-chau: the Great City under the Sung.]

NOTE 3.—What I have rendered "Twelve Sings" is in the G.T. "douze sajes," and in Pauthier's text "sieges." It seems to me a reasonable conclusion that the original word was Sings (see I. 432, supra); anyhow that was the proper term for the thing meant.

In his note on this chapter, Pauthier produces evidence that Yang-chau was the seat of a Lu or circuit[1] from 1277, and also of a Sing or Government-General, but only for the first year after the conquest, viz. 1276-1277, and he seems (for his argument is obscure) to make from this the unreasonable deduction that at this period Kúblái placed Marco Polo—who could not be more than twenty-three years of age, and had been but two years in Cathay—in charge either of the general government, or of an important district government in the most important province of the empire.

In a later note M. Pauthier speaks of 1284 as the date at which the Sing of the province of Kiang-ché was transferred from Yang-chau to Hang-chau; this is probably to be taken as a correction of the former citations, and it better justifies Polo's statement. (Pauthier, pp. 467, 492.)

I do not think that we are to regard Marco as having held at any time the important post of Governor-General of Kiang-ché. The expressions in the G. T. are: "Meser Marc Pol meisme, celui de cui trate ceste livre, seingneurie ceste cité por trois anz." Pauthier's MS. A. appears to read: "Et ot seigneurie, Marc Pol, en ceste cité, trois ans." These expressions probably point to the government of the Lu or circuit of Yang-chau, just as we find in ch. lxxiii. another Christian, Mar Sarghis, mentioned as Governor of Chin-kiang fu for the same term of years, that city being also the head of a Lu. It is remarkable that in Pauthier's MS. C., which often contains readings of peculiar value, the passage runs (and also in the Bern MS.): "Et si vous dy que ledit Messire Marc Pol, cellui meisme de qui nostre livre parle, sejourna, en ceste cité de Janguy. iii. ans accompliz, par le commandement du Grant Kaan," in which the nature of his employment is not indicated at all (though séjourna may be an error for seigneura). The impression of his having been Governor-General is mainly due to the Ramusian version, which says distinctly indeed that "M. Marco Polo di commissione del Gran Can n' ebbe il governo tre anni continui in luogo di un dei detti Baroni," but it is very probable that this is a gloss of the translator. I should conjecture his rule at Yang-chau to have been between 1282, when we know he was at the capital (vol. i. p. 422), and 1287-1288, when he must have gone on his first expedition to the Indian Seas.

[1] The Lu or Circuit was an administrative division under the Mongols, intermediate between the Sing and the Fu, or department. There were 185 lu in all China under Kúblái. (Pauth. 333). [Mr. E.L. Oxenham, Hist. Atlas Chin. Emp., reckons 10 provinces or sheng, 39 fu cities, 316 chau, 88 lu, 12 military governorships.—H.C.]



Nanghin is a very noble Province towards the west. The people are Idolaters (and so forth) and live by trade and manufactures. They have silk in great abundance, and they weave many fine tissues of silk and gold. They have all sorts of corn and victuals very cheap, for the province is a most productive one. Game also is abundant, and lions too are found there. The merchants are great and opulent, and the Emperor draws a large revenue from them, in the shape of duties on the goods which they buy and sell.[NOTE 1]

And now I will tell you of the very noble city of Saianfu, which well deserves a place in our book, for there is a matter of great moment to tell about it.

NOTE 1.—The name and direction from Yang-chau are probably sufficient to indicate (as Pauthier has said) that this is NGAN-KING on the Kiang, capital of the modern province of Ngan-hwei. The more celebrated city of Nan-king did not bear that name in our traveller's time.

Ngan-king, when recovered from the T'ai-P'ing in 1861, was the scene of a frightful massacre by the Imperialists. They are said to have left neither man, woman, nor child alive in the unfortunate city. (Blakiston p. 55.)



Saianfu is a very great and noble city, and it rules over twelve other large and rich cities, and is itself a seat of great trade and manufacture. The people are Idolaters (and so forth). They have much silk, from which they weave fine silken stuffs; they have also a quantity of game, and in short the city abounds in all that it behoves a noble city to possess.

Now you must know that this city held out against the Great Kaan for three years after the rest of Manzi had surrendered. The Great Kaan's troops made incessant attempts to take it, but they could not succeed because of the great and deep waters that were round about it, so that they could approach from one side only, which was the north. And I tell you they never would have taken it, but for a circumstance that I am going to relate.

You must know that when the Great Kaan's host had lain three years before the city without being able to take it, they were greatly chafed thereat. Then Messer Nicolo Polo and Messer Maffeo and Messer Marco said: "We could find you a way of forcing the city to surrender speedily;" whereupon those of the army replied, that they would be right glad to know how that should be. All this talk took place in the presence of the Great Kaan. For messengers had been despatched from the camp to tell him that there was no taking the city by blockade, for it continually received supplies of victual from those sides which they were unable to invest; and the Great Kaan had sent back word that take it they must, and find a way how. Then spoke up the two brothers and Messer Marco the son, and said: "Great Prince, we have with us among our followers men who are able to construct mangonels which shall cast such great stones that the garrison will never be able to stand them, but will surrender incontinently, as soon as the mangonels or trebuchets shall have shot into the town."[NOTE 1]

The Kaan bade them with all his heart have such mangonels made as speedily as possible. Now Messer Nicolo and his brother and his son immediately caused timber to be brought, as much as they desired, and fit for the work in hand. And they had two men among their followers, a German and a Nestorian Christian, who were masters of that business, and these they directed to construct two or three mangonels capable of casting stones of 300 lbs. weight. Accordingly they made three fine mangonels, each of which cast stones of 300 lbs. weight and more.[NOTE 2] And when they were complete and ready for use, the Emperor and the others were greatly pleased to see them, and caused several stones to be shot in their presence; whereat they marvelled greatly and greatly praised the work. And the Kaan ordered that the engines should be carried to his army which was at the leaguer of Saianfu.[NOTE 3]

And when the engines were got to the camp they were forthwith set up, to the great admiration of the Tartars. And what shall I tell you? When the engines were set up and put in gear, a stone was shot from each of them into the town. These took effect among the buildings, crashing and smashing through everything with huge din and commotion. And when the townspeople witnessed this new and strange visitation they were so astonished and dismayed that they wist not what to do or say. They took counsel together, but no counsel could be suggested how to escape from these engines, for the thing seemed to them to be done by sorcery. They declared that they were all dead men if they yielded not, so they determined to surrender on such conditions as they could get.[NOTE 4] Wherefore they straightway sent word to the commander of the army that they were ready to surrender on the same terms as the other cities of the province had done, and to become the subjects of the Great Kaan; and to this the captain of the host consented.

So the men of the city surrendered, and were received to terms; and this all came about through the exertions of Messer Nicolo, and Messer Maffeo, and Messer Marco; and it was no small matter. For this city and province is one of the best that the Great Kaan possesses, and brings him in great revenues.[NOTE 5]

NOTE 1.—Pauthier's MS. C. here says: "When the Great Kaan, and the Barons about him, and the messengers from the camp … heard this, they all marvelled greatly; for I tell you that in all those parts they know nothing of mangonels or trebuchets; and they were so far from being accustomed to employ them in their wars that they had never even seen them, nor knew what they were." The MS. in question has in this narrative several statements peculiar to itself,[1] as indeed it has in various other passages of the book; and these often look very like the result of revision by Polo himself. Yet I have not introduced the words just quoted into our text, because they are, as we shall see presently, notoriously contrary to fact.

NOTE 2.—The same MS. has here a passage which I am unable to understand. After the words "300 lbs. and more," it goes on: "Et la veoit l'en voler moult loing, desquelles pierres il en y avoit plus de lx routes qui tant montoit l'une comme l'autre" The Bern has the same. [Perhaps we might read lx en routes, viz. on their way.—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—I propose here to enter into some detailed explanation regarding the military engines that were in use in the Middle Ages.[2] None of these depended for their motive force on torsion like the chief engines used in classic times. However numerous the names applied to them, with reference to minor variations in construction or differences in power, they may all be reduced to two classes, viz. great slings and great crossbows. And this is equally true of all the three great branches of mediaeval civilisation—European, Saracenic, and Chinese. To the first class belonged the Trebuchet and Mangonel; to the second, the Winch-Arblast (Arbalête à Tour), Springold etc.

Whatever the ancient Balista may have been, the word in mediaeval Latin seems always to mean some kind of crossbow. The heavier crossbows were wound up by various aids, such as winches, ratchets, etc. They discharged stone shot, leaden bullets, and short, square-shafted arrows called quarrels, and these with such force we are told as to pierce a six-inch post (?). But they were worked so slowly in the field that they were no match for the long-bow, which shot five or six times to their once. The great machines of this kind were made of wood, of steel, and very frequently of horn;[3] and the bow was sometimes more than 30 feet in length. Dufour calculates that such a machine could shoot an arrow of half a kilogram in weight to a distance of about 860 yards.

The Trebuchet consisted of a long tapering shaft or beam, pivoted at a short distance from the butt end on a pair of strong pyramidal trestles. At the other end of the shaft a sling was applied, one cord of which was firmly attached by a ring, whilst the other hung in a loop over an iron hook which formed the extremity of the shaft. The power employed to discharge the sling was either the strength of a number of men, applied to ropes which were attached to the short end of the shaft or lever, or the weight of a heavy counterpoise hung from the same, and suddenly released.

[Illustration: Mediaeval Artillery Engines. Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Chinese;
Figs. 6, 7, 8, Saracenic: the rest Frank.]

Supposing the latter force to be employed, the long end of the shaft was drawn down by a windlass; the sling was laid forward in a wooden trough provided for it, and charged with the shot. The counterpoise was, of course, now aloft, and was so maintained by a detent provided with a trigger. On pulling this, the counterpoise falls and the shaft flies upwards drawing the sling. When a certain point is reached the loop end of the sling releases itself from the hook, and the sling flies abroad whilst the shot is projected in its parabolic flight.[4] To secure the most favourable result the shot should have acquired its maximum velocity, and should escape at an angle of about 45°. The attainment of this required certain proportions between the different dimensions of the machine and the weight of the shot, for which, doubtless, traditional rules of thumb existed among the mediaeval engineers.

The ordinary shot consisted of stones carefully rounded. But for these were substituted on occasion rough stones with fuses attached,[5] pieces of red-hot iron, pots of fused metal, or casks full of Greek fire or of foul matter to corrupt the air of the besieged place. Thus carrion was shot into Negropont from such engines by Mahomed II. The Cardinal Octavian, besieging Modena in 1249, slings a dead ass into the town. Froissart several times mentions such measures, as at the siege of Thin l'Evêque on the Scheldt in 1340, when "the besiegers by their engines flung dead horses and other carrion into the castle to poison the garrison by their smell." In at least one instance the same author tells how a living man, an unlucky messenger from the Castle of Auberoche, was caught by the besiegers, thrust into the sling with the letters that he bore hung round his neck, and shot into Auberoche, where he fell dead among his horrified comrades. And Lipsius quotes from a Spanish Chronicle the story of a virtuous youth, Pelagius, who, by order of the Tyrant Abderramin, was shot across the Guadalquivir, but lighted unharmed upon the rocks beyond. Ramon de Muntaner relates how King James of Aragon, besieging Majorca in 1228, vowed vengeance against the Saracen King because he shot Christian prisoners into the besiegers' camp with his trebuchets (pp. 223-224). We have mentioned one kind of corruption propagated by these engines; the historian Wassáf tells of another. When the garrison of Dehli refused to open the gates to Aláuddin Khilji after the murder of his uncle, Firúz (1296), he loaded his mangonels with bags of gold and shot them into the fort, a measure which put an end to the opposition.

Ibn Batuta, forty years later, describes Mahomed Tughlak as entering Dehli accompanied by elephants carrying small balistae (ra'ádái), from which gold and silver pieces were shot among the crowd. And the same king, when he had given the crazy and cruel order that the population of Dehli should evacuate the city and depart to Deogir, 900 miles distant, having found two men skulking behind, one of whom was paralytic and the other blind, caused the former to be shot from a mangonel. (I.B. III. 395, 315.)

Some old drawings represent the shaft as discharging the shot from a kind of spoon at its extremity, without the aid of a sling (e.g. fig. 13); but it may be doubted if this was actually used, for the sling was essential to the efficiency of the engine. The experiments and calculations of Dufour show that without the sling, other things remaining the same, the range of the shot would be reduced by more than a half.

In some of these engines the counterpoise, consisting of a timber case filled with stones, sand, or the like, was permanently fixed to the butt-end of the shaft. This seems to have been the Trebuchet proper. In others the counterpoise hung free on a pivot from the yard; whilst a third kind (as in fig. 17) combined both arrangements. The first kind shot most steadily and truly; the second with more force.

Those machines, in which the force of men pulling cords took the place of the counterpoise, could not discharge such weighty shot, but they could be worked more rapidly, and no doubt could be made of lighter scantling. Mr. Hewitt points out a curious resemblance between this kind of Trebuchet and the apparatus used on the Thames to raise the cargo from the hold of a collier.

The Emperor Napoleon deduces from certain passages in mediaeval writers that the Mangonel was similar to the Trebuchet, but of lighter structure and power. But often certainly the term Mangonel seems to be used generically for all machines of this class. Marino Sanudo uses no word but Machina, which he appears to employ as the Latin equivalent of Mangonel, whilst the machine which he describes is a Trebuchet with moveable counterpoise. The history of the word appears to be the following. The Greek word [Greek: mágganon], "a piece of witchcraft," came to signify a juggler's trick, an unexpected contrivance (in modern slang "a jim"), and so specially a military engine. It seems to have reached this specific meaning by the time of Hero the Younger, who is believed to have written in the first half of the 7th century. From the form [Greek: magganikòn] the Orientals got Manganík and Manjánik,[6] whilst the Franks adopted Mangona and Mangonella. Hence the verbs manganare and amanganare, to batter and crush with such engines, and eventually our verb "to mangle." Again, when the use of gunpowder rendered these warlike engines obsolete, perhaps their ponderous counterweights were utilised in the peaceful arts of the laundry, and hence gave us our substantive "the Mangle" (It. Mangano)!

The Emperor Napoleon, when Prince President, caused some interesting experiments in the matter of mediaeval artillery to be carried out at Vincennes, and a full-sized trebuchet was constructed there. With a shaft of 33 feet 9 inches in length, having a permanent counterweight of 3300 lbs. and a pivoted counterweight of 6600 lbs. more, the utmost effect attained was the discharge of an iron 24-kilo. shot to a range of 191 yards, whilst a 12-1/2-inch shell, filled with earth, ranged to 131 yards. The machine suffered greatly at each discharge, and it was impracticable to increase the counterpoise to 8000 kilos., or 17,600 lbs. as the Prince desired. It was evident that the machine was not of sufficiently massive structure. But the officers in charge satisfied themselves that, with practice in such constructions and the use of very massive timber, even the exceptional feats recorded of mediaeval engineers might be realised.

Such a case is that cited by Quatremère, from an Oriental author, of the discharge of stones weighing 400 mans, certainly not less than 800 lbs., and possibly much more; or that of the Men of Bern, who are reported, when besieging Nidau in 1388, to have employed trebuchets which shot daily into the town upwards of 200 blocks weighing 12 cwt. apiece.[7] Stella relates that the Genoese armament sent against Cyprus, in 1373, among other great machines had one called Troja (Truia?), which cast stones of 12 to 18 hundredweights; and when the Venetians were besieging the revolted city of Zara in 1346, their Engineer, Master Francesco delle Barche, shot into the city stones of 3000 lbs. weight.[8] In this case the unlucky engineer was "hoist with his own petard," for while he stood adjusting one of his engines, it went off, and shot him into the town.

With reference to such cases the Emperor calculates that a stone of 3000 lbs. weight might be shot 77 yards with a counterpoise of 36,000 lbs. weight, and a shaft 65 feet long. The counterpoise, composed of stone shot of 55 lbs. each, might be contained in a cubical case of about 5-1/2 feet to the side. The machine would be preposterous, but there is nothing impossible about it. Indeed in the Album of Villard de Honnecourt, an architect of the 13th century, which was published at Paris in 1858, in the notes accompanying a plan of a trebuchet (from which Professor Willis restored the machine as it is shown in our fig. 19), the artist remarks: "It is a great job to heave down the beam, for the counterpoise is very heavy. For it consists of a chest full of earth which is 2 great toises in length, 8 feet in breadth, and 12 feet in depth"! (p. 203).

Such calculations enable us to understand the enormous quantities of material said to have been used in some of the larger mediaeval machines. Thus Abulfeda speaks of one used at the final capture of Acre, which was entrusted to the troops of Hamath, and which formed a load for 100 carts, of which one was in charge of the historian himself. The romance of Richard Coeur de Lion tells how in the King's Fleet an entire ship was taken up by one such machine with its gear:—

  "Another schyp was laden yet
  With an engyne hyghte Robinet,
  (It was Richardys o mangonel)
  And all the takyl that thereto fel."

Twenty-four machines, captured from the Saracens by St. Lewis in his first partial success on the Nile, afforded material for stockading his whole camp. A great machine which cumbered the Tower of St. Paul at Orleans, and was dismantled previous to the celebrated defence against the English, furnished 26 cart-loads of timber. (Abulf. Ann. Muslem, V. 95-97; Weber, II. 56; Michel's Joinville, App. p. 278; Jollois, H. du Siège d Orleans, 1833, p. 12.)

The number of such engines employed was sometimes very great. We have seen that St. Lewis captured 24 at once, and these had been employed in the field. Villehardouin says that the fleet which went from Venice to the attack of Constantinople carried more than 300 perriers and mangonels, besides quantities of other engines required for a siege (ch. xxxviii). At the siege of Acre in 1291, just referred to, the Saracens, according to Makrizi, set 92 engines in battery against the city, whilst Abulfaraj says 300, and a Frank account, of great and small, 666. The larger ones are said to have shot stones of "a kantar and even more." (Makrizi, III. 125; Reinaud, Chroniques Arabes, etc., p. 570; De Excidio Urbis Acconis, in Marlène and Durand, V. 769.)

How heavy a mangonade was sometimes kept up may be understood from the account of the operations on the Nile, already alluded to. The King was trying to run a dam across a branch of the river, and had protected the head of his work by "cat-castles" or towers of timber, occupied by archers, and these again supported by trebuchets, etc., in battery. "And," says Jean Pierre Sarrasin, the King's Chamberlain, "when the Saracens saw what was going on, they planted a great number of engines against ours, and to destroy our towers and our causeway they shot such vast quantities of stones, great and small, that all men stood amazed. They slung stones, and discharged arrows, and shot quarrels from winch-arblasts, and pelted us with Turkish darts and Greek fire, and kept up such a harassment of every kind against our engines and our men working at the causeway, that it was horrid either to see or to hear. Stones, darts, arrows, quarrels, and Greek fire came down on them like rain."

The Emperor Napoleon observes that the direct or grazing fire of the great arblasts may be compared to that of guns in more modern war, whilst the mangonels represent mortar-fire. And this vertical fire was by no means contemptible, at least against buildings of ordinary construction. At the sieges of Thin l'Evêque in 1340, and Auberoche in 1344, already cited, Froissart says the French cast stones in, night and day, so as in a few days to demolish all the roofs of the towers, and none within durst venture out of the vaulted basement.

The Emperor's experiments showed that these machines were capable of surprisingly accurate direction. And the mediaeval histories present some remarkable feats of this kind. Thus, in the attack of Mortagne by the men of Hainault and Valenciennes (1340), the latter had an engine which was a great annoyance to the garrison; there was a clever engineer in the garrison who set up another machine against it, and adjusted it so well that the first shot fell within 12 paces of the enemy's engine, the second fell near the box, and the third struck the shaft and split it in two.

Already in the first half of the 13th century, a French poet (quoted by Weber) looks forward with disgust to the supercession of the feats of chivalry by more mechanical methods of war:—

  "Chevaliers sont esperdus,
  Cil ont auques leur tens perdus;
  Arbalestier et mineor
  Et perrier et engigneor
  Seront dorenavant plus chier."

When Gházán Khan was about to besiege the castle of Damascus in 1300, so much importance was attached to this art that whilst his Engineer, a man of reputation therein, was engaged in preparing the machines, the Governor of the castle offered a reward of 1000 dinars for that personage's head. And one of the garrison was daring enough to enter the Mongol camp, stab the Engineer, and carry back his head into the castle!

Marino Sanudo, about the same time, speaks of the range of these engines with a prophetic sense of the importance of artillery in war:—

"On this subject (length of range) the engineers and experts of the army should employ their very sharpest wits. For if the shot of one army, whether engine-stones or pointed projectiles, have a longer range than the shot of the enemy, rest assured that the side whose artillery hath the longest range will have a vast advantage in action. Plainly, if the Christian shot can take effect on the Pagan forces, whilst the Pagan shot cannot reach the Christian forces, it may be safely asserted that the Christians will continually gain ground from the enemy, or, in other words, they will win the battle."

The importance of these machines in war, and the efforts made to render them more effective, went on augmenting till the introduction of the still more "villanous saltpetre," even then, however, coming to no sudden halt. Several of the instances that we have cited of machines of extraordinary power belong to a time when the use of cannon had made some progress. The old engines were employed by Timur; in the wars of the Hussites as late as 1422; and, as we have seen, up to the middle of that century by Mahomed II. They are also distinctly represented on the towers of Aden, in the contemporary print of the escalade in 1514, reproduced in this volume. (Bk. III. ch. xxxvi.)

(Etudes sur le Passé et l'Avenir de l'Artillerie, par L. N. Bonaparte, etc., tom. II.; Marinus Sanutius, Bk. II. Pt. 4, ch. xxi. and xxii.; Kington's Fred. II., II. 488; Froissart, I. 69, 81, 182; Elliot, III. 41, etc.; Hewitt's Ancient Armour, I. 350; Pertz, Scriptores, XVIII. 420, 751; Q. R. 135-7; Weber, III. 103; Hammer, Ilch. II. 95.)

NOTE 4.—Very like this is what the Romance of Coeur de Lion tells of the effects of Sir Fulke Doyley's mangonels on the Saracens of Ebedy:—

  "Sir Fouke brought good engynes
  Swylke knew but fewe Sarazynes—
         * * *
  "A prys tour stood ovyr the Gate;
  He bent his engynes and threw thereate
  A great stone that harde droff,
  That the Tour al to roff
         * * *
  "And slough the folk that therinne stood;
  The other fledde and wer nygh wood,
  And sayde it was the devylys dent," etc.
      —Weber, II. 172.

NOTE 5.—This chapter is one of the most perplexing in the whole book, owing to the chronological difficulties involved.

SAIANFU is SIANG-YANG FU, which stands on the south bank of the River Han, and with the sister city of Fan-ch'eng, on the opposite bank, commands the junction of two important approaches to the southern provinces, viz. that from Shen-si down the Han, and that from Shan-si and Peking down the Pe-ho. Fan-ch'eng seems now to be the more important place of the two.

The name given to the city by Polo is precisely that which Siang-yang bears in Rashiduddin, and there is no room for doubt as to its identity.

The Chinese historians relate that Kúblái was strongly advised to make the capture of Siang-yang and Fan-ch'eng a preliminary to his intended attack upon the Sung. The siege was undertaken in the latter part of 1268, and the twin cities held out till the spring [March] of 1273. Nor did Kúblái apparently prosecute any other operations against the Sung during that long interval.

Now Polo represents that the long siege of Saianfu, instead of being a prologue to the subjugation of Manzi, was the protracted epilogue of that enterprise; and he also represents the fall of the place as caused by advice and assistance rendered by his father, his uncle, and himself, a circumstance consistent only with the siege's having really been such an epilogue to the war. For, according to the narrative as it stands in all the texts, the Polos could not have reached the Court of Kúblái before the end of 1274, i.e. a year and a half after the fall of Siang-yang, as represented in the Chinese histories.

The difficulty is not removed, nor, it appears to me, abated in any degree, by omitting the name of Marco as one of the agents in this affair, an omission which occurs both in Pauthier's MS. B and in Ramusio. Pauthier suggests that the father and uncle may have given the advice and assistance in question when on their first visit to the Kaan, and when the siege of Siang-yang was first contemplated. But this would be quite inconsistent with the assertion that the place had held out three years longer than the rest of Manzi, as well as with the idea that their aid had abridged the duration of the siege, and, in fact, with the spirit of the whole story. It is certainly very difficult in this case to justify Marco's veracity, but I am very unwilling to believe that there was no justification in the facts.

It is a very curious circumstance that the historian Wassáf also appears to represent Saianfu (see note 5, ch. lxv.) as holding out after all the rest of Manzi had been conquered. Yet the Chinese annals are systematic, minute, and consequent, and it seems impossible to attribute to them such a misplacement of an event which they represent as the key to the conquest of Southern China.

In comparing Marco's story with that of the Chinese, we find the same coincidence in prominent features, accompanying a discrepancy in details, that we have had occasion to notice in other cases where his narrative intersects history. The Chinese account runs as follows:—

In 1271, after Siang-yang and Fan-ch'eng had held out already nearly three years, an Uighúr General serving at the siege, whose name was Alihaiya, urged the Emperor to send to the West for engineers expert at the construction and working of machines casting stones of 150 lbs. weight. With such aid he assured Kúblái the place would speedily be taken. Kúblái sent to his nephew Abaka in Persia for such engineers, and two were accordingly sent post to China, Alawating of Mufali and his pupil Ysemain of Huli or Hiulie (probably Ala'uddin of Miafarakain and Ismael of Heri or Herat). Kúblái on their arrival gave them military rank. They exhibited their skill before the Emperor at Tatu, and in the latter part of 1272 they reached the camp before Siang-yang, and set up their engines. The noise made by the machines, and the crash of the shot as it broke through everything in its fall, caused great alarm in the garrison. Fan-ch'eng was first taken by assault, and some weeks later Siang-yang surrendered.

The shot used on this occasion weighed 125 Chinese pounds (if catties, then equal to about 166 lbs. avoird.), and penetrated 7 or 8 feet into the earth.

Rashiduddin also mentions the siege of Siangyang, as we learn from D'Ohsson. He states that as there were in China none of the Manjaníks or Mangonels called Kumghá the Kaan caused a certain engineer to be sent from Damascus or Balbek, and the three sons of this person, Abubakr, Ibrahim, and Mahomed, with their workmen, constructed seven great Manjaníks which were employed against SAYANFU, a frontier fortress and bulwark of Manzi.

We thus see that three different notices of the siege of Siang-yang, Chinese, Persian, and Venetian, all concur as to the employment of foreign engineers from the West, but all differ as to the individuals.

We have seen that one of the MSS. makes Polo assert that till this event the Mongols and Chinese were totally ignorant of mangonels and trebuchets. This, however, is quite untrue; and it is not very easy to reconcile even the statement, implied in all versions of the story, that mangonels of considerable power were unknown in the far East, with other circumstances related in Mongol history.

The Persian History called Tabakát-i-Násiri speaks of Aikah Nowin the Manjaníki Khás or Engineer-in-Chief to Chinghiz Khan, and his corps of ten thousand Manjaníkis or Mangonellers. The Chinese histories used by Gaubil also speak of these artillery battalions of Chinghiz. At the siege of Kai-fung fu near the Hwang-Ho, the latest capital of the Kin Emperors, in 1232, the Mongol General, Subutai, threw from his engines great quarters of millstones which smashed the battlements and watch-towers on the ramparts, and even the great timbers of houses in the city. In 1236 we find the Chinese garrison of Chinchau (I-chin-hien on the Great Kiang near the Great Canal) repelling the Mongol attack, partly by means of their stone shot. When Hulaku was about to march against Persia (1253), his brother, the Great Kaan Mangku, sent to Cathay to fetch thence 1000 families of mangonellers, naphtha-shooters, and arblasteers. Some of the crossbows used by these latter had a range, we are told, of 2500 paces! European history bears some similar evidence. One of the Tartar characteristics reported by a fugitive Russian Archbishop, in Matt. Paris (p. 570 under 1244), is: "Machinas habent multiplices, recte et fortiter jacientes"

It is evident, therefore, that the Mongols and Chinese had engines of war, but that they were deficient in some advantage possessed by those of the Western nations. Rashiduddin's expression as to their having no Kumghá mangonels, seems to be unexplained. Is it perhaps an error for Karábughá, the name given by the Turks and Arabs to a kind of great mangonel? This was known also in Europe as Carabaga, Calabra, etc. It is mentioned under the former name by Marino Sanudo, and under the latter, with other quaintly-named engines, by William of Tudela, as used by Simon de Montfort the Elder against the Albigenses:—

  "E dressa sos Calabres, et foi Mal Vezina
  E sas autras pereiras, e Dona, e Reina;
  Pessia les autz murs e la sala peirina."[9]

  ("He set up his Calábers, and likewise his Ill-Neighbours,
  With many a more machine, this the Lady, that the Queen,
  And breached the lofty walls, and smashed the stately Halls.")

Now, in looking at the Chinese representations of their ancient mangonels, which are evidently genuine, and of which I have given some specimens (figs. I, 2, 3), I see none worked by the counterpoise; all (and there are six or seven different representations in the work from which these are taken) are shown as worked by man-ropes. Hence, probably, the improvement brought from the West was essentially the use of the counterpoised lever. And, after I had come to this conclusion, I found it to be the view of Captain Favé. (See Du Feu Grégeois, by MM. Reinaud and Favé, p. 193.)

In Ramusio the two Polos propose to Kúblái to make "mangani al modo di Ponente"; and it is worthy of note that in the campaigns of Aláuddín Khilji and his generals in the Deccan, circa 1300, frequent mention is made of the Western Manjaniks and their great power. (See Elliot, III. 75, 78, etc.)

Of the kind worked by man-ropes must have been that huge mangonel which
Mahomed Iba Kásim, the conqueror of Sind, set in battery against the great
Dagoba of Daubul, and which required 500 men to work it. Like Simon de
Montfort's it had a tender name; it was called "The Bride." (Elliot, I.

Before quitting this subject, I will quote a curious passage from the History of the Sung Dynasty, contributed to the work of Reinaud and Favé by M. Stanislas Julien: "In the 9th year of the period Hien-shun (A.D. 1273) the frontier cities had fallen into the hands of the enemy (Tartars). The Pao (or engines for shooting) of the Bwei-Hwei (Mahomedans) were imitated, but in imitating them very ingenious improvements were introduced, and pao of a different and very superior kind were constructed. Moreover, an extraordinary method was invented of neutralising the effects of the enemy's pao. Ropes were made of rice-straw 4 inches thick, and 34 feet in length. Twenty such ropes were joined, applied to the tops of buildings, and covered with clay. In this manner the fire-arrows, fire-pao, and even the pao casting stones of 100 Lbs. weight, could cause no damage to the towers or houses." (Ib. 196; also for previous parts of this note, Visdelou, 188; Gaubil, 34, 155 seqq. and 70; De Mailla, 329; Pauthier in loco and Introduction; D'Ohsson, II. 35, and 391; Notes by Mr. Edward Thomas, F.R.S.; Q. Rashid., pp. 132, 136.) [See I. p. 342.]

[Captain Gill writes (River of Golden Sand, I. p. 148): "The word 'P'ao' which now means 'cannon,' was, it was asserted, found in old Chinese books of a date anterior to that in which gunpowder was first known to Europeans; hence the deduction was drawn that the Chinese were acquainted with gunpowder before it was used in the West. But close examination shows that in all old books the radical of the character 'P'ao' means 'stone,' but that in modern books the radical of the character 'P'ao' means 'fire'; that the character with the radical 'fire' only appears in books well known to have been written since the introduction of gunpowder into the West; and that the old character 'P'ao' in reality means 'Balista.'" —H.C.]

["Wheeled boats are mentioned in 1272 at the siege of Siang-yang. Kúblái did not decide to 'go for' Manzi, i.e. the southern of the two Chinese Empires, until 1273. Bayan did not start until 1274, appearing before Hankow in January 1275. Wuhu and Taiping surrendered in April; then Chinkiang, Kien K'ang (Nanking), and Ning kwoh; the final crushing blow being dealt at Hwai-chan. In March 1276, the Manzi Emperor accepted vassaldom. Kiang-nan was regularly administered in 1278." (E. H. Parker, China Review, xxiv. p. 105.)—H.C.]

Siang-yang has been twice visited by Mr. A. Wylie. Just before his first visit (I believe in 1866) a discovery had been made in the city of a quantity of treasure buried at the time of the siege. One of the local officers gave Mr. Wylie one of the copper coins, not indeed in itself of any great rarity, but worth engraving here on account of its connection with the siege commemorated in the text; and a little on the principle of Smith the Weaver's evidence:—"The bricks are alive at this day to testify of it; therefore deny it not."

[Illustration: Coin from a treasure hidden at Siang-yang during the siege in 1268-73, lately discovered.]

[1] And to the Bern MS. which seems to be a copy of it, as is also I think (in substance) the Bodleian.

[2] In this note I am particularly indebted to the researches of the Emperor Napoleon III. on this subject. (Etudes sur le passé et l'avenir de l'Artillerie; 1851.)

[3] Thus Joinville mentions the journey of Jehan li Ermin, the king's artillerist, from Acre to Damascus, pour acheter cornes et glus pour faire arbalestres—to buy horns and glue to make crossbows withal (p. 134).

    In the final defence of Acre (1291) we hear of balistae bipedales
    (with a forked rest?) and other vertiginales (traversing on a pivot)
    that shot 3 quarrels at once, and with such force as to stitch the
    Saracens to their bucklers—cum clypeis consutos interfecerunt.

    The crossbow, though apparently indigenous among various tribes of
    Indo-China, seems to have been a new introduction in European warfare
    in the 12th century. William of Brittany in a poem called the
    Philippis, speaking of the early days of Philip Augustus, says:—

      "Francigenis nostris illis ignota diebus
      Res erat omnino quid balistarius arcus,
      Quid balista foret, nec habebat in agmine toto
      Rex quenquam sciret armis qui talibus uti."
          —Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Script., V. 115.

Anna Comnena calls it [Greek: Tzágra] (which looks like Persian charkh), "a barbaric bow, totally unknown to the Greeks"; and she gives a very lengthy description of it, ending: "Such then are the facts about the Tzagra, and a truly diabolical affair it is." (Alex. X.—Paris ed. p. 291.)

[4] The construction is best seen in Figs. 17 and 19. Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in the cut are from Chinese sources; Figs. 6, 7, 8 from Arabic works; the rest from European sources.

[5] Christine de Pisan says that when keeping up a discharge by night lighted brands should be attached to the stones in order to observe and correct the practice. (Livre des faits, etc., du sage Roy Charles, Pt. II. ch. xxiv.)

[6] Professor Sprenger informs me that the first mention of the Manjanik in Mahomedan history is at the siege of Táyif by Mahomed himself, A.D. 630 (and see Sprenger's Mohammed [German], III. 330). The Annales Marbacenses in Pertz, xvii. 172, say under 1212, speaking of wars of the Emperor Otho in Germany: "Ibi tunc cepit haberi usus instrumenti bellici quod vulgo tribok appellari solet."

There is a ludicrous Oriental derivation of Manjanik, from the Persian: "Man chi nek"! "How good am I!" Ibn Khallikan remarks that the word must be foreign, because the letters j and k ([Arabic] and [Arabic]) never occur together in genuine Arabic words (Notes by Mr. E. Thomas, F.R.S.). It may be noticed that the letters in question occur together in another Arabic word of foreign origin used by Polo, viz. Játhalík.

[7] Dufour mentions that stone shot of the mediaeval engines exist at Zurich, of 20 and 22 inches diameter. The largest of these would, however, scarcely exceed 500 lbs. in weight.

[8] Georg. Stellae Ann. in Muratori, XVII. 1105; and Daru, Bk. viii. § 12.

[9] Shaw, Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages, vol. i. No 21.



You must know that when you leave the city of Yanju, after going 15 miles south-east, you come to a city called SINJU, of no great size, but possessing a very great amount of shipping and trade. The people are Idolaters and subject to the Great Kaan, and use paper-money.[NOTE 1]

And you must know that this city stands on the greatest river in the world, the name of which is KIAN. It is in some places ten miles wide, in others eight, in others six, and it is more than 100 days' journey in length from one end to the other. This it is that brings so much trade to the city we are speaking of; for on the waters of that river merchandize is perpetually coming and going, from and to the various parts of the world, enriching the city, and bringing a great revenue to the Great Kaan.

And I assure you this river flows so far and traverses so many countries and cities that in good sooth there pass and repass on its waters a great number of vessels, and more wealth and merchandize than on all the rivers and all the seas of Christendom put together! It seems indeed more like a Sea than a River.[NOTE 2] Messer Marco Polo said that he once beheld at that city 15,000 vessels at one time. And you may judge, if this city, of no great size, has such a number, how many must there be altogether, considering that on the banks of this river there are more than sixteen provinces and more than 200 great cities, besides towns and villages, all possessing vessels?

Messer Marco Polo aforesaid tells us that he heard from the officer employed to collect the Great Kaan's duties on this river that there passed up-stream 200,000 vessels in the year, without counting those that passed down! [Indeed as it has a course of such great length, and receives so many other navigable rivers, it is no wonder that the merchandize which is borne on it is of vast amount and value. And the article in largest quantity of all is salt, which is carried by this river and its branches to all the cities on their banks, and thence to the other cities in the interior.[NOTE 3]]

The vessels which ply on this river are decked. They have but one mast, but they are of great burthen, for I can assure you they carry (reckoning by our weight) from 4000 up to 12,000 cantars each.[NOTE 4]

Now we will quit this matter and I will tell you of another city called CAIJU. But first I must mention a point I had forgotten. You must know that the vessels on this river, in going up-stream have to be tracked, for the current is so strong that they could not make head in any other manner. Now the tow-line, which is some 300 paces in length, is made of nothing but cane. 'Tis in this way: they have those great canes of which I told you before that they are some fifteen paces in length; these they take and split from end to end [into many slender strips], and then they twist these strips together so as to make a rope of any length they please. And the ropes so made are stronger than if they were made of hemp.[NOTE 5]

[There are at many places on this river hills and rocky eminences on which the idol-monasteries and other edifices are built; and you find on its shores a constant succession of villages and inhabited places.[NOTE 6]]

NOTE 1.—The traveller's diversion from his direct course—sceloc or south-east, as he regards it—towards Fo-kien, in order to notice Ngan-king (as we have supposed) and Siang-yang, has sadly thrown out both the old translators and transcribers, and the modern commentators. Though the G. Text has here "quant l'en se part de la cité de Angui," I cannot doubt that Iangui (Yanju) is the reading intended, and that Polo here comes back to the main line of his journey.

[Illustration: 'Sono sopiaquesto frumern molti luoghi, colline e monticelli sassosi, sopia quali sono edificati monasteir d'Edoli, e altre stanze…']

I conceive Sinju to be the city which was then called CHÊN-CHAU, but now I-CHING HIEN,[1] and which stands on the Kiang as near as may be 15 miles from Yang-chau. It is indeed south-west instead of south-east, but those who have noted the style of Polo's orientation will not attach much importance to this. I-ching hien is still the great port of the Yang-chau salt manufacture, for export by the Kiang and its branches to the interior provinces. It communicates with the Grand Canal by two branch canals. Admiral Collinson, in 1842, remarked the great numbers of vessels lying in the creek off I-ching. (See note 1 to ch. lxviii. above; and J.R.G.S. XVII. 139.)

["We anchored at a place near the town of Y-ching-hien, distinguished by a pagoda. The most remarkable objects that struck us here were some enormously large salt-junks of a very singular shape, approaching to a crescent, with sterns at least thirty feet above the water, and bows that were two-thirds of that height. They had 'bright sides', that is, were varnished over the natural wood without painting, a very common style in China." (Davis, Sketches, II. p. 13.)—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—The river is, of course, the Great Kiang or Yang-tzu Kiang (already spoken of in ch. xliv. as the Kiansui), which Polo was justified in calling the greatest river in the world, whilst the New World was yet hidden. The breadth seems to be a good deal exaggerated, the length not at all. His expressions about it were perhaps accompanied by a mental reference to the term Dalai, "The Sea," which the Mongols appear to have given the river. (See Fr. Odoric, p. 121.) The Chinese have a popular saying, "Haï vu ping, Kiang vu ti," "Boundless is the Ocean, bottomless the Kiang!"

NOTE 3.—"The assertion that there is a greater amount of tonnage belonging to the Chinese than to all other nations combined, does not appear overcharged to those who have seen the swarms of boats on their rivers, though it might not be found strictly true." (Mid. Kingd. II. 398.) Barrow's picture of the life, traffic, and population on the Kiang, excepting as to specific numbers, quite bears out Marco's account. This part of China suffered so long from the wars of the T'ai-P'ing rebellion that to travellers it has presented thirty years ago an aspect sadly belying its old fame. Such havoc is not readily repaired in a few years, nor in a few centuries, but prosperity is reviving, and European navigation is making an important figure on the Kiang.

[From the Returns of Trade for the Year 1900 of the Imperial Maritime Customs of China, we take the following figures regarding the navigation on the Kiang. Steamers entered inwards and cleared outwards, under General Regulations at Chung-King: 1; 331 tons; sailing vessels, 2681; 84,862 tons, of which Chinese, 816; 27,684 tons. At Ichang: 314; 231,000 tons, of which Chinese, 118; 66,944 tons; sailing vessels, all Chinese, 5139; 163,320 tons. At Shasi: 606; 453,818 tons, of which Chinese, 606; 453,818 tons; no sailing vessels. At Yochow: 650; 299,962 tons, of which Chinese, 458; 148,112 tons; no sailing vessels; under Inland Steam Navigation Rules, 280 Chinese vessels, 20,958 tons. At Hankow: under General Regulation, Steamers, 2314; 2,101,555 tons, of which Chinese, 758; 462,424 tons; sailing vessels, 1137; 166,118 tons, of which Chinese, 1129; 163,724 tons; under Inland Steam Navigation Rules, 1682 Chinese vessels, 31,173 tons. At Kiu-Kiang: under General Regulation, Steamers, 2916; 3,393,514 tons, of which Chinese, 478; 697,468 tons; sailing vessels, 163; 29,996 tons, of which Chinese, 160; 27,797 tons; under Inland Steam Navigation Rules, 798 Chinese vessels; 21,670 tons. At Wu-hu: under General Regulation, Steamers, 3395; 3,713,172 tons, of which Chinese, 540; 678,362 tons; sailing vessels, 356; 48,299 tons, of which Chinese, 355; 47,848 tons; under Inland Steam Navigation Rules, 286 Chinese vessels; 4272 tons. At Nanking: under General Regulation, Steamers, 1672; 1,138,726 tons, of which Chinese, 970; 713,232 tons; sailing vessels, 290; 36,873 tons, of which Chinese, 281; 34,985 tons; under Inland Steam Navigation Rules, 30 Chinese vessels; 810 tons. At Chinkiang: under General Regulation, Steamers, 4710; 4,413,452 tons, of which Chinese, 924; 794,724 tons; sailing vessels, 1793; 294,664 tons, of which Chinese, 1771; 290,286 tons; under Inland Steam Navigation Rules, 2920; 39,346 tons, of which Chinese, 1684; 22,776 tons.—H.C.]

NOTE 4.—+12,000 cantars would be more than 500 tons, and this is justified by the burthen of Chinese vessels on the river; we see it is more than doubled by that of some British or American steamers thereon. In the passage referred to under Note 1, Admiral Collinson speaks of the salt-junks at I-ching as "very remarkable, being built nearly in the form of a crescent, the stern rising in some of them nearly 30 feet and the prow 20, whilst the mast is 90 feet high." These dimensions imply large capacity. Oliphant speaks of the old rice-junks for the canal traffic as transporting 200 and 300 tons (I. 197).

NOTE 5.—The tow-line in river-boats is usually made (as here described) of strips of bamboo twisted. Hawsers are also made of bamboo. Ramusio, in this passage, says the boats are tracked by horses, ten or twelve to each vessel. I do not find this mentioned anywhere else, nor has any traveller in China that I have consulted heard of such a thing.

NOTE 6.—Such eminences as are here alluded to are the Little Orphan Rock, Silver Island, and the Golden Island, which is mentioned in the following chapter. We give on the preceding page illustrations of those three picturesque islands; the Orphan Rock at the top, Golden Island in the middle, Silver Island below.

[1] See Gaubil, p. 93, note 4; Biot, p. 275 [and Playfair's Dict., p. 393].



Caiju is a small city towards the south-east. The people are subject to the Great Kaan and have paper-money. It stands upon the river before mentioned.[NOTE 1] At this place are collected great quantities of corn and rice to be transported to the great city of Cambaluc for the use of the Kaan's Court; for the grain for the Court all comes from this part of the country. You must understand that the Emperor hath caused a water-communication to be made from this city to Cambaluc, in the shape of a wide and deep channel dug between stream and stream, between lake and lake, forming as it were a great river on which large vessels can ply. And thus there is a communication all the way from this city of Caiju to Cambaluc; so that great vessels with their loads can go the whole way. A land road also exists, for the earth dug from those channels has been thrown up so as to form an embanked road on either side.[NOTE 2]

Just opposite to the city of Caiju, in the middle of the River, there stands a rocky island on which there is an idol-monastery containing some 200 idolatrous friars, and a vast number of idols. And this Abbey holds supremacy over a number of other idol-monasteries, just like an archbishop's see among Christians.[NOTE 3]

Now we will leave this and cross the river, and I will tell you of a city called Chinghianfu.

NOTE 1.—No place in Polo's travels is better identified by his local indications than this. It is on the Kiang; it is at the extremity of the Great Canal from Cambaluc; it is opposite the Golden Island and Chin-kiang fu. Hence it is KWA-CHAU, as Murray pointed out. Marsden here misunderstands his text, and puts the place on the south side of the Kiang.

Here Van Braam notices that there passed in the course of the day more than fifty great rice-boats, most of which could easily carry more than 300,000 lbs. of rice. And Mr. Alabaster, in 1868, speaks of the canal from Yang-chau to Kwa-chau as "full of junks."

[Sir J.F. Davis writes (Sketches of China, II. p. 6): "Two … days … were occupied in exploring the half-deserted town of Kwa-chow, whose name signifies 'the island of gourds,' being completely insulated by the river and canal. We took a long walk along the top of the walls, which were as usual of great thickness, and afforded a broad level platform behind the parapet: the parapet itself, about six feet high, did not in thickness exceed the length of a brick and a half, and the embrasures were evidently not constructed for cannon, being much too high. A very considerable portion of the area within the walls consisted of burial-grounds planted with cypress; and this alone was a sufficient proof of the decayed condition of the place, as in modern or fully inhabited cities no person can be buried within the walls. Almost every spot bore traces of ruin, and there appeared to be but one good street in the whole town; this, however, was full of shops, and as busy as Chinese streets always are."—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Rashiduddin gives the following account of the Grand Canal spoken of in this passage. "The river of Khanbaligh had," he says, "in the course of time, become so shallow as not to admit the entrance of shipping, so that they had to discharge their cargoes and send them up to Khanbaligh on pack-cattle. And the Chinese engineers and men of science having reported that the vessels from the provinces of Cathay, from Machin, and from the cities of Khingsai and Zaitún, could no longer reach the court, the Kaan gave them orders to dig a great canal into which the waters of the said river, and of several others, should be introduced. This canal extends for a distance of 40 days' navigation from Khanbaligh to Khingsai and Zaitún, the ports frequented by the ships that come from India, and from the city of Machin (Canton). The canal is provided with many sluices … and when vessels arrive at these sluices they are hoisted up by means of machinery, whatever be their size, and let down on the other side into the water. The canal has a width of more than 30 ells. Kúblái caused the sides of the embankments to be revetted with stone, in order to prevent the earth giving way. Along the side of the canal runs the high road to Machin, extending for a space of 40 days' journey, and this has been paved throughout, so that travellers and their animals may get along during the rainy season without sinking in the mud…. Shops, taverns, and villages line the road on both sides, so that dwelling succeeds dwelling without intermission throughout the whole space of 40 days' journey." (Cathay, 259-260.)

The canal appears to have been [begun in 1289 and to have been completed in 1292.—H.C.] though large portions were in use earlier. Its chief object was to provide the capital with food. Pauthier gives the statistics of the transport of rice by this canal from 1283 to the end of Kúblái's reign, and for some subsequent years up to 1329. In the latter year the quantity reached 3,522,163 shi or 1,247,633 quarters. As the supplies of rice for the capital and for the troops in the Northern Provinces always continued to be drawn from Kiang-nan, the distress and derangement caused by the recent rebel occupation of that province must have been enormous. (Pauthier, p. 481-482; De Mailla, p. 439.) Polo's account of the formation of the canal is exceedingly accurate. Compare that given by Mr. Williamson (I. 62).

NOTE 3.—"On the Kiang, not far from the mouth, is that remarkably beautiful little island called the 'Golden Isle,' surmounted by numerous temples inhabited by the votaries of Buddha or Fo, and very correctly described so many centuries since by Marco Polo." (Davis's Chinese, I. 149.) The monastery, according to Pauthier, was founded in the 3rd or 4th century, but the name Kin-Shan, or "Golden Isle," dates only from a visit of the Emperor K'ang-hi in 1684.

The monastery contained one of the most famous Buddhist libraries in China. This was in the hands of our troops during the first China war, and, as it was intended to remove the books, there was no haste made in examining their contents. Meanwhile peace came, and the library was restored. It is a pity now that the jus belli had not been exercised promptly, for the whole establishment was destroyed by the T'ai-P'ings in 1860, and, with the exception of the Pagoda at the top of the hill, which was left in a dilapidated state, not one stone of the buildings remained upon another. The rock had also then ceased to be an island; and the site of what not many years before had been a channel with four fathoms of water separating it from the southern shore, was covered by flourishing cabbage-gardens. (Gützlaff in J.R.A.S. XII. 87; Mid. Kingd. I. 84, 86; Oliphant's Narrative, II. 301; N. and Q. Ch. and Jap. No. 5, p. 58.)



Chinghianfu is a city of Manzi. The people are Idolaters and subject to the Great Kaan, and have paper-money, and live by handicrafts and trade. They have plenty of silk, from which they make sundry kinds of stuffs of silk and gold. There are great and wealthy merchants in the place; plenty of game is to be had, and of all kinds of victual.

[Illustration: West Gate of Chin-kiang fu in 1842.]

There are in this city two churches of Nestorian Christians which were established in the year of our Lord 1278; and I will tell you how that happened. You see, in the year just named, the Great Kaan sent a Baron of his whose name was MAR SARGHIS, a Nestorian Christian, to be governor of this city for three years. And during the three years that he abode there he caused these two Christian churches to be built, and since then there they are. But before his time there was no church, neither were there any Christians.[NOTE 1]

NOTE 1.—CHIN-KIANG FU retains its name unchanged. It is one which became well known in the war of 1842. On its capture on the 21st July in that year, the heroic Manchu commandant seated himself among his records and then set fire to the building, making it his funeral pyre. The city was totally destroyed in the T'ai-P'ing wars, but is rapidly recovering its position as a place of native commerce.

[Chên-kiang, "a name which may be translated 'River Guard,' stands at the point where the Grand Canal is brought to a junction with the waters of the Yang-tzu when the channel of the river proper begins to expand into an extensive tidal estuary." (Treaty Ports of China, p. 421.) It was declared open to foreign trade by the Treaty of Tien-Tsin 1858.—H.C.]

Mar Sarghis (or Dominus Sergius) appears to have been a common name among Armenian and other Oriental Christians. As Pauthier mentions, this very name is one of the names of Nestorian priests inscribed in Syriac on the celebrated monument of Si-ngan fu.

[In the description of Chin-kiang quoted by the Archimandrite Palladius (see vol. i. p. 187, note 3), a Christian monastery or temple is mentioned: "The temple Ta-hing-kuo-sze stands in Chin-kiang fu, in the quarter called Kia-t'ao h'eang. It was built in the 18th year of Chi-yuen (A.D. 1281) by the Sub-darugachi, Sie-li-ki-sze (Sergius). Liang Siang, the teacher in the Confucian school, wrote a commemorative inscription for him." From this document we see that "Sie-mi-sze-hien (Samarcand) is distant from China 100,000 li (probably a mistake for 10,000) to the north-west. It is a country where the religion of the Ye-li-k'o-wen dominates…. The founder of the religion was called Ma-rh Ye-li-ya. He lived and worked miracles a thousand five hundred years ago. Ma Sie-li-ki-sze (Mar Sergius) is a follower of him." (Chinese Recorder, VI. p. 108).—H.C.]

From this second mention of three years as a term of government, we may probably gather that this was the usual period for the tenure of such office. (Mid. Kingd., I. 86; Cathay, p. xciii.)



Leaving the city of Chinghianfu and travelling three days south-east through a constant succession of busy and thriving towns and villages, you arrive at the great and noble city of CHINGINJU. The people are Idolaters, use paper-money, and are subject to the Great Kaan. They live by trade and handicrafts, and they have plenty of silk. They have also abundance of game, and of all manner of victuals, for it is a most productive territory.[NOTE 1]

Now I must tell you of an evil deed that was done, once upon a time, by the people of this city, and how dearly they paid for it.

You see, at the time of the conquest of the great province of Manzi, when Bayan was in command, he sent a company of his troops, consisting of a people called Alans, who are Christians, to take this city.[NOTE 2] They took it accordingly, and when they had made their way in, they lighted upon some good wine. Of this they drank until they were all drunk, and then they lay down and slept like so many swine. So when night fell, the townspeople, seeing that they were all dead-drunk, fell upon them and slew them all; not a man escaped.

And when Bayan heard that the townspeople had thus treacherously slain his men, he sent another Admiral of his with a great force, and stormed the city, and put the whole of the inhabitants to the sword; not a man of them escaped death. And thus the whole population of that city was exterminated.[NOTE 3]

Now we will go on, and I will tell you of another city called Suju.

NOTE 1.—Both the position and the story which follows identify this city with CHANG-CHAU. The name is written in Pauthier's MSS. Chinginguy, in the G.T. Cingiggui and Cinghingui, in Ramusio Tinguigui.

The capture of Chang-chau by Gordon's force, 11th May 1864, was the final achievement of that "Ever Victorious Army."

Regarding the territory here spoken of, once so rich and densely peopled, Mr. Medhurst says, in reference to the effects of the T'ai-P'ing insurrection: "I can conceive of no more melancholy sight than the acres of ground that one passes through strewn with remains of once thriving cities, and the miles upon miles of rich land, once carefully parcelled out into fields and gardens, but now only growing coarse grass and brambles—the home of the pheasant, the deer, and the wild pig." (Foreigner in Far Cathay, p. 94.)

NOTE 2.—The relics of the Alans were settled on the northern skirts of the Caucasus, where they made a stout resistance to the Mongols, but eventually became subjects of the Khans of Sarai. The name by which they were usually known in Asia in the Middle Ages was Aas, and this name is assigned to them by Carpini, Rubruquis, and Josafat Barbaro, as well as by Ibn Batuta. Mr. Howorth has lately denied the identity of Alans and Aas; but he treats the question as all one with the identity of Alans and Ossethi, which is another matter, as may be seen in Vivien de St. Martin's elaborate paper on the Alans (N. Ann. des Voyages, 1848, tom. 3, p. 129 seqq.). The Alans are mentioned by the Byzantine historian, Pachymeres, among nations whom the Mongols had assimilated to themselves and adopted into their military service. Gaubil, without being aware of the identity of the Asu (as the name Aas appears to be expressed in the Chinese Annals), beyond the fact that they dwelt somewhere near the Caspian, observes that this people, after they were conquered, furnished many excellent officers to the Mongols; and he mentions also that when the Mongol army was first equipt for the conquest of Southern China, many officers took service therein from among the Uighúrs, Persians, and Arabs, Kincha (people of Kipchak), the Asu and other foreign nations. We find also, at a later period of the Mongol history (1336), letters reaching Pope Benedict XII. from several Christian Alans holding high office at the court of Cambaluc—one of them being a Chingsang or Minister of the First Rank, and another a Fanchang or Minister of the Second Order—in which they conveyed their urgent request for the nomination of an Archbishop in succession to the deceased John of Monte Corvino. John Marignolli speaks of those Alans as "the greatest and noblest nation in the world, the fairest and bravest of men," and asserts that in his day there were 30,000 of them in the Great Kaan's service, and all, at least nominally, Christians.[1] Rashiduddin also speaks of the Alans as Christians; though Ibn Batuta certainly mentions the Aas as Mahomedans. We find Alans about the same time (in 1306) fighting well in the service of the Byzantine Emperors (Muntaner, p. 449). All these circumstances render Marco's story of a corps of Christian Alans in the army of Bayan perfectly consistent with probability. (Carpini, p. 707; Rub., 243; Ramusio, II. 92; I.B. II. 428; Gaubil, 40, 147; Cathay, 314 seqq.)

[Mr. Rockhill writes (Rubruck, p. 88, note): "The Alans or Aas appear to be identical with the An-ts'ai or A-lan-na of the Hou Han shu (bk. 88, 9), of whom we read that 'they led a pastoral life N.W. of Sogdiana (K'ang-chú) in a plain bounded by great lakes (or swamps), and in their wanderings went as far as the shores of the Northern Ocean.' (Ma Twan-lin, bk. 338.) Pei-shih (bk. 97, 12) refers to them under the name of Su-tê and Wen-na-sha (see also Bretschneider, Med. Geog., 258, et seq.). Strabo refers to them under the name of Aorsi, living to the north but contiguous to the Albani, whom some authors confound with them, but whom later Armenian historians carefully distinguish from them (De Morgan, Mission, i. 232). Ptolemy speaks of this people as the 'Scythian Alans' ([Greek: Alanoí Skýthai]); but the first definite mention of them in classical authors is, according to Bunbury (ii. 486), found in Dionysius Periergetes (305), who speaks of the [Greek: alkaéentes Alanoí]. (See also De Morgan, i. 202, and Deguignes, ii. 279 et seq.)

"Ammianus Marcellinus (xxxi. 348) says, the Alans were a congeries of tribes living E. of the Tanais (Don), and stretching far into Asia. 'Distributed over two continents, all these nations, whose various names I refrain from mentioning, though separated by immense tracts of country in which they pass their vagabond existence, have with time been confounded under the generic appellation of Alans.' Ibn Alathir, at a later date, also refers to the Alans as 'formed of numerous nations.' (Dulaurier, xiv. 455).

"Conquered by the Huns in the latter part of the fourth century, some of the Alans moved westward, others settled on the northern slopes of the Caucasus; though long prior to that, in A.D. 51, they had, as allies of the Georgians, ravaged Armenia. (See Yule, Cathay, 316; Deguignes, I., pt. ii. 277 et seq.; and De Morgan, I. 217, et seq.)

"Mirkhond, in the Tarikhi Wassaf, and other Mohammedan writers speak of the Alans and As. However this may be, it is thought that the Oss or Ossetes of the Caucasus are their modern representatives (Klaproth, Tabl. hist., 180; De Morgan, i. 202, 231.)" Aas is the transcription of A-soo (Yuen-shi, quoted by Devéria, Notes d'épig., p. 75). (See Bretschneider, Med. Res., II., p. 84.)—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—The Chinese histories do not mention the story of the Alans and their fate; but they tell how Chang-chau was first taken by the Mongols about April 1275, and two months later recovered by the Chinese; how Bayan, some months afterwards, attacked it in person, meeting with a desperate resistance; finally, how the place was stormed, and how Bayan ordered the whole of the inhabitants to be put to the sword. Gaubil remarks that some grievous provocation must have been given, as Bayan was far from cruel. Pauthier gives original extracts on the subject, which are interesting. They picture the humane and chivalrous Bayan on this occasion as demoniacal in cruelty, sweeping together all the inhabitants of the suburbs, forcing them to construct his works of attack, and then butchering the whole of them, boiling down their carcasses, and using the fat to grease his mangonels! Perhaps there is some misunderstanding as to the use of this barbarous lubricant. For Carpini relates that the Tartars, when they cast Greek fire into a town, shot with it human fat, for this caused the fire to rage inextinguishably.

Cruelties, like Bayan's on this occasion, if exceptional with him, were common enough among the Mongols generally. Chinghiz, at an early period in his career, after a victory, ordered seventy great caldrons to be heated, and his prisoners to be boiled therein. And the "evil deed" of the citizens of Chang-chau fell far short of Mongol atrocities. Thus Hulaku, suspecting the Turkoman chief Nasiruddin, who had just quitted his camp with 300 men, sent a body of horse after him to cut him off. The Mongol officers told the Turkoman they had been ordered to give him and his men a parting feast; they made them all drunk and then cut their throats. (Gaubil, 166, 167, 170; Carpini, 696; Erdmann, 262; Quat. Rashid. 357.)

[1] I must observe here that the learned Professor Bruun has raised doubts whether these Alans of Marignolli's could be Alans of the Caucasus, and if they were not rather Ohláns, i.e. Mongol Princes and nobles. There are difficulties certainly about Marignolli's Alans; but obvious difficulties also in this explanation.



Suju is a very great and noble city. The people are Idolaters, subjects of the Great Kaan, and have paper-money. They possess silk in great quantities, from which they make gold brocade and other stuffs, and they live by their manufactures and trade.[NOTE 1]

The city is passing great, and has a circuit of some 60 miles; it hath merchants of great wealth and an incalculable number of people. Indeed, if the men of this city and of the rest of Manzi had but the spirit of soldiers they would conquer the world; but they are no soldiers at all, only accomplished traders and most skilful craftsmen. There are also in this city many philosophers and leeches, diligent students of nature.

And you must know that in this city there are 6,000 bridges, all of stone, and so lofty that a galley, or even two galleys at once, could pass underneath one of them.[NOTE 2]

In the mountains belonging to this city, rhubarb and ginger grow in great abundance; insomuch that you may get some 40 pounds of excellent fresh ginger for a Venice groat.[NOTE 3] And the city has sixteen other great trading cities under its rule. The name of the city, Suju, signifies in our tongue, "Earth," and that of another near it, of which we shall speak presently, called Kinsay, signifies "Heaven;" and these names are given because of the great splendour of the two cities.[NOTE 4]

Now let us quit Suju, and go on to another which is called VUJU, one day's journey distant; it is a great and fine city, rife with trade and manufactures. But as there is nothing more to say of it we shall go on and I will tell you of another great and noble city called VUGHIN. The people are Idolaters, &c., and possess much silk and other merchandize, and they are expert traders and craftsmen. Let us now quit Vughin and tell you of another city called CHANGAN, a great and rich place. The people are Idolaters, &c., and they live by trade and manufactures. They make great quantities of sendal of different kinds, and they have much game in the neighbourhood. There is however nothing more to say about the place, so we shall now proceed.[NOTE 5]

NOTE 1.—SUJU is of course the celebrated city of SU-CHAU in Kiang-nan— before the rebellion brought ruin on it, the Paris of China. "Everything remarkable was alleged to come from it; fine pictures, fine carved-work, fine silks, and fine ladies!" (Fortune, I. 186.) When the Emperor K'ang-hi visited Su-chau, the citizens laid the streets with carpets and silk stuffs, but the Emperor dismounted and made his train do the like. (Davis, I. 186.)

[Su-chau is situated 80 miles west of Shang-hai, 12 miles east of the Great Lake, and 40 miles south of the Kiang, in the plain between this river and Hang-chau Bay. It was the capital of the old kingdom of Wu which was independent from the 12th to the 4th centuries (B.C.) inclusive; it was founded by Wu Tzu-su, prime minister of King Hoh Lü (514-496 B.C.), who removed the capital of Wu from Mei-li (near the modern Ch'ang-chau) to the new site now occupied by the city of Su-chau. "Suchau is built in the form of a rectangle, and is about three and a half miles from North to South, by two and a half in breadth, the wall being twelve or thirteen miles in length. There are six gates." (Rev. H.C. Du Bose, Chin. Rec., xix. p. 205.) It has greatly recovered since the T'ai-P'ing rebellion, and its recapture by General (then Major) Gordon on the 27th November 1863; Su-chau has been declared open to foreign trade on the 26th September 1896, under the provisions of the Japanese Treaty of 1895.

"The great trade of Soochow is silk. In the silk stores are found about 100 varieties of satin, and 200 kinds of silks and gauzes…. The weavers are divided into two guilds, the Nankin and Suchau, and have together about 7000 looms. Thousands of men and women are engaged in reeling the thread." (Rev. H.C. Du Bose, Chin. Rec., xix. pp. 275-276.)—H.C.]

[Illustration: CITY OF SUCHAU
Reduced to 1/10 the scale from a Rubbing of a PLAN incised on MARBLE

NOTE 2.—I believe we must not bring Marco to book for the literal accuracy of his statements as to the bridges; but all travellers have noticed the number and elegance of the bridges of cut stone in this part of China; see, for instance, Van Braam, II. 107, 119-120, 124, 126; and Deguignes I. 47, who gives a particular account of the arches. These are said to be often 50 or 60 feet in span.

["Within the city there are, generally speaking, six canals from North to South, and six canals from East to West, intersecting one another at from a quarter to half a mile. There are a hundred and fifty or two hundred bridges at intervals of two or three hundred yards; some of these with arches, others with stone slabs thrown across, many of which are twenty feet in length. The canals are from ten to fifteen feet wide and faced with stone." (Rev. H.C. Du Bose, Chin. Rec., xix., 1888, p. 207).—H.C.]

[Illustration: South-West Gate and Water-Gate of Su-chau; facsimile on half the scale from a mediaeval Map, incised on Marble, A.D. 1247.]

NOTE 3.—This statement about the abundance of rhubarb in the hills near Su-chau is believed by the most competent authorities to be quite erroneous. Rhubarb is exported from Shang-hai, but it is brought thither from Hankau on the Upper Kiang, and Hankau receives it from the further west. Indeed Mr. Hanbury, in a note on the subject, adds his disbelief also that ginger is produced in Kiang-nan. And I see in the Shang-hai trade-returns of 1865, that there is no ginger among the exports. [Green ginger is mentioned in the Shang-hai Trade Reports for 1900 among the exports (p. 309) to the amount of 18,756 piculs; none is mentioned at Su-chau.—H.C.]. Some one, I forget where, has suggested a confusion with Suh-chau in Kan-suh, the great rhubarb mart, which seems possible.

["Polo is correct in giving Tangut as the native country of Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum) but no species of Rheum has hitherto been gathered by our botanists as far south as Kiang-Su, indeed, not even in Shan-tung." (Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc., I. p. 5.)—H.C.]

NOTE 4.—The meanings ascribed by Polo to the names of Su-chau and King-szé (Hang-chau) show plainly enough that he was ignorant of Chinese. Odoric does not mention Su-chau, but he gives the same explanation of Kinsay as signifying the "City of Heaven," and Wassáf also in his notice of the same city has an obscure passage about Paradise and Heaven, which is not improbably a corrupted reference to the same interpretation.[1] I suspect therefore that it was a "Vulgar Error" of the foreign residents in China, probably arising out of a misunderstanding of the Chinese adage quoted by Duhalde and Davis:—

"Shang yeu t'ien t'ang, Hia yeu SU HANG!"

  "There's Paradise above 'tis true,
  But here below we've HANG and SU!"

These two neighbouring cities, in the middle of the beautiful tea and silk districts, and with all the advantages of inland navigation and foreign trade, combined every source of wealth and prosperity, and were often thus coupled together by the Chinese. Both are, I believe, now recovering from the effects of devastation by T'ai-P'ing occupation and Imperialist recapture; but neither probably is one-fifth of what it was.

The plan of Su-chau which we give is of high interest. It is reduced (1/10 the scale) from a rubbing of a plan of the city incised on marble measuring 6' 7" by 4' 4", and which has been preserved in the Confucian Temple in Su-chau since A.D. 1247. Marco Polo's eyes have probably rested on this fine work, comparable to the famous Pianta Capitolina. The engraving on page 183 represents one of the gates traced from the rubbing and reduced to half the scale. It is therefore an authentic representation of Chinese fortification in or before the 13th century.[2]

["In the southern part of Su-chau is the park, surrounded by a high wall, which contains the group of buildings called the Confucian Temple. This is the Dragon's head;—the Dragon Street, running directly North, is his body, and the Great Pagoda is his tail. In front is a grove of cedars. To one side is the hall where thousands of scholars go to worship at the Spring and Autumn Festivals—this for the gentry alone, not for the unlettered populace. There is a building used for the slaughter of animals, another containing a map of the city engraved in stone; a third with tablets and astronomical diagrams, and a fourth containing the Provincial Library. On each side of the large courts are rooms where are placed the tablets of the 500 sages. The main temple is 50 by 70 feet, and contains the tablet of Confucius and a number of gilded boards with mottoes. It is a very imposing structure. On the stone dais in front, a mat-shed is erected for the great sacrifices at which the official magnates exercise their sacerdotal functions. As a tourist beheld the sacred grounds and the aged trees, she said: 'This is the most venerable-looking place I have seen in China.' On the gateway in front, the sage is called 'The Prince of Doctrine in times Past and Present.'" (Rev. H.C. Du Bose, Chin. Rec., xix. p. 272).—H.C.]

NOTE 5.—The Geographic Text only, at least of the principal Texts, has distinctly the three cities, Vugui, Vughin, Ciangan. Pauthier identifies the first and third with HU-CHAU FU and Sung-kiang fu. In favour of Vuju's being Hu-chau is the fact mentioned by Wilson that the latter city is locally called WUCHU.[3] If this be the place, the Traveller does not seem to be following a direct and consecutive route from Su-chau to Hang-chau. Nor is Hu-chau within a day's journey of Su-chau. Mr. Kingsmill observes that the only town at that distance is Wukiang-hien, once of some little importance but now much reduced. WUKIANG, however, is suggestive of VUGHIN; and, in that supposition, Hu-chau must be considered the object of a digression from which the Traveller returns and takes up his route to Hang-chau via Wukiang. Kiahing would then best answer to Ciangan, or Caingan, as it is written in the following chapter of the G.T.

[1] See Quatremère's Rashid., p. lxxxvii., and Hammer's Wassáf, p. 42.

[2] I owe these valuable illustrations, as so much else, to the unwearied kindness of Mr. A. Wylie. There were originally four maps: (1) The City, (2) The Empire, (3) The Heavens, (4) no longer known. They were drawn originally by one Hwan Kin-shan, and presented by him to a high official in Sze-ch'wan. Wang Che-yuen, subsequently holding office in the same province, got possession of the maps, and had them incised at Su-chau in A.D. 1247. The inscription bearing these particulars is partially gone, and the date of the original drawings remains uncertain. (See List of Illustrations.)

[3] The Ever Victorious Army, p. 395



When you have left the city of Changan and have travelled for three days through a splendid country, passing a number of towns and villages, you arrive at the most noble city of Kinsay, a name which is as much as to say in our tongue "The City of Heaven," as I told you before.[NOTE 1]

And since we have got thither I will enter into particulars about its magnificence; and these are well worth the telling, for the city is beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world. In this we shall speak according to the written statement which the Queen of this Realm sent to Bayan the conqueror of the country for transmission to the Great Kaan, in order that he might be aware of the surpassing grandeur of the city and might be moved to save it from destruction or injury. I will tell you all the truth as it was set down in that document. For truth it was, as the said Messer Marco Polo at a later date was able to witness with his own eyes. And now we shall rehearse those particulars.

First and foremost, then, the document stated the city of Kinsay to be so great that it hath an hundred miles of compass. And there are in it twelve thousand bridges of stone, for the most part so lofty that a great fleet could pass beneath them. And let no man marvel that there are so many bridges, for you see the whole city stands as it were in the water and surrounded by water, so that a great many bridges are required to give free passage about it. [And though the bridges be so high the approaches are so well contrived that carts and horses do cross them.[NOTE 2]]

The document aforesaid also went on to state that there were in this city twelve guilds of the different crafts, and that each guild had 12,000 houses in the occupation of its workmen. Each of these houses contains at least 12 men, whilst some contain 20 and some 40,—not that these are all masters, but inclusive of the journeymen who work under the masters. And yet all these craftsmen had full occupation, for many other cities of the kingdom are supplied from this city with what they require.

The document aforesaid also stated that the number and wealth of the merchants, and the amount of goods that passed through their hands, was so enormous that no man could form a just estimate thereof. And I should have told you with regard to those masters of the different crafts who are at the head of such houses as I have mentioned, that neither they nor their wives ever touch a piece of work with their own hands, but live as nicely and delicately as if they were kings and queens. The wives indeed are most dainty and angelical creatures! Moreover it was an ordinance laid down by the King that every man should follow his father's business and no other, no matter if he possessed 100,000 bezants.[NOTE 3]

Inside the city there is a Lake which has a compass of some 30 miles: and all round it are erected beautiful palaces and mansions, of the richest and most exquisite structure that you can imagine, belonging to the nobles of the city. There are also on its shores many abbeys and churches of the Idolaters. In the middle of the Lake are two Islands, on each of which stands a rich, beautiful and spacious edifice, furnished in such style as to seem fit for the palace of an Emperor. And when any one of the citizens desired to hold a marriage feast, or to give any other entertainment, it used to be done at one of these palaces. And everything would be found there ready to order, such as silver plate, trenchers, and dishes [napkins and table-cloths], and whatever else was needful. The King made this provision for the gratification of his people, and the place was open to every one who desired to give an entertainment. [Sometimes there would be at these palaces an hundred different parties; some holding a banquet, others celebrating a wedding; and yet all would find good accommodation in the different apartments and pavilions, and that in so well ordered a manner that one party was never in the way of another.[NOTE 4]]

The houses of the city are provided with lofty towers of stone in which articles of value are stored for fear of fire; for most of the houses themselves are of timber, and fires are very frequent in the city.

The people are Idolaters; and since they were conquered by the Great Kaan they use paper-money. [Both men and women are fair and comely, and for the most part clothe themselves in silk, so vast is the supply of that material, both from the whole district of Kinsay, and from the imports by traders from other provinces.[NOTE 5]] And you must know they eat every kind of flesh, even that of dogs and other unclean beasts, which nothing would induce a Christian to eat.

Since the Great Kaan occupied the city he has ordained that each of the 12,000 bridges should be provided with a guard of ten men, in case of any disturbance, or of any being so rash as to plot treason or insurrection against him. [Each guard is provided with a hollow instrument of wood and with a metal basin, and with a time-keeper to enable them to know the hour of the day or night. And so when one hour of the night is past the sentry strikes one on the wooden instrument and on the basin, so that the whole quarter of the city is made aware that one hour of the night is gone. At the second hour he gives two strokes, and so on, keeping always wide awake and on the look out. In the morning again, from the sunrise, they begin to count anew, and strike one hour as they did in the night, and so on hour after hour.

Part of the watch patrols the quarter, to see if any light or fire is burning after the lawful hours; if they find any they mark the door, and in the morning the owner is summoned before the magistrates, and unless he can plead a good excuse he is punished. Also if they find any one going about the streets at unlawful hours they arrest him, and in the morning they bring him before the magistrates. Likewise if in the daytime they find any poor cripple unable to work for his livelihood, they take him to one of the hospitals, of which there are many, founded by the ancient kings, and endowed with great revenues.[NOTE 6] Or if he be capable of work they oblige him to take up some trade. If they see that any house has caught fire they immediately beat upon that wooden instrument to give the alarm, and this brings together the watchmen from the other bridges to help to extinguish it, and to save the goods of the merchants or others, either by removing them to the towers above mentioned, or by putting them in boats and transporting them to the islands in the lake. For no citizen dares leave his house at night, or to come near the fire; only those who own the property, and those watchmen who flock to help, of whom there shall come one or two thousand at the least.]

Moreover, within the city there is an eminence on which stands a Tower, and at the top of the tower is hung a slab of wood. Whenever fire or any other alarm breaks out in the city a man who stands there with a mallet in his hand beats upon the slab, making a noise that is heard to a great distance. So when the blows upon this slab are heard, everybody is aware that fire has broken out, or that there is some other cause of alarm.

The Kaan watches this city with especial diligence because it forms the head of all Manzi; and because he has an immense revenue from the duties levied on the transactions of trade therein, the amount of which is such that no one would credit it on mere hearsay.

All the streets of the city are paved with stone or brick, as indeed are all the highways throughout Manzi, so that you ride and travel in every direction without inconvenience. Were it not for this pavement you could not do so, for the country is very low and flat, and after rain 'tis deep in mire and water. [But as the Great Kaan's couriers could not gallop their horses over the pavement, the side of the road is left unpaved for their convenience. The pavement of the main street of the city also is laid out in two parallel ways of ten paces in width on either side, leaving a space in the middle laid with fine gravel, under which are vaulted drains which convey the rain water into the canals; and thus the road is kept ever dry.][NOTE 7]

You must know also that the city of Kinsay has some 3000 baths, the water of which is supplied by springs. They are hot baths, and the people take great delight in them, frequenting them several times a month, for they are very cleanly in their persons. They are the finest and largest baths in the world; large enough for 100 persons to bathe together.[NOTE 8]

And the Ocean Sea comes within 25 miles of the city at a place called GANFU, where there is a town and an excellent haven, with a vast amount of shipping which is engaged in the traffic to and from India and other foreign parts, exporting and importing many kinds of wares, by which the city benefits. And a great river flows from the city of Kinsay to that sea-haven, by which vessels can come up to the city itself. This river extends also to other places further inland.[NOTE 9]

Know also that the Great Kaan hath distributed the territory of Manzi into nine parts, which he hath constituted into nine kingdoms. To each of these kingdoms a king is appointed who is subordinate to the Great Kaan, and every year renders the accounts of his kingdom to the fiscal office at the capital.[NOTE 10] This city of Kinsay is the seat of one of these kings, who rules over 140 great and wealthy cities. For in the whole of this vast country of Manzi there are more than 1200 great and wealthy cities, without counting the towns and villages, which are in great numbers. And you may receive it for certain that in each of those 1200 cities the Great Kaan has a garrison, and that the smallest of such garrisons musters 1000 men; whilst there are some of 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000; so that the total number of troops is something scarcely calculable. The troops forming these garrisons are not all Tartars. Many are from the province of Cathay, and good soldiers too. But you must not suppose they are by any means all of them cavalry; a very large proportion of them are foot-soldiers, according to the special requirements of each city. And all of them belong to the army of the Great Kaan.[NOTE 11]

I repeat that everything appertaining to this city is on so vast a scale, and the Great Kaan's yearly revenues therefrom are so immense, that it is not easy even to put it in writing, and it seems past belief to one who merely hears it told. But I will write it down for you.

First, however, I must mention another thing. The people of this country have a custom, that as soon as a child is born they write down the day and hour and the planet and sign under which its birth has taken place; so that every one among them knows the day of his birth. And when any one intends a journey he goes to the astrologers, and gives the particulars of his nativity in order to learn whether he shall have good luck or no. Sometimes they will say no, and in that case the journey is put off till such day as the astrologer may recommend. These astrologers are very skilful at their business, and often their words come to pass, so the people have great faith in them.

They burn the bodies of the dead. And when any one dies the friends and relations make a great mourning for the deceased, and clothe themselves in hempen garments,[NOTE 12] and follow the corpse playing on a variety of instruments and singing hymns to their idols. And when they come to the burning place, they take representations of things cut out of parchment, such as caparisoned horses, male and female slaves, camels, armour suits of cloth of gold (and money), in great quantities, and these things they put on the fire along with the corpse, so that they are all burnt with it. And they tell you that the dead man shall have all these slaves and animals of which the effigies are burnt, alive in flesh and blood, and the money in gold, at his disposal in the next world; and that the instruments which they have caused to be played at his funeral, and the idol hymns that have been chaunted, shall also be produced again to welcome him in the next world; and that the idols themselves will come to do him honour. [NOTE 13]

Furthermore there exists in this city the palace of the king who fled, him who was Emperor of Manzi, and that is the greatest palace in the world, as I shall tell you more particularly. For you must know its demesne hath a compass of ten miles, all enclosed with lofty battlemented walls; and inside the walls are the finest and most delectable gardens upon earth, and filled too with the finest fruits. There are numerous fountains in it also, and lakes full of fish. In the middle is the palace itself, a great and splendid building. It contains 20 great and handsome halls, one of which is more spacious than the rest, and affords room for a vast multitude to dine. It is all painted in gold, with many histories and representations of beasts and birds, of knights and dames, and many marvellous things. It forms a really magnificent spectacle, for over all the walls and all the ceiling you see nothing but paintings in gold. And besides these halls the palace contains 1000 large and handsome chambers, all painted in gold and divers colours.

Moreover, I must tell you that in this city there are 160 tomans of fires, or in other words 160 tomans of houses. Now I should tell you that the toman is 10,000, so that you can reckon the total as altogether 1,600,000 houses, among which are a great number of rich palaces. There is one church only, belonging to the Nestorian Christians.

There is another thing I must tell you. It is the custom for every burgess of this city, and in fact for every description of person in it, to write over his door his own name, the name of his wife, and those of his children, his slaves, and all the inmates of his house, and also the number of animals that he keeps. And if any one dies in the house then the name of that person is erased, and if any child is born its name is added. So in this way the sovereign is able to know exactly the population of the city. And this is the practice also throughout all Manzi and Cathay. [NOTE 14]

[Illustration: Plan of the City of SI-NGAN-FU]

And I must tell you that every hosteler who keeps an hostel for travellers is bound to register their names and surnames, as well as the day and month of their arrival and departure. And thus the sovereign hath the means of knowing, whenever it pleases him, who come and go throughout his dominions. And certes this is a wise order and a provident.

NOTE 1.—Kinsay represents closely enough the Chinese term King-sze, "capital," which was then applied to the great city, the proper name of which was at that time Lin-ngan and is now HANG-CHAU, as being since 1127 the capital of the Sung Dynasty. The same term King-sze is now on Chinese maps generally used to designate Peking. It would seem, however, that the term adhered long as a quasi-proper name to Hang-chau; for in the Chinese Atlas, dating from 1595, which the traveller Carletti presented to the Magliabecchian Library, that city appears to be still marked with this name, transcribed by Carletti as Camse; very near the form Campsay used by Marignolli in the 14th century.

[Illustration: The ancient Lun ho-ta Pagoda at Hang-chau.]

NOTE 2.—+The Ramusian version says: "Messer Marco Polo was frequently at this city, and took great pains to learn everything about it, writing down the whole in his notes." The information being originally derived from a Chinese document, there might be some ground for supposing that 100 miles of circuit stood for 100 li. Yet the circuit of the modern city is stated in the official book called Hang-chau Fu-Chi or topographical history of Hang-chau, at only 35 li. And the earliest record of the wall, as built under the Sui by Yang-su (before A.D. 606), makes its extent little more (36 li and 90 paces.)[1] But the wall was reconstructed by Ts'ien Kiao, feudal prince of the region, during the reign of Chao Tsung, one of the last emperors of the T'ang Dynasty (892), so as to embrace the Luh-ho-ta Pagoda, on a high bluff over the Tsien-tang River,[2] 15 li distant from the present south gate, and had then a circuit of 70 li. Moreover, in 1159, after the city became the capital of the Sung emperors, some further extension was given to it, so that, even exclusive of the suburbs, the circuit of the city may have been not far short of 100 li. When the city was in its glory under the Sung, the Luh-ho-ta Pagoda may be taken as marking the extreme S.W. Another known point marks approximately the chief north gate of that period, at a mile and a half or two miles beyond the present north wall. The S.E. angle was apparently near the river bank. But, on the other hand, the waist of the city seems to have been a good deal narrower than it now is. Old descriptions compare its form to that of a slender-waisted drum (dice-box or hour-glass shape).

Under the Mongols the walls were allowed to decay; and in the disturbed years that closed that dynasty (1341-1368) they were rebuilt by an insurgent chief on a greatly reduced compass, probably that which they still retain. Whatever may have been the facts, and whatever the origin of the estimate, I imagine that the ascription of 100 miles of circuit to Kinsay had become popular among Westerns. Odoric makes the same statement. Wassáf calls it 24 parasangs, which will not be far short of the same amount. Ibn Batuta calls the length of the city three days' journey. Rashiduddin says the enceinte had a diameter of 11 parasangs, and that there were three post stages between the two extremities of the city, which is probably what Ibn Batuta had heard. The Masálak-al-Absár calls it one day's journey in length, and half a day's journey in breadth. The enthusiastic Jesuit Martini tries hard to justify Polo in this as in other points of his description. We shall quote the whole of his remarks at the end of the chapters on Kinsay.

[Dr. F. Hirth, in a paper published in the T'oung Pao, V. pp. 386-390 (Ueber den Shiffsverkehr von Kinsay zu Marco Polo's Zeit), has some interesting notes on the maritime trade of Hang-chau, collected from a work in twenty books, kept at the Berlin Royal Library, in which is to be found a description of Hang-chau under the title of Mêng-liang-lu, published in 1274 by Wu Tzu-mu, himself a native of this city: there are various classes of sea-going vessels; large boats measuring 5000 liao and carrying from five to six hundred passengers; smaller boats measuring from 2 to 1000 liao and carrying from two to three hundred passengers; there are small fast boats called tsuan-fêng, "wind breaker," with six or eight oarsmen, which can carry easily 100 passengers, and are generally used for fishing; sampans are not taken into account. To start for foreign countries one must embark at Ts'wan-chau, and then go to the sea of Ts'i-chau (Paracels), through the Tai-hsü pass; coming back he must look to Kwen-lun (Pulo Condor).—H.C.]

The 12,000 bridges have been much carped at, and modern accounts of Hang-chau (desperately meagre as they are) do not speak of its bridges as notable. "There is, indeed," says Mr. Kingsmill, speaking of changes in the hydrography about Hang-chau, "no trace in the city of the magnificent canals and bridges described by Marco Polo." The number was no doubt in this case also a mere popular saw, and Friar Odoric repeats it. The sober and veracious John Marignolli, alluding apparently to their statements, and perhaps to others which have not reached us, says: "When authors tell of its ten thousand noble bridges of stone, adorned with sculptures and statues of armed princes, it passes the belief of one who has not been there, and yet peradventure these authors tell us no lie." Wassáf speaks of 360 bridges only, but they make up in size what they lack in number, for they cross canals as big as the Tigris! Marsden aptly quotes in reference to this point excessively loose and discrepant statements from modern authors as to the number of bridges in Venice. The great height of the arches of the canal bridges in this part of China is especially noticed by travellers. Barrow, quoted by Marsden, says: "Some have the piers of such an extraordinary height that the largest vessels of 200 tons sail under them without striking their masts."

[Illustration: Plan of the Imperial City of Hangchow in the 13th Century.
(From the Notes of the Right Rev. G.E. Moule.)]

Mr. Moule has added up the lists of bridges in the whole department (or Fu) and found them to amount to 848, and many of these even are now unknown, their approximate sites being given from ancient topographies. The number represented in a large modern map of the city, which I owe to Mr. Moule's kindness, is III.

NOTE 3.—Though Rubruquis (p. 292) says much the same thing, there is little trace of such an ordinance in modern China. Père Parrenin observes: "As to the hereditary perpetuation of trades, it has never existed in China. On the contrary, very few Chinese will learn the trade of their fathers; and it is only necessity that ever constrains them to do so." (Lett. Edif. XXIV. 40.) Mr. Moule remarks, however, that P. Parrenin is a little too absolute. Certain trades do run in families, even of the free classes of Chinese, not to mention the disfranchised boatmen, barbers, chair-coolies, etc. But, except in the latter cases, there is no compulsion, though the Sacred Edict goes to encourage the perpetuation of the family calling.

NOTE 4.—This sheet of water is the celebrated SI-HU, or "Western Lake," the fame of which had reached Abulfeda, and which has raised the enthusiasm even of modern travellers, such as Barrow and Van Braam. The latter speaks of three islands (and this the Chinese maps confirm), on each of which were several villas, and of causeways across the lake, paved and bordered with trees, and provided with numerous bridges for the passage of boats. Barrow gives a bright description of the lake, with its thousands of gay, gilt, and painted pleasure boats, its margins studded with light and fanciful buildings, its gardens of choice flowering shrubs, its monuments, and beautiful variety of scenery. None surpasses that of Martini, whom it is always pleasant to quote, but here he is too lengthy. The most recent description that I have met with is that of Mr. C. Gardner, and it is as enthusiastic as any. It concludes: "Even to us foreigners … the spot is one of peculiar attraction, but to the Chinese it is as a paradise." The Emperor K'ien Lung had erected a palace on one of the islands in the lake; it was ruined by the T'ai-P'ings. Many of the constructions about the lake date from the flourishing days of the T'ang Dynasty, the 7th and 8th centuries.

Polo's ascription of a circumference of 30 miles to the lake, corroborates the supposition that in the compass of the city a confusion had been made between miles and li, for Semedo gives the circuit of the lake really as 30 li. Probably the document to which Marco refers at the beginning of the chapter was seen by him in a Persian translation, in which li had been rendered by mil. A Persian work of the same age, quoted by Quatremère (the Nuzhát al-Kultúb, gives the circuit of the lake as six parasangs, or some 24 miles, a statement which probably had a like origin).

Polo says the lake was within the city. This might be merely a loose way of speaking, but it may on the other hand be a further indication of the former existence of an extensive outer wall. The Persian author just quoted also speaks of the lake as within the city. (Barrow's Autobiog., p. 104; V. Braam, II. 154; Gardner in Proc. of the R. Geog. Soc., vol. xiii. p. 178; Q. Rashid, p. lxxxviii.) Mr. Moule states that popular oral tradition does enclose the lake within the walls, but he can find no trace of this in the Topographies.

Elsewhere Mr. Moule says: "Of the luxury of the (Sung) period, and its devotion to pleasure, evidence occurs everywhere. Hang-chow went at the time by the nickname of the melting-pot for money. The use, at houses of entertainment, of linen and silver plate appears somewhat out of keeping in a Chinese picture. I cannot vouch for the linen, but here is the plate…. 'The most famous Tea-houses of the day were the Pa-seen ("8 genii"), the "Pure Delight", the "Pearl", the "House of the Pwan Family," and the "Two and Two" and "Three and Three" houses (perhaps rather "Double honours" and "Treble honours"). In these places they always set out bouquets of fresh flowers, according to the season…. At the counter were sold "Precious thunder Tea", Tea of fritters and onions, or else Pickle broth; and in hot weather wine of snow bubbles and apricot blossom, or other kinds of refrigerating liquor. Saucers, ladles, and bowls were all of pure, silver!' (Si-Hu-Chi.)"

[Illustration: Plan of the Metropolitan City of Hangchow in the 13th
Century. (From the Notes of the Right Rev. G.E. Moule.)

1-17, Gates; 18, Ta-nuy, Central Palace; 19, Woo-Foo, The Five Courts; 20, T'aï Miao, The Imperial Temple; 21, Fung-hwang shan, Phoenix Hill; 22, Shih fuh she, Monastery of the Sacred Fruit; 25-30, Gates; 31, T'ien tsung yen tsang T'ien tsung Salt Depot; 2, T'ien tsung tsew koo, T'ien tsung Wine Store; 33, Chang she, The Chang Monastery; 34, Foo che, Prefecture; Foo hio, Prefectural Confucian Temple.]

NOTE 5.—This is still the case: "The people of Hang-chow dress gaily, and are remarkable among the Chinese for their dandyism. All, except the lowest labourers and coolies, strutted about in dresses composed of silk, satin, and crape…. 'Indeed' (said the Chinese servants) 'one can never tell a rich man in Hang-chow, for it is just possible that all he possesses in the world is on his back.'" (Fortune, II. 20.) "The silk manufactures of Hang-chau are said to give employment to 60,000 persons within the city walls, and Hu-chau, Kia-hing, and the surrounding villages, are reputed to employ 100,000 more." (Ningpo Trade Report, January 1869, comm. by Mr. N. B. Dennys.) The store-towers, as a precaution in case of fire, are still common both in China and Japan.

NOTE 6.—Mr. Gardner found in this very city, in 1868, a large collection of cottages covering several acres, which were "erected, after the taking of the city from the rebels, by a Chinese charitable society for the refuge of the blind, sick, and infirm." This asylum sheltered 200 blind men with their families, amounting to 800 souls; basket-making and such work was provided for them; there were also 1200 other inmates, aged and infirm; and doctors were maintained to look after them. "None are allowed to be absolutely idle, but all help towards their own sustenance." (Proc. R.G.Soc. XIII. 176-177.) Mr. Moule, whilst abating somewhat from the colouring of this description, admits the establishment to be a considerable charitable effort. It existed before the rebellion, as I see in the book of Mr. Milne, who gives interesting details on such Chinese charities. (Life in China, pp. 46 seqq.)

NOTE 7.—The paved roads of Manzi are by no means extinct yet. Thus, Mr. Fortune, starting from Chang-shan (see below, ch. lxxix.) in the direction of the Black-Tea mountains, says: "The road on which we were travelling was well paved with granite, about 12 feet in width, and perfectly free from weeds." (II. 148). Garnier, Sladen, and Richthofen speak of well-paved roads in Yun-Nan and Sze-ch'wan.

The Topography quoted by Mr. Moule says that in the year 1272 the Governor renewed the pavement of the Imperial road (or Main Street), "after which nine cars might move abreast over a way perfectly smooth, and straight as an arrow." In the Mongol time the people were allowed to encroach on this grand street.

NOTE 8.—There is a curious discrepancy in the account of these baths. Pauthier's text does not say whether they are hot baths or cold. The latter sentence, beginning, "They are hot baths" (estuves), is from the G. Text. And Ramusio's account is quite different: "There are numerous baths of cold water, provided with plenty of attendants, male and female, to assist the visitors of the two sexes in the bath. For the people are used from their childhood to bathe in cold water at all seasons, and they reckon it a very wholesome custom. But in the bath-houses they have also certain chambers furnished with hot water, for foreigners who are unaccustomed to cold bathing, and cannot bear it. The people are used to bathe daily, and do not eat without having done so." This is in contradiction with the notorious Chinese horror of cold water for any purpose.

A note from Mr. C. Gardner says: "There are numerous public baths at Hang-chau, as at every Chinese city I have ever been in. In my experience natives always take hot baths. But only the poorer classes go to the public baths; the tradespeople and middle classes are generally supplied by the bath-houses with hot water at a moderate charge."

NOTE 9.—The estuary of the Ts'ien T'ang, or river of Hang-chau, has undergone great changes since Polo's day. The sea now comes up much nearer the city; and the upper part of the Bay of Hang-chau is believed to cover what was once the site of the port and town of KANP'U, the Ganpu of the text. A modern representative of the name still subsists, a walled town, and one of the depôts for the salt which is so extensively manufactured on this coast; but the present port of Hang-chau, and till recently the sole seat of Chinese trade with Japan, is at Chapu, some 20 miles further seaward.

It is supposed by Klaproth that KANP'U was the port frequented by the early Arab voyagers, and of which they speak under the name of Khánfú, confounding in their details Hang-chau itself with the port. Neumann dissents from this, maintaining that the Khanfu of the Arabs was certainly Canton. Abulfeda, however, states expressly that Khanfu was known in his day as Khansá (i.e. Kinsay), and he speaks of its lake of fresh water called Sikhu (Si-hu). [Abulfeda has in fact two Khânqû (Khanfû): Khansâ with the lake which is Kinsay, and one Khanfû which is probably Canton. (See Guyard's transl., II., ii., 122-124.)—H.C.] There seems to be an indication in Chinese records that a southern branch of the Great Kiang once entered the sea at Kanp'u; the closing of it is assigned to the 7th century, or a little later.

[Dr. F. Hirth writes (Jour. Roy. As. Soc., 1896, pp. 68-69): "For centuries Canton must have been the only channel through which foreign trade was permitted; for it is not before the year 999 that we read of the appointment of Inspectors of Trade at Hang-chou and Ming-chou. The latter name is identified with Ning-po." Dr. Hirth adds in a note: "This is in my opinion the principal reason why the port of Khanfu, mentioned by the earliest Muhammadan travellers, or authors (Soleiman, Abu Zeid, and Maçoudi), cannot be identified with Hang-chou. The report of Soleiman, who first speaks of Khanfu, was written in 851, and in those days Canton was apparently the only port open to foreign trade. Marco Polo's Ganfu is a different port altogether, viz. Kan-fu, or Kan-pu, near Hang-chou, and should not be confounded with Khanfu."—H.C.]

The changes of the Great Kiang do not seem to have attracted so much attention among the Chinese as those of the dangerous Hwang-Ho, nor does their history seem to have been so carefully recorded. But a paper of great interest on the subject was published by Mr. Edkins, in the Journal of the North China Branch of the R.A.S. for September 1860 [pp. 77-84], which I know only by an abstract given by the late Comte d'Escayrac de Lauture. From this it would seem that about the time of our era the Yang-tzu Kiang had three great mouths. The most southerly of these was the Che-Kiang, which is said to have given its name to the Province still so called, of which Hang-chau is the capital. This branch quitted the present channel at Chi-chau, passed by Ning-Kwé and Kwang-té, communicating with the southern end of a great group of lakes which occupied the position of the T'ai-Hu, and so by Shih-men and T'ang-si into the sea not far from Shao-hing. The second branch quitted the main channel at Wu-hu, passed by I-hing (or I-shin) communicating with the northern end of the T'ai-Hu (passed apparently by Su-chau), and then bifurcated, one arm entering the sea at Wu-sung, and the other at Kanp'u. The third, or northerly branch is that which forms the present channel of the Great Kiang. These branches are represented hypothetically on the sketch-map attached to ch. lxiv. supra.

(Kingsmill, u.s. p. 53; Chin. Repos. III. 118; Middle Kingdom, I. 95-106; Bürck. p. 483; Cathay, p. cxciii.; J.N.Ch.Br.R.A.S., December 1865, p. 3 seqq.; Escayrac de Lauture, Mém. sur la Chine, H. du Sol, p. 114.)

NOTE 10.—Pauthier's text has: "Chascun Roy fait chascun an le compte de son royaume aux comptes du grant siège," where I suspect the last word is again a mistake for sing or scieng. (See supra, Bk. II. ch. xxv., note 1.) It is interesting to find Polo applying the term king to the viceroys who ruled the great provinces; Ibn Batuta uses a corresponding expression, sultán. It is not easy to make out the nine kingdoms or great provinces into which Polo considered Manzi to be divided. Perhaps his nine is after all merely a traditional number, for the "Nine Provinces" was an ancient synonym for China proper, just as Nau-Khanda, with like meaning, was an ancient name of India. (See Cathay, p. cxxxix. note; and Reinaud, Inde, p. 116.) But I observe that on the portage road between Chang-shan and Yuh-shan (infra, p. 222) there are stone pillars inscribed "Highway (from Che-kiang) to Eight Provinces," thus indicating Nine. (Milne, p. 319.)

NOTE 11.—We have in Ramusio: "The men levied in the province of Manzi are not placed in garrison in their own cities, but sent to others at least 20 days' journey from their homes; and there they serve for four or five years, after which they are relieved. This applies both to the Cathayans and to those of Manzi.

"The great bulk of the revenue of the cities, which enters the exchequer of the Great Kaan, is expended in maintaining these garrisons. And if perchance any city rebel (as you often find that under a kind of madness or intoxication they rise and murder their governors), as soon as it is known, the adjoining cities despatch such large forces from their garrisons that the rebellion is entirely crushed. For it would be too long an affair if troops from Cathay had to be waited for, involving perhaps a delay of two months."

NOTE 12.—"The sons of the dead, wearing hempen clothes as badges of mourning, kneel down," etc. (Doolittle, p. 138.)

NOTE 13.—These practices have been noticed, supra, Bk. I. ch. xl.

NOTE 14.—This custom has come down to modern times. In Pauthier's Chine Moderne, we find extracts from the statutes of the reigning dynasty and the comments thereon, of which a passage runs thus: "To determine the exact population of each province the governor and the lieutenant-governor cause certain persons who are nominated as Pao-kia, or Tithing-Men, in all the places under their jurisdiction, to add up the figures inscribed on the wooden tickets attached to the doors of houses, and exhibiting the number of the inmates" (p. 167).

Friar Odoric calls the number of fires 89 tomans; but says 10 or 12 households would unite to have one fire only!

[1] In the first edition, my best authority on this matter was a lecture on the city by the late Rev. D.D. Green, an American Missionary at Ningpo, which is printed in the November and December numbers for 1869 of the (Fuchau) Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal. In the present (second) edition I have on this, and other points embraced in this and the following chapters, benefited largely by the remarks of the Right Rev. G.E. Moule of the Ch. Mission. Soc., now residing at Hang-chau. These are partly contained in a paper (Notes on Colonel Yule's Edition of Marco Polo's 'Quinsay') read before the North China Branch of the R.A.Soc. at Shang-hai in December 1873 [published in New Series, No. IX. of the Journal N.C.B.R.A.Soc.], of which a proof has been most kindly sent to me by Mr. Moule, and partly in a special communication, both forwarded through Mr. A. Wylie. [See also Notes on Hangchow Past and Present, a paper read in 1889 by Bishop G.E. Moule at a Meeting of the Hangchau Missionary Association, at whose request it was compiled, and subsequently printed for private circulation.—H.C.]

[2] The building of the present Luh-ho-ta ("Six Harmonies Tower"), after repeated destructions by fire, is recorded on a fine tablet of the Sung period, still standing (Moule).



[The position of the city is such that it has on one side a lake of fresh and exquisitely clear water (already spoken of), and on the other a very large river. The waters of the latter fill a number of canals of all sizes which run through the different quarters of the city, carry away all impurities, and then enter the Lake; whence they issue again and flow to the Ocean, thus producing a most excellent atmosphere. By means of these channels, as well as by the streets, you can go all about the city. Both streets and canals are so wide and spacious that carts on the one and boats on the other can readily pass to and fro, conveying necessary supplies to the inhabitants.[NOTE 2]

At the opposite side the city is shut in by a channel, perhaps 40 miles in length, very wide, and full of water derived from the river aforesaid, which was made by the ancient kings of the country in order to relieve the river when flooding its banks. This serves also as a defence to the city, and the earth dug from it has been thrown inwards, forming a kind of mound enclosing the city.[NOTE 3]

In this part are the ten principal markets, though besides these there are a vast number of others in the different parts of the town. The former are all squares of half a mile to the side, and along their front passes the main street, which is 40 paces in width, and runs straight from end to end of the city, crossing many bridges of easy and commodious approach. At every four miles of its length comes one of those great squares of 2 miles (as we have mentioned) in compass. So also parallel to this great street, but at the back of the market places, there runs a very large canal, on the bank of which towards the squares are built great houses of stone, in which the merchants from India and other foreign parts store their wares, to be handy for the markets. In each of the squares is held a market three days in the week, frequented by 40,000 or 50,000 persons, who bring thither for sale every possible necessary of life, so that there is always an ample supply of every kind of meat and game, as of roebuck, red-deer, fallow-deer, hares, rabbits, partridges, pheasants, francolins, quails, fowls, capons, and of ducks and geese an infinite quantity; for so many are bred on the Lake that for a Venice groat of silver you can have a couple of geese and two couple of ducks. Then there are the shambles where the larger animals are slaughtered, such as calves, beeves, kids, and lambs, the flesh of which is eaten by the rich and the great dignitaries. [NOTE 4]

Those markets make a daily display of every kind of vegetables and fruits; and among the latter there are in particular certain pears of enormous size, weighing as much as ten pounds apiece, and the pulp of which is white and fragrant like a confection; besides peaches in their season both yellow and white, of every delicate flavour.[NOTE 5]

Neither grapes nor wine are produced there, but very good raisins are brought from abroad, and wine likewise. The natives, however, do not much care about wine, being used to that kind of their own made from rice and spices. From the Ocean Sea also come daily supplies of fish in great quantity, brought 25 miles up the river, and there is also great store of fish from the lake, which is the constant resort of fishermen, who have no other business. Their fish is of sundry kinds, changing with the season; and, owing to the impurities of the city which pass into the lake, it is remarkably fat and savoury. Any one who should see the supply of fish in the market would suppose it impossible that such a quantity could ever be sold; and yet in a few hours the whole shall be cleared away; so great is the number of inhabitants who are accustomed to delicate living. Indeed they eat fish and flesh at the same meal.

All the ten market places are encompassed by lofty houses, and below these are shops where all sorts of crafts are carried on, and all sorts of wares are on sale, including spices and jewels and pearls. Some of these shops are entirely devoted to the sale of wine made from rice and spices, which is constantly made fresh and fresh, and is sold very cheap.

Certain of the streets are occupied by the women of the town, who are in such a number that I dare not say what it is. They are found not only in the vicinity of the market places, where usually a quarter is assigned to them, but all over the city. They exhibit themselves splendidly attired and abundantly perfumed, in finely garnished houses, with trains of waiting-women. These women are extremely accomplished in all the arts of allurement, and readily adapt their conversation to all sorts of persons, insomuch that strangers who have once tasted their attractions seem to get bewitched, and are so taken with their blandishments and their fascinating ways that they never can get these out of their heads. Hence it comes to pass that when they return home they say they have been to Kinsay or the City of Heaven, and their only desire is to get back thither as soon as possible.[NOTE 6]

Other streets are occupied by the Physicians, and by the Astrologers, who are also teachers of reading and writing; and an infinity of other professions have their places round about those squares. In each of the squares there are two great palaces facing one another, in which are established the officers appointed by the King to decide differences arising between merchants, or other inhabitants of the quarter. It is the daily duty of these officers to see that the guards are at their posts on the neighbouring bridges, and to punish them at their discretion if they are absent.

All along the main street that we have spoken of, as running from end to end of the city, both sides are lined with houses and great palaces and the gardens pertaining to them, whilst in the intervals are the houses of tradesmen engaged in their different crafts. The crowd of people that you meet here at all hours, passing this way and that on their different errands, is so vast that no one would believe it possible that victuals enough could be provided for their consumption, unless they should see how, on every market-day, all those squares are thronged and crammed with purchasers, and with the traders who have brought in stores of provisions by land or water; and everything they bring in is disposed of.

To give you an example of the vast consumption in this city let us take the article of pepper; and that will enable you in some measure to estimate what must be the quantity of victual, such as meat, wine, groceries, which have to be provided for the general consumption. Now Messer Marco heard it stated by one of the Great Kaan's officers of customs that the quantity of pepper introduced daily for consumption into the city of Kinsay amounted to 43 loads, each load being equal to 223 lbs. [NOTE 7]

The houses of the citizens are well built and elaborately finished; and the delight they take in decoration, in painting and in architecture, leads them to spend in this way sums of money that would astonish you.

The natives of the city are men of peaceful character, both from education and from the example of their kings, whose disposition was the same. They know nothing of handling arms, and keep none in their houses. You hear of no feuds or noisy quarrels or dissensions of any kind among them. Both in their commercial dealings and in their manufactures they are thoroughly honest and truthful, and there is such a degree of good will and neighbourly attachment among both men and women that you would take the people who live in the same street to be all one family.[NOTE 8]

And this familiar intimacy is free from all jealousy or suspicion of the conduct of their women. These they treat with the greatest respect, and a man who should presume to make loose proposals to a married woman would be regarded as an infamous rascal. They also treat the foreigners who visit them for the sake of trade with great cordiality, and entertain them in the most winning manner, affording them every help and advice on their business. But on the other hand they hate to see soldiers, and not least those of the Great Kaan's garrisons, regarding them as the cause of their having lost their native kings and lords.

On the Lake of which we have spoken there are numbers of boats and barges of all sizes for parties of pleasure. These will hold 10, 15, 20, or more persons, and are from 15 to 20 paces in length, with flat bottoms and ample breadth of beam, so that they always keep their trim. Any one who desires to go a-pleasuring with the women, or with a party of his own sex, hires one of these barges, which are always to be found completely furnished with tables and chairs and all the other apparatus for a feast. The roof forms a level deck, on which the crew stand, and pole the boat along whithersoever may be desired, for the Lake is not more than 2 paces in depth. The inside of this roof and the rest of the interior is covered with ornamental painting in gay colours, with windows all round that can be shut or opened, so that the party at table can enjoy all the beauty and variety of the prospects on both sides as they pass along. And truly a trip on this Lake is a much more charming recreation than can be enjoyed on land. For on the one side lies the city in its entire length, so that the spectators in the barges, from the distance at which they stand, take in the whole prospect in its full beauty and grandeur, with its numberless palaces, temples, monasteries, and gardens, full of lofty trees, sloping to the shore. And the Lake is never without a number of other such boats, laden with pleasure parties; for it is the great delight of the citizens here, after they have disposed of the day's business, to pass the afternoon in enjoyment with the ladies of their families, or perhaps with others less reputable, either in these barges or in driving about the city in carriages.[NOTE 9]

Of these latter we must also say something, for they afford one mode of recreation to the citizens in going about the town, as the boats afford another in going about the Lake. In the main street of the city you meet an infinite succession of these carriages passing to and fro. They are long covered vehicles, fitted with curtains and cushions, and affording room for six persons; and they are in constant request for ladies and gentlemen going on parties of pleasure. In these they drive to certain gardens, where they are entertained by the owners in pavilions erected on purpose, and there they divert themselves the livelong day, with their ladies, returning home in the evening in those same carriages.[NOTE 10]


The whole enclosure of the Palace was divided into three parts. The middle one was entered by a very lofty gate, on each side of which there stood on the ground-level vast pavilions, the roofs of which were sustained by columns painted and wrought in gold and the finest azure. Opposite the gate stood the chief Pavilion, larger than the rest, and painted in like style, with gilded columns, and a ceiling wrought in splendid gilded sculpture, whilst the walls were artfully painted with the stories of departed kings.

On certain days, sacred to his gods, the King Facfur[1] used to hold a great court and give a feast to his chief lords, dignitaries, and rich manufacturers of the city of Kinsay. On such occasions those pavilions used to give ample accommodation for 10,000 persons sitting at table. This court lasted for ten or twelve days, and exhibited an astonishing and incredible spectacle in the magnificence of the guests, all clothed in silk and gold, with a profusion of precious stones; for they tried to outdo each other in the splendour and richness of their appointments. Behind this great Pavilion that faced the great gate, there was a wall with a passage in it shutting off the inner part of the Palace. On entering this you found another great edifice in the form of a cloister surrounded by a portico with columns, from which opened a variety of apartments for the King and the Queen, adorned like the outer walls with such elaborate work as we have mentioned. From the cloister again you passed into a covered corridor, six paces in width, of great length, and extending to the margin of the lake. On either side of this corridor were ten courts, in the form of oblong cloisters surrounded by colonnades; and in each cloister or court were fifty chambers with gardens to each. In these chambers were quartered one thousand young ladies in the service of the King. The King would sometimes go with the Queen and some of these maidens to take his diversion on the Lake, or to visit the Idol-temples, in boats all canopied with silk.

The other two parts of the enclosure were distributed in groves, and lakes, and charming gardens planted with fruit-trees, and preserves for all sorts of animals, such as roe, red-deer, fallow-deer, hares, and rabbits. Here the King used to take his pleasure in company with those damsels of his; some in carriages, some on horseback, whilst no man was permitted to enter. Sometimes the King would set the girls a-coursing after the game with dogs, and when they were tired they would hie to the groves that overhung the lakes, and leaving their clothes there they would come forth naked and enter the water and swim about hither and thither, whilst it was the King's delight to watch them; and then all would return home. Sometimes the King would have his dinner carried to those groves, which were dense with lofty trees, and there would be waited on by those young ladies. And thus he passed his life in this constant dalliance with women, without so much as knowing what arms meant! And the result of all this cowardice and effeminacy was that he lost his dominion to the Great Kaan in that base and shameful way that you have heard.[NOTE 11]

All this account was given me by a very rich merchant of Kinsay when I was in that city. He was a very old man, and had been in familiar intimacy with the King Facfur, and knew the whole history of his life; and having seen the Palace in its glory was pleased to be my guide over it. As it is occupied by the King appointed by the Great Kaan, the first pavilions are still maintained as they used to be, but the apartments of the ladies are all gone to ruin and can only just be traced. So also the wall that enclosed the groves and gardens is fallen down, and neither trees nor animals are there any longer.[NOTE 12]]

NOTE 1.—I have, after some consideration, followed the example of Mr. H. Murray, in his edition of Marco Polo, in collecting together in a separate chapter a number of additional particulars concerning the Great City, which are only found in Ramusio. Such of these as could be interpolated in the text of the older form of the narrative have been introduced between brackets in the last chapter. Here I bring together those particulars which could not be so interpolated without taking liberties with one or both texts.

The picture in Ramusio, taken as a whole, is so much more brilliant, interesting, and complete than in the older texts, that I thought of substituting it entirely for the other. But so much doubt and difficulty hangs over some passages of the Ramusian version that I could not satisfy myself of the propriety of this, though I feel that the dismemberment inflicted on that version is also objectionable.

NOTE 2.—The tides in the Hang-chau estuary are now so furious, entering in the form of a bore, and running sometimes, by Admiral Collinson's measurement, 11-1/2 knots, that it has been necessary to close by weirs the communication which formerly existed between the River Tsien-tang on the one side and the Lake Si-hu and internal waters of the district on the other. Thus all cargoes are passed through the small city canal in barges, and are subject to transhipment at the river-bank, and at the great canal terminus outside the north gate, respectively. Mr. Kingsmill, to whose notices I am indebted for part of this information, is, however, mistaken in supposing that in Polo's time the tide stopped some 20 miles below the city. We have seen (note 6, ch. lxv. supra) that the tide in the river before Kinsay was the object which first attracted the attention of Bayan, after his triumphant entrance into the city. The tides reach Fuyang, 20 miles higher. (N. and Q., China and Japan, vol. I. p. 53; Mid. Kingd. I. 95, 106; J.N.Ch.Br.R.A.S., December, 1865, p. 6; Milne, p. 295; Note by Mr. Moule).

[Miss E. Scidmore writes (China, p. 294): "There are only three wonders of the world in China—The Demons at Tungchow, the Thunder at Lungchow, and the Great Tide at Hangchow, the last, the greatest of all, and a living wonder to this day of 'the open door,' while its rivals are lost in myth and oblivion…. The Great Bore charges up the narrowing river at a speed of ten and thirteen miles an hour, with a roar that can be heard for an hour before it arrives."—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—For satisfactory elucidation as to what is or may have been authentic in these statements, we shall have to wait for a correct survey of Hang-chau and its neighbourhood. We have already seen strong reason to suppose that miles have been substituted for li in the circuits assigned both to the city and to the lake, and we are yet more strongly impressed with the conviction that the same substitution has been made here in regard to the canal on the east of the city, as well as the streets and market-places spoken of in the next paragraph.

Chinese plans of Hang-chau do show a large canal encircling the city on the east and north, i.e., on the sides away from the lake. In some of them this is represented like a ditch to the rampart, but in others it is more detached. And the position of the main street, with its parallel canal, does answer fairly to the account in the next paragraph, setting aside the extravagant dimensions.

The existence of the squares or market-places is alluded to by Wassáf in a passage that we shall quote below; and the Masálak-al-Absár speaks of the main street running from end to end of the city.

On this Mr. Moule says: "I have found no certain account of market-squares, though the Fang,[2] of which a few still exist, and a very large number are laid down in the Sung Map, mainly grouped along the chief street, may perhaps represent them…. The names of some of these (Fang) and of the Sze or markets still remain."

Mr. Wylie sent Sir Henry Yule a tracing of the figures mentioned in the footnote; it is worth while to append them, at least in diagram.

No 1. No 2. No 3.
      ++ ++ ++
 |—————-| |—————-| |——-|———|———|
 | | | | | | | a | |
+| | |+ +| |+ +|——-+———+———|+
+|——-+——-|+ +|—————-|+ +| | | |+
 | | | | | | | b | |
 | | | | | +|——-+———+———|+
 |—————-| |—————-| +| | | |+
      ++ | | c | |
                                             ++ ++

No. 1. Plan of a Fang or Square.

No. 2. Plan of a Fang or Square in the South of the Imperial City of Si-ngan fu.

No. 3. Arrangement of Two-Fang Square, with four streets and 8 gates. a. The Market place. b. The Official Establishment. c. Office for regulating Weights.

Compare Polo's statement that in each of the squares at Kinsay, where the markets were held, there were two great Palaces facing one another, in which were established the officers who decided differences between merchants, etc.

The double lines represent streets, and the ++ are gates.

NOTE 4.—There is no mention of pork, the characteristic animal food of China, and the only one specified by Friar Odoric in his account of the same city. Probably Mark may have got a little Saracenized among the Mahomedans at the Kaan's Court, and doubted if 'twere good manners to mention it. It is perhaps a relic of the same feeling, gendered by Saracen rule, that in Sicily pigs are called i neri.

"The larger game, red-deer and fallow-deer, is now never seen for sale. Hog-deer, wild-swine, pheasants, water-fowl, and every description of 'vermin' and small birds, are exposed for sale, not now in markets, but at the retail wine shops. Wild-cats, racoons, otters, badgers, kites, owls, etc., etc., festoon the shop fronts along with game." (Moule.)

NOTE 5.—Van Braam, in passing through Shan-tung Province, speaks of very large pears. "The colour is a beautiful golden yellow. Before it is pared the pear is somewhat hard, but in eating it the juice flows, the pulp melts, and the taste is pleasant enough." Williams says these Shan-tung pears are largely exported, but he is not so complimentary to them as Polo: "The pears are large and juicy, sometimes weighing 8 or 10 pounds, but remarkably tasteless and coarse." (V. Braam, II. 33-34; Mid. Kingd., I. 78 and II. 44). In the beginning of 1867 I saw pears in Covent Garden Market which I should guess to have weighed 7 or 8 lbs. each. They were priced at 18 guineas a dozen!

["Large pears are nowadays produced in Shan-tung and Manchuria, but they are rather tasteless and coarse. I am inclined to suppose that Polo's large pears were Chinese quinces, Cydonia chinensis, Thouin, this fruit being of enormous size, sometimes one foot long, and very fragrant. The Chinese use it for sweet-meats." (Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc. I. p. 2.)—H.C.]

As regards the "yellow and white" peaches, Marsden supposes the former to be apricots. Two kinds of peach, correctly so described, are indeed common in Sicily, where I write;—and both are, in their raw state, equally good food for i neri! But I see Mr. Moule also identifies the yellow peach with "the hwang-mei or clingstone apricot," as he knows no yellow peach in China.

NOTE 6.—"E non veggono mai l'ora che di nuovo possano ritornarvi;" a curious Italian idiom. (See Vocab. It. Univ. sub. v. "vedere".)

NOTE 7.—It would seem that the habits of the Chinese in reference to the use of pepper and such spices have changed. Besides this passage, implying that their consumption of pepper was large, Marco tells us below (ch. lxxxii.) that for one shipload of pepper carried to Alexandria for the consumption of Christendom, a hundred went to Zayton in Manzi. At the present day, according to Williams, the Chinese use little spice; pepper chiefly as a febrifuge in the shape of pepper-tea, and that even less than they did some years ago. (See p. 239, infra, and Mid. Kingd., II. 46, 408.) On this, however, Mr. Moule observes: "Pepper is not so completely relegated to the doctors. A month or two ago, passing a portable cookshop in the city, I heard a girl-purchaser cry to the cook, 'Be sure you put in pepper and leeks!'"

NOTE 8.—Marsden, after referring to the ingenious frauds commonly related of Chinese traders, observes: "In the long continued intercourse that has subsisted between the agents of the European companies and the more eminent of the Chinese merchants … complaints on the ground of commercial unfairness have been extremely rare, and on the contrary, their transactions have been marked with the most perfect good faith and mutual confidence." Mr. Consul Medhurst bears similar strong testimony to the upright dealings of Chinese merchants. His remark that, as a rule, he has found that the Chinese deteriorate by intimacy with foreigners is worthy of notice;[3] it is a remark capable of application wherever the East and West come into habitual contact. Favourable opinions among the nations on their frontiers of Chinese dealing, as expressed to Wood and Burnes in Turkestan, and to Macleod and Richardson in Laos, have been quoted by me elsewhere in reference to the old classical reputation of the Seres for integrity. Indeed, Marco's whole account of the people here might pass for an expanded paraphrase of the Latin commonplaces regarding the Seres. Mr. Milne, a missionary for many years in China, stands up manfully against the wholesale disparagement or Chinese character (p. 401).

NOTE 9.—Semedo and Martini, in the 17th century, give a very similar account of the Lake Si-hu, the parties of pleasure frequenting it, and their gay barges. (Semedo, pp. 20-21; Mart. p. 9.) But here is a Chinese picture of the very thing described by Marco, under the Sung Dynasty: "When Yaou Shunming was Prefect of Hangchow, there was an old woman, who said she was formerly a singing-girl, and in the service of Tung-p'o Seen-sheng.[4] She related that her master, whenever he found a leisure day in spring, would invite friends to take their pleasure on the lake. They used to take an early meal on some agreeable spot, and, the repast over, a chief was chosen for the company of each barge, who called a number of dancing-girls to follow them to any place they chose. As the day waned a gong sounded to assemble all once more at 'Lake Prospect Chambers,' or at the 'Bamboo Pavilion,' or some place of the kind, where they amused themselves to the top of their bent, and then, at the first or second drum, before the evening market dispersed, returned home by candle-light. In the city, gentlemen and ladies assembled in crowds, lining the way to see the return of the thousand Knights. It must have been a brave spectacle of that time." (Moule, from the Si-hu-Chi, or "Topography of the West Lake.") It is evident, from what Mr. Moule says, that this book abounds in interesting illustration of these two chapters of Polo. Barges with paddle-wheels are alluded to.

NOTE 10.—Public carriages are still used in the great cities of the north, such as Peking. Possibly this is a revival. At one time carriages appear to have been much more general in China than they were afterwards, or are now. Semedo says they were abandoned in China just about the time that they were adopted in Europe, viz. in the 16th century. And this disuse seems to have been either cause or effect of the neglect of the roads, of which so high an account is given in old times. (Semedo; N. and Q. Ch. and Jap. I. 94.)

Deguignes describes the public carriages of Peking, as "shaped like a palankin, but of a longer form, with a rounded top, lined outside and in with coarse blue cloth, and provided with black cushions" (I. 372). This corresponds with our author's description, and with a drawing by Alexander among his published sketches. The present Peking cab is evidently the same vehicle, but smaller.

NOTE 11.—The character of the King of Manzi here given corresponds to that which the Chinese histories assign to the Emperor Tu-Tsong, in whose time Kúblái commenced his enterprise against Southern China, but who died two years before the fall of the capital. He is described as given up to wine and women, and indifferent to all public business, which he committed to unworthy ministers. The following words, quoted by Mr. Moule from the Hang-Chau Fu-Chi, are like an echo of Marco's: "In those days the dynasty was holding on to a mere corner of the realm, hardly able to defend even that; and nevertheless all, high and low, devoted themselves to dress and ornament, to music and dancing on the lake and amongst the hills, with no idea of sympathy for the country." A garden called Tseu-king ("of many prospects") near the Tsing-po Gate, and a monastery west of the lake, near the Lingin, are mentioned as pleasure haunts of the Sung Kings.

NOTE 12.—The statement that the palace of Kingszé was occupied by the Great Kaan's lieutenant seems to be inconsistent with the notice in De Mailla that Kúblái made it over to the Buddhist priests. Perhaps Kúblái's name is a mistake; for one of Mr. Moule's books (Jin-ho-hien-chi) says that under the last Mongol Emperor five convents were built on the area of the palace.

Mr. H. Murray argues, from this closing passage especially, that Marco never could have been the author of the Ramusian interpolations; but with this I cannot agree. Did this passage stand alone we might doubt if it were Marco's; but the interpolations must be considered as a whole. Many of them bear to my mind clear evidence of being his own, and I do not see that the present one may not be his. The picture conveyed of the ruined walls and half-obliterated buildings does, it is true, give the impression of a long interval between their abandonment and the traveller's visit, whilst the whole interval between the capture of the city and Polo's departure from China was not more than fifteen or sixteen years. But this is too vague a basis for theorising.

Mr. Moule has ascertained by maps of the Sung period, and by a variety of notices in the Topographies, that the palace lay to the south and south-east of the present city, and included a large part of the fine hills called Fung-hwang Shan or Phoenix Mount,[5] and other names, whilst its southern gate opened near the Ts'ien-T'ang River. Its north gate is supposed to have been the Fung Shan Gate of the present city, and the chief street thus formed the avenue to the palace.

By the kindness of Messrs. Moule and Wylie, I am able to give a copy of the Sung Map of the Palace (for origin of which see list of illustrations). I should note that the orientation is different from that of the map of the city already given. This map elucidates Polo's account of the palace in a highly interesting manner.

[Father H. Havret has given in p. 21 of Variétés Sinologiques, No. 19, a complete study of the inscription of a chwang, nearly similar to the one given here, which is erected near Ch'êng-tu.—H.C.]

Before quitting KINSAY, the description of which forms the most striking feature in Polo's account of China, it is worth while to quote other notices from authors of nearly the same age. However exaggerated some of these may be, there can be little doubt that it was the greatest city then existing in the world.

[Illustration: Stone Chwang, or Umbrella Column, on site of "Brahma's
Temple," Hang-chau.]

[Illustration: South Part of KING-SZÉ, with the SUNG PALACE, from a
Chinese reprint of a Plan dated circa A.D. 1270]

Friar Odoric (in China about 1324-1327):—"Departing thence I came unto the city of CANSAY, a name which signifieth the 'City of Heaven.' And 'tis the greatest city in the whole world, so great indeed that I should scarcely venture to tell of it, but that I have met at Venice people in plenty who have been there. It is a good hundred miles in compass, and there is not in it a span of ground which is not well peopled. And many a tenement is there which shall have 10 or 12 households comprised in it. And there be also great suburbs which contain a greater population than even the city itself…. This city is situated upon lagoons of standing water, with canals like the city of Venice. And it hath more than 12,000 bridges, on each of which are stationed guards, guarding the city on behalf of the Great Kaan. And at the side of this city there flows a river near which it is built, like Ferrara by the Po, for it is longer than it is broad," and so on, relating how his host took him to see a great monastery of the idolaters, where there was a garden full of grottoes, and therein many animals of divers kinds, which they believed to be inhabited by the souls of gentlemen. "But if any one should desire to tell all the vastness and great marvels of this city, a good quire of stationery would not hold the matter, I trow. For 'tis the greatest and noblest city, and the finest for merchandize that the whole world containeth." (Cathay, 113 seqq.)

The Archbishop of Soltania (circa 1330):—"And so vast is the number of people that the soldiers alone who are posted to keep ward in the city of Cambalec are 40,000 men by sure tale. And in the city of CASSAY there be yet more, for its people is greater in number, seeing that it is a city of very great trade. And to this city all the traders of the country come to trade; and greatly it aboundeth in all manner of merchandize." (Ib. 244-245.)

John Marignolli (in China 1342-1347):—"Now Manzi is a country which has countless cities and nations included in it, past all belief to one who has not seen them…. And among the rest is that most famous city of CAMPSAY, the finest, the biggest, the richest, the most populous, and altogether the most marvellous city, the city of the greatest wealth and luxury, of the most splendid buildings (especially idol-temples, in some of which there are 1000 and 2000 monks dwelling together), that exists now upon the face of the earth, or mayhap that ever did exist." (Ib. p. 354.) He also speaks, like Odoric, of the "cloister at Campsay, in that most famous monastery where they keep so many monstrous animals, which they believe to be the souls of the departed" (384). Perhaps this monastery may yet be identified. Odoric calls it Thebe. [See A. Vissière, Bul. Soc. Géog. Com., 1901, pp. 112-113.—H.C.]

Turning now to Asiatic writers, we begin with Wassáf (A.D. 1300):—

"KHANZAI is the greatest city of the cities of Chín,

"'Stretching like Paradise through the breadth of Heaven.'

"Its shape is oblong, and the measurement of its perimeter is about 24 parasangs. Its streets are paved with burnt brick and with stone. The public edifices and the houses are built of wood, and adorned with a profusion of paintings of exquisite elegance. Between one end of the city and the other there are three Yams (post-stations) established. The length of the chief streets is three parasangs, and the city contains 64 quadrangles corresponding to one another in structure, and with parallel ranges of columns. The salt excise brings in daily 700 balish in paper-money. The number of craftsmen is so great that 32,000 are employed at the dyer's art alone; from that fact you may estimate the rest. There are in the city 70 tomans of soldiers and 70 tomans of rayats, whose number is registered in the books of the Dewán. There are 700 churches (Kalísíá) resembling fortresses, and every one of them overflowing with presbyters without faith, and monks without religion, besides other officials, wardens, servants of the idols, and this, that, and the other, to tell the names of which would surpass number and space. All these are exempt from taxes of every kind. Four tomans of the garrison constitute the night patrol…. Amid the city there are 360 bridges erected over canals ample as the Tigris, which are ramifications of the great river of Chín; and different kinds of vessels and ferry-boats, adapted to every class, ply upon the waters in such numbers as to pass all powers of enumeration…. The concourse of all kinds of foreigners from the four quarters of the world, such as the calls of trade and travel bring together in a kingdom like this, may easily be conceived." (Revised on Hammer's Translation, pp. 42-43.)

The Persian work Nuzhát-al-Kulúb:—"KHINZAI is the capital of the country of Máchín. If one may believe what some travellers say, there exists no greater city on the face of the earth; but anyhow, all agree that it is the greatest in all the countries in the East. Inside the place is a lake which has a circuit of six parasangs, and all round which houses are built…. The population is so numerous that the watchmen are some 10,000 in number." (Quat. Rash. p. lxxxviii.)

The Arabic work Masálak-al-Absár:—"Two routes lead from Khanbalik to KHINSÁ, one by land, the other by water; and either way takes 40 days. The city of Khinsá extends a whole day's journey in length and half a day's journey in breadth. In the middle of it is a street which runs right from one end to the other. The streets and squares are all paved; the houses are five-storied (?), and are built with planks nailed together," etc. (Ibid.)

Ibn Batuta:—"We arrived at the city of KHANSÁ…. This city is the greatest I have ever seen on the surface of the earth. It is three days' journey in length, so that a traveller passing through the city has to make his marches and his halts!.. It is subdivided into six towns, each of which has a separate enclosure, while one great wall surrounds the whole," etc. (Cathay, p. 496 seqq.)

Let us conclude with a writer of a later age, the worthy Jesuit Martin Martini, the author of the admirable Atlas Sinensis, one whose honourable zeal to maintain Polo's veracity, of which he was one of the first intelligent advocates, is apt, it must be confessed, a little to colour his own spectacles:—"That the cosmographers of Europe may no longer make such ridiculous errors as to the QUINSAI of Marco Polo, I will here give you the very place. [He then explains the name.] … And to come to the point; this is the very city that hath those bridges so lofty and so numberless, both within the walls and in the suburbs; nor will they fall much short of the 10,000 which the Venetian alleges, if you count also the triumphal arches among the bridges, as he might easily do because of their analogous structure, just as he calls tigers lions;.. or if you will, he may have meant to include not merely the bridges in the city and suburbs, but in the whole of the dependent territory. In that case indeed the number which Europeans find it so hard to believe might well be set still higher, so vast is everywhere the number of bridges and of triumphal arches. Another point in confirmation is that lake which he mentions of 40 Italian miles in circuit. This exists under the name of Si-hu; it is not, indeed, as the book says, inside the walls, but lies in contact with them for a long distance on the west and south-west, and a number of canals drawn from it do enter the city. Moreover, the shores of the lake on every side are so thickly studded with temples, monasteries, palaces, museums, and private houses, that you would suppose yourself to be passing through the midst of a great city rather than a country scene. Quays of cut stone are built along the banks, affording a spacious promenade; and causeways cross the lake itself, furnished with lofty bridges, to allow of the passage of boats; and thus you can readily walk all about the lake on this side and on that. 'Tis no wonder that Polo considered it to be part of the city. This, too, is the very city that hath within the walls, near the south side, a hill called Ching-hoang [6] on which stands that tower with the watchmen, on which there is a clepsydra to measure the hours, and where each hour is announced by the exhibition of a placard, with gilt letters of a foot and a half in height. This is the very city the streets of which are paved with squared stones: the city which lies in a swampy situation, and is intersected by a number of navigable canals; this, in short, is the city from which the emperor escaped to seaward by the great river Ts'ien-T'ang, the breadth of which exceeds a German mile, flowing on the south of the city, exactly corresponding to the river described by the Venetian at Quinsai, and flowing eastward to the sea, which it enters precisely at the distance which he mentions. I will add that the compass of the city will be 100 Italian miles and more, if you include its vast suburbs, which run out on every side an enormous distance; insomuch that you may walk for 50 Chinese li in a straight line from north to south, the whole way through crowded blocks of houses, and without encountering a spot that is not full of dwellings and full of people; whilst from east to west you can do very nearly the same thing." (Atlas Sinensis, p. 99.)

And so we quit what Mr. Moule appropriately calls "Marco's famous rhapsody of the Manzi capital"; perhaps the most striking section of the whole book, as manifestly the subject was that which had made the strongest impression on the narrator.

[1] Fanfur, in Ramusio.

[2] See the mention of the I-ning Fang at Si-ngan fu, supra, p. 28. Mr. Wylie writes that in a work on the latter city, published during the Yuen time, of which he has met with a reprint, there are figures to illustrate the division of the city into Fang, a word "which appears to indicate a certain space of ground, not an open square … but a block of buildings crossed by streets, and at the end of each street an open gateway." In one of the figures a first reference indicates "the market place," a second "the official establishment," a third "the office for regulating weights." These indications seem to explain Polo's squares. (See Note 3, above.)

[3] Foreigner in Far Cathay, pp. 158, 176.

[4] A famous poet and scholar of the 11th century.

[5] Mr. Wylie, after ascending this hill with Mr. Moule, writes: "It is about two miles from the south gate to the top, by a rather steep road. On the top is a remarkably level plot of ground, with a cluster of rocks in one place. On the face of these rocks are a great many inscriptions, but so obliterated by age and weather that only a few characters can be decyphered. A stone road leads up from the city gate, and another one, very steep, down to the lake. This is the only vestige remaining of the old palace grounds. There is no doubt about this being really a relic of the palace…. You will see on the map, just inside the walls of the Imperial city, the Temple of Brahma. There are still two stone columns standing with curious Buddhist inscriptions…. Although the temple is entirely gone, these columns retain the name and mark the place. They date from the 6th century, and there are few structures earlier in China." One is engraved above, after a sketch by Mr. Moule.

[6] See the plan of the city with last chapter.



Now I will tell you about the great revenue which the Great Kaan draweth every year from the said city of Kinsay and its territory, forming a ninth part of the whole country of Manzi.

First there is the salt, which brings in a great revenue. For it produces every year, in round numbers, fourscore tomans of gold; and the toman is worth 70,000 saggi of gold, so that the total value of the fourscore tomans will be five millions and six hundred thousand saggi of gold, each saggio being worth more than a gold florin or ducat; in sooth, a vast sum of money! [This province, you see, adjoins the ocean, on the shores of which are many lagoons or salt marshes, in which the sea-water dries up during the summer time; and thence they extract such a quantity of salt as suffices for the supply of five of the kingdoms of Manzi besides this one.]

Having told you of the revenue from salt, I will now tell you of that which accrues to the Great Kaan from the duties on merchandize and other matters.

You must know that in this city and its dependencies they make great quantities of sugar, as indeed they do in the other eight divisions of this country; so that I believe the whole of the rest of the world together does not produce such a quantity, at least, if that be true which many people have told me; and the sugar alone again produces an enormous revenue.—However, I will not repeat the duties on every article separately, but tell you how they go in the lump. Well, all spicery pays three and a third per cent. on the value; and all merchandize likewise pays three and a third per cent. [But sea-borne goods from India and other distant countries pay ten per cent.] The rice-wine also makes a great return, and coals, of which there is a great quantity; and so do the twelve guilds of craftsmen that I told you of, with their 12,000 stations apiece, for every article they make pays duty. And the silk which is produced in such abundance makes an immense return. But why should I make a long story of it? The silk, you must know, pays ten per cent., and many other articles also pay ten per cent.

And you must know that Messer Marco Polo, who relates all this, was several times sent by the Great Kaan to inspect the amount of his customs and revenue from this ninth part of Manzi,[NOTE 1] and he found it to be, exclusive of the salt revenue which we have mentioned already, 210 tomans of gold, equivalent to 14,700,000 saggi of gold; one of the most enormous revenues that ever was heard of. And if the sovereign has such a revenue from one-ninth part of the country, you may judge what he must have from the whole of it! However, to speak the truth, this part is the greatest and most productive; and because of the great revenue that the Great Kaan derives from it, it is his favourite province, and he takes all the more care to watch it well, and to keep the people contented. [NOTE 2]

Now we will quit this city and speak of others.

NOTE 1.—Pauthier's text seems to be the only one which says that Marco was sent by the Great Kaan. The G. Text says merely: "Si qe jeo March Pol qe plusor foies hoï faire le conte de la rende de tous cestes couses,"— "had several times heard the calculations made."

NOTE 2.—Toman is 10,000. And the first question that occurs in considering the statements of this chapter is as to the unit of these tomans, as intended by Polo. I believe it to have been the tael (or Chinese ounce) of gold.

We do not know that the Chinese ever made monetary calculations in gold. But the usual unit of the revenue accounts appears from Pauthier's extracts to have been the ting, i.e. a money of account equal to ten taels of silver, and we know (supra, ch. l. note 4) that this was in those days the exact equivalent of one tael of gold.

The equation in our text is 10,000 x = 70,000 saggi of gold, giving x, or the unit sought, = 7 saggi. But in both Ramusio on the one hand, and in the Geog. Latin and Crusca Italian texts on the other hand, the equivalent of the toman is 80,000 saggi; though it is true that neither with one valuation nor the other are the calculations consistent in any of the texts, except Ramusio's.[1] This consistency does not give any greater weight to Ramusio's reading, because we know that version to have been edited, and corrected when the editor thought it necessary: but I adopt his valuation, because we shall find other grounds for preferring it. The unit of the toman then is = 8 saggi.

The Venice saggio was one-sixth of a Venice ounce. The Venice mark of 8 ounces I find stated to contain 3681 grains troy;[2] hence the saggio = 76 grains. But I imagine the term to be used by Polo here and in other Oriental computations, to express the Arabic miskál, the real weight of which, according to Mr. Maskelyne, is 74 grains troy. The miskál of gold was, as Polo says, something more than a ducat or sequin, indeed, weight for weight, it was to a ducat nearly as 1.4: 1.

Eight saggi or miskáls would be 592 grains troy. The tael is 580, and the approximation is as near as we can reasonably expect from a calculation in such terms.

Taking the silver tael at 6_s._ 7_d._, the gold tael, or rather the ting, would be = 3_l._ 5_s._ 10_d._; the toman = 32,916_l._ 13_s._ 4_d._; and the whole salt revenue (80 tomans) = 2,633,333_l._; the revenue from other sources (210 tomans) = 6,912,500_l._; total revenue from Kinsay and its province (290 tomans) = 9,545,833_l._ A sufficiently startling statement, and quite enough to account for the sobriquet of Marco Milioni.

Pauthier, in reference to this chapter, brings forward a number of extracts regarding Mongol finance from the official history of that dynasty. The extracts are extremely interesting in themselves, but I cannot find in them that confirmation of Marco's accuracy which M. Pauthier sees.

First as to the salt revenue of Kiang-Ché, or the province of Kinsay. The facts given by Pauthier amount to these: that in 1277, the year in which the Mongol salt department was organised, the manufacture of salt amounted to 92,148 yin, or 22,115,520 kilos.; in 1286 it had reached 450,000 yin, or 108,000,000 kilos.; in 1289 it fell off by 100,000 yin.

The price was, in 1277, 18 liang or taels, in chao or paper-money of the years 1260-64 (see vol. i. p. 426); in 1282 it was raised to 22 taels; in 1284 a permanent and reduced price was fixed, the amount of which is not stated.

M. Pauthier assumes as a mean 400,000 yin, at 18 taels, which will give 7,200,000 taels; or, at 6_s._ 7_d._ to the tael, 2,370,000_l._ But this amount being in chao or paper-currency, which at its highest valuation was worth only 50 per cent. of the nominal value of the notes, we must halve the sum, giving the salt revenue on Pauthier's assumptions = 1,185,000_l._

Pauthier has also endeavoured to present a table of the whole revenue of Kiang-Ché under the Mongols, amounting to 12,955,710 paper taels, or 2,132,294_l._, including the salt revenue. This would leave only 947,294_l._ for the other sources of revenue, but the fact is that several of these are left blank, and among others one so important as the sea-customs. However, even making the extravagant supposition that the sea-customs and other omitted items were equal in amount to the whole of the other sources of revenue, salt included, the total would be only 4,264,585_l._

Marco's amount, as he gives it, is, I think, unquestionably a huge exaggeration, though I do not suppose an intentional one. In spite of his professed rendering of the amounts in gold, I have little doubt that his tomans really represent paper-currency, and that to get a valuation in gold, his total has to be divided at the very least by two. We may then compare his total of 290 tomans of paper ting with Pauthier's 130 tomans of paper ting, excluding sea-customs and some other items. No nearer comparison is practicable; and besides the sources of doubt already indicated, it remains uncertain what in either calculation are the limits of the province intended. For the bounds of Kiang-Ché seem to have varied greatly, sometimes including and sometimes excluding Fo-kien.

I may observe that Rashiduddin reports, on the authority of the Mongol minister Pulad Chingsang, that the whole of Manzi brought in a revenue of "900 tomans." This Quatremère renders "nine million pieces of gold," presumably meaning dinars. It is unfortunate that there should be uncertainty here again as to the unit. If it were the dinar the whole revenue of Manzi would be about 5,850,000_l._, whereas if the unit were, as in the case of Polo's toman, the ting, the revenue would be nearly 30,000,000 sterling!

It does appear that in China a toman of some denomination of money near the dinar was known in account. For Friar Odoric states the revenue of Yang-chau in tomans of Balish, the latter unit being, as he explains, a sum in paper-currency equivalent to a florin and a half (or something more than a dinar); perhaps, however, only the liang or tael (see vol. i. pp. 426-7).

It is this calculation of the Kinsay revenue which Marco is supposed to be expounding to his fellow-prisoner on the title-page of this volume. [See P. Hoang, Commerce Public du Sel, Shanghai, 1898, Liang-tahé-yen, pp. 6-7.—H.C.]

[1] Pauthier's MSS. A and B are hopelessly corrupt here. His MS. C agrees with the Geog. Text in making the toman = 70,000 saggi, but 210 tomans = 15,700,000, instead of 14,700,000. The Crusca and Latin have 80,000 saggi in the first place, but 15,700,000 in the second. Ramusio alone has 80,000 in the first place, and 16,800,000 in the second.

[2] Eng. Cyclop., "Weights and Measures."



When you leave Kinsay and travel a day's journey to the south-east, through a plenteous region, passing a succession of dwellings and charming gardens, you reach the city of TANPIJU, a great, rich, and fine city, under Kinsay. The people are subject to the Kaan, and have paper-money, and are Idolaters, and burn their dead in the way described before. They live by trade and manufactures and handicrafts, and have all necessaries in great plenty and cheapness.[NOTE 1]

But there is no more to be said about it, so we proceed, and I will tell you of another city called VUJU at three days' distance from Tanpiju. The people are Idolaters, &c., and the city is under Kinsay. They live by trade and manufactures.

Travelling through a succession of towns and villages that look like one continuous city, two days further on to the south-east, you find the great and fine city of GHIUJU which is under Kinsay. The people are Idolaters, &c. They have plenty of silk, and live by trade and handicrafts, and have all things necessary in abundance. At this city you find the largest and longest canes that are in all Manzi; they are full four palms in girth and 15 paces in length.[NOTE 2]

When you have left Ghiuju you travel four days S.E. through a beautiful country, in which towns and villages are very numerous. There is abundance of game both in beasts and birds; and there are very large and fierce lions. After those four days you come to the great and fine city of CHANSHAN. It is situated upon a hill which divides the River, so that the one portion flows up country and the other down.[1] It is still under the government of Kinsay.

I should tell you that in all the country of Manzi they have no sheep, though they have beeves and kine, goats and kids and swine in abundance. The people are Idolaters here, &c.

When you leave Changshan you travel three days through a very fine country with many towns and villages, traders and craftsmen, and abounding in game of all kinds, and arrive at the city of CUJU. The people are Idolaters, &c., and live by trade and manufactures. It is a fine, noble, and rich city, and is the last of the government of Kinsay in this direction.[NOTE 3] The other kingdom which we now enter, called Fuju, is also one of the nine great divisions of Manzi as Kinsay is.

NOTE 1.—The traveller's route proceeds from Kinsay or Hang-chau southward to the mountains of Fo-kien, ascending the valley of the Ts'ien T'ang, commonly called by Europeans the Green River. The general line, directed as we shall see upon Kien-ning fu in Fo-kien, is clear enough, but some of the details are very obscure, owing partly to vague indications and partly to the excessive uncertainty in the reading of some of the proper names.

No name resembling Tanpiju (G.T., Tanpigui; Pauthier, Tacpiguy, Carpiguy, Capiguy; Ram., Tapinzu) belongs, so far as has yet been shown, to any considerable town in the position indicated.[2] Both Pauthier and Mr. Kingsmill identify the place with Shao-hing fu, a large and busy town, compared by Fortune, as regards population, to Shang-hai. Shao-hing is across the broad river, and somewhat further down than Hang-chau: it is out of the traveller's general direction; and it seems unnatural that he should commence his journey by passing this wide river, and yet not mention it.

For these reasons I formerly rejected Shao-hing, and looked rather to Fu-yang as the representative of Tanpiju. But my opinion is shaken when I find both Mr. Elias and Baron Richthofen decidedly opposed to Fu-yang, and the latter altogether in favour of Shao-hing. "The journey through a plenteous region, passing a succession of dwellings and charming gardens; the epithets 'great, rich, and fine city'; the 'trade, manufactures, and handicrafts,' and the 'necessaries in great plenty and cheapness,' appear to apply rather to the populous plain and the large city of ancient fame, than to the small Fu-yang hien … shut in by a spur from the hills, which would hardly have allowed it in former days to have been a great city." (Note by Baron R.) The after route, as elucidated by the same authority, points with even more force to Shao-hing.

[Mr. G. Phillips has made a special study of the route from Kinsay to Zaytun in the T'oung Pao, I. p. 218 seq. (The Identity of Marco Polo's Zaitun with Changchau). He says (p. 222): "Leaving Hangchau by boat for Fuhkien, the first place of importance is Fuyang, at 100 li from Hangchau. This name does not in any way resemble Polo's Ta Pin Zu, but I think it can be no other." Mr. Phillips writes (pp. 221-222) that by the route he describes, he "intends to follow the highway which has been used by travellers for centuries, and the greater part of which is by water." He adds: "I may mention that the boats used on this route can be luxuriously fitted up, and the traveller can go in them all the way from Hangchau to Chinghu, the head of the navigation of the Ts'ien-t'ang River. At this Chinghu, they disembark and hire coolies and chairs to take them and their luggage across the Sien-hia pass to Puching in Fuhkien. This route is described by Fortune in an opposite direction, in his Wanderings in China, vol. ii. p. 139. I am inclined to think that Polo followed this route, as the one given by Yule, by way of Shao-hing and Kin-hua by land, would be unnecessarily tedious for the ladies Polo was escorting, and there was no necessity to take it; more especially as there was a direct water route to the point for which they were making. I further incline to this route, as I can find no city at all fitting in with Yenchau, Ramusio's Gengiu, along the route given by Yule."

In my paper on the Catalan Map (Paris, 1895) I gave the following
itinerary: Kinsay (Hang-chau), Tanpiju (Shao-hing fu), Vuju (Kin-hwa fu),
Ghiuju (K'iu-chau fu), Chan-shan (Sui-chang hien), Cuju (Ch'u-chau),
Ke-lin-fu (Kien-ning fu), Unken (Hu-kwan), Fuju (Fu-chau), Zayton (Kayten,
Hai-t'au), Zayton (Ts'iuen-chau), Tyunju (Tek-hwa).

Regarding the burning of the dead, Mr. Phillips (T'oung Pao, VI. p. 454) quotes the following passage from a notice by M. Jaubert. "The town of Zaitun is situated half a day's journey inland from the sea. At the place where the ships anchor, the water is fresh. The people drink this water and also that of the wells. Zaitun is 30 days' journey from Khanbaligh. The inhabitants of this town burn their dead either with Sandal, or Brazil wood, according to their means; they then throw the ashes into the river." Mr. Phillips adds: "The custom of burning the dead is a long established one in Fuh-Kien, and does not find much favour among the upper classes. It exists even to this day in the central parts of the province. The time for cremation is generally at the time of the Tsing-Ming. At the commencement of the present dynasty the custom of burning the dead appears to have been pretty general in the Fuchow Prefecture; it was looked upon with disfavour by many, and the gentry petitioned the Authorities that proclamations forbidding it should be issued. It was thought unfilial for children to cremate their parents; and the practice of gathering up the bones of a partially cremated person and thrusting them into a jar, euphoniously called a Golden Jar, but which was really an earthen one, was much commented on, as, if the jar was too small to contain all the bones, they were broken up and put in, and many pieces got thrown aside. In the Changchow neighbourhood, with which we have here most to do, it was a universal custom in 1126 to burn the dead, and was in existence for many centuries after." (See note, supra, II. p. 134.)

Captain Gill, speaking of the country near the Great Wall, writes (I. p. 61): ["The Chinese] consider mutton very poor food, and the butchers' shops are always kept by Mongols. In these, however, both beef and mutton can be bought for 3_d._ or 4_d._ a lb., while pork, which is considered by the Chinese as the greatest delicacy, sells for double the price."—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Che-kiang produces bamboos more abundantly than any province of
Eastern China. Dr. Medhurst mentions meeting, on the waters near
Hang-chau, with numerous rafts of bamboos, one of which was one-third of a
mile in length. (Glance at Int. of China, p. 53.)

NOTE 3.—Assuming Tanpiju to be Shao-hing, the remaining places as far as the Fo-kien Frontier run thus:—

  3 days to Vuju (P. Vugui, G.T. Vugui, Vuigui, Ram. Uguiu).
  2 " to Ghiuju (P. Guiguy, G.T. Ghingui, Ghengui, Chengui, Ram.
  4 " to Chanshan (P. Ciancian, G.T. Cianscian, Ram. Zengian).
  3 " to Cuju or Chuju (P. Cinguy, G.T. Cugui, Ram. Gieza).

First as regards Chanshan, which, with the notable circumstances about the waters there, constitutes the key to the route, I extract the following remarks from a note which Mr. Fortune has kindly sent me: "When we get to Chanshan the proof as to the route is very strong. This is undoubtedly my Chang-shan. The town is near the head of the Green River (the Ts'ien T'ang) which flows in a N.E. direction and falls into the Bay of Hang-chau. At Chang-shan the stream is no longer navigable even for small boats. Travellers going west or south-west walk or are carried in sedan-chairs across country in a westerly direction for about 30 miles to a town named Yuh-shan. Here there is a river which flows westward ('the other half goes down'), taking the traveller rapidly in that direction, and passing en route the towns of Kwansinfu, Hokow or Hokeu, and onward to the Poyang Lake." From the careful study of Mr. Fortune's published narrative I had already arrived at the conclusion that this was the correct explanation of the remarkable expressions about the division of the waters, which are closely analogous to those used by the traveller in ch. lxii. of this book when speaking of the watershed of the Great Canal at Sinjumatu. Paraphrased the words might run: "At Chang-shan you reach high ground, which interrupts the continuity of the River; from one side of this ridge it flows up country towards the north, from the other it flows down towards the south." The expression "The River" will be elucidated in note 4 to ch. lxxxii. below.

This route by the Ts'ien T'ang and the Chang-shan portage, which turns the danger involved in the navigation of the Yang-tzu and the Poyang Lake, was formerly a thoroughfare to the south much followed; though now almost abandoned through one of the indirect results (as Baron Richthofen points out) of steam navigation.

The portage from Chang-shan to Yuh-shan was passed by the English and Dutch embassies in the end of last century, on their journeys from Hang-chau to Canton, and by Mr. Fortune on his way from Ningpo to the Bohea country of Fo-kien. It is probable that Polo on some occasion made the ascent of the Ts'ien T'ang by water, and that this leads him to notice the interruption of the navigation.

[Mr. Phillips writes (T. Pao, I. p. 222): "From Fuyang the next point reached is Tunglu, also another 100 li distant. Polo calls this city Ugim, a name bearing no resemblance to Tunglu, but this name and Ta Pin Zu are so corrupted in all editions that they defy conjecture. One hundred li further up the river from Tunglu, we come to Yenchau, in which I think we have Polo's Gengiu of Ramusio's text. Yule's text calls this city Ghiuju, possibly an error in transcription for Ghinju; Yenchau in ancient Chinese would, according to Williams, be pronounced Ngam, Ngin, and Ngienchau, all of which are sufficiently near Polo's Gengiu. The next city reached is Lan Ki Hien or Lan Chi Hsien, famous for its hams, dates, and all the good things of this life, according to the Chinese. In this city I recognise Polo's Zen Gi An of Ramusio. Does its description justify me in my identification? 'The city of "Zen gi an",' says Ramusio, 'is built upon a hill that stands isolated in the river, which latter, by dividing itself into two branches, appears to embrace it. These streams take opposite directions: one of them pursuing its course to the south-east and the other to the north-west.' Fortune, in his Wanderings in China (vol. li. p. 139), calls Lan-Khi, Nan-Che-hien, and says: 'It is built on the banks of the river, and has a picturesque hill behind it.' Milne, who also visited it, mentions it in his Life in China (p. 258), and says: 'At the southern end of the suburbs of Lan-Ki the river divides into two branches, the one to the left on south-east leading direct to Kinhua.' Milne's description of the place is almost identical with Polo's, when speaking of the division of the river. There are in Fuchau several Lan-Khi shopkeepers, who deal in hams, dates, etc., and these men tell me the city from the river has the appearance of being built on a hill, but the houses on the hill are chiefly temples. I would divide the name as follows, Zen gi an; the last syllable an most probably represents the modern Hien, meaning District city, which in ancient Chinese was pronounced Han, softened by the Italians into an. Lan-Khi was a Hien in Polo's day." —H.C.]

Kin-hwa fu, as Pauthier has observed, bore at this time the name of WU-CHAU, which Polo would certainly write Vugiu. And between Shao-hing and Kin-hwa there exists, as Baron Richthofen has pointed out, a line of depression which affords an easy connection between Shao-hing and Lan-ki hien or Kin-hwa fu. This line is much used by travellers, and forms just 3 short stages. Hence Kin-hwa, a fine city destroyed by the T'ai-P'ings, is satisfactorily identified with Vugiu.

The journey from Vugui to Ghiuju is said to be through a succession of towns and villages, looking like a continuous city. Fortune, whose journey occurred before the T'ai-P'ing devastations, speaks of the approach to Kiu-chau as a vast and beautiful garden. And Mr. Milne's map of this route shows an incomparable density of towns in the Ts'ien T'ang valley from Yen-chau up to Kiu-chau. Ghiuju then will be KIU-CHAU. But between Kiu-chau and Chang-shan it is impossible to make four days: barely possible to make two. My map (Itineraries, No. VI.), based on D'Anville and Fortune, makes the direct distance 24 miles; Milne's map barely 18; whilst from his book we deduce the distance travelled by water to be about 30. On the whole, it seems probable that there is a mistake in the figure here.

[Illustration: Marco Polo's route from Kinsai to ZAITUN, illustrating Mr.
G. Phillips' theory.]

From the head of the great Che-kiang valley I find two roads across the mountains into Fo-kien described.

One leads from Kiang-shan (not Chang-shan) by a town called Ching-hu, and then, nearly due south, across the mountains to Pu-ch'eng in Upper Fo-kien. This is specified by Martini (p. 113): it seems to have been followed by the Dutch Envoy, Van Hoorn, in 1665 (see Astley, III. 463), and it was travelled by Fortune on his return from the Bohea country to Ningpo. (II. 247, 271.)

The other route follows the portage spoken of above from Chang-shan to
Yuh-shan, and descends the river on that side to Hokeu, whence it
strikes south-east across the mountains to Tsung-ngan-hien in Fo-kien.
This route was followed by Fortune on his way to the Bohea country.

Both from Pu-ch'eng on the former route, and from near Tsung-ngan on the latter, the waters are navigable down to Kien-ning fu and so to Fu-chau.

Mr. Fortune judges the first to have been Polo's route. There does not, however, seem to be on this route any place that can be identified with his Cuju or Chuju. Ching-hu seems to be insignificant, and the name has no resemblance. On the other route followed by Mr. Fortune himself from that side we have Kwansin fu, Hokeu, Yen-shan, and (last town passed on that side) Chuchu. The latter, as to both name and position, is quite satisfactory, but it is described as a small poor town. Hokeu would be represented in Polo's spelling as Caghiu or Cughiu. It is now a place of great population and importance as the entrepôt of the Black Tea Trade, but, like many important commercial cities in the interior, not being even a hien it has no place either in Duhalde or in Biot, and I cannot learn its age.

It is no objection to this line that Polo speaks of Cuju or Chuju as the last city of the government of Kinsay, whilst the towns just named are in Kiang-si. For Kiang-Ché, the province of Kinsay, then included the eastern part of Kiang-si. (See Cathay, p. 270.)

[Mr. Phillips writes (T. Pao, I. 223-224): "Eighty-five li beyond Lan-ki hien is Lung-yin, a place not mentioned by Polo, and another ninety-five li still further on is Chüchau or Keuchau, which is, I think, the Gie-za of Ramusio, and the Cuju of Yule's version. Polo describes it as the last city of the government of Kinsai (Che-kiang) in this direction. It is the last Prefectural city, but ninety li beyond Chü-chau, on the road to Pu-chêng, is Kiang-shan, a district city which is the last one in this direction. Twenty li from Kiang-shan is Ching-hu, the head of the navigation of the T'sien-T'ang river. Here one hires chairs and coolies for the journey over the Sien-hia Pass to Pu-chêng, a distance of 215 li. From Pu-cheng, Fu-chau can be reached by water in 4 or 5 days. The distance is 780 li."—H.C.]

[1] "Est sus un mont que parte le Flum, gue le une moitié ala en sus e l'autre moitié en jus" (G.T.).

[2] One of the Hien, forming the special districts of Hang-Chau itself, now called Tsien-tang, was formerly called Tang-wei-tang. But it embraces the eastern part of the district, and can, I think, have nothing to do with Tanpiju. (See Biot, p. 257, and Chin. Repos. for February, 1842, p. 109.)



On leaving Cuju, which is the last city of the kingdom of Kinsay, you enter the kingdom of FUJU, and travel six days in a south-easterly direction through a country of mountains and valleys, in which are a number of towns and villages with great plenty of victuals and abundance of game. Lions, great and strong, are also very numerous. The country produces ginger and galingale in immense quantities, insomuch that for a Venice groat you may buy fourscore pounds of good fine-flavoured ginger. They have also a kind of fruit resembling saffron, and which serves the purpose of saffron just as well.[NOTE 1]

And you must know the people eat all manner of unclean things, even the flesh of a man, provided he has not died a natural death. So they look out for the bodies of those that have been put to death and eat their flesh, which they consider excellent.[NOTE 2]

Those who go to war in those parts do as I am going to tell you. They shave the hair off the forehead and cause it to be painted in blue like the blade of a glaive. They all go afoot except the chief; they carry spears and swords, and are the most savage people in the world, for they go about constantly killing people, whose blood they drink, and then devour the bodies.[NOTE 3]

Now I will quit this and speak of other matters. You must know then that after going three days out of the six that I told you of you come to the city of KELINFU, a very great and noble city, belonging to the Great Kaan. This city hath three stone bridges which are among the finest and best in the world. They are a mile long and some nine paces in width, and they are all decorated with rich marble columns. Indeed they are such fine and marvellous works that to build any one of them must have cost a treasure.[NOTE 4]

The people live by trade and manufactures, and have great store of silk [which they weave into various stuffs], and of ginger and galingale. [NOTE 5] [They also make much cotton cloth of dyed thread, which is sent all over Manzi.] Their women are particularly beautiful. And there is a strange thing there which I needs must tell you. You must know they have a kind of fowls which have no feathers, but hair only, like a cat's fur. [NOTE 6] They are black all over; they lay eggs just like our fowls, and are very good to eat.

In the other three days of the six that I have mentioned above[NOTE 7], you continue to meet with many towns and villages, with traders, and goods for sale, and craftsmen. The people have much silk, and are Idolaters, and subject to the Great Kaan. There is plenty of game of all kinds, and there are great and fierce lions which attack travellers. In the last of those three days' journey, when you have gone 15 miles you find a city called UNKEN, where there is an immense quantity of sugar made. From this city the Great Kaan gets all the sugar for the use of his Court, a quantity worth a great amount of money. [And before this city came under the Great Kaan these people knew not how to make fine sugar; they only used to boil and skim the juice, which when cold left a black paste. But after they came under the Great Kaan some men of Babylonia who happened to be at the Court proceeded to this city and taught the people to refine the sugar with the ashes of certain trees.[NOTE 8]]

There is no more to say of the place, so now we shall speak of the splendour of Fuju. When you have gone 15 miles from the city of Unken, you come to this noble city which is the capital of the kingdom. So we will now tell you what we know of it.

NOTE 1.—The vague description does not suggest the root turmeric with which Marsden and Pauthier identify this "fruit like saffron." It is probably one of the species of Gardenia, the fruits of which are used by the Chinese for their colouring properties. Their splendid yellow colour "is due to a body named crocine which appears to be identical with the polychroite of saffron." (Hanbury's Notes on Chinese Mat. Medica, pp. 21-22.) For this identification, I am indebted to Dr. Flückiger of Bern. ["Colonel Yule concludes that the fruit of a Gardenia, which yields a yellow colour, is meant. But Polo's vague description might just as well agree with the Bastard Saffron, Carthamus tinctorius, a plant introduced into China from Western Asia in the 2nd century B.C., and since then much cultivated in that country." (Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc. I. p. 4.)—H.C.]

[Illustration: Scene in the Bohea Mountains, on Polo's route between
Kiang-si and Fo-kien (From Fortune.)

"Adonc entre l'en en roiaume de Fugin, et ici comance. Et ala siz jornée por montangnes e por bales…."]

NOTE 2.—See vol. i. p. 312.

NOTE 3.—These particulars as to a race of painted or tattooed caterans accused of cannibalism apparently apply to some aboriginal tribe which still maintained its ground in the mountains between Fo-kien and Che-kiang or Kiang-si. Davis, alluding to the Upper part of the Province of Canton, says: "The Chinese History speaks of the aborigines of this wild region under the name of Mân (Barbarians), who within a comparatively recent period were subdued and incorporated into the Middle Nation. Many persons have remarked a decidedly Malay cast in the features of the natives of this province; and it is highly probable that the Canton and Fo-kien people were originally the same race as the tribes which still remain unreclaimed on the east side of Formosa."[1] (Supply. Vol. p. 260.) Indeed Martini tells us that even in the 17th century this very range of mountains, farther to the south, in the Ting-chau department of Fo-kien, contained a race of uncivilised people, who were enabled by the inaccessible character of the country to maintain their independence of the Chinese Government (p. 114; see also Semedo, p. 19).

["Colonel Yule's 'pariah caste' of Shao-ling, who, he says, rebelled against either the Sung or the Yüan, are evidently the tomin of Ningpo and zikas of Wenchow. Colonel Yule's 'some aboriginal tribe between Fo-kien and Che-kiang' are probably the zikas of Wênchow and the siapo of Fu-kien described by recent travellers. The zikas are locally called dogs' heads, which illustrates Colonel Yule's allophylian theories." (Parker, China Review, XIV. p. 359.) Cf. A Visit to the "Dog-Headed Barbarians" or Hill People, near Fu-chow, by Rev. F. Ohlinger, Chinese Recorder, July, 1886, pp. 265-268.—H.C.]

NOTE 4.—Padre Martini long ago pointed out that this Quelinfu is
KIEN-NING FU, on the upper part of the Min River, an important city of
Fo-kien. In the Fo-kien dialect he notices that l is often substituted
for n, a well-known instance of which is Liampoo, the name applied by
F.M. Pinto and the old Portuguese to Ningpo.

[Mr. Phillips writes (T. Pao, I. p. 224): "From Puchêng to Kien-Ning-Foo the distance is 290 li, all down stream. I consider this to have been the route followed by Polo. His calling Kien-Ning-Foo, Que-lin-fu, is quite correct, as far as the Ling is concerned, the people of the city and of the whole southern province pronounce Ning, Ling. The Ramusian version gives very full particulars regarding the manufactures of Kien-Ning-Foo, which are not found in the other texts; for example, silk is said in this version to be woven into various stuffs, and further: 'They also make much cotton cloth of dyed thread which is sent all over Manzi.' All this is quite true. Much silk was formerly and is still woven in Kien-Ning, and the manufacture of cotton cloth with dyed threads is very common. Such stuff is called Hung Lu Kin 'red and green cloth.' Cotton cloth, made with dyed thread, is also very common in our day in many other cities in Fuh-Kien."—H.C.]

In Ramusio the bridges are only "each more than 100 paces long and 8 paces wide." In Pauthier's text each is a mile long, and 20 feet wide. I translate from the G.T.

Martini describes one beautiful bridge at Kien-ning fu: the piers of cut stone, the superstructure of timber, roofed in and lined with houses on each side (pp. 112-113). If this was over the Min it would seem not to survive. A recent journal says: "The river is crossed by a bridge of boats, the remains of a stone bridge being visible just above water." (Chinese Recorder (Foochow), August, 1870, p. 65.)

NOTE 5.—Galanga or Galangal is an aromatic root belonging to a class of drugs once much more used than now. It exists of two kinds: 1. Great or Java Galangal, the root of the Alpinia Galanga. This is rarely imported and hardly used in Europe in modern times, but is still found in the Indian bazaars. 2. Lesser or China Galangal is imported into London from Canton, and is still sold by druggists in England. Its botanical origin is unknown. It is produced in Shan-si, Fo-kien, and Kwang-tung, and is called by the Chinese Liang Kiang or "Mild Ginger."

["According to the Chinese authors the province of Sze-ch'wan and Han-chung (Southern Shen-si) were in ancient times famed for their Ginger. Ginger is still exported in large quantities from Han k'ou. It is known also to be grown largely in the southern provinces.—Galingale is the Lesser or Chinese Galanga of commerce, Alpinia officinarum Hance." (Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc. I. p. 2. See Heyd, Com. Levant, II. 616-618.)—H.C.]

Galangal was much used as a spice in the Middle Ages. In a syrup for a capon, temp. Rich. II., we find ground-ginger, cloves, cinnamon and galingale. "Galingale" appears also as a growth in old English gardens, but this is believed to have been Cyperus Longus, the tubers of which were substituted for the real article under the name of English Galingale.

The name appears to be a modification of the Arabic Kulíjan, Pers. Kholinján, and these from the Sanskrit Kulanjana. (Mr. Hanbury; China Comm.-Guide, 120; Eng. Cycl.; Garcia, f. 63; Wright, p. 352.)

NOTE 6.—The cat in question is no doubt the fleecy Persian. These fowls,—but white,—are mentioned by Odoric at Fu-chau; and Mr. G. Phillips in a MS. note says that they are still abundant in Fo-kien, where he has often seen them; all that he saw or heard of were white. The Chinese call them "velvet-hair fowls." I believe they are well known to poultry-fanciers in Europe. [Gallus Lanatus, Temm. See note, p. 286, of my edition of Odoric.—H.C.]

NOTE 7.—The times assigned in this chapter as we have given them, after the G. Text, appear very short; but I have followed that text because it is perfectly consistent and clear. Starting from the last city of Kinsay government, the traveller goes six days south-east; three out of those six days bring him to Kelinfu; he goes on the other three days and at the 15th mile of the 3rd day reaches Unken; 15 miles further bring him to Fuju. This is interesting as showing that Polo reckoned his day at 30 miles.

In Pauthier's text again we find: "Sachiez que quand on est alé six journées, après ces trois que je vous ay dit," not having mentioned trois at all "on treuve la cité de Quelifu." And on leaving Quelinfu: "Sachiez que es autres trois journées oultre et plus xv. milles treuve l'en une cité qui a nom Vuguen." This seems to mean from Cugui to Kelinfu six days, and thence to Vuguen (or Unken) three and a half days more. But evidently there has been bungling in the transcript, for the es autre trois journées belongs to the same conception of the distance as that in the G.T. Pauthier's text does not say how far it is from Unken to Fuju. Ramusio makes six days to Kelinfu, three days more to Unguem, and then 15 miles more to Fuju (which he has erroneously as Cugiu here, though previously given right, Fugiu).

The latter scheme looks probable certainly, but the times in the G.T. are quite admissible, if we suppose that water conveyance was adopted where possible.

For assuming that Cugiu was Fortune's Chuchu at the western base of the Bohea mountains (see note 3, ch. lxxix.), and that the traveller reached Tsun-ngan-hien, in two marches, I see that from Tsin-tsun, near Tsun-ngan-hien, Fortune says he could have reached Fu-chau in four days by boat. Again Martini, speaking of the skill with which the Fo-kien boatmen navigate the rocky rapids of the upper waters, says that even from Pu-ch'eng the descent to the capital could be made in three days. So the thing is quite possible, and the G. Text may be quite correct. (See Fortune, II. 171-183 and 210; Mart. 110.) A party which recently made the journey seem to have been six days from Hokeu to the Wu-e-shan and then five and a half days by water (but in stormy weather) to Fu-chau. (Chinese Recorder, as above.)

NOTE 8.—Pauthier supposes Unken, or Vuguen as he reads it, to be Hukwan, one of the hiens under the immediate administration of Fu-chau city. This cannot be, according to the lucid reading of the G.T., making Unken 15 miles from the chief city. The only place which the maps show about that position is Min-ts'ing hien. And the Dutch mission of 1664-1665 names this as "Binkin, by some called Min-sing." (Astley, III. 461.)

[Mr. Phillips writes (T. Pao, I. 224-225): "Going downstream from Kien-Ning, we arrive first at Yen-Ping on the Min Main River. Eighty-seven li further down is the mouth of the Yiu-Ki River, up which stream, at a distance of eighty li, is Yiu-Ki city, where travellers disembark for the land journey to Yung-chun and Chinchew. This route is the highway from the town of Yiu-Ki to the seaport of Chinchew. This I consider to have been Polo's route, and Ramusio's Unguen I believe to be Yung-chun, locally known as Eng-chun or Ung-chun, a name greatly resembling Polo's Unguen. I look upon this mere resemblance of name as of small moment in comparison with the weighty and important statement, that 'this place is remarkable for a great manufacture of sugar.' Going south from the Min River towards Chin-chew, this is the first district in which sugar-cane is seen growing in any quantity. Between Kien-Ning-Foo and Fuchau I do not know of any place remarkable for the great manufacture of sugar. Pauthier makes How-Kuan do service for Unken or Unguen, but this is inadmissible, as there is no such place as How-Kuan; it is simply one of the divisions of the city of Fuchau, which is divided into two districts, viz. the Min-Hien and the How-Kuan-Hien. A small quantity of sugar-cane is, I admit, grown in the How-Kuan division of Fuchau-foo, but it is not extensively made into sugar. The cane grown there is usually cut into short pieces for chewing and hawked about the streets for sale. The nearest point to Foochow where sugar is made in any great quantity is Yung-Foo, a place quite out of Polo's route. The great sugar manufacturing districts of Fuh-Kien are Hing-hwa, Yung-chun, Chinchew, and Chang-chau."—H. C]

The Babylonia of the passage from Ramusio is Cairo,—Babylon of Egypt, the sugar of which was very famous in the Middle Ages. Zucchero di Bambellonia is repeatedly named in Pegolotti's Handbook (210, 311, 362, etc.).

The passage as it stands represents the Chinese as not knowing even how to get sugar in the granular form: but perhaps the fact was that they did not know how to refine it. Local Chinese histories acknowledge that the people of Fo-kien did not know how to make fine sugar, till, in the time of the Mongols, certain men from the West taught the art.[2] It is a curious illustration of the passage that in India coarse sugar is commonly called Chíní, "the produce of China," and sugar candy or fine sugar Misri, the produce of Cairo (Babylonia) or Egypt. Nevertheless, fine Misri has long been exported from Fo-kien to India, and down to 1862 went direct from Amoy. It is now, Mr. Phillips states, sent to India by steamers via Hong-Kong. I see it stated, in a late Report by Mr. Consul Medhurst, that the sugar at this day commonly sold and consumed throughout China is excessively coarse and repulsive in appearance. (See Academy, February, 1874, p. 229.) [We note from the Returns of Trade for 1900, of the Chinese Customs, p. 467, that during that year 1900, the following quantities of sugar were exported from Amoy: Brown, 89,116 piculs, value 204,969 Hk. taels; white, 3,708 piculs, 20,024 Hk. taels; candy, 53,504 piculs, 304,970 Hk. taels.—H.C.]

[Dr. Bretschneider (Hist. of Bot. Disc. I. p. 2) remarks that "the sugar cane although not indigenous in China, was known to the Chinese in the 2nd century B.C. It is largely cultivated in the Southern provinces."—H.C.]

The fierce lions are, as usual, tigers. These are numerous in this province, and tradition points to the diversion of many roads, owing to their being infested by tigers. Tiger cubs are often offered for sale in Amoy.[3]

[1] "It is not improbable that there is some admixture of aboriginal blood in the actual population (of Fuh-Kien), but if so, it cannot be much. The surnames in this province are the same as those in Central and North China…. The language also is pure Chinese; actually much nearer the ancient form of Chinese than the modern Mandarin dialect. There are indeed many words in the vernacular for which no corresponding character has been found in the literary style: but careful investigation is gradually diminishing the number." (Note by Rev. Dr. C. Douglas.)

[2] Note by Mr. C. Phillips. I omit a corroborative quotation about sugar from the Turkish Geography, copied from Klaproth in the former edition: because the author, Hajji Khalfa, used European sources; and I have no doubt the passage was derived indirectly from Marco Polo.

[3] Note by Mr. G. Phillips.



Now this city of Fuju is the key of the kingdom which is called CHONKA, and which is one of the nine great divisions of Manzi.[NOTE 1] The city is a seat of great trade and great manufactures. The people are Idolaters and subject to the Great Kaan. And a large garrison is maintained there by that prince to keep the kingdom in peace and subjection. For the city is one which is apt to revolt on very slight provocation.

There flows through the middle of this city a great river, which is about a mile in width, and many ships are built at the city which are launched upon this river. Enormous quantities of sugar are made there, and there is a great traffic in pearls and precious stones. For many ships of India come to these parts bringing many merchants who traffic about the Isles of the Indies. For this city is, as I must tell you, in the vicinity of the Ocean Port of ZAYTON,[NOTE 2] which is greatly frequented by the ships of India with their cargoes of various merchandize; and from Zayton ships come this way right up to the city of Fuju by the river I have told you of; and 'tis in this way that the precious wares of India come hither. [NOTE 3]

The city is really a very fine one and kept in good order, and all necessaries of life are there to be had in great abundance and cheapness.

NOTE 1.—The name here applied to Fo-kien by Polo is variously written as Choncha, Chonka, Concha, Chouka. It has not been satisfactorily explained. Klaproth and Neumann refer it to Kiang-Ché, of which Fo-kien at one time of the Mongol rule formed a part. This is the more improbable as Polo expressly distinguishes this province or kingdom from that which was under Kinsay, viz. Kiang-Ché. Pauthier supposes the word to represent Kien-Kwé "the Kingdom of Kien," because in the 8th century this territory had formed a principality of which the seat was at Kien-chau, now Kien-ning fu. This is not satisfactory either, for no evidence is adduced that the name continued in use.

One might suppose that Choncha represented T'swan-chau, the Chinese name of the city of Zayton, or rather of the department attached to it, written by the French Thsiuan-tchéou, but by Medhurst Chwanchew, were it not that Polo's practice of writing the term tchéu or chau by giu is so nearly invariable, and that the soft ch is almost always expressed in the old texts by the Italian ci (though the Venetian does use the soft ch).[1]

It is again impossible not to be struck with the resemblance of Chonka to "CHUNG-KWÉ" "the Middle Kingdom," though I can suggest no ground for the application of such a title specially to Fo-kien, except a possible misapprehension. Chonkwé occurs in the Persian Historia Cathaica published by Müller, but is there specially applied to North China. (See Quat. Rashid., p. lxxxvi.)

The city of course is FU-CHAU. It was visited also by Friar Odoric, who calls it Fuzo, and it appears in duplicate on the Catalan Map as Fugio and as Fozo.

I used the preceding words, "the city of course is Fu-chau," in the first edition. Since then Mr. G. Phillips, of the consular staff in Fo-kien, has tried to prove that Polo's Fuju is not Fu-chau (Foochow is his spelling), but T'swan-chau. This view is bound up with another regarding the identity of Zayton, which will involve lengthy notice under next chapter; and both views have met with an able advocate in the Rev. Dr. C. Douglas, of Amoy.[2] I do not in the least accept these views about Fuju.

In considering the objections made to Fu-chau, it must never be forgotten that, according to the spelling usual with Polo or his scribe, Fuju is not merely "a name with a great resemblance in sound to Foochow" (as Mr. Phillips has it); it is Mr. Phillips's word Foochow, just as absolutely as my word Fu-chau is his word Foochow. (See remarks almost at the end of the Introductory Essay.) And what has to be proved against me in this matter is, that when Polo speaks of Fu-chau he does not mean Fu-chau. It must also be observed that the distances as given by Polo (three days from Quelinfu to Fuju, five days from Fuju to Zayton) do correspond well with my interpretations, and do not correspond with the other. These are very strong fences of my position, and it demands strong arguments to level them. The adverse arguments (in brief) are these:

(1.) That Fu-chau was not the capital of Fo-kien ("chief dou reigne").

(2.) That the River of Fu-chau does not flow through the middle of the city ("por le mi de cest çité"), nor even under the walls.

(3.) That Fu-chau was not frequented by foreign trade till centuries afterwards.

The first objection will be more conveniently answered under next chapter.

As regards the second, the fact urged is true. But even now a straggling street extends to the river, ending in a large suburb on its banks, and a famous bridge there crosses the river to the south side where now the foreign settlements are. There may have been suburbs on that side to justify the por le mi, or these words may have been a slip; for the Traveller begins the next chapter—"When you quit Fuju (to go south) you cross the river."[3]

Touching the question of foreign commerce, I do not see that Mr. Phillips's negative evidence would be sufficient to establish his point. But, in fact, the words of the Geog. Text (i.e. the original dictation), which we have followed, do not (as I now see) necessarily involve any foreign trade at Fu-chau, the impression of which has been derived mainly from Ramusio's text. They appear to imply no more than that, through the vicinity of Zayton, there was a great influx of Indian wares, which were brought on from the great port by vessels (it may be local junks) ascending the river Min.[4]

[Illustration: Scene on the Min River, below Fu-chau. (From Fortune.)

"E sachiés che por le mi de ceste cité vait un grant fluv qe bien est large un mil, et en ceste cité se font maintes nés lesquelz najent por cel flum."]

[Mr. Phillips gives the following itinerary after Unguen: Kangiu = Chinchew = Chuan-chiu or Ts'wan-chiu. He writes (T. Pao, I. p. 227): "When you leave the city of Chinchew for Changchau, which lies in a south-westerly, not a south-easterly direction, you cross the river by a handsome bridge, and travelling for five days by way of Tung-an, locally Tang-oa, you arrive at Changchau. Along this route in many parts, more especially in that part lying between Tang-oa and Changchau, very large camphor-trees are met with. I have frequently travelled over this road. The road from Fuchau to Chinchew, which also takes five days to travel over, is bleak and barren, lying chiefly along the sea-coast, and in winter a most uncomfortable journey. But few trees are met with; a banyan here and there, but no camphor-trees along this route; but there is one extremely interesting feature on it that would strike the most unobservant traveller, viz.; the Loyang bridge, one of the wonders of China." Had Polo travelled by this route, he would certainly have mentioned it. Pauthier remarks upon Polo's silence in this matter: "It is surprising," says he, "that Marco Polo makes no mention of it."—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—The G.T. reads Caiton, presumably for Çaiton or Zayton. In Pauthier's text, in the following chapter, the name of Zayton is written Çaiton and Çayton, and the name of that port appears in the same form in the Letter of its Bishop, Andrew of Perugia, quoted in note 2, ch. lxxxii. Pauthier, however, in this place reads Kayteu which he develops into a port at the mouth of the River Min.[5]

NOTE 3.—The Min, the River of Fu-chau, "varies much in width and depth. Near its mouth, and at some other parts, it is not less than a mile in width, elsewhere deep and rapid." It is navigable for ships of large size 20 miles from the mouth, and for good-sized junks thence to the great bridge. The scenery is very fine, and is compared to that of the Hudson. (Fortune, I. 281; Chin. Repos. XVI. 483.)

[1] Dr. Medhurst calls the proper name of the city, as distinct from the Fu, Chinkang (Dict. of the Hok-keen dialect). Dr. Douglas has suggested Chinkang, and T'swan-kok, i.e. "Kingdom of T'swan" (chau), as possible explanations of Chonka.

[2] Mr. Phillips's views were issued first in the Chinese Recorder (published by Missionaries at Fu-Chau) in 1870, and afterwards sent to the R. Geo. Soc., in whose Journal for 1874 they appeared, with remarks in reply more detailed than I can introduce here. Dr. Douglas's notes were received after this sheet was in proof, and it will be seen that they modify to a certain extent my views about Zayton, though not about Fu-chau. His notes, which do more justice to the question than Mr. Phillips's, should find a place with the other papers in the Geog. Society's Journal.

[3] There is a capital lithograph of Fu-chau in Fortune's Three Years' Wanderings (1847), in which the city shows as on a river, and Fortune always speaks of it; e.g. (p. 369): "The river runs through the suburbs." I do not know what is the worth of the old engravings in Montanus. A view of Fu-chau in one of these (reproduced in Astley, iv. 33) shows a broad creek from the river penetrating to the heart of the city.

[4] The words of the G.T. are these: "Il hi se fait grant mercandies de perles e d'autres pieres presiose, e ce est por ce que les nés de Yndie hi vienent maintes con maint merchaant qe usent en les ysles de L'ndie, et encore voz di que ceste ville est pres au port de Caiton en la mer Osiani; et illuec vienent maintes nes de Indie con maintes mercandies, e puis de cest part vienent les nes por le grant flum qe je voz ai dit desoure jusque à la cité de Fugui, et en ceste mainere hi vienent chieres cousse de Indie."

[5] It is odd enough that Martini (though M. Pauthier apparently was not aware of it) does show a fort called Haiteu at the mouth of the Min; but I believe this to be merely an accidental coincidence. The various readings must be looked at together; that of the G.T. which I have followed is clear in itself and accounts for the others.



Now when you quit Fuju and cross the River, you travel for five days south-east through a fine country, meeting with a constant succession of flourishing cities, towns, and villages, rich in every product. You travel by mountains and valleys and plains, and in some places by great forests in which are many of the trees which give Camphor.[NOTE 1] There is plenty of game on the road, both of bird and beast. The people are all traders and craftsmen, subjects of the Great Kaan, and under the government of Fuju. When you have accomplished those five days' journey you arrive at the very great and noble city of ZAYTON, which is also subject to Fuju.

At this city you must know is the Haven of Zayton, frequented by all the ships of India, which bring thither spicery and all other kinds of costly wares. It is the port also that is frequented by all the merchants of Manzi, for hither is imported the most astonishing quantity of goods and of precious stones and pearls, and from this they are distributed all over Manzi.[NOTE 2] And I assure you that for one shipload of pepper that goes to Alexandria or elsewhere, destined for Christendom, there come a hundred such, aye and more too, to this haven of Zayton; for it is one of the two greatest havens in the world for commerce.[NOTE 3]

The Great Kaan derives a very large revenue from the duties paid in this city and haven; for you must know that on all the merchandize imported, including precious stones and pearls, he levies a duty of ten per cent., or in other words takes tithe of everything. Then again the ship's charge for freight on small wares is 30 per cent., on pepper 44 per cent., and on lignaloes, sandalwood, and other bulky goods 40 per cent., so that between freight and the Kaan's duties the merchant has to pay a good half the value of his investment [though on the other half he makes such a profit that he is always glad to come back with a new supply of merchandize]. But you may well believe from what I have said that the Kaan hath a vast revenue from this city.

There is a great abundance here of all provision for every necessity of man's life. [It is a charming country, and the people are very quiet, and fond of an easy life. Many come hither from Upper India to have their bodies painted with the needle in the way we have elsewhere described, there being many adepts at this craft in the city.[NOTE 4]]

Let me tell you also that in this province there is a town called TYUNJU, where they make vessels of porcelain of all sizes, the finest that can be imagined. They make it nowhere but in that city, and thence it is exported all over the world. Here it is abundant and very cheap, insomuch that for a Venice groat you can buy three dishes so fine that you could not imagine better.[NOTE 5]

I should tell you that in this city (i.e. of Zayton) they have a peculiar language. [For you must know that throughout all Manzi they employ one speech and one kind of writing only, but yet there are local differences of dialect, as you might say of Genoese, Milanese, Florentines, and Neapolitans, who though they speak different dialects can understand one another.[NOTE 6]]

And I assure you that the Great Kaan has as large customs and revenues from this kingdom of Chonka as from Kinsay, aye and more too.[NOTE 7]

We have now spoken of but three out of the nine kingdoms of Manzi, to wit Yanju and Kinsay and Fuju. We could tell you about the other six, but it would be too long a business; so we will say no more about them.

And now you have heard all the truth about Cathay and Manzi and many other countries, as has been set down in this Book; the customs of the people and the various objects of commerce, the beasts and birds, the gold and silver and precious stones, and many other matters have been rehearsed to you. But our Book as yet does not contain nearly all that we purpose to put therein. For we have still to tell you all about the people of India and the notable things of that country, which are well worth the describing, for they are marvellous indeed. What we shall tell is all true, and without any lies. And we shall set down all the particulars in writing just as Messer Marco Polo related them. And he well knew the facts, for he remained so long in India, and enquired so diligently into the manners and peculiarities of the nations, that I can assure you there never was a single man before who learned so much and beheld so much as he did.

NOTE 1.—The Laurus (or Cinnamomum) Camphora, a large timber tree, grows abundantly in Fo-kien. A description of the manner in which camphor is produced at a very low cost, by sublimation from the chopped twigs, etc., will be found in the Lettres Edifiantes, XXIV. 19 seqq.; and more briefly in Hedde by Rondot, p. 35. Fo-kien alone has been known to send to Canton in one year 4000 piculs (of 133-1/3 lbs. each), but the average is 2500 to 3000 (Ib.).

NOTE 2.—When Marco says Zayton is one of the two greatest commercial ports in the world, I know not if he has another haven in his eye, or is only using an idiom of the age. For in like manner Friar Odoric calls Java "the second best of all Islands that exist"; and Kansan (or Shen-si) the "second best province in the world, and the best populated." But apart from any such idiom, Ibn Batuta pronounces Zayton to be the greatest haven in the world.

Martini relates that when one of the Emperors wanted to make war on Japan, the Province of Fo-kien offered to bridge the interval with their vessels!

ZAYTON, as Martini and Deguignes conjectured, is T'SWAN-CHAU FU, or CHWAN-CHAU FU (written by French scholars Thsiouan-tchéou-fou), often called in our charts, etc., Chinchew, a famous seaport of Fo-kien about 100 miles in a straight line S.W. by S. of Fu-chau, Klaproth supposes that the name by which it was known to the Arabs and other Westerns was corrupted from an old Chinese name of the city, given in the Imperial Geography, viz. TSEU-T'UNG.[1] Zaitún commended itself to Arabian ears, being the Arabic for an olive-tree (whence Jerusalem is called Zaitúniyah); but the corruption (if such it be) must be of very old date, as the city appears to have received its present name in the 7th or 8th century.

Abulfeda, whose Geography was terminated in 1321, had heard the real name of Zayton: "Shanju" he calls it, "known in our time as Zaitún"; and again: "Zaitún, i.e. Shanju, is a haven of China, and, according to the accounts of merchants who have travelled to those parts, is a city of mark. It is situated on a marine estuary which ships enter from the China Sea. The estuary extends fifteen miles, and there is a river at the head of it. According to some who have seen the place, the tide flows. It is half a day from the sea, and the channel by which ships come up from the sea is of fresh water. It is smaller in size than Hamath, and has the remains of a wall which was destroyed by the Tartars. The people drink water from the channel, and also from wells."

Friar Odoric (in China, circa 1323-1327, who travelled apparently by land from Chin-kalán, i.e. Canton) says: "Passing through many cities and towns, I came to a certain noble city which is called Zayton, where we Friars Minor have two Houses…. In this city is great plenty of all things that are needful for human subsistence. For example, you can get three pounds and eight ounces of sugar for less than half a groat. The city is twice as great as Bologna, and in it are many monasteries of devotees, idol-worshippers every man of them. In one of those monasteries which I visited there were 3000 monks…. The place is one of the best in the world…. Thence I passed eastward to a certain city called Fuzo…. The city is a mighty fine one, and standeth upon the sea." Andrew of Perugia, another Franciscan, was Bishop of Zayton from 1322, having resided there from 1318. In 1326 he writes a letter home, in which he speaks of the place as "a great city on the shores of the Ocean Sea, which is called in the Persian tongue Cayton (Çayton); and in this city a rich Armenian lady did build a large and fine enough church, which was erected into a cathedral by the Archbishop," and so on. He speaks incidentally of the Genoese merchants frequenting it. John Marignolli, who was there about 1347, calls it "a wondrous fine sea-port, and a city of incredible size, where our Minor Friars have three very fine churches; … and they have a bath also, and a fondaco which serves as a depôt for all the merchants." Ibn Batuta about the same time says: "The first city that I reached after crossing the sea was ZAITÚN…. It is a great city, superb indeed; and in it they make damasks of velvet as well as those of satin (Kimkhá and Atlás), which are called from the name of the city Zatúníah; they are superior to the stuffs of Khansá and Khárbálik. The harbour of Zaitún is one of the greatest in the world—I am wrong; it is the greatest! I have seen there about an hundred first-class junks together; as for small ones, they were past counting. The harbour is formed by an estuary which runs inland from the sea until it joins the Great River."

[Mr. Geo. Phillips finds a strong argument in favour of Changchau being Zayton in this passage of Ibn Batuta. He says (Jour. China Br.R.A. Soc. 1888, 28-29): "Changchow in the Middle Ages was the seat of a great silk manufacture, and the production of its looms, such as gauzes, satins and velvets, were said to exceed in beauty those of Soochow and Hangchow. According to the Fuhkien Gazetteer, silk goods under the name of Kinki, and porcelain were, at the end of the Sung Dynasty, ordered to be taken abroad and to be bartered against foreign wares, treasure having been prohibited to leave the country. In this Kinki I think we may recognise the Kimkha of IBN BATUTA. I incline to this fact, as the characters Kinki are pronounced in the Amoy and Changchow dialects Khimkhi and Kimkhia. Anxious to learn if the manufacture of these silk goods still existed in Changchow, I communicated with the Rev. Dr. TALMAGE of Amoy, who, through the Rev. Mr. Ross of the London Mission, gave me the information that Kinki was formerly somewhat extensively manufactured at Changchow, although at present it was only made by one shop in that city. IBN BATUTA tells us that the King of China had sent to the Sultan, five hundred pieces of Kamkha, of which one hundred were made in the city of Zaitun. This form of present appears to have been continued by the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty, for we learn that the Emperor Yunglo gave to the Envoy of the Sultan of Quilon, presents of Kinki and Shalo, that is to say, brocaded silks and gauzes. Since writing the above, I found that Dr. HIRTH suggests that the characters Kinhua, meaning literally gold flower in the sense of silk embroidery, possibly represent the mediaeval Khimka. I incline rather to my own suggestion. In the Pei-wen-yun-fu these characters Kien-ki are frequently met in combination, meaning a silk texture, such as brocade or tapestry. Curtains made of this texture are mentioned in Chinese books, as early as the commencement of the Christian era."—H.C.]

Rashiduddin, in enumerating the Sings or great provincial governments of the empire, has the following: "7th FUCHÚ.—This is a city of Manzi. The Sing was formerly located at ZAITÚN, but afterwards established here, where it still remains. Zaitún is a great shipping-port, and the commandant there is Boháuddin Kandári." Pauthier's Chinese extracts show us that the seat of the Sing was, in 1281, at T'swan-chau, but was then transferred to Fu-chau. In 1282 it was removed back to T'swan-chau, and in 1283 recalled to Fu-chau. That is to say, what the Persian writer tells us of Fújú and Zayton, the Chinese Annalists tell us of Fu-chau and T'swan-chau. Therefore Fuju and Zayton were respectively Fu-chau and T'swan-chau.

[In the Yuen-shi (ch. 94), Shi po, Maritime trade regulations, it "is stated, among other things, that in 1277, a superintendency of foreign trade was established in Ts'uän-chou. Another superintendency was established for the three ports of K'ing-yüan (the present Ning-po), Shang-hai, and Gan-p'u. These three ports depended on the province of Fu-kien, the capital of which was Ts'üan-chou. Farther on, the ports of Hang-chou and Fu-chou are also mentioned in connection with foreign trade. Chang-chou (in Fu-kien, near Amoy) is only once spoken of there. We meet further the names of Wen-chou and Kuang-chou as seaports for foreign trade in the Mongol time. But Ts'üan-chou in this article on the sea-trade seems to be considered as the most important of the seaports, and it is repeatedly referred to. I have, therefore, no doubt that the port of Zayton of Western mediaeval travellers can only be identified with Ts'uän-chou, not with Chang-chou…. There are many other reasons found in Chinese works in favour of this view. Gan-p'u of the Yuen-shi is the seaport Ganfu of Marco Polo." (Bretschneider, Med. Res. I. pp. 186-187.)

In his paper on Changchow, the Capital of Fuhkien in Mongol Times,
printed in the Jour. China B.R.A. Soc. 1888, pp. 22-30, Mr. Geo.
Phillips from Chinese works has shown that the Port of Chang-chau did, in
Mongol times, alternate with Chinchew and Fu-chau as the capital of

Further, Zayton was, as we see from this chapter, and from the 2nd and 5th of Bk. III., in that age the great focus and harbour of communication with India and the Islands. From Zayton sailed Kúblái's ill-fated expedition against Japan. From Zayton Marco Polo seems to have sailed on his return to the West, as did John Marignolli some half century later. At Zayton Ibn Batuta first landed in China, and from it he sailed on his return.

All that we find quoted from Chinese records regarding T'swan-chau corresponds to these Western statements regarding Zayton. For centuries T'swan-chau was the seat of the Customs Department of Fo-kien, nor was this finally removed till 1473. In all the historical notices of the arrival of ships and missions from India and the Indian Islands during the reign of Kúblái, T'swan-chau, and T'swan-chau almost alone, is the port of debarkation; in the notices of Indian regions in the annals of the same reign it is from T'swan-chau that the distances are estimated; it was from T'swan-chau that the expeditions against Japan and Java were mainly fitted out. (See quotations by Pauthier, pp. 559, 570, 604, 653, 603, 643; Gaubil, 205, 217; Deguignes, III. 169, 175, 180, 187; Chinese Recorder (Foochow), 1870, pp. 45 seqq.)

When the Portuguese, in the 16th century, recovered China to European knowledge, Zayton was no longer the great haven of foreign trade; but yet the old name was not extinct among the mariners of Western Asia. Giovanni d'Empoli, in 1515, writing about China from Cochin, says: "Ships carry spices thither from these parts. Every year there go thither from Sumatra 60,000 cantars of pepper, and 15,000 or 20,000 from Cochin and Malabar, worth 15 to 20 ducats a cantar; besides ginger (?), mace, nutmegs, incense, aloes, velvet, European goldwire, coral, woollens, etc. The Grand Can is the King of China, and he dwells at ZEITON." Giovanni hoped to get to Zeiton before he died.[2]

The port of T'swan-chau is generally called in our modern charts Chinchew. Now Chincheo is the name given by the old Portuguese navigators to the coast of Fo-kien, as well as to the port which they frequented there, and till recently I supposed this to be T'swan-chau. But Mr. Phillips, in his paper alluded to at p. 232, asserted that by Chincheo modern Spaniards and Portuguese designated (not T'swan-chau but) Chang-chau, a great city 60 miles W.S.W. of T'swan-chau, on a river entering Amoy Harbour. On turning, with this hint, to the old maps of the 17th century, I found that their Chincheo is really Chang-chau. But Mr. Phillips also maintains that Chang-chau, or rather its port, a place formerly called Gehkong and now Haiteng, is Zayton. Mr. Phillips does not adduce any precise evidence to show that this place was known as a port in Mongol times, far less that it was known as the most famous haven in the world; nor was I able to attach great weight to the arguments which he adduced. But his thesis, or a modification of it, has been taken up and maintained with more force, as already intimated, by the Rev. Dr. Douglas.

The latter makes a strong point in the magnificent character of Amoy Harbour, which really is one of the grandest havens in the world, and thus answers better to the emphatic language of Polo, and of Ibn Batuta, than the river of T'swan-chau. All the rivers of Fo-kien, as I learn from Dr. Douglas himself, are rapidly silting up; and it is probable that the river of Chinchew presented, in the 13th and 14th centuries, a far more impressive aspect as a commercial basin than it does now. But still it must have been far below Amoy Harbour in magnitude, depth, and accessibility. I have before recognised this, but saw no way to reconcile the proposed deduction with the positive historical facts already stated, which absolutely (to my mind) identify the Zayton of Polo and Rashiduddin with the Chinese city and port of T'swan-chau. Dr. Douglas, however, points out that the whole northern shore of Amoy Harbour, with the Islands of Amoy and Quemoy, are within the Fu or Department of T'swan-chau; and the latter name would, in Chinese parlance, apply equally to the city and to any part of the department. He cites among other analogous cases the Treaty Port Neuchwang (in Liao-tong). That city really lies 20 miles up the Liao River, but the name of Neuchwang is habitually applied by foreigners to Ying-tzu, which is the actual port. Even now much of the trade of T'swan-chau merchants is carried on through Amoy, either by junks touching, or by using the shorter sea-passage to 'An-hai, which was once a port of great trade, and is only 20 miles from T'swan-chau.[3] With such a haven as Amoy Harbour close by, it is improbable that Kúblái's vast armaments would have made rendezvous in the comparatively inconvenient port of T'swan-chau. Probably then the two were spoken of as one. In all this I recognise strong likelihood, and nothing inconsistent with recorded facts, or with Polo's concise statements. It is even possible that (as Dr. Douglas thinks) Polo's words intimate a distinction between Zayton the City and Zayton the Ocean Port; but for me Zayton the city, in Polo's chapters, remains still T'swan-chau. Dr. Douglas, however, seems disposed to regard it as Chang-chau.

The chief arguments urged for this last identity are: (1.) Ibn Batuta's representation of his having embarked at Zayton "on the river," i.e. on the internal navigation system of China, first for Sin-kalán (Canton), and afterwards for Kinsay. This could not, it is urged, be T'swan-chau, the river of which has no communication with the internal navigation, whereas the river at Chang-chau has such communication, constantly made use of in both directions (interrupted only by brief portages); (2.) Martini's mention of the finding various Catholic remains, such as crosses and images of the Virgin, at Chang-chau, in the early part of the 17th century, indicating that city as the probable site of the Franciscan establishments.

[Illustration: SKETCH MAP of the GREAT PORTS OF FOKIEN to illustrate the
Identity of Marco Polo's ZAYTON]

[I remember that the argument brought forward by Mr. Phillips in favour of Changchow which most forcibly struck Sir H. Yule, was the finding of various Christian remains at this place, and Mr. Phillips wrote (Jour. China Br.R.A.Soc. 1888, 27-28): "We learn from the history of the Franciscan missions that two churches were built in Zaitun, one in the city and the other in a forest not far from the town. MARTINI makes mention of relics being found in the city of Changchow, and also of a missal which he tried in vain to purchase from its owner, who gave as a reason for not parting with it, that it had been in his family for several generations. According to the history of the Spanish Dominicans in China, ruins of churches were used in rebuilding the city walls, many of the stones having crosses cut on them." Another singular discovery relating to these missions, is one mentioned by Father VITTORIO RICCI, which would seem to point distinctly to the remains of the Franciscan church built by ANDRÉ DE PÉROUSE outside the city of Zaitun: "The heathen of Changchow," says RICCI, "found buried in a neighbouring hill called Saysou another cross of a most beautiful form cut out of a single block of stone, which I had the pleasure of placing in my church in that city. The heathen were alike ignorant of the time when it was made and how it came to be buried there."—H.C.]

Whether the application by foreigners of the term Zayton, may, by some possible change in trade arrangements in the quarter-century after Polo's departure from China, have undergone a transfer, is a question which it would be vain to answer positively without further evidence. But as regards Polo's Zayton, I continue in the belief that this was T'swan-chau and its haven, with the admission that this haven may probably have embraced that great basin called Amoy Harbour, or part of it.[4]

[Besides the two papers I have already mentioned, the late Mr. Phillips has published, since the last edition of Marco Polo, in the T'oung-Pao, VI. and VII.: Two Mediaeval Fuh-kien Trading Ports: Chüan-chow and Chang-chow. He has certainly given many proofs of the importance of Chang-chau at the time of the Mongol Dynasty, and one might well hesitate (I know it was also the feeling of Sir Henry Yule at the end of his life) between this city and T'swan-chau, but the weak point of his controversy is his theory about Fu-chau. However, Mr. George Phillips, who died in 1896, gathered much valuable material, of which we have made use; it is only fair to pay this tribute to the memory of this learned consul.—H.C.]

Martini (circa 1650) describes T'swan-chau as delightfully situated on a promontory between two branches of the estuary which forms the harbour, and these so deep that the largest ships could come up to the walls on either side. A great suburb, Loyang, lay beyond the northern water, connected with the city by the most celebrated bridge in China. Collinson's Chart in some points below the town gives only 1-1/4 fathom for the present depth, but Dr. Douglas tells me he has even now occasionally seen large junks come close to the city.

Chinchew, though now occasionally visited by missionaries and others, is not a Treaty port, and we have not a great deal of information about its modern state. It is the head-quarters of the T'i-tuh, or general commanding the troops in Fo-kien. The walls have a circuit of 7 or 8 miles, but embracing much vacant ground. The chief exports now are tea and sugar, which are largely grown in the vicinity, tobacco, china-ware, nankeens, etc. There are still to be seen (as I learn from Mr. Phillips) the ruins of a fine mosque, said to have been founded by the Arab traders who resorted thither. The English Presbyterian Church Mission has had a chapel in the city for about ten years.

Zayton, we have seen from Ibn Batuta's report, was famed for rich satins called Zaitúníah. I have suggested in another work (Cathay, p. 486) that this may be the origin of our word Satin, through the Zettani of mediaeval Italian (or Aceytuni of mediaeval Spanish). And I am more strongly disposed to support this, seeing that Francisque-Michel, in considering the origin of Satin, hesitates between Satalin from Satalia in Asia Minor and Soudanin from the Soudan or Sultan; neither half so probable as Zaituni. I may add that in a French list of charges of 1352 we find the intermediate form Zatony. Satin in the modern form occurs in Chaucer:—

  "In Surrie whilom dwelt a compagnie
  Of chapmen rich, and therto sad and trewe,
  That wide where senten their spicerie,
  Clothes of gold, and satins riche of hewe."
      —Man of Lawe's Tale, st. 6.

[Hatzfeld (Dict.) derives satin from the Italian setino; and setino from SETA, pig's hair, and gives the following example: "Deux aunes et un quartier de satin vremeil," in Caffiaux, Abattis de maisons à Gommegnies, p. 17, 14th century. The Portuguese have setim. But I willingly accept Sir Henry Yule's suggestion that the origin of the word is Zayton; cf. zeitun [Arabic] olive.

"The King [of Bijánagar] … was clothed in a robe of zaitún satin." (Elliot, IV. p. 113, who adds in a note zaitún: Olive-coloured?) And again (Ibid. p. 120): "Before the throne there was placed a cushion of zaitúni satin, round which three rows of the most exquisite pearls were sewn."—H.C.]

(Recherches, etc., II. 229 seqq.; Martini, circa p. 110; Klaproth, Mém. II. 209-210; Cathay, cxciii. 268, 223, 355, 486; Empoli in Append. vol. iii. 87 to Archivio Storico Italiano; Douet d'Arcq. p. 342; Galv., Discoveries of the World, Hak. Soc. p. 129; Marsden, 1st ed. p. 372; Appendix to Trade Report of Amoy, for 1868 and 1900. [Heyd, Com. Levant, II. 701-702.])

NOTE 3.—We have referred in a former note (ch. lxxvii. note 7) to an apparent change in regard to the Chinese consumption of pepper, which is now said to be trifling. We shall see in the first chapter of Bk. III. that Polo estimates the tonnage of Chinese junks by the number of baskets of pepper they carried, and we have seen in last note the large estimate by Giov. d'Empoli of the quantity that went to China in 1515. Galvano also, speaking of the adventure of Fernão Perez d'Andrade to China in 1517, says that he took in at Pacem a cargo of pepper, "as being the chief article of trade that is valued in China." And it is evident from what Marsden says in his History of Sumatra, that in the last century some tangible quantity was still sent to China. The export from the Company's plantations in Sumatra averaged 1200 tons, of which the greater part came to Europe, the rest went to China.

[Couto says also: "Os portos principaes do Reyno da Sunda são Banta, Aché, Xacatara, por outro nome Caravão, aos quaes vam todos os annos mui perto de vinte sommas, que são embarcações do Chincheo, huma das Provincias maritimas da China, a carregar de pimenta, porque dá este Reyno todos es annos oito mil bares della, que são trinta mil quintaes." (Decada IV. Liv. III. Cap. I. 167.)]

NOTE 4.—These tattooing artists were probably employed mainly by mariners frequenting the port. We do not know if the Malays practised tattooing before their conversion to Islam. But most Indo-Chinese races tattoo, and the Japanese still "have the greater part of the body and limbs scrolled over with bright-blue dragons, and lions, and tigers, and figures of men and women tattooed into their skins with the most artistic and elaborate ornamentation." (Alcock, I. 191.) Probably the Arab sailors also indulged in the same kind of decoration. It is common among the Arab women now, and Della Valle speaks of it as in his time so much in vogue among both sexes through Egypt, Arabia, and Babylonia, that he had not been able to escape. (I. 395.)

NOTE 5.—The divergence in Ramusio's version is here very notable: "The River which enters the Port of Zayton is great and wide, running with great velocity, and is a branch of that which flows by the city of Kinsay. And at the place where it quits the main channel is the city of Tingui, of which all that is to be said is that there they make porcelain basins and dishes. The manner of making porcelain was thus related to him. They excavate a certain kind of earth, as it were from a mine, and this they heap into great piles, and then leave it undisturbed and exposed to wind, rain, and sun for 30 or 40 years. In this space of time the earth becomes sufficiently refined for the manufacture of porcelain; they then colour it at their discretion, and bake it in a furnace. Those who excavate the clay do so always therefore for their sons and grandsons. The articles are so cheap in that city that you get 8 bowls for a Venice groat."

Ibn Batuta speaks of porcelain as manufactured at Zayton; indeed he says positively (and wrongly): "Porcelain is made nowhere in China except in the cities of Zaitun and Sinkalan" (Canton). A good deal of China ware in modern times is made in Fo-kien and Canton provinces, and it is still an article of export from T'swan-chau and Amoy; but it is only of a very ordinary kind. Pakwiha, between Amoy and Chang-chau, is mentioned in the Chinese Commercial Guide (p. 114) as now the place where the coarse blue ware, so largely exported to India, etc., is largely manufactured; and Phillips mentions Tung-'an (about half-way between T'swan-chau and Chang-chau) as a great seat of this manufacture.

Looking, however, to the Ramusian interpolations, which do not indicate a locality necessarily near Zayton, or even in Fo-kien, it is possible that Murray is right in supposing the place intended in these to be really King-tê chên in Kiang-si, the great seat of the manufacture of genuine porcelain, or rather its chief mart JAU-CHAU FU on the P'o-yang Lake.

The geographical indication of this city of porcelain, as at the place where a branch of the River of Kinsay flows off towards Zayton, points to a notion prevalent in the Middle Ages as to the interdivergence of rivers in general, and especially of Chinese rivers. This notion will be found well embodied in the Catalan Map, and something like it in the maps of the Chinese themselves;[5] it is a ruling idea with Ibn Batuta, who, as we have seen (in note 2), speaks of the River of Zayton as connected in the interior with "the Great River," and who travels by this waterway accordingly from Zayton to Kinsay, taking no notice of the mountains of Fo-kien. So also (supra, p. 175) Rashiduddin had been led to suppose that the Great Canal extended to Zayton. With apparently the same idea of one Great River of China with many ramifications, Abulfeda places most of the great cities of China upon "The River." The "Great River of China," with its branches to Kinsay, is alluded to in a like spirit by Wassáf (supra, p. 213). Polo has already indicated the same idea (p. 219).

Assuming this as the notion involved in the passage from Ramusio, the position of Jau-chau might be fairly described as that of Tingui is therein, standing as it does on the P'o-yang Lake, from which there is such a ramification of internal navigation, e.g. to Kinsay or Hang-chau fu directly by Kwansin, the Chang-shan portage already referred to (supra, p. 222), and the Ts'ien T'ang (and this is the Kinsay River line to which I imagine Polo here to refer), or circuitously by the Yang-tzu and Great Canal; to Canton by the portage of the Meiling Pass; and to the cities of Fo-kien either by the Kwansin River or by Kian-chan fu, further south, with a portage in each case across the Fo-kien mountains. None of our maps give any idea of the extent of internal navigation in China. (See Klaproth, Mém. vol. iii.)

The story of the life-long period during which the porcelain clay was exposed to temper long held its ground, and probably was only dispelled by the publication of the details of the King-tê chên manufacture by Père d'Entrecolles in the Lettres Edifiantes.

NOTE 6.—The meagre statement in the French texts shows merely that Polo had heard of the Fo-kien dialect. The addition from Ramusio shows further that he was aware of the unity of the written character throughout China, but gives no indication of knowledge of its peculiar principles, nor of the extent of difference in the spoken dialects. Even different districts of Fo-kien, according to Martini, use dialects so different that they understand each other with difficulty (108).

[Mendoza already said: "It is an admirable thing to consider how that in that kingdome they doo speake manie languages, the one differing from the other: yet generallie in writing they doo understand one the other, and in speaking not." (Parke's Transl. p. 93.)]

Professor Kidd, speaking of his instructors in the Mandarin and Fo-kien dialects respectively, says: "The teachers in both cases read the same books, composed in the same style, and attached precisely the same ideas to the written symbols, but could not understand each other in conversation." Moreover, besides these sounds attaching to the Chinese characters when read in the dialect of Fo-kien, thus discrepant from the sounds used in reading the same characters in the Mandarin dialect, yet another class of sounds is used to express the same ideas in the Fo-kien dialect when it is used colloquially and without reference to written symbols! (Kidd's China, etc., pp. 21-23.)

The term Fokien dialect in the preceding passage is ambiguous, as will be seen from the following remarks, which have been derived from the Preface and Appendices to the Rev. Dr. Douglas's Dictionary of the Spoken Language of Amoy,[6] and which throw a distinct light on the subject of this note:—

"The vernacular or spoken language of Amoy is not a mere colloquial dialect or patois, it is a distinct language—one of the many and widely differing spoken languages which divide among them the soil of China. For these spoken languages are not dialects of one language, but cognate languages, bearing to each other a relation similar to that between Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, or between English, Dutch, German, and Danish. The so-called 'written language' is indeed uniform throughout the whole country, but that is rather a notation than a language. And this written language, as read aloud from books, is not spoken in any place whatever, under any form of pronunciation. The most learned men never employ it as a means of ordinary oral communication even among themselves. It is, in fact, a dead language, related to the various spoken languages of China, somewhat as Latin is to the languages of Southern Europe.

"Again: Dialects, properly speaking, of the Amoy vernacular language are found (e.g.) in the neighbouring districts of Changchew, Chinchew, and Tungan, and the language with its subordinate dialects is believed to be spoken by 8 or 10 millions of people. Of the other languages of China the most nearly related to the Amoy is the vernacular of Chau-chau-fu, often called 'the Swatow dialect,' from the only treaty-port in that region. The ancestors of the people speaking it emigrated many years ago from Fuh-kien, and are still distinguished there by the appellation Hok-ló, i.e. people from Hok-kien (or Fuh-kien). This language differs from the Amoy, much as Dutch differs from German, or Portuguese from Spanish.

"In the Island of Hai-nan (Hái-lâm), again (setting aside the central aborigines), a language is spoken which differs from Amoy more than that of Swatow, but is more nearly related to these two than to any other of the languages of China.

"In Fuh-chau fu we have another language which is largely spoken in the centre and north of Fuh-kien. This has many points of resemblance to the Amoy, but is quite unintelligible to the Amoy people, with the exception of an occasional word or phrase.

"Hing-hwa fu (Heng-hoà), between Fuh-chau and Chinchew, has also a language of its own, though containing only two Hien districts. It is alleged to be unintelligible both at Amoy and at Fuhchau.

"To the other languages of China that of Amoy is less closely related; yet all evidently spring from one common stock. But that common stock is not the modern Mandarin dialect, but the ancient form of the Chinese language as spoken some 3000 years ago. The so-called Mandarin, far from being the original form, is usually more changed than any. It is in the ancient form of the language (naturally) that the relation of Chinese to other languages can best be traced; and as the Amoy vernacular, which very generally retains the final consonants in their original shape, has been one of the chief sources from which the ancient form of Chinese has been recovered, the study of that vernacular is of considerable importance."

NOTE 7.—This is inconsistent with his former statements as to the supreme wealth of Kinsay. But with Marco the subject in hand is always pro magnifico.

Ramusio says that the Traveller will now "begin to speak of the territories, cities, and provinces of the Greater, Lesser, and Middle India, in which regions he was when in the service of the Great Kaan, being sent thither on divers matters of business. And then again when he returned to the same quarter with the queen of King Argon, and with his father and uncle, on his way back to his native land. So he will relate the strange things that he saw in those Indies, not omitting others which he heard related by persons of reputation and worthy of credit, and things that were pointed out to him on the maps of manners of the Indies aforesaid."

[Illustration: The Kaan's Fleet leaving the Port of Zayton]

[Illustration: Marco Polo's Itineraries No. VI. (Book II, Chapters 67-82)
Journey through Manzi Polo's names thus Kinsay]

[1] Dr. C. Douglas objects to this derivation of Zayton, that the place was never called Tseut'ung absolutely, but T'seu-t'ung-ching, "city of prickly T'ung-trees"; and this not as a name, but as a polite literary epithet, somewhat like "City of Palaces" applied to Calcutta.

[2] Giovanni did not get to Zayton; but two years later he got to Canton with Fernão Perez, was sent ashore as Factor, and a few days after died of fever. (De Barros, III. II. viii.) The way in which Botero, a compiler in the latter part of the 16th century, speaks of Zayton as between Canton and Liampo (Ningpo), and exporting immense quantities of porcelain, salt and sugar, looks as if he had before him modern information as to the place. He likewise observes, "All the moderns note the port of Zaiton between Canton and Liampo." Yet I know no other modern allusion except Giovanni d'Empoli's; and that was printed only a few years ago. (Botero, Relazione Universale, pp. 97, 228.)

[3] Martini says of Ganhai ('An-Hai or Ngan-Hai), "Ingens hic mercium ac Sinensium navium copia est … ex his ('Anhai and Amoy) in totam Indiam merces avehuntur."

[4] Dr. Douglas assures me that the cut at p. 245 is an excellent view of the entrance to the S. channel of the Chang-chau River, though I derived it from a professed view of the mouth of the Chinchew River. I find he is quite right; see List of Illustrations.

[5] In a modern Chinese geographical work abstracted by Mr. Laidlay, we are told that the great river of Tsim-lo, or Siam, "penetrates to a branch of the Hwang-Ho." (J.A.S.B. XVII. Pt. I. 157.)

[6] CHINESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY of the Vernacular or Spoken language of Amoy, with the principal variations of the Chang-chew and Chin-chew Dialects; by the Rev. Carstairs Douglas, M.A., LL.D., Glasg., Missionary of the Presb. Church in England. (Trübner, 1873.) I must note that I have not access to the book itself, but condense these remarks from extracts and abstracts made by a friend at my request.



[Illustration: The Kaan's Fleet passing through the Indian Archipelago

"Fist aparoiller xiv nes, lesquels avoit chascune iv arbres, et maintes foies aloient a xii voiles … et najeient bien iii mois tant k'il vendrent a bre Asie qui es ver midi"]




Having finished our discourse concerning those countries wherewith our Book hath been occupied thus far, we are now about to enter on the subject of INDIA, and to tell you of all the wonders thereof.

And first let us speak of the ships in which merchants go to and fro amongst the Isles of India.

These ships, you must know, are of fir timber.[NOTE 1] They have but one deck, though each of them contains some 50 or 60 cabins, wherein the merchants abide greatly at their ease, every man having one to himself. The ship hath but one rudder, but it hath four masts; and sometimes they have two additional masts, which they ship and unship at pleasure.[NOTE 2]

[Moreover the larger of their vessels have some thirteen compartments or severances in the interior, made with planking strongly framed, in case mayhap the ship should spring a leak, either by running on a rock or by the blow of a hungry whale (as shall betide ofttimes, for when the ship in her course by night sends a ripple back alongside of the whale, the creature seeing the foam fancies there is something to eat afloat, and makes a rush forward, whereby it often shall stave in some part of the ship). In such case the water that enters the leak flows to the bilge, which is always kept clear; and the mariners having ascertained where the damage is, empty the cargo from that compartment into those adjoining, for the planking is so well fitted that the water cannot pass from one compartment to another. They then stop the leak and replace the lading.[NOTE 3]]

The fastenings are all of good iron nails and the sides are double, one plank laid over the other, and caulked outside and in. The planks are not pitched, for those people do not have any pitch, but they daub the sides with another matter, deemed by them far better than pitch; it is this. You see they take some lime and some chopped hemp, and these they knead together with a certain wood-oil; and when the three are thoroughly amalgamated, they hold like any glue. And with this mixture they do paint their ships.[NOTE 4]

Each of their great ships requires at least 200 mariners [some of them 300]. They are indeed of great size, for one ship shall carry 5000 or 6000 baskets of pepper [and they used formerly to be larger than they are now]. And aboard these ships, you must know, when there is no wind they use sweeps, and these sweeps are so big that to pull them requires four mariners to each.[NOTE 5] Every great ship has certain large barks or tenders attached to it; these are large enough to carry 1000 baskets of pepper, and carry 50 or 60 mariners apiece [some of them 80 or 100], and they are likewise moved by oars; they assist the great ship by towing her, at such times as her sweeps are in use [or even when she is under sail, if the wind be somewhat on the beam; not if the wind be astern, for then the sails of the big ship would take the wind out of those of the tenders, and she would run them down]. Each ship has two [or three] of these barks, but one is bigger than the others. There are also some ten [small] boats for the service of each great ship, to lay out the anchors, catch fish, bring supplies aboard, and the like. When the ship is under sail she carries these boats slung to her sides. And the large tenders have their boats in like manner.

When the ship has been a year in work and they wish to repair her, they nail on a third plank over the first two, and caulk and pay it well; and when another repair is wanted they nail on yet another plank, and so on year by year as it is required. Howbeit, they do this only for a certain number of years, and till there are six thicknesses of planking. When a ship has come to have six planks on her sides, one over the other, they take her no more on the high seas, but make use of her for coasting as long as she will last, and then they break her up.[NOTE 6]

Now that I have told you about the ships which sail upon the Ocean Sea and among the Isles of India, let us proceed to speak of the various wonders of India; but first and foremost I must tell you about a number of Islands that there are in that part of the Ocean Sea where we now are, I mean the Islands lying to the eastward. So let us begin with an Island which is called Chipangu.

NOTE 1.—Pine [Pinus sinensis] is [still] the staple timber for ship-building both at Canton and in Fo-kien. There is a very large export of it from Fu-chau, and even the chief fuel at that city is from a kind of fir. Several varieties of pine-wood are also brought down the rivers for sale at Canton. (N. and Q., China and Japan, I. 170; Fortune, I. 286; Doolittle.)

NOTE 2.—Note the one rudder again. (Supra, Bk. I. ch. xix. note 3.) One of the shifting masts was probably a bowsprit, which, according to Lecomte, the Chinese occasionally use, very slight, and planted on the larboard bow.

NOTE 3.—The system of water-tight compartments, for the description of which we have to thank Ramusio's text, in our own time introduced into European construction, is still maintained by the Chinese, not only in sea-going junks, but in the larger river craft. (See Mid. Kingd. II. 25; Blakiston, 88; Deguignes, I. 204-206.)

NOTE 4.—This still remains quite correct, hemp, old nets, and the fibre of a certain creeper being used for oakum. The wood-oil is derived from a tree called Tong-shu, I do not know if identical with the wood-oil trees of Arakan and Pegu (Dipterocarpus laevis).

["What goes under the name of 'wood-oil' to-day in China is the poisonous oil obtained from the nuts of Elaeococca verrucosa. It is much used for painting and caulking ships." (Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc. I. p. 4.)—H.C.]

NOTE 5.—The junks that visit Singapore still use these sweeps. (J. Ind. Arch. II. 607.) Ibn Batuta puts a much larger number of men to each. It will be seen from his account below that great ropes were attached to the oars to pull by, the bulk of timber being too large to grasp; as in the old French galleys wooden manettes or grips, were attached to the oar for the same purpose.

NOTE 6.—The Chinese sea-going vessels of those days were apparently larger than was at all common in European navigation. Marco here speaks of 200 (or in Ramusio up to 300) mariners, a large crew indeed for a merchant vessel, but not so great as is implied in Odoric's statement, that the ship in which he went from India to China had 700 souls on board. The numbers carried by Chinese junks are occasionally still enormous. "In February, 1822, Captain Pearl, of the English ship Indiana, coming through Caspar Straits, fell in with the cargo and crew of a wrecked junk, and saved 198 persons out of 1600, with whom she had left Amoy, whom he landed at Pontianak. This humane act cost him 11,000_l._" (Quoted by Williams from Chin. Rep. VI. 149.)

The following are some other mediaeval accounts of the China shipping, all unanimous as to the main facts.

Friar Jordanus:—"The vessels which they navigate to Cathay be very big, and have upon the ship's hull more than one hundred cabins, and with a fair wind they carry ten sails, and they are very bulky, being made of three thicknesses of plank, so that the first thickness is as in our great ships, the second crosswise, the third again longwise. In sooth, 'tis a very strong affair!" (55.)

Nicolo Conti:—"They build some ships much larger than ours, capable of containing 2000 butts (vegetes), with five masts and five sails. The lower part is constructed with triple planking, in order to withstand the force of the tempests to which they are exposed. And the ships are divided into compartments, so formed that if one part be shattered the rest remains in good order, and enables the vessel to complete its voyage."

Ibn Batuta:—"Chinese ships only are used in navigating the sea of China…. There are three classes of these: (1) the Large, which are called Jonúk (sing. Junk); (2) the Middling, which are called Zao; and (3) the Small, called Kakam. Each of the greater ships has from twelve sails down to three. These are made of bamboo laths woven into a kind of mat; they are never lowered, and they are braced this way and that as the wind may blow. When these vessels anchor the sails are allowed to fly loose. Each ship has a crew of 1000 men, viz. 600 mariners and 400 soldiers, among whom are archers, target-men, and cross-bow men to shoot naphtha. Each large vessel is attended by three others, which are called respectively 'The Half,' 'The Third,' and 'The Quarter.' These vessels are built only at Zayton, in China, and at Sínkalán or Sín-ul-Sín (i.e. Canton). This is the way they are built. They construct two walls of timber, which they connect by very thick slabs of wood, clenching all fast this way and that with huge spikes, each of which is three cubits in length. When the two walls have been united by these slabs they apply the bottom planking, and then launch the hull before completing the construction. The timbers projecting from the sides towards the water serve the crew for going down to wash and for other needs. And to these projecting timbers are attached the oars, which are like masts in size, and need from 10 to 15 men[1] to ply each of them. There are about 20 of these great oars, and the rowers at each oar stand in two ranks facing one another. The oars are provided with two strong cords or cables; each rank pulls at one of these and then lets go, whilst the other rank pulls on the opposite cable. These rowers have a pleasant chaunt at their work usually, singing Lá' la! Lá' la![2] The three tenders which we have mentioned above also use oars, and tow the great ships when required.

"On each ship four decks are constructed; and there are cabins and public rooms for the merchants. Some of these cabins are provided with closets and other conveniences, and they have keys so that their tenants can lock them, and carry with them their wives or concubines. The crew in some of the cabins have their children, and they sow kitchen herbs, ginger, etc., in wooden buckets. The captain is a very great Don; and when he lands, the archers and negro-slaves march before him with javelins, swords, drums, horns, and trumpets." (IV. pp. 91 seqq. and 247 seqq. combined.) Comparing this very interesting description with Polo's, we see that they agree in all essentials except size and the number of decks. It is not unlikely that the revival of the trade with India, which Kúblái stimulated, may have in its development under his successors led to the revival also of the larger ships of former times to which Marco alludes.

[1] Or even 30 (p. 248).

[2] Corresponding to the "Hevelow and rumbelow" of the Christian oarsmen. (See Coeur de Lion in Weber, II. 99.)



Chipangu is an Island towards the east in the high seas, 1500 miles distant from the Continent; and a very great Island it is.[NOTE 1]

The people are white, civilized, and well-favoured. They are Idolaters, and are dependent on nobody. And I can tell you the quantity of gold they have is endless; for they find it in their own Islands, [and the King does not allow it to be exported. Moreover] few merchants visit the country because it is so far from the main land, and thus it comes to pass that their gold is abundant beyond all measure.[NOTE 2]

I will tell you a wonderful thing about the Palace of the Lord of that Island. You must know that he hath a great Palace which is entirely roofed with fine gold, just as our churches are roofed with lead, insomuch that it would scarcely be possible to estimate its value. Moreover, all the pavement of the Palace, and the floors of its chambers, are entirely of gold, in plates like slabs of stone, a good two fingers thick; and the windows also are of gold, so that altogether the richness of this Palace is past all bounds and all belief.[NOTE 3]

[Illustration: Ancient Japanese Emperor. (After a Native Drawing; from

They have also pearls in abundance, which are of a rose colour, but fine, big, and round, and quite as valuable as the white ones. [In this Island some of the dead are buried, and others are burnt. When a body is burnt, they put one of these pearls in the mouth, for such is their custom.] They have also quantities of other precious stones.[NOTE 4]

Cublay, the Grand Kaan who now reigneth, having heard much of the immense wealth that was in this Island, formed a plan to get possession of it. For this purpose he sent two of his Barons with a great navy, and a great force of horse and foot. These Barons were able and valiant men, one of them called ABACAN and the other VONSAINCHIN, and they weighed with all their company from the ports of Zayton and Kinsay, and put out to sea. They sailed until they reached the Island aforesaid, and there they landed, and occupied the open country and the villages, but did not succeed in getting possession of any city or castle. And so a disaster befel them, as I shall now relate.

You must know that there was much ill-will between those two Barons, so that one would do nothing to help the other. And it came to pass that there arose a north wind which blew with great fury, and caused great damage along the coasts of that Island, for its harbours were few. It blew so hard that the Great Kaan's fleet could not stand against it. And when the chiefs saw that, they came to the conclusion that if the ships remained where they were the whole navy would perish. So they all got on board and made sail to leave the country. But when they had gone about four miles they came to a small Island, on which they were driven ashore in spite of all they could do; and a large part of the fleet was wrecked, and a great multitude of the force perished, so that there escaped only some 30,000 men, who took refuge on this Island.

These held themselves for dead men, for they were without food, and knew not what to do, and they were in great despair when they saw that such of the ships as had escaped the storm were making full sail for their own country without the slightest sign of turning back to help them. And this was because of the bitter hatred between the two Barons in command of the force; for the Baron who escaped never showed the slightest desire to return to his colleague who was left upon the Island in the way you have heard; though he might easily have done so after the storm ceased; and it endured not long. He did nothing of the kind, however, but made straight for home. And you must know that the Island to which the soldiers had escaped was uninhabited; there was not a creature upon it but themselves.

Now we will tell you what befel those who escaped on the fleet, and also those who were left upon the Island.

NOTE 1.—+CHIPANGU represents the Chinese Jih-pên-kwé, the kingdom of Japan, the name Jih-pên being the Chinese pronunciation, of which the term Nippon, Niphon or Nihon, used in Japan, is a dialectic variation, both meaning "the origin of the sun," or sun-rising, the place the sun comes from. The name Chipangu is used also by Rashiduddin. Our Japan was probably taken from the Malay Japún or Japáng.

["The name Nihon ('Japan') seems to have been first officially employed by the Japanese Government in A.D. 670. Before that time, the usual native designation of the country was Yamato, properly the name of one of the central provinces. Yamato and O-mi-kuni, that is, 'the Great August Country,' are the names still preferred in poetry and belles-lettres. Japan has other ancient names, some of which are of learned length and thundering sound, for instance, Toyo-ashi-wara-no-chi-aki-no-naga-i-ho- aki-no-mizu-ho-no-kuni, that is 'the Luxuriant-Reed-Plains-the-Land-of- Fresh-Rice-Ears-of-a-Thousand-Autumns-of-Long-Five-Hundred-Autumns.'" (B.H. Chamberlain, Things Japanese, 3rd ed. p. 222.)—H.C.]

It is remarkable that the name Nipon occurs, in the form of Al-Náfún, in the Ikhwán-al-Safá, supposed to date from the 10th century. (See J.A.S.B. XVII. Pt. I. 502.)

[I shall merely mention the strange theory of Mr. George Collingridge that Zipangu is Java and not Japan in his paper on The Early Cartography of Japan. (Geog. Jour. May, 1894, pp. 403-409.) Mr. F.G. Kramp (Japan or Java?), in the Tijdschrift v. het K. Nederl. Aardrijkskundig Genootschap, 1894, and Mr. H. Yule Oldham (Geog. Jour., September, 1894, pp. 276-279), have fully replied to this paper.—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—The causes briefly mentioned in the text maintained the abundance and low price of gold in Japan till the recent opening of the trade. (See Bk. II. ch. 1. note 5.) Edrisi had heard that gold in the isles of Sila (or Japan) was so abundant that dog-collars were made of it.

NOTE 3.—This was doubtless an old "yarn," repeated from generation to generation. We find in a Chinese work quoted by Amyot: "The palace of the king (of Japan) is remarkable for its singular construction. It is a vast edifice, of extraordinary height; it has nine stories, and presents on all sides an exterior shining with the purest gold." (Mém. conc. les Chinois, XIV. 55.) See also a like story in Kaempfer. (H. du Japon, I. 139.)

[Illustration: Ancient Japanese Archer. (From a Native Drawing.)]

NOTE 4.—Kaempfer speaks of pearls being found in considerable numbers,
chiefly about Satsuma, and in the Gulf of Omura, in Kiusiu. From what
Alcock says they do not seem now to be abundant. (Ib. I. 95; Alcock,
I. 200.) No precious stones are mentioned by Kaempfer.

Rose-tinted pearls are frequent among the Scotch pearls, and, according to Mr. King, those of this tint are of late the most highly esteemed in Paris. Such pearls were perhaps also most highly esteemed in old India; for red pearls (Lohitamukti) form one of the seven precious objects which it was incumbent to use in the adornment of Buddhistic reliquaries, and to distribute at the building of a Dagoba. (Nat. Hist. of Prec. Stones, etc., 263; Koeppen, I. 541.)



You see those who were left upon the Island, some 30,000 souls, as I have said, did hold themselves for dead men, for they saw no possible means of escape. And when the King of the Great Island got news how the one part of the expedition had saved themselves upon that Isle, and the other part was scattered and fled, he was right glad thereat, and he gathered together all the ships of his territory and proceeded with them, the sea now being calm, to the little Isle, and landed his troops all round it. And when the Tartars saw them thus arrive, and the whole force landed, without any guard having been left on board the ships (the act of men very little acquainted with such work), they had the sagacity to feign flight. [Now the Island was very high in the middle, and whilst the enemy were hastening after them by one road they fetched a compass by another and] in this way managed to reach the enemy's ships and to get aboard of them. This they did easily enough, for they encountered no opposition.

Once they were on board they got under weigh immediately for the great Island, and landed there, carrying with them the standards and banners of the King of the Island; and in this wise they advanced to the capital. The garrison of the city, suspecting nothing wrong, when they saw their own banners advancing supposed that it was their own host returning, and so gave them admittance. The Tartars as soon as they had got in seized all the bulwarks and drove out all who were in the place except the pretty women, and these they kept for themselves. In this way the Great Kaan's people got possession of the city.

When the King of the great Island and his army perceived that both fleet and city were lost, they were greatly cast down; howbeit, they got away to the great Island on board some of the ships which had not been carried off. And the King then gathered all his host to the siege of the city, and invested it so straitly that no one could go in or come out. Those who were within held the place for seven months, and strove by all means to send word to the Great Kaan; but it was all in vain, they never could get the intelligence carried to him. So when they saw they could hold out no longer they gave themselves up, on condition that their lives should be spared, but still that they should never quit the Island. And this befel in the year of our Lord 1279.[NOTE 1] The Great Kaan ordered the Baron who had fled so disgracefully to lose his head. And afterwards he caused the other also, who had been left on the Island, to be put to death, for he had never behaved as a good soldier ought to do.[NOTE 2]

But I must tell you a wonderful thing that I had forgotten, which happened on this expedition.

You see, at the beginning of the affair, when the Kaan's people had landed on the great Island and occupied the open country as I told you, they stormed a tower belonging to some of the islanders who refused to surrender, and they cut off the heads of all the garrison except eight; on these eight they found it impossible to inflict any wound! Now this was by virtue of certain stones which they had in their arms inserted between the skin and the flesh, with such skill as not to show at all externally. And the charm and virtue of these stones was such that those who wore them could never perish by steel. So when the Barons learned this they ordered the men to be beaten to death with clubs. And after their death the stones were extracted from the bodies of all, and were greatly prized.[NOTE 3]

Now the story of the discomfiture of the Great Kaan's folk came to pass as I have told you. But let us have done with that matter, and return to our subject.

NOTE 1.—Kúblái had long hankered after the conquest of Japan, or had at least, after his fashion, desired to obtain an acknowledgment of supremacy from the Japanese sovereign. He had taken steps in this view as early as 1266, but entirely without success. The fullest accessible particulars respecting his efforts are contained in the Japanese Annals translated by Titsing; and these are in complete accordance with the Chinese histories as given by Gaubil, De Mailla, and in Pauthier's extracts, so far as these three latter enter into particulars. But it seems clear from the comparison that the Japanese chronicler had the Chinese Annals in his hands.

In 1268, 1269, 1270, and 1271, Kúblái's efforts were repeated to little purpose, and, provoked at this, in 1274, he sent a fleet of 300 vessels with 15,000 men against Japan. This was defeated near the Island of Tsushima with heavy loss.

Nevertheless Kúblái seems in the following years to have renewed his attempts at negotiation. The Japanese patience was exhausted, and, in 1280, they put one of his ambassadors to death.

"As soon as the Moko (Mongols) heard of this, they assembled a considerable army to conquer Japan. When informed of their preparations, the Dairi sent ambassadors to Ize and other temples to invoke the gods. Fosiono Toki Mune, who resided at Kama Kura, ordered troops to assemble at Tsukuzi (Tsikouzen of Alcock's Map), and sent … numerous detachments to Miyako to guard the Dairi and the Togou (Heir Apparent) against all danger…. In the first moon (of 1281) the Mongols named Asikan (Ngo Tsa-han[1]), Fan-bunko (Fan Wen-hu), Kinto (Hintu), and Kosakio (Hung Cha-khieu), Generals of their army, which consisted of 100,000 men, and was embarked on numerous ships of war. Asikan fell ill on the passage, and this made the second General (Fan Wen-hu) undecided as to his course.

"7th Month. The entire fleet arrived at the Island of Firando (P'hing-hu), and passed thence to Goriosan (Ulungshan). The troops of Tsukuzi were under arms. 1st of 3rd Month. A frightful storm arose; the Mongol ships foundered or were sorely shattered. The General (Fan Wen-hu) fled with the other Generals on the vessels that had least suffered; nobody has ever heard what became of them. The army of 100,000 men, which had landed below Goriosan, wandered about for three days without provisions; and the soldiers began to plan the building of vessels in which they might escape to China.

"7th day. The Japanese army invested and attacked them with great vigour. The Mongols were totally defeated. 30,000 of them were made prisoners and conducted to Fakata (the Fokouoka of Alcock's Map, but Fakatta in Kaempfer's), and there put to death. Grace was extended to only (three men), who were sent to China with the intelligence of the fate of the army. The destruction of so numerous a fleet was considered the most evident proof of the protection of the gods." (Titsingh, pp. 264-265.) At p. 259 of the same work Klaproth gives another account from the Japanese Encyclopaedia; the difference is not material.

The Chinese Annals, in De Mailla, state that the Japanese spared 10,000 or 12,000 of the Southern Chinese, whom they retained as slaves. Gaubil says that 30,000 Mongols were put to death, whilst 70,000 Coreans and Chinese were made slaves.

Kúblái was loth to put up with this huge discomfiture, and in 1283 he made preparations for another expedition; but the project excited strong discontent; so strong that some Buddhist monks whom he sent before to collect information, were thrown overboard by the Chinese sailors; and he gave it up. (De Mailla, IX. 409; 418, 428; Gaubil, 195; Deguignes, III. 177.)

[Illustration: Japanese in fight with Chinese. (After Siebold, from an ancient Japanese drawing.)

"Or ensint avint ceste estoire de la desconfiture de les gens dou Grant

The Abacan of Polo is probably the Asikan of the Japanese, whom Gaubil calls Argan. Vonsainchin is perhaps Fan Wen-hu with the Chinese title of Tsiang-Kiun or General (elsewhere represented in Polo by Sangon), —FAN TSIANG-KIUN.

We see that, as usual, whilst Marco's account in some of the main features concurs with that of the histories, he gives a good many additional particulars, some of which, such as the ill-will between the Generals, are no doubt genuine. But of the story of the capture of the Japanese capital by the shipwrecked army we know not what to make: we can't accept it certainly.

[The Korea Review publishes a History of Korea based upon Korean and Chinese sources, from which we gather some interesting facts regarding the relations of China, Korea, and Japan at the time of Kúblái: "In 1265, the seed was sown that led to the attempted invasion of Japan by the Mongols. A Koryu citizen, Cho I., found his way to Peking, and there, having gained the ear of the emperor, told him that the Mongol powers ought to secure the vassalage of Japan. The emperor listened favourably and determined to make advances in that direction. He therefore appointed Heuk Chuk and Eun Hong as envoys to Japan, and ordered them to go by way of Koryu and take with them to Japan a Koryu envoy as well. Arriving in Koryu they delivered this message to the king, and two officials, Son Kun-bi and Kim Ch'an, were appointed to accompany them to Japan. They proceeded by the way of Koje Harbor in Kyung-sang Province, but were driven back by a fierce storm, and the king sent the Mongol envoys back to Peking. The Emperor was ill satisfied with the outcome of the adventure, and sent Heuk Chuk with a letter to the king, ordering him to forward the Mongol envoy to Japan. The message which he was to deliver to the ruler of Japan said, 'The Mongol power is kindly disposed towards you and desires to open friendly intercourse with you. She does not desire your submission, but if you accept her patronage, the great Mongol empire will cover the earth.' The king forwarded the message with the envoys to Japan, and informed the emperor of the fact…. The Mongol and Koryu envoys, upon reaching the Japanese capital, were treated with marked disrespect…. They remained five months, … and at last they were dismissed without receiving any answer either to the emperor or to the king." (II. pp. 37, 38.)

Such was the beginning of the difficulties with Japan; this is the end of them: "The following year, 1283, changed the emperor's purpose. He had time to hear the whole story of the sufferings of his army in the last invasion; the impossibility of squeezing anything more out of Koryu, and the delicate condition of home affairs, united in causing him to give up the project of conquering Japan, and he countermanded the order for the building of boats and the storing of grain." (II. p. 82.)

Japan was then, for more than a century (A.D. 1205-1333), governed really in the name of the descendants of Yoritomo, who proved unworthy of their great ancestor "by the so-called 'Regents' of the Hojo family, while their liege lords, the Shoguns, though keeping a nominal court at Kamakura, were for all that period little better than empty names. So completely were the Hojos masters of the whole country, that they actually had their deputy governors at Kyoto and in Kyushu in the south-west, and thought nothing of banishing Mikados to distant islands. Their rule was made memorable by the repulse of the Mongol fleet sent by Kúblái Khan with the purpose of adding Japan to his gigantic dominions. This was at the end of the 13th century, since which time Japan has never been attacked from without." (B. H. Chamberlain, Things Japanese, 3rd ed., 1898, pp. 208-209.)

The sovereigns (Mikado, Tenno) of Japan during this period were: Kameyama-Tenno (1260; abdicated 1274; repulse of the Mongols); Go-Uda-Tenno (1275; abdicated 1287); Fushimi-Tenno (1288; abdicated 1298); and Go-Fushimi Tenno. The shikken (prime ministers) were Hojo Tokiyori (1246); Hojo Tokimune (1261); Hojo Sadatoki (1284). In 1266 Prince Kore-yasu and in 1289 Hisa-akira, were appointed shogun. —H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Ram. says he was sent to a certain island called Zorza (Chorcha?), where men who have failed in duty are put to death in this manner: They wrap the arms of the victim in the hide of a newly flayed buffalo, and sew it tight. As this dries it compresses him so terribly that he cannot move, and so, finding no help, his life ends in misery. The same kind of torture is reported of different countries in the East: e.g. see Makrizi, Pt. III. p. 108, and Pottinger, as quoted by Marsden in loco. It also appears among the tortures of a Buddhist hell as represented in a temple at Canton. (Oliphant's Narrative, I. 168.)

NOTE 3.—Like devices to procure invulnerability are common in the Indo-Chinese countries. The Burmese sometimes insert pellets of gold under the skin with this view. At a meeting of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1868, gold and silver coins were shown, which had been extracted from under the skin of a Burmese convict who had been executed at the Andaman Islands. Friar Odoric speaks of the practice in one of the Indian Islands (apparently Borneo); and the stones possessing such virtue were, according to him, found in the bamboo, presumably the siliceous concretions called Tabashir. Conti also describes the practice in Java of inserting such amulets under the skin. The Malays of Sumatra, too, have great faith in the efficacy of certain "stones, which they pretend are extracted from reptiles, birds, animals, etc., in preventing them from being wounded." (See Mission to Ava, p. 208; Cathay, 94; Conti, p. 32; Proc. As. Soc. Beng. 1868, p. 116; Andarson's Mission to Sumatra, p. 323.)

[1] These names in parentheses are the Chinese forms; the others, the Japanese modes of reading them.



Now you must know that the Idols of Cathay, and of Manzi, and of this Island, are all of the same class. And in this Island as well as elsewhere, there be some of the Idols that have the head of an ox, some that have the head of a pig, some of a dog, some of a sheep, and some of divers other kinds. And some of them have four heads, whilst some have three, one growing out of either shoulder. There are also some that have four hands, some ten, some a thousand! And they do put more faith in those Idols that have a thousand hands than in any of the others.[NOTE 1] And when any Christian asks them why they make their Idols in so many different guises, and not all alike, they reply that just so their forefathers were wont to have them made, and just so they will leave them to their children, and these to the after generations. And so they will be handed down for ever. And you must understand that the deeds ascribed to these Idols are such a parcel of devilries as it is best not to tell. So let us have done with the Idols, and speak of other things.

But I must tell you one thing still concerning that Island (and 'tis the same with the other Indian Islands), that if the natives take prisoner an enemy who cannot pay a ransom, he who hath the prisoner summons all his friends and relations, and they put the prisoner to death, and then they cook him and eat him, and they say there is no meat in the world so good!—But now we will have done with that Island and speak of something else.

You must know the Sea in which lie the Islands of those parts is called the SEA OF CHIN, which is as much as to say "The Sea over against Manzi." For, in the language of those Isles, when they say Chin, 'tis Manzi they mean. And I tell you with regard to that Eastern Sea of Chin, according to what is said by the experienced pilots and mariners of those parts, there be 7459 Islands in the waters frequented by the said mariners; and that is how they know the fact, for their whole life is spent in navigating that sea. And there is not one of those Islands but produces valuable and odorous woods like the lignaloe, aye and better too; and they produce also a great variety of spices. For example in those Islands grows pepper as white as snow, as well as the black in great quantities. In fact the riches of those Islands is something wonderful, whether in gold or precious stones, or in all manner of spicery; but they lie so far off from the main land that it is hard to get to them. And when the ships of Zayton and Kinsay do voyage thither they make vast profits by their venture.[NOTE 2]

It takes them a whole year for the voyage, going in winter and returning in summer. For in that Sea there are but two winds that blow, the one that carries them outward and the other that brings them homeward; and the one of these winds blows all the winter, and the other all the summer. And you must know these regions are so far from India that it takes a long time also for the voyage thence.

Though that Sea is called the Sea of Chin, as I have told you, yet it is part of the Ocean Sea all the same. But just as in these parts people talk of the Sea of England and the Sea of Rochelle, so in those countries they speak of the Sea of Chin and the Sea of India, and so on, though they all are but parts of the Ocean.[NOTE 3]

Now let us have done with that region which is very inaccessible and out of the way. Moreover, Messer Marco Polo never was there. And let me tell you the Great Kaan has nothing to do with them, nor do they render him any tribute or service.

So let us go back to Zayton and take up the order of our book from that point.[NOTE 4]

NOTE 1.—"Several of the (Chinese) gods have horns on the forehead, or wear animals' heads; some have three eyes…. Some are represented in the Indian manner with a multiplicity of arms. We saw at Yang-cheu fu a goddess with thirty arms." (Deguignes, I. 364-366.)

The reference to any particular form of idolatry here is vague. But in
Tibetan Buddhism, with which Marco was familiar, all these extravagances
are prominent, though repugnant to the more orthodox Buddhism of the

When the Dalai Lama came to visit the Altun Khan, to secure the reconversion of the Mongols in 1577, he appeared as a manifest embodiment of the Bodhisatva Avalokiteçvara, with four hands, of which two were always folded across the breast! The same Bodhisatva is sometimes represented with eleven heads. Manjushri manifests himself in a golden body with 1000 hands and 1000 Pátras or vessels, in each of which were 1000 figures of Sakya visible, etc. (Koeppen, II. 137; Vassilyev, 200.)

NOTE 2.—Polo seems in this passage to be speaking of the more easterly Islands of the Archipelago, such as the Philippines, the Moluccas, etc., but with vague ideas of their position.

NOTE 3.—In this passage alone Polo makes use of the now familiar name of CHINA. "Chin" as he says, "in the language of those Isles means Manzi." In fact, though the form Chin is more correctly Persian, we do get the exact form China from "the language of those Isles," i.e. from the Malay. China is also used in Japanese.

What he says about the Ocean and the various names of its parts is nearly a version of a passage in the geographical Poem of Dionysius, ending:—

  Oútos Okeanòs peridédrome gaîan hápasan
  Toîos eòn kaì toîa met' andrásin ounómath' élkon] (42-3).

So also Abulfeda: "This is the sea which flows from the Ocean Sea….
This sea takes the names of the countries it washes. Its eastern extremity
is called the Sea of Chin … the part west of this is called the Sea of
India … then comes the Sea of Fárs, the Sea of Berbera, and lastly the
Sea of Kolzum" (Red Sea).

NOTE 4.—The Ramusian here inserts a short chapter, shown by the awkward way in which it comes in to be a very manifest interpolation, though possibly still an interpolation by the Traveller's hand:—

"Leaving the port of Zayton you sail westward and something south-westward for 1500 miles, passing a gulf called CHEINAN, having a length of two months' sail towards the north. Along the whole of its south-east side it borders on the province of Manzi, and on the other side with Anin and Coloman, and many other provinces formerly spoken of. Within this Gulf there are innumerable Islands, almost all well-peopled; and in these is found a great quantity of gold-dust, which is collected from the sea where the rivers discharge. There is copper also, and other things; and the people drive a trade with each other in the things that are peculiar to their respective Islands. They have also a traffic with the people of the mainland, selling them gold and copper and other things; and purchasing in turn what they stand in need of. In the greater part of these Islands plenty of corn grows. This gulf is so great, and inhabited by so many people, that it seems like a world in itself."

This passage is translated by Marsden with much forcing, so as to describe the China Sea, embracing the Philippine Islands, etc.; but, as a matter of fact, it seems clearly to indicate the writer's conception as of a great gulf running up into the continent between Southern China and Tong-king for a length equal to two months' journey.

The name of the gulf, Cheinan, i.e. Heinan, may either be that of the
Island so called, or, as I rather incline to suppose, 'An-nan, i.e.
Tong-king. But even by Camoens, writing at Macao in 1559-1560, the Gulf of
Hainan is styled an unknown sea (though this perhaps is only appropriate to
the prophetic speaker):—

  "Vês, corre a costa, que Champa se chama,
  Cuja mata he do pao cheiroso ornada:
  Vês, Cauchichina está de escura fama,
  E de Ainao vê a incognita enseada" (X. 129).

And in Sir Robert Dudley's Arcano del Mare (Firenze, 1647), we find a great bottle-necked gulf, of some 5-1/2° in length, running up to the north from Tong-king, very much as I have represented the Gulf of Cheinan in the attempt to realise Polo's Own Geography. (See map in Introductory Essay.)



You must know that on leaving the port of Zayton you sail west-south-west for 1500 miles, and then you come to a country called CHAMBA,[NOTE 1] a very rich region, having a king of its own. The people are Idolaters and pay a yearly tribute to the Great Kaan, which consists of elephants and nothing but elephants. And I will tell you how they came to pay this tribute.

It happened in the year of Christ 1278 that the Great Kaan sent a Baron of his called, Sagatu with a great force of horse and foot against this King of Chamba, and this Baron opened the war on a great scale against the King and his country.

Now the King [whose name was Accambale] was a very aged man, nor had he such a force as the Baron had. And when he saw what havoc the Baron was making with his kingdom he was grieved to the heart. So he bade messengers get ready and despatched them to the Great Kaan. And they said to the Kaan: "Our Lord the King of Chamba salutes you as his liege-lord, and would have you to know that he is stricken in years and long hath held his realm in peace. And now he sends you word by us that he is willing to be your liegeman, and will send you every year a tribute of as many elephants as you please. And he prays you in all gentleness and humility that you would send word to your Baron to desist from harrying his kingdom and to quit his territories. These shall henceforth be at your absolute disposal, and the King shall hold them of you."

When the Great Kaan had heard the King's ambassage he was moved with pity, and sent word to that Baron of his to quit that kingdom with his army, and to carry his arms to the conquest of some other country; and as soon as this command reached them they obeyed it. Thus it was then that this King became vassal of the Great Kaan, and paid him every year a tribute of 20 of the greatest and finest elephants that were to be found in the country.

But now we will leave that matter, and tell you other particulars about the King of Chamba.

You must know that in that kingdom no woman is allowed to marry until the King shall have seen her; if the woman pleases him then he takes her to wife; if she does not, he gives her a dowry to get her a husband withal. In the year of Christ 1285, Messer Marco Polo was in that country, and at that time the King had, between sons and daughters, 326 children, of whom at least 150 were men fit to carry arms.[NOTE 2]

There are very great numbers of elephants in this kingdom, and they have lignaloes in great abundance. They have also extensive forests of the wood called Bonús, which is jet-black, and of which chessmen and pen-cases are made. But there is nought more to tell, so let us proceed.[NOTE 3]

NOTE 1.—+The name CHAMPA is of Indian origin, like the adjoining Kamboja and many other names in Indo-China, and was probably taken from that of an ancient Hindu city and state on the Ganges, near modern Bhágalpúr. Hiuen Tsang, in the 7th century, makes mention of the Indo-Chinese state as Mahachampa (Pèl. Boudd, III. 83.)

The title of Champa down to the 15th century seems to have been applied by Western Asiatics to a kingdom which embraced the whole coast between Tong-king and Kamboja, including all that is now called Cochin China outside of Tong-king. It was termed by the Chinese Chen-Ching. In 1471 the King of Tong-king, Lê Thanh-tong, conquered the country, and the genuine people of Champa were reduced to a small number occupying the mountains of the province of Binh Thuan at the extreme south-east of the Coch. Chinese territory. To this part of the coast the name Champa is often applied in maps. (See J.A. sér. II. tom. xi. p. 31, and J. des Savans, 1822, p. 71.) The people of Champa in this restricted sense are said to exhibit Malay affinities, and they profess Mahomedanism. ["The Mussulmans of Binh-Thuan call themselves Bani or Orang Bani, 'men mussulmans,' probably from the Arabic beni 'the sons,' to distinguish them from the Chams Djat 'of race,' which they name also Kaphir or Akaphir, from the Arabic word kafer 'pagans.' These names are used in Binh-Thuan to make a distinction, but Banis and Kaphirs alike are all Chams…. In Cambodia all Chams are Mussulmans." (E. Aymonier, Les Tchames, p. 26.) The religion of the pagan Chams of Binh-Thuan is degenerate Brahmanism with three chief gods, Po-Nagar, Po-Romé, and Po-Klong-Garaï. (Ibid., p. 35.)—H.C.] The books of their former religion they say (according to Dr. Bastian) that they received from Ceylon, but they were converted to Islamism by no less a person than 'Ali himself. The Tong-king people received their Buddhism from China, and this tradition puts Champa as the extreme flood-mark of that great tide of Buddhist proselytism, which went forth from Ceylon to the Indo-Chinese regions in an early century of our era, and which is generally connected with the name of Buddaghosha.

The prominent position of Champa on the route to China made its ports places of call for many ages, and in the earliest record of the Arab navigation to China we find the country noticed under the identical name (allowing for the deficiencies of the Arabic Alphabet) of Sanf or Chanf. Indeed it is highly probable that the [Greek: Zába] or [Greek: Zábai] of Ptolemy's itinerary of the sea-route to the Sinae represents this same name.

["It is true," Sir Henry Yule wrote since (1882), "that Champa, as known in later days, lay to the east of the Mekong delta, whilst Zabai of the Greeks lay to the west of that and of the [Greek: méga akrotaérion]—the Great Cape, or C. Cambodia of our maps. Crawford (Desc. Ind. Arch. p. 80) seems to say that the Malays include under the name Champa the whole of what we call Kamboja. This may possibly be a slip. But it is certain, as we shall see presently, that the Arab Sanf—which is unquestionably Champa—also lay west of the Cape, i.e. within the Gulf of Siam. The fact is that the Indo-Chinese kingdoms have gone through unceasing and enormous vicissitudes, and in early days Champa must have been extensive and powerful, for in the travels of Hiuen Tsang (about A.D. 629) it is called mahâ-Champa. And my late friend Lieutenant Garnier, who gave great attention to these questions, has deduced from such data as exist in Chinese Annals and elsewhere, that the ancient kingdom which the Chinese describe under the name of Fu-nan, as extending over the whole peninsula east of the Gulf of Siam, was a kingdom of the Tsiam or Champa race. The locality of the ancient port of Zabai or Champa is probably to be sought on the west coast of Kamboja, near the Campot, or the Kang-kao of our maps. On this coast also was the Komâr and Kamârah of Ibn Batuta and other Arab writers, the great source of aloes-wood, the country then of the Khmer or Kambojan People." (Notes on the Oldest Records of the Sea-Route to China from Western Asia, Proc.R.G.S. 1882, pp. 656-657.)

M. Barth says that this identification would agree well with the testimony of his inscription XVIII. B., which comes from Angkor and for which Campa is a part of the Dakshinapatha, of the southern country. But the capital of this rival State of Kamboja would thus be very near the Trêang province where inscriptions have been found with the names of Bhavavarman and of Icanavarman. It is true that in 627, the King of Kamboja, according to the Chinese Annals (Nouv. Mél. As. I. p. 84), had subjugated the kingdom of Fu-nan identified by Yule and Garnier with Campa. Abel Rémusat (Nouv. Mél. As. I. pp. 75 and 77) identifies it with Tong-king and Stan. Julien (J. As. 4° Sér. X. p. 97) with Siam. (Inscrip. Sanscrites du Cambodge, 1885, pp. 69-70, note.)

Sir Henry Yule writes (l.c. p. 657): "We have said that the Arab Sanf, as well as the Greek Zabai, lay west of Cape Cambodia. This is proved by the statement that the Arabs on their voyage to China made a ten days' run from Sanf to Pulo Condor." But Abulfeda (transl. by Guyard, II. ii. p. 127) distinctly says that the Komar Peninsula (Khmer) is situated west of the Sanf Peninsula; between Sanf and Komar there is not a day's journey by sea.

We have, however, another difficulty to overcome.

I agree with Sir Henry Yule and Marsden that in ch. vii. infra, p. 276, the text must be read, "When you leave Chamba," instead of "When you leave Java." Coming from Zayton and sailing 1500 miles, Polo arrives at Chamba; from Chamba, sailing 700 miles he arrives at the islands of Sondur and Condur, identified by Yule with Sundar Fúlát (Pulo Condore); from Sundar Fúlát, after 500 miles more, he finds the country called Locac; then he goes to Pentam (Bintang, 500 miles), Malaiur, and Java the Less (Sumatra). Ibn Khordâdhbeh's itinerary agrees pretty well with Marco Polo's, as Professor De Goeje remarks to me: "Starting from Mâit (Bintang), and leaving on the left Tiyuma (Timoan), in five days' journey, one goes to Kimèr (Kmer, Cambodia), and after three days more, following the coast, arrives to Sanf; then to Lukyn, the first point of call in China, 100 parasangs by land or by sea; from Lukyn it takes four days by sea and twenty by land to go to Kanfu." [Canton, see note, supra p. 199.] (See De Goeje's Ibn Khordâdhbeh, p. 48 et seq.) But we come now to the difficulty. Professor De Goeje writes to me: "It is strange that in the Relation des Voyages of Reinaud, p. 20 of the text, reproduced by Ibn al Fakîh, p. 12 seq., Sundar Fúlát (Pulo Condore) is placed between Sanf and the China Sea (Sandjy); it takes ten days to go from Sanf to Sundar Fúlát, and then a month (seven days of which between mountains called the Gates of China.) In the Livre des Merveilles de l'Inde (pp. 85, 86) we read: 'When arrived between Sanf and the China coast, in the neighbourhood of Sundar Fúlát, an island situated at the entrance of the Sea of Sandjy, which is the Sea of China….' It would appear from these two passages that Sanf is to be looked for in the Malay Peninsula. This Sanf is different from the Sanf of Ibn Khordâdhbeh and of Abulfeda." (Guyard's transl. II. ii. 127.)

It does not strike me from these passages that Sanf must be looked for in the Malay Peninsula. Indeed Professor G. Schlegel, in a paper published in the T'oung Pao, vol. x., seems to prove that Shay-po (Djava), represented by Chinese characters, which are the transcription of the Sanskrit name of the China Rose (Hibiscus rosa sinensis), Djavâ or Djapâ, is not the great island of Java, but, according to Chinese texts, a state of the Malay Peninsula; but he does not seem to me to prove that Shay-po is Champa, as he believes he has done.

However, Professor De Goeje adds in his letter, and I quite agree with the celebrated Arabic scholar of Leyden, that he does not very much like the theory of two Sanf, and that he is inclined to believe that the sea captain of the Marvels of India placed Sundar Fúlát a little too much to the north, and that the narrative of the Relation des Voyages is inexact.

To conclude: the history of the relations between Annam (Tong-king) and her southern neighbour, the kingdom of Champa, the itineraries of Marco Polo and Ibn Khordâdhbêh as well as the position given to Sanf by Abulfeda, justify me, I think, in placing Champa in that part of the central and southern indo-Chinese coast which the French to-day call Annam (Cochinchine and Basse-Cochinchine), the Binh-Thuan province showing more particularly what remains of the ancient kingdom.

Since I wrote the above, I have received No. 1 of vol. ii. of the Bul. de l'Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, which contains a note on Canf et Campa, by M.A. Barth. The reasons given in a note addressed to him by Professor De Goeje and the work of Ibn Khordâdhbeh have led M.A. Barth to my own conclusion, viz. that the coast of Champa was situated where inscriptions have been found on the Annamite coast.—H.C.]

The Sagatu of Marco appears in the Chinese history as Sotu, the military governor of the Canton districts, which he had been active in reducing.

In 1278 Sotu sent an envoy to Chen-ching to claim the king's submission, which was rendered, and for some years he sent his tribute to Kúblái. But when the Kaan proceeded to interfere in the internal affairs of the kingdom by sending a Resident and Chinese officials, the king's son (1282) resolutely opposed these proceedings, and threw the Chinese officials into prison. The Kaan, in great wrath at this insult, (coming also so soon after his discomfiture in Japan), ordered Sotu and others to Chen-ching to take vengeance. The prince in the following year made a pretence of submission, and the army (if indeed it had been sent) seems to have been withdrawn. The prince, however, renewed his attack on the Chinese establishments, and put 100 of their officials to death. Sotu then despatched a new force, but it was quite unsuccessful, and had to retire. In 1284 the king sent an embassy, including his grandson, to beg for pardon and reconciliation. Kúblái, however, refused to receive them, and ordered his son Tughan to advance through Tong-king, an enterprise which led to a still more disastrous war with that country, in which the Mongols had much the worst of it. We are not told more.

Here we have the difficulties usual with Polo's historical anecdotes. Certain names and circumstances are distinctly recognisable in the Chinese Annals; others are difficult to reconcile with these. The embassy of 1284 seems the most likely to be the one spoken of by Polo, though the Chinese history does not give it the favourable result which he ascribes to it. The date in the text we see to be wrong, and as usual it varies in different MSS. I suspect the original date was MCCLXXXIII.

One of the Chinese notices gives one of the king's names as Sinhopala, and no doubt this is Ramusio's Accambale (Açambale); an indication at once of the authentic character of that interpolation, and of the identity of Champa and Chen-ching.

[We learn from an inscription that in 1265 the King of Champa was Jaya-Sinhavarman II., who was named Indravarman in 1277, and whom the Chinese called Che li Tseya Sinho phala Maha thiwa (Çri Jaya Sinha varmma maha deva). He was the king at the time of Polo's voyage. (A. Bergaigne, Ancien royaume de Campa, pp. 39-40; E. Aymonier, les Tchames et leurs religious, p. 14.)—H.C.]

There are notices of the events in De Mailla (IX. 420-422) and Gaubil (194), but Pauthier's extracts which we have made use of are much fuller.

Elephants have generally formed a chief part of the presents or tribute sent periodically by the various Indo-Chinese states to the Court of China.

[In a Chinese work published in the 14th century, by an Annamite, under the title of Ngan-nan chi lio, and translated into French by M. Sainson (1896), we read (p. 397): "Elephants are found only in Lin-y; this is the country which became Champa. It is the habit to have burdens carried by elephants; this country is to-day the Pu-cheng province." M. Sainson adds in a note that Pu-cheng, in Annamite Bó chanh quân, is to-day Quang-binh, and that, in this country, was placed the first capital (Dong-hoi) of the future kingdom of Champa thrown later down to the south.—H.C.]

[The Chams, according to their tradition, had three capitals: the most ancient, Shri-Banoeuy, probably the actual Quang-Binh province; Bal-Hangov, near Hué; and Bal-Angoué, in the Binh-Dinh province. In the 4th century, the kingdom of Lin-y or Lâm-âp is mentioned in the Chinese Annals.—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—The date of Marco's visit to Champa varies in the MSS.: Pauthier has 1280, as has also Ramusio; the G.T. has 1285; the Geographic Latin 1288. I incline to adopt the last. For we know that about 1290, Mark returned to Court from a mission to the Indian Seas, which might have included this visit to Champa.

The large family of the king was one of the stock marvels. Odoric says: "ZAMPA is a very fine country, having great store of victuals and all good things. The king of the country, it was said when I was there [circa 1323], had, what with sons and with daughters, a good two hundred children; for he hath many wives and other women whom he keepeth. This king hath also 14,000 tame elephants…. And other folk keep elephants there just as commonly as we keep oxen here" (pp. 95-96). The latter point illustrates what Polo says of elephants, and is scarcely an exaggeration in regard to all the southern Indo-Chinese States. (See note to Odoric u.s.)

NOTE 3.—Champa Proper and the adjoining territories have been from time immemorial the chief seat of the production of lign-aloes or eagle-wood. Both names are misleading, for the thing has nought to do either with aloes or eagles; though good Bishop Pallegoix derives the latter name from the wood being speckled like an eagle's plumage. It is in fact through Aquila, Agila, from Aguru, one of the Sanskrit names of the article, whilst that is possibly from the Malay Kayu (wood)-gahru, though the course of the etymology is more likely to be the other way; and [Greek: Alóae] is perhaps a corruption of the term which the Arabs apply to it, viz. Al-'Ud, "The Wood."

[It is probable that the first Portuguese who had to do with eagle-wood called it by its Arabic name, aghaluhy, or malayalam, agila; whence páo de' aguila "aguila wood." It was translated into Latin as lignum aquilae, and after into modern languages, as bois d'aigle, eagle-wood, adlerholz, etc. (A. Cabaton, les Chams, p. 50.) Mr. Groeneveldt (Notes, pp. 141-142) writes: "Lignum aloes is the wood of the Aquilaria agallocha, and is chiefly known as sinking incense. The Pen-ts'au Kang-mu describes it as follows: 'Sinking incense, also called honey incense. It comes from the heart and the knots of a tree and sinks in water, from which peculiarity the name sinking incense is derived…. In the Description of Annam we find it called honey incense, because it smells like honey.' The same work, as well as the Nan-fang Ts'au-mu Chuang, further informs us that this incense was obtained in all countries south of China, by felling the old trees and leaving them to decay, when, after some time, only the heart, the knots, and some other hard parts remained. The product was known under different names, according to its quality or shape, and in addition to the names given above, we find fowl bones, horse-hoofs, and green cinnamon; these latter names, however, are seldom used."—H.C.]

The fine eagle-wood of Champa is the result of disease in a leguminous tree, Aloexylon Agallochum; whilst an inferior kind, though of the same aromatic properties, is derived from a tree of an entirely different order, Aquilaria Agallocha, and is found as far north as Silhet.

The Bonus of the G.T. here is another example of Marco's use, probably unconscious, of an Oriental word. It is Persian Abnús, Ebony, which has passed almost unaltered into the Spanish Abenuz. We find Ibenus also in a French inventory (Douet d'Arcq, p. 134), but the Bonús seems to indicate that the word as used by the Traveller was strange to Rusticiano. The word which he uses for pen-cases too, Calamanz, is more suggestive of the Persian Kalamdán than of the Italian Calamajo.

"Ebony is very common in this country (Champa), but the wood which is the most precious, and which is sufficiently abundant, is called 'Eagle-wood,' of which the first quality sells for its weight in gold; the native name Kínam," (Bishop Louis in J.A.S.B. VI. 742; Dr. Birdwood, in the Bible Educator, I. 243; Crawford's Dict.)



When you sail from Chamba, 1500 miles in a course between south and south-east, you come to a great Island called Java. And the experienced mariners of those Islands who know the matter well, say that it is the greatest Island in the world, and has a compass of more than 3000 miles. It is subject to a great King and tributary to no one else in the world. The people are Idolaters. The Island is of surpassing wealth, producing black pepper, nutmegs, spikenard, galingale, cubebs, cloves, and all other kinds of spices.

[Illustration: View in the Interior of Java.

"Une grandissune Ysle qe est avellé Java. Ceste Ysle est de mont grant richesse."]

This Island is also frequented by a vast amount of shipping, and by merchants who buy and sell costly goods from which they reap great profit. Indeed the treasure of this Island is so great as to be past telling. And I can assure you the Great Kaan never could get possession of this Island, on account of its great distance, and the great expense of an expedition thither. The merchants of Zayton and Manzi draw annually great returns from this country.[NOTE 1]

NOTE 1.—Here Marco speaks of that Pearl of Islands, Java. The chapter is a digression from the course of his voyage towards India, but possibly he may have touched at the island on his previous expedition, alluded to in note 2, ch. v. Not more, for the account is vague, and where particulars are given not accurate. Java does not produce nutmegs or cloves, though doubtless it was a great mart for these and all the products of the Archipelago. And if by treasure he means gold, as indeed Ramusio reads, no gold is found in Java. Barbosa, however, has the same story of the great amount of gold drawn from Java; and De Barros says that Sunda, i.e. Western Java, which the Portuguese regarded as a distinct island, produced inferior gold of 7 carats, but that pepper was the staple, of which the annual supply was more than 30,000 cwt. (Ram. I. 318-319; De Barros, Dec. IV. liv. i. cap. 12.)

[Illustration: Ship of the Middle Ages in the Java Seas. (From Bas-relief at Boro Bodor.)

"En ceste Ysle vienent grant quantité de nés, e de mercanz qe hi acatent de maintes mercandies et hi font grant gaagne"]

The circuit ascribed to Java in Pauthier's Text is 5000 miles. Even the 3000 which we take from the Geog. Text is about double the truth; but it is exactly the same that Odoric and Conti assign. No doubt it was a tradition among the Arab seamen. They never visited the south coast, and probably had extravagant ideas of its extension in that direction, as the Portuguese had for long. Even at the end of the 16th century Linschoten says: "Its breadth is as yet unknown; some conceiving it to be a part of the Terra Australis extending from opposite the Cape of Good Hope. However it is commonly held to be an island" (ch. xx.). And in the old map republished in the Lisbon De Bairos of 1777, the south side of Java is marked "Parte incognita de Java," and is without a single name, whilst a narrow strait runs right across the island (the supposed division of Sunda from Java Proper).

The history of Java previous to the rise of the Empire of Majapahit, in the age immediately following our Traveller's voyage, is very obscure. But there is some evidence of the existence of a powerful dynasty in the island about this time; and in an inscription of ascertained date (A.D. 1294) the King Uttungadeva claims to have subjected five kings and to be sovereign of the whole Island of Java (Jawa-dvipa; see Lassen, IV. 482). It is true that, as our Traveller says, Kúblái had not yet attempted the subjugation of Java, but he did make the attempt almost immediately after the departure of the Venetians. It was the result of one of his unlucky embassies to claim the homage of distant states, and turned out as badly as the attempts against Champa and Japan. His ambassador, a Chinese called Meng-K'i, was sent back with his face branded like a thief's. A great armament was assembled in the ports of Fo-kien to avenge this insult; it started about January, 1293, but did not effect a landing till autumn. After some temporary success the force was constrained to re-embark with a loss of 3000 men. The death of Kúblái prevented any renewal of the attempt; and it is mentioned that his successor gave orders for the re-opening of the Indian trade which the Java war had interrupted. (See Gaubil, pp. 217 seqq., 224.) To this failure Odoric, who visited Java about 1323, alludes: "Now the Great Kaan of Cathay many a time engaged in war with this king; but the king always vanquished and got the better of him." Odoric speaks in high terms of the richness and population of Java, calling it "the second best of all Islands that exist," and describing a gorgeous palace in terms similar to those in which Polo speaks of the Palace of Chipangu. (Cathay, p. 87 seqq.)

[We read in the Yuen-shi (Bk. 210), translated by Mr. Groeneveldt, that "Java is situated beyond the sea and further away than Champa; when one embarks at Ts'wan-chau and goes southward, he first comes to Champa and afterwards to this country." It appears that when his envoy Mêng-K'i had been branded on the face, Kúblái, in 1292, appointed Shih-pi, a native of Po-yeh, district Li-chau, Pao-ting fu, Chih-li province, commander of the expedition to Java, whilst Ike-Mese, a Uighúr, and Kau-Hsing, a man from Ts'ai-chau (Ho-nan), were appointed to assist him. Mr. Groeneveldt has translated the accounts of these three officers. In the Ming-shi (Bk. 324) we read: "Java is situated at the south-west of Champa. In the time of the Emperor Kúblái of the Yuen Dynasty, Mêng-K'i was sent there as an envoy and had his face cut, on which Kúblái sent a large army which subdued the country and then came back." (l.c. p. 34.) The prince guilty of this insult was the King of Tumapel "in the eastern part of the island Java, whose country was called Java par excellence by the Chinese, because it was in this part of the island they chiefly traded." (l.c. p. 32.)—H.C.]

The curious figure of a vessel which we give here is taken from the vast series of mediaeval sculptures which adorns the great Buddhist pyramid in the centre of Java, known as Boro Bodor, one of the most remarkable architectural monuments in the world, but the history of which is all in darkness. The ship, with its outrigger and apparently canvas sails, is not Chinese, but it undoubtedly pictures vessels which frequented the ports of Java in the early part of the 14th century,[1] possibly one of those from Ceylon or Southern India.

[1] 1344 is the date to which a Javanese traditional verse ascribes the edifice. (Crawford's Desc. Dictionary.)



When you leave Chamba[NOTE 1] and sail for 700 miles on a course between south and south-west, you arrive at two Islands, a greater and a less. The one is called SONDUR and the other CONDUR.[NOTE 2] As there is nothing about them worth mentioning, let us go on five hundred miles beyond Sondur, and then we find another country which is called LOCAC. It is a good country and a rich; [it is on the mainland]; and it has a king of its own. The people are Idolaters and have a peculiar language, and pay tribute to nobody, for their country is so situated that no one can enter it to do them ill. Indeed if it were possible to get at it, the Great Kaan would soon bring them under subjection to him.

In this country the brazil which we make use of grows in great plenty; and they also have gold in incredible quantity. They have elephants likewise, and much game. In this kingdom too are gathered all the porcelain shells which are used for small change in all those regions, as I have told you before.

There is nothing else to mention except that this is a very wild region, visited by few people; nor does the king desire that any strangers should frequent the country, and so find out about his treasure and other resources.[NOTE 3] We will now proceed, and tell you of something else.

NOTE 1.—All the MSS. and texts I believe without exception read "when you leave Java," etc. But, as Marsden has indicated, the point of departure is really Champa, the introduction of Java being a digression; and the retention of the latter name here would throw us irretrievably into the Southern Ocean. Certain old geographers, we may observe, did follow that indication, and the results were curious enough, as we shall notice in next note but one. Marsden's observations are so just that I have followed Pauthier in substituting Champa for Java in the text.

NOTE 2.—There is no reason to doubt that these islands are the group now known as that of PULO CONDORE, in old times an important landmark, and occasional point of call, on the route to China. The group is termed Sundar Fúlát (Fúlát representing the Malay Pulo or Island, in the plural) in the Arab Relations of the 9th century, the last point of departure on the voyage to China, from which it was a month distant. This old record gives us the name Sondor; in modern times we have it as Kondór; Polo combines both names. ["These may also be the 'Satyrs' Islands' of Ptolemy, or they may be his Sindai; for he has a Sinda city on the coast close to this position, though his Sindai islands are dropt far away. But it would not be difficult to show that Ptolemy's islands have been located almost at random, or as from a pepper castor." (Yule, Oldest Records, p. 657.)] The group consists of a larger island about 12 miles long, two of 2 or 3 miles, and some half-dozen others of insignificant dimensions. The large one is now specially called Pulo Condore. It has a fair harbour, fresh water, and wood in abundance. Dampier visited the group and recommended its occupation. The E.I. Company did establish a post there in 1702, but it came to a speedy end in the massacre of the Europeans by their Macassar garrison. About the year 1720 some attempt to found a settlement there was also made by the French, who gave the island the name of Isle d'Orléans. The celebrated Père Gaubil spent eight months on the island and wrote an interesting letter about it (February, 1722; see also Lettres Edifiantes, Rec. xvi.). When the group was visited by Mr. John Crawford on his mission to Cochin China the inhabitants numbered about 800, of Cochin Chinese descent. The group is now held by the French under Saigon. The chief island is known to the Chinese as the mountain of Kunlun. There is another cluster of rocks in the same sea, called the Seven Cheu, and respecting these two groups Chinese sailors have a kind of Incidit-in-Scyllan saw:—

"Shang p'a Tsi-chéu, hia-pa Kun-lun, Chen mi t'uo shih, jin chuen mo tsun."[1]


  "With Kunlun to starboard, and larboard the Cheu,
  Keep conning your compass, whatever you do,
  Or to Davy Jones' Locker go vessel and crew."

(Ritter, IV. 1017; Reinaud, I. 18; A. Hamilton, II. 402; Mém. conc. les Chinois, XIV. 53.)

NOTE 3.—Pauthier reads the name of the kingdom Soucat, but I adhere to the readings of the G.T., Lochac and Locac, which are supported by Ramusio. Pauthier's C and the Bern MS. have le chac and le that, which indicate the same reading.

Distance and other particulars point, as Hugh Murray discerns, to the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, or (as I conceive) to the territory now called Siam, including the said coast, as subject or tributary from time immemorial.

The kingdom of Siam is known to the Chinese by the name of Sien-Lo. The Supplement to Ma Twan-lin's Encyclopaedia describes Sien-Lo as on the sea-board to the extreme south of Chen-ching. "It originally consisted of two kingdoms, Sien and Lo-hoh. The Sien people are the remains of a tribe which in the year (A.D. 1341) began to come down upon the Lo-hoh, and united with the latter into one nation…. The land of the Lo-hoh consists of extended plains, but not much agriculture is done."[2]

In this Lo or LO-HOH, which apparently formed the lower part of what is now Siam, previous to the middle of the 14th century, I believe that we have our Traveller's Locac. The latter half of the name may be either the second syllable of Lo-Hoh, for Polo's c often represents h; or it may be the Chinese Kwo or Kwé, "kingdom," in the Canton and Fo-kien pronunciation (i.e. the pronunciation of Polo's mariners) kok; Lo-kok, "the kingdom of Lo." Sien-LO-KOK is the exact form of the Chinese name of Siam which is used by Bastian.

What was this kingdom of Lo which occupied the northern shores of the Gulf of Siam? Chinese scholars generally say that Sien-Lo means Siam and Laos; but this I cannot accept, if Laos is to bear its ordinary geographical sense, i.e. of a country bordering Siam on the north-east and north. Still there seems a probability that the usual interpretation may be correct, when properly explained.

[Regarding the identification of Locac with Siam, Mr. G. Phillips writes (Jour. China B.R.A.S., XXI., 1886, p. 34, note): "I can only fully endorse what Col. Yule says upon this subject, and add a few extracts of my own taken from the article on Siam given in the Wu-pé-ché. It would appear that previously to 1341 a country called Lohoh (in Amoy pronunciation Lohok) existed, as Yule says, in what is now called Lower Siam, and at that date became incorporated with Sien. In the 4th year of Hung-wu, 1372, it sent tribute to China, under the name of Sien Lohok. The country was first called Sien Lo in the first year of Yung Lo, 1403. In the T'ang Dynasty it appears to have been known as Lo-yueh, pronounced Lo-gueh at that period. This Lo-yueh would seem to have been situated on the Eastern side of Malay Peninsula, and to have extended to the entrance to the Straits of Singapore, in what is now known as Johore." —H.C.]

In 1864, Dr. Bastian communicated to the Asiatic Society of Bengal the translation of a long and interesting inscription, brought [in 1834] from Sukkothai to Bangkok by the late King of Siam [Mongkut, then crown prince], and dated in a year 1214, which in the era of Salivahana (as it is almost certainly, see Garnier, cited below) will be A.D. 1292-1293, almost exactly coincident with Polo's voyage. The author of this inscription was a Prince of Thai (or Siamese) race, styled Phra Râma Kamhêng ("The Valiant") [son of Sri Indratiya], who reigned in Sukkothai, whilst his dominions extended from Vieng-chan on the Mekong River (lat. 18°), to Pechabur, and Sri-Thammarat (i.e. Ligór, in lat. 8° 18"), on the coast of the Gulf of Siam. [This inscription gives three dates—1205, 1209, and 1214 s'aka = A.D. 1283, 1287 and 1292. One passage says: "Formerly the Thaïs had no writing; it is in 1205 s'aka, year of the goat = A.D. 1283, that King Râma Kamhêng sent for a teacher who invented the Thaï writing. It is to him that we are indebted for it to-day." (Cf. Fournereau, Siam ancien, p. 225; Schmitt, Exc. et Recon., 1885; Aymonier, Cambodge, II. p. 72.)—H.C.] The conquests of this prince are stated to have extended eastward to the "Royal Lake", apparently the Great Lake of Kamboja; and we may conclude with certainty that he was the leader of the Siamese, who had invaded Kamboja shortly before it was visited (in 1296) by that envoy of Kúblái's successor, whose valuable account of the country has been translated by Rémusat.[3]

Now this prince Râma Kamhêng of Sukkothai was probably (as Lieutenant Garnier supposes) of the Thai-nyai, Great Thai, or Laotian branch of the race. Hence the application of the name Lo-kok to his kingdom can be accounted for.

It was another branch of the Thai, known as Thai-noi, or Little Thai, which in 1351, under another Phra Rama, founded Ayuthia and the Siamese monarchy, which still exists.

The explanation now given seems more satisfactory than the suggestions formerly made of the connection of the name Locac, either with Lophaburi (or Lavó, Louvo), a very ancient capital near Ayuthia, or with Lawék, i.e. Kamboja. Kamboja had at an earlier date possessed the lower valley of the Menam, but, we see, did so no longer.[4]

The name Lawek or Lovek is applied by writers of the 16th and 17th centuries to the capital of what is still Kamboja, the ruins of which exist near Udong. Laweik is mentioned along with the other Siamese or Laotian countries of Yuthia, Tennasserim, Sukkothai, Pichalok, Lagong, Lanchang (or Luang Prabang), Zimmé (or Kiang-mai), and Kiang-Tung, in the vast list of states claimed by the Burmese Chronicle as tributary to Pagán before its fall. We find in the Aín-i-Akbari a kind of aloes-wood called Lawáki, no doubt because it came from this region.

The G.T. indeed makes the course from Sondur to Locac sceloc or S.E.; but Pauthier's text seems purposely to correct this, calling it, "v. c. milles oultre Sandur." This would bring us to the Peninsula somewhere about what is now the Siamese province of Ligor,[5] and this is the only position accurately consistent with the next indication of the route, viz. a run of 500 miles south to the Straits of Singapore. Let us keep in mind also Ramusio's specific statement that Locac was on terra firma.

As regards the products named: (1) gold is mined in the northern part of the Peninsula and is a staple export of Kalantan, Tringano, and Pahang, further down. Barbosa says gold was so abundant in Malacca that it was reckoned by Bahars of 4 cwt. Though Mr. Logan has estimated the present produce of the whole Peninsula at only 20,000 ounces, Hamilton, at the beginning of last century, says Pahang alone in some years exported above 8 cwt. (2) Brazil-wood, now generally known by the Malay term Sappan, is abundant on the coast. Ritter speaks of three small towns on it as entirely surrounded by trees of this kind. And higher up, in the latitude of Tavoy, the forests of sappan-wood find a prominent place in some maps of Siam. In mediaeval intercourse between the courts of Siam and China we find Brazil-wood to form the bulk of the Siamese present. ["Ma Huan fully bears out Polo's statement in this matter, for he says: This Brazil (of which Marco speaks) is as plentiful as firewood. On Ch'êng-ho's chart Brazil and other fragrant woods are marked as products of Siam. Polo's statement of the use of porcelain shells as small change is also corroborated by Ma Huan." (G. Phillips, Jour. China B.R.A.S., XXI., 1886, p. 37.)—H.C.] (3) Elephants are abundant. (4) Cowries, according to Marsden and Crawford, are found in those seas largely only on the Sulu Islands; but Bishop Pallegoix says distinctly that they are found in abundance on the sand-banks of the Gulf of Siam. And I see Dr. Fryer, in 1673, says that cowries were brought to Surat "from Siam and the Philippine Islands."

For some centuries after this time Siam was generally known to traders by the Persian name of Shahr-i-nao, or New City. This seems to be the name generally applied to it in the Shijarat Malayu (or Malay Chronicle), and it is used also by Abdurrazzák. It appears among the early navigators of the 16th century, as Da Gama, Varthema, Giovanni d'Empoli and Mendez Pinto, in the shape of Sornau, Xarnau. Whether this name was applied to the new city of Ayuthia, or was a translation of that of the older Lophaburi (which appears to be the Sansk. or Pali Nava pura = New-City) I do not know.

[Reinaud (Int. Abulfeda, p. CDXVI.) writes that, according to the Christian monk of Nadjran, who crossed the Malayan Seas, about the year 980, at this time, the King of Lukyn had just invaded the kingdom of Sanf and taken possession of it. According to Ibn Khordâdhbeh (De Goeje, p. 49) Lukyn is the first port of China, 100 parasangs distant from Sanf by land or sea; Chinese stone, Chinese silk, porcelain of excellent quality, and rice are to be found at Lukyn.—H.C.]

(Bastian, I. 357, III. 433, and in J.A.S.B. XXXIV. Pt. I. p. 27 seqq.; Ramus. I. 318; Amyot, XIV. 266, 269; Pallegoix, I. 196; Bowring, I. 41, 72; Phayre in J.A.S.B. XXXVII. Pt. I. p. 102; Aín Akb. 80; Mouhot, I. 70; Roe and Fryer, reprint, 1873, p. 271.)

Some geographers of the 16th century, following the old editions which carried the travellers south-east or south-west of Java to the land of Boeach (for Locac), introduced in their maps a continent in that situation. (See e.g. the map of the world by P. Plancius in Linschoten.) And this has sometimes been adduced to prove an early knowledge of Australia. Mr. Major has treated this question ably in his interesting essay on the early notices of Australia.

[1] [From the Hsing-ch'a Sheng-lan, by Fei Hsin.]

[2] The extract of which this is the substance I owe to the kindness of Professor J. Summers, formerly of King's College.

[3] I am happy to express my obligation to the remarks of my lamented friend Lieutenant Garnier, for light on this subject, which has led to an entire reform in the present note. (See his excellent Historical Essay, forming ch. v. of the great "Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine," pp. 136-137).

[4] The Kakula of Ibn Batuta was probably on the coast of Locac. The Kamárah Komar of the same traveller and other Arab writers, I have elsewhere suggested to be Khmer, or Kamboja Proper. (See I.B. IV. 240; Cathay, 469, 519.) Kakula and Kamarah were both in "Mul-Java"; and the king of this undetermined country, whom Wassáf states to have submitted to Kúblái in 1291, was called Sri Rama. It is possible that this was Phra Rama of Sukkothai. (See Cathay, 519; Elliot, III. 27)

[5] Mr. G Phillips supposes the name locac to be Ligor, or rather lakhon as the Siamese call it. But it seems to me pretty clear from what has been said the Lo-kok though including Ligor, is a different name from Lakhon. The latter is a corruption of the Sanskrit, Nagara, "city."



When you leave Locac and sail for 500 miles towards the south, you come to an island called PENTAM, a very wild place. All the wood that grows thereon consists of odoriferous trees.[NOTE 1] There is no more to say about it; so let us sail about sixty miles further between those two Islands. Throughout this distance there is but four paces' depth of water, so that great ships in passing this channel have to lift their rudders, for they draw nearly as much water as that.[NOTE 2]

And when you have gone these 60 miles, and again about 30 more, you come to an Island which forms a Kingdom, and is called MALAIUR. The people have a King of their own, and a peculiar language. The city is a fine and noble one, and there is great trade carried on there. All kinds of spicery are to be found there, and all other necessaries of life.[NOTE 3]

NOTE 1.—Pentam, or as in Ram. Pentan, is no doubt the Bintang of our maps, more properly BENTAN, a considerable Island at the eastern extremity of the Straits of Malacca. It appears in the list, published by Dulaurier from a Javanese Inscription, of the kingdoms conquered in the 15th century by the sovereigns reigning at Majapahit in Java. (J.A. sér. IV. tom. xiii. 532.) Bintang was for a long time after the Portuguese conquest of Malacca the chief residence of the Malay Sultans who had been expelled by that conquest, and it still nominally belongs to the Sultan of Johore, the descendant of those princes, though in fact ruled by the Dutch, whose port of Rhio stands on a small island close to its western shore. It is the Bintão of the Portuguese whereof Camoens speaks as the persistent enemy of Malacca (X. 57).

[Cf. Professor Schlegel's Geog. Notes, VI. Ma-it; regarding the odoriferous trees, Professor Schlegel remarks (p. 20) that they were probably santal trees.—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—There is a good deal of confusion in the text of this chapter. Here we have a passage spoken of between "those two Islands," when only one island seems to have been mentioned. But I imagine the other "island" in the traveller's mind to be the continuation of the same Locac, i.e. the Malay Peninsula (included by him under that name), which he has coasted for 500 miles. This is confirmed by Ramusio, and the old Latin editions (as Müller's): "between the kingdom of Locac and the Island of Pentan." The passage in question is the Strait of Singapore, or as the old navigators called it, the Straits of Gobernador, having the mainland of the Peninsula and the Island of Singapore, on the one side, and the Islands of Bintang and Batang on the other. The length of the strait is roughly 60 geographical miles, or a little more; and I see in a route given in the Lettres Edifiantes (II. p. 118) that the length of navigation is so stated: "Le détroit de Gobernador a vingt lieues de long, et est for difficile quand on n'y a jamais passé."

The Venetian passo was 5 feet. Marco here alludes to the well-known practice with the Chinese junks of raising the rudder, for which they have a special arrangement, which is indicated in the cut at p. 248.

NOTE 3.—There is a difficulty here about the indications, carrying us, as they do, first 60 miles through the Strait, and then 30 miles further to the Island Kingdom and city of Malaiur. There is also a singular variation in the readings as to this city and island. The G.T. has "Une isle qe est roiame, et s'apelle Malanir e l'isle Pentam." The Crusca has the same, only reading Malavir. Pauthier: "Une isle qui est royaume, et a nom Maliur." The Geog. Latin: "Ibi invenitur una insula in qua est unus rex quem vocant Lamovich. Civitas et insula vocantur Pontavich." Ram.: "Chiamasi la città Malaiur, e cosi l'isola Malaiur."

All this is very perplexed, and it is difficult to trace what may have been the true readings. The 30 miles beyond the straits, whether we give the direction south-east as in G.T. or no, will not carry us to the vicinity of any place known to have been the site of an important city. As the point of departure in the next chapter is from Pentam and not from Malaiur, the introduction of the latter is perhaps a digression from the route, on information derived either from hearsay or from a former voyage. But there is not information enough to decide what place is meant by Malaiur. Probabilities seem to me to be divided between Palembang, and its colony Singhapura. Palembang, according to the Commentaries of Alboquerque, was called by the Javanese MALAYO. The List of Sumatran Kingdoms in De Barros makes TANA-MALAYU the next to Palembang. On the whole, I incline to this interpretation.

[In Valentyn (V. 1, Beschryvinge van Malakka, p. 317) we find it
stated that the Malay people just dwelt on the River Malayu in the
Kingdom of Palembang, and were called from the River Orang Malayu.—MS.

[Professor Schlegel in his Geog. Notes, IV., tries to prove by Chinese authorities that Maliur and Tana-Malayu are two quite distinct countries, and he says that Maliur may have been situated on the coast opposite Singapore, perhaps a little more to the S.W. where now lies Malacca, and that Tana-Malayu may be placed in Asahan, upon the east coast of Sumatra.—H.C.]

Singhapura was founded by an emigration from Palembang, itself a Javanese colony. It became the site of a flourishing kingdom, and was then, according to the tradition recorded by De Barros, the most important centre of population in those regions, "whither used to gather all the navigators of the Eastern Seas, from both East and West; to this great city of Singapura all flocked as to a general market." (Dec. II. 6, 1.) This suits the description in our text well; but as Singhapura was in sight of any ship passing through the straits, mistake could hardly occur as to its position, even if it had not been visited.

I omit Malacca entirely from consideration, because the evidence appears to me conclusive against the existence of Malacca at this time.

The Malay Chronology, as published by Valentyn, ascribes the foundation of that city to a king called Iskandar Shah, placing it in A.D. 1252, fixes the reign of Mahomed Shah, the third King of Malacca and first Mussulman King, as extending from 1276 to 1333 (not stating when his conversion took place), and gives 8 kings in all between the foundation of the city and its capture by the Portuguese in 1511, a space, according to those data, of 259 years. As Sri Iskandar Shah, the founder, had reigned 3 years in Singhapura before founding Malacca, and Mahomed Shah, the loser, reigned 2 years in Johore after the loss of his capital, we have 264 years to divide among 8 kings, giving 33 years to each reign. This certainly indicates that the period requires considerable curtailment.

Again, both De Barros and the Commentaries or Alboquerque ascribe the foundation of Malacca to a Javanese fugitive from Palembang called Paramisura, and Alboquerque makes Iskandar Shah (Xaquem darxa) the son of Paramisura, and the first convert to Mahomedanism. Four other kings reign in succession after him, the last of the four being Mahomed Shah, expelled in 1511.

[Godinho de Eredia says expressly (Cap. i. Do Citio Malaca, p. 4) that
Malacca was founded by Permicuri, primeiro monarcha de Malayos, in the
year 1411, in the Pontificate of John XXIV., and in the reign of Don Juan
II. of Castille and Dom Juan I. of Portugal.]

The historian De Couto, whilst giving the same number of reigns from the conversion to the capture, places the former event about 1384. And the Commentaries of Alboquerque allow no more than some ninety years from the foundation of Malacca to his capture of the city.

There is another approximate check to the chronology afforded by a Chinese record in the XIVth volume of Amyot's collection. This informs us that Malacca first acknowledged itself as tributary to the Empire in 1405, the king being Sili-ju-eul-sula (?). In 1411 the King of Malacca himself, now called Peilimisula (Paramisura), came in person to the court of China to render homage. And in 1414 the Queen-Mother of Malacca came to court, bringing her son's tribute.

Now this notable fact of the visit of a King of Malacca to the court of China, and his acknowledgment of the Emperor's supremacy, is also recorded in the Commentaries of Alboquerque. This work, it is true, attributes the visit, not to Paramisura, the founder of Malacca, but to his son and successor Iskandar Shah. This may be a question of a title only, perhaps borne by both; but we seem entitled to conclude with confidence that Malacca was founded by a prince whose son was reigning, and visited the court of China in 1411. And the real chronology will be about midway between the estimates of De Couto and of Alboquerque. Hence Malacca did not exist for a century, more or less, after Polo's voyage.

[Mr. C.O. Blagden, in a paper on the Mediaeval Chronology of Malacca (Actes du XI'e Cong. Int. Orient. Paris, 1897), writes (p. 249) that "if Malacca had been in the middle of the 14th century anything like the great emporium of trade which it certainly was in the 15th, Ibn Batuta would scarcely have failed to speak of it." The foundation of Malacca by Sri Iskandar Shah in 1252, according to the Sejarah Malayu "must be put at least 125 years later, and the establishment of the Muhammadan religion there would then precede by only a few years the end of the 14th century, instead of taking place about the end of the 13th, as is generally supposed" (p. 251). (Cf. G. Schlegel, Geog. Notes, XV.)—H.C.]

Mr. Logan supposes that the form Malayu-r may indicate that the Malay language of the 13th century "had not yet replaced the strong naso-guttural terminals by pure vowels." We find the same form in a contemporary Chinese notice. This records that in the 2nd year of the Yuen, tribute was sent from Siam to the Emperor. "The Siamese had long been at war with the Maliyi or MALIURH, but both nations laid aside their feud and submitted to China." (Valentyn, V. p. 352; Crawford's Desc. Dict. art. Malacca; Lassen, IV. 541 seqq.; Journ. Ind. Archip. V. 572, II. 608-609; De Barros, Dec. II. 1. vi. c. 1; Comentarios do grande Afonso d'Alboquerque, Pt. III. cap. xvii.; Couto, Dec. IV. liv. ii.; Wade in Bowring's Kingdom and People of Siam, I. 72.)

[From I-tsing we learn that going from China to India, the traveller visits the country of Shih-li-fuh-shi (Çribhoja or simply Fuh-shi = Bhôja), then Mo-louo-yu, which seems to Professor Chavannes to correspond to the Malaiur of Marco Polo and to the modern Palembang, and which in the 10th century formed a part of Çribhôdja identified by Professor Chavannes with Zabedj. (I-tsing, p. 36.) The Rev. S. Beal has some remarks on this question in the Merveilles de l'Inde, p. 251, and he says that he thinks "there are reasons for placing this country [Çribhôja], or island, on the East coast of Sumatra, and near Palembang, or, on the Palembang River." Mr. Groeneveldt (T'oung Pao, VII. abst. p. 10) gives some extracts from Chinese authors, and then writes: "We have therefore to find now a place for the Molayu of I-tsing, the Malaiur of Marco Polo, the Malayo of Alboquerque, and the Tana-Malayu of De Barros, all which may be taken to mean the same place. I-tsing tells us that it took fifteen days to go from Bhôja to Molayu and fifteen days again to go from there to Kieh-ch'a. The latter place, suggesting a native name Kada, must have been situated in the north-west of Sumatra, somewhere near the present Atjeh, for going from there west, one arrived in thirty days at Magapatana; near Ceylon, whilst a northern course brought one in ten days to the Nicobar Islands. Molayu should thus lie half-way between Bhôja and Kieh-ch'a, but this indication must not be taken too literally where it is given for a sailing vessel, and there is also the statement of De Barros, which does not allow us to go too far away from Palembang, as he mentions Tana-Malayu next to that place. We have therefore to choose between the next three larger rivers: those of Jambi, Indragiri, and Kampar, and there is an indication in favour of the last one, not very strong, it is true, but still not to be neglected. I-tsing tells us: 'Le roi me donna des secours grâce auxquels je parvins au pays de Mo-louo-yu; j'y séjournai derechef pendant deux mois. Je changeai de direction pour aller dans le pays de Kie-tcha.' The change of direction during a voyage along the east coast of Sumatra from Palembang to Atjeh is nowhere very perceptible, because the course is throughout more or less north-west, still one may speak of a change of direction at the mouth of the River Kampar, about the entrance of the Strait of Malacca, whence the track begins to run more west, whilst it is more north before. The country of Kampar is of little importance now, but it is not improbable that there has been a Hindoo settlement, as the ruins of religious monuments decidedly Buddhist are still existing on the upper course of the river, the only ones indeed on this side of the island, it being a still unexplained fact that the Hindoos in Java have built on a very large scale, and those of Sumatra hardly anything at all."—Mr. Takakusu (A Record of the Buddhist Religion, p. xli.) proposes to place Shih-li-fuh-shi at Palembang and Mo-louo-yu farther on the northern coast of Sumatra.—(Cf. G. Schlegel, Geog. Notes, XVI.; P. Pelliot, Bul. Ecole Franç. Ext. Orient, II. pp. 94-96.)—H.C.]



When you leave the Island of Pentam and sail about 100 miles, you reach the Island of JAVA THE LESS. For all its name 'tis none so small but that it has a compass of two thousand miles or more. Now I will tell you all about this Island.[NOTE 1]

You see there are upon it eight kingdoms and eight crowned kings. The people are all Idolaters, and every kingdom has a language of its own. The Island hath great abundance of treasure, with costly spices, lign-aloes and spikenard and many others that never come into our parts.[NOTE 2]

Now I am going to tell you all about these eight kingdoms, or at least the greater part of them. But let me premise one marvellous thing, and that is the fact that this Island lies so far to the south that the North Star, little or much, is never to be seen!

Now let us resume our subject, and first I will tell you of the kingdom of

This kingdom, you must know, is so much frequented by the Saracen merchants that they have converted the natives to the Law of Mahommet—I mean the townspeople only, for the hill-people live for all the world like beasts, and eat human flesh, as well as all other kinds of flesh, clean or unclean. And they worship this, that, and the other thing; for in fact the first thing that they see on rising in the morning, that they do worship for the rest of the day.[NOTE 3]

Having told you of the kingdom of Ferlec, I will now tell of another which is called BASMA.

When you quit the kingdom of Ferlec you enter upon that of Basma. This also is an independent kingdom, and the people have a language of their own; but they are just like beasts without laws or religion. They call themselves subjects of the Great Kaan, but they pay him no tribute; indeed they are so far away that his men could not go thither. Still all these Islanders declare themselves to be his subjects, and sometimes they send him curiosities as presents.[NOTE 4] There are wild elephants in the country, and numerous unicorns, which are very nearly as big. They have hair like that of a buffalo, feet like those of an elephant, and a horn in the middle of the forehead, which is black and very thick. They do no mischief, however, with the horn, but with the tongue alone; for this is covered all over with long and strong prickles [and when savage with any one they crush him under their knees and then rasp him with their tongue]. The head resembles that of a wild boar, and they carry it ever bent towards the ground. They delight much to abide in mire and mud. 'Tis a passing ugly beast to look upon, and is not in the least like that which our stories tell of as being caught in the lap of a virgin; in fact, 'tis altogether different from what we fancied.[NOTE 5] There are also monkeys here in great numbers and of sundry kinds; and goshawks as black as crows. These are very large birds and capital for fowling.[NOTE 6]

I may tell you moreover that when people bring home pygmies which they allege to come from India, 'tis all a lie and a cheat. For those little men, as they call them, are manufactured on this Island, and I will tell you how. You see there is on the Island a kind of monkey which is very small, and has a face just like a man's. They take these, and pluck out all the hair except the hair of the beard and on the breast, and then they dry them and stuff them and daub them with saffron and other things until they look like men. But you see it is all a cheat; for nowhere in India nor anywhere else in the world were there ever men seen so small as these pretended pygmies.

Now I will say no more of the kingdom of Basma, but tell you of the others in succession.

NOTE 1.—Java the Less is the Island of SUMATRA. Here there is no exaggeration in the dimension assigned to its circuit, which is about 2300 miles. The old Arabs of the 9th century give it a circuit of 800 parasangs, or say 2800 miles, and Barbosa reports the estimate of the Mahomedan seamen as 2100 miles. Compare the more reasonable accuracy of these estimates of Sumatra, which the navigators knew in its entire compass, with the wild estimates of Java Proper, of which they knew but the northern coast.

Polo by no means stands alone in giving the name of Java to the island now called Sumatra. The terms Jawa, Jawi, were applied by the Arabs to the islands and productions of the Archipelago generally (e.g., Lubán jawí, "Java frankincense," whence by corruption Benzoin), but also specifically to Sumatra. Thus Sumatra is the Jáwah both of Abulfeda and of Ibn Batuta, the latter of whom spent some time on the island, both in going to China and on his return. The Java also of the Catalan Map appears to be Sumatra. Javaku again is the name applied in the Singalese chronicles to the Malays in general. Jáu and Dawa are the names still applied by the Battaks and the people of Nias respectively to the Malays, showing probably that these were looked on as Javanese by those tribes who did not partake of the civilisation diffused from Java. In Siamese also the Malay language is called Chawa; and even on the Malay peninsula, the traditional slang for a half-breed born from a Kling (or Coromandel) father and a Malay mother is Jáwí Pakan, "a Jawi (i.e. Malay) of the market." De Barros says that all the people of Sumatra called themselves by the common name of Jauijs. (Dec. III. liv. v. cap. 1.)

There is some reason to believe that the application of the name Java to Sumatra is of very old date. For the oldest inscription of ascertained date in the Archipelago which has yet been read, a Sanskrit one from Pagaroyang, the capital of the ancient Malay state of Menang-kabau in the heart of Sumatra, bearing a date equivalent to A.D. 656, entitles the monarch whom it commemorates, Adityadharma by name, the king of "the First Java" (or rather Yava). This Mr. Friedrich interprets to mean Sumatra. It is by no means impossible that the Iabadiu, or Yávadvípa of Ptolemy may be Sumatra rather than Java.

An accomplished Dutch Orientalist suggests that the Arabs originally applied the terms Great Java and Little Java to Java and Sumatra respectively, not because of their imagined relation in size, but as indicating the former to be Java Proper. Thus also, he says, there is a Great Acheh (Achin) which does not imply that the place so called is greater than the well-known state of Achin (of which it is in fact a part), but because it is Acheh Proper. A like feeling may have suggested the Great Bulgaria, Great Hungary, Great Turkey of the mediaeval travellers. These were, or were supposed to be, the original seats of the Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Turks. The Great Horde of the Kirghiz Kazaks is, as regards numbers, not the greatest, but the smallest of the three. But the others look upon it as the most ancient. The Burmese are alleged to call the Rakhain or people of Arakan Mranma Gyí or Great Burmese, and to consider their dialect the most ancient form of the language. And, in like manner, we may perhaps account for the term of Little Thai, formerly applied to the Siamese in distinction from the Great Thai, their kinsmen of Laos.

In after-days, when the name of Sumatra for the Great Island had established itself, the traditional term "Little Java" sought other applications. Barbosa seems to apply it to Sumbawa; Pigafetta and Cavendish apply it to Bali, and in this way Raffles says it was still used in his own day. Geographers were sometimes puzzled about it. Magini says Java Minor is almost incognita.

(Turnour's Epitome, p. 45; Van der Tuuk, Bladwijzer tot de drie Stukken van het Bataksche Leesboek, p. 43, etc.; Friedrich in Bat. Transactions, XXVI.; Levchine, Les Kirghíz Kazaks, 300, 301.)

NOTE 2.—As regards the treasure, Sumatra was long famous for its produce of gold. The export is estimated in Crawford's History at 35,530 ounces; but no doubt it was much more when the native states were in a condition of greater wealth and civilisation, as they undoubtedly were some centuries ago. Valentyn says that in some years Achin had exported 80 bahars, equivalent to 32,000 or 36,000 Lbs. avoirdupois (!). Of the other products named, lign-aloes or eagle-wood is a product of Sumatra, and is or was very abundant in Campar on the eastern coast. The Ain-i-Akbari says this article was usually brought to India from Achin and Tenasserim. Both this and spikenard are mentioned by Polo's contemporary, Kazwini, among the products of Java (probably Sumatra), viz., Java lign-aloes (al-' Ud al-Jáwi), camphor spikenard (Sumbul), etc. Náráwastu is the name of a grass with fragrant roots much used as a perfume in the Archipelago, and I see this is rendered spikenard in a translation from the Malay Annals in the Journal of the Archipelago.

With regard to the kingdoms of the island which Marco proceeds to describe, it is well to premise that all the six which he specifies are to be looked for towards the north end of the island, viz., in regular succession up the northern part of the east coast, along the north coast, and down the northern part of the west coast. This will be made tolerably clear in the details, and Marco himself intimates at the end of the next chapter that the six kingdoms he describes were all at this side or end of the island: "Or vos avon contée de cesti roiames que sunt de ceste partie de scele ysle, et des autres roiames de l'autre partie ne voz conteron-noz rien." Most commentators have made confusion by scattering them up and down, nearly all round the coast of Sumatra. The best remarks on the subject I have met with are by Mr. Logan in his Journal of the Ind. Arch. II. 610.

The "kingdoms" were certainly many more than eight throughout the island. At a later day De Barros enumerates 29 on the coast alone. Crawford reckons 15 different nations and languages on Sumatra and its dependent isles, of which 11 belong to the great island itself.

(Hist. of Ind. Arch. III. 482; Valentyn, V. (Sumatra), p. 5; Desc. Dict. p. 7, 417; Gildemeister, p. 193; Crawf. Malay Dict. 119; J. Ind. Arch. V. 313.)

NOTE 3.—The kingdom of PARLÁK is mentioned in the Shijarat Malayu or Malay Chronicle, and also in a Malay History of the Kings of Pasei, of which an abstract is given by Dulaurier, in connection with the other states of which we shall speak presently. It is also mentioned (Barlak), as a city of the Archipelago, by Rashiduddin. Of its extent we have no knowledge, but the position (probably of its northern extremity) is preserved in the native name, Tanjong (i.e. Cape) Parlák of the N.E. horn of Sumatra, called by European seamen "Diamond Point," whilst the river and town of Perla, about 32 miles south of that point, indicate, I have little doubt, the site of the old capital.[1] Indeed in Malombra's Ptolemy (Venice, 1574), I find the next city of Sumatra beyond Pacen marked as Pulaca.

The form Ferlec shows that Polo got it from the Arabs, who having no p often replace that letter by f. It is notable that the Malay alphabet, which is that of the Arabic with necessary modifications, represents the sound p not by the Persian pe ([Arabic]), but by the Arabic fe ([Arabic]), with three dots instead of one ([Arabic]).

A Malay chronicle of Achin dates the accession of the first Mahomedan king of that state, the nearest point of Sumatra to India and Arabia, in the year answering to A.D. 1205, and this is the earliest conversion among the Malays on record. It is doubtful, indeed, whether there were Kings of Achin in 1205, or for centuries after (unless indeed Lambri is to be regarded as Achin), but the introduction of Islam may be confidently assigned to that age.

The notice of the Hill-people, who lived like beasts and ate human flesh, presumably attaches to the Battas or Bataks, occupying high table-lands in the interior of Sumatra. They do not now extend north beyond lat. 3°. The interior of Northern Sumatra seems to remain a terra incognita, and even with the coast we are far less familiar than our ancestors were 250 years ago. The Battas are remarkable among cannibal nations as having attained or retained some degree of civilisation, and as being possessed of an alphabet and documents. Their anthropophagy is now professedly practised according to precise laws, and only in prescribed cases. Thus: (i) A commoner seducing a Raja's wife must be eaten; (2) Enemies taken in battle outside their village must be eaten alive; those taken in storming a village may be spared; (3) Traitors and spies have the same doom, but may ransom themselves for 60 dollars a-head. There is nothing more horrible or extraordinary in all the stories of mediaeval travellers than the facts of this institution. (See Junghuhn, Die Battalander, II. 158.) And it is evident that human flesh is also at times kept in the houses for food. Junghuhn, who could not abide Englishmen but was a great admirer of the Battas, tells how after a perilous and hungry flight he arrived in a friendly village, and the food that was offered by his hosts was the flesh of two prisoners who had been slaughtered the day before (I. 249). Anderson was also told of one of the most powerful Batta chiefs who would eat only such food, and took care to be supplied with it (225).

The story of the Battas is that in old times their communities lived in peace and knew no such custom; but a Devil, Nanalain, came bringing strife, and introduced this man-eating, at a period which they spoke of (in 1840) as "three men's lives ago," or about 210 years previous to that date. Junghuhn, with some enlargement of the time, is disposed to accept their story of the practice being comparatively modern. This cannot be, for their hideous custom is alluded to by a long chain of early authorities. Ptolemy's anthropophagi may perhaps be referred to the smaller islands. But the Arab Relations of the 9th century speak of man-eaters in Al-Ramni, undoubtedly Sumatra. Then comes our traveller, followed by Odoric, and in the early part of the 15th century by Conti, who names the Batech cannibals. Barbosa describes them without naming them; Galvano (p. 108) speaks of them by name; as does De Barros. (Dec. III. liv. viii. cap. I.)

The practice of worshipping the first thing seen in the morning is related of a variety of nations. Pigafetta tells it of the people of Gilolo, and Varthema in his account of Java (which I fear is fiction) ascribes it to some people of that island. Richard Eden tells it of the Laplanders. (Notes on Russia, Hak. Soc. II. 224.)

NOTE 4.—Basma, as Valentyn indicated, seems to be the PASEI of the Malays, which the Arabs probably called Basam or the like, for the Portuguese wrote it PACEM. [Mr. J.T. Thomson writes (Proc.R.G.S. XX. p. 221) that of its actual position there can be no doubt, it being the Passier of modern charts.—H.C.] Pasei is mentioned in the Malay Chronicle as founded by Malik-al-Sálih, the first Mussulman sovereign of Samudra, the next of Marco's kingdoms. He assigned one of these states to each of his two sons, Malik al-Dháhir and Malik al-Mansúr; the former of whom was reigning at Samudra, and apparently over the whole coast, when Ibn Batuta was there (about 1346-47). There is also a Malay History of the Kings of Pasei to which reference has already been made.

Somewhat later Pasei was a great and famous city. Majapahit, Malacca, and Pasei being reckoned the three great cities of the Archipelago. The stimulus of conversion to Islam had not taken effect on those Sumatran states at the time of Polo's voyage, but it did so soon afterwards, and, low as they have now fallen, their power at one time was no delusion. Achin, which rose to be the chief of them, in 1615 could send against Portuguese Malacca an expedition of more than 500 sail, 100 of which were galleys larger than any then constructed in Europe, and carried from 600 to 800 men each.

[Dr. Schlegel writes to me that according to the Malay Dictionary of Von de
Wall and Van der Tuuk, n. 414-415, Polo's Basman is the Arab
pronunciation of Paseman, the modern Ophir in West Sumatra. Gunung
is Mount Ophir.—H.C.]

[Illustration: The three Asiatic Rhinoceroses, (upper) Indicus, (middle)
Sondaicus, (lower) Sumatranus.[2]]

NOTE 5.—The elephant seems to abound in the forest tracts throughout the whole length of Sumatra, and the species is now determined to be a distinct one (E. Sumatranus) from that of continental India and identical with that of Ceylon.[3] The Sumatran elephant in former days was caught and tamed extensively. Ibn Batuta speaks of 100 elephants in the train of Al Dhahir, the King of Sumatra Proper, and in the 17th century Beaulieu says the King of Achin had always 900. Giov. d'Empoli also mentions them at Pedir in the beginning of the 16th century; and see Pasei Chronicle quoted in J. As. sér. IV. tom. ix. pp. 258-259. This speaks of elephants as used in war by the people of Pasei, and of elephant-hunts as a royal diversion. The locus of that best of elephant stories, the elephant's revenge on the tailor, was at Achin.

As Polo's account of the rhinoceros is evidently from nature, it is notable that he should not only call it unicorn, but speak so precisely of its one horn, for the characteristic, if not the only, species on the island, is a two-horned one (Rh. Sumatranus),[4] and his mention of the buffalo-like hair applies only to this one. This species exists also on the Indo-Chinese continent and, it is believed, in Borneo. I have seen it in the Arakan forests as high as 19° 20'; one was taken not long since near Chittagong; and Mr. Blyth tells me a stray one has been seen in Assam or its borders.

[Ibn Khordâdhbeh says (De Goeje's Transl. p. 47) that rhinoceros is to be found in Kâmeroun (Assam), which borders on China. It has a horn, a cubit long, and two palms thick; when the horn is split, inside is found on the black ground the white figure of a man, a quadruped, a fish, a peacock or some other bird.—H.C.]

[John Evelyn mentions among the curiosities kept in the Treasury at St. Denis: "A faire unicorne's horn, sent by a K. of Persia, about 7 foote long." Diary, 1643, 12th Nov.—H.C.]

What the Traveller says of the animals' love of mire and mud is well illustrated by the manner in which the Semangs or Negritoes of the Malay Peninsula are said to destroy him: "This animal … is found frequently in marshy places, with its whole body immersed in the mud, and part of the head only visible…. Upon the dry weather setting in … the mud becomes hard and crusted, and the rhinoceros cannot effect his escape without considerable difficulty and exertion. The Semangs prepare themselves with large quantities of combustible materials, with which they quietly approach the animal, who is aroused from his reverie by an immense fire over him, which being kept well supplied by the Semangs with fresh fuel, soon completes his destruction, and renders him in a fit state to make a meal of." (J. Ind. Arch. IV. 426.)[5] There is a great difference in aspect between the one-horned species (Rh. Sondaicus and Rh. Indicus) and the two-horned. The Malays express what that difference is admirably, in calling the last Bádak-Karbáu, "the Buffalo-Rhinoceros," and the Sondaicus Bádak-Gájah, "the Elephant-Rhinoceros."

The belief in the formidable nature of the tongue of the rhinoceros is very old and wide-spread, though I can find no foundation for it but the rough appearance of the organ. ["His tongue also is somewhat of a rarity, for, if he can get any of his antagonists down, he will lick them so clean, that he leaves neither skin nor flesh to cover his bones." (A. Hamilton, ed. 1727, II. 24. M.S. Note of Yule.) Compare what is said of the tongue of the Yak, I. p. 277.—H.C.] The Chinese have the belief, and the Jesuit Lecomte attests it from professed observation of the animal in confinement. (Chin. Repos. VII. 137; Lecomte, II. 406.) [In a Chinese work quoted by Mr. Groeneveldt (T'oung Pao, VII. No. 2, abst. p. 19) we read that "the rhinoceros has thorns on its tongue and always eats the thorns of plants and trees, but never grasses or leaves."—H.C.]

The legend to which Marco alludes, about the Unicorn allowing itself to be ensnared by a maiden (and of which Marsden has made an odd perversion in his translation, whilst indicating the true meaning in his note), is also an old and general one. It will be found, for example, in Brunetto Latini, in the Image du Monde, in the Mirabilia of Jordanus,[6] and in the verses of Tzetzes. The latter represents Monoceros as attracted not by the maiden's charms but by her perfumery. So he is inveigled and blindfolded by a stout young knave, disguised as a maiden and drenched with scent:—

  "'Tis then the huntsmen hasten up, abandoning their ambush;
  Clean from his head they chop his horn, prized antidote to poison;
  And let the docked and luckless beast escape into the jungles."
      —V. 399, seqq.

In the cut which we give of this from a mediaeval source the horn of the unicorn is evidently the tusk of a narwhal. This confusion arose very early, as may be seen from its occurrence in Aelian, who says that the horn of the unicorn or Kartazonon (the Arab Karkaddan or Rhinoceros) was not straight but twisted ([Greek: eligmoús échon tinás], Hist. An. xvi. 20). The mistake may also be traced in the illustrations to Cosmas Indicopleustes from his own drawings, and it long endured, as may be seen in Jerome Cardan's description of a unicorn's horn which he saw suspended in the church of St. Denis; as well as in a circumstance related by P. della Valle (II. 491; and Cardan, de Varietate, c. xcvii.). Indeed the supporter of the Royal arms retains the narwhal horn. To this popular error is no doubt due the reading in Pauthier's text, which makes the horn white instead of black.

[Illustration: Monoceros and the Maiden.[7]]

We may quote the following quaint version of the fable from the Bestiary of Philip de Thaun, published by Mr. Wright (Popular Treatises on Science, etc. p. 81):

  "Monosceros est Beste, un corne ad en la teste,
  Purceo ad si a nun, de buc ad façun;
  Par Pucele est prise; or vez en quel guise.
    Quant hom le volt cacer et prendre et enginner,
  Si vent hom al forest ù sis riparis est;
  Là met une Pucele hors de sein sa mamele,
  Et par odurement Monosceros la sent;
  Dunc vent à la Pucele, et si baiset la mamele,
  En sein devant se dort, issi vent à sa mort
  Li hom suivent atant ki l'ocit en dormant
  U trestout vif le prent, si fais puis sun talent.
  Grant chose signifie."….

And so goes on to moralise the fable.

NOTE 6.—In the J. Indian Archip. V. 285, there is mention of the Falco Malaiensis, black, with a double white-and-brown spotted tail, said to belong to the ospreys, "but does not disdain to take birds and other game."

[1] See Anderson's Missing to East Coast of Sumatra. pp. 229, 233 and map. The Ferlec of Polo was identified by Valentyn. (Sumatra, in vol. v. p. 21.) Marsden remarks that a terminal k is in Sumatra always softened or omitted in pronunciation. (H. of Sum. 1st. ed. p. 163.) Thus we have Perlak, and Perla, as we have Battak and Batta.

[2] Since this engraving was made a fourth species has been established,
    Rhin lasyotis, found near Chittagong.

[3] The elephant of India has 6 true ribs and 13 false ribs, that of
    Sumatra and Ceylon has 6 true and 14 false.

[4] Marsden, however, does say that a one-horned species (Rh. sondaicus?)
    is also found on Sumatra (3rd ed. of his H. of Sumatra, p. 116).

[5] An American writer professes to have discovered in Missouri the fossil remains of a bogged mastodon, which had been killed precisely in this way by human contemporaries. (See Lubbock, Preh. Times, ad ed. 279.)

[6] Tresor, p. 253; N. and E., V. 263; Jordanus, p. 43.

[7] Another mediaeval illustration of the subject is given in Les Arts au Moyen Age, p. 499, from the binding of a book. It is allegorical, and the Maiden is there the Virgin Mary.



So you must know that when you leave the kingdom of Basma you come to another kingdom called Samara, on the same Island.[NOTE 1] And in that kingdom Messer Marco Polo was detained five months by the weather, which would not allow of his going on. And I tell you that here again neither the Pole-star nor the stars of the Maestro[NOTE 2] were to be seen, much or little. The people here are wild Idolaters; they have a king who is great and rich; but they also call themselves subjects of the Great Kaan. When Messer Mark was detained on this Island five months by contrary winds, [he landed with about 2000 men in his company; they dug large ditches on the landward side to encompass the party, resting at either end on the sea-haven, and within these ditches they made bulwarks or stockades of timber] for fear of those brutes of man-eaters; [for there is great store of wood there; and the Islanders having confidence in the party supplied them with victuals and other things needful.] There is abundance of fish to be had, the best in the world. The people have no wheat, but live on rice. Nor have they any wine except such as I shall now describe.

You must know that they derive it from a certain kind of tree that they have. When they want wine they cut a branch of this, and attach a great pot to the stem of the tree at the place where the branch was cut; in a day and a night they will find the pot filled. This wine is excellent drink, and is got both white and red. [It is of such surpassing virtue that it cures dropsy and tisick and spleen.] The trees resemble small date-palms; … and when cutting a branch no longer gives a flow of wine, they water the root of the tree, and before long the branches again begin to give out wine as before.[NOTE 3] They have also great quantities of Indian nuts [as big as a man's head], which are good to eat when fresh; [being sweet and savoury, and white as milk. The inside of the meat of the nut is filled with a liquor like clear fresh water, but better to the taste, and more delicate than wine or any other drink that ever existed.]

Now that we have done telling you about this kingdom, let us quit it, and we will tell you of Dagroian.

When you leave the kingdom of Samara you come to another which is called
DAGROIAN. It is an independent kingdom, and has a language of its own. The
people are very wild, but they call themselves the subjects of the Great
Kaan. I will tell you a wicked custom of theirs.[NOTE 4]

When one of them is ill they send for their sorcerers, and put the question to them, whether the sick man shall recover of his sickness or no. If they say that he will recover, then they let him alone till he gets better. But if the sorcerers foretell that the sick man is to die, the friends send for certain judges of theirs to put to death him who has thus been condemned by the sorcerers to die. These men come, and lay so many clothes upon the sick man's mouth that they suffocate him. And when he is dead they have him cooked, and gather together all the dead man's kin, and eat him. And I assure you they do suck the very bones till not a particle of marrow remains in them; for they say that if any nourishment remained in the bones this would breed worms, and then the worms would die for want of food, and the death of those worms would be laid to the charge of the deceased man's soul. And so they eat him up stump and rump. And when they have thus eaten him they collect his bones and put them in fine chests, and carry them away, and place them in caverns among the mountains where no beast nor other creature can get at them. And you must know also that if they take prisoner a man of another country, and he cannot pay a ransom in coin, they kill him and eat him straightway. It is a very evil custom and a parlous.[NOTE 5]

Now that I have told you about this kingdom let us leave it, and I will tell you of Lambri.

NOTE 1.—I have little doubt that in Marco's dictation the name was really Samatra, and it is possible that we have a trace of this in the Samarcha (for Samartha) of the Crusca MS.

The Shijarat Malayu has a legend, with a fictitious etymology, of the foundation of the city and kingdom of Samudra, or SUMATRA, by Marah Silu, a fisherman near Pasangan, who had acquired great wealth, as wealth is got in fairy tales. The name is probably the Sanskrit Samudra, "the sea." Possibly it may have been imitated from Dwára Samudra, at that time a great state and city of Southern India. [We read in the Malay Annals, Salalat al Salatin, translated by Mr. J.T. Thomson (Proc.R.G.S. XX. p. 216): "Mara Silu ascended the eminence, when he saw an ant as big as a cat; so he caught it, and ate it, and on the place he erected his residence, which he named Samandara, which means Big Ant (Semut besar in Malay)."—H.C.] Mara Silu having become King of Samudra was converted to Islam, and took the name of Malik-al-Sálih. He married the daughter of the King of Parlák, by whom he had two sons; and to have a principality for each he founded the city and kingdom of Pasei. Thus we have Marco's three first kingdoms, Ferlec, Basma, and Samara, connected together in a satisfactory manner in the Malayan story. It goes on to relate the history of the two sons Al-Dháhir and Al-Mansúr. Another version is given in the history of Pasei already alluded to, with such differences as might be expected when the oral traditions of several centuries came to be written down.

Ibn Batuta, about 1346, on his way to China, spent fifteen days at the court of Samudra, which he calls Samathrah or Samuthrah. The king whom he found there reigning was the Sultan Al-Malik Al-Dháhir, a most zealous Mussulman, surrounded by doctors of theology, and greatly addicted to religious discussions, as well as a great warrior and a powerful prince. The city was 4 miles from its port, which the traveller calls Sarha; he describes the capital as a large and fine town, surrounded with an enceinte and bastions of timber. The court displayed all the state of Mahomedan royalty, and the Sultan's dominions extended for many days along the coast. In accordance with Ibn Batuta's picture, the Malay Chronicle represents the court of Pasei (which we have seen to be intimately connected with Samudra) as a great focus of theological studies about this time.

There can be little doubt that Ibn Batuta's Malik Al-Dháhir is the prince of the Malay Chronicle the son of the first Mahomedan king. We find in 1292 that Marco says nothing of Mahomedanism; the people are still wild idolaters; but the king is already a rich and powerful prince. This may have been Malik Al-Salih before his conversion; but it may be doubted if the Malay story be correct in representing him as the founder of the city. Nor is this apparently so represented in the Book of the Kings of Pasei.

Before Ibn Batuta's time, Sumatra or Samudra appears in the travels of Fr. Odoric. After speaking of Lamori (to which we shall come presently), he says: "In the same island, towards the south, is another kingdom, by name SUMOLTRA, in which is a singular generation of people, for they brand themselves on the face with a hot iron in some twelve places," etc. This looks as if the conversion to Islam was still (circa 1323) very incomplete. Rashiduddin also speaks of Súmútra as lying beyond Lamuri. (Elliot, I. p. 70.)

The power attained by the dynasty of Malik Al-Salih, and the number of Mahomedans attracted to his court, probably led in the course of the 14th century to the extension of the name of Sumatra to the whole island. For when visited early in the next century by Nicolo Conti, we are told that he "went to a fine city of the island of Taprobana, which island is called by the natives Shamuthera." Strange to say, he speaks of the natives as all idolaters. Fra Mauro, who got much from Conti, gives us Isola Siamotra over Taprobana; and it shows at once his own judgment and want of confidence in it, when he notes elsewhere that "Ptolemy, professing to describe Taprobana, has really only described Saylan."

We have no means of settling the exact position of the city of Sumatra, though possibly an enquiry among the natives of that coast might still determine the point. Marsden and Logan indicate Samarlanga, but I should look for it nearer Pasei. As pointed out by Mr. Braddell in the J. Ind. Arch., Malay tradition represents the site of Pasei as selected on a hunting expedition from Samudra, which seems to imply tolerable proximity. And at the marriage of the Princess of Parlak to Malik Al-Salih, we are told that the latter went to receive her on landing at Jambu Ayer (near Diamond Point), and thence conducted her to the city of Samudra. I should seek Samudra near the head of the estuary-like Gulf of Pasei, called in the charts Telo (or Talak) Samawe; a place very likely to have been sought as a shelter to the Great Kaan's fleet during the south-west monsoon. Fine timber, of great size, grows close to the shore of this bay,[1] and would furnish material for Marco's stockades.

When the Portuguese first reached those regions Pedir was the leading state upon the coast, and certainly no state called Sumatra continued to exist. Whether the city continued to exist even in decay is not easy to discern. The Aín-i-Akbari says that the best civet is that which is brought from the seaport town of Sumatra, in the territory of Achin, and is called Sumatra Zabád; but this may have been based on old information. Valentyn seems to recognise the existence of a place of note called Samadra or Samotdara, though it is not entered on his map. A famous mystic theologian who flourished under the great King of Achin, Iskandar Muda, and died in 1630, bore the name of Shamsuddín Shamatráni, which seems to point to the city of Sumatra as his birth place.[2] The most distinct mention that I know of the city so called, in the Portuguese period, occurs in the soi-disant "Voyage which Juan Serano made when he fled from Malacca," in 1512, published by Lord Stanley of Alderley, at the end of his translation of Barbosa. This man speaks of the "island of Samatra" as named from "a city of this northern part." And on leaving Pedir, having gone down the northern coast, he says, "I drew towards the south and south-east direction, and reached to another country and city which is called Samatra," and so on. Now this describes the position in which the city of Sumatra should have been if it existed. But all the rest of the tract is mere plunder from Varthema.[3]

There is, however, a like intimation in a curious letter respecting the
Portuguese discoveries, written from Lisbon in 1515, by a German,
Valentine Moravia, who was probably the same Valentyn Fernandez, the
German, who published the Portuguese edition of Marco Polo at Lisbon in
1502, and who shows an extremely accurate conception of Indian geography.
He says: "La maxima insula la quale è chiamata da Marcho Polo Veneto Iava
Minor, et al presente si chiama Sumotra, da un emporie di dicta
" (printed by De Gubernatis, Viagg. Ita. etc., p. 170).

Several considerations point to the probability that the states of Pasei and Sumatra had become united, and that the town of Sumatra may have been represented by the Pacem of the Portuguese.[4] I have to thank Mr. G. Phillips for the copy of a small Chinese chart showing the northern coast of the island, which he states to be from "one of about the 13th century." I much doubt the date, but the map is valuable as showing the town of Sumatra (Sumantala). This seems to be placed in the Gulf of Pasei, and very near where Pasei itself still exists. An extract of a "Chinese account of about A.D. 1413" accompanied the map. This states that the town was situated some distance up a river, so as to be reached in two tides. There was a village at the mouth of the river called Talumangkin.[5]

[Mr. E.H. Parker writes (China Review, XXIV. p. 102): "Colonel Yule's remarks about Pasei are borne out by Chinese History (Ming, 325, 20, 24), which states that in 1521 Pieh-tu-lu (Pestrello [for Perestrello ?]) having failed in China 'went for' Pa-si. Again 'from Pa-si, Malacca, to Luzon, they swept the seas, and all the other nations were afraid of them.'"—H. C]

Among the Indian states which were prevailed on to send tribute (or presents) to Kúblái in 1286, we find Sumutala. The chief of this state is called in the Chinese record Tu-'han-pa-ti, which seems to be just the Malay words Tuan Pati, "Lord Ruler." No doubt this was the rising state of Sumatra, of which we have been speaking; for it will be observed that Marco says the people of that state called themselves the Kaan's subjects. Rashiduddin makes the same statement regarding the people of Java (i.e. the island of Sumatra), and even of Nicobar: "They are all subject to the Kaan." It is curious to find just the same kind of statements about the princes of the Malay Islands acknowledging themselves subjects of Charles V., in the report of the surviving commander of Magellan's ship to that emperor (printed by Baldelli-Boni, I. lxvii.). Pauthier has curious Chinese extracts containing a notable passage respecting the disappearance of Sumatra Proper from history: "In the years Wen-chi (1573-1615), the Kingdom of Sumatra divided in two, and the new state took the name of Achi (Achin). After that Sumatra was no more heard of." (Gaubil, 205; De Mailla, IX. 429; Elliot, I. 71; Pauthier, pp. 605 and 567.)

NOTE 2.—"Vos di que la Tramontaine ne part. Et encore vos di que l'estoilles dou Meistre ne aparent ne pou ne grant" (G.T.). The Tramontaine is the Pole star:—

  "De nostre Père l'Apostoille
  Volsisse qu'il semblast l'estoile
  Qui ne se muet …
  Par cele estoile vont et viennent
  Et lor sen et lor voie tiennent
  Il l'apelent la tres montaigne."
      —La Bible Guiot de Provins in Barbazan, by Méon, II. 377.

The Meistre is explained by Pauthier to be Arcturus; but this makes Polo's error greater than it is. Brunetto Latini says: "Devers la tramontane en a il i. autre (vent) plus debonaire, qui a non Chorus. Cestui apelent li marinier MAISTRE por vij. estoiles qui sont en celui meisme leu," etc. (Li Tresors, p. 122). Magister or Magistra in mediaeval Latin, La Maistre in old French, signifies "the beam of a plough." Possibly this accounts for the application of Maistre to the Great Bear, or Plough. But on the other hand the pilot's art is called in old French maistrance. Hence this constellation may have had the name as the pilot's guide,—like our Lode-star. The name was probably given to the N.W. point under a latitude in which the Great Bear sets in that quarter. In this way many of the points of the old Arabian Rose des Vents were named from the rising or setting of certain constellations. (See Reinaud's Abulfeda, Introd. pp. cxcix.-cci.)

NOTE 3.—The tree here intended, and which gives the chief supply of toddy and sugar in the Malay Islands, is the Areng Saccharifera (from the Javanese name), called by the Malays Gomuti, and by the Portuguese Saguer. It has some resemblance to the date-palm, to which Polo compares it, but it is a much coarser and wilder-looking tree, with a general raggedness, "incompta et adspectu tristis," as Rumphius describes it. It is notable for the number of plants that find a footing in the joints of its stem. On one tree in Java I have counted thirteen species of such parasites, nearly all ferns. The tree appears in the foreground of the cut at p. 273.

Crawford thus describes its treatment in obtaining toddy: "One of the spathae, or shoots of fructification, is, on the first appearance of the fruit, beaten for three successive days with a small stick, with the view of determining the sap to the wounded part. The shoot is then cut off, a little way from the root, and the liquor which pours out is received in pots…. The Gomuti palm is fit to yield toddy at 9 or 10 years old, and continues to yield it for 2 years at the average rate of 3 quarts a day." (Hist. of Ind. Arch. I. 398.)

The words omitted in translation are unintelligible to me: "et sunt quatre raimes trois cel en." (G.T.)

["Polo's description of the wine-pots of Samara hung on the trees 'like date-palms,' agrees precisely with the Chinese account of the shu theu tsiu made from 'coir trees like cocoa-nut palms' manufactured by the Burmese. Therefore it seems more likely that Samara is Siam (still pronounced Shumuro in Japan, and Siamlo in Hakka), than Sumatra." (Parker, China Review, XIV. p. 359.) I think it useless to discuss this theory.—H.C.]

NOTE 4.—No one has been able to identify this state. Its position, however, must have been near PEDIR, and perhaps it was practically the same. Pedir was the most flourishing of those Sumatran states at the appearance of the Portuguese.

Rashiduddin names among the towns of the Archipelago Dalmian, which may perhaps be a corrupt transcript of Dagroian.

Mr. Phillips's Chinese extracts, already cited, state that west of Sumatra (proper) were two small kingdoms, the first Nakú-urh, the second Liti. Nakú-urh, which seems to be the Ting-'ho-'rh of Pauthier's extracts, which sent tribute to the Kaan, and may probably be Dagroian as Mr. Phillips supposes, was also called the Kingdom of Tattooed Folk.

[Mr. G. Phillips wrote since (J.R.A.S., July 1895, p. 528): "Dragoian has puzzled many commentators, but on (a) Chinese chart … there is a country called Ta-hua-mien, which in the Amoy dialect is pronounced Dakolien, in which it is very easy to recognise the Dragoian, or Dagoyam, of Marco Polo." In his paper of The Seaports of India and Ceylon (Jour. China B.R.A.S., xx. 1885, p. 221), Mr. Phillips, referring to his Chinese Map, already said: Ta-hsiao-hua-mien, in the Amoy dialect Toa-sio-hoe (or Ko)-bin, "The Kingdom of the Greater and Lesser Tattooed Faces." The Toa-Ko-bin, the greater tattooed-face people, most probably represents the Dagroian, or Dagoyum, of Marco Polo. This country was called Na-ku-êrh and Ma Huan says, "the King of Na-ku-êrh is also called the King of the Tattooed Faces."—H.C.]

Tattooing is ascribed by Friar Odoric to the people of Sumoltra. (Cathay, p. 86.) Liti is evidently the Lidé of De Barros, which by his list lay immediately east of Pedir. This would place Nakú-urh about Samarlangka. Beyond Liti was Lanmoli (i.e. Lambri). [See G. Schlegel, Geog. Notes, XVI. Li-taï, Nakur.—H.C.]

There is, or was fifty years ago, a small port between Ayer Labu and Samarlangka, called Darián-Gadé (Great Darian?). This is the nearest approach to Dagroian that I have met with. (N. Ann. des V., tom. xviii. p. 16.)

NOTE 5.—Gasparo Balbi (1579-1587) heard the like story of the Battas under Achin. True or false, the charge against them has come down to our times. The like is told by Herodotus of the Paddaei in India, of the Massagetae, and of the Issedonians; by Strabo of the Caspians and of the Derbices; by the Chinese of one of the wild tribes of Kwei-chau; and was told to Wallace of some of the Aru Island tribes near New Guinea, and to Bickmore of a tribe on the south coast of Floris, called Rakka (probably a form of Hindu Rákshasa, or ogre-goblin). Similar charges are made against sundry tribes of the New World, from Brazil to Vancouver Island. Odoric tells precisely Marco's story of a certain island called Dondin. And in "King Alisaunder," the custom is related of a people of India, called most inappropriately Orphani:—

  "Another Folk woneth there beside;
  Orphani he hatteth wide.
  When her eldrynges beth elde,
  And ne mowen hemselven welde
  Hy hem sleeth, and bidelve
  And," etc., etc.
      —Weber, I. p. 206.

Benedetto Bordone, in his Isolario (1521 and 1547), makes the same charge against the Irish, but I am glad to say that this seems only copied fiom Strabo. Such stories are still rife in the East, like those of men with tails. I have myself heard the tale told, nearly as Raffles tells it of the Battas, of some of the wild tribes adjoining Arakan. (Balbi, f. 130; Raffles, Mem. p. 427; Wallace, Malay Archip. 281; Bickmore's Travels, p. III; Cathay, pp. 25, 100).

The latest and most authentic statement of the kind refers to a small tribe called Birhors, existing in the wildest parts of Chota Nagpúr and Jashpúr, west of Bengal, and is given by an accomplished Indian ethnologist, Colonel Dalton. "They were wretched-looking objects … assuring me that they had themselves given up the practice, they admitted that their fathers were in the habit of disposing of their dead in the manner indicated, viz., by feasting on the bodies; but they declared that they never shortened life to provide such feast, and shrunk with horror at the idea of any bodies but those of their own blood relations being served up at them!" (J.A.S.B. XXXIV. Pt. II. 18.) The same practice has been attributed recently, but only on hearsay, to a tribe of N. Guinea called Tarungares.

The Battas now bury their dead, after keeping the body a considerable time. But the people of Nias and the Batu Islands, whom Junghuhn considers to be of common origin with the Battas, do not bury, but expose the bodies in coffins upon rocks by the sea. And the small and very peculiar people of the Paggi Islands expose their dead on bamboo platforms in the forest. It is quite probable that such customs existed in the north of Sumatra also; indeed they may still exist, for the interior seems unknown. We do hear of pagan hill-people inland from Pedir who make descents upon the coast, (Junghuhn II. 140; Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal, etc. 2nd year, No. 4; Nouv. Ann. des. V. XVIII.)

[1] Marsden, 1st ed. p. 291.

[2] Veth's Atchin, 1873, p. 37.

[3] It might be supposed that Varthema had stolen from Serano; but the book of the former was published in 1510.

[4] Castanheda speaks of Pacem as the best port of the land: "standing on the bank of a river on marshy ground about a league inland; and at the mouth of the river there are some houses of timber where a customs collector was stationed to exact duties at the anchorage from the ships which touched there." (Bk. II. ch. iii.) This agrees with Ibn Batuta's account of Sumatra, 4 miles from its port. [A village named Samudra discovered in our days near Pasei is perhaps a remnant of the kingdom of Samara. (Merveilles de l'Inde, p. 234.)—H.C.]

[5] If Mr. Phillips had given particulars about his map and quotations, as to date, author, etc., it would have given them more value. He leaves this vague.



When you leave that kingdom you come to another which is called LAMBRI. [NOTE 1] The people are Idolaters, and call themselves the subjects of the Great Kaan. They have plenty of Camphor and of all sorts of other spices. They also have brazil in great quantities. This they sow, and when it is grown to the size of a small shoot they take it up and transplant it; then they let it grow for three years, after which they tear it up by the root. You must know that Messer Marco Polo aforesaid brought some seed of the brazil, such as they sow, to Venice with him, and had it sown there; but never a thing came up. And I fancy it was because the climate was too cold.

Now you must know that in this kingdom of Lambri there are men with tails; these tails are of a palm in length, and have no hair on them. These people live in the mountains and are a kind of wild men. Their tails are about the thickness of a dog's.[NOTE 2] There are also plenty of unicorns in that country, and abundance of game in birds and beasts.

Now then I have told you about the kingdom of Lambri.

You then come to another kingdom which is called FANSUR. The people are Idolaters, and also call themselves subjects of the Great Kaan; and understand, they are still on the same Island that I have been telling you of. In this kingdom of Fansur grows the best Camphor in the world called Canfora Fansuri. It is so fine that it sells for its weight in fine gold.[NOTE 3]

The people have no wheat, but have rice which they eat with milk and flesh. They also have wine from trees such as I told you of. And I will tell you another great marvel. They have a kind of trees that produce flour, and excellent flour it is for food. These trees are very tall and thick, but have a very thin bark, and inside the bark they are crammed with flour. And I tell you that Messer Marco Polo, who witnessed all this, related how he and his party did sundry times partake of this flour made into bread, and found it excellent.[NOTE 4]

There is now no more to relate. For out of those eight kingdoms we have told you about six that lie at this side of the Island. I shall tell you nothing about the other two kingdoms that are at the other side of the Island, for the said Messer Marco Polo never was there. Howbeit we have told you about the greater part of this Island of the Lesser Java: so now we will quit it, and I will tell you of a very small Island that is called GAUENISPOLA.[NOTE 5]

NOTE 1.—The name of Lambri is not now traceable on our maps, nor on any list of the ports of Sumatra that I have met with; but in old times the name occurs frequently under one form or another, and its position can be assigned generally to the north part of the west coast, commencing from the neighbourhood of Achin Head.

De Barros, detailing the twenty-nine kingdoms which divided the coast of Sumatra, at the beginning of the Portuguese conquests, begins with Daya, and then passes round by the north. He names as next in order LAMBRIJ, and then Achem. This would make Lambri lie between Daya and Achin, for which there is but little room. And there is an apparent inconsistency; for in coming round again from the south, his 28th kingdom is Quinchel (Singkel of our modern maps), the 29th Mancopa, "which falls upon Lambrij, which adjoins Daya, the first that we named." Most of the data about Lambri render it very difficult to distinguish it from Achin.

The name of Lambri occurs in the Malay Chronicle, in the account of the first Mahomedan mission to convert the Island. We shall quote the passage in a following note.

The position of Lambri would render it one of the first points of Sumatra made by navigators from Arabia and India; and this seems at one time to have caused the name to be applied to the whole Island. Thus Rashiduddin speaks of the very large Island LÁMÚRI lying beyond Ceylon, and adjoining the country of Sumatra; Odoric also goes from India across the Ocean to a certain country called LAMORI, where he began to lose sight of the North Star. He also speaks of the camphor, gold, and lign-aloes which it produced, and proceeds thence to Sumoltra in the same Island.[1] It is probable that the verzino or brazil-wood of Ameri (L'Ameri, i.e. Lambri?) which appears in the mercantile details of Pegolotti was from this part of Sumatra. It is probable also that the country called Nanwuli, which the Chinese Annals report, with Sumuntula and others, to have sent tribute to the Great Kaan in 1286, was this same Lambri which Polo tells us called itself subject to the Kaan.

In the time of the Sung Dynasty ships from T'swan-chau (or Zayton) bound for Tashi, or Arabia, used to sail in forty days to a place called Lanli-poï (probably this is also Lambri, Lambri-puri?). There they passed the winter, i.e. the south-west monsoon, just as Marco Polo's party did at Sumatra, and sailing again when the wind became fair, they reached Arabia in sixty days. (Bretschneider, p. 16.)

[The theory of Sir H. Yule is confirmed by Chinese authors quoted by Mr. Groeneveldt (Notes on the Malay Archipelago, pp. 98-100): "The country of Lambri is situated due west of Sumatra, at a distance of three days sailing with a fair wind; it lies near the sea and has a population of only about a thousand families…. On the east the country is bordered by Litai, on the west and the north by the sea, and on the south by high mountains, at the south of which is the sea again…. At the north-west of this country, in the sea, at a distance of half a day, is a flat mountain, called the Hat-island; the sea at the west of it is the great ocean, and is called the Ocean of Lambri. Ships coming from the west all take this island as a landmark." Mr. Groeneveldt adds: "Lambri [according to his extracts from Chinese authors] must have been situated on the north-western corner of the island of Sumatra, on or near the spot of the present Achin: we see that it was bounded by the sea on the north and the west, and that the Indian Ocean was called after this insignificant place, because it was considered to begin there. Moreover, the small island at half a day's distance, called Hat-island, perfectly agrees with the small islands Bras or Nasi, lying off Achin, and of which the former, with its newly-erected lighthouse, is a landmark for modern navigation, just what it is said in our text to have been for the natives then. We venture to think that the much discussed situation of Marco Polo's Lambri is definitely settled herewith." The Chinese author writes: "The mountains [of Lambri] produce the fragrant wood called Hsiang-chên Hsiang." Mr. Groeneveldt remarks (l.c. p. 143) that this "is the name of a fragrant wood, much used as incense, but which we have not been able to determine. Dr. Williams says it comes from Sumatra, where it is called laka-wood, and is the product of a tree to which the name of Tanarius major is given by him. For different reasons, we think this identification subject to doubt."

Captain M.J.C. Lucardie mentions a village called Lamreh, situated at Atjeh, near Tungkup, in the xxvi. Mukim, which might be a remnant of the country of Lameri. (Merveilles de l'Inde, p. 235.)—H.C.]

(De Barros, Dec. III. Bk. V. ch. i.; Elliot, I. 70; Cathay, 84, seqq.; Pegol. p. 361; Pauthier, p. 605.)

NOTE 2.—Stories of tailed or hairy men are common in the Archipelago, as in many other regions. Kazwini tells of the hairy little men that are found in Rámni (Sumatra) with a language like birds' chirping. Marsden was told of hairy people called Orang Gugu in the interior of the Island, who differed little, except in the use of speech, from the Orang utang. Since his time a French writer, giving the same name and same description, declares that he saw "a group" of these hairy people on the coast of Andragiri, and was told by them that they inhabited the interior of Menangkabau and formed a small tribe. It is rather remarkable that this writer makes no allusion to Marsden though his account is so nearly identical (L'Océanie in L'Univers Pittoresque, I. 24.) [One of the stories of the Merveilles de l'Inde (p. 125) is that there are anthropophagi with tails at Lulu bilenk between Fansur and Lâmeri.—H.C.] Mr. Anderson says there are "a few wild people in the Siak country, very little removed in point of civilisation above their companions the monkeys," but he says nothing of hairiness nor tails. For the earliest version of the tail story we must go back to Ptolemy and the Isles of the Satyrs in this quarter; or rather to Ctesias who tells of tailed men on an Island in the Indian Sea. Jordanus also has the story of the hairy men. Galvano heard that there were on the Island certain people called Daraque Dara (?), which had tails like unto sheep. And the King of Tidore told him of another such tribe on the Isle of Batochina. Mr. St. John in Borneo met with a trader who had seen and felt the tails of such a race inhabiting the north-east coast of that Island. The appendage was 4 inches long and very stiff; so the people all used perforated seats. This Borneo story has lately been brought forward in Calcutta, and stoutly maintained, on native evidence, by an English merchant. The Chinese also have their tailed men in the mountains above Canton. In Africa there have been many such stories, of some of which an account will be found in the Bulletin de la Soc. de Géog. sér. IV. tom. iii. p. 31. It was a story among mediaeval Mahomedans that the members of the Imperial House of Trebizond were endowed with short tails, whilst mediaeval Continentals had like stories about Englishmen, as Matthew Paris relates. Thus we find in the Romance of Coeur de Lion, Richard's messengers addressed by the "Emperor of Cyprus":—

  "Out, Taylards, of my palys!
  Now go, and say your tayled King
  That I owe him nothing."
      —Weber, II. 83.

The Princes of Purbandar, in the Peninsula of Guzerat, claim descent from the monkey-god Hanumán, and allege in justification a spinal elongation which gets them the name of Púncháriah, "Taylards."

(Ethé's Kazwini, p. 221; Anderson, p. 210; St. John, Forests of the Far East, I. 40; Galvano, Hak. Soc. 108, 120; Gildemeister, 194; Allen's Indian Mail, July 28, 1869; Mid. Kingd. I. 293; N. et Ext. XIII. i. 380; Mat. Paris under A.D. 1250; Tod's Rajasthan, I. 114.)

NOTE 3.—The Camphor called Fansúrí is celebrated by Arab writers at least as old as the 9th century, e.g., by the author of the first part of the Relations, by Mas'udi in the next century, also by Avicenna, by Abulfeda, by Kazwini, and by Abul Fazl, etc. In the second and third the name is miswritten Kansúr, and by the last Kaisúri, but there can be no doubt of the correction required. (Reinaud, I. 7; Mas. I. 338; Liber Canonis, Ven. 1544, I. 116; Büsching, IV. 277; Gildem. p. 209; Ain-i-Akb. p. 78.) In Serapion we find the same camphor described as that of Pansor; and when, leaving Arab authorities and the earlier Middle Ages we come to Garcias, he speaks of the same article under the name of camphor of Barros. And this is the name—Kápúr Bárús—derived from the port which has been the chief shipping-place of Sumatran camphor for at least three centuries, by which the native camphor is still known in Eastern trade, as distinguished from the Kápúr Chíná or Kápúr-Japún, as the Malays term the article derived in those countries by distillation from the Laurus Camphora. The earliest western mention of camphor is in the same prescription by the physician Aëtius (circa A.D. 540) that contains one of the earliest mentions of musk. (supra, I. p. 279.) The prescription ends: "and if you have a supply of camphor add two ounces of that." (Aetii Medici Graeci Tetrabiblos, etc., Froben, 1549, p. 910.)

It is highly probable that Fansúr and Barús may be not only the same locality but mere variations of the same name.[2] The place is called in the Shijarat Malayu, Pasuri, a name which the Arabs certainly made into Fansúri in one direction, and which might easily in another, by a very common kind of Oriental metathesis, pass into Barúsi. The legend in the Shijarat Malayu relates to the first Mahomedan mission for the conversion of Sumatra, sent by the Sherif of Mecca via India. After sailing from Malabar the first place the party arrived at was PASURI, the people of which embraced Islam. They then proceeded to LAMBRI, which also accepted the Faith. Then they sailed on till they reached Haru (see on my map Aru on the East Coast), which did likewise. At this last place they enquired for SAMUDRA, which seems to have been the special object of their mission, and found that they had passed it. Accordingly they retraced their course to PERLAK, and after converting that place went on to SAMUDRA, where they converted Mara Silu the King. (See note 1, ch. x. above.) This passage is of extreme interest as naming four out of Marco's six kingdoms, and in positions quite accordant with his indications. As noticed by Mr. Braddell, from whose abstract I take the passage, the circumstance of the party having passed Samudra unwittingly is especially consistent with the site we have assigned to it near the head of the Bay of Pasei, as a glance at the map will show.

Valentyn observes: "Fansur can be nought else than the famous Pantsur, no longer known indeed by that name, but a kingdom which we become acquainted with through Hamza Pantsuri, a celebrated Poet, and native of this Pantsur. It lay in the north angle of the Island, and a little west of Achin: it formerly was rife with trade and population, but would have been utterly lost in oblivion had not Hamza Pantsuri made us again acquainted with it." Nothing indeed could well be "a little west of Achin"; this is doubtless a slip for "a little down the west coast from Achin." Hamza Fantsuri, as he is termed by Professor Veth, who also identifies Fantsur with Bárús, was a poet of the first half of the 17th century, who in his verses popularised the mystical theology of Shamsuddin Shamatrani (supra, p. 291), strongly tinged with pantheism. The works of both were solemnly burnt before the great mosque of Achin about 1640. (J. Ind. Arch. V. 312 seqq; Valentyn, Sumatra, in Vol. V., p. 21; Veth, Atchin, Leiden, 1873, p. 38.)

Mas'udi says that the Fansur Camphor was found most plentifully in years rife with storms and earthquakes. Ibn Batuta gives a jumbled and highly incorrect account of the product, but one circumstance that he mentions is possibly founded on a real superstition, viz., that no camphor was formed unless some animal had been sacrificed at the root of the tree, and the best quality only then when a human victim had been offered. Nicolo Conti has a similar statement: "The Camphor is found inside the tree, and if they do not sacrifice to the gods before they cut the bark, it disappears and is no more seen." Beccari, in our day, mentions special ceremonies used by the Kayans of Borneo, before they commence the search. These superstitions hinge on the great uncertainty of finding camphor in any given tree, after the laborious process of cutting it down and splitting it, an uncertainty which also largely accounts for the high price. By far the best of the old accounts of the product is that quoted by Kazwini from Mahomed Ben Zakaria Al-Rázi: "Among the number of marvellous things in this Island" (Zánij for Zábaj, i.e. Java or Sumatra) "is the Camphor Tree, which is of vast size, insomuch that its shade will cover a hundred persons and more. They bore into the highest part of the tree and thence flows out the camphor-water, enough to fill many pitchers. Then they open the tree lower down about the middle, and extract the camphor in lumps." [This very account is to be found in Ibn Khordâdhbeh. (De Goeje's transl. p. 45.)—H.C.] Compare this passage, which we may notice has been borrowed bodily by Sindbad of the Sea, with what is probably the best modern account, Junghuhn's: "Among the forest trees (of Tapanuli adjoining Barus) the Camphor Tree (Dryabalanops Camphora) attracts beyond all the traveller's observation, by its straight columnar and colossal grey trunk, and its mighty crown of foliage, rising high above the canopy of the forest. It exceeds in dimensions the Rasamala,[3] the loftiest tree of Java, and is probably the greatest tree of the Archipelago, if not of the world,[4] reaching a height of 200 feet. One of the middling size which I had cut down measured at the base, where the camphor leaks out, 7-1/2 Paris feet in diameter (about 8 feet English); its trunk rose to 100 feet, with an upper diameter of 5 feet, before dividing, and the height of the whole tree to the crown was 150 feet. The precious consolidated camphor is found in small quantities, 1/4 lb. to 1 lb. in a single tree, in fissure-like hollows in the stem. Yet many are cut down in vain, or split up the side without finding camphor. The camphor oil is prepared by the natives by bruising and boiling the twigs." The oil, however, appears also to be found in the tree, as Crawford and Collingwood mention, corroborating the ancient Arab.

It is well known that the Chinese attach an extravagantly superior value to the Malay camphor, and probably its value in Marco's day was higher than it is now, but still its estimate as worth its weight in gold looks like hyperbole. Forrest, a century ago, says Barus Camphor was in the Chinese market worth nearly its weight in silver, and this is true still. The price is commonly estimated at 100 times that of the Chinese camphor. The whole quantity exported from the Barus territory goes to China. De Vriese reckons the average annual export from Sumatra between 1839 and 1844 at less than 400 kilogrammes. The following table shows the wholesale rates in the Chinese market as given by Rondot in 1848:—

    Qualities of Camphor. Per picul of 133-1/3 lbs.
    Ordinary China, 1st quality 20 dollars.
       " " 2nd " 14 "
    Formosa 25 "
    Japan 30 "
    China ngai (ext. from an Artemisia) 250 "
    Barus, 1st quality 2000 "
      " 2nd " 1000 "

The Chinese call the Sumatran (or Borneo) Camphor Ping-pien "Icicle flakes," and Lung-nan "Dragon's Brains." [Regarding Baros Camphor, Mr. Groeneveldt writes (Notes, p. 142): "This substance is generally called dragon's brain perfume, or icicles. The former name has probably been invented by the first dealers in the article, who wanted to impress their countrymen with a great idea of its value and rarity. In the trade three different qualities are distinguished: the first is called prune-blossoms, being the larger pieces; the second is rice-camphor, so called because the particles are not larger than a rice-kernel, and the last quality is golden dregs, in the shape of powder. These names are still now used by the Chinese traders on the west coast of Sumatra. The Pên-ts'au Kang-mu further informs us that the Camphor Baros is found in the trunk of a tree in a solid shape, whilst from the roots an oil is obtained called Po-lut (Pa-lut) incense, or Polut balm. The name of Polut is said to be derived from the country where it is found (Baros.)" —H. C] It is just to remark, however, that in the Aín Akbari we find the price of the Sumatran Camphor, known to the Hindus as Bhím Seni, varying from 3 rupees as high as 2 mohurs (or 20 rupees) for a rupee's weight, which latter price would be twice the weight in gold. Abul Fazl says the worst camphor went by the name of Bálús. I should suspect some mistake, as we know from Garcias that the fine camphor was already known as Barus. (Ain-i-Akb. 75-79.)

(Mas'udi, I. 338; I.B. IV. 241; J.A. sér. IV. tom. viii. 216; Lane's Arab. Nights (1859), III. 21; Battaländer, I. 107; Crawf. Hist. III. 218, and Desc. Dict. 81; Hedde et Rondot, Com. de la Chine, 36-37; Chin. Comm. Guide; Dr. F.A. Flückiger, Zur Geschichte des Camphers, in Schweiz. Wochenschr. für Pharmacie, Sept., Oct., 1867.)

NOTE 4.—An interesting notice of the Sago-tree, of which Odoric also gives an account. Ramusio is, however, here fuller and more accurate: "Removing the first bark, which is but thin, you come on the wood of the tree which forms a thickness all round of some three fingers, but all inside this is a pith of flour, like that of the Carvolo (?). The trees are so big that it will take two men to span them. They put this flour into tubs of water, and beat it up with a stick, and then the bran and other impurities come to the top, whilst the pure flour sinks to the bottom. The water is then thrown away, and the cleaned flour that remains is taken and made into pasta in strips and other forms. These Messer Marco often partook of, and brought some with him to Venice. It resembles barley bread and tastes much the same. The wood of this tree is like iron, for if thrown into the water it goes straight to the bottom. It can be split straight from end to end like a cane. When the flour has been removed the wood remains, as has been said, three inches thick. Of this the people make short lances, not long ones, because they are so heavy that no one could carry or handle them if long. One end is sharpened and charred in the fire, and when thus prepared they will pierce any armour, and much better than iron would do." Marsden points out that this heavy lance-wood is not that of the true Sago-palm, but of the Nibong or Caryota urens; which does indeed give some amount of sago.

["When sago is to be made, a full-grown tree is selected just before it is going to flower. It is cut down close to the ground, the leaves and leaf-stalks cleared away, and a broad strip of the bark taken off the upper side of the trunk. This exposes the pithy matter, which is of a rusty colour near the bottom of the tree, but higher up pure white, about as hard as a dry apple, but with woody fibres running through it about a quarter of an inch apart. This pith is cut or broken down into a coarse powder, by means of a tool constructed for the purpose…. Water is poured on the mass of pith, which is kneaded and pressed against the strainer till the starch is all dissolved and has passed through, when the fibrous refuse is thrown away, and a fresh basketful put in its place. The water charged with sago starch passes on to a trough, with a depression in the centre, where the sediment is deposited, the surplus water trickling off by a shallow outlet. When the trough is nearly full, the mass of starch, which has a slight reddish tinge, is made into cylinders of about thirty pounds' weight, and neatly covered with sago leaves, and in this state is sold as raw sago. Boiled with water this forms a thick glutinous mass, with a rather astringent taste, and is eaten with salt, limes, and chilies. Sago-bread is made in large quantities, by baking it into cakes in a small clay oven containing six or eight slits side by side, each about three-quarters of an inch wide, and six or eight inches square. The raw sago is broken up, dried in the sun, powdered, and finely sifted. The oven is heated over a clear fire of embers, and is lightly filled with the sago powder. The openings are then covered with a flat piece of sago bark, and in about five minutes the cakes are turned out sufficiently baked. The hot cakes are very nice with butter, and when made with the addition of a little sugar and grated cocoa-nut are quite a delicacy. They are soft, and something like corn-flour cakes, but have a slight characteristic flavour which is lost in the refined sago we use in this country. When not wanted for immediate use, they are dried for several days in the sun, and tied up in bundles of twenty. They will then keep for years; they are very hard, and very rough and dry…." (A. R. Wallace's Malay Archipelago, 1869, II. pp. 118-121.) —H.C.]

NOTE 5.—In quitting the subject of these Sumatran Kingdoms it may appear to some readers that our explanations compress them too much, especially as Polo seems to allow only two kingdoms for the rest of the Island. In this he was doubtless wrong, and we may the less scruple to say so as he had not visited that other portion of the Island. We may note that in the space to which we assign the six kingdoms which Polo visited, De Barros assigns twelve, viz.: Bara (corresponding generally to Ferlec), Pacem (Basma), Pirada, Lide, Pedir, Biar, Achin, Lambri, Daya, Mancopa, Quinchel, Barros (Fansur). (Dec. III. v. 1.)

[Regarding these Sumatrian kingdoms, Mr. Thomson (Proc.R.G.S. XX. p. 223) writes that Malaiur "is no other than Singapore … the ancient capital of the Malays or Malaiurs of old voyagers, existent in the times of Marco Polo [who] mentions no kingdom or city in Java Minor till he arrives at the kingdom of Felech or Perlak. And this is just as might be expected, as the channel in the Straits of Malacca leads on the north-eastern side out of sight of Sumatra; and the course, after clearing the shoals near Selangore, being direct towards Diamond Point, near which … the tower of Perlak is situated. Thus we see that the Venetian traveller describes the first city or kingdom in the great island that he arrived at…. [After Basman and Samara] Polo mentions Dragoian … from the context, and following Marco Polo's course, we would place it west from his last city or Kingdom Samara; and we make no doubt, if the name is not much corrupted, it may yet be identified in one of the villages of the coast at this present time…. By the Malay annalist, Lambri was west of Samara; consecutively it was also westerly from Samara by Marco Polo's enumeration. Fanfur … is the last kingdom named by Marco Polo [coming from the east], and the first by the Malay annalist [coming from the west]; and as it is known to modern geographers, this corroboration doubly settles the identity and position of all. Thus all the six cities or kingdoms mentioned by Marco Polo were situated on the north coast of Sumatra, now commonly known as the Pedir coast." I have given the conclusion arrived at by Mr. J.T. Thomson in his paper, Marco Polo's Six Kingdoms or Cities in Java Minor, identified in translations from the ancient Malay Annals, which appeared in the Proc.R.G.S. XX. pp. 215-224, after the second edition of this Book was published and Sir H. Yule added the following note (Proc., l.c., p. 224): "Mr. Thomson, as he mentions, has not seen my edition of Marco Polo, nor, apparently, a paper on the subject of these kingdoms by the late Mr. J.R. Logan, in his Journal of the Indian Archipelago, to which reference is made in the notes to Marco Polo. In the said paper and notes the quotations and conclusions of Mr. Thomson have been anticipated; and Fansúr also, which he leaves undetermined, identified."—H.C.]

[1] I formerly supposed Al-Ramni, the oldest Arabic name of
    Sumatra, to be a corruption of Lambri; but this is more probably of
    Hindu origin. One of the Dvípas of the ocean mentioned in the
    Puranas is called Rámaníyaka, "delightfulness." (Williams's
    Skt. Dict.

[2] Van der Tuuk says positively, I find: "Fantsur was the ancient name of Bárus." (J.R.A.S. n.s. II. 232.) [Professor Schlegel writes also (Geog. Notes, XVI. p. 9): "At all events, Fansur or Pantsur can be naught but Baros."—H.C.]

[3] Liquidambar Altingiana.

[4] The Californian and Australian giants of 400 feet were not then known.



When you leave the Island of Java (the less) and the kingdom of Lambri, you sail north about 150 miles, and then you come to two Islands, one of which is called NECUVERAN. In this Island they have no king nor chief, but live like beasts. And I tell you they go all naked, both men and women, and do not use the slightest covering of any kind. They are Idolaters. Their woods are all of noble and valuable kinds of trees; such as Red Sanders and Indian-nut and Cloves and Brazil and sundry other good spices. [NOTE 1]

There is nothing else worth relating; so we will go on, and I will tell you of an Island called Angamanain.

NOTE 1.—The end of the last chapter and the commencement of this I have taken from the G. Text. There has been some confusion in the notes of the original dictation which that represents, and corrections have made it worse. Thus Pauthier's text runs: "I will tell you of two small Islands, one called Gauenispola and the other Necouran," and then: "You sail north about 150 miles and find two Islands, one called Necouran and the other Gauenispola." Ramusio does not mention Gauenispola, but says in the former passage: "I will tell you of a small Island called Nocueran"—and then: "You find two islands, one called Nocueran and the other Angaman."

Knowing the position of Gauenispola there is no difficulty in seeing how the passage should be explained. Something has interrupted the dictation after the last chapter. Polo asks Rusticiano, "Where were we?" "Leaving the Great Island." Polo forgets the "very small Island called Gauenispola," and passes to the north, where he has to tell us of two islands, "one called Necuveran and the other Angamanain." So, I do not doubt, the passage should run.

Let us observe that his point of departure in sailing north to the Nicobar Islands was the Kingdom of Lambri. This seems to indicate that Lambri included Achin Head or came very near it, an indication which we shall presently see confirmed.

As regards Gauenispola, of which he promised to tell us and forgot his promise, its name has disappeared from our modern maps, but it is easily traced in the maps of the 16th and 17th centuries, and in the books of navigators of that time. The latest in which I have observed it is the Neptune Oriental, Paris 1775, which calls it Pulo Gommes. The name is there applied to a small island off Achin Head, outside of which lie the somewhat larger Islands of Pulo Nankai (or Nási) and Pulo Brás, whilst Pulo Wai lies further east.[1] I imagine, however, that the name was by the older navigators applied to the larger Island of Pulo Bras, or to the whole group. Thus Alexander Hamilton, who calls it Gomus and Pulo Gomuis, says that "from the Island of Gomus and Pulo Wey … the southernmost of the Nicobars may be seen." Dampier most precisely applies the name of Pulo Gomez to the larger island which modern charts call Pulo Bras. So also Beaulieu couples the islands of "Gomispoda and Pulo Way" in front of the roadstead of Achin. De Barros mentions that Gaspar d'Acosta was lost on the Island of Gomispola. Linschoten, describing the course from Cochin to Malacca, says: "You take your course towards the small Isles of GOMESPOLA, which are in 6°, near the corner of Achin in the Island of Sumatra." And the Turkish author of the Mohit, in speaking of the same navigation, says: "If you wish to reach Malacca, guard against seeing JÁMISFULAH ([Arabic]), because the mountains of LÁMRI advance into the sea, and the flood is there very strong." The editor has misunderstood the geography of this passage, which evidently means "Don't go near enough to Achin Head to see even the islands in front of it." And here we see again that Lambri is made to extend to Achin Head. The passage is illustrated by the report of the first English Voyage to the Indies. Their course was for the Nicobars, but "by the Master's fault in not duly observing the South Star, they fell to the southward of them, within sight of the Islands of Gomes Polo." (Nept. Orient. Charts 38 and 39, and pp. 126-127; Hamilton, II. 66 and Map; Dampier, ed. 1699, II. 122; H. Gén. des Voyages, XII. 310; Linschoten, Routier, p. 30; De Barros, Dec. III. liv. iii. cap. 3; J.A.S.B. VI. 807; Astley, I. 238.)

The two islands (or rather groups of islands) Necuveran and Angamanain are the Nicobar and Andaman groups. A nearer trace of the form Necuveran, or Necouran as it stands in some MSS., is perhaps preserved in Nancouri, the existing name of one of the islands. They are perhaps the Nalo-kilo-chéu (Narikela-dvipa) or Coco-nut Islands of which Hiuen Tsang speaks as existing some thousand li to the south of Ceylon. The men, he had heard, were but 3 feet high, and had the beaks of birds. They had no cultivation and lived on coco-nuts. The islands are also believed to be the Lanja bálús or Lankha bálús of the old Arab navigators: "These Islands support a numerous population. Both men and women go naked, only the women wear a girdle of the leaves of trees. When a ship passes near, the men come out in boats of various sizes and barter ambergris and coco-nuts for iron," a description which has applied accurately for many centuries. [Ibn Khordâdhbeh says (De Goeje's transl., p. 45) that the inhabitants of Nicobar (Alankabâlous), an island situated at ten or fifteen days from Serendib, are naked; they live on bananas, fresh fish, and coco-nuts; the precious metal is iron in their country; they frequent foreign merchants.—H.C.] Rashiduddin writes of them nearly in the same terms under the name of Lákváram, but read NÁKAVÁRAM opposite LAMURI. Odoric also has a chapter on the island of Nicoveran, but it is one full of fable. (H. Tsang, III. 114 and 517; Relations, p. 8; Elliot, I. p. 71; Cathay, p. 97.)

[Mr. G. Phillips writes (J.R.A.S., July 1895, P. 529) that the name Tsui-lan given to the Nicobars by the Chinese is, he has but little doubt, "a corruption of Nocueran, the name given by Marco Polo to the group. The characters Tsui-lan are pronounced Ch'ui-lan in Amoy, out of which it is easy to make Cueran. The Chinese omitted the initial syllable and called them the Cueran Islands, while Marco Polo called them the Nocueran Islands."—H.C.]

[The Nicobar Islands "are generally known by the Chinese under the name of Râkchas or Demons who devour men, from the belief that their inhabitants were anthropophagi. In A.D. 607, the Emperor of China, Yang-ti, had sent an envoy to Siam, who also reached the country of the Râkchas. According to Tu-yen's T'ung-tien, the Nicobars lie east [west] of Poli. Its inhabitants are very ugly, having red hair, black bodies, teeth like beasts, and claws like hawks. Sometimes they traded with Lin-yih (Champa), but then at night; in day-time they covered their faces." (G. Schlegel, Geog. Notes, I. pp. 1-2).—H.C.]

Mr. Phillips, from his anonymous Chinese author, gives a quaint legend as to the nakedness of these islanders. Sakya Muni, having arrived from Ceylon, stopped at the islands to bathe. Whilst he was in the water the natives stole his clothes, upon which the Buddha cursed them; and they have never since been able to wear any clothing without suffering for it.

[Professor Schlegel gives the same legend (Geog. Notes, I. p. 8) with reference to the Andaman Islands from the Sing-ch'a Shêng-lan, published in 1436 by Fei-sin; Mr. Phillips seems to have made a confusion between the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. (Doolittle's Vocab. II. p. 556; cf. Schlegel, l.c. p. 11.)—H.C.]

The chief part of the population is believed to be of race akin to the Malay, but they seem to be of more than one race, and there is great variety in dialect. There have long been reports of a black tribe with woolly hair in the unknown interior of the Great Nicobar, and my friend Colonel H. Man, when Superintendent of our Andaman Settlements, received spontaneous corroboration of this from natives of the former island, who were on a visit to Port Blair. Since this has been in type I have seen in the F. of India (28th July, 1874) notice of a valuable work by F.A. de Roepstorff on the dialects and manners of the Nicobarians. This notice speaks of an aboriginal race called Shob'aengs, "purely Mongolian," but does not mention negritoes. The natives do not now go quite naked; the men wear a narrow cloth; and the women a grass girdle. They are very skilful in management of their canoes. Some years since there were frightful disclosures regarding the massacre of the crews of vessels touching at these islands, and this has led eventually to their occupation by the Indian Government. Trinkat and Nancouri are the islands which were guilty. A woman of Trinkat who could speak Malay was examined by Colonel Man, and she acknowledged having seen nineteen vessels scuttled, after their cargoes had been plundered and their crews massacred. "The natives who were captured at Trinkat," says Colonel Man in another letter, "were a most savage-looking set, with remarkably long arms, and very projecting eye-teeth."

The islands have always been famous for the quality and abundance of their "Indian Nuts," i.e. cocos. The tree of next importance to the natives is a kind of Pandanus, from the cooked fruit of which they express an edible substance called Melori, of which you may read in Dampier; they have the betel and areca; and they grow yams, but only for barter. As regards the other vegetation, mentioned by Polo, I will quote, what Colonel Man writes to me from the Andamans, which probably is in great measure applicable to the Nicobars also! "Our woods are very fine, and doubtless resemble those of the Nicobars. Sapan wood (i.e. Polo's Brazil) is in abundance; coco-nuts, so numerous in the Nicobars, and to the north in the Cocos, are not found naturally with us, though they grow admirably when cultivated. There is said to be sandal-wood in our forests, and camphor, but I have not yet come across them. I do not believe in cloves, but we have lots of the wild nutmeg."[2] The last, and cardamoms, are mentioned in the Voyage of the Novara, vol. ii., in which will be found a detail of the various European attempts to colonise the Nicobar Islands with other particulars. (See also J.A.S.B. XV. 344 seqq.) [See Schlegel's Geog. Notes, XVI., The Old States in the Island of Sumatra.—H.C.]

[1] It was a mistake to suppose the name had disappeared, for it is applied, in the form Pulo Gaimr, to the small island above indicated, in Colonel Versteeg's map to Veth's Atchin (1873). In a map chiefly borrowed from that, in Ocean Highways, August, 1873, I have ventured to restore the name as Pulo Gomus. The name is perhaps (Mal.) Gamás, "hard, rough."

[2] Kurz's Vegetation of the Andaman Islands gives four myristicae (nutmegs); but no sandal-wood nor camphor-laurel. Nor do I find sappan-wood, though there is another Caesalpinia (C. Nuga).



Angamanain is a very large Island. The people are without a king and are Idolaters, and no better than wild beasts. And I assure you all the men of this Island of Angamanain have heads like dogs, and teeth and eyes likewise; in fact, in the face they are all just like big mastiff dogs! They have a quantity of spices; but they are a most cruel generation, and eat everybody that they can catch, if not of their own race.[NOTE 1] They live on flesh and rice and milk, and have fruits different from any of ours.

Now that I have told you about this race of people, as indeed it was highly proper to do in this our book, I will go on to tell you about an Island called Seilan, as you shall hear.

NOTE 1.—Here Marco speaks of the remarkable population of the Andaman Islands—Oriental negroes in the lowest state of barbarism—who have remained in their isolated and degraded condition, so near the shores of great civilised countries, for so many ages. "Rice and milk" they have not, and their fruits are only wild ones.

[From the Sing-ch'a Shêng-lan quoted by Professor Schlegel (Geog. Notes, I. p. 8) we learn that these islanders have neither "rice or corn, but only descend into the sea and catch fish and shrimps in their nets; they also plant Banians and Cocoa-trees for their food."—H.C.]

I imagine our traveller's form Angamanain to be an Arabic (oblique) dual—"The two ANDAMANS," viz. The Great and The Little, the former being in truth a chain of three islands, but so close and nearly continuous as to form apparently one, and to be named as such.

[Illustration: The Borús. (From a Manuscript.)]

[Professor Schlegel writes (Geog. Notes. I. p. 12): "This etymology is to be rejected because the old Chinese transcription gives So—(or Sun) damân…. The Pien-i-tien (ch. 107, I. fol. 30) gives a description of Andaman, here called An-to-man kwoh, quoted from the San-tsai Tu-hwui."—H.C.]

The origin of the name seems to be unknown. The only person to my knowledge who has given a meaning to it is Nicolo Conti, who says it means "Island of Gold"; probably a mere sailor's yarn. The name, however, is very old, and may perhaps be traced in Ptolemy; for he names an island of cannibals called that of Good Fortune, [Greek: Agathoû daímonos]. It seems probable enough that this was [Greek: Agdaimóuos Naêsos], or the like, "The Angdaman Island," misunderstood. His next group of Islands is the Barussae, which seems again to be the Lankha Bálús of the oldest Arab navigators, since these are certainly the Nicobars. [The name first appears distinctly in the Arab narratives of the 9th century. (Yule, Hobson-Jobson.)]

The description of the natives of the Andaman Islands in the early Arab Relations has been often quoted, but it is too like our traveller's account to be omitted: "The inhabitants of these islands eat men alive. They are black with woolly hair, and in their eyes and countenance there is something quite frightful…. They go naked, and have no boats. If they had they would devour all who passed near them. Sometimes ships that are wind-bound, and have exhausted their provision of water, touch here and apply to the natives for it; in such cases the crew sometimes fall into the hands of the latter, and most of them are massacred" (p. 9).

[Illustration: The Cynocephali. (From the Livre des Merveilles.)]

The traditional charge of cannibalism against these people used to be very persistent, though it is generally rejected since our settlement upon the group in 1858. Mr. Logan supposes the report was cherished by those who frequented the islands for edible birds' nests, in order to keep the monopoly. Of their murdering the crews of wrecked vessels, like their Nicobar neighbours, I believe there is no doubt; and it has happened in our own day. Cesare Federici, in Ramusio, speaks of the terrible fate of crews wrecked on the Andamans; all such were killed and eaten by the natives, who refused all intercourse with strangers. A. Hamilton mentions a friend of his who was wrecked on the islands; nothing more was ever heard of the ship's company, "which gave ground to conjecture that they were all devoured by those savage cannibals."

They do not, in modern times, I believe, in their canoes, quit their own immediate coast, but Hamilton says they used, in his time, to come on forays to the Nicobar Islands; and a paper in the Asiatic Researches mentions a tradition to the same effect as existing on the Car Nicobar. They have retained all the aversion to intercourse anciently ascribed to them, and they still go naked as of old, the utmost exception being a leaf-apron worn by the women near the British Settlement.

The Dog-head feature is at least as old as Ctesias. The story originated, I imagine, in the disgust with which "allophylian" types of countenance are regarded, kindred to the feeling which makes the Hindus and other eastern nations represent the aborigines whom they superseded as demons. The Cubans described the Caribs to Columbus as man-eaters with dogs' muzzles; and the old Danes had tales of Cynocephali in Finland. A curious passage from the Arab geographer Ibn Said pays an ambiguous compliment to the forefathers of Moltke and Von Roon: "The Borús (Prussians) are a miserable people, and still more savage than the Russians….. One reads in some books _that the _Borús have dogs' faces; it is a way of saying that they are very brave" Ibn Batuta describes an Indo-Chinese tribe on the coast of Arakan or Pegu as having dogs' mouths, but says the women were beautiful. Friar Jordanus had heard the same of the dog-headed islanders. And one odd form of the story, found, strange to say, both in China and diffused over Ethiopia, represents the males as actual dogs whilst the females are women. Oddly, too, Père Barbe tells us that a tradition of the Nicobar people themselves represent them as of canine descent, but on the female side! The like tale in early Portuguese days was told of the Peguans, viz. that they sprang from a dog and a Chinese woman. It is mentioned by Camoens (X. 122). Note, however, that in Colonel Man's notice of the wilder part of the Nicobar people the projecting canine teeth are spoken of.

Abraham Roger tells us that the Coromandel Brahmans used to say that the Rákshasas or Demons had their abode "on the Island of Andaman lying on the route from Pulicat to Pegu," and also that they were man-eaters. This would be very curious if it were a genuine old Brahmanical Saga; but I fear it may have been gathered from the Arab seamen. Still it is remarkable that a strange weird-looking island, a steep and regular volcanic cone, which rises covered with forest to a height of 2150 feet, straight out of the deep sea to the eastward of the Andaman group, bears the name Narkandam, in which one cannot but recognise [Script], Narak, "Hell"; perhaps Naraka-kundam, "a pit of hell." Can it be that in old times, but still contemporary with Hindu navigation, this volcano was active, and that some Brahman St. Brandon recognised in it the mouth of Hell, congenial to the Rakshasas of the adjacent group?

  "Si est de saint Brandon le matère furnie;
  Qui fu si près d'enfer, à nef et à galie,
  Que déable d'enfer issirent, par maistrie,
  Getans brandons de feu, pour lui faire hasquie."
      —Bauduin de Seboure, I. 123.

(Ramusio, III. 391; Ham. II. 65; Navarrete (Fr. Ed.), II. 101; Cathay, 467; Bullet. de la Soc. de Géog. sér. IV. tom iii. 36-37; J.A.S.B. u.s.; Reinaud's Abulfeda, I. 315; J. Ind. Arch., N.S., III. I. 105; La Porte Ouverte, p. 188.) [I shall refer to my edition of Odoric, 206-217, for a long notice on dog-headed barbarians; I reproduce here two of the cuts.—H.C.]



When you leave the Island of Angamanain and sail about a thousand miles in a direction a little south of west, you come to the Island of SEILAN, [NOTE 1] which is in good sooth the best Island of its size in the world. You must know that it has a compass of 2400 miles, but in old times it was greater still, for it then had a circuit of about 3600 miles, as you find in the charts of the mariners of those seas. But the north wind there blows with such strength that it has caused the sea to submerge a large part of the Island; and that is the reason why it is not so big now as it used to be. For you must know that, on the side where the north wind strikes, the Island is very low and flat, insomuch that in approaching on board ship from the high seas you do not see the land till you are right upon it.[NOTE 2] Now I will tell you all about this Island.

[Illustration: MAP to Illustrate POLO'S Chapters on India
MAP to Illustrate POLO's Chapters on the Malay Countries]

They have a king there whom they call SENDEMAIN, and are tributary to nobody.[NOTE 3] The people are Idolaters, and go quite naked except that they cover the middle. They have no wheat, but have rice, and sesamum of which they make their oil. They live on flesh and milk, and have tree-wine such as I have told you of. And they have brazil-wood, much the best in the world.[NOTE 4]

Now I will quit these particulars, and tell you of the most precious article that exists in the world. You must know that rubies are found in this Island and in no other country in the world but this. They find there also sapphires and topazes and amethysts, and many other stones of price. And the King of this Island possesses a ruby which is the finest and biggest in the world; I will tell you what it is like. It is about a palm in length, and as thick as a man's arm; to look at, it is the most resplendent object upon earth; it is quite free from flaw and as red as fire. Its value is so great that a price for it in money could hardly be named at all. You must know that the Great Kaan sent an embassy and begged the King as a favour greatly desired by him to sell him this ruby, offering to give for it the ransom of a city, or in fact what the King would. But the King replied that on no account whatever would he sell it, for it had come to him from his ancestors.[NOTE 5]

The people of Seilan are no soldiers, but poor cowardly creatures. And when they have need of soldiers they get Saracen troops from foreign parts.

[NOTE 1.—Mr. Geo. Phillips gives (Seaports of India, p. 216 et seqq.) the Star Chart used by Chinese Navigators on their return voyage from Ceylon to Su-men-tâ-la.—H.C.]

NOTE 2.—Valentyn appears to be repeating a native tradition when he says: "In old times the island had, as they loosely say, a good 400 miles (i.e. Dutch, say 1600 miles) of compass, but at the north end the sea has from time to time carried away a large part of it." (Ceylon, in vol. v., p. 18.) Curious particulars touching the exaggerated ideas of the ancients, inherited by the Arabs, as to the dimensions of Ceylon, will be found in Tennent's Ceylon, ch. i. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang has the same tale. According to him, the circuit was 7000 li, or 1400 miles. We see from Marco's curious notice of the old charts (G.T. "selonc qe se treuve en la mapemondi des mariner de cel mer") that travellers had begun to find that the dimensions were exaggerated. The real circuit is under 700 miles!

On the ground that all the derivations of the name SAILAN or CEYLON from the old Sinhala, Serendib, and what not, seem forced, Van der Tuuk has suggested that the name may have been originally Javanese, being formed (he says) according to the rules of that language from Sela, "a precious stone," so that Pulo Selan would be the "Island of Gems." [Professor Schlegel says (Geog. Notes, I. p. 19, note) that "it seems better to think of the Sanskrit sila, 'a stone or rock,' or saila, 'a mountain,' which agree with the Chinese interpretation."—H.C.] The Island was really called anciently Ratnadvipa, "the Island of Gems" (Mém. de H.Y., II. 125, and Harivansa, I. 403); and it is termed by an Arab Historian of the 9th century Jazírat al Yákút, "The Isle of Rubies." [The (Chinese) characters ya-ku-pao-shih are in some accounts of Ceylon used to express Yákút. (Ma-Huan, transl. by Phillips, p. 213.)—H.C.] As a matter of fact, we derive originally from the Malays nearly all the forms we have adopted for names of countries reached by sea to the east of the Bay of Bengal, e.g. Awa, Barma, Paigu, Siyam, China, Japún, Kochi (Cochin China), Champa, Kamboja, Malúka (properly a place in the Island of Ceram), Súlúk, Burnei, Tanasari, Martavan, etc. That accidents in the history of marine affairs in those seas should have led to the adoption of the Malay and Javanese names in the case of Ceylon also is at least conceivable. But Dr. Caldwell has pointed out to me that the Páli form of Sinhala was Sihalan, and that this must have been colloquially shortened to Sîlan, for it appears in old Tamul inscriptions as Ilam.[1] Hence there is nothing really strained in the derivation of Sailán from Sinhala. Tennent (Ceylon, I. 549) and Crawford (Malay Dict. p. 171) ascribe the name Selan, Zeilan, to the Portuguese, but this is quite unfounded, as our author sufficiently testifies. The name Sailán also occurs in Rashiduddin, in Hayton, and in Jordanus (see next note). (See Van der Tuuk, work quoted above (p. 287), p. 118; J. As. sér. IV., tom. viii. 145; J. Ind. Arch. IV. 187; Elliot, I. 70.) [Sinhala or Sihala, "lions' abode," with the addition of "Island," Sihala-dvipa, comes down to us in Cosmas [Greek: Sieledíba] (Hobson-Jobson).]

NOTE 3.—The native king at this time was Pandita Prakrama Bahu III., who reigned from 1267 to 1301 at Dambadenia, about 40 miles north-north-east of Columbo. But the Tamuls of the continent had recently been in possession of the whole northern half of the island. The Singhalese Chronicle represents Prakrama to have recovered it from them, but they are so soon again found in full force that the completeness of this recovery may be doubted. There were also two invasions of Malays (Javaku) during this reign, under the lead of a chief called Chandra Banu. On the second occasion this invader was joined by a large Tamul reinforcement. Sir E. Tennent suggests that this Chandra Banu may be Polo's Sende-main or Sendernaz, as Ramusio has it. Or he may have been the Tamul chief in the north; the first part of the name may have been either Chandra or Sundara.

NOTE 4.—Kazwini names the brazil, or sapan-wood of Ceylon. Ibn Batuta
speaks of its abundance (IV. 166); and Ribeyro does the like (ed. of
Columbo, 1847, p. 16); see also Ritter, VI. 39, 122; and Trans. R.A.S.
I. 539.

Sir E. Tennent has observed that Ibn Batuta is the first to speak of the Ceylon cinnamon. It is, however, mentioned by Kazwini (circa A.D. 1275), and in a letter written from Mabar by John of Montecorvino about the very time that Marco was in these seas. (See Ethe's Kazwini, 229, and Cathay, 213.)

[Mr. G. Phillips, in the Jour. China B.R.A.Soc., XX. 1885, pp. 209-226; XXI. 1886, pp. 30-42, has given, under the title of The Seaports of India and Ceylon, a translation of some parts of the Ying-yai-sheng-lan, a work of a Chinese Mahomedan, Ma-Huan, who was attached to the suite of Ch'êng-Ho, an envoy of the Emperor Yong-Lo (A.D. 1403-1425) to foreign countries. Mr. Phillips's translation is a continuation of the Notes of Mr. W.P. Groeneveldt, who leaves us at Lambri, on the coast of Sumatra. Ma-Huan takes us to the Ts'ui-lan Islands (Nicobars) and to Hsi-lan-kuo (Ceylon), whose "people," he says (p. 214), "are abundantly supplied with all the necessaries of life. They go about naked, except that they wear a green handkerchief round their loins, fastened with a waist-band. Their bodies are clean-shaven, and only the hair of their heads is left…. They take no meal without butter and milk, if they have none and wish to eat, they do so unobserved and in private. The betel-nut is never out of their mouths. They have no wheat, but have rice, sesamum, and peas. The cocoa-nut, which they have in abundance, supplies them with oil, wine, sugar, and food." Ma-Huan arrived at Ceylon at Pieh-lo-li, on the 6th of the 11th moon (seventh year, Süan Têh, end of 1432). Cf. Sylvain Lévi, Ceylan et la Chine, J. As., Mai-juin, 1900, p. 411 seqq.

Odoric and the Adjaîb do not mention cinnamon among the products of Ceylon; this omission was one of the arguments of Dr. Schumann (Ergänz. No. 73 zu Petermann's Mitt., 1883, p. 46) against the authenticity of the Adjaîb. These arguments have been refuted in the Livre des Merveilles de l'Inde, p. 265 seqq.

Nicolo Conti, speaking of the "very noble island called Zeilan," says (p. 7): "Here also cinnamon grows in great abundance. It is a tree which very much resembles our thick willows, excepting that the branches do not grow upwards, but are spread out horizontally: the leaves are very like those of the laurel, but are somewhat larger. The bark of the branches is the thinnest and best, that of the trunk of the tree is thicker and inferior in flavour. The fruit resembles the berries of the laurel; an odoriferous oil is extracted from it adapted for ointments, which are much used by the Indians. When the bark is stripped off, the wood is used for fuel."—H.C.]

NOTE 5.—There seems to have been always afloat among Indian travellers, at least from the time of Cosmas (6th century), some wonderful story about the ruby or rubies of the king of Ceylon. With Cosmas, and with the Chinese Hiuen Tsang, in the following century, this precious object is fixed on the top of a pagoda, "a hyacinth, they say, of great size and brilliant ruddy colour, as big as a great pine-cone; and when 'tis seen from a distance flashing, especially if the sun's rays strike upon it, 'tis a glorious and incomparable spectacle." Our author's contemporary, Hayton, had heard of the great ruby: "The king of that Island of Celan hath the largest and finest ruby in existence. When his coronation takes place this ruby is placed in his hand, and he goes round the city on horseback holding it in his hand, and thenceforth all recognise and obey him as their king." Odoric too speaks of the great ruby and the Kaan's endeavours to get it, though by some error the circumstance is referred to Nicoveran instead of Ceylon. Ibn Batuta saw in the possession of Arya Chakravarti, a Tamul chief ruling at Patlam, a ruby bowl as big as the palm of one's hand. Friar Jordanus speaks of two great rubies belonging to the king of SYLEN, each so large that when grasped in the hand it projected a finger's breadth at either side. The fame, at least, of these survived to the 16th century, for Andrea Corsali (1515) says: "They tell that the king of this island possesses two rubies of colour so brilliant and vivid that they look like a flame of fire."

Sir E. Tennent, on this subject, quotes from a Chinese work a statement that early in the 14th century the Emperor sent an officer to Ceylon to purchase a carbuncle of unusual lustre. This was fitted as a ball to the Emperor's cap; it was upwards of an ounce in weight and cost 100,000 strings of cash. Every time a grand levee was held at night the red lustre filled the palace, and hence it was designated "The Red Palace-Illuminator." (I.B. IV. 174-175; Cathay, p. clxxvii.; Hayton, ch. vi.; Jord. p. 30; Ramus. I. 180; Ceylon, I. 568).

["This mountain [Adam's Peak] abounds with rubies of all kinds and other precious stones. These gems are being continually washed out of the ground by heavy rains, and are sought for and found in the sand carried down the hill by the torrents. It is currently reported among the people, that these precious stones are the congealed tears of Buddha." (Ma-Huan, transl. by Phillips, p. 213.)

In the Chinese work Cho keng lu, containing notes on different matters referring to the time of the Mongol Dynasty, in ch. vii. entitled Hwui hwui shi t'ou ("Precious Stones of the Mohammedans") among the four kinds of red stones is mentioned the si-la-ni of a dark red colour; si-la-ni, as Dr. Bretschneider observes (Med. Res. I. p. 174), means probably "from Ceylon." The name for ruby in China is now-a-days hung pao shi, "red precious stone." (Ibid. p. 173.)—H.C.]

[1] The old Tamul alphabet has no sibilant.



Furthermore you must know that in the Island of Seilan there is an exceeding high mountain; it rises right up so steep and precipitous that no one could ascend it, were it not that they have taken and fixed to it several great and massive iron chains, so disposed that by help of these men are able to mount to the top. And I tell you they say that on this mountain is the sepulchre of Adam our first parent; at least that is what the Saracens say. But the Idolaters say that it is the sepulchre of SAGAMONI BORCAN, before whose time there were no idols. They hold him to have been the best of men, a great saint in fact, according to their fashion, and the first in whose name idols were made.[NOTE 1]

He was the son, as their story goes, of a great and wealthy king. And he was of such an holy temper that he would never listen to any worldly talk, nor would he consent to be king. And when the father saw that his son would not be king, nor yet take any part in affairs, he took it sorely to heart. And first he tried to tempt him with great promises, offering to crown him king, and to surrender all authority into his hands. The son, however, would none of his offers; so the father was in great trouble, and all the more that he had no other son but him, to whom he might bequeath the kingdom at his own death. So, after taking thought on the matter, the King caused a great palace to be built, and placed his son therein, and caused him to be waited on there by a number of maidens, the most beautiful that could anywhere be found. And he ordered them to divert themselves with the prince, night and day, and to sing and dance before him, so as to draw his heart towards worldly enjoyments. But 'twas all of no avail, for none of those maidens could ever tempt the king's son to any wantonness, and he only abode the firmer in his chastity, leading a most holy life, after their manner thereof. And I assure you he was so staid a youth that he had never gone out of the palace, and thus he had never seen a dead man, nor any one who was not hale and sound; for the father never allowed any man that was aged or infirm to come into his presence. It came to pass however one day that the young gentleman took a ride, and by the roadside he beheld a dead man. The sight dismayed him greatly, as he never had seen such a sight before. Incontinently he demanded of those who were with him what thing that was? and then they told him it was a dead man. "How, then," quoth the king's son, "do all men die?" "Yea, forsooth," said they. Whereupon the young gentleman said never a word, but rode on right pensively. And after he had ridden a good way he fell in with a very aged man who could no longer walk, and had not a tooth in his head, having lost all because of his great age. And when the king's son beheld this old man he asked what that might mean, and wherefore the man could not walk? Those who were with him replied that it was through old age the man could walk no longer, and had lost all his teeth. And so when the king's son had thus learned about the dead man and about the aged man, he turned back to his palace and said to himself that he would abide no longer in this evil world, but would go in search of Him Who dieth not, and Who had created him.[NOTE 2]

So what did he one night but take his departure from the palace privily, and betake himself to certain lofty and pathless mountains. And there he did abide, leading a life of great hardship and sanctity, and keeping great abstinence, just as if he had been a Christian. Indeed, an he had but been so, he would have been a great saint of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so good and pure was the life he led.[NOTE 3] And when he died they found his body and brought it to his father. And when the father saw dead before him that son whom he loved better than himself, he was near going distraught with sorrow. And he caused an image in the similitude of his son to be wrought in gold and precious stones, and caused all his people to adore it. And they all declared him to be a god; and so they still say. [NOTE 4]

They tell moreover that he hath died fourscore and four times. The first time he died as a man, and came to life again as an ox; and then he died as an ox and came to life again as a horse, and so on until he had died fourscore and four times; and every time he became some kind of animal. But when he died the eighty-fourth time they say he became a god. And they do hold him for the greatest of all their gods. And they tell that the aforesaid image of him was the first idol that the Idolaters ever had; and from that have originated all the other idols. And this befel in the Island of Seilan in India.

The Idolaters come thither on pilgrimage from very long distances and with great devotion, just as Christians go to the shrine of Messer Saint James in Gallicia. And they maintain that the monument on the mountain is that of the king's son, according to the story I have been telling you; and that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish that are there were those of the same king's son, whose name was Sagamoni Borcan, or Sagamoni the Saint. But the Saracens also come thither on pilgrimage in great numbers, and they say that it is the sepulchre of Adam our first father, and that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish were those of Adam.[NOTE 5]

Whose they were in truth, God knoweth; howbeit, according to the Holy Scripture of our Church, the sepulchre of Adam is not in that part of the world.

Now it befel that the Great Kaan heard how on that mountain there was the sepulchre of our first father Adam, and that some of his hair and of his teeth, and the dish from which he used to eat, were still preserved there. So he thought he would get hold of them somehow or another, and despatched a great embassy for the purpose, in the year of Christ, 1284. The ambassadors, with a great company, travelled on by sea and by land until they arrived at the island of Seilan, and presented themselves before the king. And they were so urgent with him that they succeeded in getting two of the grinder teeth, which were passing great and thick; and they also got some of the hair, and the dish from which that personage used to eat, which is of a very beautiful green porphyry. And when the Great Kaan's ambassadors had attained the object for which they had come they were greatly rejoiced, and returned to their lord. And when they drew near to the great city of Cambaluc, where the Great Kaan was staying, they sent him word that they had brought back that for which he had sent them. On learning this the Great Kaan was passing glad, and ordered all the ecclesiastics and others to go forth to meet these reliques, which he was led to believe were those of Adam.

And why should I make a long story of it? In sooth, the whole population of Cambaluc went forth to meet those reliques, and the ecclesiastics took them over and carried them to the Great Kaan, who received them with great joy and reverence.[NOTE 6] And they find it written in their Scriptures that the virtue of that dish is such that if food for one man be put therein it shall become enough for five men: and the Great Kaan averred that he had proved the thing and found that it was really true.[NOTE 7]

So now you have heard how the Great Kaan came by those reliques; and a mighty great treasure it did cost him! The reliques being, according to the Idolaters, those of that king's son.

NOTE 1.—Sagamoni Borcan is, as Marsden points out, SAKYA-MUNI, or Gautama-Buddha, with the affix BURKHAN, or "Divinity," which is used by the Mongols as the synonym of Buddha.

"The Dewa of Samantakúta (Adam's Peak), Samana, having heard of the arrival of Budha (in Lanka or Ceylon) … presented a request that he would leave an impression of his foot upon the mountain of which he was guardian…. In the midst of the assembled Dewas, Budha, looking towards the East, made the impression of his foot, in length three inches less than the cubit of the carpenter; and the impression remained as a seal to show that Lanka is the inheritance of Budha, and that his religion will here flourish." (Hardy's Manual, p. 212.)

[Ma-Huan says (p. 212): "On landing (at Ceylon), there is to be seen on the shining rock at the base of the cliff, an impress of a foot two or more feet in length. The legend attached to it is, that it is the imprint of Shâkyamuni's foot, made when he landed at this place, coming from the Ts'ui-lan (Nicobar) Islands. There is a little water in the hollow of the imprint of this foot, which never evaporates. People dip their hands in it and wash their faces, and rub their eyes with it, saying: 'This is Buddha's water, which will make us pure and clean.'"—H.C.]

[Illustration: Adam's Peak.

"Or est voir qe en ceste ysle a une montagne mont haut et si degrot de les rocches qe nul hi puent monter sus se ne en ceste mainere qe je voz dirai"….]

"The veneration with which this majestic mountain has been regarded for ages, took its rise in all probability amongst the aborigines of Ceylon…. In a later age, … the hollow in the lofty rock that crowns the summit was said by the Brahmans to be the footstep of Siva, by the Buddhists of Buddha, … by the Gnostics of Ieu, by the Mahometans of Adam, whilst the Portuguese authorities were divided between the conflicting claims of St. Thomas and the eunuch of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia." (Tennent, II. 133.)

["Near to the King's residence there is a lofty mountain reaching to the skies. On the top of this mountain there is the impress of a man's foot, which is sunk two feet deep in the rock, and is some eight or more feet long. This is said to be the impress of the foot of the ancestor of mankind, a Holy man called A-tan, otherwise P'an-Ku." (Ma-Huan, p. 213.)—H.C.]

Polo, however, says nothing of the foot; he speaks only of the sepulchre of Adam, or of Sakya-muni. I have been unable to find any modern indication of the monument that was shown by the Mahomedans as the tomb, and sometimes as the house, of Adam; but such a structure there certainly was, perhaps an ancient Kist-vaen, or the like. John Marignolli, who was there about 1349, has an interesting passage on the subject: "That exceeding high mountain hath a pinnacle of surpassing height, which on account of the clouds can rarely be seen. [The summit is lost in the clouds. (Ibn Khordâdhbeh, p. 43.)—H.C.] But God, pitying our tears, lighted it up one morning just before the sun rose, so that we beheld it glowing with the brightest flame. [They say that a flame bursts constantly, like a lightning, from the Summit of the mountain.—(Ibn Khordâdhbeh, p. 44.)—H.C.] In the way down from this mountain there is a fine level spot, still at a great height, and there you find in order: first, the mark of Adam's foot; secondly, a certain statue of a sitting figure, with the left hand resting on the knee, and the right hand raised and extended towards the west; lastly, there is the house (of Adam), which he made with his own hands. It is of an oblong quadrangular shape like a sepulchre, with a door in the middle, and is formed of great tabular slabs of marble, not cemented, but merely laid one upon another. (Cathay, 358.) A Chinese account, translated in Amyot's Mémoires, says that at the foot of the mountain is a Monastery of Bonzes, in which is seen the veritable body of Fo, in the attitude of a man lying on his side" (XIV. 25). [Ma-Huan says (p. 212): "Buddhist temples abound there. In one of them there is to be seen a full length recumbent figure of Shâkyamuni, still in a very good state of preservation. The dais on which the figure reposes is inlaid with all kinds of precious stones. It is made of sandalwood and is very handsome. The temple contains a Buddha's tooth and other relics. This must certainly be the place where Shâkyamuni entered Nirvâna."—H.C.] Osorio, also, in his history of Emanuel of Portugal, says: "Not far from it (the Peak) people go to see a small temple in which are two sepulchres, which are the objects of an extraordinary degree of superstitious devotion. For they believe that in these were buried the bodies of the first man and his wife" (f. 120 v.). A German traveller (Daniel Parthey, Nurnberg, 1698) also speaks of the tomb of Adam and his sons on the mountain. (See Fabricius, Cod. Pseudep. Vet. Test. II. 31; also Ouseley's Travels, I. 59.)

It is a perplexing circumstance that there is a double set of indications about the footmark. The Ceylon traditions, quoted above from Hardy, call its length 3 inches less than a carpenter's cubit. Modern observers estimate it at 5 feet or 5-1/2 feet. Hardy accounts for this by supposing that the original footmark was destroyed in the end of the sixteenth century. But Ibn Batuta, in the 14th, states it at 11 spans, or more than the modern report. [Ibn Khordâdhbeh at 70 cubits.—H.C.] Marignolli, on the other hand, says that he measured it and found it to be 2-1/2 palms, or about half a Prague ell, which corresponds in a general way with Hardy's tradition. Valentyn calls it 1-1/2 ell in length; Knox says 2 feet; Herman Bree (De Bry ?), quoted by Fabricius, 8-1/2 spans; a Chinese account, quoted below, 8 feet. These discrepancies remind one of the ancient Buddhist belief regarding such footmarks, that they seemed greater or smaller in proportion to the faith of the visitor! (See Koeppen, I. 529, and Beal's Fah-hian, p. 27.)

The chains, of which Ibn Batuta gives a particular account, exist still. The highest was called (he says) the chain of the Shahádat, or Credo, because the fearful abyss below made pilgrims recite the profession of belief. Ashraf, a Persian poet of the 15th century, author of an Alexandriad, ascribes these chains to the great conqueror, who devised them, with the assistance of the philosopher Bolinas,[1] in order to scale the mountain, and reach the sepulchre of Adam. (See Ouseley, I. 54 seqq.) There are inscriptions on some of the chains, but I find no account of them. (Skeen's Adam's Peak, Ceylon, 1870, p. 226.)

NOTE 2.—The general correctness with which Marco has here related the legendary history of Sakya's devotion to an ascetic life, as the preliminary to his becoming the Buddha or Divinely Perfect Being, shows what a strong impression the tale had made upon him. He is, of course, wrong in placing the scene of the history in Ceylon, though probably it was so told him, as the vulgar in all Buddhist countries do seem to localise the legends in regions known to them.

Sakya Sinha, Sakya Muni, or Gautama, originally called Siddhárta, was the son of Súddhodhana, the Kshatriya prince of Kapilavastu, a small state north of the Ganges, near the borders of Oudh. His high destiny had been foretold, as well as the objects that would move him to adopt the ascetic life. To keep these from his knowledge, his father caused three palaces to be built, within the limits of which the prince should pass the three seasons of the year, whilst guards were posted to bar the approach of the dreaded objects. But these precautions were defeated by inevitable destiny and the power of the Devas.

When the prince was sixteen he was married to the beautiful Yasodhara, daughter of the King of Koli, and 40,000 other princesses also became the inmates of his harem.

"Whilst living in the midst of the full enjoyment of every kind of pleasure, Siddhárta one day commanded his principal charioteer to prepare his festive chariot; and in obedience to his commands four lily-white horses were yoked. The prince leaped into the chariot, and proceeded towards a garden at a little distance from the palace, attended by a great retinue. On his way he saw a decrepit old man, with broken teeth, grey locks, and a form bending towards the ground, his trembling steps supported by a staff (a Deva had taken this form)…. The prince enquired what strange figure it was that he saw; and he was informed that it was an old man. He then asked if the man was born so, and the charioteer answered that he was not, as he was once young like themselves. 'Are there,' said the prince, 'many such beings in the world?' 'Your highness,' said the charioteer, 'there are many.' The prince again enquired, 'Shall I become thus old and decrepit?' and he was told that it was a state at which all beings must arrive."

The prince returns home and informs his father of his intention to become an ascetic, seeing how undesirable is life tending to such decay. His father conjures him to put away such thoughts, and to enjoy himself with his princesses, and he strengthens the guards about the palaces. Four months later like circumstances recur, and the prince sees a leper, and after the same interval a dead body in corruption. Lastly, he sees a religious recluse, radiant with peace and tranquillity, and resolves to delay no longer. He leaves his palace at night, after a look at his wife Yasodhara and the boy just born to him, and betakes himself to the forests of Magadha, where he passes seven years in extreme asceticism. At the end of that time he attains the Buddhahood. (See Hardy's Manual p. 151 seqq.) The latter part of the story told by Marco, about the body of the prince being brought to his father, etc., is erroneous. Sakya was 80 years of age when he died under the sál trees in Kusinára.

The strange parallel between Buddhistic ritual, discipline, and costume, and those which especially claim the name of CATHOLIC in the Christian Church, has been often noticed; and though the parallel has never been elaborated as it might be, some of the more salient facts are familiar to most readers. Still many may be unaware that Buddha himself, Siddhárta the son of Súddodhana, has found his way into the Roman martyrology as a Saint of the Church.

In the first edition a mere allusion was made to this singular story, for it had recently been treated by Professor Max Müller, with characteristic learning and grace. (See Contemporary Review for July, 1870, p. 588.) But the matter is so curious and still so little familiar that I now venture to give it at some length.

The religious romance called the History of BARLAAM and JOSAPHAT was for several centuries one of the most popular works in Christendom. It was translated into all the chief European languages, including Scandinavian and Sclavonic tongues. An Icelandic version dates from the year 1204; one in the Tagal language of the Philippines was printed at Manilla in 1712.[2] The episodes and apologues with which the story abounds have furnished materials to poets and story-tellers in various ages and of very diverse characters; e.g. to Giovanni Boccaccio, John Gower, and to the compiler of the Gesta Romanorum, to Shakspere, and to the late W. Adams, author of the Kings Messengers. The basis of this romance is the story of Siddhárta.

The story of Barlaam and Josaphat first appears among the works (in Greek) of St. John of Damascus, a theologian of the early part of the 8th century, who, before he devoted himself to divinity had held high office at the Court of the Khalif Abu Jáfar Almansúr. The outline of the story is as follows:—

St. Thomas had converted the people of India to the truth; and after the eremitic life originated in Egypt many in India adopted it. But a potent pagan King arose, by name ABENNER, who persecuted the Christians and especially the ascetics. After this King had long been childless, a son, greatly desired, is born to him, a boy of matchless beauty. The King greatly rejoices, gives the child the name of JOSAPHAT, and summons the astrologers to predict his destiny. They foretell for the prince glory and prosperity beyond all his predecessors in the kingdom. One sage, most learned of all, assents to this, but declares that the scene of these glories will not be the paternal realm, and that the child will adopt the faith that his father persecutes.

This prediction greatly troubled King Abenner. In a secluded city he caused a splendid palace to be erected, within which his son was to abide, attended only by tutors and servants in the flower of youth and health. No one from without was to have access to the prince; and he was to witness none of the afflictions of humanity, poverty, disease, old age, or death, but only what was pleasant, so that he should have no inducement to think of the future life; nor was he ever to hear a word of CHRIST or His religion. And, hearing that some monks still survived in India, the King in his wrath ordered that any such, who should be found after three days, should be burnt alive.

The Prince grows up in seclusion, acquires all manner of learning, and exhibits singular endowments of wisdom and acuteness. At last he urges his father to allow him to pass the limits of the palace, and this the King reluctantly permits, after taking all precautions to arrange diverting spectacles, and to keep all painful objects at a distance. Or let us proceed in the Old English of the Golden Legend.[3] "Whan his fader herde this he was full of sorowe, and anone he let do make redy horses and joyfull felawshyp to accompany him, in suche wyse that nothynge dyshonest sholde happen to hym. And on a tyme thus as the Kynges sone wente he mette a mesell and a blynde man, and whã he sawe them he was abasshed and enquyred what them eyled. And his seruautes sayd: These ben passions that comen to men. And he demaunded yf the passyons came to all men. And they sayd nay. Thã sayd he, ben they knowen whiche men shall suffre…. And they answered, Who is he that may knowe ye aduentures of men. And he began to be moche anguysshous for ye incustomable thynge hereof. And another tyme he found a man moche aged, whiche had his chere frouced, his tethe fallen, and he was all croked for age…. And thã he demaunded what sholde be ye ende. And they sayd deth…. And this yonge man remembered ofte in his herte these thynges, and was in grete dyscõforte, but he shewed hy moche glad tofore his fader, and he desyred moche to be enformed and taught in these thyges." [Fol. ccc. lii.]

At this time BARLAAM, a monk of great sanctity and knowledge in divine things, who dwelt in the wilderness of Sennaritis, having received a divine warning, travels to India in the disguise of a merchant, and gains access to Prince Josaphat, to whom he unfolds the Christian doctrine and the blessedness of the monastic life. Suspicion is raised against Barlaam, and he departs. But all efforts to shake the Prince's convictions are vain. As a last resource the King sends for a magician called Theudas, who removes the Prince's attendants and substitutes seductive girls, but all their blandishments are resisted through prayer. The King abandons these attempts and associates his son with himself in the government. The Prince uses his power to promote religion, and everything prospers in his hand. Finally King Abenner is drawn to the truth, and after some years of penitence dies. Josaphat then surrenders the kingdom to a friend called Barachias, and proceeds into the wilderness, where he wanders for two years seeking Barlaam, and much buffeted by the demons. "And whan Balaam had accomplysshed his dayes, he rested in peas about ye yere of Our Lorde. cccc. &. Ixxx. Josaphat lefte his realme the xxv. yere of his age, and ledde the lyfe of an heremyte xxxv. yere, and than rested in peas full of vertues, and was buryed by the body of Balaam." [Fol. ccc. lvi.] The King Barachias afterwards arrives and transfers the bodies solemnly to India.

This is but the skeleton of the story, but the episodes and apologues which round its dimensions, and give it its mediaeval popularity, do not concern our subject. In this skeleton the story of Siddhárta, mutatis mutandis is obvious.

The story was first popular in the Greek Church, and was embodied in the lives of the saints, as recooked by Simeon the Metaphrast, an author whose period is disputed, but was in any case not later than 1150. A Cretan monk called Agapios made selections from the work of Simeon which were published in Romaic at Venice in 1541 under the name of the Paradise, and in which the first section consists of the story of Barlaam and Josaphat. This has been frequently reprinted as a popular book of devotion. A copy before me is printed at Venice in 1865.[4]

From the Greek Church the history of the two saints passed to the Latin, and they found a place in the Roman martyrology under the 27th November. When this first happened I have not been able to ascertain. Their history occupies a large space in the Speculum Historiale of Vincent of Beauvais, written in the 13th century, and is set forth, as we have seen, in the Golden Legend of nearly the same age. They are recognised by Baronius, and are to be found at p. 348 of "The Roman Martyrology set forth by command of Pope Gregory XIII., and revised by the authority of Pope Urban VIII., translated out of Latin into English by G.K. of the Society of Jesus…. and now re-edited … by W.N. Skelly, Esq. London, T. Richardson & Son." (Printed at Derby, 1847.) Here in Palermo is a church bearing the dedication Divo Iosaphat.

Professor Müller attributes the first recognition of the identity of the two stories to M. Laboulaye in 1859. But in fact I find that the historian de Couto had made the discovery long before.[5] He says, speaking of Budão (Buddha), and after relating his history:

"To this name the Gentiles throughout all India have dedicated great and superb pagodas. With reference to this story we have been diligent in enquiring if the ancient Gentiles of those parts had in their writings any knowledge of St. Josaphat who was converted by Barlam, who in his Legend is represented as the son of a great King of India, and who had just the same up-bringing, with all the same particulars, that we have recounted of the life of the Budão…. And as a thing seems much to the purpose, which was told us by a very old man of the Salsette territory in Baçaim, about Josaphat, I think it well to cite it: As I was travelling in the Isle of Salsette, and went to see that rare and admirable Pagoda (which we call the Canará Pagoda[6]) made in a mountain, with many halls cut out of one solid rock … and enquiring from this old man about the work, and what he thought as to who had made it, he told us that without doubt the work was made by order of the father of St. Josaphat to bring him up therein in seclusion, as the story tells. And as it informs us that he was the son of a great King in India, it may well be, as we have just said, that he was the Budão, of whom they relate such marvels." (Dec. V. liv. vi. cap. 2.)

Dominie Valentyn, not being well read in the Golden Legend, remarks on the subject of Buddha: "There be some who hold this Budhum for a fugitive Syrian Jew, or for an Israelite, others who hold him for a Disciple of the Apostle Thomas; but how in that case he could have been born 622 years before Christ I leave them to explain. Diego de Couto stands by the belief that he was certainly Joshua, which is still more absurd!" (V. deel, p. 374.)

[Since the days of Couto, who considered the Buddhist legend but an imitation of the Christian legend, the identity of the stories was recognised (as mentioned supra) by M. Edouard Laboulaye, in the Journal des Débats of the 26th of July, 1859. About the same time, Professor F. Liebrecht of Liége, in Ebert's Jahrbuch für Romanische und Englische Literatur, II. p. 314 seqq., comparing the Book of Barlaam and Joasaph with the work of Barthélemy St. Hilaire on Buddha, arrived at the same conclusion.

In 1880, Professor T.W. Rhys Davids has devoted some pages (xxxvi.-xli.) in his Buddhist Birth Stories; or, Jataka Tales, to The Barlaam and Josaphat Literature, and we note from them that: "Pope Sixtus the Fifth (1585-1590) authorised a particular Martyrologium, drawn up by Cardinal Baronius, to be used throughout the Western Church.". In that work are included not only the saints first canonised at Rome, but all those who, having been already canonised elsewhere, were then acknowledged by the Pope and the College of Rites to be saints of the Catholic Church of Christ. Among such, under the date of the 27th of November, are included "The holy Saints Barlaam and Josaphat, of India, on the borders of Persia, whose wonderful acts Saint John of Damascus has described. Where and when they were first canonised, I have been unable, in spite of much investigation, to ascertain. Petrus de Natalibus, who was Bishop of Equilium, the modern Jesolo, near Venice, from 1370 to 1400, wrote a Martyrology called Catalogus Sanctorum; and in it, among the 'Saints,' he inserts both Barlaam and Josaphat, giving also a short account of them derived from the old Latin translation of St. John of Damascus. It is from this work that Baronius, the compiler of the authorised Martyrology now in use, took over the names of these two saints, Barlaam and Josaphat. But, so far as I have been able to ascertain, they do not occur in any martyrologies or lists of saints of the Western Church older than that of Petrus de Natalibus. In the corresponding manual of worship still used in the Greek Church, however, we find, under 26th August, the name 'of the holy Iosaph, son of Abener, King of India.' Barlaam is not mentioned, and is not therefore recognised as a saint in the Greek Church. No history is added to the simple statement I have quoted; and I do not know on what authority it rests. But there is no doubt that it is in the East, and probably among the records of the ancient church of Syria, that a final solution of this question should be sought. Some of the more learned of the numerous writers who translated or composed new works on the basis of the story of Josaphat, have pointed out in their notes that he had been canonised; and the hero of the romance is usually called St. Josaphat in the titles of these works, as will be seen from the Table of the Josaphat literature below. But Professor Liebrecht, when identifying Josaphat with the Buddha, took no notice of this; and it was Professor Max Müller, who has done so much to infuse the glow of life into the dry bones of Oriental scholarship, who first pointed out the strange fact—almost incredible, were it not for the completeness of the proof—that Gotama the Buddha, under the name of St. Josaphat, is now officially recognised and honoured and worshipped throughout the whole of Catholic Christendom as a Christian saint!" Professor T.W. Rhys Davids gives further a Bibliography, pp. xcv.-xcvii.

M.H. Zotenberg wrote a learned memoir (N. et Ext. XXVIII. Pt. I.) in 1886 to prove that the Greek Text is not a translation but the original of the Legend. There are many MSS. of the Greek Text of the Book of Barlaam and Joasaph in Paris, Vienna, Munich, etc., including ten MSS. kept in various libraries at Oxford. New researches made by Professor E. Kuhn, of Munich (Barlaam und Joasaph. Eine Bibliographisch-literargeschichtliche Studie, 1893), seem to prove that during the 6th century, in that part of the Sassanian Empire bordering on India, in fact Afghanistan, Buddhism and Christianity were gaining ground at the expense of the Zoroastrian faith, and that some Buddhist wrote in Pehlevi a Book of Yûdâsaf (Bodhisatva); a Christian, finding pleasant the legend, made an adaptation of it from his own point of view, introducing the character of the monk Balauhar (Barlaam) to teach his religion to Yûdâsaf, who could not, in his Christian disguise, arrive at the truth by himself like a Bodhisatva. This Pehlevi version of the newly-formed Christian legend was translated into Syriac, and from Syriac was drawn a Georgian version, and, in the first half of the 7th century, the Greek Text of John, a monk of the convent of St. Saba, near Jerusalem, by some turned into St. John of Damascus, who added to the story some long theological discussions. From this Greek, it was translated into all the known languages of Europe, while the Pehlevi version being rendered into Arabic, was adapted by the Mussulmans and the Jews to their own creeds. (H. Zotenberg, Mém. sur le texte et les versions orientales du Livre de Barlaam et Joasaph, Not. et Ext. XXVIII. Pt. I. pp. 1-166; G. Paris, Saint Josaphat in Rev. de Paris, 1'er Juin, 1895, and Poèmes et Légendes du Moyen Age, pp. 181-214.)

Mr. Joseph Jacobs published in London, 1896, a valuable little book, Barlaam and Josaphat, English Lives of Buddha, in which he comes to this conclusion (p. xli.): "I regard the literary history of the Barlaam literature as completely parallel with that of the Fables of Bidpai. Originally Buddhistic books, both lost their specifically Buddhistic traits before they left India, and made their appeal, by their parables, more than by their doctrines. Both were translated into Pehlevi in the reign of Chosroes, and from that watershed floated off into the literatures of all the great creeds. In Christianity alone, characteristically enough, one of them, the Barlaam book, was surcharged with dogma, and turned to polemical uses, with the curious result that Buddha became one of the champions of the Church. To divest the Barlaam-Buddha of this character, and see him in his original form, we must take a further journey and seek him in his home beyond the Himalayas."

[Illustration: Sakya Muni as a Saint of the Roman Martyrology.

"Wie des Kunigs Son in dem aufscziechen am ersten sahe in dem Weg eynen blinden und eyn aufsmörckigen und eyen alten krummen Man."[7]]

Professor Gaston Paris, in answer to Mr. Jacobs, writes (Poèmes et Lég. du Moyen Age, p. 213): "Mr. Jacobs thinks that the Book of Balauhar and Yûdâsaf was not originally Christian, and could have existed such as it is now in Buddhistic India, but it is hardly likely, as Buddha did not require the help of a teacher to find truth, and his followers would not have invented the person of Balauhar-Barlaam; on the other hand, the introduction of the Evangelical Parable of The Sower, which exists in the original of all the versions of our Book, shows that this original was a Christian adaptation of the Legend of Buddha. Mr. Jacobs seeks vainly to lessen the force of this proof in showing that this Parable has parallels in Buddhistic literature."—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—Marco is not the only eminent person who has expressed this view of Sakyamuni's life in such words. Professor Max Müller (u.s.) says: "And whatever we may think of the sanctity of saints, let those who doubt the right of Buddha to a place among them, read the story of his life as it is told in the Buddhistic canon. If he lived the life which is there described, few saints have a better claim to the title than Buddha; and no one either in the Greek or the Roman Church need be ashamed of having paid to his memory the honour that was intended for St. Josaphat, the prince, the hermit, and the saint."

NOTE 4.—This is curiously like a passage in the Wisdom of Solomon: "Neque enim erant (idola) ab initio, neque erunt in perpetuum … acerbo enim luctu dolens pater cito sibi rapti filii fecit imaginem: et ilium qui tune quasi homo mortuus fuerat nunc tamquam deum colere coepit, et constituit inter servos suos sacra et sacrificia" (xiv. 13-15). Gower alludes to the same story; I know not whence taken:—

  "Of Cirophanes, seith the booke,
  That he for sorow, whiche he toke
  Of that he sigh his sonne dede,
  Of comfort knewe none other rede,
  But lete do make in remembrance
  A faire image of his semblance,
  And set it in the market place:
  Whiche openly to fore his face
  Stood euery day, to done hym ease;
  And thei that than wolden please
  The Fader, shuld it obeye,
  Whan that thei comen thilke weye."
      —Confessio Amantis.[8]

NOTE 5.—Adam's Peak has for ages been a place of pilgrimage to Buddhists, Hindus, and Mahomedans, and appears still to be so. Ibn Batuta says the Mussulman pilgrimage was instituted in the 10th century. The book on the history of the Mussulmans in Malabar, called Tohfat-ul-Majáhidín (p. 48), ascribes their first settlement in that country to a party of pilgrims returning from Adam's Peak. Marignolli, on his visit to the mountain, mentions "another pilgrim, a Saracen of Spain; for many go on pilgrimage to Adam."

The identification of Adam with objects of Indian worship occurs in various forms. Tod tells how an old Rajput Chief, as they stood before a famous temple of Mahádeo near Udipúr, invited him to enter and worship "Father Adam." Another traveller relates how Brahmans of Bagesar on the Sarjú identified Mahadeo and Parvati with Adam and Eve. A Malay MS., treating of the origines of Java, represents Brahma, Mahadeo, and Vishnu to be descendants of Adam through Seth. And in a Malay paraphrase of the Ramáyana, Nabi Adam takes the place of Vishnu. (Tod. I. 96; J.A.S.B. XVI. 233; J.R.A.S. N.S. II. 102; J. Asiat. IV. s. VII. 438.)

NOTE 6.—The Pâtra, or alms-pot, was the most valued legacy of Buddha. It had served the three previous Buddhas of this world-period, and was destined to serve the future one, Maitreya. The Great Asoka sent it to Ceylon. Thence it was carried off by a Tamul chief in the 1st century, A.D., but brought back we know not how, and is still shown in the Malagawa Vihara at Kandy. As usual in such cases, there were rival reliques, for Fa-hian found the alms-pot preserved at Pesháwar. Hiuen Tsang says in his time it was no longer there, but in Persia. And indeed the Pâtra from Pesháwar, according to a remarkable note by Sir Henry Rawlinson, is still preserved at Kandahár, under the name of Kashkul (or the Begging-pot), and retains among the Mussulman Dervishes the sanctity and miraculous repute which it bore among the Buddhist Bhikshus. Sir Henry conjectures that the deportation of this vessel, the palladium of the true Gandhára (Pesháwar), was accompanied by a popular emigration, and thus accounts for the transfer of that name also to the chief city of Arachosia. (Koeppen, I. 526; Fah-hian, p. 36; H. Tsang, II. 106; J.R.A.S. XI. 127.)

Sir E. Tennent, through Mr. Wylie (to whom this book owes so much), obtained the following curious Chinese extract referring to Ceylon (written 1350): "In front of the image of Buddha there is a sacred bowl, which is neither made of jade nor copper, nor iron; it is of a purple colour, and glossy, and when struck it sounds like glass. At the commencement of the Yuen Dynasty (i.e. under Kúblái) three separate envoys were sent to obtain it." Sanang Setzen also corroborates Marco's statement: "Thus did the Khaghan (Kúblái) cause the sun of religion to rise over the dark land of the Mongols; he also procured from India images and reliques of Buddha; among others the Pâtra of Buddha, which was presented to him by the four kings (of the cardinal points), and also the chandana chu" (a miraculous sandal-wood image). (Tennent, I. 622; Schmidt, p. 119.)

The text also says that several teeth of Buddha were preserved in Ceylon, and that the Kaan's embassy obtained two molars. Doubtless the envoys were imposed on; no solitary case in the amazing history of that relique, for the Dalada, or tooth relique, seems in all historic times to have been unique. This, "the left canine tooth" of the Buddha, is related to have been preserved for 800 years at Dantapura ("Odontopolis"), in Kalinga, generally supposed to be the modern Púri or Jagannáth. Here the Brahmans once captured it and carried it off to Palibothra, where they tried in vain to destroy it. Its miraculous resistance converted the king, who sent it back to Kalinga. About A.D. 311 the daughter of King Guhasiva fled with it to Ceylon. In the beginning of the 14th century it was captured by the Tamuls and carried to the Pandya country on the continent, but recovered some years later by King Parakrama III., who went in person to treat for it. In 1560 the Portuguese got possession of it and took it to Goa. The King of Pegu, who then reigned, probably the most powerful and wealthy monarch who has ever ruled in Further India, made unlimited offers in exchange for the tooth; but the archbishop prevented the viceroy from yielding to these temptations, and it was solemnly pounded to atoms by the prelate, then cast into a charcoal fire, and finally its ashes thrown into the river of Goa.

The King of Pegu was, however, informed by a crafty minister of the King of Ceylon that only a sham tooth had been destroyed by the Portuguese, and that the real relique was still safe. This he obtained by extraordinary presents, and the account of its reception at Pegu, as quoted by Tennent from De Couto, is a curious parallel to Marco's narrative of the Great Kaan's reception of the Ceylon reliques at Cambaluc. The extraordinary object still so solemnly preserved at Kandy is another forgery, set up about the same time. So the immediate result of the viceroy's virtue was that two reliques were worshipped instead of one!

The possession of the tooth has always been a great object of desire to Buddhist sovereigns. In the 11th century King Anarauhta, of Burmah, sent a mission to Ceylon to endeavour to procure it, but he could obtain only a "miraculous emanation" of the relique. A tower to contain the sacred tooth was (1855), however, one of the buildings in the palace court of Amarapura. A few years ago the King of Burma repeated the mission of his remote predecessor, but obtained only a model, and this has been deposited within the walls of the palace at Mandalé, the new capital. (Turnour in J.A.S.B. VI. 856 seqq.; Koeppen, I. 521; Tennent, I. 388, II. 198 seqq.; MS. Note by Sir A. Phayre; Mission to Ava, 136.)

Of the four eye-teeth of Sakya, one, it is related, passed to the heaven of Indra; the second to the capital of Gandhára; the third to Kalinga; the fourth to the snake-gods. The Gandhára tooth was perhaps, like the alms-bowl, carried off by a Sassanid invasion, and may be identical with that tooth of Fo, which the Chinese annals state to have been brought to China in A.D. 530 by a Persian embassy. A tooth of Buddha is now shown in a monastery at Fu-chau; but whether this be either the Sassanian present, or that got from Ceylon by Kúblái, is unknown. Other teeth of Buddha were shown in Hiuen Tsang's time at Balkh, at Nagarahára (or Jalálábád), in Kashmir, and at Kanauj. (Koeppen, u.s.; Fortune, II. 108; H. Tsang, II. 31, 80, 263.)

[Illustration: Teeth of Budda.

1. At Kandy, after Tennent. 2. At Fu-Chau from Fortune.]

NOTE 7.—Fa-hian writes of the alms-pot at Pesháwar, that poor people could fill it with a few flowers, whilst a rich man should not be able to do so with 100, nay, with 1000 or 10,000 bushels of rice; a parable doubtless originally carrying a lesson, like Our Lord's remark on the widow's mite, but which hardened eventually into some foolish story like that in the text.

The modern Mussulman story at Kandahar is that the alms-pot will contain any quantity of liquor without overflowing.

This Pâtra is the Holy Grail of Buddhism. Mystical powers of nourishment are ascribed also to the Grail in the European legends. German scholars have traced in the romances of the Grail remarkable indications of Oriental origin. It is not impossible that the alms-pot of Buddha was the prime source of them. Read the prophetic history of the Pâtra as Fa-hian heard it in India (p. 161); its mysterious wanderings over Asia till it is taken up into the heaven Tushita where Maitreya the Future Buddha dwells. When it has disappeared from earth the Law gradually perishes, and violence and wickedness more and more prevail:

                       —"What is it?
  The phantom of a cup that comes and goes?
  * * * * * If a man
  Could touch or see it, he was heal'd at once,
  By faith, of all his ills. But then the times
  Grew to such evil that the holy cup
  Was caught away to Heaven, and disappear'd."
      —Tennyson's Holy Grail

[1] Apollonia (of Macedonia) is made Bolina; so Bolinas = Apollonius

[2] In 1870 I saw in the Libary at Monte Cassino a long French poem on the story, in a MS. of our traveller's age. This is perhaps one referred to by Migne, as cited in Hist. Litt. de la France, XV. 484. [It "has even been published in the Spanish dialect used in the Philippine Islands!" (Rhys Davids, Jataka Tales, p. xxxvii.) In a MS. note, Yule says: "Is not this a mistake?"—H.C.]

[3] Imprynted at London in Flete Strete at the sygne of the Sonne, by Wynkyn de Worde (1527).

[4] The first Life is thus entitled: [Greek: Bíos kaì Politeía toû Hosíou
    Patròs haemôn kaì Isapostólon Ioásaph toû Basiléos taês Indías].
    Professor Müller says all the Greek copies have Ioasaph. I have
    access to no copy in the ancient Greek.

[5] Also Migne's Dict. Légendes, quoting a letter of C.L. Struve,
    Director of Königsberg Gymnasium, to the Journal Général de l'Inst.
, says that "an earlier story is entirely reproduced in the
    Barlaam," but without saying what story.

[6] The well-known Kánhari Caves. (See Handbook for India, p. 306.)

[7] The quotation and the cut are from an old German version of Barlaam and Josaphat printed by Zainer at Augsburg, circa 1477. (B.M., Grenv. Lib., No. 11,766.)

[8] Ed. 1554, fol. xci. v. So also I find in A. Tostati Hisp. Comment. in primam ptem. Exodi, Ven. 1695, pp. 295-296: "Idola autem sculpta in Aegypto primo inventa sunt per Syrophenem primum Idolotrarum; ante hoc enim pura elementa ut dii colebantur." I cannot trace the tale.



When you leave the Island of Seilan and sail westward about 60 miles, you come to the great province of MAABAR which is styled INDIA THE GREATER; it is best of all the Indies and is on the mainland.

You must know that in this province there are five kings, who are own brothers. I will tell you about each in turn. The Province is the finest and noblest in the world.

At this end of the Province reigns one of those five Royal Brothers, who is a crowned King, and his name is SONDER BANDI DAVAR. In his kingdom they find very fine and great pearls; and I will tell you how they are got.[NOTE 1]

You must know that the sea here forms a gulf between the Island of Seilan and the mainland. And all round this gulf the water has a depth of no more than 10 or 12 fathoms, and in some places no more than two fathoms. The pearl-fishers take their vessels, great and small, and proceed into this gulf, where they stop from the beginning of April till the middle of May. They go first to a place called BETTELAR, and (then) go 60 miles into the gulf. Here they cast anchor and shift from their large vessels into small boats. You must know that the many merchants who go divide into various companies, and each of these must engage a number of men on wages, hiring them for April and half of May. Of all the produce they have first to pay the King, as his royalty, the tenth part. And they must also pay those men who charm the great fishes, to prevent them from injuring the divers whilst engaged in seeking pearls under water, one twentieth part of all that they take. These fish-charmers are termed Abraiaman; and their charm holds good for that day only, for at night they dissolve the charm so that the fishes can work mischief at their will. These Abraiaman know also how to charm beasts and birds and every living thing. When the men have got into the small boats they jump into the water and dive to the bottom, which may be at a depth of from 4 to 12 fathoms, and there they remain as long as they are able. And there they find the shells that contain the pearls [and these they put into a net bag tied round the waist, and mount up to the surface with them, and then dive anew. When they can't hold their breath any longer they come up again, and after a little down they go once more, and so they go on all day].[NOTE 2] The shells ar