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0121 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 121 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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80. The port of China frequented by the Arab merchants was Khanfu, of which we have already spoken. Here there was a Musulman Kazi and public worship. The houses were for the most part built of wood and bamboo matting, which led to frequent fires. When a foreign ship arrived, the officials took charge of the cargo and locked it up. When all the ships of the season had entered, a duty of 30 per cent. was exacted before placing the goods at the disposal of the owners. If the king wanted anything for himself, the highest price was paid for it in ready money.

Many particulars mentioned by this author regarding China are silly enough, but much also that is stated is perfectly correct. He notices the ancient Chinese customs of issuing food from public granaries in times of dearth, as well as of dispensing medicines to the poor; the support of schools by the government; the generally methodical and just character of the administration; the elaborate classification of official titles ; the custom of doing all business by written documents, and the strict censure exercised on the style and tone of papers submitted to public departments ;1 the use of a copper currency instead of gold and silver ; the custom of delaying the burial of the dead for years sometimes ; the systematic protection afforded to travellers ; the

plies to the whole of Cambodia embracing the eastern coast of the Gulf of Siam (Diet. Ind. Islands, p. 80), whilst actual tradition in those regions ascribes to ancient Champa sovereignty over all the neighbouring kingdoms to the frontiers of Pegu and China (Mouhot's Travels, i, 223). Hence Pulo Condore would properly cone between a port on this coast and China, as Sandar Fülf,t does in the Arab narrative. I do not know what is the proper Malay name of Pulo Condore, but it is probably connected with the Sanskrit Sundara beautiful. And the FulcEt is probably only an Arabic plural from the Malay Pulo or Pulau an island. All that is said of the place in the Relations is that Sandarfulat is an island, ten days from Sanf and a month's voyage from China, where the ships find fresh water. According to Alex. Hamilton the Pulo Condore group consists of four or five islands; " producing nothing but wood, water, and fish for catching." There are two harbours or anchorages, but neither of them good. Mr. Allan Ketchpole established a factory for the East India Company on Pulo Condore in 1702, which speedily came to a disastrous end (N. Ace. of the East Indies, ed. 1744, ii, 205).

' See p. 2f15 infra and note.