CXXly PRELIMINARY ESSAY.
After mentioning the wars of Chinghiz against the Cathayans (Kitai), he goes on to speak of that people as follows:
"But one part of the country of the Cathayans which lies upon the sea-shore has not been conquered by the Tartars to this day. Now these Cathayans of whom we have been speaking are heathen men, and have a written character of their own. Moreover 'tis said they have an Old and New Testament, and Lives of the Fathers, and religious recluses, and buildings which are.used for churches as it were, in which they pray at their own times : and they say that they have also some saints of their own. They worship the one God, honour the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in eternal life, but are entirely without baptism. They pay honour and reverence to our Scriptures, are well disposed towards Christians, and do many alms deeds. They seem indeed to be kindly and polished folks enough. They have no beard, and in character of countenance have a considerable resemblance to the Mongols, but are not so broad in the face. They have a language of their own. Their betters as craftsmen in every art practised by man are not to be found in the whole world. Their country is very rich in corn, in wine, gold, silver, silk, and in every kind of produce that tends to the support of mankind."
RUBIWQu1s, a Fleming, was sent by St. Lewis on a mission to the Tartar chiefs, the object of which is not to be very clearly gathered. It was suggested, however, by the report that Sartach the son of Batu, who was in command near the Don, was a Christian, and probably partook of the character of a religious as well as a political reconnoissance. The friar, though carrying letters from the king, was evidently under orders to deny all pretension to the character of an envoy, and to put forward his duty as a preacher of the Gospel as the motive of his journey. His narrative is a remarkably interesting one, showing that the author had a great deal of sagacity and observation ; and his remarks, in reference to language in particular, show much acumen. There are difficulties in connexion with the indications of his route across Tartary, which it would be interesting to discuss, but scarcely appropriate here.1 Suffice it, therefore, to say,
Some remarks on the subject will, however, be found at the end of Stipp. Note XVII.