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0143 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 143 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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1'R L1MINARY ESSAY.   cxxvii

pencil such as painters paint with, and a single character of theirs comprehends several letters so as to form a whole word.'

100. Another traveller, of whose journey some account has come down to us, visited the Court of Mangu Khan immediately after Rubruquis. This was Hethum or HAYTON I, King of Little Armenia, who at an early date saw the irresistible power of the Tartars and made terms with them ; i.e., acknowledged himself the Khan's vassal. On the accession of Kuyuk Khan (1246) the king sent his brother Sempad or Sinibald, Constable of Armenia, to secure the continuance of good understanding. This prince was four years absent, and we possess a letter from him written on the journey in which some allusions are made to Tangut and Cathay, with reference to the general delusion as to the Christianity of those countries.2

I Pp. 327-329. Neither Marco Polo, nor, I believe, any other traveller previous to the sixteenth century, had the acumen to discern the great characteristic of the Chinese writing as Rubruquis has done here.

2 The letter is addressed to the King and Queen of Cyprus and others at their court, and was written apparently from Samarkand (printed Samrequant, probably for Samrequant). Here is an extract : We understand it to be the fact that it is five years past since the death of the present Chan's father [Okkodai] ; but the Tartar barons and soldiers had been so scattered over the face of the earth that it was scarcely possible in the five years to get them together in one place to enthrone the Chan aforesaid. For some of them were in India, and others in the land of CHATA, and others in the land of CASCHAR and of TANCHAT. This last is the land from which came the Three Kings to Bethlem to worship the Lord Jesus which was born. And know that the power of Christ has been, and is, so great, that the people of that land are Christians; and the whole land of Chata believes in those Three Kings. I have myself been in their churches and have seen pictures of Jesus Christ and the Three Kings, one offering gold, the second frankincense, and the third myrrh. And it is through those Three Kings that they believe in Christ, and that the Chan and his people have now become Christians. And they have their churches before his gates where they ring their bells and beat upon

pieces of timber   And I tell you that we have found many Christians
scattered all over the East, and many fine churches, lofty, ancient, and of good architecture, which have been spoiled by the Turks. Hence the Christians of the land came before the present Khan's grandfather ; and he received them most honourably, and granted them liberty of worship, and issued orders to forbid their having any just cause of complaint by word or deed. And so the Saracens who used to treat them with con-

tumely have now like treatment in double measure   And let me tell