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0144 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 144 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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Hayton himself went to the court of Mangu Khan soon after the latter's accession, to assure his position with that potentate, and to obtain certain advantages for himself and his states. He set out apparently in the beginning of 1254, first visiting Bachu Noian, the general of the Tartar army at Kars, and then passing through Armenia Proper and by the Pass of Darband to the Wolga, where he saw Batu and his son Sartach, whom this narrative alleges to have been a Christian, in opposition to Rubruquis, who says such stories were all nonsense.' The chiefs received Hayton well, and sent him on to Kara Korum by a route far to the north of that followed by Plano Carpini and Rubruquis. Leaving the court of Batu on the 13th May, the party arrived at the royal camp before the 13th September, on which day they saw the Great Khan in state and offered their gifts. King Hay-ton was treated with honour and hospitality, and on the 1st November set out on his homeward journey, passing by Bishbalig and through the modern Dsungaria to Otrar, Samarkand, and Bokhara ; thence through Khorasan and Mazanderan to Tabriz, and so to his own territories.

King Hayton related many wonderful things that he had seen

you that those who set up for preachers (among these Christians), in my opinion, deserve to be well chastised. Let me tell you, moreover, that in the land of India, which St. Thomas the Apostle converted, there is a certain Christian king who stood in sore tribulation among the other kings who were Saracens. They used to harass him on every side, until the Tartars reached that country, and he became their liegeman. Then, with his own army and that of the Tartars, he attacked the Saracens; and he made such booty in India that the whole East is full of Indian slaves; I have seen more than 50,000 whom this king took and sent for sale" (Mosheim, App., p. 49).

The motive in the letter is perhaps the justification of his brother Hayton for having, like this questionable Indian king, become the Tartar's liegeman. The writer fell in battle against the Turks in 1272.

1 See infra, p. 177. When Friar William was leaving the camp of Sartach, one of the Tartar officers said to him, "Don't you be saying that our master is a Christian; he is no Christian, but a Mongol !" (p. 259). Just as Sir Walter Scott tells somewhere of a belated southron traveller in the old days, who seeking vainly for shelter in some town on the border, exclaimed in despair, " Would no good Christian take him in ?" To which an old woman who heard him, made answer, " Christian ? Na, na! we're a' Jardines and Johnstones here."