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0196 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 196 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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phant, and conducted round the city with drums beating in great state. These circumstances were told me by Sopatrus and the others who had accompanied him from Adule to that island. And, as they told the story, the Persian was very much ashamed of what had happened"

(p. 338).

" But in the direction of those most notable places of trade that I

have mentioned, there are many others (of minor importance) both on the coast and inland, and a country of great extent. And in India further up the country, i. e., further north, are the White Huns.' That one who is called Gollâs, 'tis said, goes forth to war with not less than a thousand elephants, besides a great force of cavalry. This ruler tyrannises over India and exacts tribute from the people. Once upon a time, as they tell, he would lay siege to a certain inland city of India ; but the city was protected all round by inundation. So he sat hint down before it for many days, and in course of time what with his elephants and his horses and the people of his camp the whole of the water was drunk dry, so that at last he was able to cross over dry-shod, and took the city.

"These people have a great fondness for the emerald stone, and it is worn by their king in his crown. The Ethiopians who obtain this stone from the Blemmyes in Ethiopia, import it into India and with the price they get are able to invest in wares of the greatest value.

"Now, all these matters I have been able thus to describe and explain, partly from personal experience, and partly from accurate inquiries which I made when in the vicinity of the different places" (p. 339).

" There are other kings (I may observe) of different places in India who keep elephants, such as the King of Orrhotha, and the King of the Kalliana people, and the Kings of Sindu, of Sibor, and of Malé. One will have six hundred elephants, another five hundred, and so on, some more, some less. And the King of Sielediba [gives a good price for] both the elephants that he has, and the horses. The elephants he buys by cubit measurement; for their height is measured from the ground, and so the price is fixed according to the measurement, ranging from fifty to a hundred nomisinata or more.3 Horses they bring to him from Persia, and these he buys, and grants special immunities to those who import them.

1 On the Yueichi, Yetas or White Huns, called also Epthalites, see Lassen, ii, 771 seqq., and iii, 584 seqq. There is a special dissertation on

them by Vivien St. Martin (Les Huns Blancs on Epthalites), which I have not been able to obtain.

2 This is conjectural, as some words are evidently wanting. Montfaucon's Latin supplies pretio emit.

3 From £32 to £65. The price of elephants in Bengal now may run from twice to thrice these amounts. Height is always one of' the elements in estimating the price of an elephant. Edrisi says : The Kings of India and China snake a great work about the height of their

elephants; they pay very dear in proportion as this attribute increases' (i, 97).