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0220 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 220 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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top to bottom there are fifteen stories. Each story contains apartments decorated with lacquer in the Cathayan manner, with anterooms and verandas.... Below the Kiosque you see figures of demons which bear it on their shoulders.' ... It is entirely made of polished wood, and this again gilt so admirably that it seems to be of solid gold. There is a vault below it. An iron shaft fixed in the centre of the kiosque traverses it from bottom to top, and the lower end of this works in an iron plate, whilst the upper end bears on strong supports in the roof of the edifice which contains this pavilion. Thus a person in the vault can with a trifling exertion cause this great kiosque to revolve. All the carpenters, smiths, and painters in the world would learn something in their trades by coming

here 1"

All the baggage was deposited at Kancheu till their return, and the Chinese took over all the presents intended for the Emperor, with the exception of a lion sent by Mirza Baisangar, which the athlete Salahuddin, the lion-keeper, retained charge of till they reached the capital.

Every day they halted at a yam, and every week they reached some city. On the 4th of Shawal, A.H. 823 (Oct. 12th, 1420) they were on the banks of the Karamuran, a river which in size might be classed with the Oxus. There was a bridge over it composed of twenty-three boats attached together by a chain as thick as a man's thigh, and this was moored on each side to an iron post as thick as a man's body, deeply planted in the ground. On the other side of the river they found a great city with a splendid temple. This city was remarkable for the beauty of its women, insomuch that it was known as the City of Beauty (HUSNABAD).2

After thirty-seven days' journey they reached, we are told, another great river twice the size of the Oxus, and this they had to cross in boats (evidently the Hoang Ho again where it divides the provinces of Shensi and Shansi) ; and twenty-three days later they reached a city which they call SADINFU, where there was a great idol of gilt bronze, fifty ells in height.3

Eleven days after this (14th December) they arrived at the gates of Peking some time before dawn. The city had been recently re-occupied

1 The statement of the dimensions is corrupt and unintelligible.

2 They probably crossed the Karamuran or Hoang Ho opposite LANCHEU, the present capital of the province of Kansu, and this is therefore most probably the Husnabad of the Persians.

3 As they reached Peking in eleven days from Sadinfu, the latter city must be looked for about two thirds of the way between the Hoang Ho and the capital. Hereabouts we find the city of CHINGTINGFU in Pecheli ; and at that city accordingly, as the Chinese Imperial Geography tells us, there is a Buddhist temple called " the Monastery of the Great Fo," founded A.D. 586, which possesses a bronze statue of B uddha, seventy Chinese feet in height (Chine Moderne, p. 50).