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0238 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 238 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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a lion ; for this beast does not occur in those countries, and they look on it with immense admiration, and give any price for it.

" So much for the kingdom of Cathay, as I heard told by that vagabond; let him answer for its truth. For it might easily be that whilst my questions referred to Cathay, his answers referred to some other country thereabouts, and in fact that we were playing at cross purposes. But when I had heard so much, I thought I would ask if he had not brought back from his travels any curious kind of a root or fruit or pebble or what not ? ` Nothing whatever,' he said, ' except this little root that I carry about with me, and if I am knocked up with fatigue or cold, by chewing and swallowing a tiny morsel of it, I feel quite warmed and stimulated'.1 And so saying, he gave it me to taste, telling me to be careful to take but the smallest quantity. My doctor William (who was alive then) tasted it, and got his mouth into a state of inflammation from its burning quality. He declared it to be regular wolfs-bane." (From Busbequii Epistolœ. Amsterdam, 1661, pp. 326-330.)




This is intended to elucidate the narrative of the fourteenth century travellers, from John of Monte Corvino to Ibn Batuta, as far as was possible without attempting greater detail than my time or knowledge would permit. The basis is a trace from Keith Johnstone's Map in the Royal Atlas ; substituting for present political divisions the chief of those which existed at the period in question, and inserting (in general) only those names of places which occur in the narratives and notes of this collection. Before preparing the map, I had at different times consulted maps of the period by Klaproth (in Tableaux Historiques del' Asie), D'Ohsson, and Sprüner (Historical Atlas, German), and at a later date the map attached to Pauthier's Marco Polo ; but latterly none of these, except the last, have been within reach, and the .map has in the main been compiled gradually along with the matter which it illustrates. The theory of the indications was to show all political divisions, and all names still extant, in black; obsolete names used by European writers in red; and obsolete names only used by Asiatics in red also, but with the slope of the letters reversed. I am afraid, however, that these minuti have sometimes been overlooked by myself.

1 This was certainly Jinseny (supra, p. ccsvi).