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0302 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 302 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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I subjoin in a note details which will give an idea of the extent of these wholesale robberies.1 Naturally Mlandeville has often misunderstood what he appropriates, and that in a way which shows that he never travelled in the countries spoken of ; of this many instances might be given if it were worth while. He is crafty enough now and then to suggest the probability of his having travelled in company with Odoric, and having thus shared his experiences. For instance he says, in describing the Perilous Valley (which loses nothing in his telling), that there were with him " two worthy men, Friars of Lombardy, who said

that if any man would enter they would go in with us." (p. 269).

Indeed his borrowings are so large, and date from a time so nearly contemporary with Odoric, that his readings of the proper

names have some positive value for collation, and have occasion-

ally suggested amendments of the text, which in some instances

have afterwards been confirmed by superior MSS. of Odoric, and

in others still need that corroboration)

1 The following passages of Odoric are appropriated bodily by Mandeville. 1. The notice of Trebizond, and that of the body of Athanasius there. (Nand., p. 202.) 2. The account of Erzrum (p. 203). 3. About Ararat, and including the difficult name of Sobissacalo (ib.). 4. Notices of Cassan and the Three Kings ; of the Sandy Sea; of Comum or Cornaa and its ruins; and the land of Job (p. 205). 5. Of the Tower of Babel, and the dress of the men and women of Chaldœa (p. 206). 6. Of Ships without nails (with the addition of the legend of the loadstone rocks) (p. 211). 7. Notice of Thana (called Chana) ib. 8. All about Malabar, and the pepper, &c., with fictions added (p. 213-14). 9. The odd passage of Odoric, about the women drinking and shaving, is repeated (p. 215). 10. Notice of Mabas ; but giving the city of St. Thomas the name of Calamy (the Calamina of ecclesiastical tradition) which is not used by Odoric (ib.). 11. Voyage to Lamori, &c. ; Notices of Sumatra, Java, Sago-making, &c. (218-223). 12. Notice of Champa, with Odoric's stories of shoals of fish, of 14,000 elephants, &c., and fictions of his own added (p. 224-5). 13. The accounts of Nicoverra, Ceylon, and Dondin, and all out of place just as in Odoric (p. 226-8). 14. The whole account of Manzi

and Cathay, &c., &c. It might be worth while if I had time and space to try to trace all the originals which Mandeville stole from. I suspect the

knight would come out of the process almost in his buff. A large part is taken from Haiton, and something from Plano Carpini. It might even prove on examination that his minute account of the Holy Land, the best part of his book, is stolen likewise. (The preceding references are to Bohn's edition of Mandeville.)

2 Thus I first got the true name of the city Chilenfu (see § 34 cf Odoric) instead of Chileso, Chilerapha, &c., from Mandeville, though I