146 THE TRAVELS OF
certainly unable to tell the thousandth part of what I have seen. In any case I think it best to pass to other matters.] 1
44. The friar, passing from Cathay, describeth sundry lands as of
Prester John and others.
Departing from that land of Cathay and travelling westward for fifty days through many cities and towns, I arrived at the country of Prester John ;2 but as regards him not
I MIN. RAM. These words are the conclusion of that version. It makes Odoric say that he saw the Tartar lamb at the court of the Khan: " One day among other creatures, I saw a beast as big as a lamb, all white, whiter than snow, and with wool like the skin of a silkworm when moulting," etc. The allusion to the Irish production is given more fully in HAK. and Mus., with the name Bernakles, and the latter MS. adds : C' This is perfectly understood by those who have read the History of Ireland ;" which reminds one of " the great Robinson Crusoe that we read of in history."
2 Deferring a notice of Prester John to a later part of this collection, it is here to be remarked that the Prester John's country of the text appears to be the Tenduc of Marco Polo, which he states to have been "the chief seat of Prester John when he ruled over the Tartars", and also the residence of his descendants in their reduced and subordinate position. Klaproth produced Chinese sources to show that Thiante or Thiante-Sion was the name of a district or cluster of cities near the Yellow River lying to the north-east of the territory now called that of the Ortus in our maps. This entirely agrees with the indications of Polo, who describes Tenduc between the province of Tangut and Shangtu, and who in another passage speaks of the Karamoran or Hoang-Ho in its lower course as " coming from the lands of Prester John". It is remarkable that the French version of Odoric by Long John of Yprès gives the land of Prester John the singular name of Penthexoire, which has been adopted by Mandeville in his pretended travels. I suspect this name may be genuine, and that it may represent Tendek-Shahr.
M. Pauthier, in a pamphlet published in 1862 as a specimen of an edition of Marco Polo, which he had then in the press (and has issued since this went to the printer), though assigning the same substantial position to the Tendue of Polo, finds somewhat acrimonious fault with Klaproth's identification of the name Tendue with Thiante, because the latter was a denomination belonging to an age long past, the city of Thiante having been destroyed in 960. He himself considers Tendue to be a corruption of Tathung, which was the name of a circle of administration immediately east of that of Ninghia, embracing a part of the present Ortu territory, and extending to the eastward of the great northern bight of the Hoang Ho. On this one may venture to remark that the more that