200 LETTERS AND REPORTS
over to the church, and carried them back to their original schismatical creed. And being all alone, and not able to leave his Majesty the Cham, I could not go to visit the church above-mentioned, which is twenty days' journey
Yet, if I could but get some good fellow-workers to help me, I trust in God that all this might be retrieved, for I still possess the grant which was made in our favour by the late King George before mentioned. So I say again that if it had not been for the slanderous charges which I have spoken of, the harvest reaped by this time would have been great !
Indeed if I had had but two or three comrades to aid me 'tis possible that the Emperor Cham would have been baptized by this time ! I ask then for such brethren to come, if any are willing to come, such I mean as will make it their great business to lead exemplary lives, and not to make broad their own phylacteries.
As for the road hither I may tell you that the way through the land of the Goths, subject to the Emperor of the Northern Tartars, is the shortest and safest ; and by it the friars might come, along with the letter-carriers, in five or six months.' The other route again is very long and very
I "This is precisely the distance which the Imperial Geography assigns as the distance from the capital of the country occupied by the tribe of Urat [a branch of the old Kerait still occupying the country adjoining Tathung], that is to say, 1,520 li, or 152 leagues, of which about 72 go to a day's journey." Pauthier, Le Pays de Tanduc, etc., p. 38.
2 This first route is the way by Tana and Sarai as described by Pegolotti. He, however, makes upwards of eight months actual travelling from Tana to Cambalec.
Respecting the Goths of Gazaria see Rubruquis (p. 219) and Barbaro in Ramusio (ii, 97 vers). Both of these travellers attest the Germanic dialect, and the latter had a German servant who spoke with them. "They understood each other reasonably well, much as a man of Forli might understand a Florentine." Busbeck, who was the emperor's ambassador. at Constantinople between 1554 and 1560, saw two of these Crimean Goths, and gives a list of some forty of their vocables, which are pure Teutonic, some of them pure English (one at least pure Scotch, criten, to weep or greet) ; other words which he gives are apparently not Teutonic