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0477 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 477 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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And the son of the king before mentioned is called after

my name, John; and I hope in God that he will walk in his father's steps.

As far as I ever saw or heard tell, I do not believe that any king or prince in the world can be compared to his majesty the Cham in respect of the extent of his dominions,

the vastness of their population, or the amount of his wealth. Here I stop.

Dated at the city of Cambalec in the kingdom of Cathay,

in the year of the Lord 1305, and on the 8th day of January.'


To the Reverend Father in Christ the Vicar General of the Order of Minor Friars, and to the Vicar of the said Order, and to the Master of the Order of Preachers, and to the Friars of either Order abiding 'in the province of the Persians ;

From Friar John of Montecorvino of the Order of Minor Friars, an unprofitable servant of Christ, Preacher of the Holy Christian Faith, Legate and Nuncio of the Apostolic See of Rome ;

Health and Love in Him who is the True Love and Health of all.

The requirements of blessed brotherly love demand that those who are separated far and widely, and especially those who are Missionaries of Christ's Law in distant lands, when they cannot see each other face to face, should at least send one another comforting communications by letter.

1 I think that here January 1305 must mean our January 1305, and not 1306. The next letter we shall find to be written about a year after this one. And that next letter had been read by the Pope when he created John Archbishop, for the fragments of his bull on that occasion (see Wadding, vi, 93 ; or Mosheim, App., p. 124) contain allusions to its contents. Now, though the date of this bull is not preserved, it is fixed by other circumstances to the spring of 1307. Hence, letter No. II could not have been written later than 130G, nor this letter, No. I, later than