OP MISSIONARY FRIARS. 209
Friar John of Monte Corvino this year relates in another letter of his that a solemn deputation had come to him from a certain part of Ethiopia, begging him either to go thither to preach, or to send other good preachers ; for since the time of St. Matthew the Apostle and his immediate disciples they had had no preachers to instruct them in the faith of Christ, and they had an ardent desire to attain to the true Christian faith.
"Friar John also said that after the Feast of All Saints he had baptised four hundred persons. And as he had heard that a number of friars, both Minors and of the other Order, had arrived in Persia and Gazaria, he exhorted them to preach fervently the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and so to win a harvest of souls. The letter was dated at Cambalec, a city of Cathay, in the year of the Lord 1306, on Quinquagesima Sunday and in the month of February."
NO. III. LETTER FROM FRIAR MENENTILLUS, A DOMINICAN, FORWARDING COPY OF A LETTER FROM JOHN OF MONTE CORVINO.
To you Friar Bartholomew of Santo Concordio,~ your brother in all things, Menentillus of Spoleto, wisheth health and wisdom in Christ P
I This Bartolomeo a Santo Concordio, a Dominican monk, a Pisan by birth, and eminent for his learning in canon and civil law as well as his accomplishments in Latin and Tuscan literature, flourished in the early part of the fourteenth century and died in 1347. He was best known afterwards as the author of a Summa de Ccxsibus Conscientise, arranged alphabetically, which he completed in 1338. This was printed at a very early date and often again, being apparently much used as a handbook by confessors, and known familarly as the Magistruccia or Pisanella. (Quétif, Scriptores Ord. Praed., 623-625.) There is a work of the same author "De origine civitatis Pisance" in Muratori, Ital. Rer. Scriptor. tom. vi.
2 The opening of this letter may be given as a sample of the style of
the original :— •
"A vo' in Cristo fraie Bartolomeo de Santo Concordio suo per tutte le cose frate Menentillo di Spuleto salute e sapienzia! Perciô the conosco the voi grande cura avete in iscienzia, e molto sapete e vorreste tutte le cose sapere, spezialmente quelle the non sapete, e vorrest' avere sapimento