230 LETTERS AND REPORTS
it would be very fitting that some friar willing to go thither to preach should undertake. He might go thither at small cost from the place where I now am, and, from what I have heard, it would be a glorious journey for the diffusion of the faith.
Let me tell you that the fame of us Latins is more highly thought of among the people of India than among us Latins ourselves. Nay, they are in continual expectation of the arrival of the Latins here, which they say is clearly predicted in their books.' And, moreover, they are continually praying the Lord, after their manner, to hasten this wished-for arrival of the Latins. If our lord the Pope would but establish a couple of galleys on this sea, what a gain it would be ! And what damage and destruction to the Soldan of Alexandria ! 0, who will tell this to his holiness the Pope ?z For me, wayfarer that I am, 'tis out of the question. But I commit all to you, holy fathers. Fare ye well, then, holy fathers, and remember the pilgrim in your prayers. Pray for the pilgrim of Christ, all of you, that the Indian converts, black as they are, may all be made ' white in soul before the good Jesus, through his pitiful grace. I end my words with many a sigh, most heartily recommending myself to the prayers of all.
Dated in THANA of India, the city where my holy comrades were martyred, in the year of the Lord 1323, in the month of January, and on the feast of the holy martyrs Fabian and Sebastian .3
' These prophecies are also mentioned by Jordanus in his Mirabilia (p. 23). Nieuhof says the Chinese also had an old prophecy that a nation of white men from afar should one day conquer their country. The like tales of the Mexicans will be remembered; and such also were said to be current among the Karens of Burma.
2 Marino Sanuto also looked forward to the Pope having a fleet in the Indian Ocean, but he was first to get Egypt under his thumb. (Secreta Fidel. Crucis, etc., p. 94.)
3 20th January. The date (January 1323) must mean, I think, our January 1324. For he has been two and a half years alone since the