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0516 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 516 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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withholdeth from him no favour that he seeketh. This Grand Trucins hath always the head and the beard shaven, and weareth on his head a red hat, and is always clothed in red.1 He hath the lordship and supremacy over all the clergy and all the monks of his law throughout all the said realm. And to him it belongeth to correct them in doctrine and in discipline ; nor do the Emperors meddle with him or his orders. And among those clerks and monks of theirs be great prelates, bishops, and abbots, but all be subject to the Grand Trucins.

. In every city of the said empire there be abbeys of men under vows, and also of women, who dwell in them according to the religion of that country, subject to the obedience and discipline of the Grand Trucins ; so that there shall hardly be one city or town in the . said empire wherein you shall not find an abbey, whilst in some there be eight or ten or more. And every abbey shall' have at the least two hundred inmates. They be passing rich, and with that great wealth of theirs they do much alms before God. They live in great order, and keep their hours of service seven times a-day, and they get up early to matins. They have bells made of metal in the shape of a pent-roof on which

they strike their hours. They keep chastity, and none of their clerks and monks do marry. They be. idolaters and

worship divers idols. And over these idols they say that there be four gods ; and these four gods they carve in gold and silver, so as to stand out entire before and behind.

And above these four gods they say that there is a greater God who is over all the gods, great and small.2

1 See Jordanus, p. 46 and note.

2 The four gods may be the four past terrestrial Buddhas who are found in Burma occupying the four sides of some temples, and the greater God over all may be the Adi Buddha of the Theistic Buddhists, who, according to Huc and Gabet, seems to be recognized in Mongolia and China, though unknown to the Buddhists of Ceylon and the Indo-Chinese countries.