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0520 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 520 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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and worn, so that it cannot be well handled, it is carried to the king's chamber, where there be moneyers appointed to this duty. And if the token or the king's name is at all to be discerned thereon, then the moneyer giveth new paper for the old, deducting three in every hundred for this renewal. All their royal grants are also made on paper.

The emperor's people are very worthily arrayed, and live in a rich and liberal manner. And though silk and gold and silver are in great plenty, they have very little linen, wherefore all have shirts of silk ; and their clothes are of Tartary cloth,' and damask silk,2 and other rich stuffs, oft-times adorned with gold and silver and precious stones. They wear long sleeves, coming down over their finger nails. They have sundry kinds of dishes made of canes, which are there' very great and thick.3 They eat meat of all kinds of beasts, and when they will make a great feast they kill camels, and make fine dishes of the flesh after their own fashion. They have fish in great abundance, and other things ; and on these they live after their manner, as other people do after theirs.

Tartary cloth is mentioned by Mandeville and other medieval writers. No doubt it was some rich Chinese stuff, for the Tartars proper could scarcely have been entitled to a reputation for fine textures.: Dante alludes to it-

" Con più color sommesse e sopraposti

Non fer mai in drappo Tartari ne Turchi Ne fur tai tele per Aracne imposta ;"

and his expressions seem to imply that it was of variegated colours; shawl-work or embroidery perhaps. I find that Dozy says Tatariydt were robes of satin garnished with borders of gold stuff. (Diet. des noms des vêtements chez les Arabes, p. 94.)

2 Tamotas (for Camo cas , regarding which see a note upon Pegolotti, infra.)

3 See Ibn Batuta, infra, and note.


6. Concerning the manner of life e of the people of this country..