PRELIMINARY ESSAY. lxi
instances (p. 551 2nfi'a) :—" On the recurrence of every seventh clay people assembled from all directions to offer their devotions in the chapels, and to adore Fo."
In all these notices we see much that is analogous between the fragmentary views of the great seats of western civilisation under the names of Tathsin and Fulin, taken in the far east, and those of the great eastern civilisation under the names of Sine and Seres taken in the west. In both we see the same uncertainty in degree as to exact position, the same application of facts belonging to the nearer skirts of the half-seen empire as descriptive of the whole ; and in that isolated chance record in the Chinese books of a real occurrence in the history of Byzantium we have a singular parallel to the like fragment of Chinese history which had been picked up and entered in his narrative by Theophylactus. The form given in the Chinese fragment to the name of the Khalif is nearly the same as that (Maui) which we find in an Armenian writer,1 and this little circumstance may possibly indicate the people who furnished the Chinese annalists with some of their scraps of knowledge.
36. After this short view of the Chinese ideas of the Roman empire we may return to Kanyng, the officer whom General Panchao commissioned in the beginning of the second century to open communication with those western regions, whether in view to trade or to conquest.2 This officer proceeded to take ship, it would seem on the Persian Gulf. " But the ship's company said to him, ' When out at sea a multitude of things will occur to make you sigh for what you have left behind. He who occupies his business in the great waters is liable to regret and repentance for what he has undertaken. If the envoy of the Han has no father, no mother, no wife or children to pine after, then let him
1 Michael the Syrian, translated by Dulaurier in Journ. Asiat., ser. iv, tom. xiii, p. 326.
2 Klaproth says that Panchao entertained a scheme for invading the Roman Empire, but that the general to whom this was confided was better advised, and retraced his steps. (Tabl. Hist. de l'Asie, p. 67.) The extract, however, given by Pauthier from the Annals of the Tçin, as cited in the Encyclopwdia of the Emperor Khanghi, says Kanyng was despatched as envoy. (Pauth., p. 38.) Probably he was sent to reconnoitre.