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0122 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 122 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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manufacture of porcelain ; the use of rice-wine and of tea (stckh or sdhh for chd).1 There is scarcely anything of Chinese Geography in this first part beyond the mention of Tibet and the Taghazghaz as the western neighbours of China, and of the Isles

of SILA in the east, which appear to be Japan.'

One custom he mentions with great apparent admiration. It is, that the governor of every city slept with a bell at his head communicating with a handle at the gate, which anyone claiming justice was at liberty to ring. And we learn from Abu Zaid that even the king had such a bell ; only he who dared to use it must have a case justifying so strong an appeal from the ordinary

course of justice, or he suffered for it.3

The anonymous author was aware that the principles of the Chinese religion (here meaning Buddhism) came from India. Both countries, he says, accept the doctrine of metempsychosis,

but with certain differences.

81. ABU ZAID, the author of the second part of the Relations, begins by remarking the great change that had taken place in

1 See Reinaud, Relations, i, pp. 39, 46, 47, 43-44, 37, 33, 36, 42, 34, 40. None of the mediæval European travellers in China mention tea. The first notice of it so far as I know is in Ramusio's notes of Hajji Mahomed's information (see Note XVIII at the end of the essay).

Edrisi also speaks of the Isles of Sikh, of which the chief city was ANKUAH, and where gold was SD abundant that the people made dog chains of it. The low value of gold in Japan up to the opening of the trade the other day is a familiar fact. M. Polo says of it : et je vous dy qu'il ont tant d'or que c'est sans fin; car ils le treuvent en leurs isles (Pauth. Polo, 538). Possibly Ankilah may really represent Miyako.

3 Edrisi also speaks of this. It is a kind of story having a strong attraction for eastern people. Ibn Batuta heard that the same custom was adopted by Shamsuddin Altamsh Sultan of Dehli (1211-1236). See Ibn Bat., iii, 158, The custom was a genuine Chinese one, but the summons seems to have been by a drum rather than by a bell. Thus in the Romance of The Fortunate Union," the hero Teichungyu exclaims,

My lord, you are mistaken ! The emperor himself suspends the drum at his palace gate, and admits all to state their hardships without reserve" (Davis's Chinese Miscellanies, p. 109). This institution of the drum was adopted by a late king of Siam, according to Pallegoix, but the pages who had to answer it succeeded in extinguishing the practice. A curious Chinese drawing engraved in Chine Ancienne (L' Univers Pittoresque), pl. 3, represents this institution of the drum.