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0129 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 129 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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the dim-palm of Upper Egypt). No arts are more valued among them than those of design and pottery.

Under the Baghbugh there are some three hundred flourishing cities and many fine sea-ports. The latter, generally stand upon river estuaries, up which ships ascend some distance from the sea. They are full of life and business, and the security of property in them is perfect. The greatest of the ports is KHAN 'U,' which is the terminus of the western trade. It stands on (or near) the Khumdan, the great river of China, one of the greatest and most famous of all rivers ; the Ganges itself is said to be an affluent of it.2 Its banks are crowded with population, and many great cities stand upon them. Such are SUSA1.1,3 a very famous city whether for its buildings or its trade, or for the wealth of its citizens. Its commercial credit extends over the world. Here are made an unequalled kind of porcelain, the Ghazcir of China, and silk-stuffs famous for their solidity and elegance. JANKU is also on the Khumdan about three days from Khanfu. This also is a city where there are manufactures of glass and silk stuffs. Two months' journey up the river is BAJAH,4 the capital of the Baghbugh, where is his palace with his guards, treasures, harem, and slaves. He is bound to keep always one hundred dowered wives and one thousand elephants. Another city is SINIA-UL- SIN which Ibn Batuta enables us to identify with Canton (see infra., p. 417). And the first port of China coming from Sanfi or Champa is LUKIN, where also are made rich silks, and among others a kind called Ghazar-Sini,5 which are exported far and near.

Many places besides these are named which it seems impossible to identify. Such are, on the borders of Indo-China TARI-

1 Jaubert has Khanku, but no doubt the right reading is Khanfu. It involves but the difference of a dot.

2 So thought Fra Mauro, as his map shows.

3 Qu. Sucheu in Kiangnan, the celebrated rival of Hangcheu ?

4 The copies used by Jaubert read Jdjah or Ndjah. But probably the right reading is Tdjah. Compare with Abulfeda quoted hereafter, and with the Taiuna or Thajuye at p. xcvii supra.

5 I do not find this word in the Arabic dictionaries. May it be the origin of our word Gauze, which has been referred to Gaza in Palestine