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0205 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 205 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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under forty sits down in the king's presence. Next to the HAZLAKH,l who are great gamblers, and stake wife, mother, or daughter on their play. When a caravan of travellers comes into their country the wife or sister or daughter of some chief comes and washes them. And if any of these ladies takes a fancy for one of the strangers she carries him home and entertains him with all kindness, and makes her husband or son or brother provide for him in every way ; nor as long as the guest is keeping company with her does the husband come near them unless for necessary business.2 Next they reached . the KHATHLABH, the bravest of all the Turks. These admit marriage with sisters. Women are allowed to marry but once, and there is no divorce except for breach of marriage vows ; in which case both the offending parties are burnt. The wife is endowed with all the man's worldly goods, and he must serve her father for a year. They have the custom of exacting blood-money ; and the king is not allowed to marry on pain of death. Next they came to the KHATIYAN.3 These do not eat meat unless cooked ; they have civi-

1 I suspect it should be Kharlikh (it is a question of points only), the name of one of the greatest Turkish tribes, and sometimes written Car-Ugh, whose country seems to have been north of Farghana. They are probably the Khizilji of the French Edrisi, and the Khuzluj of Mas'udi, " remarkable for their beauty, stature, and perfect features. Formerly they ruled over all the other tribes. From their race descended the Khakan of the Khakans who united under his empire all the kingdoms of the Turks, and commanded all their kings" (p. 288).

2 This discreditable custom is related by Marco Polo of the people of Kamul ; he says of it, it le tiennent a grand honneur et n'en ont nulle honte. Car tuit cil de ceste province sont si honni de leur moliers comme vous avez ouy" (Pauthier, 157).

It is a notorious allegation against the Hazaras of the Hindu Kush that they exercise the same practice (Wood, p. 201, and Burnes). But what shall we say to its being ascribed also by a Byzantine historian of the fifteenth century to a certain insular kingdom of Western Europe (the capital of which was AovvSpas), at least if we trust to the Latin version of Conrad Clauser. The Greek runs: "voµl'eTaL SÉ T06TOL5 Td T'aµ41 Tâs yvvâtKas TE Kai TOÛS 7raîSas CorXoiKWTÉpa waTE (lac aa0'av T71, v1]O'OV 47rELSdv TLS ÉS T411/ TOE 47TLT77SECOU an-4i an-4i olKiav ?71)EL KaÀovµEVOS, KvTavTa T7)v ryvvaîKa, ofiTw -EVit'ErreaL aVTbv, Kai ?V Taîs bSoîs SÉ &TraVTax7)]7rEptÉXovTat Tâs ËaUTWV yvvaîKas ?v Tots ?7rL7-9]5E(oLS . . . . Kat otin aio- u'v V TOUTo OpEL ÉOVTOLS KVEQeat T&QTE 7UVaLKas âuTwv Kai Tâs euyaTipas" (Laonicus Chalcondylas, in ed. Paris, 1650, p. 48-49). The translation of Clauses gives substantially the same meaning as Ibn Muhalhal's account of the Kliarlikh practice, except that it is much more grossly expressed. We need not defend our ancestors and ancestresses against the Byzantine ; but was he really such a goberouche as his translator makes him ? I must needs speak very diffidently, but do the words mean more than this ? They take things very easily in regard to their wives and children. For over all the island, when anyone goes to visit a friend, he kisses the good wife on entering the house. And if friends meet on the highway 'tis the universal custom that they embrace each other's wives.... Nor do they think shame that their wives and daughters should be kissed."

3 I have elsewhere (p. 545 infra) intimated a suspicion that this is Khotan. The civilised character of the people ; their temples ; and their having musk, are favourable to this supposition, as well as the juxtaposition of Bai.