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0219 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 219 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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carried by twelve men each. " The lads who have charge of the horses are called Bci ffc ()I ft2) ; those who look after the donkeys are called

L6 f fc ; and those attached to the vehicles are called Chi fic.... At

every post-house the travellers were presented with sheep, geese, fowls, rice, flour, honey, darécsun,' arak, garlic, pickled onions and vegetables.

At every city the ambassadors were invited to a banquet. The palace of the government is called Duson, and the banquet took place there." On these occasions there was always a vacant throne with a curtain hung before it, and a fine carpet spread in front. The Chinese officials and the ambassadors sat down upon this carpet whilst the rest of the company stood behind them in ranks, like 11Iahomedans at their public worship. A man standing beside the throne then proclaimed something in Chinese, and the mandarins proceeded to Kotow before the throne, in which the envoys were obliged to follow them.

The first city that they reached was KADiCREII,2 nine yams from Sucheu. The entertainment given by the Dangchi, whose seat was here, took place in Ramadhdn, and the envoys were obliged to excuse themselves from eating. The Dangchi took their excuses in good part, and sent all that had been prepared to their quarters.

" In this city of Kamcheu there is an idol temple five hundred cubits square. In the middle is an idol lying at length, which measures fifty paces. The sole of the foot is nine paces long, and the instep is twenty-one cubits in girth. Behind this image and overhead are other idols of a cubit (?) in height, besides figures of Bakslais3 as large as life. The action of all is hit off so admirably that you would think they were alive. Against the wall also are other figures of perfect execution. The great sleeping idol has one hand under his head, and the other resting on his thigh. It is gilt all over and is known as ,.Shakarnuni fu. The people of the country come in crowds to visit it, and bow to the very ground before this idol.4... In the same city there is another temple held in great respect. At it you see a structure which the Mussulmans call the Celestial Sphere. It has the form of an octagonal Kiosque, and from

1 The rice wine of the Chinese (infra, p. 117). Ysbrant Ides (quoted in Astley, iii, 567) says : Their liquors are brandy, which they call arakka, and tarasu, a sort of wine they drink warm. This is a decoction of immature rice," etc. In Ssanang Ssetzen there is a legend telling how Chinghiz was sitting in his hall when a Jade cup of a delicious drink called darassun descended into his hand from the chimney, a token which was recognised as a celestial recognition of his supremacy.

2 KANCHEU, see pp. 288, 581 infra, and next note (xviii).

3 I.e., Buddhist monks; see pp. 150, 474 notes.

9 This recumbent figure at Kancheu is mentioned also by Hajji Mahomed in Note XVIII. Such colossal sleeping figures, symbolising Sakya Muni in the state of Nirwana, are to be seen in Burma, Siam, and Ceylon to this day. Notices of them will be found in Tennent's Ceylon, ii, 597 ; Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855, p. 52 ; and Bowring's Siam. Hiwen Thsang speaks of one such in a convent at Bamian which

was 1000 feet long ! (Vie de H. T., p. 70).

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