120 THE TRAVELS OF
he said : " No, forsooth, they be nought else but the souls of gentlemen. For if a man be noble his soul entereth the form of some one of these noble animals ; but the souls of boors enter the forms of baser animals and dwell therein!" And say what I list against it, nought else would he believe.'
But if anyone should desire to tell all the vastness and great marvels of this city, a good quire of stationery' would not hold the matter I trow. For 'tis the greatest and noblest city, and the finest for merchandize, that the whole world containeth.
34. Of the city called Chilenf u, and of the great river Talay, and of certain Pygmies.
Departing from that city and travelling for six days, I arrived at another great city called CHILENFU,3 the walls
That this exhibition really took place and was well known to travellers in China, is obvious from the allusion which John Marignolli makes to it (infra).
2 Unus bonus quaternus stationis hcec talia tenere non posset. This use of the word statio for paper, though so directly leading to our use of the word stationer, does not occur among thirteen significations of statio in the modern Paris edition of Ducange.
s The city of Chilenfu is undoubtedly Nankin, a conclusion at which I had arrived before seeing that Professor Kunstmann had come to the same. Six days is, however, too short an estimate of the distance from Hangcheu, which in a straight line appears to be about 125 miles.
Though the plan of Nankin in Duhalde does not show its canals and bridges, Martini says expressly of it : " This city has very many bridges of stone, supported on arches"; and again, in speaking of Sucheu, he observes, "that though that city has a great number of bridges all of stone, and some of them magnificent, there are not so many as at the capital of the province." (In Thévenot, p. 120, 124.)
The circuit of the modern walls of Nankin is about twenty miles; so that if the suburbs were at all extensive the compass of the town may have been nearly what Odoric gives. Le Comte calls the circuit of the city forty-eight miles; Gemello Carreri calls it thirty-six, and quotes others who called it forty (Astley, iii, 553; Carreri, Giro del Mondo). The latter also speaks of its canals as molti e profondi.
It is well known that Nankin had been for several centuries, under the Sung and some earlier dynasties, the capital of the empire ; and after Odoric's time it became so again for a short time on the expulsion of the