FRIAR ODORIC. ] 53
extent of two miles ; and the pavement thereof hath one tile of gold and another of silver in turn. And in the said court there is a hill made of gold and silver, upon which are erected monasteries and bell-towers, and the like [in miniature] such as men make for their amusement. And 'tis said that there be four men such as he in the realm of Manzi.
Moreover 'tis the mark of gentility in that country to have the nails long ; and some let their thumb-nails grow to such an extent that they grow right round the hand. And with the women the great beauty is to have little feet ; and for this reason mothers are accustomed, as söon as girls are born to them, to swathe their feet tightly so that they can never grow in the least.'
47. Of the old man of the mountain, and his end.
After I had left the lands of Prester John and was travelling towards the west, I came to a certain country which is called Millestorte, a fair and very fertile region. In this country used to dwell a certain one who was called the Old Man of the Mountain.2 Between two of the mountains of
pair slung over the horse, to contain provender" (Meninski). The taghar, according to Tiinkowsky, contains about four poocls, or one hundred and forty pounds, of flour. Revenues continued to be estimated in China in sacks of rice until lately, if they are not so still. In Burma they are always estimated in baskets of rice.
It is remarkable that neither of these well-known Chinese fashions is mentioned by Polo. That of the men letting their nails grow long appears to have been becoming obsolete in Duhalde's time ; and I am not aware of any recent notice of it.
i This account of the Old Man of the Mountain (Shaikh-ul-Jibal) and his Paradise, is almost exactly the same as that given by Marco Polo. But it would be a mistake to suppose that it is therefore copied. Both related the story in the popular form in which it spread over the East. The Mussulman account in Deguignes is substantially the same; so, according to Zurla, is another Arabic account translated in the Mines de l' Orient. And an extract from a Chinese history, given by Klaproth, tells the same story. (Polo, ii, 18 and 19; Deguignes, i, 341; Zurla, Dissert., etc., i, 276; Klap. lien. Rel. d, l'Asie, i, 171.)
The sect in its original form was a branch of the Shfyas, which was called Ismaelian, from Ismail the eldest son of the fifth Imam, whom they