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0480 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 480 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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464   183. COTTON

cf. infra, p. 499), the Nung-sang i-shih ts'o-yao (1330; cf. infra, p. 504) and the Tao-i chih-lio (1350). Even after these dates, however, its adoption was far from being general : the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu always employs the old form, and so does the T'u-shu chi-ch'êng.

The now usual name of cotton, , /E mien-hua, does not often occur, either as such or with

the earlier form of mien, before the second half of the 17th cent.; Li Shih-chên and even the T'ushu chi-ch'êng ignore it. It is, however, fairly ancient. In his Hsi-yii fan-kuo chih (Pei-p'ing T'u-shu-kuan shan pên ts'ung-shu ed., 19 b), Ch'ên Ch'êng, who, in 1414, was sent on a mission to

various countries of Central Asia, says of Lükcün (east of Turfan) that « it produces   /4.6. mien-

hua with which one can make cloth (pu) ». In his [,l '   T'u-shu pien (89, 30 b), written from

1562 to 1577, CHANG Huang (1527-1608) says that the so-lo pu (cf. infra, p. 478) is made of

mien-hua; the same form also occurs in the Min pu shu, written in 1585 (cf. infra, p. 480).

As to V,   ts'ao-mien, « plant cotton », it is a botanical name of fairly late origin. Up to

now, I have not traced it earlier than jJ 0,   CHAO Hsüeh-min's $     41,4   4-n { Pên-ts'ao

kang-mu shih-i which was completed in 1765 (5, 10 a-b) ; CHAO employs ts'ao-mien in his own

composition, and also in a quotation from a    Yao-hsing k'ao which is unknown to me,
which seems to have been then a recent work. I must add a few words to vindicate the date 1765 which I have assigned to the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu shi-i. LAUFER (Sino-Iranica, 229) says that the work was published in 1650, and only reprinted in 1765. This is in agreement with Mo Yu-chih's Catalogue (Jap. ed., 8, 11 a), where we read that the kêng-yin of the preface of CHAO's collected medical works corresponds to 1650. On the other hand, YANG Shou-ching says, in a contradictory way (Ts'ung-shu chü-yao, 12, 31), first that the collective edition of CHAO'S twelve medical works engraved under K'ang-hsi (1662-1722) is scarce, and secondly that only the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu shih-i has been engraved. The date 1650 is impossible, since the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu shih-i quotes abundantly from PINUEI.A's Pên-ts'ao pu, which appeared only in 1697 (cf. COURANT, Catalogue, 5332). CHAO Hsüeh-min's own preface to the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu shih-i is dated 1765, and I have no doubt that there has never been an earlier edition, either in 1650, or under K'ang-hsi. After his first work had been engraved, CHAO thought of publishing his other medical works in a collective edition with the present one, and wrote for the collection a preface dated kêng-yin; this kêng-yin corresponds neither to 1650, nor to 1710, but to 1770. As no work of CHAO has survived except the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu shih-i, it seems that the scheme of the collective edition was never carried out.

A term t   hua-i, lit. « flower-garment », is known as a designation of « cotton cleansed of

seeds ». Curiously enough, it seems to go back to the beginning of the 5th cent. ; hua-i occurs in ch. 25 of the Shih-sung lü, translated in A. D. 404 (NANJIÔ, No. 1115; y'& , iv, 58 b), and is translated « cotton » by CHAVANNES, 500 Contes, II, 260. Another term - rt tzû-hua, «seed flower » is mentioned in the Tung-hsi yang k'ao (5, 6 a; cf. also 9 b, 10 b) among the products of Lü-sung (Luçon the Philippines), with the gloss « it is chi-pei flowers (chi-pei hua) »; so it must have been a trade name of cotton, used, at least locally, at the beginning of the 17th cent. Such must have been the case also in the 6th cent. with hi ;4i nan-pu, « southern cloth » of Ch'ên shu, 27, 4 b, and, under the Yüan, of fj ; nan-mien, « southern floss », of YS, 90, 8 a. In 1617-1618, Tung-ching pu, « cloth of the Eastern Capital », was the designation of a cotton fabric in narrow strips