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0446 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 446 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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430   183. COTTON

the « silk-cotton tree », which is its accepted designation in English. By « cotton tree », I shall always mean Gossypium arboreum, and, by « cotton plant », Gossypium herbaceum, both being designations of true cotton.

TOU-LO-MIEN. — A first term which Chinese commentators have generally equated to cotton is

tou-lo-mien, « tou-lo floss », in which tou-lo (*tau-M) undoubtedly transcribes Skr. tills. HIRTH was in error when he said (HR, 219) that tou-lo-mien did not occur before Chao Ju-kua, i. e. before c. 1225; I have found it in a Buddhist translation as early as the end of the 3rd cent. A. D. (cf. TP, 1933, 429-430; T(3,kyb Tripit. of Meiji, A , viii, 84 b, 163 a; cf. also CHAVANNES, 500 Contes,

II, 179, 265). Translators of the early T'ang period adopted new forms,   to-lo-mien (ibid.

  1. 98 a; ix, 192 a), '`a`    to-lo-mien (ibid. vii, 87 a; viii, 187 a), i   , to-lo-mien (ibid.

  2. 51 b, 69 b), and ti   to-lo-mien (in the Mandprajnâpdramitâ; cf. A, I, 16 b), which

never became of common use. Fa-yün, the Sung author of the Fan-i ming-i chi, gives   fi hsi-

hsiang as the meaning of tou-lo (ibid. * , xi, 87 b); but this is a corrupt reading for 41 g hsijuan, « thin and soft », given in an early T'ang gloss (cf. ibid. A , viii, 51 b, 69 b). Fa-yün adds

that, according to Hui-yüan, tou-lo means « ice », and 9v,   tou-sha « hoar-frost ». This comes
from an absurd note of Hui-yüan, who maintained (ibid., viii, 151 b; x, 129 a, 147 b) that tou-shalo, a perfectly correct transcription of Skr. tus Ira, « hoar-frost », ought to be written tou-sha-tou-lo, and was formed with tou-sha, « hoar-frost », and tou-lo, « ice » (he was perhaps led to this etymology by the white and flossy appearance of the hoar-frost); this tou-lo, which may have to be connected with the mysterious *tudyu, « ice », of BAGCHI, Deux lexiques sanskrit-chinois, 70, 292, is puzzling, but certainly has nothing to do with the tou-lo, tûM, of tou-lo-mien. The latter tou-lo also occurs

either alone (Tripit.   , ix, 167 b), or as tou-lo- [it ]êrh, « tou-lo tuft » (ibid., VIII, 166 a). Despite
the glosses, I suspect that lit êrh (*nzi) may have to be here pronounced jung (*nziung) like itt

jung (*nziung), and may be in fact the prototype of the later A jung, 1# jung,   jung, and fl
jung, « floss », « a textile with a nap », and finally « velvet » (cf. the formation of If êrh (*hid and n jung [*nziung]). In a polyglot list of the eighty « secondary signs » (anuvyai'jana) of the Buddha published by DE HARLEZ (TP, 1896, 370), the forty-fourth sign is that, according to the Chinese text, the Buddha's « hands were like tou-lo-mien » (in DE HARLEZ'S paper I,M, chin is a faulty

reading instead of   mien; on this frequent alteration, cf. TP, 1933, 429), and the corresponding
Sanskrit term, very corrupt, is kulapatrisasu, which DE HARLEZ boldly rendered « the skin of his hands was like the kulapatri »; a note adds that the kulapatri is the « cotton tree ». But kalapatri does not exist; the true form was either tûlasadlsasu[pCuji], « having fine hands similar to tiila (cotton) », as partly suspected already by BURNOUF, Le Lotus de la Bonne Loi, 587-588, or talapu(ikâsu[pâni], «having fine hands [like] cotton cloth », for which cf. tûlapalik¢ in Mahâvyutpatti No. 5874.

Most Chinese commentators have explained tou-lo as « cotton » (mu-mien) or « cotton down », but Tao-hsüan (7th cent.) maintained that it was a designation of willow and reed catkins as well

(   , VIII, 51 b, 69 b). There is in fact a decisive text to that effect in the Vinaya of the Sarvasti-
vàdin (Shih-sung lii, ch. 18, in y , iv, 15 b) ; and the opinion has been expressed that tou-lo could even be referred to the cocoons of wild silkworms (cf. ODA Tokuno, Bukkyô dai-jiten, 1278). The