A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01.

[1] The inhabitants of Northern China, then a separate kingdom from Mangi,
    or Southern China.—­E.

[2] The Huirs or Uigurs.—­E.

[3] This probably alludes to the difficulty experienced by the Mongals in
    forcing a passage across the great rivers Hoang-ho and Kian-ku—­E.

[4] These absurd notions must have been picked up by the credulous papal
    messengers, from ignorant or designing Nestorians in Mongolia.—­E.


Of the Wars of the Mongals against the Greater and Lesser India.

When Zingis and his people had rested some time after their conquest of Cathay, he divided his army, and sent one of his sons, named Thosut-khan[1], against the Comaniam, whom he vanquished in many battles, and then returned into his own country.  Another of his sons was sent with an army against the Indians, who subdued the lesser India.  These Indians are the Black Saracens, who are also named Ethiopians.  From thence the Mongal army marched to fight against the Christians dwelling in the greater India, and the king of that country, known by the name of Prester John, came forth with his army against them.  This prince caused a number of hollow copper figures to be made, resembling men, which were stuffed with combustibles, and set upon horses, each having a man behind on the horse, with a pair of bellows to stir up the fire.  When approaching to give battle, these mounted images were first sent forwards against the enemy, and the men who rode behind set fire by some means to the combustibles, and blew strongly with their bellows; and the Mongal men and horses were burnt with wildfire, and the air was darkened with smoke.  Then the Indians charged the Mongals, many of whom were wounded and slain, and they were expelled from the country in great confusion, and we have not heard that they ever ventured to return[2].

[1] Probably Tuschi-Khan.—­E.

[2] It is needless to remark upon the confused and ignorant geography, and
    the idle tale of a Christian empire in India in this section.  The
    strangely ill-told story of the copper images, by which the Mongals
    were scorched with wild-fire, may refer to the actual employment
    either of cannon or rockets against the Mongals in this invasion.—­E.


Of Monstrous Men like Dogs, and of the Conquest of Burithabeth.

In returning through the desert, we were told by some Russian priests at the emperor’s court, that the Mongals found certain women, who, being asked where their men were, said that all the women of that country had human shapes, but that the males had the shape of great dogs.  After some time, they met the dogs on the other side of a river.  It being in winter, the dogs plunged into the water, and then rolled themselves in the dust on the land, till the

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