Of a Grand Feast given by Mangu-khan and of the Ceremonies of the Nestorians.
Epiphany was now at hand, and the Armenian monk, Sergins, told me, that he was to baptize Mangu-khan on that day. I entreated him to use his utmost endeavours that I might be present on the occasion, which he faithfully promised. When the day came, the monk did not call me, but I was sent for to court at six o’clock, and I met the monk returning with his cross, and the Nestorian priests with their censers, and the gospel of the day. It is the custom of Mangu to make a feast on such days as are pointed out by his soothsayers, or the Nestorian priests; and on these days the Christians came first to court and pray for him, and bless his cup, after which the Saracen priests do the same, and after them the idolatrous priests. The monk pretended that he only believed the Christians, yet would have all to pray for him; but in this Sergius lied, for he believes none, but all follow his court as flies do honey. He gives to all, and all think they are his familiars, and all prophecy prosperity to him. Then we sat down before the court, and they brought us flesh to eat, which I refused, saying, that if they would provide for us, it ought to be at our house. They then desired us to go home, as we were only sent for that we might eat. On my return I called on the monk, who was ashamed of the lie he had told me, and would not, therefore, say any more of the matter; yet some of the Nestorians affirmed, that the khan had been baptized, but I said that I would neither believe it, nor report it to others, as I had not been present.