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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.

When we went in before Mangu, the Nestorian priests gave him incense, which he put upon the censer, with which they perfumed him.  Then they sung and blessed his cup, which was done next by the monk, and lastly by us.  After he had drunk, the attendants gave drink to the priests, but we went out; and my companion staying last, turned round near the door to make his obeisance to the khan, and hastily turning again to follow us, stumbled on the threshold, for which he was seized and carried before the Bulgai, who is the chancellor or chief secretary of the court, and judges those who are arraigned on matters of life and death.  But I knew not of all this, as missing him on looking back, I thought he had been detained to receive thinner apparel, for he was very weak, and could hardly walk under his load of garments.  He was sent home in the evening, and the monk sharply rebuked him for having touched the threshold.  Next day, the Bulgai came to me, and demanded to know if any one had warned us against touching the threshold; to which I answered, that as we had not our interpreter along with us, we should not have understood them if the caution had been given.  On this my companion was pardoned, but was never allowed, afterwards to come into any of the houses of Mangu-khan.

From the house of the khan, we went to that of his eldest son, who had two wives, and lodged next on the right from his father.  As soon as he saw us approach, he leapt from his bed and prostrated himself before the cross, striking the ground with his forehead, then rising and kissing the cross, he caused it to be placed on a new cloth, in a high place, very reverently.  He has a tutor, named David, to instruct him, who is a Nestorian priest and a great drunkard.  The prince gave drink to the priests, and he drank himself, after the priests had blessed his cup.  From him we went to the court of Cota, the khans second lady, who is an idolater, and whom we found very sick; yet the Armenian monk made her rise from bed and adore the cross on her knees, with many ceremonies.  We then went to the third court, in which a Christian lady formerly resided; but on her death, she was succeeded by a young woman, who, with the khans daughter, joyfully received us, and worshipped the cross with great reverence.  We went then into the house of the young lady Cerina, behind the third court, which had formerly belonged to her mother, who likewise worshipped the cross with great devotion.  We next went into the court of the fourth and last lady, whose house was very old, but the khan gave her a new house and new chariots after Easter.  This lady was an idolater, yet she worshipped the cross, according to the directions of the monk and priests.  From that place we returned to our oratory, the monks accompanying us with great howlings and outcries in their drunkenness, as they had been plentifully supplied with drink at every visit; but this is not considered as blameable or unseemly, either in man or woman in these parts.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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