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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.

[1] Caten signifies lady and Cotata was her particular name.—­Harris.

SECTION XXXV.

Of a great Cure performed by the Armenian monk Sergius, on one of the Wives of Mangu-khan.

Sometime after the lady Cota was sick almost to death, and the divination by lot of the idolaters did her no good.  Mangu-khan then sent for the monk, who indiscreetly engaged to cure her on the forfeiture of his head.  On this, the monk sent for us, and entreated us, with tears, to watch and pray all night along with him, which we did.  He took of a certain root called rhubarb, which he beat to powder and put among water, along with a little crucifix, and he used to give of that water to all sick persons, which griped them by reason of its bitterness, and which they attributed to a miracle.  I proposed to prepare some holy water, according to the rites of the church of Rome, which hath great power to cast out devils, as I understood the lady was vexed of a devil[1].  At his request, I consecrated some holy water, which he mingled with the rhubarb, and left his crucifix all night in the mixture.

Next morning I and the monk and two Nestorian priests went to the lady, who was then in a small house behind her great one.  She sat up in her bed and worshipped the cross, laying it honourably by her upon a silken cloth; she drank of the holy water mixed with rhubarb, and washed her breast, and, at the desire of the monk, I read the passion of our Lord according to St John, over her.  At length she felt herself relieved, and ordered four jascots to be brought, which she first laid at the foot of the cross, and gave three to the monk, offering one to me, which I refused; then the monk took this likewise, and gave one to each of the priests, keeping two to himself, so that she gave away forty marks in all at this time.[2] She then ordered wine, which she gave to the priests, and made me drink thrice from her hand in honour of the holy trinity.  She likewise began to teach me the language, jesting with me, because I was silent for want of an interpreter.

Next day Mangu-khan, hearing that we were passing, and having learned that the lady Cota was somewhat better, made us come in, and took the cross into his hand, asking several questions, which I did not understand, but I did not see that he worshipped it.  The monk, by my suggestion, craved leave to carry the cross aloft on a lance, and Manga gave permission that it might be carried in any way we thought fit.  Then paying our obeisance to the khan, we went to the lady Cota, whom we found strong and cheerful.  She still drank the holy water, and we read the passion over her; but those miserable priests never taught her the articles of our holy faith, neither advised her to be baptized, nor did they find fault with any kind of sorcery.  For I saw four swords half drawn out of their sheaths, one at the head of her bed,

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