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] Explained as signifying the sound of iron, probably in allusion to his
    martial power.—­E.

[2] The obscurity of this passage is inexplicable.—­E.


The departure of Rubruquis from the Court of Mangu-khan, and his journey by Saray and other places, to Tripoly in Syria.

Leaving the Leskar or moving camp of Mangu-khan, we came to Caracarum, and while we remained in the house of William Bouchier the goldsmith, my guide brought ten jascots, five of which he delivered to William, commanding him, from the khan, to expend these for the use of the friar while he remained there, and he left the other five with my interpreter for my subsistence by the way; for William had given them such instructions without my knowledge.  I immediately changed one of the jascots into small money, which I distributed among the poor Christians of Caracarum.  Another was spent in providing garments and other necessaries for our journey.  With the third my interpreter bought several articles, of which he afterwards made some profit.  The other two we expended on the road, as, after we came into Persia, sufficient necessaries were nowhere given us.  William, your majestys citizen and subject, sends you a girdle set with a precious stone, which is worn in those parts as a defence against thunder and lightning, and most humbly salutes you, always commending you to God in his prayers.

My companion and I parted with tears, he remaining with master William, while I, with my interpreter, the guide, and one servant, returned to the court of Baatu, our guide having authority to take a sheep once in four days, for the sustenance of all four.  From Caracarum to the court of Baatu our journey continued four months and ten days, during all which time we never saw a town, or even the appearance of a single house, except one village, in which we did not even eat bread; nor in all that time did we ever rest, except one day, when we could not get horses.  We returned, for the most part, by the same kind of people through whom we had passed in going, and yet through other countries, for we went in the winter, and returned in the summer, by the higher parts of the north, except that for fifteen days journey we had to travel along a certain river among the mountains, where there was no lodging, except by the river side[1].  Sometimes we had to go two, or even three days, with no other food than cosmos; and at one time we were in great danger, not being able to fall in with any people, our provisions all exhausted, and our horses quite tired.

When we had travelled twenty days, I heard that the king of Armenia had passed by on his journey to the court of Mangu.  In the end of August I met with Sartach, who went to Mangu, accompanied by his wives and children, and with flocks and herds; yet the bulk of the families over whom he ruled, remained between the Tanais and Etilia, or Volga.  I sent my duty to him, saying that I would willingly have remained in his country, but that Mangu had ordered me to return and carry his letters.  His answer was, that I must obey the will of Mangu-khan.

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