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.

[3] Cotan, Cotam, Hotum, Khoten, Khotan, from which the useful material of
    manufacture, cotton, takes its name.  But instead of being between
    the east and north-east direction from Yarkand, as in the text, or
    E.N.E. it is actually E.S.E.—­E.

[4] Called likewise Ciarciam, Ciartiam, and Sartam, in different editions. 
    —­E.

[5] The journey from Sartem to Lop is obviously retrograde, and this course
    must have been pursued by the Polos for commercial purposes; perhaps
    for collecting those valuable stones which are mentioned by Marco as
    giving so much profit when sold in China.—­E.

[6] Schatscheu, Tschat-scheu, or Chat-chou, on the Polonkir, which runs
    into the Hara lake.—­E.

[7] It is highly probable that this emblematical representation had been
    substituted by some humane legislator or conqueror, in place of the
    actual sacrifice of the servants, cattle, and goods themselves, which
    we are well assured was once the practice among many rude nations, in
    honour of their deceased great men.—­E.

SECTION VII.

Of the Province of Chamil and several other Countries on the road from thence to the City of Ezina; and of another great Desert.

The province of Chamil, which abounds in all the necessaries of life, is situated in the wide country of Tangut, and is subject to the great khan.  This province, of which the city of Chamil or Hami is the capital[1], is bounded by two deserts; the great desert of Lop already mentioned, and another which is only three days journey across[2].  The inhabitants are idolaters, have a peculiar language, and appear to live only for amusement, devoting their whole time to singing, dancing, and sports, playing upon instruments of music, and reading and writing after their fashion.  When any traveller goes into a house for entertainment and lodging, the master of the family receives him with great joy, and commands his wife and family to obey the stranger in all things so long as he may choose to remain, and even departs immediately from his own house, that he may not be any restraint upon his guest.  And while the traveller remains, he may choose a female bed fellow every night, either the wife, daughter, or servant of the polite host, as he feels inclined.  The women of the country are very beautiful, and are perfectly ready to obey these singular commands; and the husbands believe that this strange hospitality is conducive to their own honour and glory, and is an acceptable service to their idols, from whose favour it secures prosperity and abundance to themselves and their country.  Mangu-khan having received notice of this detestable custom, issued a peremptory order for its discontinuance, and it was accordingly laid aside for three years; but as these years happened to be unusually barren, and the inhabitants were vexed

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