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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.
from the power of Umcan, to whom they refused the accustomed tribute.  After continuing in the north for some time, they chose a king among themselves, named Zingis-khan, who was a wise and valiant man, and reigned with such justice, that he was beloved and feared of all as a god rather than as a prince, so that by his fame and prowess, he soon reduced all the Tartars in these parts under his authority.  Seeing himself at the head of so many valiant men, he determined to leave the northern deserts; and commanding his people to provide themselves with bows and other weapons, he began to reduce the neighbouring cities and provinces under his dominion, in which conquests he placed such just governors, that the people were perfectly reconciled to his authority.  In all his conquests he carried the chief persons along with him, bestowing upon them provisions and other gifts, and by that means attached them to his person, and continually augmented his power.  After sometime, finding himself advanced to power and glory, he sent ambassadors to Umcan, to entreat that he would bestow his daughter upon him for a wife.  Umcan received this message with the utmost indignation, saying to the messengers; “Does my servant presume to demand my daughter?  Begone, and tell your master, that if ever he dare to repeat so insolent a proposal, I will make him die a miserable death.”

Zingis seems only to have wanted a reasonable pretence to justify him in the estimation of his nobles for entering into war against Umcan; he therefore immediately levied a great army, with which he marched boldly against Umcan, and encamped in a great plain named Tanduc[4], sending a message to Umcan to defend himself.  Upon this Umcan collected a vast army, with which he advanced into the plains, and pitched his camp within ten miles of that of the Tartars.  Zingis commanded his astrologers to shew him what was to be the event of the approaching battle; on which they split a reed into two pieces, on one of which they wrote the name of Zingis, and the name of Umcan on the other, and struck them separately into the ground, saying to Zingis:  “While we read in our holy books, it shall come to pass through the power of the idol, that these two pieces of reed shall fight together, and whose part shall get the better, to that king shall the victory be given.”  The astrologers began to mumble their prayers and incantations, while the multitude stood around to observe the result; and after some time, the two pieces of reed seemed spontaneously to fight together, and the portion inscribed with the name of Zingis got the mastery over that of Umcan; and the Tartars being encouraged by this prodigy, went into the battle fully assured of victory, which they actually obtained.  By this battle, in which Umcan was slain, the sovereignty of all Tangut was transferred to Zingis, who took to wife the daughter of Umcan.  Zingis reigned six years after this, and conquered many provinces:  But at last, while he endeavoured

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