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.

While thus busily employed in hawking, the royal retinue came at length to a great plain called Carzarmodin, where the tents of the khan and all the courtiers are pitched, to the number of 10,000 or more.  The grand pavilion of the khan is so large, that 10,000 men might stand within it, besides barons and noblemen.  It is placed with its entrance to the south, supported upon curiously carved pillars, and is covered on the outside with the skins of lions and other wild beasts, to keep out the rain; but the whole inside is lined with sables and ermines, to an immense value.  For so precious are these skins esteemed, that a sufficient number to make one garment only will sometimes cost 2000 gold sultanies, and the Tartars call the sable the queen of furs.  All the cords of the imperial pavilions are of silk.  Around this there are other pavilions for the sons, wives, and concubines of the khan.  At a farther distance there are tents for the falcons, ger-falcons, hawks, and other birds of game; and the whole encampment seems at a distance like a great city, or the station of a large army.  The khan remains all the month of March in that plain, employed in hawking; and the multitude of beasts and fowls which are taken in that time is quite incredible.  From the beginning of March to the month of October, no person is permitted to hunt within five days journey of this plain of Carzarmodin in one direction, ten in another, and fifteen in a third, nor to keep any hawk or hunting dog, neither to use any device or engine whatever, for taking any stag, deer, roe-buck, hare, or other game, lest the breed should be injured; by which means the game is always in great abundance.

It is quite wonderful to behold what numbers of merchants and other people, and what astonishing quantities of merchandize and goods of all sorts are to be seen in Cambalu.  The money of the great khan is not of gold or silver, or other metal, but of a species of paper, which is thus made:  They take the middle Dark of the mulberry tree, which they make firm in a particular manner, and this is cut out into round pieces of various sizes, on which the seal or mark of the khan is impressed.  Of this paper money, an immense quantity is fabricated in the city of Cambalu, sufficient to supply the currency of the whole empire; and no person, under pain of death, may coin or spend any other money, or refuse to accept of this, in all the kingdoms and countries which are subject to his dominions.  All who come into his dominions are prohibited from using any other money, so that all merchants coming from countries however remote, must bring with them gold, silver, pearls, or precious stones, for which they receive the khans paper money in exchange:  And as that money is not received in other countries, they must exchange it again in the empire of the great khan, for merchandize to carry with them on their return.  The khan pays all salaries, stipends, and wages to his officers, servants, and army, in this money, and whatever is required for the service of his court and household is paid for in the same.  By all these means, there is no sovereign in the world who equals the great khan in extent of treasure; as he expends none in the mint, or in any other way whatever.

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