Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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.

Continuing my journey still farther to the east, I came to the city of Foquien, which is thirty miles in circuit.  The poultry here are very large, and as white as snow, but have wool like sheep instead of feathers.  This is a stately and most beautiful city, and standeth on the sea.  Travelling onwards for eighteen days, I passed through many provinces and cities; and in my way, I passed over a certain great mountain, on one side of which all living creatures were quite black, whereas, on the other side, all were as white as snow; and the inhabitants of the two sides of the mountain differed exceedingly from each other, in their manners and customs.  In these parts, all the married women wear a large tire or cap of horn, like a small barrel, on their heads, as a mark that they have husbands.

Journeying onwards for other eighteen days, I came to a city on a large river, over which there is a prodigiously great bridge.  The host with whom I lodged in that city, willing to amuse me, carried me along with him to this bridge, taking with him in his arms certain diving birds bound to poles, and he tied a thread about every one of their necks, lest they might swallow the fish they were to catch.  He carried likewise three large baskets to the river side.  He then loosed his divers from the poles, on which they went into the water, and in less than an hour, they caught as many fish as filled the three baskets.  Mine host then untied the threads from their necks, and sent them again into the water, where they fed themselves with fish.  And, when satisfied, they returned to their master, allowing themselves to be fastened to the poles as before.  I eat of these fish, and found them very good.

Travelling thence many days, I came to another city named Canasia[1], which signifies in their language the city of Heaven.  I never saw so great a city, for it is an hundred miles in circumference, and every part of it is thoroughly inhabited, yea, many of its houses are ten or even twelve stories high.  It has many large suburbs, which contain more inhabitants than even the city itself.  There are twelve principal gates; and at the distance of about eight miles from every one of these there is a large city, each of them larger, in my opinion, than Venice or Padua.  The city of Canasia is situated among waters or lakes, which are always stagnant, without flux or reflux, and it is defended against the violence of the wind in the same manner as Venice.  In this city there are more than 10,002 bridges[2], many of which I counted and passed over; and on every one of these, there stand certain watchmen, constantly keeping guard for the great khan, or emperor of Cathay.  The people of the country informed me that they have to pay, as tribute to their lord, one balis for every fire.  Now one balis consists of five pieces of silken paper, which are worth one florin and a half of our coin.  Ten or twelve households are counted as one fire, and only pay accordingly.  All these

Follow Us on Facebook