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.
and pearls; and this moving throne is drawn by four elephants, richly caparisoned; before which, four war horses, in magnificent housings, are led for his particular use.  Close to the chariot, and keeping hold of it, eight barons attend on either side, to prevent all persons from approaching too near, or from incommoding the emperor.  Two milk-white ger-falcons are carried in the chariot along with the emperor, that he may fly them at any game that comes in the way.  No one dare come within a stones throw of the chariot in which the emperor rides, except those who are expressly appointed.  The number of his own followers, and of those who attend the empress, and on his eldest son, would appear quite incredible to any person who had not seen the same, and is therefore omitted.  The whole empire is divided into twelve great provinces, one only of which has 2000 great cities within its bounds; and the whole is so extensive, that one may travel continually for six months in any one direction, besides the islands under his dominion, which are at least 5000 in number.

[1] In the plates of La Monarchie Francaise, by Pere Montfaucon, the French
    ladies of the fourteenth century are represented as wearing conical
    caps on their heads, at least one third of their own height.—­E.

[2] One hundred and forty millions of florins, as the value of the dresses
    of the nobles of the imperial court!  It seems that most writers
    concerning China are apt entirely to forget the power of numbers, in
    the fervour of their admiration.—­E.

[3] Odericus, or his Bolandist biographer, seems to have forgot that
    thirty-three tomans make 330,000 useless ministers of luxury and
    folly.  I strongly suspect the Minorites, for the honour of Oderic,
    have ignorantly borrowed and exaggerated from Marco Polo, to decorate
    the legend of the favourite Saint of Udina.—­E.


Of the Inns established over the whole Empire, for the use of Travellers.

That travellers may have all things necessary throughout the whole empire, the emperor has caused certain inns to be provided in sundry places upon the highways, where all kinds of provisions are in continual readiness.  When any intelligence is to be communicated to him, his messengers ride post on horses or dromedaries; and when themselves and their beasts are weary, they blow their horns, and the people at the next inn provide a man and horse in readiness to carry forward the dispatch.  By this means, intelligence, which would take thirty days in the ordinary way of travelling, is transmitted in one day, and he is consequently immediately informed of any important matter which may occur in the most distant parts of his dominions.

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