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.
of God, as they say, have carried him to paradise.  When the procession returns to the dwelling of the deceased, the son boils the head of his father, and eats the flesh, converting the skull into a drinking cup, out of which he, and all his family, and kindred, carouse with much, mirth and solemnity, in remembrance of his father.  This nation has many other vile and abominable customs, which I refrain from describing, because no one would believe them unseen.

[1] This strange word, both in the Latin and English of Hakluyt, is
    obviously the Italian for Prester John, information concerning whom
    will be found in the travels of Marco Polo.—­E.


Of a certain Rich Man, who was Fed by fifty Virgins.

While in the province of Mangi, or Southern China, I passed by the palace of a rich man, who is continually attended upon by fifty young virgins, who feed him at every meal as a bird feeds her young; and all the time they are so employed, they sing to him most sweetly.  The revenues of this man are thirty toman of tagars of rice, each toman being 10,000 tagars, and one tagar is the burthen of an ass.  His palace is two miles in circuit, and is paved with alternate plates of gold and silver.  Near the wall of his palace, there is an artificial mound of gold and silver, having turrets and steeples, and other magnificent ornaments, contrived for the solace and recreation of this great man.[l] I was further informed, that there are four such great men in the kingdom of Mangi.  It is reckoned a great mark of dignity, among the great men of this country, to have their nails of great length; more especially their thumb nails, which are sometimes of sufficient length to be wrapped round the hand.  The beauty, and even the rank of their women is supposed to consist in the smallness of their feet; for which reason, mothers bind up the feet of their daughters when young, to prevent them from growing large.

[1] This seems an ill-digested account of a pagoda, or idol temple, of
    great extent and magnificence, richly gilt, similar to those of which
    we have splendid views in the relation of the embassy to Ava, by
    Colonel Symes.—­E.


Of the Old Man of the Mountain.

Proceeding on my travels towards the south, I arrived at a certain pleasant and fertile country, called Melistorte[1], in which dwells a certain aged person called the Old Man of the Mountain.  This person had surrounded two mountains by a high wall, within which he had the fairest gardens, and finest fountains in the world, inhabited by great numbers of most beautiful virgins.  It was likewise supplied with fine horses, and every article that could contribute to luxury and delightful solace; on which account it was called by the people of the country the terrestrial paradise. 

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