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.

I saw another terrible thing in those parts.  Passing by a certain valley, near a pleasant river, I saw many dead bodies therein, and I heard issuing therefrom many sweet and harmonious musical sounds, especially of lutes; insomuch that I was much amazed.  This valley is at least seven or eight miles long, into which, whoever enters, is sure to die immediately; for which cause, all who travel by that way pass by on one side, no one being able to travel through that valley and live.  But I was curious to go in, that I might see what it contained.  Making therefore my prayers, and recommending myself to God, I entered in, and saw such vast quantities of dead bodies, as no one would believe, unless he had seen them with his own eyes.  At one side of the valley, I saw the visage of a man upon a stone, which stared at me with such a hideous aspect, that I thought to have died on the spot.  But I ceased not to sign myself with the sign of the cross, continually saying “The Word became flesh, and dwelt with us.”  Yet I dared not to approach nearer than seven or eight paces; and at length, I fled to another part of the valley.  I then ascended a little sand hill; from whence, looking around, I saw on every side the before mentioned lutes, which seemed to me to sound of themselves in a most miraculous manner, without the aid of any musicians.  On the top of this sand hill, I found great quantities of silver, resembling the scales of fishes, and gathered some of this into the bosom of my habit, to shew as a wonder; but, my conscience rebuking me, I threw it all away, and so, by the blessing of God, I departed in safety.  When the people of the country knew that I had returned alive from the valley of the dead, they reverenced me greatly; saying, that the dead bodies were subject to the infernal spirits, who were in use to play upon lutes, to entice men into the valley, that they might die; but as I was a baptized and holy person, I had escaped the danger.  Thus much I have related, which I certainly beheld with mine own eyes; but I have purposely omitted many wonderful things, because those who had not seen them would refuse to believe my testimony.

[1] The place in which these wonderful things were seen, is no where
    indicated; neither is the omission to be regretted, as the whole is
    evidently fabulous.—­E.


Of the Honour and Reverence shewn to the Great Khan.

I shall here report one thing more concerning the great khan of Cathay, of which I was a witness.  It is customary, when he travels through any part of his wide dominions, that his subjects kindle fires before their doors, in such places as he means to pass, into which they fling spices and perfumes, that he may be regaled by their sweet odour.  And numberless multitudes flock from all quarters, to meet him, and do him homage.  Upon a certain time, when the approach of the khan to Cambalu was announced, one

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