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.
who says that it was written in Persian, in twelve pages, without notes or explanation.  He makes no mention of the translator, but probably borrowed the article from Witsen, without acknowledgment.  The present edition is taken from Astleys collection, and is enriched by several notes and elucidations, by Mr John Reinhold Forster; who, while he regrets the scarcity of Witsens valuable work in Dutch, forgets to inform us of the existence of this tract in Thevenot, or in the collection of Astley.  This journey throws some light on the interior part of Tartary, or Central Asia; and is therefore an important addition to our scanty knowledge of that little known and interesting country, the real storehouse of nations, and the scourge, during many centuries, of all the surrounding countries, from the sea of Japan to the Baltic, and from the Frozen Ocean, to the seas of China, India, Persia, Arabia, and Roum, or the Mediterranean.

The present edition has been carefully corrected and enlarged, by collation with the abstract which Forster published from the Dutch translation by Witsen.  This journal gives many curious remarks on the magnificence of the Chinese court, and respecting the ceremonial observed in giving audience to ambassadors, which still continue nearly the same.  The editor of Astley labours hard to explain away the want of notice In these travels, and in the repeated journeys of Marco Polo, respecting the great Chinese wall.  But the only rational explanation of this omission, is the clear conclusion that it was not then built.  We learn from this narrative, that the paper money of the former Mogul Khans of Kathay was no longer in use, and that silver money, under the same denomination of Balishes, had been substituted in its place.

[1] Astley IV. 621.  Forst.  Voy. and Disc. 158.

[2] I suspect this learned Dutchman has been sometimes quoted in Latin, by
    the name of Candidius.—­E.


The Journey of the Ambassadors from Herat to Khanbalek, and their reception at the Court of the Emperor of Kathay.

In the year of the Hejirah 822, or 1419 of the Christian era, the Sultan Mirza Shah Rokh, king of Persia, sent ambassadors from Herat, his royal residence, to the emperor of Kathay, or China, of whom Shadi Khoja was the chief.  At the same time, Mirza Baysangar, the son of Shah Rokh, sent Soltan Ahmet, and a painter named Khoja Gayath Addin, to accompany his fathers ambassadors, giving orders to his servants to keep an exact journal of their travels, and to take notice of every thing that was remarkable in every city and country they travelled through; carefully noting the nature of the roads, the police, and customs of the people, and the magnificence and government of the various sovereigns.  Leaving Herat[1] on the 11th of the month Zi’lkaa-deh[2], the ambassadors arrived at Balkh on the 8th of Zi’lhejjeh, where

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