(11) Of these pilgrims with their clerical names, the most distinguished was Pao-yun, who translated various Sanskrit works on his return from India, of which only one seems to be now existing. He died in 449. See Nanjio’s Catalogue of the Tripitaka, col. 417.
(12) This was the second summer
since the pilgrims left Ch’ang-gan. We
are now therefore, probably, in A.D. 400.
(13) T’un-hwang (lat. 39d 40s N.; lon. 94d 50s E.) is still the name of one of the two districts constituting the department of Gan-se, the most western of the prefectures of Kan-suh; beyond the termination of the Great Wall.
(14) Who this envoy was, and where
he was going, we do not know. The
text will not admit of any other translation.
(15) Le Hao was a native of Lung-se, a man of learning, able and kindly in his government. He was appointed governor or prefect of T’un-hwang by the king of “the northern Leang,” in 400; and there he sustained himself, becoming by and by “duke of western Leang,” till he died in 417.
(16) “The river of sand;” the great desert of Kobi or Gobi; having various other names. It was a great task which the pilgrims had now before them,—to cross this desert. The name of “river” in the Chinese misleads the reader, and he thinks of crossing it as of crossing a stream; but they had to traverse it from east to west. In his “Vocabulary of Proper Names,” p. 23, Dr. Porter Smith says:—“It extends from the eastern frontier of Mongolia, south-westward to the further frontier of Turkestan, to within six miles of Ilchi, the chief town of Khoten. It thus comprises some twenty-three degrees of longitude in length, and from three to ten degrees of latitude in breadth, being about 2,100 miles in its greatest length. In some places it is arable. Some idea may be formed of the terror with which this ‘Sea of Sand,’ with its vast billows of shifting sands, is regarded, from the legend that in one of the storms 360 cities were all buried within the space of twenty-four hours.” So also Gilmour’s “Among the Mongols,” chap. 5.
ON TO SHEN-SHEN AND THENCE TO KHOTEN
After travelling for seventeen days, a distance we may calculate of about 1500 le, (the pilgrims) reached the kingdom of Shen-shen,(1) a country rugged and hilly, with a thin and barren soil. The clothes of the common people are coarse, and like those worn in our land of Han,(2) some wearing felt and others coarse serge or cloth of hair;—this was the only difference seen among them. The king professed (our) Law, and there might be in the country