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The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

Part 6 out of 23

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Sometimes they will say _no_, and in that case the journey is put off
till such day as the astrologer may recommend. These astrologers are very
skilful at their business, and often their words come to pass, so the
people have great faith in them.

They burn the bodies of the dead. And when any one dies the friends and
relations make a great mourning for the deceased, and clothe themselves in
hempen garments,[NOTE 12] and follow the corpse playing on a variety of
instruments and singing hymns to their idols. And when they come to the
burning place, they take representations of things cut out of parchment,
such as caparisoned horses, male and female slaves, camels, armour suits
of cloth of gold (and money), in great quantities, and these things they
put on the fire along with the corpse, so that they are all burnt with it.
And they tell you that the dead man shall have all these slaves and
animals of which the effigies are burnt, alive in flesh and blood, and the
money in gold, at his disposal in the next world; and that the instruments
which they have caused to be played at his funeral, and the idol hymns
that have been chaunted, shall also be produced again to welcome him in
the next world; and that the idols themselves will come to do him honour.
[NOTE 13]

Furthermore there exists in this city the palace of the king who fled, him
who was Emperor of Manzi, and that is the greatest palace in the world, as
I shall tell you more particularly. For you must know its demesne hath a
compass of ten miles, all enclosed with lofty battlemented walls; and
inside the walls are the finest and most delectable gardens upon earth,
and filled too with the finest fruits. There are numerous fountains in it
also, and lakes full of fish. In the middle is the palace itself, a great
and splendid building. It contains 20 great and handsome halls, one of
which is more spacious than the rest, and affords room for a vast
multitude to dine. It is all painted in gold, with many histories and
representations of beasts and birds, of knights and dames, and many
marvellous things. It forms a really magnificent spectacle, for over all
the walls and all the ceiling you see nothing but paintings in gold. And
besides these halls the palace contains 1000 large and handsome chambers,
all painted in gold and divers colours.

Moreover, I must tell you that in this city there are 160 _tomans_ of
fires, or in other words 160 _tomans_ of houses. Now I should tell
you that the _toman_ is 10,000, so that you can reckon the total as
altogether 1,600,000 houses, among which are a great number of rich
palaces. There is one church only, belonging to the Nestorian Christians.

There is another thing I must tell you. It is the custom for every burgess
of this city, and in fact for every description of person in it, to write
over his door his own name, the name of his wife, and those of his
children, his slaves, and all the inmates of his house, and also the
number of animals that he keeps. And if any one dies in the house then the
name of that person is erased, and if any child is born its name is added.
So in this way the sovereign is able to know exactly the population of the
city. And this is the practice also throughout all Manzi and Cathay.
[NOTE 14]

[Illustration: Plan of the City of SI-NGAN-FU]

And I must tell you that every hosteler who keeps an hostel for travellers
is bound to register their names and surnames, as well as the day and
month of their arrival and departure. And thus the sovereign hath the
means of knowing, whenever it pleases him, who come and go throughout his
dominions. And certes this is a wise order and a provident.

NOTE 1.--Kinsay represents closely enough the Chinese term _King-sze_,
"capital," which was then applied to the great city, the proper name of
which was at that time Lin-ngan and is now HANG-CHAU, as being since 1127
the capital of the Sung Dynasty. The same term _King-sze_ is now on
Chinese maps generally used to designate Peking. It would seem, however,
that the term adhered long as a quasi-proper name to Hang-chau; for in the
Chinese Atlas, dating from 1595, which the traveller Carletti presented to
the Magliabecchian Library, that city appears to be still marked with this
name, transcribed by Carletti as _Camse_; very near the form _Campsay_
used by Marignolli in the 14th century.

[Illustration: The ancient Lun ho-ta Pagoda at Hang-chau.]

NOTE 2.--+The Ramusian version says: "Messer Marco Polo was frequently at
this city, and took great pains to learn everything about it, writing down
the whole in his notes." The information being originally derived from a
Chinese document, there might be some ground for supposing that 100 miles
of circuit stood for 100 _li_. Yet the circuit of the modern city is
stated in the official book called _Hang-chau Fu-Chi_ or topographical
history of Hang-chau, at only 35 _li_. And the earliest record of the
wall, as built under the Sui by Yang-su (before A.D. 606), makes its
extent little more (36 _li_ and 90 paces.)[1] But the wall was
reconstructed by Ts'ien Kiao, feudal prince of the region, during the
reign of Chao Tsung, one of the last emperors of the T'ang Dynasty (892),
so as to embrace the Luh-ho-ta Pagoda, on a high bluff over the Tsien-tang
River,[2] 15 _li_ distant from the present south gate, and had then a
circuit of 70 _li_. Moreover, in 1159, after the city became the capital
of the Sung emperors, some further extension was given to it, so that,
even exclusive of the suburbs, the circuit of the city may have been not
far short of 100 _li_. When the city was in its glory under the Sung, the
Luh-ho-ta Pagoda may be taken as marking the extreme S.W. Another known
point marks approximately the chief north gate of that period, at a mile
and a half or two miles beyond the present north wall. The S.E. angle was
apparently near the river bank. But, on the other hand, the _waist_ of the
city seems to have been a good deal narrower than it now is. Old
descriptions compare its form to that of a slender-waisted drum (dice-box
or hour-glass shape).

Under the Mongols the walls were allowed to decay; and in the disturbed
years that closed that dynasty (1341-1368) they were rebuilt by an
insurgent chief on a greatly reduced compass, probably that which they
still retain. Whatever may have been the facts, and whatever the origin of
the estimate, I imagine that the ascription of 100 miles of circuit to
Kinsay had become popular among Westerns. Odoric makes the same statement.
Wassaf calls it 24 parasangs, which will not be far short of the same
amount. Ibn Batuta calls the _length_ of the city three days' journey.
Rashiduddin says the enceinte had a _diameter_ of 11 parasangs, and that
there were three post stages between the two extremities of the city,
which is probably what Ibn Batuta had heard. The _Masalak-al-Absar_ calls
it _one_ day's journey in length, and half a day's journey in breadth. The
enthusiastic Jesuit Martini tries hard to justify Polo in this as in other
points of his description. We shall quote the whole of his remarks at the
end of the chapters on Kinsay.

[Dr. F. Hirth, in a paper published in the _T'oung Pao_, V. pp. 386-390
(_Ueber den Shiffsverkehr von Kinsay zu Marco Polo's Zeit_), has some
interesting notes on the maritime trade of Hang-chau, collected from a
work in twenty books, kept at the Berlin Royal Library, in which is to be
found a description of Hang-chau under the title of _Meng-liang-lu_,
published in 1274 by Wu Tzu-mu, himself a native of this city: there are
various classes of sea-going vessels; large boats measuring 5000 _liao_
and carrying from five to six hundred passengers; smaller boats measuring
from 2 to 1000 _liao_ and carrying from two to three hundred passengers;
there are small fast boats called _tsuan-feng_, "wind breaker," with six
or eight oarsmen, which can carry easily 100 passengers, and are generally
used for fishing; sampans are not taken into account. To start for foreign
countries one must embark at Ts'wan-chau, and then go to the sea of
Ts'i-chau (Paracels), through the Tai-hsue pass; coming back he must look
to Kwen-lun (Pulo Condor).--H.C.]

The 12,000 bridges have been much carped at, and modern accounts of
Hang-chau (desperately meagre as they are) do not speak of its bridges as
notable. "There is, indeed," says Mr. Kingsmill, speaking of changes in the
hydrography about Hang-chau, "no trace in the city of the magnificent
canals and bridges described by Marco Polo." The number was no doubt in
this case also a mere popular saw, and Friar Odoric repeats it. The sober
and veracious John Marignolli, alluding apparently to their statements, and
perhaps to others which have not reached us, says: "When authors tell of
its ten thousand noble bridges of stone, adorned with sculptures and
statues of armed princes, it passes the belief of one who has not been
there, and yet peradventure these authors tell us no lie." Wassaf speaks of
360 bridges only, but they make up in size what they lack in number, for
they cross canals as big as the Tigris! Marsden aptly quotes in reference
to this point excessively loose and discrepant statements from modern
authors as to the number of bridges in Venice. The great _height_ of the
arches of the canal bridges in this part of China is especially noticed by
travellers. Barrow, quoted by Marsden, says: "Some have the piers of such
an extraordinary height that the largest vessels of 200 tons sail under
them without striking their masts."

[Illustration: Plan of the Imperial City of Hangchow in the 13th Century.
(From the Notes of the Right Rev. G.E. Moule.)]

Mr. Moule has added up the lists of bridges in the whole department (or
_Fu_) and found them to amount to 848, and many of these even are now
unknown, their approximate sites being given from ancient topographies.
The number _represented_ in a large modern map of the city, which I owe to
Mr. Moule's kindness, is III.

NOTE 3.--Though Rubruquis (p. 292) says much the same thing, there is
little trace of such an ordinance in modern China. Pere Parrenin observes:
"As to the hereditary perpetuation of trades, it has never existed in
China. On the contrary, very few Chinese will learn the trade of their
fathers; and it is only necessity that ever constrains them to do so."
(_Lett. Edif._ XXIV. 40.) Mr. Moule remarks, however, that P. Parrenin is
a little too absolute. Certain trades do run in families, even of the free
classes of Chinese, not to mention the disfranchised boatmen, barbers,
chair-coolies, etc. But, except in the latter cases, there is no
compulsion, though the Sacred Edict goes to encourage the perpetuation of
the family calling.

NOTE 4.--This sheet of water is the celebrated SI-HU, or "Western Lake,"
the fame of which had reached Abulfeda, and which has raised the
enthusiasm even of modern travellers, such as Barrow and Van Braam. The
latter speaks of _three_ islands (and this the Chinese maps confirm), on
each of which were several villas, and of causeways across the lake, paved
and bordered with trees, and provided with numerous bridges for the
passage of boats. Barrow gives a bright description of the lake, with its
thousands of gay, gilt, and painted pleasure boats, its margins studded
with light and fanciful buildings, its gardens of choice flowering shrubs,
its monuments, and beautiful variety of scenery. None surpasses that of
Martini, whom it is always pleasant to quote, but here he is too lengthy.
The most recent description that I have met with is that of Mr. C.
Gardner, and it is as enthusiastic as any. It concludes: "Even to us
foreigners ... the spot is one of peculiar attraction, but to the Chinese
it is as a paradise." The Emperor K'ien Lung had erected a palace on one
of the islands in the lake; it was ruined by the T'ai-P'ings. Many of the
constructions about the lake date from the flourishing days of the T'ang
Dynasty, the 7th and 8th centuries.

Polo's ascription of a circumference of 30 miles to the lake, corroborates
the supposition that in the compass of the city a confusion had been made
between miles and _li_, for Semedo gives the circuit of the lake really as
30 _li_. Probably the document to which Marco refers at the beginning of
the chapter was seen by him in a Persian translation, in which _li_ had
been rendered by _mil_. A Persian work of the same age, quoted by
Quatremere (the _Nuzhat al-Kultub_, gives the circuit of the lake as six
parasangs, or some 24 miles, a statement which probably had a like origin).

Polo says the lake was _within_ the city. This might be merely a loose way
of speaking, but it may on the other hand be a further indication of the
former existence of an extensive outer wall. The Persian author just
quoted also speaks of the lake as within the city. (_Barrow's Autobiog._,
p. 104; _V. Braam_, II. 154; _Gardner_ in _Proc. of the R. Geog. Soc._,
vol. xiii. p. 178; _Q. Rashid_, p. lxxxviii.) Mr. Moule states that
popular oral tradition does enclose the lake within the walls, but he can
find no trace of this in the Topographies.

Elsewhere Mr. Moule says: "Of the luxury of the (Sung) period, and its
devotion to pleasure, evidence occurs everywhere. Hang-chow went at the
time by the nickname of the melting-pot for money. The use, at houses of
entertainment, of _linen and silver plate_ appears somewhat out of keeping
in a Chinese picture. I cannot vouch for the linen, but here is the
plate.... 'The most famous Tea-houses of the day were the _Pa-seen_ ("8
genii"), the "Pure Delight", the "Pearl", the "House of the Pwan Family,"
and the "Two and Two" and "Three and Three" houses (perhaps rather "Double
honours" and "Treble honours"). In these places they always set out
bouquets of fresh flowers, according to the season.... At the counter were
sold "Precious thunder Tea", Tea of fritters and onions, or else Pickle
broth; and in hot weather wine of snow bubbles and apricot blossom, or
other kinds of refrigerating liquor. _Saucers, ladles, and bowls were all
of pure, silver_!' (_Si-Hu-Chi_.)"

[Illustration: Plan of the Metropolitan City of Hangchow in the 13th
Century. (From the Notes of the Right Rev. G.E. Moule.)

1-17, Gates; 18, _Ta-nuy_, Central Palace; 19, _Woo-Foo_, The Five Courts;
20, _T'ai Miao_, The Imperial Temple; 21, _Fung-hwang shan_, Phoenix Hill;
22, _Shih fuh she_, Monastery of the Sacred Fruit; 25-30, Gates; 31,
_T'ien tsung yen tsang_ T'ien tsung Salt Depot; 2, _T'ien tsung tsew koo_,
T'ien tsung Wine Store; 33, _Chang she_, The Chang Monastery; 34, _Foo
che_, Prefecture; _Foo hio_, Prefectural Confucian Temple.]

NOTE 5.--This is still the case: "The people of Hang-chow dress gaily, and
are remarkable among the Chinese for their dandyism. All, except the lowest
labourers and coolies, strutted about in dresses composed of silk, satin,
and crape.... 'Indeed' (said the Chinese servants) 'one can never tell a
rich man in Hang-chow, for it is just possible that all he possesses in the
world is on his back.'" (_Fortune_, II. 20.) "The silk manufactures of
Hang-chau are said to give employment to 60,000 persons within the city
walls, and Hu-chau, Kia-hing, and the surrounding villages, are reputed to
employ 100,000 more." (_Ningpo Trade Report_, January 1869, comm. by Mr. N.
B. Dennys.) The store-towers, as a precaution in case of fire, are still
common both in China and Japan.

NOTE 6.--Mr. Gardner found in this very city, in 1868, a large collection
of cottages covering several acres, which were "erected, after the taking
of the city from the rebels, by a Chinese charitable society for the
refuge of the blind, sick, and infirm." This asylum sheltered 200 blind
men with their families, amounting to 800 souls; basket-making and such
work was provided for them; there were also 1200 other inmates, aged and
infirm; and doctors were maintained to look after them. "None are allowed
to be absolutely idle, but all help towards their own sustenance." (_Proc.
R.G.Soc._ XIII. 176-177.) Mr. Moule, whilst abating somewhat from the
colouring of this description, admits the establishment to be a
considerable charitable effort. It existed before the rebellion, as I see
in the book of Mr. Milne, who gives interesting details on such Chinese
charities. (_Life in China_, pp. 46 seqq.)

NOTE 7.--The paved roads of Manzi are by no means extinct yet. Thus, Mr.
Fortune, starting from Chang-shan (see below, ch. lxxix.) in the direction
of the Black-Tea mountains, says: "The road on which we were travelling
was well paved with granite, about 12 feet in width, and perfectly free
from weeds." (II. 148). Garnier, Sladen, and Richthofen speak of
well-paved roads in Yun-Nan and Sze-ch'wan.

The Topography quoted by Mr. Moule says that in the year 1272 the Governor
renewed the pavement of the Imperial road (or Main Street), "after which
nine cars might move abreast over a way perfectly smooth, and straight as
an arrow." In the Mongol time the people were allowed to encroach on this
grand street.

NOTE 8.--There is a curious discrepancy in the account of these baths.
Pauthier's text does not say whether they are hot baths or cold. The
latter sentence, beginning, "They are hot baths" (_estuves_), is from the
G. Text. And Ramusio's account is quite different: "There are numerous
baths of cold water, provided with plenty of attendants, male and female,
to assist the visitors of the two sexes in the bath. For the people are
used from their childhood to bathe in cold water at all seasons, and they
reckon it a very wholesome custom. But in the bath-houses they have also
certain chambers furnished with hot water, for foreigners who are
unaccustomed to cold bathing, and cannot bear it. The people are used to
bathe daily, and do not eat without having done so." This is in
contradiction with the notorious Chinese horror of cold water for any

A note from Mr. C. Gardner says: "There are numerous public baths at
Hang-chau, as at every Chinese city I have ever been in. In my experience
natives always take _hot_ baths. But only the poorer classes go to the
public baths; the tradespeople and middle classes are generally supplied by
the bath-houses with hot water at a moderate charge."

NOTE 9.--The estuary of the Ts'ien T'ang, or river of Hang-chau, has
undergone great changes since Polo's day. The sea now comes up much nearer
the city; and the upper part of the Bay of Hang-chau is believed to cover
what was once the site of the port and town of KANP'U, the Ganpu of the
text. A modern representative of the name still subsists, a walled town,
and one of the depots for the salt which is so extensively manufactured on
this coast; but the present port of Hang-chau, and till recently the sole
seat of Chinese trade with Japan, is at _Chapu_, some 20 miles further

It is supposed by Klaproth that KANP'U was the port frequented by the
early Arab voyagers, and of which they speak under the name of _Khanfu_,
confounding in their details Hang-chau itself with the port. Neumann
dissents from this, maintaining that the Khanfu of the Arabs was certainly
Canton. Abulfeda, however, states expressly that Khanfu was known in his
day as _Khansa_ (i.e. Kinsay), and he speaks of its lake of fresh water
called _Sikhu_ (Si-hu). [Abulfeda has in fact two Khanqu (Khanfu): Khansa
with the lake which is Kinsay, and one Khanfu which is probably Canton.
(See _Guyard's transl._, II., ii., 122-124.)--H.C.] There seems to be an
indication in Chinese records that a southern branch of the Great Kiang
once entered the sea at Kanp'u; the closing of it is assigned to the 7th
century, or a little later.

[Dr. F. Hirth writes (_Jour. Roy. As. Soc._, 1896, pp. 68-69): "For
centuries Canton must have been the only channel through which foreign
trade was permitted; for it is not before the year 999 that we read of the
appointment of Inspectors of Trade at Hang-chou and Ming-chou. The latter
name is identified with Ning-po." Dr. Hirth adds in a note: "This is in my
opinion the principal reason why the port of _Khanfu_, mentioned by the
earliest Muhammadan travellers, or authors (Soleiman, Abu Zeid, and
Macoudi), cannot be identified with Hang-chou. The report of Soleiman, who
first speaks of _Khanfu_, was written in 851, and in those days Canton was
apparently the only port open to foreign trade. Marco Polo's _Ganfu_ is a
different port altogether, viz. _Kan-fu_, or _Kan-pu_, near Hang-chou, and
should not be confounded with _Khanfu_."--H.C.]

The changes of the Great Kiang do not seem to have attracted so much
attention among the Chinese as those of the dangerous Hwang-Ho, nor does
their history seem to have been so carefully recorded. But a paper of
great interest on the subject was published by Mr. Edkins, in the _Journal
of the North China Branch of the R.A.S._ for September 1860 [pp. 77-84],
which I know only by an abstract given by the late Comte d'Escayrac de
Lauture. From this it would seem that about the time of our era the
Yang-tzu Kiang had three great mouths. The most southerly of these was the
Che-Kiang, which is said to have given its name to the Province still so
called, of which Hang-chau is the capital. This branch quitted the present
channel at Chi-chau, passed by Ning-Kwe and Kwang-te, communicating with
the southern end of a great group of lakes which occupied the position of
the T'ai-Hu, and so by Shih-men and T'ang-si into the sea not far from
Shao-hing. The second branch quitted the main channel at Wu-hu, passed by
I-hing (or I-shin) communicating with the northern end of the T'ai-Hu
(passed apparently by Su-chau), and then bifurcated, one arm entering the
sea at Wu-sung, and the other at Kanp'u. The third, or northerly branch is
that which forms the present channel of the Great Kiang. These branches are
represented hypothetically on the sketch-map attached to ch. lxiv. supra.

(_Kingsmill_, u.s. p. 53; _Chin. Repos._ III. 118; _Middle Kingdom_, I.
95-106; _Buerck._ p. 483; _Cathay_, p. cxciii.; _J.N.Ch.Br.R.A.S._,
December 1865, p. 3 seqq.; _Escayrac de Lauture, Mem. sur la Chine, H.
du Sol_, p. 114.)

NOTE 10.--Pauthier's text has: "_Chascun Roy fait chascun an le compte de
son royaume aux comptes du grant siege_," where I suspect the last word is
again a mistake for _sing_ or _scieng_. (See supra, Bk. II. ch. xxv.,
note 1.) It is interesting to find Polo applying the term _king_ to the
viceroys who ruled the great provinces; Ibn Batuta uses a corresponding
expression, _sultan_. It is not easy to make out the nine kingdoms or
great provinces into which Polo considered Manzi to be divided. Perhaps
his _nine_ is after all merely a traditional number, for the "Nine
Provinces" was an ancient synonym for China proper, just as _Nau-Khanda_,
with like meaning, was an ancient name of India. (See _Cathay_, p. cxxxix.
_note_; and _Reinaud, Inde_, p. 116.) But I observe that on the portage
road between Chang-shan and Yuh-shan (infra, p. 222) there are stone
pillars inscribed "Highway (from Che-kiang) to Eight Provinces," thus
indicating Nine. (_Milne_, p. 319.)

NOTE 11.--We have in Ramusio: "The men levied in the province of Manzi are
not placed in garrison in their own cities, but sent to others at least 20
days' journey from their homes; and there they serve for four or five
years, after which they are relieved. This applies both to the Cathayans
and to those of Manzi.

"The great bulk of the revenue of the cities, which enters the exchequer
of the Great Kaan, is expended in maintaining these garrisons. And if
perchance any city rebel (as you often find that under a kind of madness
or intoxication they rise and murder their governors), as soon as it is
known, the adjoining cities despatch such large forces from their
garrisons that the rebellion is entirely crushed. For it would be too long
an affair if troops from Cathay had to be waited for, involving perhaps a
delay of two months."

NOTE 12.--"The sons of the dead, wearing hempen clothes as badges of
mourning, kneel down," etc. (_Doolittle_, p. 138.)

NOTE 13.--These practices have been noticed, supra, Bk. I. ch. xl.

NOTE 14.--This custom has come down to modern times. In Pauthier's _Chine
Moderne_, we find extracts from the statutes of the reigning dynasty and
the comments thereon, of which a passage runs thus: "To determine the
exact population of each province the governor and the lieutenant-governor
cause certain persons who are nominated as _Pao-kia_, or Tithing-Men, in
all the places under their jurisdiction, to add up the figures inscribed
on the wooden tickets attached to the doors of houses, and exhibiting the
number of the inmates" (p. 167).

Friar Odoric calls the number of fires 89 _tomans_; but says 10 or 12
households would unite to have one fire only!

[1] In the first edition, my best authority on this matter was a lecture
on the city by the late Rev. D.D. Green, an American Missionary at
Ningpo, which is printed in the November and December numbers for 1869
of the (Fuchau) _Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal_. In the
present (second) edition I have on this, and other points embraced in
this and the following chapters, benefited largely by the remarks of
the Right Rev. G.E. Moule of the Ch. Mission. Soc., now residing at
Hang-chau. These are partly contained in a paper (_Notes on Colonel
Yule's Edition of Marco Polo's 'Quinsay'_) read before the North China
Branch of the R.A.Soc. at Shang-hai in December 1873 [published in New
Series, No. IX. of the _Journal N.C.B.R.A.Soc._], of which a proof has
been most kindly sent to me by Mr. Moule, and partly in a special
communication, both forwarded through Mr. A. Wylie. [See also _Notes
on Hangchow Past and Present_, a paper read in 1889 by Bishop G.E.
Moule at a Meeting of the Hangchau Missionary Association, at whose
request it was compiled, and subsequently printed for private

[2] The building of the present Luh-ho-ta ("Six Harmonies Tower"), after
repeated destructions by fire, is recorded on a fine tablet of the
Sung period, still standing (_Moule_).



[The position of the city is such that it has on one side a lake of fresh
and exquisitely clear water (already spoken of), and on the other a very
large river. The waters of the latter fill a number of canals of all sizes
which run through the different quarters of the city, carry away all
impurities, and then enter the Lake; whence they issue again and flow to
the Ocean, thus producing a most excellent atmosphere. By means of these
channels, as well as by the streets, you can go all about the city. Both
streets and canals are so wide and spacious that carts on the one and
boats on the other can readily pass to and fro, conveying necessary
supplies to the inhabitants.[NOTE 2]

At the opposite side the city is shut in by a channel, perhaps 40 miles in
length, very wide, and full of water derived from the river aforesaid,
which was made by the ancient kings of the country in order to relieve the
river when flooding its banks. This serves also as a defence to the city,
and the earth dug from it has been thrown inwards, forming a kind of mound
enclosing the city.[NOTE 3]

In this part are the ten principal markets, though besides these there are
a vast number of others in the different parts of the town. The former are
all squares of half a mile to the side, and along their front passes the
main street, which is 40 paces in width, and runs straight from end to end
of the city, crossing many bridges of easy and commodious approach. At
every four miles of its length comes one of those great squares of 2 miles
(as we have mentioned) in compass. So also parallel to this great street,
but at the back of the market places, there runs a very large canal, on
the bank of which towards the squares are built great houses of stone, in
which the merchants from India and other foreign parts store their wares,
to be handy for the markets. In each of the squares is held a market three
days in the week, frequented by 40,000 or 50,000 persons, who bring
thither for sale every possible necessary of life, so that there is always
an ample supply of every kind of meat and game, as of roebuck, red-deer,
fallow-deer, hares, rabbits, partridges, pheasants, francolins, quails,
fowls, capons, and of ducks and geese an infinite quantity; for so many
are bred on the Lake that for a Venice groat of silver you can have a
couple of geese and two couple of ducks. Then there are the shambles where
the larger animals are slaughtered, such as calves, beeves, kids, and
lambs, the flesh of which is eaten by the rich and the great dignitaries.
[NOTE 4]

Those markets make a daily display of every kind of vegetables and fruits;
and among the latter there are in particular certain pears of enormous
size, weighing as much as ten pounds apiece, and the pulp of which is
white and fragrant like a confection; besides peaches in their season both
yellow and white, of every delicate flavour.[NOTE 5]

Neither grapes nor wine are produced there, but very good raisins are
brought from abroad, and wine likewise. The natives, however, do not much
care about wine, being used to that kind of their own made from rice and
spices. From the Ocean Sea also come daily supplies of fish in great
quantity, brought 25 miles up the river, and there is also great store of
fish from the lake, which is the constant resort of fishermen, who have no
other business. Their fish is of sundry kinds, changing with the season;
and, owing to the impurities of the city which pass into the lake, it is
remarkably fat and savoury. Any one who should see the supply of fish in
the market would suppose it impossible that such a quantity could ever be
sold; and yet in a few hours the whole shall be cleared away; so great is
the number of inhabitants who are accustomed to delicate living. Indeed
they eat fish and flesh at the same meal.

All the ten market places are encompassed by lofty houses, and below these
are shops where all sorts of crafts are carried on, and all sorts of wares
are on sale, including spices and jewels and pearls. Some of these shops
are entirely devoted to the sale of wine made from rice and spices, which
is constantly made fresh and fresh, and is sold very cheap.

Certain of the streets are occupied by the women of the town, who are in
such a number that I dare not say what it is. They are found not only in
the vicinity of the market places, where usually a quarter is assigned to
them, but all over the city. They exhibit themselves splendidly attired
and abundantly perfumed, in finely garnished houses, with trains of
waiting-women. These women are extremely accomplished in all the arts of
allurement, and readily adapt their conversation to all sorts of persons,
insomuch that strangers who have once tasted their attractions seem to get
bewitched, and are so taken with their blandishments and their fascinating
ways that they never can get these out of their heads. Hence it comes to
pass that when they return home they say they have been to Kinsay or the
City of Heaven, and their only desire is to get back thither as soon as
possible.[NOTE 6]

Other streets are occupied by the Physicians, and by the Astrologers, who
are also teachers of reading and writing; and an infinity of other
professions have their places round about those squares. In each of the
squares there are two great palaces facing one another, in which are
established the officers appointed by the King to decide differences
arising between merchants, or other inhabitants of the quarter. It is the
daily duty of these officers to see that the guards are at their posts on
the neighbouring bridges, and to punish them at their discretion if they
are absent.

All along the main street that we have spoken of, as running from end to
end of the city, both sides are lined with houses and great palaces and
the gardens pertaining to them, whilst in the intervals are the houses of
tradesmen engaged in their different crafts. The crowd of people that you
meet here at all hours, passing this way and that on their different
errands, is so vast that no one would believe it possible that victuals
enough could be provided for their consumption, unless they should see
how, on every market-day, all those squares are thronged and crammed with
purchasers, and with the traders who have brought in stores of provisions
by land or water; and everything they bring in is disposed of.

To give you an example of the vast consumption in this city let us take
the article of _pepper_; and that will enable you in some measure to
estimate what must be the quantity of victual, such as meat, wine,
groceries, which have to be provided for the general consumption. Now
Messer Marco heard it stated by one of the Great Kaan's officers of
customs that the quantity of pepper introduced daily for consumption into
the city of Kinsay amounted to 43 loads, each load being equal to 223 lbs.
[NOTE 7]

The houses of the citizens are well built and elaborately finished; and
the delight they take in decoration, in painting and in architecture,
leads them to spend in this way sums of money that would astonish you.

The natives of the city are men of peaceful character, both from education
and from the example of their kings, whose disposition was the same. They
know nothing of handling arms, and keep none in their houses. You hear of
no feuds or noisy quarrels or dissensions of any kind among them. Both in
their commercial dealings and in their manufactures they are thoroughly
honest and truthful, and there is such a degree of good will and
neighbourly attachment among both men and women that you would take the
people who live in the same street to be all one family.[NOTE 8]

And this familiar intimacy is free from all jealousy or suspicion of the
conduct of their women. These they treat with the greatest respect, and a
man who should presume to make loose proposals to a married woman would be
regarded as an infamous rascal. They also treat the foreigners who visit
them for the sake of trade with great cordiality, and entertain them in
the most winning manner, affording them every help and advice on their
business. But on the other hand they hate to see soldiers, and not least
those of the Great Kaan's garrisons, regarding them as the cause of their
having lost their native kings and lords.

On the Lake of which we have spoken there are numbers of boats and barges
of all sizes for parties of pleasure. These will hold 10, 15, 20, or more
persons, and are from 15 to 20 paces in length, with flat bottoms and
ample breadth of beam, so that they always keep their trim. Any one who
desires to go a-pleasuring with the women, or with a party of his own sex,
hires one of these barges, which are always to be found completely
furnished with tables and chairs and all the other apparatus for a feast.
The roof forms a level deck, on which the crew stand, and pole the boat
along whithersoever may be desired, for the Lake is not more than 2 paces
in depth. The inside of this roof and the rest of the interior is covered
with ornamental painting in gay colours, with windows all round that can
be shut or opened, so that the party at table can enjoy all the beauty and
variety of the prospects on both sides as they pass along. And truly a
trip on this Lake is a much more charming recreation than can be enjoyed
on land. For on the one side lies the city in its entire length, so that
the spectators in the barges, from the distance at which they stand, take
in the whole prospect in its full beauty and grandeur, with its numberless
palaces, temples, monasteries, and gardens, full of lofty trees, sloping
to the shore. And the Lake is never without a number of other such boats,
laden with pleasure parties; for it is the great delight of the citizens
here, after they have disposed of the day's business, to pass the
afternoon in enjoyment with the ladies of their families, or perhaps with
others less reputable, either in these barges or in driving about the city
in carriages.[NOTE 9]

Of these latter we must also say something, for they afford one mode of
recreation to the citizens in going about the town, as the boats afford
another in going about the Lake. In the main street of the city you meet
an infinite succession of these carriages passing to and fro. They are
long covered vehicles, fitted with curtains and cushions, and affording
room for six persons; and they are in constant request for ladies and
gentlemen going on parties of pleasure. In these they drive to certain
gardens, where they are entertained by the owners in pavilions erected on
purpose, and there they divert themselves the livelong day, with their
ladies, returning home in the evening in those same carriages.[NOTE 10]


The whole enclosure of the Palace was divided into three parts. The middle
one was entered by a very lofty gate, on each side of which there stood on
the ground-level vast pavilions, the roofs of which were sustained by
columns painted and wrought in gold and the finest azure. Opposite the
gate stood the chief Pavilion, larger than the rest, and painted in like
style, with gilded columns, and a ceiling wrought in splendid gilded
sculpture, whilst the walls were artfully painted with the stories of
departed kings.

On certain days, sacred to his gods, the King Facfur[1] used to hold a
great court and give a feast to his chief lords, dignitaries, and rich
manufacturers of the city of Kinsay. On such occasions those pavilions
used to give ample accommodation for 10,000 persons sitting at table. This
court lasted for ten or twelve days, and exhibited an astonishing and
incredible spectacle in the magnificence of the guests, all clothed in
silk and gold, with a profusion of precious stones; for they tried to
outdo each other in the splendour and richness of their appointments.
Behind this great Pavilion that faced the great gate, there was a wall
with a passage in it shutting off the inner part of the Palace. On
entering this you found another great edifice in the form of a cloister
surrounded by a portico with columns, from which opened a variety of
apartments for the King and the Queen, adorned like the outer walls with
such elaborate work as we have mentioned. From the cloister again you
passed into a covered corridor, six paces in width, of great length, and
extending to the margin of the lake. On either side of this corridor were
ten courts, in the form of oblong cloisters surrounded by colonnades; and
in each cloister or court were fifty chambers with gardens to each. In
these chambers were quartered one thousand young ladies in the service of
the King. The King would sometimes go with the Queen and some of these
maidens to take his diversion on the Lake, or to visit the Idol-temples,
in boats all canopied with silk.

The other two parts of the enclosure were distributed in groves, and
lakes, and charming gardens planted with fruit-trees, and preserves for
all sorts of animals, such as roe, red-deer, fallow-deer, hares, and
rabbits. Here the King used to take his pleasure in company with those
damsels of his; some in carriages, some on horseback, whilst no man was
permitted to enter. Sometimes the King would set the girls a-coursing
after the game with dogs, and when they were tired they would hie to the
groves that overhung the lakes, and leaving their clothes there they would
come forth naked and enter the water and swim about hither and thither,
whilst it was the King's delight to watch them; and then all would return
home. Sometimes the King would have his dinner carried to those groves,
which were dense with lofty trees, and there would be waited on by those
young ladies. And thus he passed his life in this constant dalliance with
women, without so much as knowing what _arms_ meant! And the result
of all this cowardice and effeminacy was that he lost his dominion to the
Great Kaan in that base and shameful way that you have heard.[NOTE 11]

All this account was given me by a very rich merchant of Kinsay when I was
in that city. He was a very old man, and had been in familiar intimacy
with the King Facfur, and knew the whole history of his life; and having
seen the Palace in its glory was pleased to be my guide over it. As it is
occupied by the King appointed by the Great Kaan, the first pavilions are
still maintained as they used to be, but the apartments of the ladies are
all gone to ruin and can only just be traced. So also the wall that
enclosed the groves and gardens is fallen down, and neither trees nor
animals are there any longer.[NOTE 12]]

NOTE 1.--I have, after some consideration, followed the example of Mr. H.
Murray, in his edition of _Marco Polo_, in collecting together in a
separate chapter a number of additional particulars concerning the Great
City, which are only found in Ramusio. Such of these as could be
interpolated in the text of the older form of the narrative have been
introduced between brackets in the last chapter. Here I bring together
those particulars which could not be so interpolated without taking
liberties with one or both texts.

The picture in Ramusio, taken as a whole, is so much more brilliant,
interesting, and complete than in the older texts, that I thought of
substituting it entirely for the other. But so much doubt and difficulty
hangs over _some_ passages of the Ramusian version that I could not
satisfy myself of the propriety of this, though I feel that the
dismemberment inflicted on that version is also objectionable.

NOTE 2.--The tides in the Hang-chau estuary are now so furious, entering
in the form of a bore, and running sometimes, by Admiral Collinson's
measurement, 11-1/2 knots, that it has been necessary to close by weirs
the communication which formerly existed between the River Tsien-tang on
the one side and the Lake Si-hu and internal waters of the district on the
other. Thus all cargoes are passed through the small city canal in barges,
and are subject to transhipment at the river-bank, and at the great canal
terminus outside the north gate, respectively. Mr. Kingsmill, to whose
notices I am indebted for part of this information, is, however, mistaken
in supposing that in Polo's time the tide stopped some 20 miles below the
city. We have seen (note 6, ch. lxv. supra) that the tide in the river
before Kinsay was the object which first attracted the attention of Bayan,
after his triumphant entrance into the city. The tides reach Fuyang, 20
miles higher. (_N. and Q., China and Japan_, vol. I. p. 53; _Mid. Kingd._
I. 95, 106; _J.N.Ch.Br.R.A.S._, December, 1865, p. 6; _Milne_, p. 295;
_Note_ by _Mr. Moule_).

[Miss E. Scidmore writes (_China_, p. 294): "There are only three wonders
of the world in China--The Demons at Tungchow, the Thunder at Lungchow,
and the Great Tide at Hangchow, the last, the greatest of all, and a
living wonder to this day of 'the open door,' while its rivals are lost in
myth and oblivion.... The Great Bore charges up the narrowing river at a
speed of ten and thirteen miles an hour, with a roar that can be heard for
an hour before it arrives."--H.C.]

NOTE 3.--For satisfactory elucidation as to what is or may have been
authentic in these statements, we shall have to wait for a correct survey
of Hang-chau and its neighbourhood. We have already seen strong reason to
suppose that _miles_ have been substituted for _li_ in the circuits
assigned both to the city and to the lake, and we are yet more strongly
impressed with the conviction that the same substitution has been made
here in regard to the canal on the east of the city, as well as the
streets and market-places spoken of in the next paragraph.

Chinese plans of Hang-chau do show a large canal encircling the city on
the east and north, i.e., on the sides away from the lake. In some of
them this is represented like a ditch to the rampart, but in others it is
more detached. And the position of the main street, with its parallel
canal, does answer fairly to the account in the next paragraph, setting
aside the extravagant dimensions.

The existence of the squares or market-places is alluded to by Wassaf in a
passage that we shall quote below; and the _Masalak-al-Absar_ speaks of
the main street running from end to end of the city.

On this Mr. Moule says: "I have found no certain account of market-squares,
though the _Fang_,[2] of which a few still exist, and a very large number
are laid down in the Sung Map, mainly grouped along the chief street, may
perhaps represent them.... The names of some of these (_Fang_) and of the
_Sze_ or markets still remain."

Mr. Wylie sent Sir Henry Yule a tracing of the figures mentioned in the
footnote; it is worth while to append them, at least in _diagram_.

No 1. No 2. No 3.
++ ++ ++
|-----------| |-----------| |-----|------|------|
| | | | | | | a | |
+| | |+ +| |+ +|-----+------+------|+
+|-----+-----|+ +|-----------|+ +| | | |+
| | | | | | | b | |
| | | | | +|-----+------+------|+
|-----------| |-----------| +| | | |+
++ | | c | |
++ ++

No. 1. Plan of a _Fang_ or Square.

No. 2. Plan of a _Fang_ or Square in the South of the Imperial City
of Si-ngan fu.

No. 3. Arrangement of Two-Fang Square, with four streets and 8 gates.
a. The Market place.
b. The Official Establishment.
c. Office for regulating Weights.

Compare Polo's statement that in each of the squares at Kinsay, where the
markets were held, there were two great Palaces facing one another, in
which were established the officers who decided differences between
merchants, etc.

The double lines represent streets, and the ++ are gates.

NOTE 4.--There is no mention of _pork_, the characteristic animal food of
China, and the only one specified by Friar Odoric in his account of the
same city. Probably Mark may have got a little _Saracenized_ among the
Mahomedans at the Kaan's Court, and doubted if 'twere good manners to
mention it. It is perhaps a relic of the same feeling, gendered by Saracen
rule, that in Sicily pigs are called _i neri_.

"The larger game, red-deer and fallow-deer, is now never seen for sale.
Hog-deer, wild-swine, pheasants, water-fowl, and every description of
'vermin' and small birds, are exposed for sale, not now in markets, but at
the retail wine shops. Wild-cats, racoons, otters, badgers, kites, owls,
etc., etc., festoon the shop fronts along with game." (_Moule_.)

NOTE 5.--Van Braam, in passing through Shan-tung Province, speaks of very
large pears. "The colour is a beautiful golden yellow. Before it is pared
the pear is somewhat hard, but in eating it the juice flows, the pulp
melts, and the taste is pleasant enough." Williams says these Shan-tung
pears are largely exported, but he is not so complimentary to them as
Polo: "The pears are large and juicy, sometimes weighing 8 or 10 pounds,
but remarkably tasteless and coarse." (_V. Braam_, II. 33-34; _Mid.
Kingd._, I. 78 and II. 44). In the beginning of 1867 I saw pears in Covent
Garden Market which I should guess to have weighed 7 or 8 lbs. each. They
were priced at 18 guineas a dozen!

["Large pears are nowadays produced in Shan-tung and Manchuria, but they
are rather tasteless and coarse. I am inclined to suppose that Polo's
large pears were Chinese quinces, _Cydonia chinensis_, Thouin, this fruit
being of enormous size, sometimes one foot long, and very fragrant. The
Chinese use it for sweet-meats." (_Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc._ I.
p. 2.)--H.C.]

As regards the "yellow and white" peaches, Marsden supposes the former to
be apricots. Two kinds of peach, correctly so described, are indeed common
in Sicily, where I write;--and both are, in their raw state, equally good
food for _i neri_! But I see Mr. Moule also identifies the yellow peach
with "the _hwang-mei_ or clingstone apricot," as he knows no yellow peach
in China.

NOTE 6.--"_E non veggono mai l'ora che di nuovo possano ritornarvi;_" a
curious Italian idiom. (See _Vocab. It. Univ._ sub. v. "_vedere_".)

NOTE 7.--It would seem that the habits of the Chinese in reference to the
use of pepper and such spices have changed. Besides this passage, implying
that their consumption of pepper was large, Marco tells us below (ch.
lxxxii.) that for one shipload of pepper carried to Alexandria for the
consumption of Christendom, a hundred went to Zayton in Manzi. At the
present day, according to Williams, the Chinese use little spice; pepper
chiefly as a febrifuge in the shape of _pepper-tea_, and that even less
than they did some years ago. (See p. 239, infra, and _Mid. Kingd._, II.
46, 408.) On this, however, Mr. Moule observes: "Pepper is not so
completely relegated to the doctors. A month or two ago, passing a
portable cookshop in the city, I heard a girl-purchaser cry to the cook,
'Be sure you put in _pepper and leeks!_'"

NOTE 8.--Marsden, after referring to the ingenious frauds commonly related
of Chinese traders, observes: "In the long continued intercourse that has
subsisted between the agents of the European companies and the more
eminent of the Chinese merchants ... complaints on the ground of
commercial unfairness have been extremely rare, and on the contrary, their
transactions have been marked with the most perfect good faith and mutual
confidence." Mr. Consul Medhurst bears similar strong testimony to the
upright dealings of Chinese merchants. His remark that, as a rule, he has
found that the Chinese deteriorate by intimacy with foreigners is worthy
of notice;[3] it is a remark capable of application wherever the East and
West come into habitual contact. Favourable opinions among the nations on
their frontiers of Chinese dealing, as expressed to Wood and Burnes in
Turkestan, and to Macleod and Richardson in Laos, have been quoted by me
elsewhere in reference to the old classical reputation of the Seres for
integrity. Indeed, Marco's whole account of the people here might pass for
an expanded paraphrase of the Latin commonplaces regarding the Seres. Mr.
Milne, a missionary for many years in China, stands up manfully against
the wholesale disparagement or Chinese character (p. 401).

NOTE 9.--Semedo and Martini, in the 17th century, give a very similar
account of the Lake Si-hu, the parties of pleasure frequenting it, and
their gay barges. (_Semedo_, pp. 20-21; _Mart._ p. 9.) But here is a
Chinese picture of the very thing described by Marco, under the Sung
Dynasty: "When Yaou Shunming was Prefect of Hangchow, there was an old
woman, who said she was formerly a singing-girl, and in the service of
Tung-p'o Seen-sheng.[4] She related that her master, whenever he found a
leisure day in spring, would invite friends to take their pleasure on the
lake. They used to take an early meal on some agreeable spot, and, the
repast over, a chief was chosen for the company of each barge, who called
a number of dancing-girls to follow them to any place they chose. As the
day waned a gong sounded to assemble all once more at 'Lake Prospect
Chambers,' or at the 'Bamboo Pavilion,' or some place of the kind, where
they amused themselves to the top of their bent, and then, at the first or
second drum, before the evening market dispersed, returned home by
candle-light. In the city, gentlemen and ladies assembled in crowds, lining
the way to see the return of the thousand Knights. It must have been a
brave spectacle of that time." (_Moule_, from the _Si-hu-Chi_, or
"Topography of the West Lake.") It is evident, from what Mr. Moule says,
that this book abounds in interesting illustration of these two chapters of
Polo. Barges with paddle-wheels are alluded to.

NOTE 10.--Public carriages are still used in the great cities of the
north, such as Peking. Possibly this is a revival. At one time carriages
appear to have been much more general in China than they were afterwards,
or are now. Semedo says they were abandoned in China just about the time
that they were adopted in Europe, viz. in the 16th century. And this
disuse seems to have been either cause or effect of the neglect of the
roads, of which so high an account is given in old times. (_Semedo; N. and
Q. Ch. and Jap._ I. 94.)

Deguignes describes the public carriages of Peking, as "shaped like a
palankin, but of a longer form, with a rounded top, lined outside and in
with coarse blue cloth, and provided with black cushions" (I. 372). This
corresponds with our author's description, and with a drawing by Alexander
among his published sketches. The present Peking cab is evidently the same
vehicle, but smaller.

NOTE 11.--The character of the King of Manzi here given corresponds to
that which the Chinese histories assign to the Emperor Tu-Tsong, in whose
time Kublai commenced his enterprise against Southern China, but who died
two years before the fall of the capital. He is described as given up to
wine and women, and indifferent to all public business, which he committed
to unworthy ministers. The following words, quoted by Mr. Moule from the
_Hang-Chau Fu-Chi_, are like an echo of Marco's: "In those days the
dynasty was holding on to a mere corner of the realm, hardly able to
defend even that; and nevertheless all, high and low, devoted themselves
to dress and ornament, to music and dancing on the lake and amongst the
hills, with no idea of sympathy for the country." A garden called
Tseu-king ("of many prospects") near the Tsing-po Gate, and a monastery
west of the lake, near the Lingin, are mentioned as pleasure haunts of the
Sung Kings.

NOTE 12.--The statement that the palace of Kingsze was occupied by the
Great Kaan's lieutenant seems to be inconsistent with the notice in De
Mailla that Kublai made it over to the Buddhist priests. Perhaps _Kublai's_
name is a mistake; for one of Mr. Moule's books (_Jin-ho-hien-chi_) says
that under _the last_ Mongol Emperor five convents were built on the area
of the palace.

Mr. H. Murray argues, from this closing passage especially, that Marco
never could have been the author of the Ramusian interpolations; but with
this I cannot agree. Did this passage stand alone we might doubt if it
were Marco's; but the interpolations must be considered as a whole. Many
of them bear to my mind clear evidence of being his own, and I do not see
that the present one _may_ not be his. The picture conveyed of the ruined
walls and half-obliterated buildings does, it is true, give the impression
of a long interval between their abandonment and the traveller's visit,
whilst the whole interval between the capture of the city and Polo's
departure from China was not more than fifteen or sixteen years. But this
is too vague a basis for theorising.

Mr. Moule has ascertained by maps of the Sung period, and by a variety of
notices in the Topographies, that the palace lay to the south and
south-east of the present city, and included a large part of the fine hills
called _Fung-hwang Shan_ or Phoenix Mount,[5] and other names, whilst its
southern gate opened near the Ts'ien-T'ang River. Its north gate is
supposed to have been the Fung Shan Gate of the present city, and the chief
street thus formed the avenue to the palace.

By the kindness of Messrs. Moule and Wylie, I am able to give a copy of
the Sung Map of the Palace (for origin of which see list of
illustrations). I should note that the orientation is different from that
of the map of the city already given. This map elucidates Polo's account
of the palace in a highly interesting manner.

[Father H. Havret has given in p. 21 of _Varietes Sinologiques_, No. 19, a
complete study of the inscription of a _chwang_, nearly similar to the one
given here, which is erected near Ch'eng-tu.--H.C.]

Before quitting KINSAY, the description of which forms the most striking
feature in Polo's account of China, it is worth while to quote other
notices from authors of nearly the same age. However exaggerated some of
these may be, there can be little doubt that it was the greatest city then
existing in the world.

[Illustration: Stone _Chwang_, or Umbrella Column, on site of "Brahma's
Temple," Hang-chau.]

[Illustration: South Part of KING-SZE, with the SUNG PALACE, from a
Chinese reprint of a Plan dated circa A.D. 1270]

_Friar Odoric_ (in China about 1324-1327):--"Departing thence I came unto
the city of CANSAY, a name which signifieth the 'City of Heaven.' And
'tis the greatest city in the whole world, so great indeed that I should
scarcely venture to tell of it, but that I have met at Venice people in
plenty who have been there. It is a good hundred miles in compass, and
there is not in it a span of ground which is not well peopled. And many a
tenement is there which shall have 10 or 12 households comprised in it.
And there be also great suburbs which contain a greater population than
even the city itself.... This city is situated upon lagoons of standing
water, with canals like the city of Venice. And it hath more than 12,000
bridges, on each of which are stationed guards, guarding the city on
behalf of the Great Kaan. And at the side of this city there flows a river
near which it is built, like Ferrara by the Po, for it is longer than it
is broad," and so on, relating how his host took him to see a great
monastery of the idolaters, where there was a garden full of grottoes, and
therein many animals of divers kinds, which they believed to be inhabited
by the souls of gentlemen. "But if any one should desire to tell all the
vastness and great marvels of this city, a good quire of stationery would
not hold the matter, I trow. For 'tis the greatest and noblest city, and
the finest for merchandize that the whole world containeth." (_Cathay_,
113 seqq.)

_The Archbishop of Soltania_ (circa 1330):--"And so vast is the number of
people that the soldiers alone who are posted to keep ward in the city of
Cambalec are 40,000 men by sure tale. And in the city of CASSAY there be
yet more, for its people is greater in number, seeing that it is a city of
very great trade. And to this city all the traders of the country come to
trade; and greatly it aboundeth in all manner of merchandize." (Ib.

_John Marignolli_ (in China 1342-1347):--"Now Manzi is a country which has
countless cities and nations included in it, past all belief to one who
has not seen them.... And among the rest is that most famous city of
CAMPSAY, the finest, the biggest, the richest, the most populous, and
altogether the most marvellous city, the city of the greatest wealth and
luxury, of the most splendid buildings (especially idol-temples, in some
of which there are 1000 and 2000 monks dwelling together), that exists now
upon the face of the earth, or mayhap that ever did exist." (Ib. p.
354.) He also speaks, like Odoric, of the "cloister at Campsay, in that
most famous monastery where they keep so many monstrous animals, which
they believe to be the souls of the departed" (384). Perhaps this
monastery may yet be identified. Odoric calls it _Thebe_. [See _A.
Vissiere, Bul. Soc. Geog. Com._, 1901, pp. 112-113.--H.C.]

Turning now to Asiatic writers, we begin with _Wassaf_ (A.D. 1300):--

"KHANZAI is the greatest city of the cities of Chin,

"'_Stretching like Paradise through the breadth of Heaven._'

"Its shape is oblong, and the measurement of its perimeter is about 24
parasangs. Its streets are paved with burnt brick and with stone. The
public edifices and the houses are built of wood, and adorned with a
profusion of paintings of exquisite elegance. Between one end of the city
and the other there are three _Yams_ (post-stations) established. The
length of the chief streets is three parasangs, and the city contains 64
quadrangles corresponding to one another in structure, and with parallel
ranges of columns. The salt excise brings in daily 700 _balish_ in
paper-money. The number of craftsmen is so great that 32,000 are employed
at the dyer's art alone; from that fact you may estimate the rest. There
are in the city 70 _tomans_ of soldiers and 70 _tomans_ of _rayats_, whose
number is registered in the books of the Dewan. There are 700 churches
(_Kalisia_) resembling fortresses, and every one of them overflowing with
presbyters without faith, and monks without religion, besides other
officials, wardens, servants of the idols, and this, that, and the other,
to tell the names of which would surpass number and space. All these are
exempt from taxes of every kind. Four _tomans_ of the garrison constitute
the night patrol.... Amid the city there are 360 bridges erected over
canals ample as the Tigris, which are ramifications of the great river of
Chin; and different kinds of vessels and ferry-boats, adapted to every
class, ply upon the waters in such numbers as to pass all powers of
enumeration.... The concourse of all kinds of foreigners from the four
quarters of the world, such as the calls of trade and travel bring together
in a kingdom like this, may easily be conceived." (_Revised on Hammer's
Translation_, pp. 42-43.)

The Persian work _Nuzhat-al-Kulub_:--"KHINZAI is the capital of the
country of Machin. If one may believe what some travellers say, there
exists no greater city on the face of the earth; but anyhow, all agree
that it is the greatest in all the countries in the East. Inside the place
is a lake which has a circuit of six parasangs, and all round which houses
are built.... The population is so numerous that the watchmen are some
10,000 in number." (_Quat. Rash._ p. lxxxviii.)

The Arabic work _Masalak-al-Absar_:--"Two routes lead from Khanbalik to
KHINSA, one by land, the other by water; and either way takes 40 days. The
city of Khinsa extends a whole day's journey in length and half a day's
journey in breadth. In the middle of it is a street which runs right from
one end to the other. The streets and squares are all paved; the houses
are five-storied (?), and are built with planks nailed together," etc.

_Ibn Batuta_:--"We arrived at the city of KHANSA.... This city is the
greatest I have ever seen on the surface of the earth. It is three days'
journey in length, so that a traveller passing through the city has to
make his marches and his halts!.. It is subdivided into six towns, each
of which has a separate enclosure, while one great wall surrounds the
whole," etc. (_Cathay_, p. 496 seqq.)

Let us conclude with a writer of a later age, the worthy Jesuit Martin
Martini, the author of the admirable _Atlas Sinensis_, one whose
honourable zeal to maintain Polo's veracity, of which he was one of the
first intelligent advocates, is apt, it must be confessed, a little to
colour his own spectacles:--"That the cosmographers of Europe may no
longer make such ridiculous errors as to the QUINSAI of Marco Polo, I will
here give you the very place. [He then explains the name.] ... And to come
to the point; this is the very city that hath those bridges so lofty and
so numberless, both within the walls and in the suburbs; nor will they
fall much short of the 10,000 which the Venetian alleges, if you count
also the triumphal arches among the bridges, as he might easily do because
of their analogous structure, just as he calls tigers _lions_;.. or if
you will, he may have meant to include not merely the bridges in the city
and suburbs, but in the whole of the dependent territory. In that case
indeed the number which Europeans find it so hard to believe might well be
set still higher, so vast is everywhere the number of bridges and of
triumphal arches. Another point in confirmation is that lake which he
mentions of 40 Italian miles in circuit. This exists under the name of
_Si-hu_; it is not, indeed, as the book says, inside the walls, but lies
in contact with them for a long distance on the west and south-west, and a
number of canals drawn from it _do_ enter the city. Moreover, the shores
of the lake on every side are so thickly studded with temples,
monasteries, palaces, museums, and private houses, that you would suppose
yourself to be passing through the midst of a great city rather than a
country scene. Quays of cut stone are built along the banks, affording a
spacious promenade; and causeways cross the lake itself, furnished with
lofty bridges, to allow of the passage of boats; and thus you can readily
walk all about the lake on this side and on that. 'Tis no wonder that Polo
considered it to be part of the city. This, too, is the very city that
hath within the walls, near the south side, a hill called _Ching-hoang_
[6] on which stands that tower with the watchmen, on which there is a
clepsydra to measure the hours, and where each hour is announced by the
exhibition of a placard, with gilt letters of a foot and a half in height.
This is the very city the streets of which are paved with squared stones:
the city which lies in a swampy situation, and is intersected by a number
of navigable canals; this, in short, is the city from which the emperor
escaped to seaward by the great river Ts'ien-T'ang, the breadth of which
exceeds a German mile, flowing on the south of the city, exactly
corresponding to the river described by the Venetian at Quinsai, and
flowing eastward to the sea, which it enters precisely at the distance
which he mentions. I will add that the compass of the city will be 100
Italian miles and more, if you include its vast suburbs, which run out on
every side an enormous distance; insomuch that you may walk for 50 Chinese
_li_ in a straight line from north to south, the whole way through crowded
blocks of houses, and without encountering a spot that is not full of
dwellings and full of people; whilst from east to west you can do very
nearly the same thing." (_Atlas Sinensis_, p. 99.)

And so we quit what Mr. Moule appropriately calls "Marco's famous rhapsody
of the Manzi capital"; perhaps the most striking section of the whole
book, as manifestly the subject was that which had made the strongest
impression on the narrator.

[1] _Fanfur_, in Ramusio.

[2] See the mention of the _I-ning Fang_ at Si-ngan fu, supra,
p. 28. Mr. Wylie writes that in a work on the latter city, published
during the Yuen time, of which he has met with a reprint, there are
figures to illustrate the division of the city into _Fang_, a
word "which appears to indicate a certain space of ground, not an open
square ... but a block of buildings crossed by streets, and at the end
of each street an open gateway." In one of the figures a first
reference indicates "the market place," a second "the official
establishment," a third "the office for regulating weights." These
indications seem to explain Polo's squares. (See Note 3, above.)

[3] _Foreigner in Far Cathay_, pp. 158, 176.

[4] A famous poet and scholar of the 11th century.

[5] Mr. Wylie, after ascending this hill with Mr. Moule, writes: "It is
about two miles from the south gate to the top, by a rather steep
road. On the top is a remarkably level plot of ground, with a cluster
of rocks in one place. On the face of these rocks are a great many
inscriptions, but so obliterated by age and weather that only a few
characters can be decyphered. A stone road leads up from the city
gate, and another one, very steep, down to the lake. This is the only
vestige remaining of the old palace grounds. There is no doubt about
this being really a relic of the palace.... You will see on the map,
just inside the walls of the Imperial city, the Temple of Brahma.
There are still two stone columns standing with curious Buddhist
inscriptions.... Although the temple is entirely gone, these columns
retain the name and mark the place. They date from the 6th century,
and there are few structures earlier in China." One is engraved above,
after a sketch by Mr. Moule.

[6] See the plan of the city with last chapter.



Now I will tell you about the great revenue which the Great Kaan draweth
every year from the said city of Kinsay and its territory, forming a ninth
part of the whole country of Manzi.

First there is the salt, which brings in a great revenue. For it produces
every year, in round numbers, fourscore _tomans_ of gold; and the
_toman_ is worth 70,000 _saggi_ of gold, so that the total value
of the fourscore tomans will be five millions and six hundred thousand
_saggi_ of gold, each saggio being worth more than a gold florin or
ducat; in sooth, a vast sum of money! [This province, you see, adjoins the
ocean, on the shores of which are many lagoons or salt marshes, in which
the sea-water dries up during the summer time; and thence they extract
such a quantity of salt as suffices for the supply of five of the kingdoms
of Manzi besides this one.]

Having told you of the revenue from salt, I will now tell you of that
which accrues to the Great Kaan from the duties on merchandize and other

You must know that in this city and its dependencies they make great
quantities of sugar, as indeed they do in the other eight divisions of
this country; so that I believe the whole of the rest of the world
together does not produce such a quantity, at least, if that be true which
many people have told me; and the sugar alone again produces an enormous
revenue.--However, I will not repeat the duties on every article
separately, but tell you how they go in the lump. Well, all spicery pays
three and a third per cent. on the value; and all merchandize likewise
pays three and a third per cent. [But sea-borne goods from India and other
distant countries pay ten per cent.] The rice-wine also makes a great
return, and coals, of which there is a great quantity; and so do the
twelve guilds of craftsmen that I told you of, with their 12,000 stations
apiece, for every article they make pays duty. And the silk which is
produced in such abundance makes an immense return. But why should I make
a long story of it? The silk, you must know, pays ten per cent., and many
other articles also pay ten per cent.

And you must know that Messer Marco Polo, who relates all this, was
several times sent by the Great Kaan to inspect the amount of his customs
and revenue from this ninth part of Manzi,[NOTE 1] and he found it to be,
exclusive of the salt revenue which we have mentioned already, 210
_tomans_ of gold, equivalent to 14,700,000 _saggi_ of gold; one
of the most enormous revenues that ever was heard of. And if the sovereign
has such a revenue from one-ninth part of the country, you may judge what
he must have from the whole of it! However, to speak the truth, this part
is the greatest and most productive; and because of the great revenue that
the Great Kaan derives from it, it is his favourite province, and he takes
all the more care to watch it well, and to keep the people contented.
[NOTE 2]

Now we will quit this city and speak of others.

NOTE 1.--Pauthier's text seems to be the only one which says that Marco
was sent by the Great Kaan. The G. Text says merely: "_Si qe jeo March Pol
qe plusor foies hoi faire le conte de la rende de tous cestes couses_,"--
"had several times heard the calculations made."

NOTE 2.--_Toman_ is 10,000. And the first question that occurs in
considering the statements of this chapter is as to the unit of these
tomans, as intended by Polo. I believe it to have been the _tael_ (or
Chinese ounce) of gold.

We do not know that the Chinese ever made monetary calculations in gold.
But the usual unit of the revenue accounts appears from Pauthier's
extracts to have been the _ting_, i.e. a money of account equal to ten
taels of silver, and we know (supra, ch. l. note 4) that this was in
those days the exact equivalent of one tael of gold.

The equation in our text is 10,000 _x_ = 70,000 saggi of gold, giving _x_,
or the unit sought, = 7 _saggi_. But in both Ramusio on the one hand, and
in the Geog. Latin and Crusca Italian texts on the other hand, the
equivalent of the toman is 80,000 _saggi_; though it is true that neither
with one valuation nor the other are the calculations consistent in any of
the texts, except Ramusio's.[1] This consistency does not give any
greater weight to Ramusio's reading, because we know that version to have
been _edited_, and corrected when the editor thought it necessary: but I
adopt his valuation, because we shall find other grounds for preferring
it. The unit of the _toman_ then is = 8 _saggi_.

The Venice saggio was one-sixth of a Venice ounce. The Venice mark of 8
ounces I find stated to contain 3681 grains troy;[2] hence the _saggio_ =
76 grains. But I imagine the term to be used by Polo here and in other
Oriental computations, to express the Arabic _miskal_, the real weight of
which, according to Mr. Maskelyne, is 74 grains troy. The _miskal_ of gold
was, as Polo says, something more than a ducat or sequin, indeed, weight
for weight, it was to a ducat nearly as 1.4: 1.

Eight _saggi_ or _miskals_ would be 592 grains troy. The tael is 580, and
the approximation is as near as we can reasonably expect from a
calculation in such terms.

Taking the silver tael at 6_s._ 7_d._, the gold tael, or rather the
_ting_, would be = 3_l._ 5_s._ 10_d._; the _toman_ = 32,916_l._ 13_s._
4_d._; and the whole salt revenue (80 tomans) = 2,633,333_l._; the revenue
from other sources (210 tomans) = 6,912,500_l._; total revenue from Kinsay
and its province (290 tomans) = 9,545,833_l._ A sufficiently startling
statement, and quite enough to account for the sobriquet of Marco Milioni.

Pauthier, in reference to this chapter, brings forward a number of
extracts regarding Mongol finance from the official history of that
dynasty. The extracts are extremely interesting in themselves, but I
cannot find in them that confirmation of Marco's accuracy which M.
Pauthier sees.

First as to the salt revenue of Kiang-Che, or the province of Kinsay. The
facts given by Pauthier amount to these: that in 1277, the year in which
the Mongol salt department was organised, the manufacture of salt amounted
to 92,148 _yin_, or 22,115,520 _kilos.;_ in 1286 it had reached 450,000
_yin_, or 108,000,000 _kilos.;_ in 1289 it fell off by 100,000 _yin_.

The price was, in 1277, 18 _liang_ or taels, in _chao_ or paper-money of
the years 1260-64 (see vol. i. p. 426); in 1282 it was raised to 22 taels;
in 1284 a permanent and reduced price was fixed, the amount of which is
not stated.

M. Pauthier assumes as a mean 400,000 _yin_, at 18 taels, which will give
7,200,000 _taels;_ or, at 6_s._ 7_d._ to the tael, 2,370,000_l._ But this
amount being in _chao_ or paper-currency, which at its highest valuation
was worth only 50 per cent. of the nominal value of the notes, we must
_halve_ the sum, giving the salt revenue on Pauthier's assumptions =

Pauthier has also endeavoured to present a table of the whole revenue of
Kiang-Che under the Mongols, amounting to 12,955,710 paper _taels_, or
2,132,294_l._, _including_ the salt revenue. This would leave only
947,294_l._ for the other sources of revenue, but the fact is that several
of these are left blank, and among others one so important as the
sea-customs. However, even making the extravagant supposition that the
sea-customs and other omitted items were equal in amount to the whole of
the other sources of revenue, salt included, the total would be only

Marco's amount, as he gives it, is, I think, unquestionably a huge
exaggeration, though I do not suppose an intentional one. In spite of his
professed rendering of the amounts in gold, I have little doubt that his
tomans really represent paper-currency, and that to get a valuation in
gold, his total has to be divided _at the very least_ by two. We may then
compare his total of 290 tomans of paper _ting_ with Pauthier's 130 tomans
of paper _ting_, excluding sea-customs and some other items. No nearer
comparison is practicable; and besides the sources of doubt already
indicated, it remains uncertain what in either calculation are the limits
of the province intended. For the bounds of Kiang-Che seem to have varied
greatly, sometimes including and sometimes excluding Fo-kien.

I may observe that Rashiduddin reports, on the authority of the Mongol
minister Pulad Chingsang, that the whole of Manzi brought in a revenue of
"900 tomans." This Quatremere renders "nine million pieces of gold,"
presumably meaning dinars. It is unfortunate that there should be
uncertainty here again as to the unit. If it were the _dinar_ the whole
revenue of Manzi would be about 5,850,000_l._, whereas if the unit were,
as in the case of Polo's toman, the _ting_, the revenue would be nearly
30,000,000 sterling!

It does appear that in China a toman of some denomination of money near
the dinar was known in account. For Friar Odoric states the revenue of
Yang-chau in _tomans_ of _Balish_, the latter unit being, as he explains,
a sum in paper-currency equivalent to a florin and a half (or something
more than a dinar); perhaps, however, only the _liang_ or tael (see vol.
i. pp. 426-7).

It is this calculation of the Kinsay revenue which Marco is supposed to be
expounding to his fellow-prisoner on the title-page of this volume. [See
_P. Hoang, Commerce Public du Sel_, Shanghai, 1898, Liang-tahe-yen, pp.

[1] Pauthier's MSS. A and B are hopelessly corrupt here. His MS. C agrees
with the Geog. Text in making the toman = 70,000 saggi, but 210 tomans
= 15,700,000, instead of 14,700,000. The Crusca and Latin have 80,000
saggi in the first place, but 15,700,000 in the second. Ramusio alone
has 80,000 in the first place, and 16,800,000 in the second.

[2] _Eng. Cyclop., "Weights and Measures."_



When you leave Kinsay and travel a day's journey to the south-east,
through a plenteous region, passing a succession of dwellings and charming
gardens, you reach the city of TANPIJU, a great, rich, and fine city,
under Kinsay. The people are subject to the Kaan, and have paper-money,
and are Idolaters, and burn their dead in the way described before. They
live by trade and manufactures and handicrafts, and have all necessaries
in great plenty and cheapness.[NOTE 1]

But there is no more to be said about it, so we proceed, and I will tell
you of another city called VUJU at three days' distance from Tanpiju. The
people are Idolaters, &c., and the city is under Kinsay. They live by
trade and manufactures.

Travelling through a succession of towns and villages that look like one
continuous city, two days further on to the south-east, you find the great
and fine city of GHIUJU which is under Kinsay. The people are Idolaters,
&c. They have plenty of silk, and live by trade and handicrafts, and have
all things necessary in abundance. At this city you find the largest and
longest canes that are in all Manzi; they are full four palms in girth and
15 paces in length.[NOTE 2]

When you have left Ghiuju you travel four days S.E. through a beautiful
country, in which towns and villages are very numerous. There is abundance
of game both in beasts and birds; and there are very large and fierce
lions. After those four days you come to the great and fine city of
CHANSHAN. It is situated upon a hill which divides the River, so that the
one portion flows up country and the other down.[1] It is still under the
government of Kinsay.

I should tell you that in all the country of Manzi they have no sheep,
though they have beeves and kine, goats and kids and swine in abundance.
The people are Idolaters here, &c.

When you leave Changshan you travel three days through a very fine
country with many towns and villages, traders and craftsmen, and abounding
in game of all kinds, and arrive at the city of CUJU. The people are
Idolaters, &c., and live by trade and manufactures. It is a fine, noble,
and rich city, and is the last of the government of Kinsay in this
direction.[NOTE 3] The other kingdom which we now enter, called Fuju, is
also one of the nine great divisions of Manzi as Kinsay is.

NOTE 1.--The traveller's route proceeds from Kinsay or Hang-chau southward
to the mountains of Fo-kien, ascending the valley of the Ts'ien T'ang,
commonly called by Europeans the Green River. The general line, directed
as we shall see upon Kien-ning fu in Fo-kien, is clear enough, but some of
the details are very obscure, owing partly to vague indications and partly
to the excessive uncertainty in the reading of some of the proper names.

No name resembling Tanpiju (G.T., _Tanpigui_; Pauthier, _Tacpiguy,
Carpiguy, Capiguy_; Ram., _Tapinzu_) belongs, so far as has yet been
shown, to any considerable town in the position indicated.[2] Both
Pauthier and Mr. Kingsmill identify the place with Shao-hing fu, a large
and busy town, compared by Fortune, as regards population, to Shang-hai.
Shao-hing is across the broad river, and somewhat further down than
Hang-chau: it is out of the traveller's general direction; and it seems
unnatural that he should commence his journey by passing this wide river,
and yet not mention it.

For these reasons I formerly rejected Shao-hing, and looked rather to
Fu-yang as the representative of Tanpiju. But my opinion is shaken when I
find both Mr. Elias and Baron Richthofen decidedly opposed to Fu-yang, and
the latter altogether in favour of Shao-hing. "The journey through a
plenteous region, passing a succession of dwellings and charming gardens;
the epithets 'great, rich, and fine city'; the 'trade, manufactures, and
handicrafts,' and the 'necessaries in great plenty and cheapness,' appear
to apply rather to the populous plain and the large city of ancient fame,
than to the small Fu-yang hien ... shut in by a spur from the hills, which
would hardly have allowed it in former days to have been a great city."
(_Note by Baron R._) The after route, as elucidated by the same authority,
points with even more force to Shao-hing.

[Mr. G. Phillips has made a special study of the route from Kinsay to
Zaytun in the _T'oung Pao_, I. p. 218 seq. (_The Identity of Marco
Polo's Zaitun with Changchau_). He says (p. 222): "Leaving Hangchau by
boat for Fuhkien, the first place of importance is Fuyang, at 100 _li_
from Hangchau. This name does not in any way resemble Polo's Ta Pin Zu,
but I think it can be no other." Mr. Phillips writes (pp. 221-222) that by
the route he describes, he "intends to follow the highway which has been
used by travellers for centuries, and the greater part of which is by
water." He adds: "I may mention that the boats used on this route can be
luxuriously fitted up, and the traveller can go in them all the way from
Hangchau to Chinghu, the head of the navigation of the Ts'ien-t'ang River.
At this Chinghu, they disembark and hire coolies and chairs to take them
and their luggage across the Sien-hia pass to Puching in Fuhkien. This
route is described by Fortune in an opposite direction, in his _Wanderings
in China_, vol. ii. p. 139. I am inclined to think that Polo followed this
route, as the one given by Yule, by way of Shao-hing and Kin-hua by land,
would be unnecessarily tedious for the ladies Polo was escorting, and
there was no necessity to take it; more especially as there was a direct
water route to the point for which they were making. I further incline to
this route, as I can find no city at all fitting in with Yenchau,
Ramusio's Gengiu, along the route given by Yule."

In my paper on the Catalan Map (Paris, 1895) I gave the following
itinerary: Kinsay (Hang-chau), Tanpiju (Shao-hing fu), Vuju (Kin-hwa fu),
Ghiuju (K'iu-chau fu), Chan-shan (Sui-chang hien), Cuju (Ch'u-chau),
Ke-lin-fu (Kien-ning fu), Unken (Hu-kwan), Fuju (Fu-chau), Zayton (Kayten,
Hai-t'au), Zayton (Ts'iuen-chau), Tyunju (Tek-hwa).

Regarding the burning of the dead, Mr. Phillips (_T'oung Pao_, VI. p. 454)
quotes the following passage from a notice by M. Jaubert. "The town of
Zaitun is situated half a day's journey inland from the sea. At the place
where the ships anchor, the water is fresh. The people drink this water
and also that of the wells. Zaitun is 30 days' journey from Khanbaligh.
The inhabitants of this town burn their dead either with Sandal, or Brazil
wood, according to their means; they then throw the ashes into the river."
Mr. Phillips adds: "The custom of burning the dead is a long established
one in Fuh-Kien, and does not find much favour among the upper classes. It
exists even to this day in the central parts of the province. The time for
cremation is generally at the time of the Tsing-Ming. At the commencement
of the present dynasty the custom of burning the dead appears to have been
pretty general in the Fuchow Prefecture; it was looked upon with disfavour
by many, and the gentry petitioned the Authorities that proclamations
forbidding it should be issued. It was thought unfilial for children to
cremate their parents; and the practice of gathering up the bones of a
partially cremated person and thrusting them into a jar, euphoniously
called a Golden Jar, but which was really an earthen one, was much
commented on, as, if the jar was too small to contain all the bones, they
were broken up and put in, and many pieces got thrown aside. In the
Changchow neighbourhood, with which we have here most to do, it was a
universal custom in 1126 to burn the dead, and was in existence for many
centuries after." (See note, supra, II. p. 134.)

Captain Gill, speaking of the country near the Great Wall, writes (I. p.
61): ["The Chinese] consider mutton very poor food, and the butchers'
shops are always kept by Mongols. In these, however, both beef and mutton
can be bought for 3_d._ or 4_d._ a lb., while pork, which is considered by
the Chinese as the greatest delicacy, sells for double the price."--H.C.]

NOTE 2.--Che-kiang produces bamboos more abundantly than any province of
Eastern China. Dr. Medhurst mentions meeting, on the waters near
Hang-chau, with numerous rafts of bamboos, one of which was one-third of a
mile in length. (_Glance at Int. of China_, p. 53.)

NOTE 3.--Assuming Tanpiju to be Shao-hing, the remaining places as far as
the Fo-kien Frontier run thus:--

3 days to Vuju (P. _Vugui_, G.T. _Vugui, Vuigui_, Ram. _Uguiu_).
2 " to Ghiuju (P. _Guiguy_, G.T. _Ghingui, Ghengui, Chengui_, Ram.
4 " to Chanshan (P. _Ciancian_, G.T. _Cianscian_, Ram. _Zengian_).
3 " to Cuju or Chuju (P. _Cinguy_, G.T. _Cugui_, Ram. _Gieza_).

First as regards _Chanshan_, which, with the notable circumstances about
the waters there, constitutes the key to the route, I extract the
following remarks from a note which Mr. Fortune has kindly sent me: "When
we get to _Chanshan_ the proof as to the route is _very strong_. This is
undoubtedly my _Chang-shan_. The town is near the head of the Green River
(the Ts'ien T'ang) which flows in a N.E. direction and falls into the Bay
of Hang-chau. At Chang-shan the stream is no longer navigable even for
small boats. Travellers going west or south-west walk or are carried in
sedan-chairs across country in a westerly direction for about 30 miles to
a town named Yuh-shan. Here there is a river which flows westward ('the
other half goes down'), taking the traveller rapidly in that direction,
and passing _en route_ the towns of Kwansinfu, Hokow or Hokeu, and onward
to the Poyang Lake." From the careful study of Mr. Fortune's published
narrative I had already arrived at the conclusion that this was the
correct explanation of the remarkable expressions about the division of
the waters, which are closely analogous to those used by the traveller in
ch. lxii. of this book when speaking of the watershed of the Great Canal
at Sinjumatu. Paraphrased the words might run: "At Chang-shan you reach
high ground, which interrupts the continuity of the River; from one side
of this ridge it flows up country towards the north, from the other it
flows down towards the south." The expression "The River" will be
elucidated in note 4 to ch. lxxxii. below.

This route by the Ts'ien T'ang and the Chang-shan portage, which turns the
danger involved in the navigation of the Yang-tzu and the Poyang Lake, was
formerly a thoroughfare to the south much followed; though now almost
abandoned through one of the indirect results (as Baron Richthofen points
out) of steam navigation.

The portage from Chang-shan to Yuh-shan was passed by the English and
Dutch embassies in the end of last century, on their journeys from
Hang-chau to Canton, and by Mr. Fortune on his way from Ningpo to the Bohea
country of Fo-kien. It is probable that Polo on some occasion made the
ascent of the Ts'ien T'ang by water, and that this leads him to notice the
interruption of the navigation.

[Mr. Phillips writes (_T. Pao_, I. p. 222): "From Fuyang the next point
reached is Tunglu, also another 100 _li_ distant. Polo calls this city
Ugim, a name bearing no resemblance to Tunglu, but this name and Ta Pin Zu
are so corrupted in all editions that they defy conjecture. One hundred
_li_ further up the river from Tunglu, we come to Yenchau, in which I
think we have Polo's Gengiu of Ramusio's text. Yule's text calls this city
Ghiuju, possibly an error in transcription for Ghinju; Yenchau in ancient
Chinese would, according to Williams, be pronounced Ngam, Ngin, and
Ngienchau, all of which are sufficiently near Polo's Gengiu. The next city
reached is Lan Ki Hien or Lan Chi Hsien, famous for its hams, dates, and
all the good things of this life, according to the Chinese. In this city I
recognise Polo's Zen Gi An of Ramusio. Does its description justify me in
my identification? 'The city of "Zen gi an",' says Ramusio, 'is built upon
a hill that stands isolated in the river, which latter, by dividing itself
into two branches, appears to embrace it. These streams take opposite
directions: one of them pursuing its course to the south-east and the
other to the north-west.' Fortune, in his _Wanderings in China_ (vol. li.
p. 139), calls Lan-Khi, Nan-Che-hien, and says: 'It is built on the banks
of the river, and has a picturesque hill behind it.' Milne, who also
visited it, mentions it in his _Life in China_ (p. 258), and says: 'At the
southern end of the suburbs of Lan-Ki the river divides into two branches,
the one to the left on south-east leading direct to Kinhua.' Milne's
description of the place is almost identical with Polo's, when speaking of
the division of the river. There are in Fuchau several Lan-Khi
shopkeepers, who deal in hams, dates, etc., and these men tell me the city
from the river has the appearance of being built on a hill, but the houses
on the hill are chiefly temples. I would divide the name as follows, Zen
gi an; the last syllable _an_ most probably represents the modern Hien,
meaning District city, which in ancient Chinese was pronounced _Han_,
softened by the Italians into _an_. Lan-Khi was a Hien in Polo's day."

Kin-hwa fu, as Pauthier has observed, bore at this time the name of
WU-CHAU, which Polo would certainly write _Vugiu_. And between Shao-hing
and Kin-hwa there exists, as Baron Richthofen has pointed out, a line of
depression which affords an easy connection between Shao-hing and Lan-ki
hien or Kin-hwa fu. This line is much used by travellers, and forms just 3
short stages. Hence Kin-hwa, a fine city destroyed by the T'ai-P'ings, is
satisfactorily identified with _Vugiu_.

The journey from Vugui to Ghiuju is said to be through a succession of
towns and villages, looking like a continuous city. Fortune, whose journey
occurred before the T'ai-P'ing devastations, speaks of the approach to
Kiu-chau as a vast and beautiful garden. And Mr. Milne's map of this route
shows an incomparable density of towns in the Ts'ien T'ang valley from
Yen-chau up to Kiu-chau. _Ghiuju_ then will be KIU-CHAU. But between
Kiu-chau and Chang-shan it is impossible to make four days: barely possible
to make two. My map (_Itineraries_, No. VI.), based on D'Anville and
Fortune, makes the _direct_ distance 24 miles; Milne's map barely 18;
whilst from his book we deduce the distance travelled by water to be about
30. On the whole, it seems probable that there is a mistake in the figure

[Illustration: Marco Polo's route from Kinsai to ZAITUN, illustrating Mr.
G. Phillips' theory.]

From the head of the great Che-kiang valley I find two roads across the
mountains into Fo-kien described.

One leads from _Kiang-shan_ (not Chang-shan) by a town called Ching-hu,
and then, nearly due south, across the mountains to Pu-ch'eng in Upper
Fo-kien. This is specified by Martini (p. 113): it seems to have been
followed by the Dutch Envoy, Van Hoorn, in 1665 (see _Astley_, III. 463),
and it was travelled by Fortune on his return _from_ the Bohea country to
Ningpo. (II. 247, 271.)

The other route follows the portage spoken of above from _Chang-shan_ to
Yuh-shan, and descends the river on that side to _Hokeu_, whence it
strikes south-east across the mountains to Tsung-ngan-hien in Fo-kien.
This route was followed by Fortune on his way _to_ the Bohea country.

Both from Pu-ch'eng on the former route, and from near Tsung-ngan on the
latter, the waters are navigable down to Kien-ning fu and so to Fu-chau.

Mr. Fortune judges the first to have been Polo's route. There does not,
however, seem to be on this route any place that can be identified with
his Cuju or Chuju. Ching-hu seems to be insignificant, and the name has no
resemblance. On the other route followed by Mr. Fortune himself from that
side we have Kwansin fu, _Hokeu_, Yen-shan, and (last town passed on that
side) _Chuchu_. The latter, as to both name and position, is quite
satisfactory, but it is described as a small poor town. _Hokeu_ would be
represented in Polo's spelling as Caghiu or Cughiu. It is now a place of
great population and importance as the entrepot of the Black Tea Trade,
but, like many important commercial cities in the interior, not being even
a _hien_ it has no place either in Duhalde or in Biot, and I cannot learn
its age.

It is no objection to this line that Polo speaks of Cuju or Chuju as the
last city of the government of Kinsay, whilst the towns just named are in
Kiang-si. For _Kiang-Che_, the province of Kinsay, then included the
eastern part of Kiang-si. (See _Cathay_, p. 270.)

[Mr. Phillips writes (_T. Pao_, I. 223-224): "Eighty-five _li_ beyond
Lan-ki hien is Lung-yin, a place not mentioned by Polo, and another
ninety-five _li_ still further on is Chuechau or Keuchau, which is, I
think, the Gie-za of Ramusio, and the Cuju of Yule's version. Polo
describes it as the last city of the government of Kinsai (Che-kiang) in
this direction. It is the last Prefectural city, but ninety _li_ beyond
Chue-chau, on the road to Pu-cheng, is Kiang-shan, a district city which
is the last one in this direction. Twenty _li_ from Kiang-shan is Ching-hu,
the head of the navigation of the T'sien-T'ang river. Here one hires chairs
and coolies for the journey over the Sien-hia Pass to Pu-cheng, a distance
of 215 _li_. From Pu-cheng, Fu-chau can be reached by water in 4 or 5 days.
The distance is 780 _li_."--H.C.]

[1] "_Est sus un mont que parte le Flum, gue le une moitie ala en sus e
l'autre moitie en jus_" (G.T.).

[2] One of the _Hien_, forming the special districts of Hang-Chau itself,
now called _Tsien-tang_, was formerly called _Tang-wei-tang_. But it
embraces the _eastern_ part of the district, and can, I think, have
nothing to do with _Tanpiju_. (See _Biot_, p. 257, and _Chin. Repos._
for February, 1842, p. 109.)



On leaving Cuju, which is the last city of the kingdom of Kinsay, you
enter the kingdom of FUJU, and travel six days in a south-easterly
direction through a country of mountains and valleys, in which are a
number of towns and villages with great plenty of victuals and abundance
of game. Lions, great and strong, are also very numerous. The country
produces ginger and galingale in immense quantities, insomuch that for a
Venice groat you may buy fourscore pounds of good fine-flavoured ginger.
They have also a kind of fruit resembling saffron, and which serves the
purpose of saffron just as well.[NOTE 1]

And you must know the people eat all manner of unclean things, even the
flesh of a man, provided he has not died a natural death. So they look out
for the bodies of those that have been put to death and eat their flesh,
which they consider excellent.[NOTE 2]

Those who go to war in those parts do as I am going to tell you. They
shave the hair off the forehead and cause it to be painted in blue like
the blade of a glaive. They all go afoot except the chief; they carry
spears and swords, and are the most savage people in the world, for they
go about constantly killing people, whose blood they drink, and then
devour the bodies.[NOTE 3]

Now I will quit this and speak of other matters. You must know then that
after going three days out of the six that I told you of you come to the
city of KELINFU, a very great and noble city, belonging to the Great Kaan.
This city hath three stone bridges which are among the finest and best in
the world. They are a mile long and some nine paces in width, and they are
all decorated with rich marble columns. Indeed they are such fine and
marvellous works that to build any one of them must have cost a
treasure.[NOTE 4]

The people live by trade and manufactures, and have great store of silk
[which they weave into various stuffs], and of ginger and galingale.
[NOTE 5] [They also make much cotton cloth of dyed thread, which is sent
all over Manzi.] Their women are particularly beautiful. And there is a
strange thing there which I needs must tell you. You must know they have a
kind of fowls which have no feathers, but hair only, like a cat's fur.
[NOTE 6] They are black all over; they lay eggs just like our fowls, and
are very good to eat.

In the other three days of the six that I have mentioned above[NOTE 7],
you continue to meet with many towns and villages, with traders, and goods
for sale, and craftsmen. The people have much silk, and are Idolaters, and
subject to the Great Kaan. There is plenty of game of all kinds, and there
are great and fierce lions which attack travellers. In the last of those
three days' journey, when you have gone 15 miles you find a city called
UNKEN, where there is an immense quantity of sugar made. From this city
the Great Kaan gets all the sugar for the use of his Court, a quantity
worth a great amount of money. [And before this city came under the Great
Kaan these people knew not how to make fine sugar; they only used to boil
and skim the juice, which when cold left a black paste. But after they
came under the Great Kaan some men of Babylonia who happened to be at the
Court proceeded to this city and taught the people to refine the sugar
with the ashes of certain trees.[NOTE 8]]

There is no more to say of the place, so now we shall speak of the
splendour of Fuju. When you have gone 15 miles from the city of Unken, you
come to this noble city which is the capital of the kingdom. So we will
now tell you what we know of it.

NOTE 1.--The vague description does not suggest the root _turmeric_ with
which Marsden and Pauthier identify this "fruit like saffron." It is
probably one of the species of _Gardenia_, the fruits of which are used by
the Chinese for their colouring properties. Their splendid yellow colour
"is due to a body named crocine which appears to be identical with the
polychroite of saffron." (_Hanbury's Notes on Chinese Mat. Medica_, pp.
21-22.) For this identification, I am indebted to Dr. Flueckiger of Bern.
["Colonel Yule concludes that the fruit of a _Gardenia_, which yields a
yellow colour, is meant. But Polo's vague description might just as well
agree with the Bastard Saffron, _Carthamus tinctorius_, a plant introduced
into China from Western Asia in the 2nd century B.C., and since then much
cultivated in that country." (_Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc._ I. p.

[Illustration: Scene in the Bohea Mountains, on Polo's route between
Kiang-si and Fo-kien (From Fortune.)

"Adonc entre l'en en roiaume de Fugin, et ici comance. Et ala siz jornee
montangnes e por bales...."]

NOTE 2.--See vol. i. p. 312.

NOTE 3.--These particulars as to a race of painted or tattooed caterans
accused of cannibalism apparently apply to some aboriginal tribe which
still maintained its ground in the mountains between Fo-kien and Che-kiang
or Kiang-si. Davis, alluding to the Upper part of the Province of Canton,
says: "The Chinese History speaks of the aborigines of this wild region
under the name of Man (Barbarians), who within a comparatively recent
period were subdued and incorporated into the Middle Nation. Many persons
have remarked a decidedly Malay cast in the features of the natives of
this province; and it is highly probable that the Canton and Fo-kien
people were originally the same race as the tribes which still remain
unreclaimed on the east side of Formosa."[1] (_Supply. Vol._ p. 260.)
Indeed Martini tells us that even in the 17th century this very range of
mountains, farther to the south, in the Ting-chau department of Fo-kien,
contained a race of uncivilised people, who were enabled by the
inaccessible character of the country to maintain their independence of
the Chinese Government (p. 114; see also _Semedo_, p. 19).

["Colonel Yule's 'pariah caste' of Shao-ling, who, he says, rebelled
against either the Sung or the Yuean, are evidently the _tomin_ of Ningpo
and _zikas_ of Wenchow. Colonel Yule's 'some aboriginal tribe between
Fo-kien and Che-kiang' are probably the _zikas_ of Wenchow and the _siapo_
of Fu-kien described by recent travellers. The _zikas_ are locally called
dogs' heads, which illustrates Colonel Yule's allophylian theories."
(_Parker, China Review_, XIV. p. 359.) Cf. _A Visit to the "Dog-Headed
Barbarians" or Hill People, near Fu-chow, by Rev. F. Ohlinger, Chinese
Recorder_, July, 1886, pp. 265-268.--H.C.]

NOTE 4.--Padre Martini long ago pointed out that this _Quelinfu_ is
KIEN-NING FU, on the upper part of the Min River, an important city of
Fo-kien. In the Fo-kien dialect he notices that _l_ is often substituted
for _n_, a well-known instance of which is _Liampoo_, the name applied by
F.M. Pinto and the old Portuguese to _Ningpo_.

[Mr. Phillips writes (_T. Pao_, I. p. 224): "From Pucheng to Kien-Ning-Foo
the distance is 290 _li_, all down stream. I consider this to have been
the route followed by Polo. His calling Kien-Ning-Foo, Que-lin-fu, is
quite correct, as far as the Ling is concerned, the people of the city and
of the whole southern province pronounce Ning, Ling. The Ramusian version
gives very full particulars regarding the manufactures of Kien-Ning-Foo,
which are not found in the other texts; for example, silk is said in this
version to be woven into various stuffs, and further: 'They also make much
cotton cloth of dyed thread which is sent all over Manzi.' All this is
quite true. Much silk was formerly and is still woven in Kien-Ning, and
the manufacture of cotton cloth with dyed threads is very common. Such
stuff is called Hung Lu Kin 'red and green cloth.' Cotton cloth, made with
dyed thread, is also very common in our day in many other cities in

In Ramusio the bridges are only "each more than 100 paces long and 8 paces
wide." In Pauthier's text _each_ is a mile long, and 20 feet wide. I
translate from the G.T.

Martini describes _one_ beautiful bridge at Kien-ning fu: the piers of cut
stone, the superstructure of timber, roofed in and lined with houses on
each side (pp. 112-113). If this was over the Min it would seem not to
survive. A recent journal says: "The river is crossed by a bridge of
boats, the remains of a stone bridge being visible just above water."
(_Chinese Recorder_ (Foochow), August, 1870, p. 65.)

NOTE 5.--_Galanga_ or Galangal is an aromatic root belonging to a class of
drugs once much more used than now. It exists of two kinds: 1. _Great_ or
_Java Galangal_, the root of the _Alpinia Galanga_. This is rarely
imported and hardly used in Europe in modern times, but is still found in
the Indian bazaars. 2. _Lesser_ or _China Galangal_ is imported into
London from Canton, and is still sold by druggists in England. Its
botanical origin is unknown. It is produced in Shan-si, Fo-kien, and
Kwang-tung, and is called by the Chinese _Liang Kiang_ or "Mild Ginger."

["According to the Chinese authors the province of Sze-ch'wan and
Han-chung (Southern Shen-si) were in ancient times famed for their Ginger.
Ginger is still exported in large quantities from Han k'ou. It is known
also to be grown largely in the southern provinces.--Galingale is the
Lesser or Chinese Galanga of commerce, _Alpinia officinarum_ Hance."
(_Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc._ I. p. 2. See _Heyd, Com. Levant_, II.

Galangal was much used as a spice in the Middle Ages. In a syrup for a
capon, _temp._ Rich. II., we find ground-ginger, cloves, cinnamon and
_galingale_. "Galingale" appears also as a growth in old English gardens,
but this is believed to have been _Cyperus Longus_, the tubers of which
were substituted for the real article under the name of English Galingale.

The name appears to be a modification of the Arabic _Kulijan_, Pers.
_Kholinjan_, and these from the Sanskrit _Kulanjana_. (_Mr. Hanbury;
China Comm.-Guide_, 120; _Eng. Cycl.; Garcia_, f. 63; _Wright_, p. 352.)

NOTE 6.--The cat in question is no doubt the fleecy Persian. These
fowls,--but white,--are mentioned by Odoric at Fu-chau; and Mr. G.
Phillips in a MS. note says that they are still abundant in Fo-kien, where
he has often seen them; all that he saw or heard of were _white_. The
Chinese call them "velvet-hair fowls." I believe they are well known to
poultry-fanciers in Europe. [_Gallus Lanatus_, Temm. See note, p. 286, of
my edition of Odoric.--H.C.]

NOTE 7.--The _times_ assigned in this chapter as we have given them, after
the G. Text, appear very short; but I have followed that text because it
is perfectly consistent and clear. Starting from the last city of Kinsay
government, the traveller goes six days south-east; _three_ out of those
six days bring him to Kelinfu; he goes on the other three days and at the
15th mile of the 3rd day reaches Unken; 15 miles further bring him to
Fuju. This is interesting as showing that Polo reckoned his day at 30

In Pauthier's text again we find: "_Sachiez que quand on est ale_ six
journees, apres ces trois que je vous ay dit," not having mentioned
_trois_ at all "_on treuve la cite de Quelifu_." And on leaving Quelinfu:
"_Sachiez que_ es autres trois journees oultre et plus xv. milles _treuve
l'en une cite qui a nom Vuguen_." This seems to mean from Cugui to
Kelinfu six days, and thence to Vuguen (or Unken) three and a half days
more. But evidently there has been bungling in the transcript, for the _es
autre trois journees_ belongs to the same conception of the distance as
that in the G.T. Pauthier's text does not say how far it is from Unken to
Fuju. Ramusio makes six days to Kelinfu, three days more to Unguem, and
then 15 miles more to Fuju (which he has erroneously as _Cugiu_ here,
though previously given right, _Fugiu_).

The latter scheme looks probable certainly, but the times in the G.T. are
quite admissible, if we suppose that water conveyance was adopted where

For assuming that _Cugiu_ was Fortune's Chuchu at the western base of the
Bohea mountains (see note 3, ch. lxxix.), and that the traveller reached
Tsun-ngan-hien, in two marches, I see that from Tsin-tsun, near
Tsun-ngan-hien, Fortune says he could have reached Fu-chau in four days by
boat. Again Martini, speaking of the skill with which the Fo-kien boatmen
navigate the rocky rapids of the upper waters, says that even from
_Pu-ch'eng_ the descent to the capital could be made in three days. So the
thing is quite possible, and the G. Text may be quite correct. (See
_Fortune_, II. 171-183 and 210; _Mart._ 110.) A party which recently made
the journey seem to have been six days from _Hokeu_ to the Wu-e-shan and
then five and a half days by water (but in stormy weather) to Fu-chau.
(_Chinese Recorder_, as above.)

NOTE 8.--Pauthier supposes Unken, or _Vuguen_ as he reads it, to be
_Hukwan_, one of the _hiens_ under the immediate administration of Fu-chau
city. This cannot be, according to the lucid reading of the G.T., making
Unken 15 miles from the chief city. The only place which the maps show
about that position is _Min-ts'ing hien_. And the Dutch mission of
1664-1665 names this as "Binkin, by some called Min-sing." (_Astley_, III.

[Mr. Phillips writes (_T. Pao_, I. 224-225): "Going downstream from
Kien-Ning, we arrive first at Yen-Ping on the Min Main River. Eighty-seven
_li_ further down is the mouth of the Yiu-Ki River, up which stream, at a
distance of eighty _li_, is Yiu-Ki city, where travellers disembark for the
land journey to Yung-chun and Chinchew. This route is the highway from the
town of Yiu-Ki to the seaport of Chinchew. This I consider to have been
Polo's route, and Ramusio's Unguen I believe to be Yung-chun, locally known
as Eng-chun or Ung-chun, a name greatly resembling Polo's Unguen. I look
upon this mere resemblance of name as of small moment in comparison with
the weighty and important statement, that 'this place is remarkable for a
great manufacture of sugar.' Going south from the Min River towards
Chin-chew, this is the first district in which sugar-cane is seen growing
in any quantity. Between Kien-Ning-Foo and Fuchau I do not know of any
place remarkable for the _great_ manufacture of sugar. Pauthier makes
How-Kuan do service for Unken or Unguen, but this is inadmissible, as there
is no such place as How-Kuan; it is simply one of the divisions of the city
of Fuchau, which is divided into two districts, viz. the Min-Hien and the
How-Kuan-Hien. A small quantity of sugar-cane is, I admit, grown in the
How-Kuan division of Fuchau-foo, but it is not extensively made into sugar.
The cane grown there is usually cut into short pieces for chewing and
hawked about the streets for sale. The nearest point to Foochow where sugar
is made in any great quantity is Yung-Foo, a place quite out of Polo's
route. The great sugar manufacturing districts of Fuh-Kien are Hing-hwa,
Yung-chun, Chinchew, and Chang-chau."--H. C]

The _Babylonia_ of the passage from Ramusio is Cairo,--Babylon of Egypt,
the sugar of which was very famous in the Middle Ages. _Zucchero di
Bambellonia_ is repeatedly named in Pegolotti's Handbook (210, 311, 362,

The passage as it stands represents the Chinese as not knowing even how to
get sugar in the granular form: but perhaps the fact was that they did
not know how to _refine_ it. Local Chinese histories acknowledge that the
people of Fo-kien did not know how to make fine sugar, till, in the time
of the Mongols, certain men from the West taught the art.[2] It is a
curious illustration of the passage that in India coarse sugar is commonly
called _Chini_, "the produce of China," and sugar candy or fine sugar
_Misri_, the produce of Cairo (_Babylonia_) or Egypt. Nevertheless, fine
_Misri_ has long been exported from Fo-kien to India, and down to 1862
went direct from Amoy. It is now, Mr. Phillips states, sent to India by
steamers via Hong-Kong. I see it stated, in a late Report by Mr. Consul
Medhurst, that the sugar at this day commonly sold and consumed throughout
China is excessively coarse and repulsive in appearance. (See _Academy_,
February, 1874, p. 229.) [We note from the _Returns of Trade for 1900_,
of the Chinese Customs, p. 467, that during that year 1900, the following
quantities of sugar were exported from Amoy: _Brown_, 89,116 _piculs_,
value 204,969 Hk. taels; _white_, 3,708 _piculs_, 20,024 Hk. taels;
_candy_, 53,504 _piculs_, 304,970 Hk. taels.--H.C.]

[Dr. Bretschneider (_Hist. of Bot. Disc._ I. p. 2) remarks that "the sugar
cane although not indigenous in China, was known to the Chinese in the 2nd
century B.C. It is largely cultivated in the Southern provinces."--H.C.]

The fierce lions are, as usual, tigers. These are numerous in this
province, and tradition points to the diversion of many roads, owing to
their being infested by tigers. Tiger cubs are often offered for sale in

[1] "It is not improbable that there is some admixture of aboriginal blood
in the actual population (of Fuh-Kien), but if so, it cannot be much.
The _surnames_ in this province are the same as those in Central
and North China.... The language also is pure Chinese; actually much
nearer the ancient form of Chinese than the modern Mandarin dialect.
There are indeed many words in the vernacular for which no
corresponding character has been found in the literary style: but
careful investigation is gradually diminishing the number." (_Note
by Rev. Dr. C. Douglas_.)

[2] _Note_ by _Mr. C. Phillips_. I omit a corroborative quotation about
sugar from the Turkish Geography, copied from Klaproth in the former
edition: because the author, Hajji Khalfa, used European sources; and
I have no doubt the passage was derived indirectly from Marco Polo.

[3] _Note_ by _Mr. G. Phillips_.



Now this city of Fuju is the key of the kingdom which is called CHONKA,
and which is one of the nine great divisions of Manzi.[NOTE 1] The city
is a seat of great trade and great manufactures. The people are Idolaters
and subject to the Great Kaan. And a large garrison is maintained there by
that prince to keep the kingdom in peace and subjection. For the city is
one which is apt to revolt on very slight provocation.

There flows through the middle of this city a great river, which is about
a mile in width, and many ships are built at the city which are launched
upon this river. Enormous quantities of sugar are made there, and there is
a great traffic in pearls and precious stones. For many ships of India
come to these parts bringing many merchants who traffic about the Isles of
the Indies. For this city is, as I must tell you, in the vicinity of the
Ocean Port of ZAYTON,[NOTE 2] which is greatly frequented by the ships of
India with their cargoes of various merchandize; and from Zayton ships
come this way right up to the city of Fuju by the river I have told you
of; and 'tis in this way that the precious wares of India come hither.
[NOTE 3]

The city is really a very fine one and kept in good order, and all
necessaries of life are there to be had in great abundance and cheapness.

NOTE 1.--The name here applied to Fo-kien by Polo is variously written as
_Choncha, Chonka, Concha, Chouka_. It has not been satisfactorily
explained. Klaproth and Neumann refer it to _Kiang-Che_, of which Fo-kien
at one time of the Mongol rule formed a part. This is the more improbable
as Polo expressly distinguishes this province or kingdom from that which
was under Kinsay, viz. Kiang-Che. Pauthier supposes the word to represent
_Kien-Kwe_ "the Kingdom of Kien," because in the 8th century this
territory had formed a principality of which the seat was at _Kien-chau_,
now Kien-ning fu. This is not satisfactory either, for no evidence is
adduced that the name continued in use.

One might suppose that _Choncha_ represented _T'swan-chau_, the Chinese
name of the city of Zayton, or rather of the department attached to it,
written by the French _Thsiuan-tcheou_, but by Medhurst _Chwanchew_, were
it not that Polo's practice of writing the term _tcheu_ or _chau_ by _giu_
is so nearly invariable, and that the soft _ch_ is almost always expressed
in the old texts by the Italian _ci_ (though the Venetian does use the
soft _ch_).[1]

It is again impossible not to be struck with the resemblance of _Chonka_
to "CHUNG-KWE" "the Middle Kingdom," though I can suggest no ground for
the application of such a title specially to Fo-kien, except a possible
misapprehension. _Chonkwe_ occurs in the Persian _Historia Cathaica_
published by Mueller, but is there specially applied to _North China_. (See
_Quat. Rashid._, p. lxxxvi.)

The city of course is FU-CHAU. It was visited also by Friar Odoric, who
calls it _Fuzo_, and it appears in duplicate on the Catalan Map as _Fugio_
and as _Fozo_.

I used the preceding words, "the city of course is Fu-chau," in the first
edition. Since then Mr. G. Phillips, of the consular staff in Fo-kien, has
tried to prove that Polo's Fuju is not Fu-chau (_Foochow_ is his
spelling), but T'swan-chau. This view is bound up with another regarding
the identity of Zayton, which will involve lengthy notice under next
chapter; and both views have met with an able advocate in the Rev. Dr. C.
Douglas, of Amoy.[2] I do not in the least accept these views about Fuju.

In considering the objections made to Fu-chau, it must never be forgotten
that, according to the spelling usual with Polo or his scribe, Fuju is not
merely "a name with a great resemblance in sound to Foochow" (as Mr.
Phillips has it); it _is_ Mr. Phillips's word Foochow, just as absolutely
as my word Fu-chau is his word Foochow. (See remarks almost at the end of
the Introductory Essay.) And what has to be proved against me in this
matter is, that when Polo _speaks_ of Fu-chau he does not _mean_ Fu-chau.
It must also be observed that the distances as given by Polo (three days
from Quelinfu to Fuju, five days from Fuju to Zayton) do correspond well
with my interpretations, and do _not_ correspond with the other. These are

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