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_Bibl. de l'Éc. des Chartes_, IV. 585 seqq.; _J. As._ sér. V. tom. xvii.
536 seqq.; _Schmidt, über eine Mongol. Quadratinschrift_, etc., Acad. St.
P., 1847; Russian paper by _Grigorieff_ on same subject, 1846.)

["The History tells us (_Liao Shih_, Bk. LVII. f. 2) that the official
silver tablets _p'ai tzu_ of the period were 600 in number, about a foot
in length, and that they were engraved with an inscription like the above
['Our imperial order for post horses. Urgent.'] in national characters
(_kuo tzu_), and that when there was important state business the Emperor
personally handed the tablet to the envoy, which entitled him to demand
horses at the post stations, and to be treated as if he were the Emperor
himself travelling. When the tablet was marked 'Urgent,' he had the right
to take private horses, and was required to ride, night and day, 700 _li_
in twenty-four hours. On his return he had to give back the tablet to the
Emperor, who handed it to the prince who had the custody of the state
tablets and seals." (_Dr. S. W. Bushell, Actes XI. Cong. Int. Orient._,
Paris, p. 17.)

"The Kin, in the thirteenth century, used badges of office made of silver.
They were rectangular, bore the imperial seal, and an inscription
indicative of the duty of the bearer. (_Chavannes, Voyageurs chez les
Khitans_, 102.) The Nü-chên at an earlier date used wooden _pai-tzu_ tied
to each horseman and horse, to distinguish them by. (_Ma Tuan-lin_, Bk.
327, 11.)" (_Rockhill, Rubruck_, p. 181, note.)

"Tiger's tablets - _Sinice Hu fu_, and _p'ai tsze_ in the common language.
The Mongols had them of several kinds, which differed by the metal, of
which they were made, as well as by the number of pearls (one, two, or
three in number), which were incrusted in the upper part of the tablet.
Falcon's tablets with the figure of a falcon were round, and used to be
given only to special couriers and envoys of the Khan. [_Yuen shi lui
pien_ and _Yuen ch'ao tien chang_.] The use of the _Hu-fu_ was adopted by
the Mongols probably from the Kin." (_Palladius_, l.c. p. 39.)

Rubruquis (Rockhill's ed. pp. 153-154) says: - "And whenever the principal
envoy [of Longa] came to court he carried a highly-polished tablet of
ivory about a cubit long and half a palm wide. Every time he spoke to the
chan or some great personage, he always looked at that tablet as if he
found there what he had to say, nor did he look to the right or the left,
nor in the face of him with whom he was talking. Likewise, when coming
into the presence of the Lord, and when leaving it, he never looked at
anything but his tablet." Mr. Rockhill observes: "These tablets are called
_hu_ in Chinese, and were used in China and Korea; in the latter country
down to quite recent times. They were made of jade, ivory, bamboo, etc.,
according to the rank of the owner, and were about three feet long. The
_hu_ was originally used to make memoranda on of the business to be
submitted by the bearer to the Emperor or to write the answers to
questions he had had submitted to them. Odoric also refers to 'the tablets
of white ivory which the Emperor's barons held in their hands as they
stood silent before him.'"

(Cf. the golden tablets which were of various classes with a tiger for
image and pearls for ornaments, _Devéria, Epigraphie_, p. 15 et seq.) - H.
C.]

NOTE 3. - _Umbrella_. The phrase in Pauthier's text is "_Palieque que on
dit_ ombrel." The Latin text of the Soc. de Géographie has "_unum pallium_
de auro," which I have adopted as probably correct, looking to Burma,
where the old etiquettes as to umbrellas are in full force. These
etiquettes were probably in both countries of old Hindu origin. _Pallium_,
according to Muratori, was applied in the Middle Ages to a kind of square
umbrella, by which is probably meant rather a canopy on four staves, which
was sometimes assigned by authority as an honourable privilege.

But the genuine umbrella would seem to have been used also, for Polo's
contemporary, Martino da Canale, says that, when the Doge goes forth of
his palace, "_si vait apres lui un damoiseau qui porte une umbrele de dras
à or sur son chief_," which umbrella had been given by "_Monseigneur
l'Apostoille_." There is a picture by Girolamo Gambarota, in the Sala del
Gran Consiglio, at Venice, which represents the investiture of the Doge
with the umbrella by Pope Alexander III., and Frederick Barbarossa
(concerning which see _Sanuto_ Junior, in _Muratori_, XXII. 512).

The word _Parasol_ also occurs in the Petrarchian vocabulary, (14th
century) as the equivalent of _saioual_ (Pers. _sáyában_ or _sáiwán_, an
umbrella). Carpini notices that umbrellas (_solinum vel tentoriolum in
hastâ_) were carried over the Tartar nobles and their wives, even on
horseback; and a splendid one, covered with jewels, was one of the
presents made to Kuyuk Kaan on his enthronement.

With respect to the honorary character attaching to umbrellas in China, I
may notice that recently an English resident of Ningpo, on his departure
for Europe, was presented by the Chinese citizens, as a token of honour,
with a pair of _Wan min sàn_, umbrellas of enormous size.

The umbrella must have gone through some curious vicissitudes; for at one
time we find it familiar, at a later date apparently unknown, and then
reintroduced as some strange novelty. Arrian speaks of the [Greek:
skiádia], or umbrellas, as used by all Indians of any consideration; but
the thing of which he spoke was familiar to the use of Greek and Roman
ladies, and many examples of it, borne by slaves behind their mistresses,
are found on ancient vase-paintings. Athenaeus quotes from Anacreon the
description of a "beggar on horseback" who

"like a woman bears
An ivory parasol over his delicate head."

An Indian prince, in a Sanskrit inscription of the 9th century, boasts of
having wrested from the King of Márwár the two umbrellas pleasing to
Parvati, and white as the summer moonbeams. Prithi Ráj, the last Hindu
king of Delhi, is depicted by the poet Chand as shaded by a white umbrella
on a golden staff. An unmistakable umbrella, copied from a Saxon MS. in
the Harleian collection, is engraved in _Wright's History of Domestic
Manners_, p. 75. The fact that the gold umbrella is one of the
paraphernalia of high church dignitaries in Italy seems to presume
acquaintance with the thing from a remote period. A decorated umbrella
also accompanies the host when sent out to the sick, at least where I
write, in Palermo. Ibn Batuta says that in his time all the people of
Constantinople, civil and military, great and small, carried great
umbrellas over their heads, summer and winter. Ducange quotes, from a MS.
of the Paris Library, the Byzantine court regulations about umbrellas,
which are of the genuine Pan-Asiatic spirit; - [Greek: skiádia
chrysokókkina] extend from the Hypersebastus to the grand Stratopedarchus,
and so on; exactly as used to be the case, with different titles, in Java.
And yet it is curious that John Marignolli, Ibn Batuta's contemporary in
the middle of the 14th century, and Barbosa in the 16th century, are alike
at pains to describe the umbrella as some strange object. And in our own
country it is commonly stated that the umbrella was first used in the last
century, and that Jonas Hanway (died 1786) was one of the first persons
who made a practice of carrying one. The word _umbrello_ is, however, in
Minsheu's dictionary. [See _Hobson-Jobson_, s.v. _Umbrella_. - H. C.]

(_Murat. Dissert._ II. 229; _Archiv. Storic. Ital._ VIII. 274, 560;
_Klapr. Mém._ III.; _Carp._ 759; _N. and Q., C. and J._ II. 180; _Arrian,
Indica_, XVI.; _Smith's Dict., G. and R. Ant._, s. v. _umbraculum_; _J. R.
A. S._ v. 351; _Rás Mála_, I. 221; _I. B._ II. 440; _Cathay_, 381;
_Ramus._ I. f. 301.)

Alexander, according to Athenaeus, feasted his captains to the number of
6000, and made them all sit upon silver chairs. The same author relates
that the King of Persia, among other rich presents, bestowed upon Entimus
the Gortynian, who went up to the king in imitation of Themistocles,
_a silver chair and a gilt umbrella_. (Bk. I. Epit. ch. 31, and II. 31.)

The silver chair has come down to our own day in India, and is much
affected by native princes.

NOTE 4. - I have not been able to find any allusion, except in our author,
to tablets, with gerfalcons (_shonkár_). The _shonkár_ appears, however,
according to Erdmann, on certain coins of the Golden Horde, struck at
Sarai.

There is a passage from Wassáf used by Hammer, in whose words it runs that
the Sayad Imámuddín, appointed (A.D. 683) governor of Shiraz by Arghun
Khan, "was invested with _both_ the Mongol symbols of delegated
sovereignty, the Golden Lion's Head, and the golden _Cat's Head_." It
would certainly have been more satisfactory to find "Gerfalcon's Head" in
lieu of the latter; but it is probable that the same object is meant. The
cut below exhibits the conventional effigy of a gerfalcon as sculptured
over one of the gates of Iconium, Polo's Conia. The head might easily pass
for a conventional representation of a cat's head, and is indeed
strikingly like the grotesque representation that bears that name in
mediaeval architecture. (_Erdmann, Numi Asiatici_, I. 339; _Ilch._ I.
370.)

[Illustration: Sculptured Gerfalcon. (From the Gate of Iconium.)]


[1] "In anno Simiae, octavâ lunâ, die quarto exeunte, juxta fluvium Cobam
(_the Kuban_), apud Ripam Rubeam existentes scripsimus." The original
was in _linguâ Persaycá_.

[2] See _Golden Horde_, p. 218.




CHAPTER VIII.

CONCERNING THE PERSON OF THE GREAT KAAN.


The personal appearance of the Great Kaan, Lord of Lords, whose name is
Cublay, is such as I shall now tell you. He is of a good stature, neither
tall nor short, but of a middle height. He has a becoming amount of flesh,
and is very shapely in all his limbs. His complexion is white and red, the
eyes black and fine,[NOTE 1] the nose well formed and well set on. He has
four wives, whom he retains permanently as his legitimate consorts; and
the eldest of his sons by those four wives ought by rights to be
emperor; - I mean when his father dies. Those four ladies are called
empresses, but each is distinguished also by her proper name. And each of
them has a special court of her own, very grand and ample; no one of them
having fewer than 300 fair and charming damsels. They have also many pages
and eunuchs, and a number of other attendants of both sexes; so that each
of these ladies has not less than 10,000 persons attached to her
court.[NOTE 2]

When the Emperor desires the society of one of these four consorts, he
will sometimes send for the lady to his apartment and sometimes visit her
at her own. He has also a great number of concubines, and I will tell you
how he obtains them.

You must know that there is a tribe of Tartars called UNGRAT, who are
noted for their beauty. Now every year an hundred of the most beautiful
maidens of this tribe are sent to the Great Kaan, who commits them to the
charge of certain elderly ladies dwelling in his palace. And these old
ladies make the girls sleep with them, in order to ascertain if they have
sweet breath [and do not snore], and are sound in all their limbs. Then
such of them as are of approved beauty, and are good and sound in all
respects, are appointed to attend on the Emperor by turns. Thus six of
these damsels take their turn for three days and nights, and wait on him
when he is in his chamber and when he is in his bed, to serve him in any
way, and to be entirely at his orders. At the end of the three days and
nights they are relieved by other six. And so throughout the year, there
are reliefs of maidens by six and six, changing every three days and
nights.[NOTE 3]

[Illustration: Portrait of Kúblái Kaan. (From a Chinese Engraving.)]


NOTE 1. - We are left in some doubt as to the colour of Kúblái's eyes, for
some of the MSS. read _vairs_ and _voirs_, and others _noirs_. The former
is a very common epithet for eyes in the mediaeval romances. And in the
ballad on the death of St. Lewis, we are told of his son Tristram: -

"Droiz fu comme un rosel, _iex vairs comme faucon_,
Dès le tens Moysel ne nasqui sa façon."

The word has generally been interpreted _bluish-grey_, but in the passage
just quoted, Fr.-Michel explains it by _brillans_. However, the evidence
for _noirs_ here seems strongest. Rashiduddin says that when Kúblái was
born Chinghiz expressed surprise at the child's being so _brown_, as its
father and all his other sons were fair. Indeed, we are told that the
descendants of Yesugai (the father of Chinghiz) were in general
distinguished by blue eyes and reddish hair. (_Michel's Joinville_, p.
324; _D'Ohsson_, II. 475; _Erdmann_, 252.)

NOTE 2. - According to Hammer's authority (Rashid?) Kúblái had _seven_
wives; Gaubil's Chinese sources assign him _five_, with the title of
empress (_Hwang-heu_). Of these the best beloved was the beautiful Jamúi
Khátún (Lady or Empress Jamúi, illustrating what the text says of the
manner of styling these ladies), who bore him four sons and five
daughters. Rashiduddin adds that she was called _Kún Kú_, or the great
consort, evidently the term _Hwang-heu_. (Gen. Tables in _Hammer's
Ilkhans_; _Gatibil_, 223; _Erdmann_, 200.)

["Kúblái's four wives, i.e. the empresses of the first, second, third, and
fourth _ordos_. _Ordo_ is, properly speaking, a separate palace of the
Khan, under the management of one of his wives. Chinese authors translate
therefore the word _ordo_ by 'harem.' The four _Ordo_ established by
Chingis Khan were destined for the empresses, who were chosen out of four
different nomad tribes. During the reign of the first four Khans, who
lived in Mongolia, the four _ordo_ were considerably distant one from
another, and the Khans visited them in different seasons of the year; they
existed nominally as long as China remained under Mongol domination. The
custom of choosing the empress out of certain tribes, was in the course of
time set aside by the Khans. The empress, wife of the last Mongol Khan in
China, was a Corean princess by birth; and she contributed in a great
measure to the downfall of the Mongol Dynasty." (_Palladius_, 40.)

I do not believe that Rashiduddin's _Kún Kú_ is the term _Hwang-keu_; it
is the term _Kiun Chu_, King or Queen, a sovereign. - H. C.]

NOTE 3. - _Ungrat_, the reading of the Crusca, seems to be that to which
the others point, and I doubt not that it represents the great Mongol
tribe of KUNGURAT, which gave more wives than any other to the princes of
the house of Chinghiz; a conclusion in which I find I have been
anticipated by De Mailla or his editor (IX. 426). To this tribe (which,
according to Vámbéry, took its name from (Turki) _Kongur-At_, "Chestnut
Horse") belonged Burteh Fujin, the favourite wife of Chinghiz himself, and
mother of his four heirs; to the same tribe belonged the two wives of
Chagatai, two of Hulaku's seven wives, one of Mangku Kaan's, two at least
of Kúblái's including the beloved Jamúi Khátún, one at least of Abaka's,
two of Ahmed Tigudar's, two of Arghun's, and two of Ghazan's.

The seat of the Kungurats was near the Great Wall. Their name is still
applied to one of the tribes of the Uzbeks of Western Turkestan, whose
body appears to have been made up of fractions of many of the Turk and
Mongol tribes. Kungurat is also the name of a town of Khiva, near the Sea
of Aral, perhaps borrowed from the Uzbek clan.

The conversion of _Kungurat_ into _Ungrat_ is due, I suppose, to that
Mongol tendency to soften gutturals which has been before noticed.
(_Erdm._ 199-200; _Hammer, passim; Burnes_, III. 143, 225.)

The Ramusian version adds here these curious and apparently genuine
particulars: -

"The Great Kaan sends his commissioners to the Province to select four or
five hundred, or whatever number may be ordered, of the most beautiful
young women, according to the scale of beauty enjoined upon them. And they
set a value upon the comparative beauty of the damsels in this way. The
commissioners on arriving assemble all the girls of the province, in
presence of appraisers appointed for the purpose. These carefully survey
the points of each girl in succession, as (for example) her hair, her
complexion, eyebrows, mouth, lips, and the proportion of all her limbs.
They will then set down some as estimated at 16 carats, some at 17, 18,
20, or more or less, according to the sum of the beauties or defects of
each. And whatever standard the Great Kaan may have fixed for those that
are to be brought to him, whether it be 20 carats or 21, the commissioners
select the required number from those who have attained that standard, and
bring them to him. And when they reach his presence he has them appraised
anew by other parties, and has a selection made of 30 or 40 of those, who
then get the highest valuation."

Marsden and Murray miss the meaning of this curious statement in a
surprising manner, supposing the carat to represent some absolute value, 4
grains of gold according to the former, whence the damsel of 20 carats was
estimated at 13_s._ 4_d._! This is sad nonsense; but Marsden would not
have made the mistake had he not been fortunate enough to live before the
introduction of Competitive Examinations. This Kungurat business was in
fact a competitive examination in beauty; total marks attainable 24; no
candidate to pass who did not get 20 or 21. _Carat_ expresses _n_ ÷ 24,
not any absolute value.

Apart from the mode of valuation, it appears that a like system of
selection was continued by the Ming, and that some such selection from the
daughters of the Manchu nobles has been maintained till recent times.
Herodotus tells that the like custom prevailed among the Adyrmachidae, the
Libyan tribe next Egypt. Old Eden too relates it of the "Princes of
Moscovia." (_Middle Km._ I. 318; _Herod._ IV. 168, Rawl.; _Notes on
Russia_, Hak. Soc. II. 253.)




CHAPTER IX.

CONCERNING THE GREAT KAAN'S SONS.


The Emperor hath, by those four wives of his, twenty-two male children;
the eldest of whom was called CHINKIN for the love of the good Chinghis
Kaan, the first Lord of the Tartars. And this Chinkin, as the Eldest Son
of the Kaan, was to have reigned after his father's death; but, as it came
to pass, he died. He left a son behind him, however, whose name is TEMUR,
and he is to be the Great Kaan and Emperor after the death of his
Grandfather, as is but right; he being the child of the Great Kaan's
eldest son. And this Temur is an able and brave man, as he hath already
proven on many occasions.[NOTE 1]

The Great Kaan hath also twenty-five other sons by his concubines; and
these are good and valiant soldiers, and each of them is a great chief. I
tell you moreover that of his children by his four lawful wives there are
seven who are kings of vast realms or provinces, and govern them well;
being all able and gallant men, as might be expected. For the Great Kaan
their sire is, I tell you, the wisest and most accomplished man, the
greatest Captain, the best to govern men and rule an Empire, as well as
the most valiant, that ever has existed among all the Tribes of
Tartars.[NOTE 2]


NOTE 1. - Kúblái had a son older than CHIMKIN or CHINGKIM, to whom Hammer's
Genealogical Table gives the name of _Jurji_, and attributes a son called
Ananda. The Chinese authorities of Gaubil and Pauthier call him _Turchi_
or _Torchi_, i.e. _Dorjé_, "Noble Stone," the Tibetan name of a sacred
Buddhist emblem in the form of a dumb-bell, representing the _Vajra_ or
Thunderbolt. Probably Dorjé died early, as in the passage we shall quote
from Wassáf also Chingkim is styled the Eldest Son: Marco is probably
wrong in connecting the name of the latter with that of Chinghiz. Schmidt
says that he does not know what _Chingkim_ means.

[Mr. Parker says that Chen kim was the _third_ son of Kúblái (_China
Review_, xxiv. p. 94.) Teimur, son of Chen kim, wore the temple name
(_miao-hao_) of _Ch'êng Tsung_ and the title of reign (_nien-hao_) of
_Yuen Chêng_ and _Ta Téh._ - H. C.]

Chingkim died in the 12th moon of 1284-1285, aged 43. He had received a
Chinese education, and the Chinese Annals ascribe to him all the virtues
which so often pertain in history to heirs apparent who have not reigned.

"When Kúblái approached his 70th year," says Wassáf, "he desired to raise
his eldest son Chimkin to the position of his representative and declared
successor, during his own lifetime; so he took counsel with the chiefs, in
view to giving the Prince a share of his authority and a place on the
Imperial Throne. The chiefs, who are the Pillars of Majesty and Props of
the Empire, represented that His Majesty's proposal to invest his Son,
during his own lifetime, with Imperial authority, was not in accordance
with the precedents and Institutes (_Yasa_) of the World-conquering
Padshah Chinghiz Khan; but still they would consent to execute a solemn
document, securing the Kaanship to Chimkin, and pledging themselves to
lifelong obedience and allegiance to him. It was, however, the Divine Fiat
that the intended successor should predecease him who bestowed the
nomination.... The dignitaries of the Empire then united their voices in
favour of TEIMUR, the son of Chimkin."

Teimur, according to the same authority, was the third son of Chimkin; but
the eldest, Kambala, _squinted_; the second, Tarmah (properly _Tarmabala_
for _Dharmaphala_, a Buddhist Sanskrit name) was rickety in constitution;
and on the death of the old Kaan (1294) Teimur was unanimously named to
the Throne, after some opposition from Kambala, which was put down by the
decided bearing of the great soldier Bayan. (_Schmidt_, p. 399; _De
Mailla_, IX. 424; _Gaubil_, 203; _Wassáf_, 46.)

[The Rev. W. S. Ament (_Marco Polo in Cambaluc_, p. 106), makes the
following remarks regarding this young prince (Chimkin): "The historians
give good reasons for their regard for Chen Chin. He had from early years
exhibited great promise and had shown great proficiency in the military
art, in government, history, mathematics, and the Chinese classics. He was
well acquainted with the condition and numbers of the inhabitants of
Mongolia and China, and with the topography and commerce of the Empire
(Howorth). He was much beloved by all, except by some of his father's own
ministers, whose lives were anything but exemplary. That Kúblái had full
confidence in his son is shown by the fact that he put the collecting of
taxes in his hands. The native historians represent him as economical in
the use of money and wise in the choice of companions. He carefully
watched the officers in his charge, and would tolerate no extortion of the
people. After droughts, famines or floods, he would enquire into the
condition of the people and liberally supply their needs, thus starting
them in life again. Polo ascribes all these virtues to the Khan himself.
Doubtless he possessed them in greater or less degree, but father and son
were one in all these benevolent enterprises." - H. C.]

NOTE 2. - The Chinese Annals, according to Pauthier and Gaubil, give only
_ten_ sons to Kúblái, at least by his legitimate wives; Hammer's Table
gives _twelve_. It is very probable that xxii. was an early clerical error
in the texts of Polo for xii. _Dodeci_ indeed occurs in one MS. (No. 37 of
our Appendix F), though not one of much weight.

Of these legitimate sons Polo mentions, in different parts of his work,
five by name. The following is the list from Hammer and D'Ohsson, with the
Chinese forms from Pauthier in parentheses. The seven whose names are in
capitals had the title of _Wang_ or "King" of particular territories, as
M. Pauthier has shown from the Chinese Annals, thus confirming Marco's
accuracy on that point.

I. Jurji or Dorjé (Torchi). II. CHIMKIN or CHINGKIM (Yu Tsung, King of
Yen, i.e. Old Peking). III. MANGALAI (Mankola, "King of the Pacified
West"), mentioned by Polo (infra, ch. xli.) as King of Kenjanfu or Shensi.
IV. NUMUGAN (Numukan, "Pacifying King of the North"), mentioned by Polo
(Bk. IV. ch. ii.) as with King George joint leader of the Kaan's army
against Kaidu. V. Kuridai (not in Chinese List). VI. HUKAJI (Hukochi,
"King of Yunnan"), mentioned by Polo (infra, ch. xlix.) as King of
Carajan. VII. AGHRUKJI or UKURUJI (Gaoluchi, "King of Siping" or Tibet).
VIII. Abaji (Gaiyachi?). IX. KUKJU or GEUKJU (Khokhochu, "King of Ning" or
Tangut). X. Kutuktemur (Hutulu Temurh). XI. TUKAN (Thohoan, "King of
Chinnan"). His command lay on the Tungking frontier, where he came to



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