The woods and fountains have disappeared, like the temples and palaces; all is dreary and desolate, though still abounding in the game which was one of Kublai's attractions to the spot. A small monastery, occupied by six or seven wretched Lamas, is the only building that remains in the vicinity. The river Shangtu, which lower down becomes the Lan [or Loan]-Ho, was formerly navigated from the sea up to this place by flat grain-boats.
In the wail which Sanang Setzen, the poetical historian of the Mongols, puts, perhaps with some traditional basis, into the mouth of Toghon Temur, the last of the Chinghizide Dynasty in China, when driven from his throne, the changes are rung on the lost glories of his capital Daitu see infra, Book II.
And Thou my cool and delicious Summer-seat, my Shangtu-Keibung!
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Ye, also, yellow plains of Shangtu, Delight of my godlike Sires! I suffered myself to drop into dreams,--and lo! Ah Thou my Daitu, built of the nine precious substances! Ah my Shangtu-Keibung, Union of all perfections! Ah my Fame! Ah my Glory, as Khagan and Lord of the Earth! And turn which way I would all was glorious perfection of beauty! All, all is rent from me! It was, in , whilst reading this passage of Marco's narrative in old Purchas that Coleridge fell asleep, and dreamt the dream of Kublai's Paradise, beginning:.
It would be a singular coincidence in relation to this poem were Klaproth's reading correct of a passage in Rashiduddin which he renders as saying that the palace at Kaiminfu was "called Langtin, and was built after a plan that Kublai had seen in a dream, and had retained in his memory. Bushell enables me now to indicate the position of Langtin: "The district through which the river flows eastward from Shangtu is known to the Mongolians of the present day by the name of Lang-tirh Lang-ting'rh The ruins of the city are marked on a Chinese map in my possession Pai-dseng-tzu, i.
The remains of the wall are 7 or 8 li in diameter, of stone, and situated about 40 li north-north-west from Dolon-nor. Gerbillon in Astley , IV. Setzen , p. Bushell, Journey outside the Great Wall , in J. One of the pavilions of the celebrated Yuen-ming-Yuen may give some idea of the probable style, though not of the scale, of Kublai's Summer Palace.
Hiuen Tsang's account of the elaborate and fantastic ornamentation of the famous Indian monasteries at Nalanda in Bahar, where Mr. Broadley has lately made such remarkable discoveries, seems to indicate that these fantasies of Burmese and Chinese architecture may have had a direct origin in India, at a time when timber was still a principal material of construction there: "The pavilions had pillars adorned with dragons, and posts that glowed with all the colours of the rainbow, sculptured frets, columns set with jade, richly chiselled and lackered, with balustrades of vermilion, and carved open work.
The lintels of the doors were tastefully ornamented, and the roofs covered with shining tiles, the splendours of which were multiplied by mutual reflection and from moment to moment took a thousand forms. Rashiduddin gives a curious account of the way in which the foundations of the terrace on which this palace stood were erected in a lake. He says, too, in accord with Polo: "Inside the city itself a second palace was built, about a bowshot from the first: but the Kaan generally takes up his residence in the palace outside the town," i.
Cathay , pp. Mention is made also in the Altan Tobchi of a cane tent in Shangtu.
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Marco might well say of the bamboo that "it serves also a great variety of other purposes. In fact, it might almost be said that among the Indo-Chinese nations the staff of life is a bamboo! Scaffolding and ladders, landing-jetties, fishing apparatus, irrigation wheels and scoops, oars, masts, and yards [and in China, sails, cables, and caulking, asparagus, medicine, and works of fantastic art], spears and arrows, hats and helmets, bow, bowstring and quiver, oil-cans, water-stoups and cooking-pots, pipe-sticks [tinder and means of producing fire], conduits, clothes-boxes, pawn-boxes, dinner-trays, pickles, preserves, and melodious musical instruments, torches, footballs, cordage, bellows, mats, paper; these are but a few of the articles that are made from the bamboo;" and in China, to sum up the whole, as Barrow observes, it maintains order throughout the Empire!
Ava Mission , p. On the 7th day of the 7th moon there were libations performed in honour of the ancestors; a shaman, his face to the north, uttered in a loud voice the names of Chingiz Khan and of other deceased Khans, and poured mare's milk on the ground.
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The propitious day for the return journey to Peking was also appointed then. They were not of the tribes properly called Mongol, but after their submission to Chinghiz they remained closely attached to him. In Chinghiz's victory over Aung-Khan, as related by S.
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Setzen, we find Turulji Taishi, the son of the chief of the Oirad, one of Chinghiz's three chief captains; perhaps that is the victory alluded to. The seats of the Oirad appear to have been about the head waters of the Kem, or Upper Yenisei. They made their way to Damascus, where they were well received by the Mameluke Sultan. But their heathenish practices gave dire offence to the Faithful. They were settled in the Sahil , or coast districts of Palestine. Many died speedily; the rest embraced Islam, spread over the country, and gradually became absorbed in the general population.
Their sons and daughters were greatly admired for their beauty.
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The following passage occurs in the narrative of the Journey of Chang Te-hui, a Chinese teacher, who was summoned to visit the camp of Kublai in Mongolia, some twelve years before that Prince ascended the throne of the Kaans:. This was the customary sacrifice at that time. The vessels used were made of birch-bark, not ornamented with either silver or gold. Such here is the respect for simplicity Then there was every day feasting before the tents for the lower ranks. Beginning with the Prince, all dressed themselves in white fur clothing This sacrifice is performed twice a year.
It has been seen p. The autumn libation is described by Polo as performed on the 28th day of the August moon, probably because it was unsuited to the circumstances of the Court at Cambaluc, where the Kaan was during October, and the day named was the last of his annual stay in the Mongolian uplands.
Baber tells that among the ceremonies of a Mongol Review the Khan and his staff took kumiz and sprinkled it towards the standards. An Armenian author of the Mongol era says that it was the custom of the Tartars, before drinking, to sprinkle drink towards heaven, and towards the four quarters. Atkinson notices the same practice among the Kirghiz: and I found the like in old days among the Kasias of the eastern frontier of Bengal.
The time of year assigned by Polo for the ceremony implies some change.
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Perhaps it had been made to coincide with the Festival of Water Consecration of the Lamas, with which the time named in the text seems to correspond. On that occasion the Lamas go in procession to the rivers and lakes and consecrate them by benediction and by casting in offerings, attended by much popular festivity. Rubruquis seems to intimate that the Nestorian priests were employed to consecrate the white mares by incensing them.
In the rear of Lord Canning's camp in India I once came upon the party of his Shutr Suwars , or dromedary-express riders, busily engaged in incensing with frankincense the whole of the dromedaries, which were kneeling in a circle. I could get no light on the practice, but it was very probably a relic of the old Mongol custom. Amoor , p. The operation was performed by means of a stone of magical virtues, called Yadah or Jadah-Tash , which was placed in or hung over a basin of water with sundry ceremonies. The possession of such a stone is ascribed by the early Arab traveller Ibn Mohalhal to the Kimak , a great tribe of the Turks.
In the war raised against Chinghiz and Aung Khan, when still allies, by a great confederation of the Naiman and other tribes in , we are told that Sengun, the son of Aung Khan, when sent to meet the enemy, caused them to be enchanted, so that all their attempted movements against him were defeated by snow and mist. The fog and darkness were indeed so dense that many men and horses fell over precipices, and many also perished with cold.
In another account of apparently the same matter, given by Mir-Khond, the conjuring is set on foot by the Yadachi of Buyruk Khan, Prince of the Naiman, but the mischief all rebounds on the conjurer's own side. In Tului's invasion of Honan in , Rashiduddin describes him, when in difficulty, as using the Jadah stone with success. Timur, in his Memoirs, speaks of the Jets using incantations to produce heavy rains which hindered his cavalry from acting against them. A Yadachi was captured, and when his head had been taken off the storm ceased. Baber speaks of one of his early friends, Khwaja Ka Mulai, as excelling in falconry and acquainted with Yadagari or the art of bringing on rain and snow by means of enchantment.
When the Russians besieged Kazan in they suffered much from the constant heavy rains, and this annoyance was universally ascribed to the arts of the Tartar Queen, who was celebrated as an enchantress. Shah Abbas believed he had learned the Tartar secret, and put much confidence in it. Delia V. Grenard adds II. Rockhill Rubruck , p. I have seen this done myself by Mongol storm-dispellers.
See Diary , , When the storm rumbles, they remain shut up in their huts, full of fear. An edict of the Emperor Shi-tsung, of the reigning dynasty, addressed in to the Eight Banners of Mongolia, warns them against this rain-conjuring: "If I," indignantly observes the Emperor, "offering prayer in sincerity have yet room to fear that it may please Heaven to leave MY prayer unanswered, it is truly intolerable that mere common people wishing for rain should at their own caprice set up altars of earth, and bring together a rabble of Hoshang Buddhist Bonzes and Taosse to conjure the spirits to gratify their wishes.
These Lamas, in spite of the prohibition by the Buddhist creed of bloody sacrifices, used to sacrifice sheep's hearts to Mahakala. It happened, as it seems, that the heart of an executed criminal was also considered an agreeable offering; and as the offerings could be, after the ceremony, eaten by the sacrificing priests, Marco Polo had some reason to accuse the Lamas of cannibalism. Palladius , The practice of weather-conjuring is not yet obsolete in Tartary, Tibet, and the adjoining countries.
Weather-conjuring stories were also rife in Europe during the Middle Ages. One such is conspicuously introduced in connection with a magical fountain in the romance of the Chevalier au Lyon :. The effect foretold in these lines is the subject of a woodcut illustrating a Welsh version of the same tale in the first volume of the Mabinogion.