- "Of the interior." Here the phrase of the G.T. is again "en fra
tere a mainte cite et castiaus." (See supra, Bk. I. ch. i. note 2.)
There was still a large horse-trade from Kalhat in 1517, but the
Portuguese compelled all to enter the port of Goa, where according to
Andrea Corsali they had to pay a duty of 40 saraffi per head. If these
ashrafis were pagodas, this would be about 15l. a head; if they were
dinars, it would be more than 20l. The term is now commonly applied
in Hindustan to the gold mohr.
NOTE 3. - This no doubt is Maskat.
RETURNS TO THE CITY OF HORMOS WHEREOF WE SPOKE FORMERLY.
When you leave the City of Calatu, and go for 300 miles between north-west
and north, you come to the city of Hormos; a great and noble city on the
sea.[NOTE 1] It has a Melic, which is as much as to say a King,
and he is under the Soldan of Kerman.
There are a good many cities and towns belonging to Hormos, and the people
are Saracens. The heat is tremendous, and on that account their houses are
built with ventilators to catch the wind. These ventilators are placed on
the side from which the wind comes, and they bring the wind down into the
house to cool it. But for this the heat would be utterly unbearable.
I shall say no more about these places, because I formerly told you in
regular order all about this same city of Hormos, and about Kerman as
well. But as we took one way to go, and another to come back, it was
proper that we should bring you a second time to this point.
Now, however, we will quit this part of the world, and tell you about
Great Turkey. First, however, there is a point that I have omitted; to
wit, that when you leave the City of Calatu and go between west and
north-west, a distance of 500 miles, you come to the city of Kis.[NOTE 3]
Of that, however, we shall say no more now, but pass it with this brief
mention, and return to the subject of Great Turkey, of which you shall now
NOTE 1. - The distance is very correct; and the bearing fairly so for the
first time since we left Aden. I have tried in my map of Polo's Geography
to realise what seems to have been his idea of the Arabian coast.
NOTE 2. - These ventilators are a kind of masonry windsail, known as
Bad-gir, or "wind-catchers," and in general use over Oman, Kerman, the
province of Baghdad, Mekran, and Sind. A large and elaborate example, from
Hommaire de Hell's work on Persia, is given in the cut above. Very
particular accounts of these ventilators will be found in P. della Valle,
and in the embassy of Don Garcias de Silva Figueroa. (Della Val. II.
333-335; Figueroa, Fr. Trans. 1667, p. 38; Ramus. I. 293 v.; Macd.
Kinneir, p. 69.) A somewhat different arrangement for the same purpose is
in use in Cairo, and gives a very peculiar character to the city when seen
from a moderate height.
["The structures [at Gombroon] are all plain atop, only Ventoso's, or
Funnels, for to let in the Air, the only thing requisite to living in this
fiery Furnace with any comfort; wherefore no House is left without this
contrivance; which shews gracefully at a distance on Board Ship, and makes
the Town appear delightful enough to Beholders, giving at once a pleasing
Spectacle to Strangers, and kind Refreshment to the Inhabitants; for they
are not only elegantly Adorned without, but conveniently Adapted for every
Apartment to receive the cool Wind within." (John Fryer, Nine Years'
Travels, Lond., 1698, p. 222.)]
NOTE 3. - On Kish see Book I. ch. vi. note 2.
[Chao Ju-kua (transl. in German by Dr. F. Hirth, T'oung Pao, V. Supp. p.
40), a Chinese Official of the Sung Dynasty, says regarding Kish: "The
land of Ki-shih (Kish) lies upon a rocky island in the sea, in sight of
the coast of Ta-shih, at half-a-day's journey. There are but four towns in
its territories. When the King shows himself out of doors, he rides a
horse under a black canopy, with an escort of 100 servants. The
inhabitants are white and of a pure race and eight Chinese feet tall. They
wear under a Turban their hair loose partly hanging on their neck. Their
dress consists of a foreign jacket and a light silk or cotton overcoat,
with red leather shoes. They use gold and silver coins. Their food
consists of wheaten bread, mutton, fish and dates; they do not eat rice.
The country produces pearls and horses of a superior quality." - H.C.]
[Illustration: A Persian Wind-Catcher.]
The Turkish Admiral Sidi 'Ali, who was sent in 1553 to command the Ottoman
fleet in the Persian Gulf, and has written an interesting account of his
disastrous command and travels back to Constantinople from India, calls
the Island Kais, or "the old Hormuz." This shows that the traditions of
the origin of the island of Hormuz had grown dim. Kish had preceded
Hormuz as the most prominent port of Indian trade, but old Hormuz, as we
have seen (Bk. I. ch. xix.), was quite another place. (J. As. ser. i,
tom. ix. 67.)
WARS AMONG THE TARTAR PRINCES AND SOME ACCOUNT OF THE NORTHERN COUNTRIES
Note. - A considerable number of the quasi-historical chapters in
this section (which I have followed M. Pauthier in making into a Fourth
Book) are the merest verbiage and repetition of narrative formulae without
the slightest value. I have therefore thought it undesirable to print all
at length, and have given merely the gist (marked thus <+>), or an
extract, of such chapters.