Of the Upper India: and of the Province of Mancy

First of all, therefore, having travelled many days' journey upon the Ocean-sea toward the east, at length I arrived at a certain great province called Mancy, being in Latin named India. Concerning this India I inquired of Christians, of Saracens, and of idolaters, and of all such as bear any office under the great Can. Who all of them with one consent answered, that this province of Mancy bath more than 2000 great cities within the precincts thereof, and that it aboundeth with all plenty of victuals, as namely with bread, wine, rice, flesh, and fish. All the men of this province be artificers and merchants, who, though they be in never so extreme penury, so long as they can help themselves by the labour of their hands, will never beg aims of any man. The men of this province are of a fair and comely personage, but somewhat pale, having their heads shaven but a little: but the women are the most beautiful under the sun. The first city of the said India which I came unto, is called Ceuskalon, which being a day's journey distant from the sea, stands upon a river, the water whereof, near unto the mouth, where it exonerateth itself into the sea, doth overflow the land for the space of twelve days' journey. All the inhabitants of this India are worshippers of idols. The foresaid city of Ceuskalon hath such an huge navy belonging thereunto, that no man would believe it unless he should see it. In this city I saw 300 lb. of good and new ginger sold for less than a groat. There are the greatest and the fairest geese, and most plenty of them to be sold in all the whole world, as I suppose. They are as white as milk, and have a bone upon the crown of their heads as big as an egg, being of the colour of blood: under their throat they have a skin or bag hanging down half a foot. They are exceeding fat and well sold. Also they have ducks and hens in that country, one as big as two of ours. There be monstrous great serpents likewise, which are taken Ly the inhabitants and eaten: whereupon a solemn feast among them without serpents is nought set by: and to be brief, in this city there are all kind of victuals in great abundance. From thence I passed by many cities, and at length I came unto a city named Caitan, wherein the Friars Minorites have two places of abode, unto the which I transported the bones of the dead friars, which suffered martyrdom for the faith of Christ, as it is above mentioned. In this city there is abundance of all kind of victuals very cheap. The said city is as big as two of Bononia, and in it are many monasteries of religious persons, all which do worship idols. I myself was in one of those monasteries, and it was told me, that there were in it 3000 religious men, having 11,000 idols: and one of the said idols, which seemed unto me but little in regard of the rest, was as big as our Christopher. These religious men every day do feed their idol gods: whereupon at a certain time I went to behold the banquet: and indeed those things which they brought unto them were good to cat, and fuming hot, insomuch that the stream of the smoke thereof ascended up unto their idols, and they said that their gods were refreshed with the smoke: howbeit, all the meat they conveyed away, eating it up their own selves, and so they fed their dumb gods with the smoke only.

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