The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello of

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello of

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:14 am

The Travels of Marco Polo
by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa
The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition
Illustration: H. Yule
Including the unabridged third edition (1903) of Henry Yule's annotated translation, as revised by Henri Cordier; together with Cordier's later volume of notes and addenda (1920)
In Two Volumes
Volume I, Containing the first volume of the 1903 edition
Volume II, Containing the second volume of the 1903 edition and the 1920 volume of addenda (two original volumes bound as one)









Furthermore you must know that in the Island of Seilan there is an exceeding high mountain; it rises right up so steep and precipitous that no one could ascend it, were it not that they have taken and fixed to it several great and massive iron chains, so disposed that by help of these men are able to mount to the top. And I tell you they say that on this mountain is the sepulchre of Adam our first parent; at least that is what the Saracens say. But the Idolaters say that it is the sepulchre of SAGAMONI BORCAN, before whose time there were no idols. They hold him to have been the best of men, a great saint in fact, according to their fashion, and the first in whose name idols were made.[NOTE 1]

He was the son, as their story goes, of a great and wealthy king. And he was of such an holy temper that he would never listen to any worldly talk, nor would he consent to be king. And when the father saw that his son would not be king, nor yet take any part in affairs, he took it sorely to heart. And first he tried to tempt him with great promises, offering to crown him king, and to surrender all authority into his hands. The son, however, would none of his offers; so the father was in great trouble, and all the more that he had no other son but him, to whom he might bequeath the kingdom at his own death. So, after taking thought on the matter, the King caused a great palace to be built, and placed his son therein, and caused him to be waited on there by a number of maidens, the most beautiful that could anywhere be found. And he ordered them to divert themselves with the prince, night and day, and to sing and dance before him, so as to draw his heart towards worldly enjoyments. But 'twas all of no avail, for none of those maidens could ever tempt the king's son to any wantonness, and he only abode the firmer in his chastity, leading a most holy life, after their manner thereof. And I assure you he was so staid a youth that he had never gone out of the palace, and thus he had never seen a dead man, nor any one who was not hale and sound; for the father never allowed any man that was aged or infirm to come into his presence. It came to pass however one day that the young gentleman took a ride, and by the roadside he beheld a dead man. The sight dismayed him greatly, as he never had seen such a sight before. Incontinently he demanded of those who were with him what thing that was? and then they told him it was a dead man. "How, then," quoth the king's son, "do all men die?" "Yea, forsooth," said they. Whereupon the young gentleman said never a word, but rode on right pensively. And after he had ridden a good way he fell in with a very aged man who could no longer walk, and had not a tooth in his head, having lost all because of his great age. And when the king's son beheld this old man he asked what that might mean, and wherefore the man could not walk? Those who were with him replied that it was through old age the man could walk no longer, and had lost all his teeth. And so when the king's son had thus learned about the dead man and about the aged man, he turned back to his palace and said to himself that he would abide no longer in this evil world, but would go in search of Him Who dieth not, and Who had created him.[NOTE 2]

So what did he one night but take his departure from the palace privily, and betake himself to certain lofty and pathless mountains. And there he did abide, leading a life of great hardship and sanctity, and keeping great abstinence, just as if he had been a Christian. Indeed, an he had but been so, he would have been a great saint of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so good and pure was the life he led.[NOTE 3] And when he died they found his body and brought it to his father. And when the father saw dead before him that son whom he loved better than himself, he was near going distraught with sorrow. And he caused an image in the similitude of his son to be wrought in gold and precious stones, and caused all his people to adore it. And they all declared him to be a god; and so they still say. [NOTE 4]

They tell moreover that he hath died fourscore and four times. The first time he died as a man, and came to life again as an ox; and then he died as an ox and came to life again as a horse, and so on until he had died fourscore and four times; and every time he became some kind of animal. But when he died the eighty-fourth time they say he became a god. And they do hold him for the greatest of all their gods. And they tell that the aforesaid image of him was the first idol that the Idolaters ever had; and from that have originated all the other idols. And this befel in the Island of Seilan in India.

The Idolaters come thither on pilgrimage from very long distances and with great devotion, just as Christians go to the shrine of Messer Saint James in Gallicia. And they maintain that the monument on the mountain is that of the king's son, according to the story I have been telling you; and that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish that are there were those of the same king's son, whose name was Sagamoni Borcan, or Sagamoni the Saint. But the Saracens also come thither on pilgrimage in great numbers, and they say that it is the sepulchre of Adam our first father, and that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish were those of Adam.[NOTE 5]

Whose they were in truth, God knoweth; howbeit, according to the Holy Scripture of our Church, the sepulchre of Adam is not in that part of the world.

Now it befel that the Great Kaan heard how on that mountain there was the sepulchre of our first father Adam, and that some of his hair and of his teeth, and the dish from which he used to eat, were still preserved there. So he thought he would get hold of them somehow or another, and despatched a great embassy for the purpose, in the year of Christ, 1284. The ambassadors, with a great company, travelled on by sea and by land until they arrived at the island of Seilan, and presented themselves before the king. And they were so urgent with him that they succeeded in getting two of the grinder teeth, which were passing great and thick; and they also got some of the hair, and the dish from which that personage used to eat, which is of a very beautiful green porphyry. And when the Great Kaan's ambassadors had attained the object for which they had come they were greatly rejoiced, and returned to their lord. And when they drew near to the great city of Cambaluc, where the Great Kaan was staying, they sent him word that they had brought back that for which he had sent them. On learning this the Great Kaan was passing glad, and ordered all the ecclesiastics and others to go forth to meet these reliques, which he was led to believe were those of Adam.

And why should I make a long story of it? In sooth, the whole population of Cambaluc went forth to meet those reliques, and the ecclesiastics took them over and carried them to the Great Kaan, who received them with great joy and reverence.[NOTE 6] And they find it written in their Scriptures that the virtue of that dish is such that if food for one man be put therein it shall become enough for five men: and the Great Kaan averred that he had proved the thing and found that it was really true.[NOTE 7]

So now you have heard how the Great Kaan came by those reliques; and a mighty great treasure it did cost him! The reliques being, according to the Idolaters, those of that king's son.

NOTE 1.—Sagamoni Borcan is, as Marsden points out, SAKYA-MUNI, or Gautama-Buddha, with the affix BURKHAN, or "Divinity," which is used by the Mongols as the synonym of Buddha.

"The Dewa of Samantakúta (Adam's Peak), Samana, having heard of the arrival of Budha (in Lanka or Ceylon) … presented a request that he would leave an impression of his foot upon the mountain of which he was guardian…. In the midst of the assembled Dewas, Budha, looking towards the East, made the impression of his foot, in length three inches less than the cubit of the carpenter; and the impression remained as a seal to show that Lanka is the inheritance of Budha, and that his religion will here flourish." (Hardy's Manual, p. 212.)

[Ma-Huan says (p. 212): "On landing (at Ceylon), there is to be seen on the shining rock at the base of the cliff, an impress of a foot two or more feet in length. The legend attached to it is, that it is the imprint of Shâkyamuni's foot, made when he landed at this place, coming from the Ts'ui-lan (Nicobar) Islands. There is a little water in the hollow of the imprint of this foot, which never evaporates. People dip their hands in it and wash their faces, and rub their eyes with it, saying: 'This is Buddha's water, which will make us pure and clean.'"—H.C.]

[Illustration: Adam's Peak. "Or est voir qe en ceste ysle a une montagne mont haut et si degrot de les rocches qe nul hi puent monter sus se ne en ceste mainere qe je voz dirai"….]

"The veneration with which this majestic mountain has been regarded for ages, took its rise in all probability amongst the aborigines of Ceylon…. In a later age, … the hollow in the lofty rock that crowns the summit was said by the Brahmans to be the footstep of Siva, by the Buddhists of Buddha, … by the Gnostics of Ieu, by the Mahometans of Adam, whilst the Portuguese authorities were divided between the conflicting claims of St. Thomas and the eunuch of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia." (Tennent, II. 133.)

["Near to the King's residence there is a lofty mountain reaching to the skies. On the top of this mountain there is the impress of a man's foot, which is sunk two feet deep in the rock, and is some eight or more feet long. This is said to be the impress of the foot of the ancestor of mankind, a Holy man called A-tan, otherwise P'an-Ku." (Ma-Huan, p. 213.)—H.C.]

Polo, however, says nothing of the foot; he speaks only of the sepulchre of Adam, or of Sakya-muni. I have been unable to find any modern indication of the monument that was shown by the Mahomedans as the tomb, and sometimes as the house, of Adam; but such a structure there certainly was, perhaps an ancient Kist-vaen, or the like. John Marignolli, who was there about 1349, has an interesting passage on the subject: "That exceeding high mountain hath a pinnacle of surpassing height, which on account of the clouds can rarely be seen. [The summit is lost in the clouds. (Ibn Khordâdhbeh, p. 43.)—H.C.] But God, pitying our tears, lighted it up one morning just before the sun rose, so that we beheld it glowing with the brightest flame. [They say that a flame bursts constantly, like a lightning, from the Summit of the mountain.—(Ibn Khordâdhbeh, p. 44.)—H.C.] In the way down from this mountain there is a fine level spot, still at a great height, and there you find in order: first, the mark of Adam's foot; secondly, a certain statue of a sitting figure, with the left hand resting on the knee, and the right hand raised and extended towards the west; lastly, there is the house (of Adam), which he made with his own hands. It is of an oblong quadrangular shape like a sepulchre, with a door in the middle, and is formed of great tabular slabs of marble, not cemented, but merely laid one upon another. (Cathay, 358.) A Chinese account, translated in Amyot's Mémoires, says that at the foot of the mountain is a Monastery of Bonzes, in which is seen the veritable body of Fo, in the attitude of a man lying on his side" (XIV. 25). [Ma-Huan says (p. 212): "Buddhist temples abound there. In one of them there is to be seen a full length recumbent figure of Shâkyamuni, still in a very good state of preservation. The dais on which the figure reposes is inlaid with all kinds of precious stones. It is made of sandalwood and is very handsome. The temple contains a Buddha's tooth and other relics. This must certainly be the place where Shâkyamuni entered Nirvâna."—H.C.] Osorio, also, in his history of Emanuel of Portugal, says: "Not far from it (the Peak) people go to see a small temple in which are two sepulchres, which are the objects of an extraordinary degree of superstitious devotion. For they believe that in these were buried the bodies of the first man and his wife" (f. 120 v.). A German traveller (Daniel Parthey, Nurnberg, 1698) also speaks of the tomb of Adam and his sons on the mountain. (See Fabricius, Cod. Pseudep. Vet. Test. II. 31; also Ouseley's Travels, I. 59.)

It is a perplexing circumstance that there is a double set of indications about the footmark. The Ceylon traditions, quoted above from Hardy, call its length 3 inches less than a carpenter's cubit. Modern observers estimate it at 5 feet or 5-1/2 feet. Hardy accounts for this by supposing that the original footmark was destroyed in the end of the sixteenth century. But Ibn Batuta, in the 14th, states it at 11 spans, or more than the modern report. [Ibn Khordâdhbeh at 70 cubits.—H.C.] Marignolli, on the other hand, says that he measured it and found it to be 2-1/2 palms, or about half a Prague ell, which corresponds in a general way with Hardy's tradition. Valentyn calls it 1-1/2 ell in length; Knox says 2 feet; Herman Bree (De Bry ?), quoted by Fabricius, 8-1/2 spans; a Chinese account, quoted below, 8 feet. These discrepancies remind one of the ancient Buddhist belief regarding such footmarks, that they seemed greater or smaller in proportion to the faith of the visitor! (See Koeppen, I. 529, and Beal's Fah-hian, p. 27.)

The chains, of which Ibn Batuta gives a particular account, exist still. The highest was called (he says) the chain of the Shahádat, or Credo, because the fearful abyss below made pilgrims recite the profession of belief. Ashraf, a Persian poet of the 15th century, author of an Alexandriad, ascribes these chains to the great conqueror, who devised them, with the assistance of the philosopher Bolinas,[1] in order to scale the mountain, and reach the sepulchre of Adam. (See Ouseley, I. 54 seqq.) There are inscriptions on some of the chains, but I find no account of them. (Skeen's Adam's Peak, Ceylon, 1870, p. 226.)

NOTE 2.—The general correctness with which Marco has here related the legendary history of Sakya's devotion to an ascetic life, as the preliminary to his becoming the Buddha or Divinely Perfect Being, shows what a strong impression the tale had made upon him. He is, of course, wrong in placing the scene of the history in Ceylon, though probably it was so told him, as the vulgar in all Buddhist countries do seem to localise the legends in regions known to them.

Sakya Sinha, Sakya Muni, or Gautama, originally called Siddhárta, was the son of Súddhodhana, the Kshatriya prince of Kapilavastu, a small state north of the Ganges, near the borders of Oudh. His high destiny had been foretold, as well as the objects that would move him to adopt the ascetic life. To keep these from his knowledge, his father caused three palaces to be built, within the limits of which the prince should pass the three seasons of the year, whilst guards were posted to bar the approach of the dreaded objects. But these precautions were defeated by inevitable destiny and the power of the Devas.

When the prince was sixteen he was married to the beautiful Yasodhara, daughter of the King of Koli, and 40,000 other princesses also became the inmates of his harem.

"Whilst living in the midst of the full enjoyment of every kind of pleasure, Siddhárta one day commanded his principal charioteer to prepare his festive chariot; and in obedience to his commands four lily-white horses were yoked. The prince leaped into the chariot, and proceeded towards a garden at a little distance from the palace, attended by a great retinue. On his way he saw a decrepit old man, with broken teeth, grey locks, and a form bending towards the ground, his trembling steps supported by a staff (a Deva had taken this form)…. The prince enquired what strange figure it was that he saw; and he was informed that it was an old man. He then asked if the man was born so, and the charioteer answered that he was not, as he was once young like themselves. 'Are there,' said the prince, 'many such beings in the world?' 'Your highness,' said the charioteer, 'there are many.' The prince again enquired, 'Shall I become thus old and decrepit?' and he was told that it was a state at which all beings must arrive."

The prince returns home and informs his father of his intention to become an ascetic, seeing how undesirable is life tending to such decay. His father conjures him to put away such thoughts, and to enjoy himself with his princesses, and he strengthens the guards about the palaces. Four months later like circumstances recur, and the prince sees a leper, and after the same interval a dead body in corruption. Lastly, he sees a religious recluse, radiant with peace and tranquillity, and resolves to delay no longer. He leaves his palace at night, after a look at his wife Yasodhara and the boy just born to him, and betakes himself to the forests of Magadha, where he passes seven years in extreme asceticism. At the end of that time he attains the Buddhahood. (See Hardy's Manual p. 151 seqq.) The latter part of the story told by Marco, about the body of the prince being brought to his father, etc., is erroneous. Sakya was 80 years of age when he died under the sál trees in Kusinára.

The strange parallel between Buddhistic ritual, discipline, and costume, and those which especially claim the name of CATHOLIC in the Christian Church, has been often noticed; and though the parallel has never been elaborated as it might be, some of the more salient facts are familiar to most readers. Still many may be unaware that Buddha himself, Siddhárta the son of Súddodhana, has found his way into the Roman martyrology as a Saint of the Church.

In the first edition a mere allusion was made to this singular story, for it had recently been treated by Professor Max Müller, with characteristic learning and grace. (See Contemporary Review for July, 1870, p. 588.) But the matter is so curious and still so little familiar that I now venture to give it at some length.

The religious romance called the History of BARLAAM and JOSAPHAT was for several centuries one of the most popular works in Christendom. It was translated into all the chief European languages, including Scandinavian and Sclavonic tongues. An Icelandic version dates from the year 1204; one in the Tagal language of the Philippines was printed at Manilla in 1712.[2] The episodes and apologues with which the story abounds have furnished materials to poets and story-tellers in various ages and of very diverse characters; e.g. to Giovanni Boccaccio, John Gower, and to the compiler of the Gesta Romanorum, to Shakspere, and to the late W. Adams, author of the Kings Messengers. The basis of this romance is the story of Siddhárta.

The story of Barlaam and Josaphat first appears among the works (in Greek) of St. John of Damascus, a theologian of the early part of the 8th century, who, before he devoted himself to divinity had held high office at the Court of the Khalif Abu Jáfar Almansúr. The outline of the story is as follows:—

St. Thomas had converted the people of India to the truth; and after the eremitic life originated in Egypt many in India adopted it. But a potent pagan King arose, by name ABENNER, who persecuted the Christians and especially the ascetics. After this King had long been childless, a son, greatly desired, is born to him, a boy of matchless beauty. The King greatly rejoices, gives the child the name of JOSAPHAT, and summons the astrologers to predict his destiny. They foretell for the prince glory and prosperity beyond all his predecessors in the kingdom. One sage, most learned of all, assents to this, but declares that the scene of these glories will not be the paternal realm, and that the child will adopt the faith that his father persecutes.

This prediction greatly troubled King Abenner. In a secluded city he caused a splendid palace to be erected, within which his son was to abide, attended only by tutors and servants in the flower of youth and health. No one from without was to have access to the prince; and he was to witness none of the afflictions of humanity, poverty, disease, old age, or death, but only what was pleasant, so that he should have no inducement to think of the future life; nor was he ever to hear a word of CHRIST or His religion. And, hearing that some monks still survived in India, the King in his wrath ordered that any such, who should be found after three days, should be burnt alive.

The Prince grows up in seclusion, acquires all manner of learning, and exhibits singular endowments of wisdom and acuteness. At last he urges his father to allow him to pass the limits of the palace, and this the King reluctantly permits, after taking all precautions to arrange diverting spectacles, and to keep all painful objects at a distance. Or let us proceed in the Old English of the Golden Legend.[3] "Whan his fader herde this he was full of sorowe, and anone he let do make redy horses and joyfull felawshyp to accompany him, in suche wyse that nothynge dyshonest sholde happen to hym. And on a tyme thus as the Kynges sone wente he mette a mesell and a blynde man, and whã he sawe them he was abasshed and enquyred what them eyled. And his seruautes sayd: These ben passions that comen to men. And he demaunded yf the passyons came to all men. And they sayd nay. Thã sayd he, ben they knowen whiche men shall suffre…. And they answered, Who is he that may knowe ye aduentures of men. And he began to be moche anguysshous for ye incustomable thynge hereof. And another tyme he found a man moche aged, whiche had his chere frouced, his tethe fallen, and he was all croked for age…. And thã he demaunded what sholde be ye ende. And they sayd deth…. And this yonge man remembered ofte in his herte these thynges, and was in grete dyscõforte, but he shewed hy moche glad tofore his fader, and he desyred moche to be enformed and taught in these thyges." [Fol. ccc. lii.]

At this time BARLAAM, a monk of great sanctity and knowledge in divine things, who dwelt in the wilderness of Sennaritis, having received a divine warning, travels to India in the disguise of a merchant, and gains access to Prince Josaphat, to whom he unfolds the Christian doctrine and the blessedness of the monastic life. Suspicion is raised against Barlaam, and he departs. But all efforts to shake the Prince's convictions are vain. As a last resource the King sends for a magician called Theudas, who removes the Prince's attendants and substitutes seductive girls, but all their blandishments are resisted through prayer. The King abandons these attempts and associates his son with himself in the government. The Prince uses his power to promote religion, and everything prospers in his hand. Finally King Abenner is drawn to the truth, and after some years of penitence dies. Josaphat then surrenders the kingdom to a friend called Barachias, and proceeds into the wilderness, where he wanders for two years seeking Barlaam, and much buffeted by the demons. "And whan Balaam had accomplysshed his dayes, he rested in peas about ye yere of Our Lorde. cccc. &. Ixxx. Josaphat lefte his realme the xxv. yere of his age, and ledde the lyfe of an heremyte xxxv. yere, and than rested in peas full of vertues, and was buryed by the body of Balaam." [Fol. ccc. lvi.] The King Barachias afterwards arrives and transfers the bodies solemnly to India.

This is but the skeleton of the story, but the episodes and apologues which round its dimensions, and give it its mediaeval popularity, do not concern our subject. In this skeleton the story of Siddhárta, mutatis mutandis is obvious.

The story was first popular in the Greek Church, and was embodied in the lives of the saints, as recooked by Simeon the Metaphrast, an author whose period is disputed, but was in any case not later than 1150. A Cretan monk called Agapios made selections from the work of Simeon which were published in Romaic at Venice in 1541 under the name of the Paradise, and in which the first section consists of the story of Barlaam and Josaphat. This has been frequently reprinted as a popular book of devotion. A copy before me is printed at Venice in 1865.[4]

From the Greek Church the history of the two saints passed to the Latin, and they found a place in the Roman martyrology under the 27th November. When this first happened I have not been able to ascertain. Their history occupies a large space in the Speculum Historiale of Vincent of Beauvais, written in the 13th century, and is set forth, as we have seen, in the Golden Legend of nearly the same age. They are recognised by Baronius, and are to be found at p. 348 of "The Roman Martyrology set forth by command of Pope Gregory XIII., and revised by the authority of Pope Urban VIII., translated out of Latin into English by G.K. of the Society of Jesus…. and now re-edited … by W.N. Skelly, Esq. London, T. Richardson & Son." (Printed at Derby, 1847.) Here in Palermo is a church bearing the dedication Divo Iosaphat.

Professor Müller attributes the first recognition of the identity of the two stories to M. Laboulaye in 1859. But in fact I find that the historian de Couto had made the discovery long before.[5] He says, speaking of Budão (Buddha), and after relating his history:

"To this name the Gentiles throughout all India have dedicated great and superb pagodas. With reference to this story we have been diligent in enquiring if the ancient Gentiles of those parts had in their writings any knowledge of St. Josaphat who was converted by Barlam, who in his Legend is represented as the son of a great King of India, and who had just the same up-bringing, with all the same particulars, that we have recounted of the life of the Budão…. And as a thing seems much to the purpose, which was told us by a very old man of the Salsette territory in Baçaim, about Josaphat, I think it well to cite it: As I was travelling in the Isle of Salsette, and went to see that rare and admirable Pagoda (which we call the Canará Pagoda[6]) made in a mountain, with many halls cut out of one solid rock … and enquiring from this old man about the work, and what he thought as to who had made it, he told us that without doubt the work was made by order of the father of St. Josaphat to bring him up therein in seclusion, as the story tells. And as it informs us that he was the son of a great King in India, it may well be, as we have just said, that he was the Budão, of whom they relate such marvels." (Dec. V. liv. vi. cap. 2.)

Dominie Valentyn, not being well read in the Golden Legend, remarks on the subject of Buddha: "There be some who hold this Budhum for a fugitive Syrian Jew, or for an Israelite, others who hold him for a Disciple of the Apostle Thomas; but how in that case he could have been born 622 years before Christ I leave them to explain. Diego de Couto stands by the belief that he was certainly Joshua, which is still more absurd!" (V. deel, p. 374.)

[Since the days of Couto, who considered the Buddhist legend but an imitation of the Christian legend, the identity of the stories was recognised (as mentioned supra) by M. Edouard Laboulaye, in the Journal des Débats of the 26th of July, 1859. About the same time, Professor F. Liebrecht of Liége, in Ebert's Jahrbuch für Romanische und Englische Literatur, II. p. 314 seqq., comparing the Book of Barlaam and Joasaph with the work of Barthélemy St. Hilaire on Buddha, arrived at the same conclusion.

In 1880, Professor T.W. Rhys Davids has devoted some pages (xxxvi.-xli.) in his Buddhist Birth Stories; or, Jataka Tales, to The Barlaam and Josaphat Literature, and we note from them that: "Pope Sixtus the Fifth (1585-1590) authorised a particular Martyrologium, drawn up by Cardinal Baronius, to be used throughout the Western Church.". In that work are included not only the saints first canonised at Rome, but all those who, having been already canonised elsewhere, were then acknowledged by the Pope and the College of Rites to be saints of the Catholic Church of Christ. Among such, under the date of the 27th of November, are included "The holy Saints Barlaam and Josaphat, of India, on the borders of Persia, whose wonderful acts Saint John of Damascus has described. Where and when they were first canonised, I have been unable, in spite of much investigation, to ascertain. Petrus de Natalibus, who was Bishop of Equilium, the modern Jesolo, near Venice, from 1370 to 1400, wrote a Martyrology called Catalogus Sanctorum; and in it, among the 'Saints,' he inserts both Barlaam and Josaphat, giving also a short account of them derived from the old Latin translation of St. John of Damascus. It is from this work that Baronius, the compiler of the authorised Martyrology now in use, took over the names of these two saints, Barlaam and Josaphat. But, so far as I have been able to ascertain, they do not occur in any martyrologies or lists of saints of the Western Church older than that of Petrus de Natalibus. In the corresponding manual of worship still used in the Greek Church, however, we find, under 26th August, the name 'of the holy Iosaph, son of Abener, King of India.' Barlaam is not mentioned, and is not therefore recognised as a saint in the Greek Church. No history is added to the simple statement I have quoted; and I do not know on what authority it rests. But there is no doubt that it is in the East, and probably among the records of the ancient church of Syria, that a final solution of this question should be sought. Some of the more learned of the numerous writers who translated or composed new works on the basis of the story of Josaphat, have pointed out in their notes that he had been canonised; and the hero of the romance is usually called St. Josaphat in the titles of these works, as will be seen from the Table of the Josaphat literature below. But Professor Liebrecht, when identifying Josaphat with the Buddha, took no notice of this; and it was Professor Max Müller, who has done so much to infuse the glow of life into the dry bones of Oriental scholarship, who first pointed out the strange fact—almost incredible, were it not for the completeness of the proof—that Gotama the Buddha, under the name of St. Josaphat, is now officially recognised and honoured and worshipped throughout the whole of Catholic Christendom as a Christian saint!" Professor T.W. Rhys Davids gives further a Bibliography, pp. xcv.-xcvii.

M.H. Zotenberg wrote a learned memoir (N. et Ext. XXVIII. Pt. I.) in 1886 to prove that the Greek Text is not a translation but the original of the Legend. There are many MSS. of the Greek Text of the Book of Barlaam and Joasaph in Paris, Vienna, Munich, etc., including ten MSS. kept in various libraries at Oxford. New researches made by Professor E. Kuhn, of Munich (Barlaam und Joasaph. Eine Bibliographisch-literargeschichtliche Studie, 1893), seem to prove that during the 6th century, in that part of the Sassanian Empire bordering on India, in fact Afghanistan, Buddhism and Christianity were gaining ground at the expense of the Zoroastrian faith, and that some Buddhist wrote in Pehlevi a Book of Yûdâsaf (Bodhisatva); a Christian, finding pleasant the legend, made an adaptation of it from his own point of view, introducing the character of the monk Balauhar (Barlaam) to teach his religion to Yûdâsaf, who could not, in his Christian disguise, arrive at the truth by himself like a Bodhisatva. This Pehlevi version of the newly-formed Christian legend was translated into Syriac, and from Syriac was drawn a Georgian version, and, in the first half of the 7th century, the Greek Text of John, a monk of the convent of St. Saba, near Jerusalem, by some turned into St. John of Damascus, who added to the story some long theological discussions. From this Greek, it was translated into all the known languages of Europe, while the Pehlevi version being rendered into Arabic, was adapted by the Mussulmans and the Jews to their own creeds. (H. Zotenberg, Mém. sur le texte et les versions orientales du Livre de Barlaam et Joasaph, Not. et Ext. XXVIII. Pt. I. pp. 1-166; G. Paris, Saint Josaphat in Rev. de Paris, 1'er Juin, 1895, and Poèmes et Légendes du Moyen Age, pp. 181-214.)

Mr. Joseph Jacobs published in London, 1896, a valuable little book, Barlaam and Josaphat, English Lives of Buddha, in which he comes to this conclusion (p. xli.): "I regard the literary history of the Barlaam literature as completely parallel with that of the Fables of Bidpai. Originally Buddhistic books, both lost their specifically Buddhistic traits before they left India, and made their appeal, by their parables, more than by their doctrines. Both were translated into Pehlevi in the reign of Chosroes, and from that watershed floated off into the literatures of all the great creeds. In Christianity alone, characteristically enough, one of them, the Barlaam book, was surcharged with dogma, and turned to polemical uses, with the curious result that Buddha became one of the champions of the Church. To divest the Barlaam-Buddha of this character, and see him in his original form, we must take a further journey and seek him in his home beyond the Himalayas."

[Illustration: Sakya Muni as a Saint of the Roman Martyrology. "Wie des Kunigs Son in dem aufscziechen am ersten sahe in dem Weg eynen blinden und eyn aufsmörckigen und eyen alten krummen Man."[7]]

Professor Gaston Paris, in answer to Mr. Jacobs, writes (Poèmes et Lég. du Moyen Age, p. 213): "Mr. Jacobs thinks that the Book of Balauhar and Yûdâsaf was not originally Christian, and could have existed such as it is now in Buddhistic India, but it is hardly likely, as Buddha did not require the help of a teacher to find truth, and his followers would not have invented the person of Balauhar-Barlaam; on the other hand, the introduction of the Evangelical Parable of The Sower, which exists in the original of all the versions of our Book, shows that this original was a Christian adaptation of the Legend of Buddha. Mr. Jacobs seeks vainly to lessen the force of this proof in showing that this Parable has parallels in Buddhistic literature."—H.C.]

NOTE 3.—Marco is not the only eminent person who has expressed this view of Sakyamuni's life in such words. Professor Max Müller (u.s.) says: "And whatever we may think of the sanctity of saints, let those who doubt the right of Buddha to a place among them, read the story of his life as it is told in the Buddhistic canon. If he lived the life which is there described, few saints have a better claim to the title than Buddha; and no one either in the Greek or the Roman Church need be ashamed of having paid to his memory the honour that was intended for St. Josaphat, the prince, the hermit, and the saint."

NOTE 4.—This is curiously like a passage in the Wisdom of Solomon: "Neque enim erant (idola) ab initio, neque erunt in perpetuum … acerbo enim luctu dolens pater cito sibi rapti filii fecit imaginem: et ilium qui tune quasi homo mortuus fuerat nunc tamquam deum colere coepit, et constituit inter servos suos sacra et sacrificia" (xiv. 13-15). Gower alludes to the same story; I know not whence taken:—

"Of Cirophanes, seith the booke,
That he for sorow, whiche he toke
Of that he sigh his sonne dede,
Of comfort knewe none other rede,
But lete do make in remembrance
A faire image of his semblance,
And set it in the market place:
Whiche openly to fore his face
Stood euery day, to done hym ease;
And thei that than wolden please
The Fader, shuld it obeye,
Whan that thei comen thilke weye."
—Confessio Amantis.[8]

NOTE 5.—Adam's Peak has for ages been a place of pilgrimage to Buddhists, Hindus, and Mahomedans, and appears still to be so. Ibn Batuta says the Mussulman pilgrimage was instituted in the 10th century. The book on the history of the Mussulmans in Malabar, called Tohfat-ul-Majáhidín (p. 48), ascribes their first settlement in that country to a party of pilgrims returning from Adam's Peak. Marignolli, on his visit to the mountain, mentions "another pilgrim, a Saracen of Spain; for many go on pilgrimage to Adam."

The identification of Adam with objects of Indian worship occurs in various forms. Tod tells how an old Rajput Chief, as they stood before a famous temple of Mahádeo near Udipúr, invited him to enter and worship "Father Adam." Another traveller relates how Brahmans of Bagesar on the Sarjú identified Mahadeo and Parvati with Adam and Eve. A Malay MS., treating of the origines of Java, represents Brahma, Mahadeo, and Vishnu to be descendants of Adam through Seth. And in a Malay paraphrase of the Ramáyana, Nabi Adam takes the place of Vishnu. (Tod. I. 96; J.A.S.B. XVI. 233; J.R.A.S. N.S. II. 102; J. Asiat. IV. s. VII. 438.)

NOTE 6.—The Pâtra, or alms-pot, was the most valued legacy of Buddha. It had served the three previous Buddhas of this world-period, and was destined to serve the future one, Maitreya. The Great Asoka sent it to Ceylon. Thence it was carried off by a Tamul chief in the 1st century, A.D., but brought back we know not how, and is still shown in the Malagawa Vihara at Kandy. As usual in such cases, there were rival reliques, for Fa-hian found the alms-pot preserved at Pesháwar. Hiuen Tsang says in his time it was no longer there, but in Persia. And indeed the Pâtra from Pesháwar, according to a remarkable note by Sir Henry Rawlinson, is still preserved at Kandahár, under the name of Kashkul (or the Begging-pot), and retains among the Mussulman Dervishes the sanctity and miraculous repute which it bore among the Buddhist Bhikshus. Sir Henry conjectures that the deportation of this vessel, the palladium of the true Gandhára (Pesháwar), was accompanied by a popular emigration, and thus accounts for the transfer of that name also to the chief city of Arachosia. (Koeppen, I. 526; Fah-hian, p. 36; H. Tsang, II. 106; J.R.A.S. XI. 127.)

Sir E. Tennent, through Mr. Wylie (to whom this book owes so much), obtained the following curious Chinese extract referring to Ceylon (written 1350): "In front of the image of Buddha there is a sacred bowl, which is neither made of jade nor copper, nor iron; it is of a purple colour, and glossy, and when struck it sounds like glass. At the commencement of the Yuen Dynasty (i.e. under Kúblái) three separate envoys were sent to obtain it." Sanang Setzen also corroborates Marco's statement: "Thus did the Khaghan (Kúblái) cause the sun of religion to rise over the dark land of the Mongols; he also procured from India images and reliques of Buddha; among others the Pâtra of Buddha, which was presented to him by the four kings (of the cardinal points), and also the chandana chu" (a miraculous sandal-wood image). (Tennent, I. 622; Schmidt, p. 119.)

The text also says that several teeth of Buddha were preserved in Ceylon, and that the Kaan's embassy obtained two molars. Doubtless the envoys were imposed on; no solitary case in the amazing history of that relique, for the Dalada, or tooth relique, seems in all historic times to have been unique. This, "the left canine tooth" of the Buddha, is related to have been preserved for 800 years at Dantapura ("Odontopolis"), in Kalinga, generally supposed to be the modern Púri or Jagannáth. Here the Brahmans once captured it and carried it off to Palibothra, where they tried in vain to destroy it. Its miraculous resistance converted the king, who sent it back to Kalinga. About A.D. 311 the daughter of King Guhasiva fled with it to Ceylon. In the beginning of the 14th century it was captured by the Tamuls and carried to the Pandya country on the continent, but recovered some years later by King Parakrama III., who went in person to treat for it. In 1560 the Portuguese got possession of it and took it to Goa. The King of Pegu, who then reigned, probably the most powerful and wealthy monarch who has ever ruled in Further India, made unlimited offers in exchange for the tooth; but the archbishop prevented the viceroy from yielding to these temptations, and it was solemnly pounded to atoms by the prelate, then cast into a charcoal fire, and finally its ashes thrown into the river of Goa.

The King of Pegu was, however, informed by a crafty minister of the King of Ceylon that only a sham tooth had been destroyed by the Portuguese, and that the real relique was still safe. This he obtained by extraordinary presents, and the account of its reception at Pegu, as quoted by Tennent from De Couto, is a curious parallel to Marco's narrative of the Great Kaan's reception of the Ceylon reliques at Cambaluc. The extraordinary object still so solemnly preserved at Kandy is another forgery, set up about the same time. So the immediate result of the viceroy's virtue was that two reliques were worshipped instead of one!

The possession of the tooth has always been a great object of desire to Buddhist sovereigns. In the 11th century King Anarauhta, of Burmah, sent a mission to Ceylon to endeavour to procure it, but he could obtain only a "miraculous emanation" of the relique. A tower to contain the sacred tooth was (1855), however, one of the buildings in the palace court of Amarapura. A few years ago the King of Burma repeated the mission of his remote predecessor, but obtained only a model, and this has been deposited within the walls of the palace at Mandalé, the new capital. (Turnour in J.A.S.B. VI. 856 seqq.; Koeppen, I. 521; Tennent, I. 388, II. 198 seqq.; MS. Note by Sir A. Phayre; Mission to Ava, 136.)

Of the four eye-teeth of Sakya, one, it is related, passed to the heaven of Indra; the second to the capital of Gandhára; the third to Kalinga; the fourth to the snake-gods. The Gandhára tooth was perhaps, like the alms-bowl, carried off by a Sassanid invasion, and may be identical with that tooth of Fo, which the Chinese annals state to have been brought to China in A.D. 530 by a Persian embassy. A tooth of Buddha is now shown in a monastery at Fu-chau; but whether this be either the Sassanian present, or that got from Ceylon by Kúblái, is unknown. Other teeth of Buddha were shown in Hiuen Tsang's time at Balkh, at Nagarahára (or Jalálábád), in Kashmir, and at Kanauj. (Koeppen, u.s.; Fortune, II. 108; H. Tsang, II. 31, 80, 263.)

[Illustration: Teeth of Budda. 1. At Kandy, after Tennent. 2. At Fu-Chau from Fortune.]

NOTE 7.—Fa-hian writes of the alms-pot at Pesháwar, that poor people could fill it with a few flowers, whilst a rich man should not be able to do so with 100, nay, with 1000 or 10,000 bushels of rice; a parable doubtless originally carrying a lesson, like Our Lord's remark on the widow's mite, but which hardened eventually into some foolish story like that in the text.

The modern Mussulman story at Kandahar is that the alms-pot will contain any quantity of liquor without overflowing.

This Pâtra is the Holy Grail of Buddhism. Mystical powers of nourishment are ascribed also to the Grail in the European legends. German scholars have traced in the romances of the Grail remarkable indications of Oriental origin. It is not impossible that the alms-pot of Buddha was the prime source of them. Read the prophetic history of the Pâtra as Fa-hian heard it in India (p. 161); its mysterious wanderings over Asia till it is taken up into the heaven Tushita where Maitreya the Future Buddha dwells. When it has disappeared from earth the Law gradually perishes, and violence and wickedness more and more prevail:

—"What is it?
The phantom of a cup that comes and goes?
* * * * * If a man
Could touch or see it, he was heal'd at once,
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times
Grew to such evil that the holy cup
Was caught away to Heaven, and disappear'd."
—Tennyson's Holy Grail


= Sakya Muni Burkhan.

XV., p. 319. Seilan[Ceylon]-History of Sagamoni Borcan. "And they maintain … that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish that are there were those of the same king's son, whose name was Sagamoni Borcan, or Sagamoni the Saint."

See J.F. FLEET, The Tradition about the corporeal Relics of Buddha. (Jour. R. As. Soc., 1906, and April, 1907, pp. 341-363.)

XV., p. 320.

In a paper on Burkhan printed in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, XXXVI., 1917, pp. 390-395, Dr. Berthold Laufer has come to the following conclusion: "Burkhan in Mongol by no means conveys exclusively the limited notion of Buddha, but, first of all, signifies 'deity, god, gods,' and secondly 'representation or image of a god.' This general significance neither inheres in the term Buddha nor in Chinese Fo; neither do the latter signify 'image of Buddha'; only Mongol burkhan has this force, because originally it conveyed the meaning of a shamanistic image. From what has been observed on the use of the word burkhan in the shamanistic or pre-Buddhistic religions of the Tungusians, Mongols and Turks, it is manifest that the word well existed there before the arrival of Buddhism, fixed in its form and meaning, and was but subsequently transferred to the name of Buddha."

-- The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:16 am




Ed è da noi sì strano,
Che quando ne ragiono
I' non trovo nessuno,
Che l'abbia navicato,
* * * *
Le parti del Levante,
Là dove sono tante
Gemme di gran valute
E di molta salute:
E sono in quello giro
Balsamo, e ambra, e tiro,
E lo pepe, e lo legno
Aloe, ch' è sì degno,
E spigo, e cardamomo,
Giengiovo, e cennamomo;
E altre molte spezie,
Ciascuna in sua spezie,
E migliore, e più fina,
E sana in medicina.
Appresso in questo loco
Mise in assetto loco
Li tigri, e li grifoni,
Leofanti, e leoni
Cammelli, e dragomene,
Badalischi, e gene,
E pantere, e castoro,
Le formiche dell' oro,
E tanti altri animali,
Ch' io non so ben dir quail,
Che son sì divisati,
E sì dissomigliati
Di corpo e di fazione,
Di sì fera ragione,
E di sì strana taglia,
Ch'io non credo san faglia,
Ch' alcun uomo vivente
Potesse veramente
Per lingua, o per scritture
Recitar le figure
Delle bestie, e gli uccelli….

—From Il Tesoretto di Ser Brunetto Latini (circa MDCCLX.).
(Florence, 1824, pp. 83 seqq.)


Ándra moi hénnepe, Mousa, polýtropon, hòs mála pollà
Plágchthae . . . . . . .
Pollon d' anthrópon íden ástea kaì nóon égno].

-- Odyssey, I.




-- DANTE, Purgatory, IV.

[Illustration: Messer Marco Polo, with Messer Nicolo and Messer Maffeo, returned from xxvi years' sojourn in the Orient, is denied entrance to the Ca' Polo. (See Int. p. 4)]
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:16 am


I desire to take this opportunity of recording my grateful sense of the unsparing labour, learning, and devotion, with which my father's valued friend, Professor Henri Cordier, has performed the difficult and delicate task which I entrusted to his loyal friendship.

Apart from Professor Cordier's very special qualifications for the work, I feel sure that no other Editor could have been more entirely acceptable to my father. I can give him no higher praise than to say that he has laboured in Yule's own spirit.

The slight Memoir which I have contributed (for which I accept all responsibility), attempts no more than a rough sketch of my father's character and career, but it will, I hope, serve to recall pleasantly his remarkable individuality to the few remaining who knew him in his prime, whilst it may also afford some idea of the man, and his work and environment, to those who had not that advantage.

No one can be more conscious than myself of its many shortcomings, which I will not attempt to excuse. I can, however, honestly say that these have not been due to negligence, but are rather the blemishes almost inseparable from the fulfilment under the gloom of bereavement and amidst the pressure of other duties, of a task undertaken in more favourable circumstances.

Nevertheless, in spite of all defects, I believe this sketch to be such a record as my father would himself have approved, and I know also that he would have chosen my hand to write it.

In conclusion, I may note that the first edition of this work was dedicated to that very noble lady, the Queen (then Crown Princess) Margherita of Italy. In the second edition the Dedication was reproduced within brackets (as also the original preface), but not renewed. That precedent is again followed.

I have, therefore, felt at liberty to associate the present edition of my father's work with the Name MURCHISON, which for more than a generation was the name most generally representative of British Science in Foreign Lands, as of Foreign Science in Britain.

Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:17 am


Little did I think, some thirty years ago, when I received a copy of the first edition of this grand work, that I should be one day entrusted with the difficult but glorious task of supervising the third edition. When the first edition of the Book of Ser Marco Polo reached "Far Cathay," it created quite a stir in the small circle of the learned foreigners, who then resided there, and became a starting-point for many researches, of which the results have been made use of partly in the second edition, and partly in the present. The Archimandrite PALLADIUS and Dr. E. BRETSCHNEIDER, at Peking, ALEX. WYLIE, at Shang-hai—friends of mine who have, alas! passed away, with the exception of the Right Rev. Bishop G. E. MOULE, of Hang-chau, the only survivor of this little group of hard-working scholars,—were the first to explore the Chinese sources of information which were to yield a rich harvest into their hands.

When I returned home from China in 1876, I was introduced to Colonel HENRY YULE, at the India Office, by our common friend, Dr. REINHOLD ROST, and from that time we met frequently and kept up a correspondence which terminated only with the life of the great geographer, whose friend I had become. A new edition of the travels of Friar Odoric of Pordenone, our "mutual friend," in which Yule had taken the greatest interest, was dedicated by me to his memory. I knew that Yule contemplated a third edition of his Marco Polo, and all will regret that time was not allowed to him to complete this labour of love, to see it published. If the duty of bringing out the new edition of Marco Polo has fallen on one who considers himself but an unworthy successor of the first illustrious commentator, it is fair to add that the work could not have been entrusted to a more respectful disciple. Many of our tastes were similar; we had the same desire to seek the truth, the same earnest wish to be exact, perhaps the same sense of humour, and, what is necessary when writing on Marco Polo, certainly the same love for Venice and its history. Not only am I, with the late CHARLES SCHEFER, the founder and the editor of the Recueil de Voyages et de Documents pour servir à l'Histoire de la Géographie depuis le XIII'e jusqu'à la fin du XVI'e siècle, but I am also the successor, at the Ecole des langues Orientales Vivantes, of G. PAUTHIER, whose book on the Venetian Traveller is still valuable, so the mantle of the last two editors fell upon my shoulders.

I therefore, gladly and thankfully, accepted Miss AMY FRANCIS YULE'S kind proposal to undertake the editorship of the third edition of the Book of Ser Marco Polo, and I wish to express here my gratitude to her for the great honour she has thus done me.[1]

Unfortunately for his successor, Sir Henry Yule, evidently trusting to his own good memory, left but few notes. These are contained in an interleaved copy obligingly placed at my disposal by Miss Yule, but I luckily found assistance from various other quarters. The following works have proved of the greatest assistance to me:—The articles of General HOUTUM-SCHINDLER in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, and the excellent books of Lord CURZON and of Major P. MOLESWORTH SYKES on Persia, M. GRENARD'S account of DUTREUIL DE RHINS' Mission to Central Asia, BRETSCHNEIDER'S and PALLADIUS' remarkable papers on Mediaeval Travellers and Geography, and above all, the valuable books of the Hon. W. W. ROCKHILL on Tibet and Rubruck, to which the distinguished diplomatist, traveller, and scholar kindly added a list of notes of the greatest importance to me, for which I offer him my hearty thanks.

My thanks are also due to H.H. Prince ROLAND BONAPARTE, who kindly gave me permission to reproduce some of the plates of his Recueil de Documents de l'Epoque Mongole, to M. LÉOPOLD DELISLE, the learned Principal Librarian of the Bibliothèque Nationale, who gave me the opportunity to study the inventory made after the death of the Doge Marino Faliero, to the Count de SEMALLÉ, formerly French Chargé d'Affaires at Peking, who gave me for reproduction a number of photographs from his valuable personal collection, and last, not least, my old friend Comm. NICOLÒ BAROZZI, who continued to lend me the assistance which he had formerly rendered to Sir Henry Yule at Venice.

Since the last edition was published, more than twenty-five years ago, Persia has been more thoroughly studied; new routes have been explored in Central Asia, Karakorum has been fully described, and Western and South-Western China have been opened up to our knowledge in many directions. The results of these investigations form the main features of this new edition of Marco Polo. I have suppressed hardly any of Sir Henry Yule's notes and altered but few, doing so only when the light of recent information has proved him to be in error, but I have supplemented them by what, I hope, will be found useful, new information.[2]

Before I take leave of the kind reader, I wish to thank sincerely Mr. JOHN MURRAY for the courtesy and the care he has displayed while this edition was going through the press.

PARIS, 1st of October, 1902.



[1] Miss Yule has written the Memoir of her father and the new Dedication.

[2] Paragraphs which have been altered are marked thus +; my own additions are placed between brackets [ ].—H. C.

"Now strike your Sailes yee jolly Mariners,
For we be come into a quiet Rode"….
—THE FAERIE QUEENE, I. xii. 42.]
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:21 am


The unexpected amount of favour bestowed on the former edition of this Work has been a great encouragement to the Editor in preparing this second one.

Not a few of the kind friends and correspondents who lent their aid before have continued it to the present revision. The contributions of Mr. A. WYLIE of Shang-hai, whether as regards the amount of labour which they must have cost him, or the value of the result, demand above all others a grateful record here. Nor can I omit to name again with hearty acknowledgment Signor Comm. G. BERCHET of Venice, the Rev. Dr. CALDWELL, Colonel (now Major-General) R. MACLAGAN, R.E., Mr. D. HANBURY, F.R.S., Mr. EDWARD THOMAS, F.R.S. (Corresponding Member of the Institute), and Mr. R. H. MAJOR.

But besides these old names, not a few new ones claim my thanks.

The Baron F. VON RICHTHOFEN, now President of the Geographical Society of Berlin, a traveller who not only has trodden many hundreds of miles in the footsteps of our Marco, but has perhaps travelled over more of the Interior of China than Marco ever did, and who carried to that survey high scientific accomplishments of which the Venetian had not even a rudimentary conception, has spontaneously opened his bountiful stores of new knowledge in my behalf. Mr. NEY ELIAS, who in 1872 traversed and mapped a line of upwards of 2000 miles through the almost unknown tracts of Western Mongolia, from the Gate in the Great Wall at Kalghan to the Russian frontier in the Altai, has done likewise.[1] To the Rev. G. MOULE, of the Church Mission at Hang-chau, I owe a mass of interesting matter regarding that once great and splendid city, the KINSAY of our Traveller, which has enabled me, I trust, to effect great improvement both in the Notes and in the Map, which illustrate that subject. And to the Rev. CARSTAIRS DOUGLAS, LL.D., of the English Presbyterian Mission at Amoy, I am scarcely less indebted. The learned Professor BRUUN, of Odessa, whom I never have seen, and have little likelihood of ever seeing in this world, has aided me with zeal and cordiality like that of old friendship. To Mr. ARTHUR BURNELL, Ph.D., of the Madras Civil Service, I am grateful for many valuable notes bearing on these and other geographical studies, and particularly for his generous communication of the drawing and photograph of the ancient Cross at St. Thomas's Mount, long before any publication of that subject was made on his own account. My brother officer, Major OLIVER ST. JOHN, R.E., has favoured me with a variety of interesting remarks regarding the Persian chapters, and has assisted me with new data, very materially correcting the Itinerary Map in Kerman.

Mr. BLOCHMANN of the Calcutta Madrasa, Sir DOUGLAS FORSYTH, C.B., lately Envoy to Kashgar, M. de MAS LATRIE, the Historian of Cyprus, Mr. ARTHUR GROTE, Mr. EUGENE SCHUYLER of the U.S. Legation at St. Petersburg, Dr. BUSHELL and Mr. W.F. MAYERS, of H.M.'s Legation at Peking, Mr. G. PHILLIPS of Fuchau, Madame OLGA FEDTCHENKO, the widow of a great traveller too early lost to the world, Colonel KEATINGE, V.C., C.S.I., Major-General KEYES, C.B., Dr. GEORGE BIRDWOOD, Mr. BURGESS, of Bombay, my old and valued friend Colonel W. H. GREATHED, C.B., and the Master of Mediaeval Geography, M. D'AVEZAC himself, with others besides, have kindly lent assistance of one kind or another, several of them spontaneously, and the rest in prompt answer to my requests.

Having always attached much importance to the matter of illustrations,[2] I feel greatly indebted to the liberal action of Mr. Murray in enabling me largely to increase their number in this edition. Though many are original, we have also borrowed a good many;[3] a proceeding which seems to me entirely unobjectionable when the engravings are truly illustrative of the text, and not hackneyed.

I regret the augmented bulk of the volumes. There has been some excision, but the additions visibly and palpably preponderate. The truth is that since the completion of the first edition, just four years ago, large additions have been made to the stock of our knowledge bearing on the subjects of this Book; and how these additions have continued to come in up to the last moment, may be seen in Appendix L,[4] which has had to undergo repeated interpolation after being put in type. KARAKORUM, for a brief space the seat of the widest empire the world has known, has been visited; the ruins of SHANG-TU, the "Xanadu of Cublay Khan," have been explored; PAMIR and TANGUT have been penetrated from side to side; the famous mountain Road of SHEN-SI has been traversed and described; the mysterious CAINDU has been unveiled; the publication of my lamented friend Lieutenant Garnier's great work on the French Exploration of Indo-China has provided a mass of illustration of that YUN-NAN for which but the other day Marco Polo was well-nigh the most recent authority. Nay, the last two years have thrown a promise of light even on what seemed the wildest of Marco's stories, and the bones of a veritable RUC from New Zealand lie on the table of Professor Owen's Cabinet!

M. VIVIEN de St. MARTIN, during the interval of which we have been speaking, has published a History of Geography. In treating of Marco Polo, he alludes to the first edition of this work, most evidently with no intention of disparagement, but speaks of it as merely a revision of Marsden's Book. The last thing I should allow myself to do would be to apply to a Geographer, whose works I hold in so much esteem, the disrespectful definition which the adage quoted in my former Preface[5] gives of the vir qui docet quod non sapit; but I feel bound to say that on this occasion M. Vivien de St. Martin has permitted himself to pronounce on a matter with which he had not made himself acquainted; for the perusal of the very first lines of the Preface (I will say nothing of the Book) would have shown him that such a notion was utterly unfounded.

In concluding these "forewords" I am probably taking leave of Marco Polo,[6] the companion of many pleasant and some laborious hours, whilst I have been contemplating with him ("vôlti a levante") that Orient in which I also had spent years not a few.

* * * * *

And as the writer lingered over this conclusion, his thoughts wandered back in reverie to those many venerable libraries in which he had formerly made search for mediaeval copies of the Traveller's story; and it seemed to him as if he sate in a recess of one of these with a manuscript before him which had never till then been examined with any care, and which he found with delight to contain passages that appear in no version of the Book hitherto known. It was written in clear Gothic text, and in the Old French tongue of the early 14th century. Was it possible that he had lighted on the long-lost original of Ramusio's Version? No; it proved to be different. Instead of the tedious story of the northern wars, which occupies much of our Fourth Book, there were passages occurring in the later history of Ser Marco, some years after his release from the Genoese captivity. They appeared to contain strange anachronisms certainly; but we have often had occasion to remark on puzzles in the chronology of Marco's story![7] And in some respects they tended to justify our intimated suspicion that he was a man of deeper feelings and wider sympathies than the book of Rusticiano had allowed to appear.[8] Perhaps this time the Traveller had found an amanuensis whose faculties had not been stiffened by fifteen years of Malapaga?[9] One of the most important passages ran thus:—

"Bien est voirs que, après ce que Messires Marc Pol avoit pris fame et si estoit demouré plusours ans de sa vie a Venysse, il avint que mourut Messires Mafés qui oncles Monseignour Marc estoit: (et mourut ausi ses granz chiens mastins qu'avoit amenei dou Catai,[10] et qui avoit non Bayan pour l'amour au bon chievetain Bayan Cent-iex); adonc n'avoit oncques puis Messires Marc nullui, fors son esclave Piere le Tartar, avecques lequel pouvoit penre soulas à s'entretenir de ses voiages et des choses dou Levant. Car la gent de Venysse si avoit de grant piesce moult anuy pris des loncs contes Monseignour Marc; et quand ledit Messires Marc issoit de l'uys sa meson ou Sain Grisostome, souloient li petit marmot es voies dariere-li courir en cryant Messer Marco Miliòn! cont' a nu un busiòn! que veult dire en François 'Messires Marcs des millions di-nous un de vos gros mensonges.' En oultre, la Dame Donate fame anuyouse estoit, et de trop estroit esprit, et plainne de couvoitise.[11] Ansi avint que Messires Marc desiroit es voiages rantrer durement.

"Si se partist de Venisse et chevaucha aux parties d'occident. Et demoura mainz jours es contrées de Provence et de France et puys fist passaige aux Ysles de la tremontaingne et s'en retourna par la Magne, si comme vous orrez cy-après. Et fist-il escripre son voiage atout les devisements les contrées; mes de la France n'y parloit mie grantment pour ce que maintes genz la scevent apertement. Et pour ce en lairons atant, et commencerons d'autres choses, assavoir, de BRETAINGNE LA GRANT."

Cy devyse dou roiaume de Bretaingne la grant.

"Et sachiés que quand l'en se part de Calés, et l'en nage XX ou XXX milles à trop grant mesaise, si treuve l'en une grandisme Ysle qui s'apelle Bretaingne la Grant. Elle est à une grant royne et n'en fait treuage à nulluy. Et ensevelissent lor mors, et ont monnoye de chartres et d'or et d'argent, et ardent pierres noyres, et vivent de marchandises et d'ars, et ont toutes choses de vivre en grant habondance mais non pas à bon marchié. Et c'est une Ysle de trop grant richesce, et li marinier de celle partie dient que c'est li plus riches royaumes qui soit ou monde, et qu'il y a li mieudre marinier dou monde et li mieudre coursier et li mieudre chevalier (ains ne chevauchent mais lonc com François). Ausi ont-il trop bons homes d'armes et vaillans durement (bien que maint n'y ait), et les dames et damoseles bonnes et loialles, et belles com lys souef florant. Et quoi vous en diroie-je? Il y a citez et chasteau assez, et tant de marchéanz et si riches qui font venir tant d'avoir-de- poiz et de toute espece de marchandise qu'il n'est hons qui la verité en sceust dire. Font venir d'Ynde et d'autres parties coton a grant planté, et font venir soye de Manzi et de Bangala, et font venir laine des ysles de la Mer Occeane et de toutes parties. Et si labourent maintz bouquerans et touailles et autres draps de coton et de laine et de soye. Encores sachiés que ont vaines d'acier assez, et si en labourent trop soubtivement de tous hernois de chevalier, et de toutes choses besoignables à ost; ce sont espées et glaive et esperon et heaume et haches, et toute espèce d arteillerie et de coutelerie, et en font grant gaaigne et grant marchandise. Et en font si grant habondance que tout li mondes en y puet avoir et à bon marchié".

Encores cy devise dou dyt roiaume, et de ce qu'en dist Messires Marcs.

"Et sachiés que tient icelle Royne la seigneurie de l'Ynde majeure et de Mutfili et de Bangala, et d'une moitié de Mien. Et moult est saige et noble dame et pourvéans, si que est elle amée de chascun. Et avoit jadis mari; et depuys qu'il mourut bien XIV ans avoit; adonc la royne sa fame l'ama tant que oncques puis ne se voult marier a nullui, pour l'amour le prince son baron, ançois moult maine quoye vie. Et tient son royaume ausi bien ou miex que oncques le tindrent li roy si aioul. Mes ores en ce royaume li roy n'ont guieres pooir, ains la poissance commence a trespasser à la menue gent Et distrent aucun marinier de celes parties à Monseignour Marc que hui-et-le jour li royaumes soit auques abastardi come je vous diroy. Car bien est voirs que ci-arrières estoit ciz pueple de Bretaingne la Grant bonne et granz et loialle gent qui servoit Diex moult volontiers selonc lor usaige; et tuit li labour qu'il labouroient et portoient a vendre estoient honnestement labouré, et dou greigneur vaillance, et chose pardurable; et se vendoient à jouste pris sanz barguignier. En tant que se aucuns labours portoit l'estanpille Bretaingne la Grant c'estoit regardei com pleges de bonne estoffe. Mes orendroit li labours n'est mie tousjourz si bons; et quand l'en achate pour un quintal pesant de toiles de coton, adonc, par trop souvent, si treuve l'en de chascun C pois de coton, bien XXX ou XL pois de plastre de gifs, ou de blanc d'Espaigne, ou de choses semblables. Et se l'en achate de cammeloz ou de tireteinne ou d'autre dras de laine, cist ne durent mie, ains sont plain d'empoise, ou de glu et de balieures.

"Et bien qu'il est voirs que chascuns hons egalement doit de son cors servir son seigneur ou sa commune, pour aler en ost en tens de besoingne; et bien que trestuit li autre royaume d'occident tieingnent ce pour ordenance, ciz pueple de Bretaingne la Grant n'en veult nullement, ains si dient: 'Veez-là: n'avons nous pas la Manche pour fossé de nostre pourpris, et pourquoy nous penerons-nous pour nous faire homes d'armes, en lessiant nos gaaignes et nos soulaz? Cela lairons aus soudaiers.' Or li preudhome entre eulx moult scevent bien com tiex paroles sont nyaises; mes si ont paour de lour en dire la verité pour ce que cuident desplaire as bourjois et à la menue gent.

"Or je vous di sanz faille que, quand Messires Marcs Pols sceust ces choses, moult en ot pitié de cestui pueple, et il li vint à remembrance ce que avenu estoit, ou tens Monseignour Nicolas et Monseignour Mafé, à l'ore quand Alau, frère charnel dou Grant Sire Cublay, ala en ost seur Baudas, et print le Calife et sa maistre cité, atout son vaste tresor d'or et d'argent, et l'amère parolle que dist ledit Alau au Calife, com l'a escripte li Maistres Rusticiens ou chief de cestui livre.[12]

"Car sachiés tout voirement que Messires Marc moult se deleitoit à faire appert combien sont pareilles au font les condicions des diverses regions dou monde, et soloit-il clorre son discours si disant en son language de Venisse: 'Sto mondo xe fato tondo, com uzoit dire mes oncles Mafés.'

"Ore vous lairons à conter de ceste matière et retournerons à parler de
la Loy des genz de Bretaingne la Grant.

Cy devise des diverses créances de la gent Bretaingne la Grant et de ce qu'en cuidoit Messires Marcs.

"Il est voirs que li pueples est Crestiens, mes non pour le plus selonc la foy de l'Apostoille Rommain, ains tiennent le en mautalent assez. Seulement il y en a aucun qui sont féoil du dit Apostoille et encore plus forment que li nostre prudhome de Venisse. Car quand dit li Papes: 'Telle ou telle chose est noyre,' toute ladite gent si en jure: 'Noyre est com poivre.' Et puis se dira li Papes de la dite chose: 'Elle est blanche,' si en jurera toute ladite gent: 'Il est voirs qu'elle est blanche; blanche est com noifs.' Et dist Messires Marc Pol: 'Nous n'avons nullement tant de foy à Venyse, ne li prudhome de Florence non plus, com l'en puet savoir bien apertement dou livre Monseignour Dantès Aldiguiere, que j'ay congneu a Padoe le meisme an que Messires Thibault de Cepoy à Venisse estoit.[13] Mes c'est joustement ce que j'ay veu autre foiz près le Grant Bacsi qui est com li Papes des Ydres.'

"Encore y a une autre manière de gent; ce sont de celz qui s'appellent filsoufes;[14] et si il disent: 'S'il y a Diex n'en scavons nul, mes il est voirs qu'il est une certeinne courance des choses laquex court devers le bien.' Et fist Messires Marcs: 'Encore la créance des Bacsi qui dysent que n'y a ne Diex Eternel ne Juge des homes, ains il est une certeinne chose laquex s'apelle Kerma.'[15]

"Une autre foiz avint que disoit un des filsoufes à Monseignour Marc: 'Diex n'existe mie jeusqu'ores, ainçois il se fait desorendroit.' Et fist encore Messires Marcs: 'Veez-là, une autre foiz la créance des ydres, car dient que li seuz Diex est icil hons qui par force de ses vertuz et de son savoir tant pourchace que d'home il se face Diex presentement. Et li Tartar l'appelent Borcan. Tiex Diex Sagamoni Borcan estoit, dou quel parle li livres Maistre Rusticien.'[16]

"Encore ont une autre manière de filsoufes, et dient-il: 'Il n'est mie ne Diex ne Kerma ne courance vers le bien, ne Providence, ne Créerres, ne Sauvours, ne sainteté ne pechiés ne conscience de pechié, ne proyère ne response à proyère, il n'est nulle riens fors que trop minime grain ou paillettes qui ont à nom atosmes, et de tiex grains devient chose qui vive, et chose qui vive devient une certeinne creature qui demoure au rivaige de la Mer: et ceste creature devient poissons, et poissons devient lezars, et lezars devient blayriaus, et blayriaus devient gat-maimons, et gat-maimons devient hons sauvaiges qui menjue char d'homes, et hons sauvaiges devient hons crestien.'

"Et dist Messires Marc: 'Encore une foiz, biaus sires, li Bacsi de Tebet et de Kescemir et li prestre de Seilan, qui si dient que l'arme vivant doie trespasser par tous cez changes de vestemens; si com se treuve escript ou livre Maistre Rusticien que Sagamoni Borcan mourut iiij vint et iiij foiz et tousjourz resuscita, et à chascune foiz d'une diverse manière de beste, et à la derreniere foyz mourut hons et devint diex, selonc ce qu'il dient.'[17] Et fist encore Messires Marc: 'A moy pert-il trop estrange chose se juesques à toutes les créances des ydolastres deust dechéoir ceste grantz et saige nation. Ainsi peuent jouer Misire li filsoufe atout lour propre perte, mes à l'ore quand tiex fantaisies se respanderont es joenes bacheliers et parmy la menue gent, celz averont pour toute Loy manducemus et bibamus, cras enim moriemur; et trop isnellement l'en raccomencera la descente de l'eschiele, et d'home crestien deviendra hons sauvaiges, et d'home sauvaige gat- maimons, et de gat-maimon blayriaus.' Et fist encores Messires Marc: 'Maintes contrées et provinces et ysles et citéz je Marc Pol ay veues et de maintes genz de maintes manières ay les condicionz congneues, et je croy bien que il est plus assez dedens l'univers que ce que li nostre prestre n'y songent. Et puet bien estre, biaus sires, que li mondes n'a estés creés à tous poinz com nous creiens, ains d'une sorte encore plus merveillouse. Mes cil n'amenuise nullement nostre pensée de Diex et de sa majesté, ains la fait greingnour. Et contrée n'ay veue ou Dame Diex ne manifeste apertement les granz euvres de sa tout-poissante saigesse; gent n'ay congneue esquiex ne se fait sentir li fardels de pechié, et la besoingne de Phisicien des maladies de l'arme tiex com est nostre Seignours Ihesus Crist, Beni soyt son Non. Pensez doncques à cel qu'a dit uns de ses Apostres: Nolite esse prudentes apud vosmet ipsos; et uns autres: Quoniam multi pseudo-prophetae exierint; et uns autres: Quod benient in nobissimis diebus illusores … dicentes, Ubi est promissio? et encores aus parolles que dist li Signours meismes: Vide ergo ne lumen quod in te est tenebrae sint.

Commant Messires Marcs se partist de l'ysle de Bretaingne et de la proyère que fist.

"Et pourquoy vous en feroie-je lonc conte? Si print nef Messires Marcs et se partist en nageant vers la terre ferme. Or Messires Marc Pol moult ama cel roiaume de Bretaingne la grant pour son viex renon et s'ancienne franchise, et pour sa saige et bonne Royne (que Diex gart), et pour les mainz homes de vaillance et bons chaceours et les maintes bonnes et honnestes dames qui y estoient. Et sachiés tout voirement que en estant delez le bort la nef, et en esgardant aus roches blanches que l'en par dariere-li lessoit, Messires Marc prieoit Diex, et disoit-il: 'Ha Sires Diex ay merci de cestuy vieix et noble royaume; fay-en pardurable forteresse de liberté et de joustice, et garde-le de tout meschief de dedens et de dehors; donne à sa gent droit esprit pour ne pas Diex guerroyer de ses dons, ne de richesce ne de savoir; et conforte-les fermement en ta foy'…."

A loud Amen seemed to peal from without, and the awakened reader started to his feet. And lo! it was the thunder of the winter-storm crashing among the many-tinted crags of Monte Pellegrino,—with the wind raging as it knows how to rage here in sight of the Isles of Aeolus, and the rain dashing on the glass as ruthlessly as it well could have done, if, instead of Aeolic Isles and many-tinted crags, the window had fronted a dearer shore beneath a northern sky, and looked across the grey Firth to the rain-blurred outline of the Lomond Hills.

But I end, saying to Messer Marco's prayer, Amen.

PALERMO, 31st December, 1874.



[1] It would be ingratitude if this Preface contained no acknowledgment of the medals awarded to the writer, mainly for this work, by the Royal Geographical Society, and by the Geographical Society of Italy, the former under the Presidence of Sir Henry Rawlinson, the latter under that of the Commendatore C. Negri. Strongly as I feel the too generous appreciation of these labours implied in such awards, I confess to have been yet more deeply touched and gratified by practical evidence of the approval of the two distinguished Travellers mentioned above; as shown by Baron von Richthofen in his spontaneous proposal to publish a German version of the book under his own immediate supervision (a project in abeyance, owing to circumstances beyond his or my control); by Mr. Ney Elias in the fact of his having carried these ponderous volumes with him on his solitary journey across the Mongolian wilds!

[2] I am grateful to Mr. de Khanikoff for his especial recognition of these in a kindly review of the first edition in the Academy.

[3] Especially from Lieutenant Garnier's book, mentioned further on; the only existing source of illustration for many chapters of Polo.

[4] [Merged into the notes of the present edition.—H. C.]

[5] See page xxix.

[6] Writing in Italy, perhaps I ought to write, according to too prevalent modern Italian custom, Polo Marco. I have already seen, and in the work of a writer of reputation, the Alexandrian geographer styled Tolomeo Claudio! and if this preposterous fashion should continue to spread, we shall in time have Tasso Torquato, Jonson Ben, Africa explored by Park Mungo, Asia conquered by Lane Tamer, Copperfield David by Dickens Charles, Homer Englished by Pope Alexander, and the Roman history done into French from the original of Live Tite!

[7] Introduction p. 24, and passim in the notes.

[8] Ibid., p. 112.

[9] See Introduction, pp. 51, 57.

[10] See Title of present volumes.

[11] Which quite agrees with the story of the document quoted at p. 77 of Introduction.

[12] Vol. i. p. 64, and p. 67.

[13] I.e. 1306; see Introduction, pp. 68-69.

[14] The form which Marco gives to this word was probably a reminiscence of the Oriental corruption failsúf. It recalls to my mind a Hindu who was very fond of the word, and especially of applying it to certain of his fellow-servants. But as he used it, bara failsúf,— "great philosopher"—meant exactly the same as the modern slang "Artful Dodger"!

[15] See for the explanation of Karma, "the power that controls the universe," in the doctrine of atheistic Buddhism, Hardy's Eastern Monachism, p. 5.

[16] Vol. ii. p. 316 (see also i. 348).

[17] Vol. ii. pp. 318-319.
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:23 am


The amount of appropriate material, and of acquaintance with the mediaeval geography of some parts of Asia, which was acquired during the compilation of a work of kindred character for the Hakluyt Society,[1] could hardly fail to suggest as a fresh labour in the same field the preparation of a new English edition of Marco Polo. Indeed one kindly critic (in the Examiner) laid it upon the writer as a duty to undertake that task.

Though at least one respectable English edition has appeared since Marsden's,[2] the latter has continued to be the standard edition, and maintains not only its reputation but its market value. It is indeed the work of a sagacious, learned, and right-minded man, which can never be spoken of otherwise than with respect. But since Marsden published his quarto (1818) vast stores of new knowledge have become available in elucidation both of the contents of Marco Polo's book and of its literary history. The works of writers such as Klaproth, Abel Rémusat, D'Avezac, Reinaud, Quatremère, Julien, I. J. Schmidt, Gildemeister, Ritter, Hammer-Purgstall, Erdmann, D'Ohsson, Defrémery, Elliot, Erskine, and many more, which throw light directly or incidentally on Marco Polo, have, for the most part, appeared since then. Nor, as regards the literary history of the book, were any just views possible at a time when what may be called the Fontal MSS. (in French) were unpublished and unexamined.

Besides the works which have thus occasionally or incidentally thrown light upon the Traveller's book, various editions of the book itself have since Marsden's time been published in foreign countries, accompanied by comments of more or less value. All have contributed something to the illustration of the book or its history; the last and most learned of the editors, M. Pauthier, has so contributed in large measure. I had occasion some years ago[3] to speak freely my opinion of the merits and demerits of M. Pauthier's work; and to the latter at least I have no desire to recur here.

Another of his critics, a much more accomplished as well as more favourable one,[4] seems to intimate the opinion that there would scarcely be room in future for new commentaries. Something of the kind was said of Marsden's at the time of its publication. I imagine, however, that whilst our libraries endure the Iliad will continue to find new translators, and Marco Polo—though one hopes not so plentifully—new editors.

The justification of the book's existence must however be looked for, and it is hoped may be found, in the book itself, and not in the Preface. The work claims to be judged as a whole, but it may be allowable, in these days of scanty leisure, to indicate below a few instances of what is believed to be new matter in an edition of Marco Polo; by which however it is by no means intended that all such matter is claimed by the editor as his own.[5]

From the commencement of the work it was felt that the task was one which no man, though he were far better equipped and much more conveniently situated than the present writer, could satisfactorily accomplish from his own resources, and help was sought on special points wherever it seemed likely to be found. In scarcely any quarter was the application made in vain. Some who have aided most materially are indeed very old and valued friends; but to many others who have done the same the applicant was unknown; and some of these again, with whom the editor began correspondence on this subject as a stranger, he is happy to think that he may now call friends.

To none am I more indebted than to the Comm. GUGLIELMO BERCHET, of Venice, for his ample, accurate, and generous assistance in furnishing me with Venetian documents, and in many other ways. Especial thanks are also due to Dr. WILLIAM LOCKHART, who has supplied the materials for some of the most valuable illustrations; to Lieutenant FRANCIS GARNIER, of the French Navy. the gallant and accomplished leader (after the death of Captain Doudart de la Grée) of the memorable expedition up the Mekong to Yun-nan; to the Rev. Dr. CALDWELL, of the S.P.G. Mission in Tinnevelly, for copious and valuable notes on Southern India; to my friends Colonel ROBERT MACLAGAN, R.E., Sir ARTHUR PHAYRE, and Colonel HENRY MAN, for very valuable notes and other aid; to Professor A. SCHIEFNER, of St. Petersburg, for his courteous communication of very interesting illustrations not otherwise accessible; to Major-General ALEXANDER CUNNINGHAM, of my own corps, for several valuable letters; to my friends Dr. THOMAS OLDHAM, Director of the Geological Survey of India, Mr. DANIEL HANBURY, F.R.S., Mr. EDWARD THOMAS, Mr. JAMES FERGUSSON, F.R.S., Sir BARTLE FRERE, and Dr. HUGH CLEGHORN, for constant interest in the work and readiness to assist its progress; to Mr. A. WYLIE, the learned Agent of the B. and F. Bible Society at Shang-hai, for valuable help; to the Hon. G. P. MARSH, U.S. Minister at the Court of Italy, for untiring kindness in the communication of his ample stores of knowledge, and of books. I have also to express my obligations to Comm. NICOLÒ BAROZZI, Director of the City Museum at Venice, and to Professor A. S. MINOTTO, of the same city; to Professor ARMINIUS VÁMBÉRY, the eminent traveller; to Professor FLÜCKIGER of Bern; to the Rev. H. A. JAESCHKE, of the Moravian Mission in British Tibet; to Colonel LEWIS PELLY, British Resident in the Persian Gulf; to Pandit MANPHUL, C.S.I. (for a most interesting communication on Badakhshan); to my brother officer, Major T. G. MONTGOMERIE, R.E., of the Indian Trigonometrical Survey; to Commendatore NEGRI the indefatigable President of the Italian Geographical Society; to Dr. ZOTENBERG, of the Great Paris Library, and to M. CH. MAUNOIR, Secretary-General of the Société de Géographie; to Professor HENRY GIGLIOI, at Florence; to my old friend Major-General ALBERT FYTCHE, Chief Commissioner of British Burma; to DR. ROST and DR. FORBES-WATSON, of the India Office Library and Museum; to Mr. R. H. MAJOR, and Mr. R. K. DOUGLAS, of the British Museum; to Mr. N. B. DENNYS, of Hong-kong; and to Mr. C. GARDNER, of the Consular Establishment in China. There are not a few others to whom my thanks are equally due; but it is feared that the number of names already mentioned may seem ridiculous, compared with the result, to those who do not appreciate from how many quarters the facts needful for a work which in its course intersects so many fields required to be collected, one by one. I must not, however, omit acknowledgments to the present Earl of DERBY for his courteous permission, when at the head of the Foreign Office, to inspect Mr. Abbott's valuable unpublished Report upon some of the Interior Provinces of Persia; and to Mr. T. T. COOPER, one of the most adventurous travellers of modern times, for leave to quote some passages from his unpublished diary.

PALERMO, 31st December, 1870.

[Original Dedication.]

Princess of Piedmont,



[1] Cathay and The Way Thither, being a Collection of Minor Medieval Notices of China. London, 1866. The necessities of the case have required the repetition in the present work of the substance of some notes already printed (but hardly published) in the other.

[2] Viz. Mr. Hugh Murray's. I mean no disrespect to Mr. T. Wright's edition, but it is, and professes to be, scarcely other than a reproduction of Marsden's, with abridgment of his notes.

[3] In the Quarterly Review for July, 1868.

[4] M. Nicolas Khanikoff.

[5] In the Preliminary Notices will be found new matter on the Personal and Family History of the Traveller, illustrated by Documents; and a more elaborate attempt than I have seen elsewhere to classify and account for the different texts of the work, and to trace their mutual relation.

As regards geographical elucidations, I may point to the explanation of the name Gheluchelan (i. p. 58), to the discussion of the route from Kerman to Hormuz, and the identification of the sites of Old Hormuz, of Cobinan and Dogana, the establishment of the position and continued existence of Keshm, the note on Pein and Charchan, on Gog and Magog, on the geography of the route from Sindafu to Carajan, on Anin and Coloman, on Mutafili, Cail, and Ely.

As regards historical illustrations, I would cite the notes regarding the Queens Bolgana and Cocachin, on the Karaunahs, etc., on the title of King of Bengal applied to the K. of Burma, and those bearing upon the Malay and Abyssinian chronologies.

In the interpretation of outlandish phrases, I may refer to the notes on Ondanique, Nono, Barguerlac, Argon, Sensin, Keshican, Toscaol,Bularguchi, Gat-paul, etc.

Among miscellaneous elucidations, to the disquisition on the Arbre Sol or Sec in vol. i., and to that on Mediaeval Military Engines in vol. ii.

In a variety of cases it has been necessary to refer to Eastern languages for pertinent elucidations or etymologies. The editor would, however, be sorry to fall under the ban of the mediaeval adage:

"Vir qui docet quod non sapit
Definitur Bestia!"

and may as well reprint here what was written in the Preface to Cathay:

I am painfully sensible that in regard to many subjects dealt with in the following pages, nothing can make up for the want of genuine Oriental learning. A fair familiarity with Hindustani for many years, and some reminiscences of elementary Persian, have been useful in their degree; but it is probable that they may sometimes also have led me astray, as such slender lights are apt to do.
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:25 am



Until you raised dead monarchs from the mould
And built again the domes of Xanadu,
I lay in evil case, and never knew
The glamour of that ancient story told
By good Ser Marco in his prison-hold.
But now I sit upon a throne and view
The Orient at my feet, and take of you
And Marco tribute from the realms of old.
If I am joyous, deem me not o'er bold;
If I am grateful, deem me not untrue;
For you have given me beauties to behold,
Delight to win, and fancies to pursue,
Fairer than all the jewelry and gold
Of Kublaï on his throne in Cambalu.


20th July, 1884.
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:29 am

Part 1 of 3


Henry Yule was the youngest son of Major William Yule, by his first wife, Elizabeth Paterson, and was born at Inveresk, in Midlothian, on 1st May, 1820. He was named after an aunt who, like Miss Ferrier's immortal heroine, owned a man's name.

On his father's side he came of a hardy agricultural stock,[1] improved by a graft from that highly-cultured tree, Rose of Kilravock.[2] Through his mother, a somewhat prosaic person herself, he inherited strains from Huguenot and Highland ancestry. There were recognisable traces of all these elements in Henry Yule, and as was well said by one of his oldest friends: "He was one of those curious racial compounds one finds on the east side of Scotland, in whom the hard Teutonic grit is sweetened by the artistic spirit of the more genial Celt."[3] His father, an officer of the Bengal army (born 1764, died 1839), was a man of cultivated tastes and enlightened mind, a good Persian and Arabic scholar, and possessed of much miscellaneous Oriental learning. During the latter years of his career in India, he served successively as Assistant Resident at the (then independent) courts of Lucknow[4] and Delhi. In the latter office his chief was the noble Ouchterlony. William Yule, together with his younger brother Udny,[5] returned home in 1806. "A recollection of their voyage was that they hailed an outward bound ship, somewhere off the Cape, through the trumpet: 'What news?' Answer: 'The King's mad, and Humfrey's beat Mendoza' (two celebrated prize-fighters and often matched). 'Nothing more?' 'Yes, Bonapart_y_'s made his Mother King of Holland!'

"Before his retirement, William Yule was offered the Lieut.-Governorship of St. Helena. Two of the detailed privileges of the office were residence at Longwood (afterwards the house of Napoleon), and the use of a certain number of the Company's slaves. Major Yule, who was a strong supporter of the anti-slavery cause till its triumph in 1834, often recalled both of these offers with amusement."[6]

William Yule was a man of generous chivalrous nature, who took large views of life, apt to be unfairly stigmatised as Radical in the narrow Tory reaction that prevailed in Scotland during the early years of the 19th century.[7] Devoid of literary ambition, he wrote much for his private pleasure, and his knowledge and library (rich in Persian and Arabic MSS.) were always placed freely at the service of his friends and correspondents, some of whom, such as Major C. Stewart and Mr. William Erskine, were more given to publication than himself. He never travelled without a little 8vo MS. of Hafiz, which often lay under his pillow. Major Yule's only printed work was a lithographed edition of the Apothegms of 'Ali, the son of Abu Talib, in the Arabic, with an old Persian version and an English translation interpolated by himself. "This was privately issued in 1832, when the Duchesse d'Angoulême was living at Edinburgh, and the little work was inscribed to her, with whom an accident of neighbourhood and her kindness to the Major's youngest child had brought him into relations of goodwill."[8]

Henry Yule's childhood was mainly spent at Inveresk. He used to say that his earliest recollection was sitting with the little cousin, who long after became his wife, on the doorstep of her father's house in George Street, Edinburgh (now the Northern Club), listening to the performance of a passing piper. There was another episode which he recalled with humorous satisfaction. Fired by his father's tales of the jungle, Yule (then about six years old) proceeded to improvise an elephant pit in the back garden, only too successfully, for soon, with mingled terror and delight, he saw his uncle John[9] fall headlong into the snare. He lost his mother before he was eight, and almost his only remembrance of her was the circumstance of her having given him a little lantern to light him home on winter nights from his first school. On Sundays it was the Major's custom to lend his children, as a picture-book, a folio Arabic translation of the Four Gospels, printed at Rome in 1591, which contained excellent illustrations from Italian originals.[10] Of the pictures in this volume Yule seems never to have tired. The last page bore a MS. note in Latin to the effect that the volume had been read in the Chaldaean Desert by Georgius Strachanus, Milnensis, Scotus, who long remained unidentified, not to say mythical, in Yule's mind. But George Strachan never passed from his memory, and having ultimately run him to earth, Yule, sixty years later, published the results in an interesting article.[11]

Two or three years after his wife's death, Major Yule removed to Edinburgh, and established himself in Regent's Terrace, on the face of the Calton Hill.[12] This continued to be Yule's home until his father's death, shortly before he went to India. "Here he learned to love the wide scenes of sea and land spread out around that hill—a love he never lost, at home or far away. And long years after, with beautiful Sicilian hills before him and a lovely sea, he writes words of fond recollection of the bleak Fife hills, and the grey Firth of Forth."[13]

Yule now followed his elder brother, Robert, to the famous High School, and in the summer holidays the two made expeditions to the West Highlands, the Lakes of Cumberland, and elsewhere. Major Yule chose his boys to have every reasonable indulgence and advantage, and when the British Association, in 1834, held its first Edinburgh meeting, Henry received a member's ticket. So, too, when the passing of the Reform Bill was celebrated in the same year by a great banquet, at which Lord Grey and other prominent politicians were present, Henry was sent to the dinner, probably the youngest guest there.[14]

At this time the intention was that Henry should go to Cambridge (where his name was, indeed, entered), and after taking his degree study for the Bar. With this view he was, in 1833, sent to Waith, near Ripon, to be coached by the Rev. H. P. Hamilton, author of a well-known treatise, On Conic Sections, and afterwards Dean of Salisbury. At his tutor's hospitable rectory Yule met many notabilities of the day. One of them was Professor Sedgwick.

There was rumoured at this time the discovery of the first known (?) fossil monkey, but its tail was missing. "Depend upon it, Daniel O'Conell's got hold of it!" said 'Adam' briskly.[15] Yule was very happy with Mr. Hamilton and his kind wife, but on his tutor's removal to Cambridge other arrangements became necessary, and in 1835 he was transferred to the care of the Rev. James Challis, rector of Papworth St. Everard, a place which "had little to recommend it except a dulness which made reading almost a necessity."[16] Mr. Challis had at this time two other resident pupils, who both, in most diverse ways, attained distinction in the Church. These were John Mason Neale, the future eminent ecclesiologist and founder of the devoted Anglican Sisterhood of St. Margaret, and Harvey Goodwin, long afterwards the studious and large-minded Bishop of Carlisle. With the latter, Yule remained on terms of cordial friendship to the end of his life. Looking back through more than fifty years to these boyish days, Bishop Goodwin wrote that Yule then "showed much more liking for Greek plays and for German than for mathematics, though he had considerable geometrical ingenuity."[17] On one occasion, having solved a problem that puzzled Goodwin, Yule thus discriminated the attainments of the three pupils: "The difference between you and me is this: You like it and can't do it; I don't like it and can do it. Neale neither likes it nor can do it." Not bad criticism for a boy of fifteen.[18]

On Mr. Challis being appointed Plumerian Professor at Cambridge, in the spring of 1836, Yule had to leave him, owing to want of room at the Observatory, and he became for a time, a most dreary time, he said, a student at University College, London.

By this time Yule had made up his mind that not London and the Law, but India and the Army should be his choice, and accordingly in Feb. 1837 he joined the East India Company's Military College at Addiscombe. From Addiscombe he passed out, in December 1838, at the head of the cadets of his term (taking the prize sword[19]), and having been duly appointed to the Bengal Engineers, proceeded early in 1839 to the Headquarters of the Royal Engineers at Chatham, where, according to custom, he was enrolled as a "local and temporary Ensign." For such was then the invidious designation at Chatham of the young Engineer officers of the Indian army, who ranked as full lieutenants in their own Service, from the time of leaving Addiscombe.[20] Yule once audaciously tackled the formidable Pasley on this very grievance. The venerable Director, after a minute's pondering, replied: "Well, I don't remember what the reason was, but I have no doubt (staccato) it … was … a very … good reason."[21]

"When Yule appeared among us at Chatham in 1839," said his friend Collinson, "he at once took a prominent place in our little Society by his slightly advanced age [he was then 18-1/2], but more by his strong character…. His earlier education … gave him a better classical knowledge than most of us possessed; then he had the reserve and self-possession characteristic of his race; but though he took small part in the games and other recreations of our time, his knowledge, his native humour, and his good comradeship, and especially his strong sense of right and wrong, made him both admired and respected…. Yule was not a scientific engineer, though he had a good general knowledge of the different branches of his profession; his natural capacity lay rather in varied knowledge, combined with a strong understanding and an excellent memory, and also a peculiar power as a draughtsman, which proved of great value in after life…. Those were nearly the last days of the old régime, of the orthodox double sap and cylindrical pontoons, when Pasley's genius had been leading to new ideas, and when Lintorn Simmons' power, G. Leach's energy, W. Jervois' skill, and R. Tylden's talent were developing under the wise example of Henry Harness."[22]

In the Royal Engineer mess of those days (the present anteroom), the portrait of Henry Yule now faces that of his first chief, Sir Henry Harness. General Collinson said that the pictures appeared to eye each other as if the subjects were continuing one of those friendly disputes in which they so often engaged.[23]

It was in this room that Yule, Becher, Collinson, and other young R.E.'s, profiting by the temporary absence of the austere Colonel Pasley, acted some plays, including Pizarro. Yule bore the humble part of one of the Peruvian Mob in this performance, of which he has left a droll account.[24]

On the completion of his year at Chatham, Yule prepared to sail for India, but first went to take leave of his relative, General White. An accident prolonged his stay, and before he left he had proposed to and been refused by his cousin Annie. This occurrence, his first check, seems to have cast rather a gloom over his start for India. He went by the then newly-opened Overland Route, visiting Portugal, stopping at Gibraltar to see his cousin, Major (afterwards General) Patrick Yule, R.E.[25] He was under orders "to stop at Aden (then recently acquired), to report on the water supply, and to deliver a set of meteorological and magnetic instruments for starting an observatory there. The overland journey then really meant so; tramping across the desert to Suez with camels and Arabs, a proceeding not conducive to the preservation of delicate instruments; and on arriving at Aden he found that the intended observer was dead, the observatory not commenced, and the instruments all broken. There was thus nothing left for him but to go on at once" to Calcutta,[26] where he arrived at the end of 1840.

His first service lay in the then wild Khasia Hills, whither he was detached for the purpose of devising means for the transport of the local coal to the plains. In spite of the depressing character of the climate (Cherrapunjee boasts the highest rainfall on record), Yule thoroughly enjoyed himself, and always looked back with special pleasure on the time he spent here. He was unsuccessful in the object of his mission, the obstacles to cheap transport offered by the dense forests and mighty precipices proving insurmountable, but he gathered a wealth of interesting observations on the country and people, a very primitive Mongolian race, which he subsequently embodied in two excellent and most interesting papers (the first he ever published).[27]

In the following year, 1842, Yule was transferred to the irrigation canals of the north-west with head-quarters at Kurnaul. Here he had for chief Captain (afterwards General Sir William) Baker, who became his dearest and most steadfast friend. Early in 1843 Yule had his first experience of field service. The death without heir of the Khytul Rajah, followed by the refusal of his family to surrender the place to the native troops sent to receive it, obliged Government to send a larger force against it, and the canal officers were ordered to join this. Yule was detailed to serve under Captain Robert Napier (afterwards F.-M. Lord Napier of Magdala). Their immediate duty was to mark out the route for a night march of the troops, barring access to all side roads, and neither officer having then had any experience of war, they performed the duty "with all the elaborate care of novices." Suddenly there was an alarm, a light detected, and a night attack awaited, when the danger resolved itself into Clerk Sahib's khansamah with welcome hot coffee![28] Their hopes were disappointed, there was no fighting, and the Fort of Khytul was found deserted by the enemy. It "was a strange scene of confusion—all the paraphernalia and accumulation of odds and ends of a wealthy native family lying about and inviting loot. I remember one beautiful crutch-stick of ebony with two rams' heads in jade. I took it and sent it in to the political authority, intending to buy it when sold. There was a sale, but my stick never appeared. Somebody had a more developed taste in jade…. Amid the general rummage that was going on, an officer of British Infantry had been put over a part of the palace supposed to contain treasure, and they—officers and all—were helping themselves. Henry Lawrence was one of the politicals under George Clerk. When the news of this affair came to him I was present. It was in a white marble loggia in the palace, where was a white marble chair or throne on a basement. Lawrence was sitting on this throne in great excitement. He wore an Afghan choga, a sort of dressing-gown garment, and this, and his thin locks, and thin beard were streaming in the wind. He always dwells in my memory as a sort of pythoness on her tripod under the afflatus."[29]

During his Indian service, Yule had renewed and continued by letters his suit to Miss White, and persistency prevailing at last, he soon after the conclusion of the Khytul affair applied for leave to go home to be married. He sailed from Bombay in May, 1843, and in September of the same year was married, at Bath, to the gifted and large-hearted woman who, to the end, remained the strongest and happiest influence in his life.[30]

Yule sailed for India with his wife in November 1843. The next two years were employed chiefly in irrigation work, and do not call for special note. They were very happy years, except in the one circumstance that the climate having seriously affected his wife's health, and she having been brought to death's door, partly by illness, but still more by the drastic medical treatment of those days, she was imperatively ordered back to England by the doctors, who forbade her return to India.

Having seen her on board ship, Yule returned to duty on the canals. The close of that year, December, 1845, brought some variety to his work, as the outbreak of the first Sikh War called nearly all the canal officers into the field. "They went up to the front by long marches, passing through no stations, and quite unable to obtain any news of what had occurred, though on the 21st December the guns of Ferozshah were distinctly heard in their camp at Pehoa, at a distance of 115 miles south-east from the field, and some days later they came successively on the fields of Moodkee and of Ferozshah itself, with all the recent traces of battle. When the party of irrigation officers reached head-quarters, the arrangements for attacking the Sikh army in its entrenchments at Sobraon were beginning (though suspended till weeks later for the arrival of the tardy siege guns), and the opposed forces were lying in sight of each other."[31]

Yule's share in this campaign was limited to the sufficiently arduous task of bridging the Sutlej for the advance of the British army. It is characteristic of the man that for this reason he always abstained from wearing his medal for the Sutlej campaign.

His elder brother, Robert Yule, then in the 16th Lancers, took part in that magnificent charge of his regiment at the battle of Aliwal (Jan. 28, 1846) which the Great Duke is said to have pronounced unsurpassed in history. From particulars gleaned from his brother and others present in the action, Henry Yule prepared a spirited sketch of the episode, which was afterwards published as a coloured lithograph by M'Lean (Haymarket).

At the close of the war, Yule succeeded his friend Strachey as Executive Engineer of the northern division of the Ganges Canal, with his head-quarters at Roorkee, "the division which, being nearest the hills and crossed by intermittent torrents of great breadth and great volume when in flood, includes the most important and interesting engineering works."[32]

At Roorkee were the extensive engineering workshops connected with the canal. Yule soon became so accustomed to the din as to be undisturbed by the noise, but the unpunctuality and carelessness of the native workmen sorely tried his patience, of which Nature had endowed him with but a small reserve. Vexed with himself for letting temper so often get the better of him, Yule's conscientious mind devised a characteristic remedy. Each time that he lost his temper, he transferred a fine of two rupees (then about five shillings) from his right to his left pocket. When about to leave Roorkee, he devoted this accumulation of self-imposed fines to the erection of a sun-dial, to teach the natives the value of time. The late Sir James Caird, who told this legend of Roorkee as he heard it there in 1880, used to add, with a humorous twinkle of his kindly eyes, "It was a very handsome dial."[33]

From September, 1845, to March, 1847, Yule was much occupied intermittently, in addition to his professional work, by service on a Committee appointed by Government "to investigate the causes of the unhealthiness which has existed at Kurnal, and other portions of the country along the line of the Delhi Canal," and further, to report "whether an injurious effect on the health of the people of the Doab is, or is not, likely to be produced by the contemplated Ganges Canal."

"A very elaborate investigation was made by the Committee, directed principally to ascertaining what relation subsisted between certain physical conditions of the different districts, and the liability of their inhabitants to miasmatic fevers." The principal conclusion of the Committee was, "that in the extensive epidemic of 1843, when Kurnaul suffered so seriously … the greater part of the evils observed had not been the necessary and unavoidable results of canal irrigation, but were due to interference with the natural drainage of the country, to the saturation of stiff and retentive soils, and to natural disadvantages of site, enhanced by excess of moisture. As regarded the Ganges Canal, they were of opinion that, with due attention to drainage, improvement rather than injury to the general health might be expected to follow the introduction of canal irrigation."[34] In an unpublished note written about 1889, Yule records his ultimate opinion as follows: "At this day, and after the large experience afforded by the Ganges Canal, I feel sure that a verdict so favourable to the sanitary results of canal irrigation would not be given." Still the fact remains that the Ganges Canal has been the source of unspeakable blessings to an immense population.

The Second Sikh War saw Yule again with the army in the field, and on 13th Jan. 1849, he was present at the dismal 'Victory' of Chillianwallah, of which his most vivid recollection seemed to be the sudden apparition of Henry Lawrence, fresh from London, but still clad in the legendary Afghan cloak.

On the conclusion of the Punjab campaign, Yule, whose health had suffered, took furlough and went home to his wife. For the next three years they resided chiefly in Scotland, though paying occasional visits to the Continent, and about 1850 Yule bought a house in Edinburgh. There he wrote "The African Squadron vindicated" (a pamphlet which was afterwards re-published in French), translated Schiller's Kampf mit dem Drachen into English verse, delivered Lectures on Fortification at the, now long defunct, Scottish Naval and Military Academy, wrote on Tibet for his friend Blackwood's Magazine, attended the 1850 Edinburgh Meeting of the British Association, wrote his excellent lines, "On the Loss of the Birkenhead," and commenced his first serious study of Marco Polo (by whose wondrous tale, however, he had already been captivated as a boy in his father's library—in Marsden's edition probably). But the most noteworthy literary result of these happy years was that really fascinating volume, entitled Fortification for Officers of the Army and Students of Military History, a work that has remained unique of its kind. This was published by Blackwood in 1851, and seven years later received the honour of (unauthorised) translation into French. Yule also occupied himself a good deal at this time with the practice of photography, a pursuit to which he never after reverted.

In the spring of 1852, Yule made an interesting little semi-professional tour in company with a brother officer, his accomplished friend, Major R. B. Smith. Beginning with Kelso, "the only one of the Teviotdale Abbeys which I had not as yet seen," they made their way leisurely through the north of England, examining with impartial care abbeys and cathedrals, factories, brick-yards, foundries, timber-yards, docks, and railway works. On this occasion Yule, contrary to his custom, kept a journal, and a few excerpts may be given here, as affording some notion of his casual talk to those who did not know him.

At Berwick-on-Tweed he notes the old ramparts of the town: "These, erected in Elizabeth's time, are interesting as being, I believe, the only existing sample in England of the bastioned system of the 16th century…. The outline of the works seems perfect enough, though both earth and stone work are in great disrepair. The bastions are large with obtuse angles, square orillons, and double flanks originally casemated, and most of them crowned with cavaliers." On the way to Durham, "much amused by the discussions of two passengers, one a smooth-spoken, semi-clerical looking person; the other a brusque well-to-do attorney with a Northumbrian burr. Subject, among others, Protection. The Attorney all for 'cheap bread'— 'You wouldn't rob the poor man of his loaf,' and so forth. 'You must go with the stgheam, sir, you must go with the stgheam.' 'I never did, Mr Thompson, and I never will,' said the other in an oily manner, singularly inconsistent with the sentiment." At Durham they dined with a dignitary of the Church, and Yule was roasted by being placed with his back to an enormous fire. "Coals are cheap at Durham," he notes feelingly, adding, "The party we found as heavy as any Edinburgh one. Smith, indeed, evidently has had little experience of really stupid Edinburgh parties, for he had never met with anything approaching to this before." (Happy Smith!) But thanks to the kindness and hospitality of the astronomer, Mr. Chevalier, and his gifted daughter, they had a delightful visit to beautiful Durham, and came away full of admiration for the (then newly established) University, and its grand locale. They went on to stay with an uncle by marriage of Yule's, in Yorkshire. At dinner he was asked by his host to explain Foucault's pendulum experiment. "I endeavoured to explain it somewhat, I hope, to the satisfaction of his doubts, but not at all to that of Mr. G. M., who most resolutely declined to take in any elucidation, coming at last to the conclusion that he entirely differed with me as to what North meant, and that it was useless to argue until we could agree about that!" They went next to Leeds, to visit Kirkstall Abbey, "a mediaeval fossil, curiously embedded among the squalid brickwork and chimney stalks of a manufacturing suburb. Having established ourselves at the hotel, we went to deliver a letter to Mr. Hope, the official assignee, a very handsome, aristocratic-looking gentleman, who seemed as much out of place at Leeds as the Abbey." At Leeds they visited the flax mills of Messrs. Marshall, "a firm noted for the conscientious care they take of their workpeople…. We mounted on the roof of the building, which is covered with grass, and formerly was actually grazed by a few sheep, until the repeated inconvenience of their tumbling through the glass domes put a stop to this." They next visited some tile and brickworks on land belonging to a friend. "The owner of the tile works, a well-to-do burgher, and the apparent model of a West Riding Radical, received us in rather a dubious way: 'There are a many people has come and brought introductions, and looked at all my works, and then gone and set up for themselves close by. Now des you mean to say that you be really come all the way from Beng_u_l?' 'Yes, indeed we have, and we are going all the way back again, though we didn't exactly come from there to look at your brickworks.' 'Then you're not in the brick-making line, are you?' 'Why we've had a good deal to do with making bricks, and may have again; but we'll engage that if we set up for ourselves, it shall be ten thousand miles from you.' This seemed in some degree to set his mind at rest…."

"A dismal day, with occasional showers, prevented our seeing Sheffield to advantage. On the whole, however, it is more cheerful and has more of a country-town look than Leeds—a place utterly without beauty of aspect. At Leeds you have vast barrack-like factories, with their usual suburbs of squalid rows of brick cottages, and everywhere the tall spiracles of the steam, which seems the pervading power of the place. Everything there is machinery—the machine is the intelligent agent, it would seem, the man its slave, standing by to tend it and pick up a broken thread now and then. At Sheffield … you might go through most of the streets without knowing anything of the kind was going on. And steam here, instead of being a ruler, is a drudge, turning a grindstone or rolling out a bar of steel, but all the accuracy and skill of hand is the Man's. And consequently there was, we thought, a healthier aspect about the men engaged. None of the Rodgers remain who founded the firm in my father's time. I saw some pairs of his scissors in the show-room still kept under the name of Persian scissors."[35]

From Sheffield Yule and his friend proceeded to Boston, "where there is the most exquisite church tower I have ever seen," and thence to Lincoln, Peterborough, and Ely, ending their tour at Cambridge, where Yule spent a few delightful days.

In the autumn the great Duke of Wellington died, and Yule witnessed the historic pageant of his funeral. His furlough was now nearly expired, and early in December he again embarked for India, leaving his wife and only child, of a few weeks old, behind him. Some verses dated "Christmas Day near the Equator," show how much he felt the separation.

Shortly after his return to Bengal, Yule received orders to proceed to Aracan, and to examine and report upon the passes between Aracan and Burma, as also to improve communications and select suitable sites for fortified posts to hold the same. These orders came to Yule quite unexpectedly late one Saturday evening, but he completed all preparations and started at daybreak on the following Monday, 24th Jan. 1853.

From Calcutta to Khyook Phyoo, Yule proceeded by steamer, and thence up the river in the Tickler gunboat to Krenggyuen. "Our course lay through a wilderness of wooded islands (50 to 200 feet high) and bays, sailing when we could, anchoring when neither wind nor tide served … slow progress up the river. More and more like the creeks and lagoons of the Niger or a Guiana river rather than anything I looked for in India. The densest tree jungle covers the shore down into the water. For miles no sign of human habitation, but now and then at rare intervals one sees a patch of hillside rudely cleared, with the bare stems of the burnt trees still standing…. Sometimes, too, a dark tunnel-like creek runs back beneath the thick vault of jungle, and from it silently steals out a slim canoe, manned by two or three wild-looking Mugs or Kyens (people of the Hills), driving it rapidly along with their short paddles held vertically, exactly like those of the Red men on the American rivers."

At the military post of Bokhyong, near Krenggyuen, he notes (5th Feb.) that "Captain Munro, the adjutant, can scarcely believe that I was present at the Duke of Wellington's funeral, of which he read but a few days ago in the newspapers, and here am I, one of the spectators, a guest in this wild spot among the mountains—2-1/2 months since I left England."

Yule's journal of his arduous wanderings in these border wilds is full of interest, but want of space forbids further quotation. From a note on the fly-leaf it appears that from the time of quitting the gun-boat at Krenggyuen to his arrival at Toungoop he covered about 240 miles on foot, and that under immense difficulties, even as to food. He commemorated his tribulations in some cheery humorous verse, but ultimately fell seriously ill of the local fever, aided doubtless by previous exposure and privation. His servants successively fell ill, some died and others had to be sent back, food supplies failed, and the route through those dense forests was uncertain; yet under all difficulties he seems never to have grumbled or lost heart. And when things were nearly at the worst, Yule restored the spirits of his local escort by improvising a wappenshaw, with a Sheffield gardener's knife, which he happened to have with him, for prize! When at last Yule emerged from the wilds and on 25th March marched into Prome, he was taken for his own ghost! "Found Fraser (of the Engineers) in a rambling phoongyee house, just under the great gilt pagoda. I went up to him announcing myself, and his astonishment was so great that he would scarcely shake hands!" It was on this occasion at Prome that Yule first met his future chief Captain Phayre—"a very young-looking man—very cordial," a description no less applicable to General Sir Arthur Phayre at the age of seventy!

After some further wanderings, Yule embarked at Sandong, and returned by water, touching at Kyook Phyoo and Akyab, to Calcutta, which he reached on 1st May—his birthday.

The next four months were spent in hard work at Calcutta. In August, Yule received orders to proceed to Singapore, and embarked on the 29th. His duty was to report on the defences of the Straits Settlements, with a view to their improvement. Yule's recommendations were sanctioned by Government, but his journal bears witness to the prevalence then, as since, of the penny-wise-pound-foolish system in our administration. On all sides he was met by difficulties in obtaining sites for batteries, etc., for which heavy compensation was demanded, when by the exercise of reasonable foresight, the same might have been secured earlier at a nominal price.

Yule's journal contains a very bright and pleasing picture of Singapore, where he found that the majority of the European population "were evidently, from their tongues, from benorth the Tweed, a circumstance which seems to be true of four-fifths of the Singaporeans. Indeed, if I taught geography, I should be inclined to class Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Singapore together as the four chief towns of Scotland."

Work on the defences kept Yule in Singapore and its neighbourhood until the end of November, when he embarked for Bengal. On his return to Calcutta, Yule was appointed Deputy Consulting Engineer for Railways at Head-quarters. In this post he had for chief his old friend Baker, who had in 1851 been appointed by the Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie, Consulting Engineer for Railways to Government. The office owed its existence to the recently initiated great experiment of railway construction under Government guarantee.

The subject was new to Yule, "and therefore called for hard and anxious labour. He, however, turned his strong sense and unbiased view to the general question of railway communication in India, with the result that he became a vigorous supporter of the idea of narrow gauge and cheap lines in the parts of that country outside of the main trunk lines of traffic."[36]

The influence of Yule, and that of his intimate friends and ultimate successors in office, Colonels R. Strachey and Dickens, led to the adoption of the narrow (metre) gauge over a great part of India. Of this matter more will be said further on; it is sufficient at this stage to note that it was occupying Yule's thoughts, and that he had already taken up the position in this question that he thereafter maintained through life. The office of Consulting Engineer to Government for Railways ultimately developed into the great Department of Public Works.

As related by Yule, whilst Baker "held this appointment, Lord Dalhousie was in the habit of making use of his advice in a great variety of matters connected with Public Works projects and questions, but which had nothing to do with guaranteed railways, there being at that time no officer attached to the Government of India, whose proper duty it was to deal with such questions. In August, 1854, the Government of India sent home to the Court of Directors a despatch and a series of minutes by the Governor-General and his Council, in which the constitution of the Public Works Department as a separate branch of administration, both in the local governments and the government of India itself, was urged on a detailed plan."

In this communication Lord Dalhousie stated his desire to appoint Major Baker to the projected office of Secretary for the Department of Public Works. In the spring of 1855 these recommendations were carried out by the creation of the Department, with Baker as Secretary and Yule as Under Secretary for Public Works.

Meanwhile Yule's services were called to a very different field, but without his vacating his new appointment, which he was allowed to retain. Not long after the conclusion of the second Burmese War, the King of Burma sent a friendly mission to the Governor-General, and in 1855 a return Embassy was despatched to the Court of Ava, under Colonel Arthur Phayre, with Henry Yule as Secretary, an appointment the latter owed as much to Lord Dalhousie's personal wish as to Phayre's good-will. The result of this employment was Yule's first geographical book, a large volume entitled Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855, originally printed in India, but subsequently re-issued in an embellished form at home (see over leaf). To the end of his life, Yule looked back to this "social progress up the Irawady, with its many quaint and pleasant memories, as to a bright and joyous holiday."[37] It was a delight to him to work under Phayre, whose noble and lovable character he had already learned to appreciate two years before in Pegu. Then, too, Yule has spoken of the intense relief it was to escape from the monotonous scenery and depressing conditions of official life in Bengal (Resort to Simla was the exception, not the rule, in these days!) to the cheerfulness and unconstraint of Burma, with its fine landscapes and merry-hearted population. "It was such a relief to find natives who would laugh at a joke," he once remarked in the writer's presence to the lamented E. C. Baber, who replied that he had experienced exactly the same sense of relief in passing from India to China.

Yule's work on Burma was largely illustrated by his own sketches. One of these represents the King's reception of the Embassy, and another, the King on his throne. The originals were executed by Yule's ready pencil, surreptitiously within his cocked hat, during the audience.

From the latter sketch Yule had a small oil-painting executed under his direction by a German artist, then resident in Calcutta, which he gave to Lord Dalhousie.[38]

The Government of India marked their approval of the Embassy by an unusual concession. Each of the members of the mission received a souvenir of the expedition. To Yule was given a very beautiful and elaborately chased small bowl, of nearly pure gold, bearing the signs of the Zodiac in relief.[39]
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:30 am

Part 2 of 3

On his return to Calcutta, Yule threw himself heart and soul into the work of his new appointment in the Public Works Department. The nature of his work, the novelty and variety of the projects and problems with which this new branch of the service had to deal, brought Yule into constant, and eventually very intimate association with Lord Dalhousie, whom he accompanied on some of his tours of inspection. The two men thoroughly appreciated each other, and, from first to last, Yule experienced the greatest kindness from Lord Dalhousie. In this intimacy, no doubt the fact of being what French soldiers call pays added something to the warmth of their mutual regard: their forefathers came from the same airt, and neither was unmindful of the circumstance. It is much to be regretted that Yule preserved no sketch of Lord Dalhousie, nor written record of his intercourse with him, but the following lines show some part of what he thought:

"At this time [1849] there appears upon the scene that vigorous and masterful spirit, whose arrival to take up the government of India had been greeted by events so inauspicious. No doubt from the beginning the Governor-General was desirous to let it be understood that although new to India he was, and meant to be, master;… Lord Dalhousie was by no means averse to frank dissent, provided in the manner it was never forgotten that he was Governor-General. Like his great predecessor Lord Wellesley, he was jealous of all familiarity and resented it…. The general sentiment of those who worked under that [Greek: ánax andron] was one of strong and admiring affection … and we doubt if a Governor-General ever embarked on the Hoogly amid deeper feeling than attended him who, shattered by sorrow and physical suffering, but erect and undaunted, quitted Calcutta on the 6th March 1856."[40]

His successor was Lord Canning, whose confidence in Yule and personal regard for him became as marked as his predecessor's.

In the autumn of 1856, Yule took leave and came home. Much of his time while in England was occupied with making arrangements for the production of an improved edition of his book on Burma, which so far had been a mere government report. These were completed to his satisfaction, and on the eve of returning to India, he wrote to his publishers[41] that the correction of the proof sheets and general supervision of the publication had been undertaken by his friend the Rev. W. D. Maclagan, formerly an officer of the Madras army (and now Archbishop of York).

Whilst in England, Yule had renewed his intimacy with his old friend Colonel Robert Napier, then also on furlough, a visitor whose kindly sympathetic presence always brought special pleasure also to Yule's wife and child. One result of this intercourse was that the friends decided to return together to India. Accordingly they sailed from Marseilles towards the end of April, and at Aden were met by the astounding news of the outbreak of the Mutiny.

On his arrival in Calcutta Yule, who retained his appointment of Under Secretary to Government, found his work indefinitely increased. Every available officer was called into the field, and Yule's principal centre of activity was shifted to the great fortress of Allahabad, forming the principal base of operations against the rebels. Not only had he to strengthen or create defences at Allahabad and elsewhere, but on Yule devolved the principal burden of improvising accommodation for the European troops then pouring into India, which ultimately meant providing for an army of 100,000 men. His task was made the more difficult by the long-standing chronic friction, then and long after, existing between the officers of the Queen's and the Company's services. But in a far more important matter he was always fortunate. As he subsequently recorded in a Note for Government: "Through all consciousness of mistakes and shortcomings, I have felt that I had the confidence of those whom I served, a feeling which has lightened many a weight."

It was at Allahabad that Yule, in the intervals of more serious work, put the last touches to his Burma book. The preface of the English edition is dated, "Fortress of Allahabad, Oct. 3, 1857," and contains a passage instinct with the emotions of the time. After recalling the "joyous holiday" on the Irawady, he goes on: "But for ourselves, standing here on the margin of these rivers, which a few weeks ago were red with the blood of our murdered brothers and sisters, and straining the ear to catch the echo of our avenging artillery, it is difficult to turn the mind to what seem dreams of past days of peace and security; and memory itself grows dim in the attempt to repass the gulf which the last few months has interposed between the present and the time to which this narrative refers."[42]

When he wrote these lines, the first relief had just taken place, and the second defence of Lucknow was beginning. The end of the month saw Sir Colin Campbell's advance to the second—the real—relief of Lucknow. Of Sir Colin, Yule wrote and spoke with warm regard: "Sir Colin was delightful, and when in a good humour and at his best, always reminded me very much, both in manner and talk, of the General (i.e. General White, his wife's father). The voice was just the same and the quiet gentle manner, with its underlying keen dry humour. But then if you did happen to offend Sir Colin, it was like treading on crackers, which was not our General's way."

When Lucknow had been relieved, besieged, reduced, and finally remodelled by the grand Roads and Demolitions Scheme of his friend Napier, the latter came down to Allahabad, and he and Yule sought diversion in playing quoits and skittles, the only occasion on which either of them is known to have evinced any liking for games.

Before this time Yule had succeeded his friend Baker as de facto Secretary to Government for Public Works, and on Baker's retirement in 1858, Yule was formally appointed his successor.[43] Baker and Yule had, throughout their association, worked in perfect unison, and the very differences in their characters enhanced the value of their co-operation; the special qualities of each friend mutually strengthened and completed each other. Yule's was by far the more original and creative mind, Baker's the more precise and, at least in a professional sense, the more highly-trained organ. In chivalrous sense of honour, devotion to duty, and natural generosity, the men stood equal; but while Yule was by nature impatient and irritable, and liable, until long past middle age, to occasional sudden bursts of uncontrollable anger, generally followed by periods of black depression and almost absolute silence,[44] Baker was the very reverse. Partly by natural temperament, but also certainly by severe self-discipline, his manner was invincibly placid and his temper imperturbable.[45] Yet none was more tenacious in maintaining whatever he judged right.

Baker, whilst large-minded in great matters, was extremely conventional in small ones, and Yule must sometimes have tried his feelings in this respect. The particulars of one such tragic occurrence have survived. Yule, who was colour-blind,[46] and in early life whimsically obstinate in maintaining his own view of colours, had selected some cloth for trousers undeterred by his tailor's timid remonstrance of "Not quite your usual taste, sir." The result was that the Under-Secretary to Government startled official Calcutta by appearing in brilliant claret-coloured raiment. Baker remonstrated: "Claret-colour! Nonsense, my trousers are silver grey," said Yule, and entirely declined to be convinced. "I think I did convince him at last," said Baker with some pride, when long after telling the story to the present writer. "And then he gave them up?" "Oh, no," said Sir William ruefully, "he wore those claret-coloured trousers to the very end." That episode probably belonged to the Dalhousie period.

When Yule resumed work in the Secretariat at Calcutta at the close of the Mutiny, the inevitable arrears of work were enormous. This may be the proper place to notice more fully his action with respect to the choice of gauge for Indian railways already adverted to in brief. As we have seen, his own convictions led to the adoption of the metre gauge over a great part of India. This policy had great disadvantages not at first foreseen, and has since been greatly modified. In justice to Yule, however, it should be remembered that the conditions and requirements of India have largely altered, alike through the extraordinary growth of the Indian export, especially the grain, trade, and the development of new necessities for Imperial defence. These new features, however, did but accentuate defects inherent in the system, but which only prolonged practical experience made fully apparent.

At the outset the supporters of the narrow gauge seemed to have the stronger position, as they were able to show that the cost was much less, the rails employed being only about 2/3rds the weight of those required by the broad gauge, and many other subsidiary expenses also proportionally less. On the other hand, as time passed and practical experience was gained, its opponents were able to make an even stronger case against the narrow gauge. The initial expenses were undoubtedly less, but the durability was also less. Thus much of the original saving was lost in the greater cost of maintenance, whilst the small carrying capacity of the rolling stock and loss of time and labour in shifting goods at every break of gauge, were further serious causes of waste, which the internal commercial development of India daily made more apparent. Strategic needs also were clamant against the dangers of the narrow gauge in any general scheme of Indian defence. Yule's connection with the Public Works Department had long ceased ere the question of the gauges reached its most acute stage, but his interest and indirect participation in the conflict survived. In this matter a certain parental tenderness for a scheme which he had helped to originate, combined with his warm friendship for some of the principal supporters of the narrow gauge, seem to have influenced his views more than he himself was aware. Certainly his judgment in this matter was not impartial, although, as always in his case, it was absolutely sincere and not consciously biased.

In reference to Yule's services in the period following the Mutiny, Lord Canning's subsequent Minute of 1862 may here be fitly quoted. In this the Governor-General writes: "I have long ago recorded my opinion of the value of his services in 1858 and 1859, when with a crippled and overtaxed staff of Engineer officers, many of them young and inexperienced, the G.-G. had to provide rapidly for the accommodation of a vast English army, often in districts hitherto little known, and in which the authority of the Government was barely established, and always under circumstances of difficulty and urgency. I desire to repeat that the Queen's army in India was then greatly indebted to Lieut.-Colonel Yule's judgment, earnestness, and ability; and this to an extent very imperfectly understood by many of the officers who held commands in that army.

"Of the manner in which the more usual duties of his office have been discharged it is unnecessary for me to speak. It is, I believe, known and appreciated as well by the Home Government as by the Governor-General in Council."

In the spring of 1859 Yule felt the urgent need of a rest, and took the, at that time, most unusual step of coming home on three months' leave, which as the voyage then occupied a month each way, left him only one month at home. He was accompanied by his elder brother George, who had not been out of India for thirty years. The visit home of the two brothers was as bright and pleasant as it was brief, but does not call for further notice.

In 1860, Yule's health having again suffered, he took short leave to Java. His journal of this tour is very interesting, but space does not admit of quotation here. He embodied some of the results of his observations in a lecture he delivered on his return to Calcutta.

During these latter years of his service in India, Yule owed much happiness to the appreciative friendship of Lord Canning and the ready sympathy of Lady Canning. If he shared their tours in an official capacity, the intercourse was much more than official. The noble character of Lady Canning won from Yule such wholehearted chivalrous devotion as, probably, he felt for no other friend save, perhaps in after days, Sir Bartle Frere. And when her health failed, it was to Yule's special care that Lord Canning entrusted his wife during a tour in the Hills. Lady Canning was known to be very homesick, and one day as the party came in sight of some ilexes (the evergreen oak), Yule sought to cheer her by calling out pleasantly: "Look, Lady Canning! There are oaks!" "No, no, Yule, not oaks," cried Sir C. B. "They are (solemnly) IBEXES." "No, not Ibexes, Sir C., you mean SILEXES," cried Capt. ——, the A.D.C.; Lady Canning and Yule the while almost choking with laughter.

On another and later occasion, when the Governor-General's camp was peculiarly dull and stagnant, every one yawning and grumbling, Yule effected a temporary diversion by pretending to tap the telegraph wires, and circulating through camp, what purported to be, the usual telegraphic abstract of news brought to Bombay by the latest English mail. The news was of the most astounding character, with just enough air of probability, in minor details, to pass muster with a dull reader. The effect was all he could wish—or rather more—and there was a general flutter in the camp. Of course the Governor-General and one or two others were in the secret, and mightily relished the diversion. But this pleasant and cheering intercourse was drawing to its mournful close. On her way back from Darjeeling, in November, 1861, Lady Canning (not then in Yule's care) was unavoidably exposed to the malaria of a specially unhealthy season. A few days' illness followed, and on 18th November, 1861, she passed calmly to

"That remaining rest where night and tears are o'er."[47]

It was to Yule that Lord Canning turned in the first anguish of his loss, and on this faithful friend devolved the sad privilege of preparing her last resting-place. This may be told in the touching words of Lord Canning's letter to his only sister, written on the day of Lady Canning's burial, in the private garden at Barrackpoor[48]:—

"The funeral is over, and my own darling lies buried in a spot which I am sure she would have chosen of all others…. From the grave can be seen the embanked walk leading from the house to the river's edge, which she made as a landing-place three years ago, and from within 3 or 4 paces of the grave there is a glimpse of the terrace-garden and its balustrades, which she made near the house, and of the part of the grounds with which she most occupied herself…. I left Calcutta yesterday … and on arriving here, went to look at the precise spot chosen for the grave. I could see by the clear full moon … that it was exactly right. Yule was there superintending the workmen, and before daylight this morning a solid masonry vault had been completely finished.

"Bowie [Military Secretary] and Yule have done all this for me. It has all been settled since my poor darling died. She liked Yule. They used to discuss together her projects of improvement for this place, architecture, gardening, the Cawnpore monument, etc., and they generally agreed. He knew her tastes well…."

The coffin, brought on a gun-carriage from Calcutta, "was carried by twelve soldiers of the 6th Regiment (Queen's), the A.D.C.'s bearing the pall. There were no hired men or ordinary funeral attendants of any kind at any part of the ceremony, and no lookers-on…. Yule was the only person not of the household staff. Had others who had asked" to attend "been allowed to do so, the numbers would have been far too large.

"On coming near the end of the terrace walk I saw that the turf between the walk and the grave, and for several yards all round the grave, was strewed thick with palm branches and bright fresh-gathered flowers—quite a thick carpet. It was a little matter, but so exactly what she would have thought of."[49]

And, therefore, Yule thought of this for her! He also recorded the scene two days later in some graceful and touching lines, privately printed, from which the following may be quoted:

"When night lowered black, and the circling shroud Of storm rolled near, and stout hearts learned dismay; Not Hers! To her tried Lord a Light and Stay Even in the Earthquake and the palpable cloud Of those dark months; and when a fickle crowd Panted for blood and pelted wrath and scorn On him she loved, her courage never stooped: But when the clouds were driven, and the day Poured Hope and glorious Sunshine, she who had borne, The night with such strong Heart, withered and drooped, Our queenly lily, and smiling passed away. Now! let no fouling touch profane her clay, Nor odious pomps and funeral tinsels mar Our grief. But from our England's cannon car Let England's soldiers bear her to the tomb Prepared by loving hands. Before her bier Scatter victorious palms; let Rose's bloom Carpet its passage…."

Yule's deep sympathy in this time of sorrow strengthened the friendship Lord Canning had long felt for him, and when the time approached for the Governor-General to vacate his high office, he invited Yule, who was very weary of India, to accompany him home, where his influence would secure Yule congenial employment. Yule's weariness of India at this time was extreme. Moreover, after serving under such leaders as Lord Dalhousie and Lord Canning, and winning their full confidence and friendship, it was almost repugnant to him to begin afresh with new men and probably new measures, with which he might not be in accord. Indeed, some little clouds were already visible on the horizon. In these circumstances, it is not surprising that Yule, under an impulse of lassitude and impatience, when accepting Lord Canning's offer, also 'burnt his boats' by sending in his resignation of the service. This decision Yule took against the earnest advice of his anxious and devoted wife, and for a time the results justified all her misgivings. She knew well, from past experience, how soon Yule wearied in the absence of compulsory employment. And in the event of the life in England not suiting him, for even Lord Canning's good-will might not secure perfectly congenial employment for his talents, she knew well that his health and spirits would be seriously affected. She, therefore, with affectionate solicitude, urged that he should adopt the course previously followed by his friend Baker, that is, come home on furlough, and only send in his resignation after he saw clearly what his prospects of home employment were, and what he himself wished in the matter.

Lord Canning and Yule left Calcutta late in March, 1862; at Malta they parted never to meet again in this world. Lord Canning proceeded to England, and Yule joined his wife and child in Rome. Only a few weeks later, at Florence, came as a thunderclap the announcement of Lord Canning's unexpected death in London, on 17th June. Well does the present writer remember the day that fatal news came, and Yule's deep anguish, not assuredly for the loss of his prospects, but for the loss of a most noble and magnanimous friend, a statesman whose true greatness was, both then and since, most imperfectly realised by the country for which he had worn himself out.[50] Shortly after Yule went to England,[51] where he was cordially received by Lord Canning's representatives, who gave him a touching remembrance of his lost friend, in the shape of the silver travelling candlesticks, which had habitually stood on Lord Canning's writing-table.[52] But his offer to write Lord Canning's Life had no result, as the relatives, following the then recent example of the Hastings family, in the case of another great Governor-General, refused to revive discussion by the publication of any Memoir.

Nor did Yule find any suitable opening for employment in England, so after two or three months spent in visiting old friends, he rejoined his family in the Black Forest, where he sought occupation in renewing his knowledge of German. But it must be confessed that his mood both then and for long after was neither happy nor wholesome. The winter of 1862 was spent somewhat listlessly, partly in Germany and partly at the Hôtel des Bergues, Geneva, where his old acquaintance Colonel Tronchin was hospitably ready to open all doors. The picturesque figure of John Ruskin also flits across the scene at this time. But Yule was unoccupied and restless, and could neither enjoy Mr. Ruskin's criticism of his sketches nor the kindly hospitality of his Genevan hosts. Early in 1863 he made another fruitless visit to London, where he remained four or five months, but found no opening. Though unproductive of work, this year brought Yule official recognition of his services in the shape of the C.B., for which Lord Canning had long before recommended him.[53]

On rejoining his wife and child at Mornex in Savoy, Yule found the health of the former seriously impaired. During his absence, the kind and able English Doctor at Geneva had felt obliged to inform Mrs. Yule that she was suffering from disease of the heart, and that her life might end suddenly at any moment. Unwilling to add to Yule's anxieties, she made all necessary arrangements, but did not communicate this intelligence until he had done all he wished and returned, when she broke it to him very gently. Up to this year Mrs. Yule, though not strong and often ailing, had not allowed herself to be considered an invalid, but from this date doctor's orders left her no choice in the matter.[54]

About this time, Yule took in hand the first of his studies of mediaeval travellers. His translation of the Travels of Friar Jordanus was probably commenced earlier; it was completed during the leisurely journey by carriage between Chambéry and Turin, and the Dedication to Sir Bartle Frere written during a brief halt at Genoa, from which place it is dated. Travelling slowly and pleasantly by vetturino along the Riviera di Levante, the family came to Spezzia, then little more than a quiet village. A chance encounter with agreeable residents disposed Yule favourably towards the place, and a few days later he opened negotiations for land to build a house! Most fortunately for himself and all concerned these fell through, and the family continued their journey to Tuscany, and settled for the winter in a long rambling house, with pleasant garden, at Pisa, where Yule was able to continue with advantage his researches into mediaeval travel in the East. He paid frequent visits to Florence, where he had many pleasant acquaintances, not least among them Charles Lever ("Harry Lorrequer"), with whom acquaintance ripened into warm and enduring friendship. At Florence he also made the acquaintance of the celebrated Marchese Gino Capponi, and of many other Italian men of letters. To this winter of 1863-64 belongs also the commencement of a lasting friendship with the illustrious Italian historian, Villari, at that time holding an appointment at Pisa. Another agreeable acquaintance, though less intimate, was formed with John Ball, the well-known President of the Alpine Club, then resident at Pisa, and with many others, among whom the name of a very cultivated German scholar, H. Meyer, specially recurs to memory.

In the spring of 1864, Yule took a spacious and delightful old villa, situated in the highest part of the Bagni di Lucca,[55] and commanding lovely views over the surrounding chestnut-clad hills and winding river.

Here he wrote much of what ultimately took form in Cathay, and the Way Thither. It was this summer, too, that Yule commenced his investigations among the Venetian archives, and also visited the province of Friuli in pursuit of materials for the history of one of his old travellers, the Beato Odorico. At Verona—then still Austrian—he had the amusing experience of being arrested for sketching too near the fortifications. However, his captors had all the usual Austrian bonhomie and courtesy, and Yule experienced no real inconvenience. He was much more disturbed when, a day or two later, the old mother of one of his Venetian acquaintances insisted on embracing him on account of his supposed likeness to Garibaldi!

As winter approached, a warmer climate became necessary for Mrs. Yule, and the family proceeded to Sicily, landing at Messina in October, 1864. From this point, Yule made a very interesting excursion to the then little known group of the Lipari Islands, in the company of that eminent geologist, the late Robert Mallet, F.R.S., a most agreeable companion.

On Martinmas Day, the Yules reached the beautiful capital of Sicily, Palermo, which, though they knew it not, was to be their home—a very happy one—for nearly eleven years.

During the ensuing winter and spring, Yule continued the preparation of Cathay, but his appetite for work not being satisfied by this, he, when in London in 1865, volunteered to make an Index to the third decade of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, in exchange for a set of such volumes as he did not possess. That was long before any Index Society existed; but Yule had special and very strong views of his own as to what an Index should be, and he spared no labour to realise his ideal.[56] This proved a heavier task than he had anticipated, and he got very weary before the Index was completed.

In the spring of 1866, Cathay and the Way Thither appeared, and at once took the high place which it has ever since retained. In the autumn of the same year Yule's attention was momentarily turned in a very different direction by a local insurrection, followed by severe reprisals, and the bombardment of Palermo by the Italian Fleet. His sick wife was for some time under rifle as well as shell fire; but cheerfully remarking that "every bullet has its billet," she remained perfectly serene and undisturbed. It was the year of the last war with Austria, and also of the suppression of the Monastic Orders in Sicily; two events which probably helped to produce the outbreak, of which Yule contributed an account to The Times, and subsequently a more detailed one to the Quarterly Review.[57]

Yule had no more predilection for the Monastic Orders than most of his countrymen, but his sense of justice was shocked by the cruel incidence of the measure in many cases, and also by the harshness with which both it and the punishment of suspected insurgents was carried out. Cholera was prevalent in Italy that year, but Sicily, which had maintained stringent quarantine, entirely escaped until large bodies of troops were landed to quell the insurrection, when a devastating epidemic immediately ensued, and re-appeared in 1867. In after years, when serving on the Army Sanitary Committee at the India Office, Yule more than once quoted this experience as indicating that quarantine restrictions may, in some cases, have more value than British medical authority is usually willing to admit.

In 1867, on his return from London, Yule commenced systematic work on his long projected new edition of the Travels of Marco Polo. It was apparently in this year that the scheme first took definite form, but it had long been latent in his mind. The Public Libraries of Palermo afforded him much good material, whilst occasional visits to the Libraries of Venice, Florence, Paris, and London, opened other sources. But his most important channel of supply came from his very extensive private correspondence, extending to nearly all parts of Europe and many centres in Asia. His work brought him many new and valued friends, indeed too many to mention, but amongst whom, as belonging specially to this period, three honoured names must be recalled here: Commendatore (afterwards Baron) CRISTOFORO NEGRI, the large-hearted Founder and First President of the Geographical Society of Italy, from whom Yule received his first public recognition as a geographer, Commendatore GUGLIELMO BERCHET (affectionately nicknamed il Bello e Buono), ever generous in learned help, who became a most dear and honoured friend, and the Hon. GEORGE P. MARSH, U.S. Envoy to the Court of Italy, a man, both as scholar and friend, unequalled in his nation, perhaps almost unique anywhere.

Those who only knew Yule in later years, may like some account of his daily life at this time. It was his custom to rise fairly early; in summer he sometimes went to bathe in the sea,[58] or for a walk before breakfast; more usually he would write until breakfast, which he preferred to have alone. After breakfast he looked through his notebooks, and before ten o'clock was usually walking rapidly to the library where his work lay. He would work there until two or three o'clock, when he returned home, read the Times, answered letters, received or paid visits, and then resumed work on his book, which he often continued long after the rest of the household were sleeping. Of course his family saw but little of him under these circumstances, but when he had got a chapter of Marco into shape, or struck out some new discovery of interest, he would carry it to his wife to read. She always took great interest in his work, and he had great faith in her literary instinct as a sound as well as sympathetic critic.

The first fruits of Yule's Polo studies took the form of a review of Pauthier's edition of Marco Polo, contributed to the Quarterly Review in 1868.

In 1870 the great work itself appeared, and received prompt generous recognition by the grant of the very beautiful gold medal of the Geographical Society of Italy,[59] followed in 1872 by the award of the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, while the Geographical and Asiatic Societies of Paris, the Geographical Societies of Italy and Berlin, the Academy of Bologna, and other learned bodies, enrolled him as an Honorary Member.

Reverting to 1869, we may note that Yule, when passing through Paris early in the spring, became acquainted, through his friend M. Charles Maunoir, with the admirable work of exploration lately performed by Lieut. Francis Garnier of the French Navy. It was a time of much political excitement in France, the eve of the famous Plébiscite, and the importance of Garnier's work was not then recognised by his countrymen. Yule saw its value, and on arrival in London went straight to Sir Roderick Murchison, laid the facts before him, and suggested that no other traveller of the year had so good a claim to one of the two gold medals of the R.G.S. as this French naval Lieutenant. Sir Roderick was propitious, and accordingly in May the Patron's medal was assigned to Garnier, who was touchingly grateful to Yule; whilst the French Minister of Marine marked his appreciation of Yule's good offices by presenting him with the magnificent volumes commemorating the expedition.[60]

Yule was in Paris in 1871, immediately after the suppression of the Commune, and his letters gave interesting accounts of the extraordinary state of affairs then prevailing. In August, he served as President of the Geographical Section of the British Association at its Edinburgh meeting.

On his return to Palermo, he devoted himself specially to the geography of the Oxus region, and the result appeared next year in his introduction and notes to Wood's Journey. Soon after his return to Palermo, he became greatly interested in the plans, about which he was consulted, of an English church, the gift to the English community of two of its oldest members, Messrs Ingham and Whitaker. Yule's share in the enterprise gradually expanded, until he became a sort of volunteer clerk of the works, to the great benefit of his health, as this occupation during the next three years, whilst adding to his interests, also kept him longer in the open air than would otherwise have been the case. It was a real misfortune to Yule (and one of which he was himself at times conscious) that he had no taste for any out-of-door pursuits, neither for any form of natural science, nor for gardening, nor for any kind of sport nor games. Nor did he willingly ride.[61] He was always restless away from his books. There can be no doubt that want of sufficient air and exercise, reacting on an impaired liver, had much to do with Yule's unsatisfactory state of health and frequent extreme depression. There was no lack of agreeable and intelligent society at Palermo (society that the present writer recalls with cordial regard), to which every winter brought pleasant temporary additions, both English and foreign, the best of whom generally sought Yule's acquaintance. Old friends too were not wanting; many found their way to Palermo, and when such came, he was willing to show them hospitality and to take them excursions, and occasionally enjoyed these. But though the beautiful city and surrounding country were full of charm and interest, Yule was too much pre-occupied by his own special engrossing pursuits ever really to get the good of his surroundings, of which indeed he often seemed only half conscious.

By this time Yule had obtained, without ever having sought it, a distinct and, in some respects, quite unique position in geographical science. Although his Essay on the Geography of the Oxus Region (1872) received comparatively little public attention at home, it had yet made its mark once for all,[62] and from this time, if not earlier, Yule's high authority in all questions of Central Asian geography was generally recognised. He had long ere this, almost unconsciously, laid the broad foundations of that "Yule method," of which Baron von Richthofen has written so eloquently, declaring that not only in his own land, "but also in the literatures of France, Italy, Germany, and other countries, the powerful stimulating influence of the Yule method is visible."[63] More than one writer has indeed boldly compared Central Asia before Yule to Central Africa before Livingstone!

Yule had wrought from sheer love of the work and without expectation of public recognition, and it was therefore a great surprise as well as gratification to him, to find that the demand for his Marco Polo was such as to justify the appearance of a second edition only a few years after the first. The preparation of this enlarged edition, with much other miscellaneous work (see subjoined bibliography), and the superintendence of the building of the church already named, kept him fully occupied for the next three years.

Amongst the parerga and miscellaneous occupations of Yule's leisure hours in the period 1869-74, may be mentioned an interesting correspondence with Professor W. W. Skeat on the subject of William of Palerne and Sicilian examples of the Werwolf; the skilful analysis and exposure of Klaproth's false geography;[64] the purchase and despatch of Sicilian seeds and young trees for use in the Punjab, at the request of the Indian Forestry Department; translations (prepared for friends) of tracts on the cultivation of Sumach and the collection of Manna as practised in Sicily; also a number of small services rendered to the South Kensington Museum, at the request of the late Sir Henry Cole. These latter included obtaining Italian and Sicilian bibliographic contributions to the Science and Art Department's Catalogue of Books on Art, selecting architectural subjects to be photographed;[65] negotiating the purchase of the original drawings illustrative of Padre B. Gravina's great work on the Cathedral of Monreale; and superintending the execution of a copy in mosaic of the large mosaic picture (in the Norman Palatine Chapel, Palermo,) of the Entry of our Lord into Jerusalem.

In the spring of 1875, just after the publication of the second edition of Marco Polo, Yule had to mourn the loss of his noble wife. He was absent from Sicily at the time, but returned a few hours after her death on 30th April. She had suffered for many years from a severe form of heart disease, but her end was perfect peace. She was laid to rest, amid touching tokens of both public and private sympathy, in the beautiful camposanto on Monte Pellegrino. What her loss was to Yule only his oldest and closest friends were in a position to realise. Long years of suffering had impaired neither the soundness of her judgment nor the sweetness, and even gaiety, of her happy, unselfish disposition. And in spirit, as even in appearance, she retained to the very last much of the radiance of her youth. Nor were her intellectual gifts less remarkable. Few who had once conversed with her ever forgot her, and certainly no one who had once known her intimately ever ceased to love her.[66]

Shortly after this calamity, Yule removed to London, and on the retirement of his old friend, Sir William Baker, from the India Council early that autumn, Lord Salisbury at once selected him for the vacant seat. Nothing would ever have made him a party-man, but he always followed Lord Salisbury with conviction, and worked under him with steady confidence.

In 1877 Yule married, as his second wife, the daughter of an old friend,[67] a very amiable woman twenty years his junior, who made him very happy until her untimely death in 1881. From the time of his joining the India Council, his duties at the India Office of course occupied a great part of his time, but he also continued to do an immense amount of miscellaneous literary work, as may be seen by reference to the subjoined bibliography, (itself probably incomplete). In Council he invariably "showed his strong determination to endeavour to deal with questions on their own merits and not only by custom and precedent."[68] Amongst subjects in which he took a strong line of his own in the discussions of the Council, may be specially instanced his action in the matter of the cotton duties (in which he defended native Indian manufactures as against hostile Manchester interests); the Vernacular Press Act, the necessity for which he fully recognised; and the retention of Kandahar, for which he recorded his vote in a strong minute. In all these three cases, which are typical of many others, his opinion was overruled, but having been carefully and deliberately formed, it remained unaffected by defeat.

In all matters connected with Central Asian affairs, Yule's opinion always carried great weight; some of his most competent colleagues indeed preferred his authority in this field to that of even Sir Henry Rawlinson, possibly for the reason given by Sir M. Grant Duff, who has epigrammatically described the latter as good in Council but dangerous in counsel.[69]

Yule's courageous independence and habit of looking at all public questions by the simple light of what appeared to him right, yet without fads or doctrinairism, earned for him the respect of the successive Secretaries of State under whom he served, and the warm regard and confidence of his other colleagues. The value attached to his services in Council was sufficiently shown by the fact that when the period of ten years (for which members are usually appointed), was about to expire, Lord Hartington (now Duke of Devonshire), caused Yule's appointment to be renewed for life, under a special Act of Parliament passed for this purpose in 1885.

His work as a member of the Army Sanitary Committee, brought him into communication with Miss Florence Nightingale, a privilege which he greatly valued and enjoyed, though he used to say: "She is worse than a Royal Commission to answer, and, in the most gracious charming manner possible, immediately finds out all I don't know!" Indeed his devotion to the "Lady-in-Chief" was scarcely less complete than Kinglake's.

In 1880, Yule was appointed to the Board of Visitors of the Government Indian Engineering College at Cooper's Hill, a post which added to his sphere of interests without materially increasing his work. In 1882, he was much gratified by being named an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, more especially as it was to fill one of the two vacancies created by the deaths of Thomas Carlyle and Dean Stanley.

Yule had been President of the Hakluyt Society from 1877, and in 1885 was elected President also of the Royal Asiatic Society. He would probably also have been President of the Royal Geographical Society, but for an untoward incident. Mention has already been made of his constant determination to judge all questions by the simple touchstone of what he believed to be right, irrespective of personal considerations. It was in pursuance of these principles that, at the cost of great pain to himself and some misrepresentation, he in 1878 sundered his long connection with the Royal Geographical Society, by resigning his seat on their Council, solely in consequence of their adoption of what he considered a wrong policy. This severance occurred just when it was intended to propose him as President. Some years later, at the personal request of the late Lord Aberdare, a President in all respects worthy of the best traditions of that great Society, Yule consented to rejoin the Council, which he re-entered as a Vice-President.

In 1883, the University of Edinburgh celebrated its Tercentenary, when Yule was selected as one of the recipients of the honorary degree of LL.D. His letters from Edinburgh, on this occasion, give a very pleasant and amusing account of the festivity and of the celebrities he met. Nor did he omit to chronicle the envious glances cast, as he alleged, by some British men of science on the splendours of foreign Academic attire, on the yellow robes of the Sorbonne, and the Palms of the Institute of France! Pasteur was, he wrote, the one most enthusiastically acclaimed of all who received degrees.

I think it was about the same time that M. Renan was in England, and called upon Sir Henry Maine, Yule, and others at the India Office. On meeting just after, the colleagues compared notes as to their distinguished but unwieldy visitor. "It seems that le style n'est pas l'homme même in this instance," quoth "Ancient Law" to "Marco Polo." And here it may be remarked that Yule so completely identified himself with his favourite traveller that he frequently signed contributions to the public press as MARCUS PAULUS VENETUS or M.P.V. His more intimate friends also gave him the same sobriquet, and once, when calling on his old friend, Dr. John Brown (the beloved chronicler of Rab and his Friends), he was introduced by Dr. John to some lion-hunting American visitors as "our Marco Polo." The visitors evidently took the statement in a literal sense, and scrutinised Yule closely.[70]

In 1886 Yule published his delightful Anglo-Indian Glossary, with the whimsical but felicitous sub-title of Hobson-Jobson (the name given by the rank and file of the British Army in India to the religious festival in celebration of Hassan and Husaïn).

This Glossary was an abiding interest to both Yule and the present writer. Contributions of illustrative quotations came from most diverse and unexpected sources, and the arrival of each new word or happy quotation was quite an event, and gave such pleasure to the recipients as can only be fully understood by those who have shared in such pursuits. The volume was dedicated in affecting terms to his elder brother, Sir George Yule, who, unhappily, did not survive to see it completed.

In July 1885, the two brothers had taken the last of many happy journeys together, proceeding to Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. A few months later, on 13th January 1886, the end came suddenly to the elder, from the effects of an accident at his own door.[71]

It may be doubted if Yule ever really got over the shock of this loss, though he went on with his work as usual, and served that year as a Royal Commissioner on the occasion of the Indian and Colonial Exhibition of 1886.
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo and Rustichello

Postby admin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:30 am

Part 3 of 3

From 1878, when an accidental chill laid the foundations of an exhausting, though happily quite painless, malady, Yule's strength had gradually failed, although for several years longer his general health and energies still appeared unimpaired to a casual observer. The condition of public affairs also, in some degree, affected his health injuriously. The general trend of political events from 1880 to 1886 caused him deep anxiety and distress, and his righteous wrath at what he considered the betrayal of his country's honour in the cases of Frere, of Gordon, and of Ireland, found strong, and, in a noble sense, passionate expression in both prose and verse. He was never in any sense a party man, but he often called himself "one of Mr. Gladstone's converts," i.e. one whom Gladstonian methods had compelled to break with liberal tradition and prepossessions.

Nothing better expresses Yule's feeling in the period referred to than the following letter, written in reference to the R. E. Gordon Memorial,[72] but of much wider application: "Will you allow me an inch or two of space to say to my brother officers, 'Have nothing to do with the proposed Gordon Memorial.'

"That glorious memory is in no danger of perishing and needs no memorial. Sackcloth and silence are what it suggests to those who have guided the action of England; and Englishmen must bear the responsibility for that action and share its shame. It is too early for atoning memorials; nor is it possible for those who take part in them to dissociate themselves from a repulsive hypocrisy.

"Let every one who would fain bestow something in honour of the great victim, do, in silence, some act of help to our soldiers or their families, or to others who are poor and suffering.

"In later days our survivors or successors may look back with softened sorrow and pride to the part which men of our corps have played in these passing events, and Charles Gordon far in the front of all; and then they may set up our little tablets, or what not—not to preserve the memory of our heroes, but to maintain the integrity of our own record of the illustrious dead."

Happily Yule lived to see the beginning of better times for his country. One of the first indications of that national awakening was the right spirit in which the public, for the most part, received Lord Wolseley's stirring appeal at the close of 1888, and Yule was so much struck by the parallelism between Lord Wolseley's warning and some words of his own contained in the pseudo-Polo fragment (see above, end of Preface), that he sent Lord Wolseley the very last copy of the 1875 edition of Marco Polo, with a vigorous expression of his sentiments.

That was probably Yule's last utterance on a public question. The sands of life were now running low, and in the spring of 1889, he felt it right to resign his seat on the India Council, to which he had been appointed for life. On this occasion Lord Cross, then Secretary of State for India, successfully urged his acceptance of the K.C.S.I., which Yule had refused several years before.

In the House of Lords, Viscount Cross subsequently referred to his resignation in the following terms. He said: "A vacancy on the Council had unfortunately occurred through the resignation from ill-health of Sir Henry Yule, whose presence on the Council had been of enormous advantage to the natives of the country. A man of more kindly disposition, thorough intelligence, high-minded, upright, honourable character, he believed did not exist; and he would like to bear testimony to the estimation in which he was held, and to the services which he had rendered in the office he had so long filled."[73]

This year the Hakluyt Society published the concluding volume of Yule's last work of importance, the Diary of Sir William Hedges. He had for several years been collecting materials for a full memoir of his great predecessor in the domain of historical geography, the illustrious Rennell.[74] This work was well advanced as to preliminaries, but was not sufficiently developed for early publication at the time of Yule's death, and ere it could be completed its place had been taken by a later enterprise.

During the summer of 1889, Yule occupied much of his leisure by collecting and revising for re-issue many of his miscellaneous writings. Although not able to do much at a time, this desultory work kept him occupied and interested, and gave him much pleasure during many months. It was, however, never completed. Yule went to the seaside for a few weeks in the early summer, and subsequently many pleasant days were spent by him among the Surrey hills, as the guest of his old friends Sir Joseph and Lady Hooker. Of their constant and unwearied kindness, he always spoke with most affectionate gratitude. That autumn he took a great dislike to the English climate; he hankered after sunshine, and formed many plans, eager though indefinite, for wintering at Cintra, a place whose perfect beauty had fascinated him in early youth. But increasing weakness made a journey to Portugal, or even the South of France, an alternative of which he also spoke, very inexpedient, if not absolutely impracticable. Moreover, he would certainly have missed abroad the many friends and multifarious interests which still surrounded him at home. He continued to take drives, and occasionally called on friends, up to the end of November, and it was not until the middle of December that increasing weakness obliged him to take to his bed. He was still, however, able to enjoy seeing his friends—some to the very end, and he had a constant stream of visitors, mostly old friends, but also a few newer ones, who were scarcely less welcome. He also kept up his correspondence to the last, three attached brother R.E.'s, General Collinson, General Maclagan, and Major W. Broadfoot, taking it in turn with the present writer to act as his amanuensis.

On Friday, 27th December, Yule received a telegram from Paris, announcing his nomination that day as Corresponding Member of the Institute of France (Académie des Inscriptions), one of the few distinctions of any kind of which it can still be said that it has at no time lost any of its exalted dignity.

An honour of a different kind that came about the same time, and was scarcely less prized by him, was a very beautiful letter of farewell and benediction from Miss Florence Nightingale,[75] which he kept under his pillow and read many times. On the 28th, he dictated to the present writer his acknowledgment, also by telegraph, of the great honour done him by the Institute. The message was in the following words: "Reddo gratias, Illustrissimi Domini, ob honores tanto nimios quanto immeritos! Mihi robora deficiunt, vita collabitur, accipiatis voluntatem pro facto. Cum corde pleno et gratissimo moriturus vos, Illustrissimi Domini, saluto. YULE."

Sunday, 29th December, was a day of the most dense black fog, and he felt its oppression, but was much cheered by a visit from his ever faithful friend, Collinson, who, with his usual unselfishness, came to him that day at very great personal inconvenience.

On Monday, 30th December, the day was clearer, and Henry Yule awoke much refreshed, and in a peculiarly happy and even cheerful frame of mind. He said he felt so comfortable. He spoke of his intended book, and bade his daughter write about the inevitable delay to his publisher: "Go and write to John Murray," were indeed his last words to her. During the morning he saw some friends and relations, but as noon approached his strength flagged, and after a period of unconsciousness, he passed peacefully away in the presence of his daughter and of an old friend, who had come from Edinburgh to see him, but arrived too late for recognition. Almost at the same time that Yule fell asleep, his "stately message,"[76] was being read under the great Dome in Paris. Some two hours after Yule had passed away, F.-M. Lord Napier of Magdala, called on an errand of friendship, and at his desire was admitted to see the last of his early friend. When Lord Napier came out, he said to the present writer, in his own reflective way: "He looks as if he had just settled to some great work." With these suggestive words of the great soldier, who was so soon, alas, to follow his old friend to the work of another world, this sketch may fitly close.

* * * * *

The following excellent verses (of unknown authorship) on Yule's death, subsequently appeared in the Academy:[77]

"'Moriturus vos saluto'
Breathes his last the dying scholar—
Tireless student, brilliant writer;
He 'salutes his age' and journeys
To the Undiscovered Country.
There await him with warm welcome
All the heroes of old Story—
The Venetians, the Cà Polo,
Marco, Nicolo, Maffeo,
Odoric of Pordenone,
Ibn Batuta, Marignolli,
Benedict de Goës—'Seeking
Lost Cathay and finding Heaven.'
Many more whose lives he cherished
With the piety of learning;
Fading records, buried pages,
Failing lights and fires forgotten,
By his energy recovered,
By his eloquence re-kindled.
'Moriturus vos saluto'
Breathes his last the dying scholar,
And the far off ages answer:
Immortales te salutant. D. M."

The same idea had been previously embodied, in very felicitous language, by the late General Sir William Lockhart, in a letter which that noble soldier addressed to the present writer a few days after Yule's death. And Yule himself would have taken pleasure in the idea of those meetings with his old travellers, which seemed so certain to his surviving friends.[78]

He rests in the old cemetery at Tunbridge Wells, with his second wife, as he had directed. A great gathering of friends attended the first part of the burial service which was held in London on 3rd January, 1890. Amongst those present were witnesses of every stage of his career, from his boyish days at the High School of Edinburgh downwards. His daughter, of course, was there, led by the faithful, peerless friend who was so soon to follow him into the Undiscovered Country.[79] She and his youngest nephew, with two cousins and a few old friends, followed his remains over the snow to the graveside. The epitaph subsequently inscribed on the tomb was penned by Yule himself, but is by no means representative of his powers in a kind of composition in which he had so often excelled in the service of others. As a composer of epitaphs and other monumental inscriptions few of our time have surpassed, if any have equalled him, in his best efforts.


George Udny Yule, born at Inveresk in 1813, passed through Haileybury into the Bengal Civil Service, which he entered at the age of 18 years. For twenty-five years his work lay in Eastern Bengal. He gradually became known to the Government for his activity and good sense, but won a far wider reputation as a mighty hunter, alike with hog-spear and double barrel. By 1856 the roll of his slain tigers exceeded four hundred, some of them of special fame; after that he continued slaying his tigers, but ceased to count them. For some years he and a few friends used annually to visit the plains of the Brahmaputra, near the Garrow Hills—an entirely virgin country then, and swarming with large game. Yule used to describe his once seeing seven rhinoceroses at once on the great plain, besides herds of wild buffalo and deer of several kinds. One of the party started the theory that Noah's Ark had been shipwrecked there! In those days George Yule was the only man to whom the Maharajah of Nepaul, Sir Jung Bahadur, conceded leave to shoot within his frontier.

Yule was first called from his useful obscurity in 1856. The year before, the Sonthals in insurrection disturbed the long unbroken peace of the Delta. These were a numerous non-Aryan, uncivilised, but industrious race, driven wild by local mismanagement, and the oppressions of Hindoo usurers acting through the regulation courts. After the suppression of their rising, Yule was selected by Sir F. Halliday, who knew his man, to be Commissioner of the Bhagulpoor Division, containing some six million souls, and embracing the hill country of the Sonthals. He obtained sanction to a code for the latter, which removed these people entirely from the Court system, and its tribe of leeches, and abolished all intermediaries between the Sahib and the Sonthal peasant. Through these measures, and his personal influence, aided by picked assistants, he was able to effect, with extraordinary rapidity, not only their entire pacification, but such a beneficial change in their material condition, that they have risen from a state of barbarous penury to comparative prosperity and comfort.

George Yule was thus engaged when the Mutiny broke out, and it soon made itself felt in the districts under him. To its suppression within his limits, he addressed himself with characteristic vigour. Thoroughly trusted by every class—by his Government, by those under him, by planters and by Zemindars—he organised a little force, comprising a small detachment of the 5th Regiment, a party of British sailors, mounted volunteers from the districts, etc., and of this he became practically the captain. Elephants were collected from all quarters to spare the legs of his infantry and sailors; while dog-carts were turned into limbers for the small three-pounders of the seamen. And with this little army George Yule scoured the Trans-Gangetic districts, leading it against bodies of the Mutineers, routing them upon more than one occasion, and out-manoeuvring them by his astonishing marches, till he succeeded in driving them across the Nepaul frontier. No part of Bengal was at any time in such danger, and nowhere was the danger more speedily and completely averted.

After this Yule served for two or three years as Chief Commissioner of Oudh, where in 1862 he married Miss Pemberton, the daughter of a very able father, and the niece of Sir Donald MacLeod, of honoured and beloved memory. Then for four or five years he was Resident at Hyderabad, where he won the enduring friendship of Sir Salar Jung. "Everywhere he showed the same characteristic firm but benignant justice. Everywhere he gained the lasting attachment of all with whom he had intimate dealings—except tigers and scoundrels."

Many years later, indignant at the then apparently supine attitude of the British Government in the matter of the Abyssinian captives, George Yule wrote a letter (necessarily published without his name, as he was then on the Governor-General's Council), to the editor of an influential Indian paper, proposing a private expedition should be organised for their delivery from King Theodore, and inviting the editor (Dr. George Smith) to open a list of subscriptions in his paper for this purpose, to which Yule offered to contribute £2000 by way of beginning. Although impracticable in itself, it is probable that, as in other cases, the existence of such a project may have helped to force the Government into action. The particulars of the above incident were printed by Dr. Smith in his Memoir of the Rev. John Wilson, but are given here from memory.

From Hyderabad he was promoted in 1867 to the Governor-General's Council, but his health broke down under the sedentary life, and he retired and came home in 1869.

After some years of country life in Scotland, where he bought a small property, he settled near his brother in London, where he was a principal instrument in enabling Sir George Birdwood to establish the celebration of Primrose Day (for he also was "one of Mr. Gladstone's converts"). Sir George Yule never sought 'London Society' or public employment, but in 1877 he was offered and refused the post of Financial Adviser to the Khedive under the Dual control. When his feelings were stirred he made useful contributions to the public press, which, after his escape from official trammels, were always signed. The very last of these (St. James Gazette, 24th February 1885) was a spirited protest against the snub administered by the late Lord Derby, as Secretary of State, to the Colonies, when they had generously offered assistance in the Soudan campaign. He lived a quiet, happy, and useful life in London, where he was the friend and unwearied helper of all who needed help. He found his chief interests in books and flowers, and in giving others pleasure. Of rare unselfishness and sweet nature, single in mind and motive, fearing God and knowing no other fear, he was regarded by a large number of people with admiring affection. He met his death by a fall on the frosty pavement at his door, in the very act of doing a kindness. An interesting sketch of Sir George Yule's Indian career, by one who knew him thoroughly, is to be found in Sir Edward Braddon's Thirty Years of Shikar. An account of his share in the origin of Primrose Day appeared in the St. James' Gazette during 1891.



[1] There is a vague tradition that these Yules descend from the same stock as the Scandinavian family of the same name, which gave Denmark several men of note, including the great naval hero Niels Juel. The portraits of these old Danes offer a certain resemblance of type to those of their Scots namesakes, and Henry Yule liked to play with the idea, much in the same way that he took humorous pleasure in his reputed descent from Michael Scott, the Wizard! (This tradition was more historical, however, and stood thus: Yule's great grandmother was a Scott of Ancrum, and the Scotts of Ancrum had established their descent from Sir Michael Scott of Balwearie, reputed to be the Wizard.) Be their origin what it may, Yule's forefathers had been already settled on the Border hills for many generations, when in the time of James VI. they migrated to the lower lands of East Lothian, where in the following reign they held the old fortalice of Fentoun Tower of Nisbet of Dirleton. When Charles II. empowered his Lord Lyon to issue certificates of arms (in place of the Lyon records removed and lost at sea by the Cromwellian Government), these Yules were among those who took out confirmation of arms, and the original document is still in the possession of the head of the family.

Though Yules of sorts are still to be found in Scotland, the present writer is the only member of the Fentoun Tower family now left in the country, and of the few remaining out of it most are to be found in the Army List.

[2] The literary taste which marked William Yule probably came to him from his grandfather, the Rev. James Rose, Episcopal Minister of Udny, in Aberdeenshire. James Rose, a non-jurant (i.e. one who refused to acknowledge allegiance to the Hanoverian King), was a man of devout, large, and tolerant mind, as shown by writings still extant. His father, John Rose, was the younger son of the 14th Hugh of Kilravock. He married Margaret Udny of Udny, and was induced by her to sell his pleasant Ross-shire property and invest the proceeds in her own bleak Buchan. When George Yule (about 1759) brought home Elizabeth Rose as his wife, the popular feeling against the Episcopal Church was so strong and bitter in Lothian, that all the men of the family— themselves Presbyterians—accompanied Mrs. Yule as a bodyguard on the occasion of her first attendance at the Episcopal place of worship. Years after, when dissensions had arisen in the Church of Scotland, Elizabeth Yule succoured and protected some of the dissident Presbyterian ministers from their persecutors.

[3] General Collinson in Royal Engineers' Journal 1st Feb. 1890. The gifted author of this excellent sketch himself passed away on 22nd April 1902.

[4] The grave thoughtful face of William Yule was conspicuous in the picture of a Durbar (by an Italian artist, but not Zoffany), which long hung on the walls of the Nawab's palace at Lucknow. This picture disappeared during the Mutiny of 1857.

[5] Colonel Udny Yule, C.B. "When he joined, his usual nomen and cognomen puzzled the staff-sergeant at Fort-William, and after much boggling on the cadet parade, the name was called out Whirly Wheel, which produced no reply, till some one at a venture shouted, 'sick in hospital.'" (Athenaeum, 24th Sept. 1881.) The ship which took Udny Yule to India was burnt at sea. After keeping himself afloat for several hours in the water, he was rescued by a passing ship and taken back to the Mauritius, whence, having lost everything but his cadetship, he made a fresh start for India, where he and William for many years had a common purse. Colonel Udny Yule commanded a brigade at the Siege of Cornelis (1811), which gave us Java, and afterwards acted as Resident under Sir Stamford Raffles. Forty-five years after the retrocession of Java, Henry Yule found the memory of his uncle still cherished there.

[6] Article on the Oriental Section of the British Museum Library in Athenaeum, 24th Sept. 1881. Major Yule's Oriental Library was presented by his sons to the British Museum a few years after his death.

[7] It may be amusing to note that he was considered an almost dangerous person because he read the Scotsman newspaper!

[8] Athenaeum, 24th Sept. 1881. A gold chain given by the last Dauphiness is in the writer's possession.

[9] Dr. John Yule (b. 176-d. 1827), a kindly old savant. He was one of the earliest corresponding members of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and the author of some botanical tracts.

[10] According to Brunet, by Lucas Pennis after Antonio Tempesta.

[11] Concerning some little-known Travellers in the East. ASIATIC QUARTERLY, vol. v. (1888).

[12] William Yule died in 1839, and rests with his parents, brothers, and many others of his kindred, in the ruined chancel of the ancient Norman Church of St. Andrew, at Gulane, which had been granted to the Yule family as a place of burial by the Nisbets of Dirleton, in remembrance of the old kindly feeling subsisting for generations between them and their tacksmen in Fentoun Tower. Though few know its history, a fragrant memorial of this wise and kindly scholar is still conspicuous in Edinburgh. The magnificent wall-flower that has, for seventy summers, been a glory of the Castle rock, was originally all sown by the patient hand of Major Yule, the self-sowing of each subsequent year, of course, increasing the extent of bloom. Lest the extraordinarily severe spring of 1895 should have killed off much of the old stock, another (but much more limited) sowing on the northern face of the rock was in that year made by his grand-daughter, the present writer, with the sanction and active personal help of the lamented General (then Colonel) Andrew Wauchope of Niddrie Marischal. In Scotland, where the memory of this noble soldier is so greatly revered, some may like to know this little fact. May the wall-flower of the Castle rock long flourish a fragrant memorial of two faithful soldiers and true-hearted Scots.

[13] Obituary notice of Yule, by Gen. R. Maclagan, R.E. Proceedings, R.G. S. 1890.

[14] This was the famous "Grey Dinner," of which The Shepherd made grim fun in the Noctes.

[15] Probably the specimen from South America, of which an account was published in 1833.

[16] Rawnsley, Memoir of Harvey Goodwin, Bishop of Carlisle.

[17] Biog. Sketch of Yule, by C. Trotter, Proceedings, R.S.E. vol. xvii.

[18] Biog. Sketch of Yule, by C. Trotter, Proceedings, R.S.E. vol. xvii.

[19] After leaving the army, Yule always used this sword when wearing uniform.

[20] The Engineer cadets remained at Addiscombe a term (= 6 months) longer than the Artillery cadets, and as the latter were ordinarily gazetted full lieutenants six months after passing out, unfair seniority was obviated by the Engineers receiving the same rank on passing out of Addiscombe.

[21] Yule, in Memoir of General Becher.

[22] Collinson's Memoir of Yule in R. E. Journal.

[23] The picture was subscribed for by his brother officers in the corps, and painted in 1880 by T. B. Wirgman. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881. A reproduction of the artist's etching from it forms the frontispiece of this volume.

[24] In Memoir of Gen. John Becher.

[25] General Patrick Yule (b. 1795, d. 1873) was a thorough soldier, with the repute of being a rigid disciplinarian. He was a man of distinguished presence, and great charm of manner to those whom he liked, which were by no means all. The present writer holds him in affectionate remembrance, and owes to early correspondence with him much of the information embodied in preceding notes. He served on the Canadian Boundary Commission of 1817, and on the Commission of National Defence of 1859, was prominent in the Ordnance Survey, and successively Commanding R.E. in Malta and Scotland. He was Engineer to Sir C. Fellows' Expedition, which gave the nation the Lycian Marbles, and while Commanding R.E. in Edinburgh, was largely instrumental in rescuing St. Margaret's Chapel in the Castle from desecration and oblivion. He was a thorough Scot, and never willingly tolerated the designation N.B. on even a letter. He had cultivated tastes, and under a somewhat austere exterior he had a most tender heart. When already past sixty, he made a singularly happy marriage to a truly good woman, who thoroughly appreciated him. He was the author of several Memoirs on professional subjects. He rests in St. Andrew's, Gulane.

[26] Collinson's Memoir of Yule.

[27] Notes on the Iron of the Khasia Hills and Notes on the Khasia Hills and People both in Journal of the R. Asiatic Society of Bengal, vols. xi. and xiii.

[28] Mr. (afterwards Sir) George Clerk, Political Officer with the expedition. Was twice Governor of Bombay and once Governor of the Cape: "A diplomatist of the true English stamp—undaunted in difficulties and resolute to maintain the honour of his country." (Sir H. B. Edwardes, Life of Henry Lawrence, i. 267). He died in 1889.

[29] Note by Yule, communicated by him to Mr. R. B. Smith and printed by the latter in Life of Lord Lawrence.

[30] And when nearing his own end, it was to her that his thoughts turned most constantly.

[31] Yule and Maclagan's Memoir of Sir W. Baker.

[32] Maclagan's Memoir of Yule, P.R.G.S., Feb. 1890.

[33] On hearing this, Yule said to him, "Your story is quite correct except in one particular; you understated the amount of the fine."

[34] Yule and Maclagan's Memoir of Baker.

[35] It would appear that Major Yule had presented the Rodgers with some specimens of Indian scissors, probably as suggestions in developing that field of export. Scissors of elaborate design, usually damascened or gilt, used to form a most important item in every set of Oriental writing implements. Even long after adhesive envelopes had become common in European Turkey, their use was considered over familiar, if not actually disrespectful, for formal letters, and there was a particular traditional knack in cutting and folding the special envelope for each missive, which was included in the instruction given by every competent Khoja as the present writer well remembers in the quiet years that ended with the disasters of 1877.

[36] Collinson's Memoir of Yule, Royal Engineer Journal.

[37] Extract from Preface to Ava, edition of 1858.

[38] The present whereabouts of this picture is unknown to the writer. It was lent to Yule in 1889 by Lord Dalhousie's surviving daughter (for whom he had strong regard and much sympathy), and was returned to her early in 1890, but is not named in the catalogue of Lady Susan's effects, sold at Edinburgh in 1898 after her death. At that sale the present writer had the satisfaction of securing for reverent preservation the watch used throughout his career by the great Marquess.

[39] Now in the writer's possession. It was for many years on exhibition in the Edinburgh and South Kensington Museums.

[40] Article by Yule on Lord Lawrence, Quarterly Review for April, 1883.

[41] Messrs. Smith & Elder.

[42] Preface to Narrative of a Mission to the Court of Ava. Before these words were written, Yule had had the sorrow of losing his elder brother Robert, who had fallen in action before Delhi (19th June, 1857), whilst in command of his regiment, the 9th Lancers. Robert Abercromby Yule (born 1817) was a very noble character and a fine soldier. He had served with distinction in the campaigns in Afghanistan and the Sikh Wars, and was the author of an excellent brief treatise on Cavalry Tactics. He had a ready pencil and a happy turn for graceful verse. In prose his charming little allegorical tale for children, entitled The White Rhododendron, is as pure and graceful as the flower whose name it bears. Like both his brothers, he was at once chivalrous and devout, modest, impulsive, and impetuous. No officer was more beloved by his men than Robert Yule, and when some one met them carrying back his covered body from the field and enquired of the sergeant: "Who have you got there?" the reply was: "Colonel Yule, and better have lost half the regiment, sir." It was in the chivalrous effort to extricate some exposed guns that he fell. Some one told afterwards that when asked to go to the rescue, he turned in the saddle, looked back wistfully on his regiment, well knowing the cost of such an enterprise, then gave the order to advance and charge. "No stone marks the spot where Yule went down, but no stone is needed to commemorate his valour" (Archibald Forbes, in Daily News, 8th Feb. 1876). At the time of his death Colonel R. A. Yule had been recommended for the C.B. His eldest son, Colonel J. H. Yule, C.B., distinguished himself in several recent campaigns (on the Burma-Chinese frontier, in Tirah, and South Africa).

[43] Baker went home in November, 1857, but did not retire until the following year.

[44] Nothing was more worthy of respect in Yule's fine character than the energy and success with which he mastered his natural temperament in the last ten years of his life, when few would have guessed his original fiery disposition.

[45] Not without cause did Sir J. P. Grant officially record that "to his imperturbable temper the Government of India owed much."

[46] Yule's colour-blindness was one of the cases in which Dalton, the original investigator of this optical defect, took special interest. At a later date (1859) he sent Yule, through Professor Wilson, skeins of coloured silks to name. Yule's elder brother Robert had the same peculiarity of sight, and it was also present in two earlier and two later generations of their mother's family—making five generations in all. But in no case did it pass from parent to child, always passing in these examples, by a sort of Knight's move, from uncle to nephew. Another peculiarity of Yule's more difficult to describe was the instinctive association of certain architectural forms or images with the days of the week. He once, and once only (in 1843), met another person, a lady who was a perfect stranger, with the same peculiarity. About 1878-79 he contributed some notes on this obscure subject to one of the newspapers, in connection with the researches of Mr. Francis Galton, on Visualisation, but the particulars are not now accessible.

[47] From Yule's verses on her grave.

[48] Lord Canning to Lady Clanricarde: Letter dated Barrackpoor, 19th Nov. 1861, 7 A.M., printed in Two Noble Lives, by A. J. C. Hare, and here reproduced by Mr. Hare's permission.

[49] Lord Canning's letter to Lady Clanricarde. He gave to Yule Lady Canning's own silver drinking-cup, which she had constantly used. It is carefully treasured, with other Canning and Dalhousie relics, by the present writer.

[50] Many years later Yule wrote of Lord Canning as follows: "He had his defects, no doubt. He had not at first that entire grasp of the situation that was wanted at such a time of crisis. But there is a virtue which in these days seems unknown to Parliamentary statesmen in England—Magnanimity. Lord Canning was an English statesman, and he was surpassingly magnanimous. There is another virtue which in Holy Writ is taken as the type and sum of all righteousness—Justice—and he was eminently just. The misuse of special powers granted early in the Mutiny called for Lord Canning's interference, and the consequence was a flood of savage abuse; the violence and bitterness of which it is now hard to realise." (Quarterly Review, April, 1883, p. 306.)

[51] During the next ten years Yule continued to visit London annually for two or three months in the spring or early summer.

[52] Now in the writer's possession. They appear in the well-known portrait of Lord Canning reading a despatch.

[53] Lord Canning's recommendation had been mislaid, and the India Office was disposed to ignore it. It was Lord Canning's old friend and Eton chum, Lord Granville, who obtained this tardy justice for Yule, instigated thereto by that most faithful friend, Sir Roderick Murchison.

[54] I cannot let the mention of this time of lonely sickness and trial pass without recording here my deep gratitude to our dear and honoured friend, John Ruskin. As my dear mother stood on the threshold between life and death at Mornex that sad spring, he was untiring in all kindly offices of friendship. It was her old friend, Principal A. J. Scott (then eminent, now forgotten), who sent him to call. He came to see us daily when possible, sometimes bringing MSS. of Rossetti and others to read aloud (and who could equal his reading?), and when she was too ill for this, or himself absent, he would send not only books and flowers to brighten the bare rooms of the hillside inn (then very primitive), but his own best treasures of Turner and W. Hunt, drawings and illuminated missals. It was an anxious solace; and though most gratefully enjoyed, these treasures were never long retained.

[55] Villa Mansi, nearly opposite the old Ducal Palace. With its private chapel, it formed three sides of a small place or court.

[56] He also at all times spared no pains to enforce that ideal on other index-makers, who were not always grateful for his sound doctrine!

[57] He saw a good deal of the outbreak when taking small comforts to a friend, the Commandent of the Military School, who was captured and imprisioned by the insurgents.

[58] After 1869 he discontinued sea-bathing.

[59] This was Yule's first geographical honour, but he had been elected into the Athenaeum Club, under "Rule II.," in January, 1867.

[60] Garnier took a distinguished part in the Defence of Paris in 1870-71, after which he resumed his naval service in the East, where he was killed in action. His last letter to Yule contained the simple announcement "J'ai pris Hanoï" a modest terseness of statement worthy of the best naval traditions.

[61] One year the present writer, at her mother's desire, induced him to take walks of 10 to 12 miles with her, but interesting and lovely as the scenery was, he soon wearied for his writing-table (even bringing his work with him), and thus little permanent good was effected. And it was just the same afterwards in Scotland, where an old Highland gillie, describing his experience of the Yule brothers, said: "I was liking to take out Sir George, for he takes the time to enjoy the hills, but (plaintively), the Kornel is no good, for he's just as restless as a water-wagtail!" If there be any mal de l'écritoire corresponding to mal du pays, Yule certainly had it.

[62] The Russian Government in 1873 paid the same work the very practical compliment of circulating it largely amongst their officers in Central Asia.

[63] "Auch in den Literaturen von Frankreich, Italien, Deutschland und andere Ländern ist der mächtig treibende Einfluss der Yuleschen Methode, welche wissenschaftliche Grundlichkeit mit anmuthender Form verbindet, bemerkbar." (Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin, Band XVII. No. 2.)

[64] This subject is too lengthy for more than cursory allusion here, but the patient analytic skill and keen venatic instinct with which Yule not only proved the forgery of the alleged Travels of Georg Ludwig von —— (that had been already established by Lord Strangford, whose last effort it was, and Sir Henry Rawlinson), but step by step traced it home to the arch-culprit Klaproth, was nothing less than masterly.

[65] This is probably the origin of the odd misstatement as to Yule occupying himself at Palermo with photography, made in the delightful Reminiscences of the late Colonel Balcarres Ramsay. Yule never attempted photography after 1852.

[66] She was a woman of fine intellect and wide reading; a skilful musician, who also sang well, and a good amateur artist in the style of Aug. Delacroix (of whom she was a favourite pupil). Of French and Italian she had a thorough and literary mastery, and how well she knew her own language is shown by the sound and pure English of a story she published in early life, under the pseudonym of Max Lyle (Fair Oaks, or The Experiences of Arnold Osborne, M.D., 2 vols., 1856). My mother was partly of Highland descent on both sides, and many of her fine qualities were very characteristic of that race. Before her marriage she took an active part in many good works, and herself originated the useful School for the Blind at Bath, in a room which she hired with her pocket-money, where she and her friend Miss Elwin taught such of the blind poor as they could gather together.

In the tablet which he erected to her memory in the family burial-place of St. Andrew's, Gulane, her husband described her thus:—"A woman singular in endowments, in suffering, and in faith; to whom to live was Christ, to die was gain."

[67] Mary Wilhelmina, daughter of F. Skipwith, Esq., B.C.S.

[68] Collinson's Memoir of Yule.

[69] See Notes from a Diary, 1888-91.

[70] The identification was not limited to Yule, for when travelling in Russia many years ago, the present writer was introduced by an absent-minded Russian savant to his colleagues as Mademoiselle Marco Paulovna!

[71] See Note on Sir George Yule's career at the end of this Memoir.

[72] Addressed to the Editor, Royal Engineers' Journal, who did not, however, publish it.

[73] Debate of 27th August, 1889, as reported in The Times of 28th August.

[74] Yule had published a brief but very interesting Memoir of Major Rennell in the R. E. Journal in 1881. He was extremely proud of the circumstance that Rennell's surviving grand-daughter presented to him a beautiful wax medallion portrait of the great geographer. This wonderfully life-like presentment was bequeathed by Yule to his friend Sir Joseph Hooker, who presented it to the Royal Society.

[75] Knowing his veneration for that noble lady, I had written to tell her of his condition, and to ask her to give him this last pleasure of a few words. The response was such as few but herself could write. This letter was not to be found after my father's death, and I can only conjecture that it must either have been given away by himself (which is most improbable), or was appropriated by some unauthorised outsider.

[76] So Sir M. E. Grant Duff well calls it.

[77] Academy, 19th March, 1890.

[78] He was much pleased, I remember, by a letter he once received from a kindly Franciscan friar, who wrote: "You may rest assured that the Beato Odorico will not forget all you have done for him."

[79] F.-M. Lord Napier of Magdala, died 14th January, 1890.

[80] This notice includes the greater part of an article written by my father, and published in the St. James' Gazette of 18th January, 1886, but I have added other details from personal recollection and other sources.—A. F. Y.
Site Admin
Posts: 33223
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Ancien Regime

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests