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0296 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 296 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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which the other versions introduce as part of the dictated narrative. The second postscript relates briefly the circumstances of the traveller's death.

The second type is that from which Venni published, and is that of the best existing MSS. both Latin and Italian, so far as I have seen them. It differs from the first in the points just noticed, and ends with a postscript, in which William of Solagna declares himself to have been the amanuensis of the traveller, whilst he, or some other, also records Odoric's death.

The third type is that of' the MSS. in the British Museum (Nos. 1 and 2 below), of which one was published and translated by Hakluyt. These MSS. also contain the postscript of W. of Solagna, but they differ a great deal from those of the two preceding types in expression, often. substituting passages of more diffuse phraseology, which are in fact glosses on the narrative, but are often quite erroneous in the turn they give to the meaning.

The fourth type is that which appears in what is quoted hereafter as the Minor Ranzusian version. For Ramusio, or the editor who took up his work after his death,' without preface or explanation gives two versions of Odoric's narrative, the second being much shorter than the first, and exhibiting some remarkable differences from it, whilst at the same time it contains some additional touches which carry with them a strong stamp of genuineness. I know of only two copies partaking of this type besides that printed in Ramusio, the original of which seems not to have been traced. These two are both at Florence, one a truncated copy in the Riccardian library, and the other in the Palatine ; both in Italian. This last has some remarkable differences from the version of Ramusio, and is much fuller in the latter part, as if completed from a version of the first type.

The extracts given below from Latin copies of the first three types, and from a most careful Italian MS. at Venice, will

1 Ramusio himself died in 1557, after having published only the first (1550) and third (1556) volumes of his Navigationi. The second volume came out under the editorship of the printer, Thomas Giunti, in 1559, but Odoric did not appear therein till the publication of the second edition in 1574. (D'Avezac in Rec. de Voyages, iv.)