THE EASTERN PARTS OF THE WORLD
FRIAR ODORIC THE BOHEMIAN, OF FRIIILI, IN THE
PROVINCE OF SAINT ANTHONY.
ALBEIT many other stories of sundry kinds concerning the customs and peculiarities of different parts of this world have been related by a variety of persons, yet would I have you to know that I also, Friar Odoric of Friuli, can truly rehearse many great marvels which I did hear and see when, according to my wish, I crossed the sea and visited the countries of the unbelievers in order to win some harvest of souls [and this I did with the leave of my superiors, who have power to grant it by the rules of our Order.]'
[Wherefore I purpose to relate briefly and compendiously under sundry chapters of this little work a multitude of the things which I have seen and heard in the East and the North and the South. Of all I purpose not to speak, though I shall be the first to tell of many which will seem to a number of people past belief. Nor, indeed, could I myself have believed these things, had I not heard them with my own ears or seen the like myself. Fourteen years and a half, in the habit of Francis, that blessed confessor of