140 THE TRAVELS OF
every third or fourth year he goeth with his people to this forest. On such occasions they first surround the whole forest with beaters, and let slip the dogsl and the hawks trained to this sport, and then gradually closing in upon the game, they drive it to a certain fine open spot that there is in the middle of the wood. Here there becomes massed together an extraordinary multitude of wild beasts, such as lions, wild oxen, bears, stags, and a great variety of-others, and all in a state of the greatest alarm. For there is such a prodigious noise and uproar raised by the birds and the dogs that have been let slip into the wood, that a person cannot hear what his neighbour says ; and all the [unfortunate] 2 wild beasts . quiver with terror at the disturbance.3 And when they have all been driven together into that open glade, the Great Khan comes up on three elephants4 and shoots five arrows at the game. As soon as he has shot, the whole of his retinue do likewise. And when all have shot their. arrows (each man's arrows having a token by which they may be discerned), then the Great Emperor causeth to be called out "Syo!" which is to say as it were Quarter!5 to the beasts (to wit) that have been driven from the wood. Then [the huntsmen sound the recall, and call in the dogs and hawks from the prey] 2 the animals which have escaped with life are allowed to go back into the forest, and all the barons
1 MIN. RAM. And lions and lionesses and other tamed beasts trained to this business."
2 MIN. RAM.
3 ID. "Like slender reeds shaken by the strong and raging Boreas or Aquilo, both because of what is passing before their eyes, and from their remembrance of being so entrapped before ; and so they are near to die of fear."
4 On some kind of litter carried by the elephants it may be supposed. Elephants are rather out of their latitude at Pekin; and were not in use by the Mongols, as Polo tells, until Kublai's capture of a number in the war with Mien or Ana. A few continued to be kept at the Chinese Conrt at Timkowski's visit in 1821; I know not if any are still maintained.
5 May possibly be meant for Pers. Sheo, Este ! Desine ! (Meninski), or Turkish Sti,o, Siste ! (lb.)