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0203 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 203 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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He had guards placed without delay at all the passes which went towards the lands of Naian R

and Caidu, that they should not know what he intended to do; and then he immediately ordered

that the men who were round the city of Cambaluc by the space of ten days journeys should be

gathered together with the greatest haste.. And he had assembled quite 360000 horsemen VA

& quite i00000 footmen of those who were near the city of Cambaluc. And for this P

reason did he make up so few people, because these were of his armies which were

near to him, because he wished to attack the enemy suddenly and unexpectedly. His other P

armies, which were twelve, which were a very vast number, kept continually to guard R

the provinces of Catai, •were ten times as many, 6- were so far away at war to conquer v

lands and cities & were scattered in many directions at his command that he could not v FB

have had them in time and on the spot. It would have required the time of thirty or R

forty days journeys, and the preparation would have been known, and Caidu and Naian

would have joined together and • either withdrawn altogether or • retired into strong positions P R

of their own choice. But he wished with speed (which is the companion of victory) to prevent

the preparations of Naian and to find him alone, when he would be able to conquer him better

than when in company. And because in the present place it is convenient to say something of

the armies of the great Kaan, it must be known that in all the provinces of Catai, of Mangi,

and in all the rest of his dominion are found many unfaitl ful and disloyal persons who would

rebel against their lord if they could; and therefore it is necessary in every province where

there are large cities and many people to keep armies there, which stay in the country four or

five miles away from the city, which cannot have gates or walls to prevent them from entering

in whenever they please. And the great Kaan makes these armies change every two years, and

he does the same with the captains who command them; and with this curb the people stay

quiet, and cannot move nor make any change. Besides the pay which the great Kaan always

gives them from the revenues of the provinces, these armies live on an infinite number of flocks

which they have and on the milk which they send to the cities to sell, and so buy the things

which they need. And they are scattered in Afferent places thirty, forty, &' sixty days journeys

distant. For if he had made up the half of all his force he would make up as many R

knights on horseback as he would wish,' so great a multitude that it would be

an impossible thing to believe and to hear. And these 2600002 horsemen & infinite v

en xi j. jours, so making it probable that by a strange coincidence this odd division of xxii into x xii was found in the text from which FG was made. VL: xij. TA,LT,V,VA,P: 22 R: 20

1 con it uondroit B. suggests et it uendroit—"make up. so many knights on horseback, and there would come so great a multitude, that"

2 cclxmhomes L: 260000 (in short summary) V: 260000, in both places. But others 360000 here, as above.