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0238 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 238 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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THE HUNT OFFICERS TOSCAOR AND BULARGUCI MARCO POLO FB L gerfalcons, and peregrine falcons and saker falcons and other kinds of birds in very vL great abundance, for such creatures are infinite & good in his domains; and they also carry goshawks in great quantity to catch birds on rivers.1 But do not understand that

L he keeps them all with him in one place, but he divides them here and there in TA FB many places by hundreds and by two hundreds and by more and by less, • as it seems FB P good to them. And these hunt birds always, •of which there are a vast number, releasing gerfalcons, goshawks, and falcons in pursuit of them whenever they see them, and they bring to the great lord the greater part of the birds which they take. And I tell you that when LT FB the great lord goes hawking with [42a] his gerfalcons, goshawks, and with his other FB VA birds, he has about him quite ten thousand men who are arranged about the plain by FB V two and by two and are called in their tongue toscaor, which comes to say in our

V FB language men who stay to watch the birds. And they do so, for by two and by two R they stay here and there, one party separated from another, so that they really control enough of the country; and each has a call and a hood so that they can call and hold

V the birds. And when the great lord, & the others likewise who are with him, has his birds thrown there is no need that those who throw them should go after them TA because the men of whom I have told you above, who are standing in pairs here and there, watch them so well that they cannot go anywhere that these men do not go FB TA VA after[them, • and]they are taken; and if the birds have need of help they that are nearest FB help them immediately. And all the birds of the great lord and also all those of R FB the other barons have a little tablet of silver tied on their feet for recognition, on R which is written the name of him whose it is and who keeps it. And by this way the bird is known as soon as it is taken and is given back to him whose it is. And if R one does not know whose it is, or because he who has taken it does not know him personally FB though he knows the name, then • it is taken and carried to a baron who is called bularguci,

v which means to say in our tongue the keeper of the things which find no master.

V VA For I tell you that if by chance one finds a horse or a sword or a bird or other thing that FB is lost or strayed and he does not find whose it is, [42b] then it is carried immediately P P to this baron, and he has it taken and carefully kept till it is demanded by its owner. And R LT he who finds it—anything which may be lost—• is bound immediately to carry it to its owner, and if he does not do this he is held for a thief if he does not carry it promptly TA VA to that baron. And those who have mislaid or lost the things go off to this baron and FB he, if he has it, has it given back to them quite immediately. And this baron VA always stays in the highest place of all the host' with his ensign aloft, so that those

1 V: oxelar a monti TA': porta aghugle e astori di riuiere

2 VA: in quella chanpagnia