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0248 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 248 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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ALL DEBTS AND WAGES ARE PAID WITH PAPERMARCO POLO you without any mistake that many times a year the merchants bring so many VA VB things that they are well worth 400000 bezants of gold and the [44d] great lord buys of them each year so much that it is without end, and he has them all paid with those sheets, FB VB FB a thing which costs him •little or •nothing, as you have heard. And again I tell you that

  •  many times a year an order goes through the town of Cambaluc that all those who FB LT have precious stones and pearls and gold and silver or any other dear things must bring FB P them to the mint of the great lord, & he will have them well and liberally paid •with FB that money according to the proper value. And they do it and bring them there very willingly, because they would not receive so much for them from any other, in so great

  •  abundance that it is without number, and all are paid with sheets without delay or FB loss to them. • And he who should not wish to bring them, stays at home.' And in this way the great lord has all the gold and the silver and the pearls and the precious stones of all his lands. And again I tell you another thing which does well to say. For R when one has kept these sheets so long that they are torn and are spoilt through too FB TA great age, • though they are very durable, then he takes them to the mint of the great lord and they are changed for new and clean ones, so, indeed, that he leaves three in VB a hundred of them for the stamp. And again I shall tell you a pretty fact which does FB FB well to tell in our book. For if a baron or other man whoever he might be wishes to buy FB gold or silver or precious stones or pearls to make his vessels or his girdles or his other work,' he goes off to the mint of the great lord and carries some of those sheets and gives them in payment for the gold and for the silver which he buys from the VB R P master of the mint. And never is gold or silver spent, but •all his armies•and officials. R VB come to be paid with this sort of money • of paper (of which he has as much made as he pleases), • R P of which the value is the same to then' as if it were of gold or of silver; • and everything necessary for the court is bought. Now I have told you the way and the reason why the great FB lord must have and has more treasure than any man of this world, and you have well VA heard how and in what manner; • & it costs him nothing, so that he can well spend marvellous sums. And everyone is obliged to buy those moneys from him. Moreover I will tell you a

  •  greater thing, that all the lords of the earth have not so great riches, treasures, and expenses as the great lord has alone. Now I have told you and described all the facts how the great lord [45a] makes money of sheets; now I shall tell you of the great lordships which go out from this city of Cambaluc for the great lord.

i VB: ne per cossa del mondo alcuno ardiria star de portarlle

2 FA which is here carelessly written, having e.g. aleuesque twice for a la segue, has autres couues choses which PAUTHIER prints as autres riches choses. FB omits the doubtful word, which should perhaps be chieres.