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0252 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 252 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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R one from the other, & some more; • and he sends people there who live there and work the land and serve those posts; and great villages are formed there. And in this way which you have R FB heard the messengers and ambassadors of the great lord go and come in all directions R through all the provinces and kingdoms and other parts under his rule, with great convenience VA and ease, • when they are sent by him, and have lodging and horses ready at every days

L FB stage & every other necessary as they will, • that they may be comfortable wherever they go. FB And this is in truth quite the greatest pride and the greatest grandeur that any emperor has or might ever have, nor any king nor any other earthly man. For you may know quite truly that more than two hundred thousand' horses stay at these R L L posts throughout his provinces, • all set apart specially for his ambassadors & messengers, VA that they may be able to change when there is need. And again I tell you that the palaces FB are more than ten thousand' which are all so provided with rich furniture as I have told you; and it is a thing so wonderful and of so great cost that it could R hardly be rightly told or written. And if anyone were to doubt how there are so many people to do so many duties, and on what they live, it is answered that all the idolaters and Saracens likewise take six, eight, and ten wives each, provided that they can pay the expense, and beget infinite sons; and there will be many men of whom each will have more than thirty sons, and all follow him armed; and this because of the many wives. But with us one has but one wife, and if she is barren the man will end his life with her and beget no son, and therefore we have not so many people as they. And with regard to victuals they have plenty of them, because they use for the more part rice, panick, and millet; specially Tartars, Cataians, and of the province of Mangi. And these three grains yield in their lands a hundredfold for every measure. These people do not use bread, but only boil these three kinds of grain with the milk or flesh, and eat them. And wheat with them does not give so great increase; but what they reap they eat only as macaroni and other viands made of dough. With them no land which can be ploughed lies fallow; and their animals increase and multiply without end, and when they go to the field there is not one who does not take with him six, eight, and more horses for himself From this it can be clearly understood for what reason there is so great a multitude of people in those parts, and that they have the means of living so abundantly. And again I will tell you a thing which I had forgotten which relates to our matter which I have now told FB you, which does well to tell and to recall. It is true that between the one post and the FB FB second on whatever road it may be they are planned and it is so done that every three miles R there is a hamlet which can have about forty houses' and more and less, according

1 TA': iiijm P: ultra decem millia VA by some confusion transposes the i0000 & 200000.

2 TA': r

3 TA: xl huomini a piede LT: de quadraginta hominibus uel domibus P: domus pause