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0277 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 277 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD, DESERTS & WILD BEASTS split, and then make so great a report that it is heard well tens miles off by night. For it is such a sound as is like an artificially made report. And you may know that he I. who is not used to hear, he becomes all terrified at it, so horrible a thing it is to hear. And you may know that if anyone were not accustomed to hear them, and heard them, FB he might easily lose his senses and die. But those who are accustomed to hear it pay no attention to it, because they are accustomed to hear them. And those who are not used to it are obliged at first to take cotton and thoroughly stuff up and stop the ears, and then to bind up well their head and their face and cover it with all the clothes which they have, and thus one escapes at the beginning until he is used to it. And I tell you also of the horses. And I tell you that the horses which have never heard it, when they hear it are so violently frightened that they break halters & all other ropes with which they are tied & fly from it; and this FB happens to many, and in this way many travellers who were less careful have lost many P animals in the past. But when they wish their animals also to be saved, .the merchants carry FB R iron shackles with them with which they fetter all four feet, when they have horses of which they know that they had never heard this. They have them well tied up and the head FB and their ears and their eyes bandaged so that they cannot hear, and have all their four LT feet hobbled in such a way that when it hears the great report of canes, though it would wish to fly, it cannot.2 In this way they escape. But when the horses are used to it v FB several times, they do not make so great ado. For I tell you that at the beginning it is the most horrible thing in the world to hear. And in this way again, as I have told you, the way- v vB faring men escape by night, both they and their animals, from the lions and from the ounces and from other evil beasts; & in the same way do the shepherds stay, and their VB animals escape from the said fierce wild beasts which are there in great abundance. And FB with all this some lions come sometimes or some bears and some of the other wild beasts, which do them harm; for there is very great plenty of them in the land. And when one has gone riding through this country quite twenty days marches one finds' no inns nor food, FB except perhaps at every third or fourth march, in which they are supplied with victuals, but z he must [5ibl take with him all that they need and food for himself and for his animals FB all these twenty days marches, always finding very many of these very fierce and most FB evil wild beasts, namely lions, bears, and others, which are very dangerous and to be z feared. But at the end of twenty days marches he then finds villages and hamlets enough z and towns, set in the steep places of the mountains. And there is such a pleasing custom of z VB marrying women as I shall tell you, an absurd and most detestable abuse coming from P

1 TA: cinque LT: quinque R: duoi VA: piuxor

2 VL: per questo i uiandanti ligano isuo cauali e somieri in le grote di monti

3 FA: non trouuant FB: et ne treuuent R: non trouando But TA, LT, V agree exactly with F.