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0279 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 279 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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that they have had more paramours and that more men have lain with them, that

one is held better and they take her more willingly and say that she is more gracious

with the gods than the others. Nor can they give more worthy dowries to the husbands than z VB

the many presents which they have received from the wayfarers; • thinking them a great glory to R

pride, • iior would she be valued but rather even despised who should not show at least twenty VB

tokens that she had been with twenty wayfarers; and at the celebrations of their weddings they

show the tokens & gifts • to everybody; and the husbands hold them dearer, saying that their idols R

have rriade them more pleasing to men. •And if she conceives by any of the said menthe child] i

is brought up by him who takes her to wife, and is heir in the house with the others who are

born. And when they have taken wives like these in this way they hold them very z

dear & count it for too great an evil if one should touch the wife of the other;

& they all keep themselves from this thing much. Now I have told you of this

marriage, which it does well to tell & to say the manner of it. And into that country FB

the young gentlemen from sixteen years to 24 will do well to go to have as many FB

of these girls at their will as they should ask for and should be begged[to take]without any

cost. The people are idolaters and extremely treacherous and • cruel & wicked, for they z VA

hold it for no sin to rob and to do evil, and I believe they are the greatest scoundrels VB

and the greatest thieves in the world. They live by chase and by hunting, and on

the flocks, and on their fruits which they get from the land. And I tell you quite

truly that in that country are many animals which make musk, and in such numbers z

that that scent is perceived through the whole country. For once every moon those animals

discharge musk. For, as is said elsewhere, a pustule full of blood like a tumour is found near

the navel of this animal, and that blood is musk. But that pustule from being too full discharges

some of that blood every moon. And so because there are many such animals in those parts they

discharge in many places, so that the whole province smells of it; and they are called in their

language' gudderi, the flesh of which is very good. And these wicked men have very VB z

many good dogs very swift • and large which are trained to catch them in great abundance, VB FB z

and so they have much of this musk in great quantity. They have no silver money FB L

nor notes of those2 of the great Kaan, but they make money of salt[and]they spend VB

coral for their money. They dress very poorly, for their clothes are of leather and of P

the skins of animals and of horses, and of canvas and of coarse buckram; and they have FB P

a language [yid] for themselves. And they are called Tebet .3 And this Tebet is a

1 LT: lingua tartarica

2 monoie ne carte de tele Perhaps read ne tele de carte R: monete, anche di quelle di carta FB: monnoie de chartre du seel.du grant VA: ano moneta per si But most texts seem to support F as it stands.

3 saprllent tebet P: ad prouinciam thebeth pertinent Perhaps read sapellent de tebet cf. p.188.