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0297 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 297 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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let them come near to their position. Then they carne out immediately with great spirit to the

encounter, and they set themselves [56c] on the road all together well and orderly

and wisely toward the enemy. And when they were near to them, and that there

was nothing wanting but to begin the battle, then the horses of the Tartars, when y

they saw the elephants so large and with those castles, • which were in the front rank, they R P

are very greatly terrified in such a way that their riders the Tartars cannot by any force v P P

or skill • hold them, nor bring them to go farther forward towards the enemy to battle; FB VA v un

but they always turned themselves back in flight. And the king and all his people y R

with the elephants went always forward pursuing them.   v

HERE HE SPEAKS AGAIN OF THE SAME BATTLE. Now when the Tartars have y   • 123
seen this they have great vexation at it and did not know what they ought to do, for they see clearly that if they cannot bring their horses forward they hold themselves to have lost all. But in the end they behave themselves y y

very wisely, and I will tell you what they did. Now you may know that their. FB

prudent•captain, •seeing this disorder come suddenly upon them, •did wisely and as one who R FB R FB

had thought of all this. Immediately he commanded that the Tartars, when they see that

their horses were so terrified, they all dismount from their horses and put them in

the wood which was near them, • in which were great trees, and tie them to the trees; FB V

and that they lay hands to the bows, of which they knew well how to make use, better than any FB

people in the world. And then they do so immediately • and all go on foot against the front FB vA

line which was that of the elephants, • and lay hands to the bows and cock the arrows FB

and begin to let go at the elephants which were advancing. They shot so many arrows R FB

at them with so great vigour and shouting that it seemed a wonderful thing, and some of VB V V FB

the elephants were severely wounded and killed in a short time, and many of the men FB

also. And those who were in the castles with all the people of the king drew arrows also R v

on the Tartars very liberally, and give them a very vigorous attack. But their arrows R

did not wound so gravely as did those of the Tartars, which were drawn with greater strength;

and the Tartars, who were sufficiently better men of arms & more used to battle than VA

their enemies were and knew better how to draw their bows than those knew, defended FB

themselves very bravely . And what shall I go telling you of it ? You may know that FB

so great was the number of arrows in this beginning, and all at the mark of the elephants (for R

so it was ordered by the captain), that they were wounded on every side of the body. And when

the elephants were so wounded as I have told you, all the most[of them], and felt FB

the pain of the wounds of the pellets which came in such numbers like rain, • and were frightened VB

by the great noise of the shouting, I tell you that they all turn themselves [56d] in rout & v VA

in flight towards the people of the king (while for nothing on earth would they go forward FB

towards the Tartars) with so great an uproar that it seemed that the whole world