National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0337 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 337 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000271
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



I~ I


in so great number that I dare not say it; and not only near the squares, where places are usually

assigned to them, but all over the city . And they stay very sumptuously with great perfumes and

with many maid-servants, & the houses all decorated. These women are very clever and practised

in knowing how to flatter and coax with ready words and suited to each kind of person, so that

the foreigners who have once indulged themselves with them stay as it were in an ecstasy, and

are so much taken with their sweetness and charms that they can never forget them. And from

this it comes to pass that when they return home they say that they have been in Quinsai, that is

in the city of Heaven, and never see the hour that' they may be able to go back there again. In

other streets are stationed all the physicians, astrologers, who also teach to read and to write.

And infinite other trades have their places round about the said squares; on each of which there

are two great palaces, one at one end and the other at the other, where are stationed the lords

deputed by the king, who make inquiry immediately if any difference occurs between the merchants,

and in the sanie way between any of the inhabitants of those quarters. The said lords are charged

to watch every day whether the guards who are set on the neighbouring bridges (as will be said

below) arc actually there or have failed, and punish then' as they think right.

Along the principal street of which we have spoken, which runs from one end of the city to the

other, there are on one side and on the other houses, very large palaces with their gardens,

and near by then' houses of arti&ans who work in their shops; and at all hours are met people who

are going up and down on their business, so that to see so great a crowd anyone would believe

that it would not be possible that victuals are found enough to be able to feed it; and yet on

every market day all the said squares are covered and filled with people and merchants who bring

them both on carts and on boats, and all is disposed of. And again it was contained there

in the said writing that this city had twelve different • manner of trades, one of each craft, FB L z

which are •reckoned •the more important and have greater dealings than the others, for there are z R z

very many others. And each trade of these twelve has 12000 stations, that is to say 12000 Z

houses for each trade of the aforesaid. And in each house or station there were at least ten z z

men to exercise those arts, and some fifteen, and some twenty, and thirty, and some z TA

forty. And do not understand that they are all masters, but men who do what the z

masters and patrons order them. And all this is necessary because many other cities of z FB

the province arc supplied with necessaries from this city. And it was contained again in z FB

that writing that there are so many merchants and so rich, who do so much and so FB

great trade, that there is not a man who could say or tell the truth about them • that z FB TA

who could not bear the cold, not being used to it. They are accustomed to wash themselves every day, and would not eat if they were not washed." cf. p.334 below.

1 & non veggono mai l'hora, the—an idiom used apparently as we say "count the minutes till..."