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0383 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 383 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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not believe that because it is said by diabolical art, that they openly show it to be so; indeed

they say it is by the virtue of the gods with the help of their art. • And if they say that he i i3

must recover of that sickness then they leave hint until they say that he ought to be healed, and. he VB

is cared for; but if they say that there is no remedy by which the sick man can recover and that

he must by all means die of the sickness, • as they divine, then the relations of the sick send FR

for nien who are • specially • appointed to put men to death, [namely]those sick people who are FB L FB

judged by their charniers to be sure to die, • and say, This sick man is condemned to die. Do that TA

which must be done. •And some of these men who know how to kill sick persons most easily FR P

and gently come and press down the sick iiian who will soon be dead and put him some- z

thing on the mouth' of that sick nian so that they make him to be suffocated im- v VB

inediately, and kill him • before the time of his death. And when he is dead they cut him z L VA

up and have him openly2 cooked. And then all the relations of the dead come and L z

have a friendly feast together and eat him [76d] up completely after he is cooked • and roast. z VB

Moreover I tell you that they eat and suck out also all the marrows which are inside VB

the bones, leaving no moisture• nor other fat• in them at all. And they do this because L FB L

they do not wish any atom of him to remain, so that it may not decay. For they say VA

that if there were to remain there any substance in the bones that that substance from FB L

its decay would make worms, and the worms would die at last for want of food. And z z L

they say that from the death of these worms the soul of the dead would suffer very P

heavy punishments and would have great harm from it and sin, namely because so many z

souls sprung from his substance should perish, and therefore they eat him all. And after

they have thus eaten him wholly they take all the bones and put them in a beautiful FB Z FB

small casket of stone, and then they carry them and hang them to the rocks in great Z TA Z

caves of the mountains in such a place that no man nor beast or other evil thing VA

could touch them. And again I tell you that if they of this country can catch other VA

men who are not of their country they catch them, and if he cannot ransom himself

they kill him and eat him up all immediately. Now this is a very evil way and bad z

custom and so it is a very cruel and very evil people. Now we have told you of this VB

kingdom, and then we will leave you this and will tell you of the next, that is of v

Lambri, as you shall be able to hear.   FB

1 adonc les parens dou malaides mandent por ceste homes uienent e pretnent lo mort e li metent aucune chouse sor la boche For pretnent, which most MSS. omit, V reads tuol so that it is likely that we ought to read prenent "take". FA,FB read malade for mort, and robe or robes for chouse. The alternative use of robes and chouse rather suggests an original Italian robbe, and the explanation is perhaps to be found in B.'s suggestion that the original contained even more Italian words than F does.

2 aperte perhaps for apertement, "skilfully