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0394 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 394 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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will be greatly to their shame if they are so mean and feeble as not to know how to get as much again. And in this way the kings of this kingdom never touch their treasure but

VB leave them the one to the other; and through this belief great are the treasures of the past kings kept in the palace in memory of them; and each makes treasure. And for this reason

z this kingdom has such very exceedingly great quantities of treasure. And again I tell

L you that horses are not bred in this kingdom nor likewise in the whole province, and therefore all the treasure of the revenue which they have each year, or the greater part, is consumed in buying horses, and I will tell you how. You may know quite truly that the merchants of Curmos and of Chisci and of Dufar and of Scier and z VB Z FB of Aden and of other provinces; • all these provinces have many very good horses,' both war horses and other horses; and the merchants of these provinces, just as I have told you, buy the good horses and load them on to ships and bring them to this king z and also to his brothers who are four kings more. And they sell one for quite 500 saggi FB z of gold which are worth more than ioo weights which we call marks of silver, and for FB more and for less according to what the horses are. Moreover I tell you that I believe that of VB these this king buys each year for his court alone quite two thousand' of them and VB more, and his brothers buy another so many of them besides those which the barons & VB the gentlemen of the country buy. And at the end of the year, [79d] either because the

countries do not suit horses or because they do not know how to keep them, out of the 2000 z which the lord buys—& this same happens with the others,—none of them had a hundred of z VB VB them. For they all die because, they say, they have no grooms to come to them in sickness & know how to give a remedy; nor do they know how to care for them, but they die from z VB bad care and keeping. But I hold that the air of that province is not suited to the nature of those horses, because they are not born there nor likewise can they be kept. Moreover I tell you that the merchants who bring these horses to sell do not allow to go there, nor do they bring there, grooms, because he wishes the horses of these kings to die z FB in numbers soon, on purpose that they may be able to sell their horses as they will; from

which they make very great wealth each year. And they bring them these horses by sea on all

VB their ships. • And the trade that they do in horses is so great that it is a wonderful thing. And again I tell you that there is yet another custom in this kingdom which I shall

V tell you. For when a man is found who has done a crime such that he must die and that the lord wishes to have him killed, then he who must be killed says that he z wishes himself to kill himself for the reverence and honour and for the love of such

1 ont mont mont chauaus for ont mont buens chauaus FB: ont cheuaulx assez bons VA: molto boni TA,V,VB: molti Z: multos But in F mout rarely if ever means many.

2 G: czwey hundirt tusint R: di do, & cinque mila