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0417 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 417 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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of them. So he asks immediately of those who were with him what thing it was, z and they told him in answer that it was a dead man. What, says the son of the king, z and do all men die then? Yes truly, say they. Then the young man says nothing z and rides on very thoughtful. And after this he had not ridden far before he had found a very old man bent down with age who cannot walk and had no teeth in mouth, VB z but had lost them all through great old age. And when the son of the king saw that old man he asks [86a] what thing that was, why he was so bent and why he vi cannot walk and had lost the teeth. And those who were with him told him that v through old age he was thus bent[&]through old age he cannot walk and through old VB age he has lost the teeth. To whom the youth said, And how from youths do they become VB old and bent like this? To whom the servants answered, Sir, • all those who live long in this v world must become old like this man•and then die.' And then when the son of the king had VB z well understood about the dead and about the old, he goes back to his palace frightened and all astonished and says to himself that they stay no more in this evil, vB deceitful, and imperfect world where he must die or become so old as to need the help of z TA another, • & that he saw well that every one who is in this world must die either old or young; FB but says that he will go to seek for him who never dies and for him who had made him.' And then he did nothing different ; he set out secretly one night from the palace FB FB and from his father. He goes off into the mountains3 very great and out of the way seeking still the rough and wildest places and stays there all the days of his life very VB z uprightly and chastely, and led a hard life, • living on roots and herbs and wild fruits, FB VB and makes very great abstinence just as if he had been a Christian. For truly if he had FA been baptized Christian he would have been a great saint with our Lord Jesus Christ TA for the good life and pure which he led. And when this son of the king died at last and FB VB his death was known, he was carried to the king his father. And when he saw him dead, him whom he loved more than himself, there is no need to ask if he has vexation and grief; he almost went out of his senses. He made great mourning, with FB VB

bitter lamentation of all the people. Then he had an image made in his likeness all of gold and of precious stones. And when he had so made it he sent it through all the peoples TAB of his realm and made it honoured by all those of the land with the greatest reverence VB and worshipped as their God. And they said that he was God, and they say it still, and y FB also that he was dead for eighty-four times; for they say that when he died the first

1 TA' begins this story: el padre volle vn die chaualchare per la terra chop questo suo figliuolo, and the conversation takes place between the father and son.

2 VB: trouar quel dio doue non se rnuor ne inuechissa mai

3 R: questo altissimo monte