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0453 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 453 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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every time that the melic, that is the lord, of Curmos has war with another stronger vs than himself he comes away to this city of Calatu, because it is very strong and set FA z in a strong place so that he is no longer' afraid of any. And they have no corn of v R any kind, but they have it carried from elsewhere,2 for the merchants bring it them y with all the ships. At this city is a very great 6- very good port. Moreover I tell FA FA you quite truly that many merchants with many ships come there with many wares z from Indie, and they sell them' very well in this town because from this town the wares and the spicery are carried inland to many cities and villages. And again I tell you that many good Arab war-horses are carried into Indie from this city, from FB which the merchants make great gain and profit of it. For you may know that from z this country and from the others of which I have told you further back [96a] a great quantity of beautiful horses are carried into Indie every year, so great that one FA could hardly tell it. And it is because none are bred there, and on the other hand because FA they die soon owing to bad keeping, for they do not know how to keep them and give them cooked flesh to eat and all other things, as I have told you clearly another time above. And they have also no grooms. Moreover I tell you that this city is built on the mouth and at the v entrance of the said gulf of Calatu so that no ship can go in there nor come out R without their will. And many times the melic of Curmos, who is also the melic lord FA V of this city of Calatu which is under the sultan of Cherman, has from it great power FA over the sultan of Cherman4 to whom he is subject. For when that sultan or king z of Cherman puts any tax beyond the ordinary on the melic of Curmos or any other of R his brothers' and these refuse to give it, and the sultan sends over an army to compel

' pius or puis LT: postea

2 doutre part probably for dautre part. FA: dautre part V: altri luogi cf. Z, p. cv.

3 V: le blaue FB to the same effect.

4 e mantes foies en a le melic de ceste cite grant par clou soudan de crermain FA: Et quant le melit des borines qui est aussi le melit de calatu le quel est souz le soudan de querman a paour de son seigneur le soudan de querman si entre es nes des hormes et sen vient a calatu Z(p. cv): magna pacta cum rege V: molte volte milia signor de questa zjtade ano gran pati thon el soldan R follows Z,V; others omit. So it seems that the A MSS. ended the doubtful word with r (par, paour, or (conjecturally) poir), while the B MSS. ended it with t (translating it pacta, pati). As Z,V keep the same form of sentence as F, their evidence seems to outweigh that of FA. R, retaining, patti, interprets the sentence differently.

5 cucu dasio au melic de curmos ou aucun autre de se&firres (or firers)

V (ouer ad alguni di fradelli) and Z (p. cv) evidently read a aucun ... freres. R substitutes oltra l'ordinario for the difficult words. It does not appear that "brothers" is at all a likely word to be applied to such rulers, but on the other hand no better explanation suggests itself. Dr R. LEVY kindly tells me that DOZY, Supplément aux Dict. Arabes, II, 255, gives firâd, le revenu de la douane (in Egypt), and it may be just possible that some Asiatic word underlies firres.