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0495 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 495 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD, THE BATTLE IS BEGUN and have good hope of vanquishing the enemy. But nevertheless I pray you as much as I know how to do and more that each one be a valiant man and that he exert himself beyond his power so that we shall put the enemy to destruction and to death. And then he is silent that he says no more. And on the other side the king Nogai slakes his parliament and speaks so as you shall hear. Fair brothers and friends, says he, you know that we have already won many great battles and many great affrays, and we have already had to do with many better people than these are, out of which we are come to a good end. And therefore since the z truth is thus as you yourselves know you ought indeed to encourage yourselves to win this battle. And also because we arc very right and they are wrong. For you know well that he was not my [iiod] master who ordered that I should be before him in his court to do justice to the others. Now I do not wish to say more to you but that I pray each one to set his mind on doing well and that we do such exploits in this battle that we make all the world talk of it, and that we and our heirs' may be feared for it for ever. Then the king Nogai is silent that he says no more. And after these two kings have made their talking they delay not at all

but early the next day prepare and draw themselves up very well. The king Toctai z indeed made twenty battalions and put a good leader and good captain in each. z

And the king Nogai made fifteen battalions, because in each he put i0000 horsemen, z and he put there a good captain and good leader. And what shall I tell you about z it ? When the two kings have drawn up and prepared[each]his people well they set themselves both on the road and ride the one toward the other till they were come near by one crossbow shot; and there both sides stop and stay there awhile. Then they do not stay at all long before the drums begin to sound on one side and vB on the other with very great noise and rumbling. And when the drums were sounded then they let the one run toward the others with the arrows cocked, and they began to z z let fly.2 Now one can see arrows fly both from one side and from the other, and z they were so great a multitude that it was a wonder to see, for the air was covered z with them like rain. Then could be seen horses [ilia] and knights fall to the ground dead and wounded to death. The shouting was very great there and the uproar.

And when they have shot all the arrows so that they had no more to shoot, they laid hands on the swords and on the clubs and run one upon another and give one

another huge blows . They begin again the very cruel and most evil combat . Hands and arms and shoulders and heads were cut off. Now one can see knights fall to

1 oir Z translates it as heredes. cf. p. cxxvii.

2 con les saiettes encocques il laisent aler B.'s change of con to et does not seem to be completely satisfactory.