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0505 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 505 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD. DIVINATION BY CANES wife which he desires, but that to his loss we may have that which we please and that which our power and courage deserve. Let us be careful to prepare ourselves,

and let us not wait for Umenchan to come to find us, but let us go to find him, that he may know your carefulness and courage to be more than his. Here when he had

made an end of his speaking, all with one voice cried and said, Sir, see we are all

ready; let us mount our horses, and let us lose no time; let us go to find Umenchan and hope in the strength of thy valorous army that we shall soon make him learn

his mistake and together with so many people subjugated and conquered by thee he will come to know thy power. Then Zinzino commanded that all should prepare themselves and that the following morning all being prepared with their companies should be on horseback.

The day following all being prepared mounted their horses with so great a multitude of people that it would appear a wonderful thing to all. And having entered on

the road with wonderful speed they entered into the lands of Umenchan. And when

Umenchan knew of the coming of Zinzino with no small wonder he judged that he had rather flown than come. When Zinzino reached the plain of Tangut he pitched

his camp there, as that place seemed to be very fit for that great multitude of his

men. And immediately he sent to tell Umenchan that he was come & lodged on the plain of Tangut, and that he waited him there that he should not tire himself with

a longer journey to give him that wife whom he had sent to say through the answer

of his ambassadors, and that he hoped in the gods not that wife that Umenchan pleased but that which Zinzin would have. When Umenchan heard the message,

having also prepared his host, full of disdain and hope of no small revenge on

Zinzino, he set himself in order with an army no less but of less virtue than the enemy. And when he had arrived at ten miles from the army of Zinzino he posted

his army, putting it in its accustomed high spirits, and sent to tell Zinzino of his coming, and that he should say the day of the battle when it pleased him . While the two hosts stood and were preparing for the day of battle, Zinzino sent according to his customs for his astrologers and diviners demanding of them that they should see by their art what should be the end of the battle. Wishing to satisfy the wish of their lord they took according to their custom a cane and divided it in two parts,

and on one put the name of Zinzino and on the other of Umenchan. And putting these two canes somewhat near one to the other they said, Sir, stand and see. If the

cane on which is written thy name mounts on the cane on which is written the name of Umenchan, thou shalt be the winner of the battle, but if the cane on which is written the name of Umenchan shall mount on the other, know that Umenchan will conquer. While Zenzino stood with all his barons with very great hope of victory