A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.
to defray our expences; and we received more of the same skins from duke Conrad, from Grimislava, duchess of Cracow, from the bishop, and from certain nobles of that place.  And at the request of the duke, bishop, and nobles of Cracow, Wasilico conducted us into his country, and entertained us there for some days at his expense.  Likewise he convened his bishops at our request, to whom we read the Pope’s letters, admonishing them to return into the unity of the church, adding our own exhortation to the same purpose.  But because duke Daniel, the brother of Wasilico was absent at the court of Baatu, they could not then give a satisfactory answer.

After this Wasilico sent us forward to Kiow, the chief city of Russia, under the conduct of one of his servants; in which journey we were in great danger of our lives from the Lithuanians, who often invaded the borders of Russia in the very places through which we had to pass; but by means of this servant we were secured against any injury from the Russians, of whom indeed the greater part had been slain, or carried into captivity by the Tartars.  In this journey we had almost perished of cold at Danilou[3], through the prodigious depth of the snow, although we travelled in a wagon.  On our arrival at Kiow, and consulting with the millenary[4], and other nobles, respecting our farther journey, we were advised not to carry the horses we then had into Tartary, as they would all certainly die by the way, as they were not used to dig under the snow in search of grass like the Tartar horses, and no food could be procured for them, as the Tartars make no provision of hay or straw, or any other provender, against winter.  We determined therefore to leave them behind, under the care of two servants, till our return, and by means of presents, we prevailed on the millenary to allow us post-horses and a guide.  We began our journey on the second day after the Purification[5], and arrived at Canow, which was under the immediate dominion of the Tartars.  The governor allowed us horses, and a guide to another town, of which one Micheas, a most malicious person, was governor; who, gained by our presents, conducted us to the first station of the Tartars.

[1] The journal of Carpini begins here, that of Asceline never appears.—­E.

[2] At this period Jeroslaw, or Jeroslaus, was grand duke of Wolodimir or
    Wladimire, then considered as the sovereigns of Russia, who was
    succeeded by Alexander.—­Playf.  Syst. of Chronol.  Wasilico,
    therefore, or Wasile, must have been a subordinate duke, or a junior
    member of the reigning family.—­E.

[3] There is a town named Danilovska, near the S. E. frontiers of European
    Russia.—­E.

[4] From this circumstance, it may be presumed that Kiow was then occupied
    by a guard of Tartars, under a commander of a thousand men.—­E.

[5] This was the 4th February, probably of 1247.—­E.

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