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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.

Leaving this place on the eve of St Peter and Paul, 28th June, we entered the country of the pagan Naymani[1], and next day was excessively cold, attended by a great fall of snow.  Indeed this country is very mountainous and excessively cold, and has very little plain ground, wherefore these nations had no tillage, but dwelt in tents, which were destroyed by the Tartars.  We travelled through this country for many days, and at length entered the land of the Mongals, whom we call Tartars.  Through this latter country we continued our journey for about three weeks, continually riding with great expedition, and at length arrived at the residence of the emperor elect, on the feast of Mary Magdalen, 22d July.  In the whole of this journey we used extraordinary exertion, as our Tartar guides were ordered to bring us with all expedition to attend the solemn court which had been long appointed for the election of the emperor:  on which account we always travelled from early morning till night, without stopping to take food; and we often came to our quarters so late, as not to get any food that night, but were forced to eat in the morning what we ought to have had for supper.  We changed horses frequently every day, and travelled constantly as hard as our horses could trot.

[1] The Soongaria of modern Geography.—­E.

SECTION XXVI.

Of the Reception of the papal Nuncios at the court of Kujak, or Cuyne-Khan.

On our arrival at the court of Cuyne, he ordered us to be provided with a tent, and all necessary expences, after the Tartar customs, and his people treated us with more attention and respect than they shewed to any other messengers.  We were not admitted into his presence, as he had not been formally elected and invested in the empire; but the translation of the Pope’s letters, and of our speech, had been transmitted to him by Baatu.  After remaining in this place for five or six days, we were sent to his mother, who kept a solemn court.  In this place we beheld an immense tent, so vast, in our opinion, that it could have contained two thousand men; around which there was an enclosure of planks, painted with various figures.  All the Tartar dukes were assembled in this neighbourhood, with their attendants, and amused themselves in riding about the hills and vallies.  The first day these were all clothed in white robes.  The second day, on which Cuyne came to the great tent, they were dressed in scarlet.  The third day they were dressed in blue, and on the fourth in rich robes of Baldakin[1].  In the wall of boards, encircling the great tent, there were two gates, through one of which the emperor alone was allowed to enter; and though it stood continually open, there were no guards, as no one dared to enter or come out by that way.  All who were admitted entered by the other gate, at which there were guards, armed with bows, arrows, and swords.  If any one presumed to approach the tent beyond the assigned limits, he was severely beaten, if caught; or if he attempted to run away, he was shot at with arrows.  Many of the people whom we saw here, had upon their saddles, bridles, and other trappings of their horses, to the value of twenty marks in pure gold, according to our estimation.[2]

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