carved in ivory, and richly decorated with gold and
precious stones; and, if we rightly remember, there
were several steps by which to ascend the throne.
This throne was round above. There were benches
all around, where the ladies sat on the left hand,
upon stools, and no one sat aloft on the right hand,
but the dukes sat below on benches, in the middle of
the tent. Others sat behind them, and every day
there came great numbers of ladies to the court.
These three tents which we have mentioned, were of
wonderful magnitude; and the wives of the emperor
had other tents, sufficiently large and beautiful,
made of white felt. At this place, the emperor
took leave of his mother, who went to one part of
the land, and he to another, to distribute justice.
About this time, a concubine belonging to the emperor
was detected, who had poisoned his father, at the time
when the Tartar army was in Hungary, and owing to
which incident, they had been ordered to return.
She, and a considerable number of her accomplices,
were tried and put to death. Soon afterwards,
Jeroslaus, the great duke of Soldal in Russia,
being invited, as if to do him honour, by the emperor’s
mother, to receive meat and drink from her hand, grew
sick immediately after returning to his lodging, and
died in seven days illness, his whole body becoming
strangely of a blue colour; and it was currently reported
that he had been poisoned, that the Tartars might
freely and totally possess his land.
 Called Susdal in a former passage.—E.
How the Friars, in the presence of the Emperor,
Soon afterwards, the emperor sent us to his mother,
as he intended to set up a flag of defiance against
all the nations of the west, as has been mentioned
before; and he was desirous to keep this circumstance
from our knowledge. Having remained some days
with his mother, we returned to his court, where we
continued a whole month, in such extreme distress for
victuals and drink, that we could hardly keep ourselves
alive; for the provisions allowed us for four days,
were scarcely sufficient to serve us for one day,
neither could we go to purchase at the public market,
as it was too far from us. But God sent to our
aid a Russian goldsmith, named Cosmas, who was considerably
favoured by the emperor, and who procured us some
food. This man shewed us the imperial throne and
seal, both of which he had been employed to make.
After some time, the emperor sent for us, and intimated,
by Chingay, his secretary, that we should write down
our messages and affairs, and deliver them to him,
which we did accordingly. Many days afterwards,
we were again called to the presence, and were asked
if there were any persons about the Pope who understood
the Russian, Arabic, or Tartarian languages. To
this we answered that we were ignorant of these languages,
and though there were Saracens in our land, they inhabited