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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.
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[1] 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.

[1] Called Susdal in a former passage.—­E.

SECTION XXXI.

How the Friars, in the presence of the Emperor, interchanged Letters

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

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