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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.
and this man carried us in the evening a considerable distance, to an officer called, in the Tartar language, the Lords Gate, to whom belongs the duty of receiving messengers or ambassadors.  Our guide inquired what we had ready to present to this person, and seemed much offended when he found we had nothing to offer.  When we came into his presence, he sat majestically, having music and dancing performed before him.  I then spoke to him the words formerly mentioned, giving an account of the cause of our mission, and requesting that he would bring us and our letters into the presence of his lord.  I excused myself also, that as I was a monk, neither giving, receiving, or using any gold, silver, or other costly things, except our books, and the vestments in which we served God, that I could bring no present to him or his lord; and having abandoned my own goods, I could not transport such things for other men.  He courteously answered, that being a monk, I acted well in observing my vow:  and that he stood in no need of any of our things, but on the contrary, was ready to give us what we might need.  He then caused us to sit down and drink of his milk, and afterwards desired that we should recite a benediction for him, which we did.  He inquired who was the greatest sovereign among the Francs?  To which I answered the emperor, if he could enjoy his dominions in peace.  “Not so, said he, but the king of France.”  For he had heard of your majesty from the Lord Baldwin of Hainault.  I found also at this court, one of the Knight Templars, who had been at Cyprus, and had made a report of all that he had seen there concerning your majesty.  We then returned to our lodgings, whence we sent a flaggon of our Muscadel wine, which had kept well during the journey, and a box of our biscuit to this officer, who received the present very graciously, and retained our servants all night in his dwelling.

In the morning he ordered us to come to court, and to bring the kings letters, and our books and vestments along with us, as his lord desired to see these things.  This we did accordingly, lading one cart with our books and vestments, and another with wine, biscuit, and fruits.  Then he caused all our books and vestments to be spread out, and asked if we meant to bestow all these things upon his lord.  A multitude of Tartars, Christians, and Mahometans were around us, on horseback, at this time, and I was sore grieved and afraid at this question; but dissembling as well as I could, I said, “That we humbly requested his lord and master to accept our bread, wine, and fruits, not as a present, for it was too mean, but as a benevolence, lest we should appear to come empty handed.  That his lord would see the letters of the king my master, which would explain the reason of our journey; after which we, and all we had, would remain at his command:  But that our vestments were holy, and were unlawful to be touched or used by any except priests.”  We were then commanded

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