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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.
to Ken-khan; and would not have sent any on the present occasion, or any letters to Sartach, had it not been that you had been advised they were become Christians; on which account only I had been sent in congratulation and not through any fear.  We were then led into the pavilion, being strictly charged not to touch any of the tent ropes, which they consider as equivalent to the threshold of a house, which must not be touched.  We entered the tent barefooted and with our heads uncovered, forming a strange spectacle in their eyes; for though Friar John de Plano Carpini had been there before me, yet being a messenger from the Pope, he had changed his habit that he might not be despised.  We were brought forward into the middle of the tent, without being required to bow the knee, as is the case with other messengers.  Baatu was seated upon a long broad couch like a bed, all over gilt, and raised three steps from the ground, having one of his ladies beside him.  The men of note were all assembled in the tent, and were seated about in a scattered manner, some on the right and some on the left hand; and those places which were not filled up by Baatus wives, were occupied by some of the men.  At the entrance of the tent there stood a bench well furnished with cosmos, and with many superb cups of gold and silver, richly set with precious stones.  Baatu surveyed us earnestly for some time, and we him; he was of a fresh ruddy colour, and in my opinion had a strong resemblance to the late Lord John de Beaumont.

After standing in the midst of the tent for so long as one might have rehearsed the Miserere, during which an universal silence prevailed, we were commanded to speak, and our guide directed us to bow our knees before we spoke.  On this I bowed one knee as to a man; but he desired me to kneel on both knees, and being unwilling to contend about such ceremonies, I complied; and being again commanded to speak, I bethought me of prayer to God on account of my posture, and began in the following manner:  “Sir, we beseech God, the giver of all good, who hath bestowed upon you these earthly benefits, that he would grant you hereafter the blessings of Heaven, seeing that the former are vain without the latter.  Be it known to you therefore, of a certainty, that you cannot attain to the joys of heaven unless you become a Christian; for God hath said, whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”  At this he modestly smiled, but the other Moals clapped their hands in derision; and my interpreter, who ought to have comforted me, was quite abashed.  After silence was restored, I proceeded thus:  “Having heard that your son was become a Christian, I came to him with letters from my master the king of the Francs, and your son sent me hither; for what reason it behoves you to know.”  He then desired me to rise, and inquired the name of your majesty, and my name, and the names of my companion and interpreter, all of which he caused

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