A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01.

At the end of this period they took leave of Chiacato, who gave them four tablets of gold, each a cubit long and five fingers broad, and weighing three or four marks[16].  On these were engraven to the following purport:  “In the power of the eternal God, the name of the great khan shall be honoured and praised for many years; and whosoever disobeyeth, shall he put to death, and all his goods confiscated.”  Besides this preamble, they farther commanded, that all due honour should be shown to the three ambassadors of the khan, and service performed to them in all the countries and districts subject to his authority, as to himself in person; that all necessary relays of horses and escorts, and their expences, and every thing needful should be supplied to them freely and gratuitously.  All this was duly executed, so that sometimes they had 200 horse for their safeguard.  During their journey, they were informed that the great emperor of the Tartars, Kublai-khan was dead, by which they considered themselves absolved from all obligations of the promise they had made to return to his court.  They continued their journey to Trebisond, on the south side of the Euxine; whence they proceeded by the way of Constantinople and Negropont to Venice, where they arrived in safety, and with great riches, in the year 1295.

On their arrival at their own house, in the street of St Chrysostom in Venice, they found themselves entirely forgotten by all their old acquaintances and countrymen, and even their relations were unable to recognize them, owing to their long absence, now thirty-five years from setting, out on their first journey into the east; besides being much altered by age they had become altogether resembling Tartars in their speech, dress and manners, and were obliged to use some extraordinary expedients to satisfy their family and countrymen of their identity, and to recover the respect which was their due, by a public acknowledgment of their name, family, and rank.  For this purpose, they invited all their relations arid connections to a magnificent entertainment, at which all the three travellers made their appearance in rich eastern habits of crimson satin.  After the guests were seated, and before the Polos sat down, they put off their upper garments which they gave to the attendants, appearing still magnificently dressed in habits of crimson damask.  These they threw off at the appearance of the last course or service of the entertainment, and bestowed likewise on the attendants; while they themselves still appeared clad in magnificent dresses of crimson velvet.  When dinner was over, and all the servants had withdrawn, Marco Polo produced to the company the coats of Tartarian cloth or felt, which he, and his father and uncle had ordinarily worn during their travels, from the folds of which he took out an incredible quantity of rich jewels; among which were some that were well known to those who were present at the entertainment, and by which the three travellers incontestibly proved themselves members of the Polo family, and the identical persons they represented themselves.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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