Every thing was now in readiness for my departure, but Marcus would by no means hear of my leaving Moscow, without taking a dinner with him, and accordingly gave me a magnificent entertainment. Louis, the patriarch of Antioch, of whom I have before made mention, came about this time to Moscow, and was detained there by order of the grand duke; but I made interest through Marcus for his release, which I obtained, and he was to have travelled along with me. But as he delayed too long, I set off without him. At length, on the 21st January 1476, we set out from Moscow in sledges, made like small huts, each drawn by a horse, and guided by a driver. In these sledges we carried our baggage and provisions along with us, and in them, journeys of great length may be made in a wonderfully short time. By order of the grand duke, I had a guide appointed to conduct me on the right road, and this was continued from place to place all, through his dominions. We slept the first night in a small village, where we found our lodgings exceedingly cold, but that was the smallest of our inconveniencies, and on this account I hastened our journey as much as possible. On the 27th of January, we arrived at Vieseme, and a few days afterwards at Smolensk on the frontiers of Lithuania, in the dominions of Casimir king of Poland. From Smolensk, till we arrived at Trach, a city of Lithuania, we travelled continually in a plain interspersed with some hills, the whole country being covered with wood, and our only lodgings were in miserable hovels; dining always about noon wherever we could meet with a fire, which had been left burning by travellers who had passed before us. We had generally to break the ice to procure water for our horses; we lighted fires to warm ourselves; and our sledges served us instead of beds, as without them we must have slept on the ground. We went with such expedition, over the frozen snow, that we were assured we had travelled 300 miles in three days and two nights.
Casimir king of Poland, who then resided at Troki, immediately on learning my arrival, sent two of his gentlemen to compliment me in his name, and to congratulate me on my safe return. They likewise invited me to dine with his majesty on the following day, which was the 15th of February, and presented me on the part of the king with a robe of purple damask, lined with Scythian furs, in which I dressed myself to go