The Travels of Marco Polo

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Harper & brothers, 1845 - Asia - 326 pages
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User Review  - Aurora KS - Borders

This is a tale like no other that transports the reader back in time and around the world. The account is told in a vast series of small tales, making it an easy read. Its cultural value is tremendous ... Read full review

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such a good book love it so much

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Page 138 - In this manner the great sire possesses all the gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones in his dominions. When any of the cards are torn or spoiled, the owner carries them to the place whence they were issued, and receives fresh ones, with a deduction of 3 per cent. If a man wishes gold or silver to make plate, girdles, or other ornaments, he goes to the office, carrying a sufficient number of cards, and gives them in payment for the quantity which he requires. This is the reason why the Khan has...
Page 138 - Then he calls twelve men skilful in these matters, and commands them to look at the articles, and fix their price. Whatever they name is paid in these cards, which the merchant cordially receives. In this manner the great sire possesses all the gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones in his dominions. When any of the cards are torn or spoiled, the owner carries them to the place whence they were issued, and receives fresh ones, wfth a deduction of 3 per cent.
Page 137 - Kambalu, the great khan may be called a perfect alchymist, for he makes it himself. He orders people to collect the bark of a certain tree, whose leaves are eaten by the worms that spin silk. The thin rind between the bark and the interior wood is taken, and from it cards are formed like those of paper, all black.
Page 335 - Here are also red pearls, large, and of equal value with the white, with many other precious stones. Kublai, on hearing of this amazing wealth, desired to conquer the island, and sent two of his barons with a very large fleet containing warriors, both horsemen and on foot. One was named Abatan, the other Vonsanicin, both wise and valiant. They sailed from Zai-tun...
Page 155 - It may be observed, also, that throughout the whole province of Cathay there are a kind of black stones cut from the mountains, in veins, which burn like logs; they maintain the fire better than wood. If you put them on in the evening, they will preserve it the whole night, and will be found burning in the morning. Throughout the whole of Cathay this fuel is used. They have also wood indeed ; but the stones are much less expensive.
Page 259 - Our notice of those portions of Polo's travels which deal with countries other than China must be very brief. In Armenia he found petroleum, of which there was " a fountain whence rises oil in such abundance, that a hundred ships might be at once loaded with it. It is not good for eating, but very fit for fuel...
Page 64 - ... heard. We know not if you gave them authority to speak as they have done ; but we send you the firm commandment and ordinance of God, which is, that if you wish to remain seated in your land and heritage, you, Pope, must come to us in your proper person, and do homage to him who holds just sway over the whole earth. And if you do not obey this firm command of God, and of him who holds just sway over the whole earth, God only knows what may happen.
Page 153 - He sends his messengers through all his kingdoms and provinces, to know if any of his subjects have had their crops injured through bad weather or any other disaster ; and if such injury has happened, he does not exact from them any tribute for that season or year ; nay, he gives them corn out of his own stores to subsist upon, and to sow their fields. This he does in summer ; in winter he inquires if there has been a mortality among the cattle, and in that case grants similar exemption and aid.
Page 59 - The series of your letters contained that we ought to be baptized and to become Christians ; we briefly reply, that we do not understand why we ought to do so. As to what is mentioned in your letters, that you wonder at the slaughter of men, and chiefly of Christians, especially Hungarians, Poles, and Moravians, we shortly answer, that this too we do not understand. Nevertheless...
Page 147 - When the monarch sits at table in his hall of state, and the cups are ten paces distant, full of wine, milk, and other beverages, they cause them, by their magical spells, to rise from the pavement and place themselves before the prince, without any one touching them ; this is done in the presence of 10,000 men ; and the fact is real and true, without any lie. * Meaning that they come from the countries of Thibet and Cashmere.

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