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The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries by Richard Hakluyt

Part 3 out of 4

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nos volebat ignorare. Itaque reuersi stetimus paucis diebus, & iterum ad
ipsum reuersi sumus. Cum quo bene per mensem fuimus in tanta fame ac siti,
quod vix viuere poteramus. Nam expensa, qua nobis pro diebus quatuor
debantur, vix vni sufficiebant. Nec inuenire poteramus aliquid ad emendum,
quia forum erat nimis remotum. [Sidenote: Cosmas Russus.] Sed Dominus nobis
quendam Ruthenum, nomine Cosmam, aurifabrum praparauit, qui satis dilectus
Imperatori, nos in aliquo sustentauit. Et hic nobis ostendit thronum
Imperatoris, quem ipse fecerat, antequam poneretur in sede, & sigillum
eiusdem, quod etiam fabricauerat ipse. [Sidenote: Chingay internuncius.]
Post hoc Imperator pro nobis misit, nobisque per Chingay protonotarium suum
dici fecit, vt verba nostra & negotia scriberemus, eique porrigeremus. Quod
& fecimus. Post plures dies nos iterum vocari fecit, & vtrum essent apud
Dominum Papam, qui Ruthenorum vel Sarracenorum, aut etiam Tartarorum
literam intelligerent, interrogauit. Cui respondimus, quod nullam istarum
literarum habebamus. Sarraceni tamen erant in terra, sed remoti erant a
Domino Papa. Diximus tamen, quia nobis expedire videbatur, quod in
Tartarico scriberent, & nobis interpretarentur, nos autem in litera nostra
diligenter scriberemus, & tam literam quam interpretationem ad Dominum
Papam deferremus. Tunc a nobis recesserunt, & ad Imperatorem iuerunt. Porro
a die Beati Martini fuimus vocati. Tunc Kadac, totius imperij procurator, &
Chingay & Bala, pluresque scriptores ad nos venerunt, nobisque literam de
verbo ad verbum interpretati fuerunt. Et cum in Latina litera
scripsissemus, faciebant sibi per singulas orationes interpretari, volentes
scire, si nos in aliquo verbo erraremus. Cum igitur amba litera fuissent
scripta, fecerunt nos semel ac secundo legere, ne forte minus aliquid
haberemus. Dixerunt enim nobis, videte, quod omnia bene intelligatis, quia
non expediret, quod non omnia bene intelligeretis. Literas etiam in
Sarracenico scripserunt, vt aliquis in partibus nostris inueniri posset,
qui eas, si opus esset, legeret.

The same in English.

How the Friers coming at length vnto the Emperour, gaue, and receiued
letters. Chap. 31.

[Sidenote: Coyne dissembleth with the Legates.] To be short, the Tartars
brought vs vnto their Emperor, who when he had heard of them, that we were
come vnto him, commanded that we should return, vnto his mother. For he was
determined the next day, (as it is abouesaid) to set vp a flag of defiance
against all the countreis of the West, which he would haue vs in no case to
know. Wherefore returning, we staid some few dayes with his mother, and so
returned backe again vnto him. With whom we continued for the space of one
whole moneth in such extreme hunger and thirst, that we could scarce hold
life and soule together. For the prouision allowed vs for foure dayes, was
scantly sufficient for one day. Neither could we buy vs any sustenance,
because the market was too farre off. [Sidenote: Cosmas a Russian.] Howbeit
the Lorde prouided for vs a Russian goldsmith, named Cosmas, who being
greatly in the Emperours fauour, procured vs some sustenance. This man
shewed vnto vs the throne of the Emperour, which hee had made, before it
was set in the proper place, and his seale, which he also had framed.
[Sidenote: The message of Chingay.] Afterward the Emperor sent for vs,
giuing vs to vnderstand by Chingay his chief Secretary, that wee should
write downe our messages & affaires, and should deliuer them vnto him.
Which thing we performed accordingly. After many daies he called for vs
againe, demanding whether there were any with our Lord the Pope, which
vnderstood the Russian, the Saracen, or the Tartarian language? To whom we
answered, that we had none of those letters or languages. Howbeit, that
there were certaine Saracens in the land, but inhabiting a great distance
from our Lord the Pope. And wee saide, that wee thought it most expedient,
that when they had written their mindes in the Tartarian language, and had
interpreted the meaning thereof vnto vs, we should diligently translate it
into our own tongue, and so deliuer both the letter and the translation
thereof vnto our Lord the Pope. Then departed they from vs, and went vnto
the Emperour. And after the day of S. Martine, we were called for againe.
Then Kadac, principal agent for the whole empire, and Chingay, and Bala,
with diuers other Scribes, came vnto vs, and interpreted the letter word
for word. And hauing written it in Latine, they caused vs to interprete
vnto them eche sentence, to wit if we had erred in any word. And when both
letters were written, they made vs to reade them ouer twise more, least we
should haue mistaken ought. For they said vnto vs: Take heed that ye
vnderstand all things throughly, for if you should not vnderstand the whole
matter aright, it might breed some inconuenience. They wrote the said
letters also in the Saracen tongue that there might be some found in our
dominions which could reade and interprete them, if need should require.

Qualiter licentiati fuerunt. Cap. 32.

Vt autem nobis Tartari nostri dixerunt, proposuit Imperator nuncios suos
nobiscum mittere. Volebat tamen, vt credimus, quod nos id ab eo peteremus.
Sed cum vnus de Tartaris nostris, qui senior erat, nos ad hoc petendum
hortaretur, nobis quidem, vt venirent, ne quaquam bonum videbatur.
[Sidenote: Legate abhorrent a Tartarorum ad Christianos legatione.] Ideoque
respondimus ei, quod non erat nostrum petere, sed si sponte ipse Imperator
mitteret eos, libenter eos secure conduceremus, Domino adiuuante. Nobis
autem ob plures causas vt venirent, non videbatur expedire. Prima quidem
fuit, quia timuimus, ne visis dissentionibus aut guerris, qua fiunt inter
nos, magis animarentur ad veniendum contra nos. Secunda fuit, timebamus eos
exploratores terra fieri. Tertia vero, quia timebamus eos interfici. Gentes
enim nostra arrogantes sunt et superba. Vnde quando seruientes, qui stant
nobiscum, ex rogatu Cardinalis, legati scilicet Alemannia, in habitu
Tartarico ibant ad ipsum, in via fere lapidati sunt a Teutonicis, et coacti
sunt deponere habitum illum. Consuetudo autem est Tartarorum, vt cum illis,
qui nuncios eorum occiderint, nunquam faciant pacem, nisi sumant de ipsis
vltionem. Quarta etiam causa fuit, quia timebamus ne nobis auferrentur vi.
Quinta vero causa erat, quia de aduentu eorum nulla foret vtilitas, cum
nullum haberent aliud mandatum vel potestatem, nisi quod literas
Imperatoris ad Dominum Papam et ad Principes deferrent, quas videlicet
literas ipsi nos habebamus, et malum ex eorum aduentu posse contingere
credebamus. Itaque tertia die post hoc, scilicet in festo beati Briccij
[Sidenote: Nouemb. 13.] nobis dederunt licentiam et literam, Imperatoris
sigillo munitam, mittentes nos ad ipsius Imperatoris matrem, qua vnicuique
nostrum dedit pelliceum, vnum de pellibus vulpinis, quod habebat pilos de
foris, et purpuram vnam. [Sidenote: Honorantur commeatu et lautijs.] De
quibus Tartari nostri furati sunt ex vnaquaque vnum passum. De ilia quoque
qua dabatur seruienti, meliorem medietatem sunt furati. Quod nos quidem non
ignorauimus, sed inde verba mouere noluimus.

The same in English.

How they were licensed to depart. Chap. 32.

[Sidenote: The Legates are loth to haue any Ambassadours sent from the
Tartars to the Christians.] And (as our Tartars told vs) the Emperour was
purposed to send his ambassadors with vs. Howbeit, he was desirous (as we
thought) that we our selues should craue that fauour at his hands. And when
one of our Tartars being an ancient man, exhorted vs to make the said
petition, we thought it not good for vs, that the Emperour should send his
ambassadours. Wherefore we gaue him answere, that it was not for vs to make
any such petition, but if it pleased the Emperour of his owne accord to
send them, we would diligently (by Gods assistance) see them conducted in
safetie. Howbeit, we thought it expedient for vs, that they should not goe,
and that for diuers causes First, because we feared, least they, seeing the
dissentions and warres which are among vs should be the more encouraged to
make warre against vs. Secondly, we feared, that they would be insteade of
spies and intelligencers in our dominions. Thirdly, we misdoubted that they
would be slaine by the way. For our nations be arrogant and proud. For when
as those seruants (which at the request of the Cardinall, attended vpon vs,
namely the legates of Almaine) returned vnto him in the Tartars attire,
they were almost stoned in the way, by the Dutch, and were compelled to put
off those garments. And it is the Tartars custome, neuer to bee reconciled
vnto such as haue slaine their Ambassadours, till they haue reuenged
themselues. Fourthly, least they should bee taken from vs by mayne force.
Fiftly, because there could come no good by their ambassade, for they were
to haue none other commission, or authoritie, but onely to deliuer their
Emperours letter vnto the Pope, and to the Princes of Christendome, which
very same letters wee our selues had, and we knew right well, that much
harme might ensue thereof. Wherefore, the third day after this, namely,
vpon the feast of Saint Brice [Sidenote: Nouember 13.], they gaue vs our
passe-port and a Letter sealed with the Emperours owne seale, sending vs
vnto the Emperours mother, who gaue vnto eche of vs a gowne made of Foxe
skinnes, with the furre on the outside, and a piece of purple. [Sidenote:
They are rewarded with gifts.] And our Tartars stole a yard out of euery
one of them. And out of that which was giuen vnto our seruant, they stole
the better halfe. Which false dealing of theirs we knew well enough, but
would make no words thereof.

Qualiter ab illo itinere redierunt. Cap. 33.

[Sidenote: Difficilis legatorum reditus.] Tunc iter ad reuertendum
arripuimus, at per totam hyemem venimus, iacentes in desertis sapius in
niue, nisi quantum poteramus nobis cum pede locum facere. Ibi quippe non
erant arbores; sed planus campus. Et sape mane nos inueniebamus totos niue,
quam ventus pellebat, coopertos. Sic venientes vsque ad Ascensionem Domini
peruenimus ad Bathy. [Sidenote: Bathy.] A quo cum inquireremus, quid
responderet Domino Papa, dixit se nolle aliud, nisi quod Imperator
diligenter scripserat, demandare. Datisque nobis de conductu literis, ab eo
recessimus, & sabbatho infra octauas Pentecostes vsque ad Montij
peruenimus, vbi erant socij nostri, ac seruientes, qui fuerant retenti,
quos ad nos fecimus reduci. [Sidenote: Corrensa.] Hinc vsque Corrensam
peruenimus, cui iterum a nobis donaria petenti non dedimus, quia non
habebamus. Deditque nobis duos Comanos, qui erant ex Tartarorum plebe,
vsque ad Kiouiam Russia. Tartarus tamen noster non dimisit nos, donec
exiremus vltimam Tartarorum custodiam. Isti vero alij, qui nobis a Corrensa
dati sunt, in sex diebus ab vltima custodia vsque ad Kiouiam nos duxerunt.
Venimus autem illuc ante festum Beati Iohannis Baptista xv. diebus.
[Sidenote: Iunij 8. Gratulationes reducibus facta. Basilius & Daniel
Principes.] Porro Kiouienses aduentum nostrum percipientes, occurrerunt
nobis omnes latanter. Congratulabantur enim nobis, tanquam a morte
suscitatis. Sic fecerunt nobis per totam Russiam, Poloniam & Bohemiam.
Daniel & Wasilico frater eius festum nobis magnum fecerunt, & nos contra
voluntatem nostram bene per octo dies tenuerunt. Medioque tempore inter se
& cum Episcopis, caterisque probis viris, super his, qua locuti fueramus
eisdem, in processu nostro ad Tartaros consilium habentes, responderunt
nobis communiter, dicentes: [Sidenote: Russi agnoscunt primatum Papa.] quod
Dominum Papam habere vellent in specialem Dominum, & in patrem, sanctam
quoque Romanam Ecclesiam in dominam & magistram, confirmantes etiam omnia,
qua prius de hac materia per Abbatem suum transmiserant. Et super hoc etiam
nobiscum ad Dominum Papam nuncios suos & literas transmiserunt.

The same in English.

How they returned homewards. Chap. 33.

[Sidenote: The sore iourneys of the legates in returning.] Then taking our
iourney to returne, we trauailed all Winter long, lying in the deserts
oftentimes vpon the snow, except with our feete wee made a piece of ground
bare to lye vpon. For there were no trees, but the plaine champion
[Footnote: Champagne (Fr.) Open] field. And oftentimes in the morning, we
found our selues all couered with snow driuen ouer vs by the winde.
[Sidenote: Bathy.] And so trauailing till the feast of our Lordes
Ascension, we arriued at the court of Bathy. Of whom when wee had enquired,
what answere he would send vnto our Lord the Pope, he said that he had
nothing to giue vs in charge, but onely that we should diligently deliuer
that which the Emperour had written. And, hauing receued letters for our
safe conduct, the thirteenth day after Pentecost, being Saterday, wee were
proceeded as farre as Montij, with whome our foresaide associates and
seruants remained, which were withheld from vs, and we caused them to be
deliuered vnto vs. [Sidenote: Corrensa.] From hence wee trauailed vnto
Corrensa, to whom, requiring gifts the second time at our hands, we gaue
none, because we had not wherewithall. And hee appointed vs two Comanians,
which liued among the common people of the Tartars, to be our guides vnto
the citie of Kiow in Russia. Howbeit one of our Tartars parted not from vs,
till we were past the vtmost gard of the Tartars. But the other guides,
namely the Comanians, which were giuen vs by Corrensa, brought vs from the
last garde vnto the citie of Kiow, in the space of sixe dayes. And there we
arriued fifteene dayes before the feast of Saint Iohn Baptist. [Sidenote:
Iune 8. How they were welcomed at their returne.] Moreouer, the Citizens of
Kiow hauing intelligence of our approach, came foorth all of them to meet
vs, with great ioy. For they reioyced ouer vs, as ouer men that had bene
risen from death to life. So likewise they did vnto vs throughout all
Russia, Polonia, and Bohemia. [Sidenote: Basilius and Daniel Princes.]
Daniel and his brother Wasilico made vs a royall feast, and interteined vs
with them against our willes for the space Of eight dayes. In the mean
time, they with their Bishops, and other men of account, being in
consultation together about those matters which we had propounded vnto them
in our iourney towards the Tartars, answered vs with common consent,
saying: that they would holde the Pope for their speciall Lord and Father,
and the Church of Rome for their Lady & mistresse, confirming likewise al
things which they had sent concerning this matter, before our comming, by
their Abbate. And for the same purpose, they sent their Ambassadours and
letters by vs also, vnto our Lord the Pope.

* * * * *

Itinerarium fratris Willielmi de Rubruquis de ordine fratrum Minorum,
Galli, Anno gratia 1253. ad partes Orientales.

Excellentissimo Domino & Christianissimo, Lodouico Dei gratia Regi
Francorum illustri, frater Willielmus de Rubruquis in ordine fratrum
Minorum minimus salutem, & semper triumphare in Christo. Scriptum est in
Ecclesiastico de sapiente [Marginal note: Ecclus 39. ver 4.], In terram
alienarum gentium transibit, bona & mala in omnibus tentabit. Hoc opus,
Domine mi Rex, feci: sed vltinam vt sapiens et non stultus. Multi enim
faciunt quod facit sapiens, sed non sapienter, sed magis stulte; de quorum
numero timeo me esse. Tamen quocunque modo fecerim; quia dixistis mihi
quando recessi a vobis, vt omnia scriberem vobis, quacunque viderem inter
Tartaros, & etiam monuistis vt non timerem vobis scribere longas literas,
facio quod iniunxistis: Cum timore tamen & verecundia, quia verba congrua
mihi non suppetunt, qua debeam tanta scribere Maiestati. Nouerit ergo
vestra sancta maiestas, quod anno Domini millessimo ducentessimo,
quinquagessimo tertio, nonas Maij ingressi sumus mare Ponti, quod Bulgarici
vocant, Maius Mare: & habet mille octo milliaria in longum, vt didici a
mercatoribus, & distinguitur quasi in duas partes. Circa medium enim eius
sunt qua prouincia terra, vna ad Aquilonem, & alia ad meridiem. Illa qua
est ad meridiem dicitur Synopolis; & est castrum & portus Soldani Turchia.
Qua vero ad Aquilonem est, est Prouincia quadam, qua nunc dicitur a Latinis
Gasaria, a Gracis vero qui inhabitant eam super littus maris dicitur
Cassaria, hoc est Casaria. Et sunt promontoria quadam extendentia se in
mare, & contra meridiem versus Synopolim. Et sunt trecenta milliaria inter
Synopolim & Cassariam. Ita quod sint septingenta milliaria ab istis punctis
versus Constantinopolim in longum et latum: et septingenta versus Orientem:
hoc est, Hiberiam, qua est prouincia Georgia. Ad prouinciam Gasaria siue
Casaria applicuimus, qua est quasi triangularis, ad Occidentem habens
ciuitatem, qua dicitur Kersoua in qua fuit Sanctus Clemens marterizatus. Et
nauigantes coram ea vidimus insulam in qua est templum illud quod dicitur
Angelicis manibus praparatum. [Sidenote: Soldaia.] In medio vero quasi in
cuspide ad meridiem habet ciuitatem qua dicitur Soldaia, qua ex transuerso
respicit Synopolim: Et illuc applicant omnes Mercatores venientes de
Turchia volentes ire ad terras Aquilonares, et e contrario venientes de
Russia et terris Aquilonaribus, volentes transire in Turchiam. Illi portant
varium et grisiam, et alias pelles pretiosas. Alij portant telas de cottone
siue bombasio, et pannos sericos et species aromaticas. [Sidenote: Matriga
ciuitas.] Ad Orientem vero illius prouincia est ciuitas qua dicitur
Matriga, vbi cadit fluuius Tanais in mare Ponti per orificium habens
latitudinem duodecem milliarium. Ille enim fluuius antequam ingrediatur
mare Ponti, facit quoddam mare versus Aquilonem, habens in latitudine et
longitudine septinginta, milliaria, nusquam habens profunditatem vltra sex
passus, vnde magna vasa non ingrediuntur illud. Sed mercatores de
Constantinopoli applicantes ad pradictam ciuitatem Matertam, mittunt barcas
suas vsque ad flumen Tanaim, vt emant pisces siccatos, sturiones, thosas,
borbatos, et alios pisces infinita multitudinis. Pradicta vero prouincia
Cassaria cingitur mari in tribus lateribus: ad Occidentem scilicet, vbi est
Kersoua ciuitas Clementis, ad meridiem vbi est ciuitas Soldaia, ad quam
applicuimus, qua est cuspis prouincia, et ad Orientem Maricandis, vbi est
ciuitas Materta, et orificium Tanais. [Sidenote: Zikia.] Vltra illud
orificium est Zikia, qua non obedit Tartaris: Et Sueui et Hiberi ad
Orientem, qui non obediunt Tartaris. Postea versus meridiem est Trapesunda
qua habet proprium Dominum nomine Guidonem, qui est de genere imperatorum
Constantinopolitanorum, qui obedit Tartaris: postea Synopolis qua est
Soldani Turchia qui similiter obedit: postea terra Vastacij cuius filius
dicitur Astar ab auo materno, qui non obedit. Ab orificio Tanaius versus
Occidentem vsque ad Danubium totum est subditum. Etiam vltra Danubium
versus Constantinopolim, Valakia, qua est terra Assani, et minor Bulgaria
vsque in Solonomam omnes soluunt eis tributum. Et etiam vltra tributum
condictum sumpserunt annis nuper transactis de qualibet domo securim vnam,
et totum frumentum quod inuenerunt in massa. Applicuimus ergo Soldaia in
12. Kalendas Iunij: Et prauenerant nos quidam mercatores de
Constantinopoli, qui dixerunt venturos illuc nuncios de terra sancta
volentes ire ad Sartach. Ego tamen pradicaueram publice in Ramis Palmarum
apud Sanctam Sophiam, quod non essem nuncius, nec vester, nec alicuius, sed
ibam apud illos incredulos secundum regulam nostram. Tunc cum applicuissem,
monebant me dicti mercatores vt caute loquerer, quia dixerunt me esse
nuncium, et si non dicerem me esse nuncium, quod non praberetur mihi
transitus. Tunc loquutus sum hoc modo ad capitaneos ciuitatis, imo ad
vicarios capitaneorum, quia capitanei iuerant ad Baatu portantes tributum,
et non fuerant adhuc reuersi. Nos audiuimus, dixi, de Domino vestro Sartach
in Terra Sancta quod esset Christianus: et gauisi sunt inde vehementer
Christiani, et pracipue Dominus Rex Francorum Christianissimus, qui ibi
peregrinatur, et pugnat contra Saracenos, vt eripiat loca sancta de manibus
eorum: vnde volo ire ad Sartach, et portare ei literas Domini Regis, in
quibus monet eum de vtilitate totius Christianitatis. Et ipsi receperunt
nos gratanter, et dederunt nobis hospitium in ecclesia Episcopali. Et
Episcopus ipsius ecclesia fuerat ad Sartach, qui multa bona dixit mihi de
Sartach, qua ego postea non inueni. Tunc dederunt nobis optionem vtrum
vellemus habere bigas cum bobus ad portandum res nostras vel equos pro
summarijs. Et mercatores Constantinopolitani consuluerunt mihi quod non
acciperem bigas, imo quod emerem proprias bigas coopertas, in quibus
apportant Ruteni pelles suas, et in illis includerem res nostras quas
vellem quotidie deponere, quia si acciperem equos, oporteret me in qualibet
Herbergia deponere et reponere super alios, et praterea equitarem lentiori
gressu iuxta boues. Et tunc acquieui consilio eorum malo, tum quia fui in
itinere vsque Sartach duobus mensibus, quod potuissem vno mense fecisse, si
iuissem equis. Attuleram mecum de Constantinopoli fructus et vinum
muscatum, et biscoctum delicatum de consilio mercatorum ad prasentandum
capitaneis primis, vt facilius pateret mihi transitus; quia nullus apud eos
respicitur rectis oculis, qui venit vacua manu. Qua omnia posui in vna
biga, quando non inueni ibi capitaneos ciuitatis, quia dicebant mihi, quod
grattissima forent Sartach, si possem deferre ea vsque ad eum. Arripuimus
ergo iter tunc circa Kalend. Iunij cum bigis nostris quatuor coopertis et
cum alijis duabus quas accepimus ab eis, in quibus portabantur lectisternia
ad dormiendum de nocte, et quinque equos dabant nobis ad equitandum. Eramus
enim quinque persona. Ego et socius meus frater Bartholomeus de Cremona, et
Goset later prasentium, et homo dei Turgemannus, et puer Nicolaus, quam
emeram Constantinopoli de nostra eleemosyna. Dederunt etiam duos homines
qui ducebant bigas et custodiebant boues et equos. Sunt autem alta
promontoria super Mare a Kersoua vsque ad orificium Tanais: Et sunt
quadraginta castella inter Kersouam et Soldaiam, quorum quodlibet fere
habet proprium idioma: inter quos erant multi Goti, quorum idioma est
Teutonicum. Post illa montana versus Aquilonem est pulcherrima sylua in
planicie, plena fontibus et riuulis: Et post illam syluam est planicies
maxima, qua durat per quinque dietas vsque ad extremitatem illius prouincia
ad aquilonem, qua coarctatur habens Mare ad Orientem et Occidentem. Ita
quod est vnum fossatum magnum ab vno Mari vsque ad aliud. In illa planicie
solebant esse Comani antequam venirent Tartari, et cogebant ciuitates
pradictas et castra vt darent eis tributum. Et cum venerunt Tartari, tanta
multitudo Comanorum intrauit prouinciam illam, qui omnes fugerunt vsque ad
ripam Maris, quod comedebant se mutuo viui morientes: secundum quod
narrauit mihi quidam mercator, qui hoc vidit: Quod viui deuorabant et
lacerabant dentibus carnes crudas mortuorum, sicut canes cadauera. Versus
extremitatem illius prouincia sunt lacus multi et magni: in quorum ripis
sunt fontes salmastri, quorum aqua, qaam cito intrat lacum, efficit salem
durum ad modum glaciei. Et de illis salinis habent Baatu et Sartach magnos
reditus: quia de toto Russia veniunt illuc pro sale: et de qualibet biga
onusta dant duas telas de cottone valentes dimidiam Ipperperam. Veniunt, et
per Mare multa naues pro sale, qua omnes dant tributum secundum sui
quantitatem. Postquam ergo recessimus de Soldaia, tertia die inuenimus
Tartaros: inter quos cum intraueram, visum fuit mihi recte quod ingrederer
quoddam aliud saculum. Quorum vitam et mores vobis describam prout possum.

The same in English.

The iournal of frier William de Rubruquis a French man of the order of the
minorite friers, vnto the East parts of the worlde. An. Dom. 1253.

To his most Soueraigne, & most Christian Lord Lewis, by Gods grace the
renowned king of France, frier William de Rubruk, the meanest of the
Minorites order, wisheth health and continual triumph in CHRIST.

It is written in the booke of Ecclesiasticus concerning the wise man:
[Sidenote: Ecclus. 39, ver. 4] He shall trauell into forren countries, and
good and euill shall he trie in all things. The very same action (my lord
and kinge) haue I atchieued: howbeit I wish that I haue done it like a wise
man, and not like a foole. For many there be, that performe the same action
which a wise man doth, not wisely but more vndiscreetly: of which number I
feare myselfe to be one. Notwithstanding howsoeuer I haue done it, because
you commanded mee, when I departed from your highnes, to write all things
vnto you, which I should see among the Tartars, and you wished me also that
I should not feare to write long letters, I haue done as your maiestie
inioined me: yet with feare and reuerence, because I want wordes and
eloquence sufficient to write vnto so great a maiestie. Be it knowen
therefore vnto your sacred Maiestie, that in the yere of our Lord 1253,
about the Nones of May, we entered into the sea of Pontus, which the
Bulgarians call the great sea. It containeth in length (as I learned of
certaine merchants) 1008 miles, and is in a maner, diuided into two parts.
About the midst thereof are two prouinces, one towards the North, and
another towards the South. The South prouince is called Synopolis, and it
is the castle and porte of the Soldan of Turkie; but the North prouince is
called of the Latines, Gasaria: of the Greeks, which inhabite vpon the sea
shore thereof, it is called Cassaria, that is to say Casaria. And there are
certaine head lands stretching foorth into the sea towards Synopolis. Also,
there are 300. miles of distance betweene Synopolis and Cassaria. Insomuch
that the distance from those points or places to Constantinople, in length
and breadth is about 700. miles: and 700. miles also from thence to the
East, namely to the countrey of Hiberia which is a prouince of Georgia.
[Sidenote: Gasaria.] At the prouince of Gasaria or Cassaria we arriued,
which prouince is, in a maner, three square, hauing a citie on the West
part thereof called Kersoua, [Footnote: Kertch.] wherein S. Clement
suffered martyrdome. And sayling before the said citie, we sawe an island,
in which a Church is sayd to be built by the hands of angels. [Sidenote:
Soldaia.] But about the midst of the said prouince toward the South, as it
were, vpon a sharpe angle or point, standeth a citie called Soldaia
[Footnote: Simferopol, I presume.] directly ouer against Synopolis. And
there doe all the Turkie merchants, which traffique into the north
countries, in their iourney outward, arriue, and as they retume homeward
also from Russia, and the said Northerne regions, into Turkie. The foresaid
merchants transport thither ermines and gray furres, with other rich and
costly skinnes. Others carrie cloathes made of cotton or bombast, and
silke, and diuers kindes of spices. [Sidenote: The citie of Matriga.] But
vpon the East part of the said prouince standeth a Citie called Matriga
[Footnote: Azou.], where the riuer Tanais [Footnote: The Don.] dischargeth
his streames into the sea of Pontus, the mouth whereof is twelue miles in
breadth. For this riuer, before it entreth into the sea of Pontus, maketh a
little sea, which hath in breadth and length seuen hundreth miles,
[Footnote: The Sea of Azou is 210 miles long, and its breadth varies from
10 to 100 miles.] and it is no place there of aboue sixe-paces deepe,
whereupon great vessels cannot sayle ouer it. Howbeit the merchants of
Constantinople, arriuing at the foresayd citie of Materta [Marginal note:
Matriga.], send their barkes vnto the riuer of Tanais to buy dried fishes,
Sturgeons, Thosses, Barbils, and an infinite number of other fishes. The
foresayd prouince of Cassaria is compassed in with the sea on three sides
thereof: namely on the West side, where Kersoua the citie of Saint Clement
is situate: on the South side the citie of Soldaia whereat we arriued: on
the East side Maricandis, and there stands the citie of Matriga vpon the
mouth of the riuer Tanais. [Sidenote: Zikia.] Beyond the sayd mouth
standeth Zikia, which is not in subiection vnto the Tartars: also the
people called Sueui and Hiberi towards the East, who likewise are not vnder
the Tartars dominion. Moreouer towards the South, standeth the citie of
Trapesunda, [Footnote: Trebizond.] which hath a gouernour proper to it
selfe, named Guydo being of the Image of the Emperours of Constantinople,
and is subiect vnto the Tartars. Next vnto that is Synopolis the citie of
the Soldan of Turkie, who likewise is in subiection vnto them. Next vnto
these lyeth the countrey of Vastacius, whose sonne is called Astar, of his
grandfather by the mothers side, who is not in subiection. All the land
from the mouth of Tanais Westward as farre as Danubius is vnder their
subiection. Yea beyond Danubius also, towards Constantinople, Valakia,
which is the land of Assanus, and Bulgaria minor as farre as Solonia, doe
all pay tribute vnto them. And besides the tribute imposed, they haue also
of late yeares, exacted of euery houshold an axe, and all such corne as
they found lying on heapes. We arriued therefore at Soldaia the twelfth of
the Kalends of Iune. And diuers merchants of Constantinople, which were
arriued there before vs, reported that certaine messengers were comming
thither from the holy land, who were desirous to trauell vnto Sartach.
Notwithstanding I my self had publickely giuen out vpon Palme Sunday within
the Church of Sancta Sophia, that I was not your nor any other mans
messenger, but that I trauailed vnto those infidels according to the rule
of our order. And being arriued, the said merchants admonished me to take
diligent heede what I spake: because they hauing reported me to be a
messenger, if I should say the contrary, that I were no messenger, I could
not haue free passage granted vnto me. Then I spake after this maner vnto
the gouernors of the citie, or rather vnto their Lieutenants, because the
gouernors themselues were gone to pay tribute vnto Baatu, and were not as
yet returned. We heard of your lord Sartach (quoth I) in the holy land,
that he was become a Christian: and the Christians were exceeding glad
thereof, and especially the most Christian king of France, who is there now
in pilgrimage, and fighteth against the Saracens to redeeme the holy places
out of their handes: wherfore I am determined to go vnto Sartach, and to
deliuer vnto him the letters of my lord the king, wherein he admonisheth
him concerning the good and commoditie of all Christendome. And they
receiued vs with gladnes, and gaue vs enterteinement in the cathedrall
Church. The bishop of which Church was with Sartach, who told me many good
things concerning the saide Sartach, which after I found to be nothing so.
Then put they vs to our choyce, whither we woulde haue cartes and oxen, or
packehorses to transport our cariages. And the marchants of Constantinople
aduised me, not to take cartes of the citizens of Soldaia, but to buy
couered cartes of mine owne, (such as the Russians carrie their skins in),
and to put all our cariages, which I would daylie take out, into them:
because, if I should vse horses, I must be constrained at euery baite to
take downe my cariages, and to lift them vp againe on sundry horses backs:
and besides, that I should ride a more gentle pace by the oxen drawing the
cartes. Wherefore contenting my selfe with their euil counsel, I was
trauelling vnto Sartach 2 moneths which I could haue done in one, if I had
gone by horse. I brought with me from Constantinople (being by the
marchants aduised so to doe) pleasant fruits, muscadel wine, and delicate
bisket bread to present vnto the gouernours of Soldaia, to the end I might
obtain free passage: because they looke fauorablie vpon no man which
commeth with an emptie hand. All of which things I bestowed in one of my
cartes, (not finding the gouernours of the citie at home) for they told me,
if I could carry them to Sartach, that they would be most acceptable vnto
him. Wee tooke oure iourney therefore about the kalends of Iune, with fower
couered cartes of our owne and with two other which wee borrowed of them,
wherein we carried our bedding to rest vpon in the night, and they allowed
vs fiue horses to ride vpon. [Sidenote: Frier Bartholomeus de Cremona.] For
there were iust fiue persons in our companie: namely, I my selfe and mine
associate frier Batholomew of Cremona, and Goset the bearer of these
presents, the man of God Turgemannus, and Nicolas, my seruant, whome I
bought at Constantinople with some part of the almes bestowed vpon me.
Moreouer, they allowed vs two men, which draue our carts and gaue
attendance vnto our oxen and horses. There be high promontories on the sea
shore from Kersoua vnto the mouth of Tanais. Also there are fortie castles
betweene Kersoua and Soldaia, euery one of which almost haue their proper
languages: amongst whome there were many Gothes, who spake the Dutch
tongue. Beyond the said mountaines towards the North there is a most
beautifull wood growing on a plaine ful of fountaines and freshets.
[Sidenote: The necke of Taurica Chersonesus.] And beyond the wood there is
a mightie plaine champion, continuing fiue days iourney vnto the very
extremitie and borders of the said prouince northward, and there it is a
narrow Isthmus or neck land, [Footnote: The Isthmus of Perekop.] hauing sea
on the East and West sides therof, insomuch that there is a ditch made from
one sea vnto the other. In the same plaine (before the Tartars sprang vp)
were the Comanians wont to inhabite, who compelled the foresayd cities and
castles to pay tribute vnto them. But when the Tartars came vpon them, the
multitude of the Comanians entred into the foresaid prouince, and fled all
of them, euen vnto the sea shore, being in such extreame famine, that they
which were aliue, were constrained to eate vp those which were dead; and
(as a marchant reported vnto me who sawe it with his owne eyes) that the
liuing men deuoured and tore with their teeth, the raw flesh of the dead,
as dogges would knawe vpon carrion. Towards the border of the sayd prouince
there be many great lakes: vpon the bankes whereof are salt pits or
fountaines, the water of which so soon as it entereth into the lake,
becommeth hard salte like vnto ice. And out of those salte pittes Baatu and
Sartach haue great reuenues: for they repayre thither out of all Russia for
salte: and for each carte loade they giue two webbes of cotton amounting to
the value of half an Yperpera. There come by sea also many ships for salt,
which pay tribute euery one of them according to their burden. The third
day after wee were departed out of the precincts of Soldaia, we found the
Tartars. [Sidenote: The Tartars.] Amongst whome being entered, me thought I
was come into a new world. Whose life and maners I will describe vnto your
Hignes as well as I can.

De Tartaris and domibus eorum. Cap. 2.

Nusquam habent manentem ciuitatem, sed futuram ignorant. Inter se
diuiserunt Scythiam, qua durat a Danubio vsque ad ortum solis. Et quilibet
Capitaneus, secundum quod habet plures vel pauciores homines sub se, scit
terminos pascuorum suorum, et vbi debet pascere hyeme et astate, vere et
autumno. In hyeme enim descendunt ad calidiores regiones versus meridiem.
In astate ascendunt ad frigidiores versus aquilonem. Loca pascuosa sine
aquis pascunt in hyeme quando est ibi nix, quia niuem habent pro aqua.
Domum in qua dormiunt fundant super rotam de virgis cancellatis, cuius
tigna sunt de virgis, and [Transcriber's note: sic.] conueniunt in vnam
paruulam rotam superius, de qua ascendit collum sursum tanquam
fumigatorium, quam cooperiunt filtro albo: et frequentius imbuunt etiam
filtrum calce vel terra alba et puluere ossium, vt albens splendeat, et
aliquando nigro. Et filtrum illud circa collum superius decorant pulchra
varietate pictura. Ante ostium similiter suspendunt filtrum opere
polimitario variatum. Consumunt enim filtrum coloratum in faciendo vites et
arbores, aues et bestias. Et faciunt tales domos ita magnas, quod habent
triginta pedes in latitudine. Ego enim mensuraui semel latitudinem inter
vestigia rotarum vnius biga viginti pedum: et quando domus erat super bigam
excedebat extra rotas in vtroque latere quinque pedibus ad minus. Ego
numeraui in vna biga viginti duos boues trahentes vnam domum: Vndecem in
vno ordine secundum latitudinem biga, et alios vndecem ante illos: Axis
biga erat magnus ad modum arboris nauis: Et vnus homo stabat in ostio domus
super bigam minans boues. Insuper faciunt quadrangulos de virgulis fissis
attenuatis ad quantitatem vnius arca magna: et postea de vna extremitate ad
aliam eleuant testudinem de similibus virgis, et ostiolum faciunt in
anteriori extremitate: et postea cooperiunt illam cistam siue domunculam
filtro nigro inbuto seuo siue lacte ouino, ne possit penetrari pluuia; quod
similiter decorant opere polimitario vel plumario. Et in talibus arcis
ponunt totam suppellectilem suam et thesarum: quas ligant fortiter super
bigas alteras quas trahunt cameli, vt possint transuadare flumina. Tales
arcas nunquam deponunt de bigis. Quando deponunt domas suas mansionarias,
semper vertunt portam ad meridiem; et consequenter collocant bigas cum
arcis hinc et inde prope domum ad dimidium iactum lapidis: ita quod domus
stat inter duos ordines bigarum quasi inter duos muros. Matrona faciunt
sibi pulcherrimas bigas, quas nescirem vobis describere nisi per picturam.
[Marginal note: Nota.] Imo omnia depinxissem vobis si sciuissem pingere.
Vnus diues Moal siue Tartar habet bene tales bigas cum arcis ducentas vel
centum. Baatu habet sexdecem vxores: qualibet habet vnam magnam domum,
exceptis alijs paruis, quas collocant post magnam, qua sunt quasi camera;
in quibus habitant puella. Ad quamlibet istarum domorum appendent ducenta
biga. Et quando deponunt domus, prima vxor deponit suam curiam in capite
occidentali, et postea alia secundum ordinem suum; ita quod vltima vxor
erit in capite Orientali: et erit spacium inter curiam vnius domina et
alterius, iactus vnius lapidis. Vnde curia vnius diuitis Moal apparebit
quasi vna magna Villa: tunc paucissimi viri erunt in ea. Vna muliercula
ducet 20. bigas vel 30. Terra enim plana est. Et ligant bigas cum bobus vel
camelis vnam post aliam: et sedebit muliercula in anteriori minans bouem,
et omnes alia pari gressu sequentur. Si contingat venire ad aliquem malum
passum, soluunt eas et transducunt sigillatim: Vadunt enim lento gressu
sicut agnus vel bos potest ambulare.

The same in English.

Of the Tartars, and of their houses. Chap. 2.

They haue in no place any setled citie to abide in, neither knowe they of
the celestiall citie to come. They haue diuided all Scythia among
themselues, which stretcheth from the riuer Danubius euen vnto the rising
of the sunne. And euery of their captaines, according to the great or small
number of his people, knoweth the bound of his pastures, and where he ought
to feed his cattel winter and summer, Spring and autumne. For in the winter
they descend vnto the warme regions southward. And in the summer they
ascend vnto the colde regions northward. In winter when snowe lyeth vpon
the ground, they feede their cattell vpon pastures without water, because
then they vse snow in stead of water. Their houses wherein they sleepe,
they ground vpon a round foundation of wickers artificially wrought and
compacted together: the roofe whereof consisteth (in like sorte) of
wickers, meeting aboue into one little roundell, out of which roundell
ascendeth a necke like vnto a chimney, which they couer with white felte,
and oftentimes they lay mortar or white earth vpon the sayd felt, with the
powder of bones, that it may shine white. And sometimes also they couer it
with blacke felte. The sayd felte on the necke of their house, they doe
garnish ouer with beautifull varietie of pictures. Before the doore
likewise they hang a felt curiously painted ouer. For they spend all their
coloured felte in painting vines, trees, birds, and beastes thereupon. The
sayd houses they make so large, that they conteine thirtie foote in
breadth. For measuring once the breadth betweene the wheele-ruts of one of
their cartes, I found it to be 20 feete ouer: and when the house was vpon
the carte, it stretched ouer the wheeles on each side fiue feete at the
least. I told 22. oxen in one teame, drawing an house vpon a cart, eleuen
in one order according to the breadth of the carte, and eleuen more before
them: the axeltree of the carte was of an huge bignes like vnto the mast of
a ship. And a fellow stood in the doore of the house, vpon the forestall of
the carte driuing forth the oxen. Moreouer, they make certaine fouresquare
baskets of small slender wickers as big as great chestes: and afterward,
from one side to another, they frame an hollow lidde or couer of such like
wickers, and make a doore in the fore side thereof. And then they couer the
sayd chest or little house with black fell rubbed ouer with tallow or
sheeps milke to keepe the raine from soaking through, which they decke
likewise with painting or with feathers. And in such chests they put their
whole houshold stuffe and treasure. Also the same chests they do strongly
binde vpon other carts, which are drawen with camels, to the end they may
wade through riuers. Neither do they at any time take down the sayd chests
from off their carts. When they take down their dwelling houses, they turne
the doores alwayes to the South: and next of all they place the carts laden
with their chests, here and there, within half a stones cast of the house:
insomuch that the house standeth between two ranks of carts, as it were,
between two wals. [Footnote: Something in the style of the laagers of South
Africa at the present day.] [Sidenote: The benefite of a painter in strange
countries.] The matrons make for themselues most beautiful carts, which I
am not able to describe vnto your maiestie but by pictures onlie: for I
would right willingly haue painted all things for you, had my skill bin
ought in that art. One rich Moal or Tartar hath 200. or 100. such cartes
with chests. Duke Baatu hath sixteene wiues, euery one of which hath one
great house, besides other little houses, which they place behind the great
one, being as it were chambers for their maidens to dwel in. And vnto euery
of the said houses do belong 200. cartes. When they take their houses from
off the cartes, the principal wife placeth her court on the West frontier,
and so all the rest in their order: so that the last wife dwelleth vpon the
East frontier: and one of the said ladies courts is distant from another
about a stones cast. Whereupon the court of one rich Moal or Tartar will
appeare like vnto a great village, very few men abiding in the same. One
woman will guide 20. or 30. cartes at once, for their countries are very
plaine, and they binde the cartes with camels or oxen, one behind another.
And there sittes a wench in the foremost carte driuing the oxen, and al the
residue follow on a like pace. When they chance to come at any bad passage,
they let them loose, and guide them ouer one by one: for they goe a slowe
pace, as fast as a lambe or an oxe can walke.

De lectis eorum et poculis. Cap. 3.

Postquam deposuerint domus versa porta ad meridiem, collocant lectum domini
ad partem aquilonarem. Locus multerum est semper ad latus Orientale hoc est
ad sinistrum domini domus cum sedet in lecto suo versa facie ad meridiem:
locus vero virorum ad latus occidentale, hoc est ad dextrum. Viri
ingredientes domum nullo modo suspenderent pharetram ad partem mulierum. Et
super caput Domini est semper vna imago quasi puppa et statuuncula de
filtro, quam vocant fratrem domini: alia similis super caput domina, quam
vocant fratrem domina, affixa parieti: et superius inter vtramque illarum
est vna paruula, macilenta, qua est quasi custos totius domus. Domina domus
ponit ad latus suum dextrum ad pedes lecti in eminenti loco pelliculam
hoedinam impletam lana vel alia materia, et iuxta illam statuunculam
paruulam respicientem famulas et mulieres. Iuxta ostium ad partem mulieris
est iterum alia imago cum vbere vaccino, pro mulieribus qua mungunt vaccas.
De officio foeminarum est mungere vaccas. Ad aliud latus ostij versus viros
est alia statua cum vbere equa pro viris qui mungunt equas. Et cum
conuenerint ad potandum primo spargunt de potu illi imagini, qua est super
caput domini: postea alijs imaginibus per ordinem: postea exit minister
domum cum cipho et potu, et spargit ter ad meridiem, qualibet vice
flectendo genu; et hoc ad reuerentiam ignis: postea ad Orientem ad
reuerentiam aeris: postea ad Occidentem ad reuerentiam aqua; ad aquilonem
proijciunt pro mortuis. Quando tenet dominus ciphum in manu et debet
bibere, tunc primo antequam bibat, infundit terra partem suam. Si bibit
sedens super equum, infundit antequam bibat, super collum vel crinem equi.
Postquam vero minister sic sparserit ad quatuor latera mundi, reuertitur in
domum et sunt parati duo famuli cum duobus ciphis et totidem patenis vt
deferant potum domino et vxori sedenti iuxta eum sursum in lecto. Et cum
habet plures vxores, illa cum qua dormit in nocte sedet iuxta eum in die:
et oportet quod omnes alia veniant ad domum illam illa die ad bibendum: et
ibi tenetur curia illa die: et xenia qua deferuntur, illa deponuntur in
thesauris illius domina. Bancus ibi est cum vtre lactis vel cum alio potu
et cum ciphis.

The same in English.

Of their beds, and of their drinking pots. Chap. 3.

Hauing taken downe their houses from off their cartes, and turning the
doores Southward, they place the bed of the master of the house, at the
North part thereof. The womens place is alwaies on the East side, namely on
the left hand of the good man of the house sitting vpon his bed with his
face Southwards; but the mens place is vpon the West side, namely at the
right hand of their master. Men when they enter into the house, wil not in
any case hang their quiuers on the womens side. Ouer the masters head is
alwayes an image, like a puppet, made of felte, which they call the masters
brother: and another ouer the head of the good wife or mistresse, which
they call her brother being fastened to the wall: and aboue betweene both
of, them, there is a little leane one, which is, as it were the keeper of
the whole house. The good wife or mistresse of the house placeth aloft at
her beds feete, on the right hand, the skinne of a Kidde stuffed with wooll
or some other matter, and neare vnto that a little image or puppet looking
towards the maidens and women. Next vnto the doore also on the womens side,
there is another image with a cowes vdder, for the women that milke the
kine. For it is the duety of their women to milke kine. On the other side
of the doore next vnto the men, there is another image with the vdder of a
mare, for the men which milke mares. And when they come together to drinke
and make merie, they sprinckle parte of their drinke vpon the image which
is aboue the masters head: afterward vpon other images in order: then goeth
a seruant out of the house with a cuppe full of drinke sprinckling it
thrise towards the South, and bowing his knee at euery time: and this is
done for the honour of the fire. Then perfourmeth he the like superstitious
idolatrie towards the East, for the honour of the ayre: and then to the
West for the honour of the water: and lastly to the North in the behalfe of
the dead. When the maister holdeth a cuppe in his hande to drinke, before
he tasteth thereof, hee powreth his part vpon the ground. If he drinketh
sitting on horse backe, hee powreth out part thereof vpon the necke or
maine of his horse before hee himselfe drinketh. After the seruaunt
aforesaide hath so discharged his cuppes to the fower quarters of the
world, hee returneth into the house: and two other seruants stand ready
with two cuppes, and two basons, to carrie drinke vnto their master and his
wife, sitting together vpon a bed. And if he hath more wiues than one, she
with whome hee slept the night before, sitteth by his side the daye
following: and all his other wiues must that day resorte vnto the same
house to drinke: and there is the court holden for that day: the giftes
also which are presented that daye are layd vp in the chests of the sayd
wife. And vpon a bench stands a vessell of milke or of other drinke and
drinking cuppes.

De potibus eorum et qualiter prouocant alios ad bibendum. Cap. 4.

Faciunt in hyeme optimum potum, de risio, de millio, de melle: claret sicut
vinum. Et defertur eis vmum a remotis partibus. In astate non curant nisi
de Cosmos. Stat semper infra domum ad introitum porta, et iuxta illud stat
citharista cum citherula sua. Citheras et vielas nostras non vidi ibi, sed
multa alia instrumenta, qua apud nos non habentur. Et cum incipit bibere
tunc vnus mintstrorum exclamat alta voce, HA: et citharista per cutit
citharum. [Sidenote: Similiter in Florida.] Et quando faciunt festum
magnum, tunc omnes plaudunt manibus et saltant ad vocem cithara, viri coram
Domino, et mulieres coram domina. Et postquam dominus biberit, tunc
exclamat minister sicut prius, et tacet citharista: tunc bibunt omnes in
circuitu viri et mulieres: et aliquando bibunt certatim valde turpiter et
gulose. Et quando volunt aliquem prouocare ad potum arripiunt eum per aures
et trahunt fortiter vt dilatent ei gulam, et plaudunt et saltant coram eo.
Item cum aliqui volunt facere magnum festum et gaudium, vnus accipit ciphum
plenum, et alij duo sunt ei a dextris et sinistris: et sic illi tres
veniunt cantantes vsque ad illum cui debent porrigere ciphum, et cantant et
saltant coram eo: et cum porrigit manum ad recipiendum ciphum, ipsi subito
resiliunt, et iterum sicut prius reuertuntur, et sic illudunt ei ter vel
quater retrahendo ciphum, donec fuerit bene exhileratus et bonum habeat
appetitum, et tunc dant ei ciphum, et cantant et plaudunt manibus et terunt
pedibus donec biberit.

The same in English.

Of their drinkes, and how they prouoke one another to drinking. Chap. 4

In winter time they make excellent drinke of Rise, of Mill, and of honie,
being well and high coloured like wine. Also they haue wine brought vnto
them from farre countries. In summer time they care not for any drinke, but
Cosmos. And it standeth alwaies within the entrance of his doore, and next
vnto it stands a minstrell with his fidle. I sawe there no such citerns and
vials as ours commonly be, but many other musicall instruments which are
not vsed among vs. And when the master of the house begins to drinke, one
of his seruants cryeth out with a lowde voice HA, and the minstrell playes
vpon his fidle. [Sidenote: They vse the like custome in Florida.] And when
they make any great solemne feast, they all of them clap their hands and
daunce to the noyse of musique the men before their master and the women
before their mistresse. And when the master hath drunke, then cries out his
seruant as before, and the minstrell stayeth his musique. Then drinke they
all around both men and women: and sometimes they carowse for the victory
very filthily and drunkenly. Also when they will prouoke any man, they pul
him by the eares to the drinke, and lug and drawe him strongly to stretch
out his throate clapping their handes and dauncing before him. Moreouer
when some of them will make great feasting and reioycing, one of the
company takes a full cuppe, and two other stand, one on his right hand and
another on his left, and so they three come singing to the man who is to
haue the cuppe reached vnto him, still singing and dauncing before him: and
when he stretcheth foorth his hand to receiue the cuppe, they leape
suddenly backe, returning againe as they did before, and so hauing deluded
him thrice or fower times by drawing backe the cuppe vntill he be merie,
and hath gotten a good appetite, then they giue him the cuppe, singing and
dauncing and stamping with their feete, vntill he hath done drinking.

De cibarijs eorum. Cap. 5.

De cibis et victualibus eorum noueritis, quod indifferenter comedunt omnia
morticinia sua. Et inter tot pecora et armenta non potest esse quin multa
animalia moriantur. Tamen in astate quamdiu durat eis cosmos, hoc est lac
equinum, non curant de alio cibo. Vnde tunc si contingat eis mori bouem vel
equum, siccant carnes scindendo per tenues pecias et suspendendo ad solem
et ventum, qua statim sine sale siccantur absque aliquo fatore. De
intestinis equorum faciunt andulges meliores quam de porcis; quas comedunt
recentes: reliquas carnes reseruant ad hyemem. De pellibus boum faciunt
vtres magnos, quos mirabiliter siccant ad fumum. De posteriori parte pellis
equi faciunt pulcherrimos soculares. De carne vnius arietis dant comedere
quinquaginta hominibus vel centum. Scindunt enim minutatim in scutella cum
sale et aqua, aliam enim salsam non faciunt, et tunc cum puncto cultelli
vel furcinula, quas proprias faciunt ad hoc, cum qua solemus comedere pira
et poma cocta in vino, porrigunt cuilibet circumstantium buccellam vnam vel
duas, secundum multitudinem comedentium. Dominus antequam proponitur caro
arietis in primo ipse accipit quod placet ei: et etiam si dat alicui partem
specialem, oportet quod accipiens comedat eam solus, et nemini licet dare
ei. Si non potest totum comedere, asportat secum, vel dat garcioni suo, si
est presens, qui custodiat ei: sin aliter, recondit in saptargat suo, hoc
est in bursa quadrata, quam portant ad recondendum omnia talia, in qua et
ossa recondunt, quando non habent spacium bene rodendi ea, vt postea
rodant, ne pereat aliquid de cibo.

The same in English.

Of their foode and victuals. Chap. 5.

Concerning their foode and victuals, be it knowen vnto your Highnesse that
they do, without al difference or exception, eate all their dead carrions.
And amongst so many droues it cannot be, but some cattell must needes die.
Howbeit in summer, so long as their Cosmos, that is, their mares milke
lasteth, they care not for any foode. [Sidenote: Drying of flesh in the
wind.] And if they chance to haue an oxe or an horse dye, they drie the
flesh thereof: for cutting it into thin slices and hanging it vp against
the Sunne and the wind, it is presently dried without salt, and also
without stenche or corruption. They make better puddings of their horses
then of their hogs, which they eate being new made: the rest of the flesh
they reserue vntill winter. They make of their oxe skins great bladders or
bags, which they doe wonderfully dry in the smoake. Of the hinder part of
their horse hides they make very fine sandals and pantofles. They giue vnto
50. or an 100. men the flesh of one ram to eat. For they mince it in a
bowle with salt and water (other sauce they haue none) and then with the
point of a knife, or a little forke which they make for the same purpose
(such as wee vse to take rosted peares or apples out of wine withal) they
reach vnto euery one of the company a morsell or twaine, according to the
multitude of guestes. The master of the house, before the rams flesh be
distributed, first of all himselfe taketh thereof, what he pleaseth. Also,
if he giueth vnto any of the company a speciall part, the receiuer therof
must eat it alone, and must not impart ought therof vnto any other. Not
being able to eate it vp all, he caries it with him, or deliuers it vnto
his boy, if he be present, to keepe it: if not, he puts it vp into his
Saptargat, that is to say, his foure square budget, which they vse to cary
about with them for the sauing of all such prouision, and wherein they lay
vp their bones, when they haue not time to gnaw them throughly, that they
may burnish them afterward, to the end that no whit of their food may come
to nought.

Quomodo faciunt Cosmos. Cap. 6.

Ipsum Cosmos, hoc est lac iumentinum fit hoc modo. Extendunt cordam longam
super terram ad duos palos fixos in terra, et ad illam cordam ligant
circiter horas tres, pullos equarum quas volunt mungere. Tunc stant matres
iuxta pullos suos et permittunt se pacifice mungi. Et si aliqua est nimis
indomita, tunc accipit vnus homo pullum et supponit ei permittens parum
sugere, tunc retrahit illum, et emunctor lactis succedit. Congregata ergo
multitudine lactis, quod est ita dulce sicut vaccinum, dum est recens,
fundunt illud in magnum vtrem siue bucellam, et incipiunt illud concutere
cum ligno ad hoc aptato, quod grossum est inferius sicut caput hominis et
cauatum subtus: et quam cito concutiunt illud, incipit bullire sicut vinum
nouum, et acescere siue fermentari, et excutiunt illud donec extrahant
butirum. Tunc gustant illud; et quando est temperate pungitiuum bibunt:
pungit enim super linguam sicut vinum raspei dum bibitur. Et postquam homo
cessat bibere, relinquit saporem super linguam lactis amygdalini, et multum
reddit interiora hominis iucunda, et etiam inebriat debilia capita: multum
etiam prouocat vrinam. Faciunt etiam Cara-cosmos, hoc est nigrum cosmos ad
vsum magnorum dominorum, hoc modo. Lac equinum non coagulatur. Ratio enim
est: quod nullius animalis lac nisi cuius fetet venter non inuenitur
coagulum. In ventre pulli equi non inuenitur: vnde lac equa non coagulatur.
Concutiunt ergo lac in tantum, quod omnino quod spissum est in eo vadat ad
fundum recta, sicut faces vini, et quod purum est remanet superius et est
sicut serum, et sicut mustum album. Faces sunt alba multum, et dantur
seruis, et faciunt multum dormire. Illud clarum bibunt domini: et est pro
certo valde suauis potus et bona efficacia. Baatu habet 30. casalia circa
herbergiam suam ad vnam dietam, quorum vnam quodque qualibet die seruit ei
de tali lacte centum equarum, hoc est, qualibet die lac trium millium
equarum, excepto alio lacte albo, quod deferunt alij. Sicut enim in Syria
rustici dant tertiam partem fructuum, quam ipsi afferunt ad curias
dominorum suorum, ita et isti lac equarum tertia diei. De lacte vaccino
primo extrahunt butyrum et bulliunt illud vsque ad perfectam decoctionem,
et postea recondunt illud in vtribus arietinis quos ad hoc reseruant. Et
non ponunt sal in butiro: tamen propter magnam decoctionem non putrescit;
et reseruant illud contra hyemem. Residuum lac quod remanet post butirum
permittunt acescere quantum acrius fieri potest et bulliunt illud, et
coagulatur bulliendo, et coagulum illud desiccant ad solem, et efficitur
durum sicut scoria ferri. Quod recondunt in saccis contra hyemem tempore
hyemali quando deficit eis lac, ponunt illud acre coagulum, quod ipsi
vocant gri-vt, in vtre, et super infundunt aquam calidam, et concutiunt
fortiter donec illud resoluatur in aqua; qua ex illo efficitur tota
acetosa, et illam aquam bibunt loco lactis. Summe cauent ne bibant aquam
puram.

The same in English.

How they make their drinke called Cosmos. Chap 6.

Their drinke called Cosmos, which is mares milke, is prepared after this
manner. They fasten a long line vnto 2. posts standing firmely in the
ground, and vnto the same line they tie the young foles of those mares,
which they mean to milke. Then come the dams to stand by their foles gently
suffering themselues to be milked. And if any of them be too vnruly, then
one takes her fole, and puts it vnder her, letting it suck a while, and
presently carying it away againe, there comes another man to milke the said
mare. And hauing gotten a good quantity of this milke together (being as
sweet as cowes milke) while it is newe they powre it into a great bladder
or bag, and they beat the said bag with a piece of wood made for the
purpose, hauing a club at the lower ende like a mans head, which is hollow
within: and so soone as they beat vpon it, it begins to boile like newe
wine, and to be sower and sharp of taste, and they beate it in that manner
till butter come thereof. Then taste they thereof, and being indifferently
sharpe they drinke it: for it biteth a mans tongue like the wine of raspes,
when it is drunk. After a man hath taken a draught thereof, it leaueth
behind it a taste like the taste of almon milke, and goeth downe very
pleasantly, intoxicating weake braines: also it causeth vrine to be auoided
in great measure. Likewise Caracosmos, that is to say black Cosmos, for
great lords to drink, they make on this maner. First they beat the said
milke so long till the thickest part thereof descend right downe to the
bottome like the lees of white wine, and that which is thin and pure
remaineth aboue, being like vnto whay or white must The said lees or dregs
being very white, are giuen to seruants, and will cause them to sleepe
exceedingly. That which is thinne and cleare their masters drinke: and in
very deed it is marueilous sweete and holesome liquor. Duke Baatu hath
thirty cottages or granges within a daies iourney of his abiding place:
euery one of which serueth him dayly with the Caracosmos of an hundreth
mares milk, and so all of them together euery day with the milke of 3000.
mares, besides white milke which other of his subiects bring. For euen as
the husbandmen of Syria bestow the third part of their fruicts and carie it
vnto the courts of their lords, euen so doe they their mares milke euery
third day. Out of their cowes milke they first churne butter, boyling the
which butter vnto a perfect decoction, they put it into rams skinnes, which
they reserue for the same purpose. Neither doe they salte their butter: and
yet by reason of the long seething, it putrifieth not: and they keepe it in
store for winter. The churnmilke which remaineth of the butter, they let
alone till it be as sowre as possibly it may be, then they boile it and in
boiling, it is turned all into curdes, which curds they drie in the sun,
making them as hard as the drosse of iron: and this kind of food also they
store vp in sachels against winter. In the winter season when milke faileth
them, they put the foresaid curds (which they cal Gry-vt) into a bladder,
and powring hot water thereinto, they beat it lustily till they haue
resolued it into the said water, which is thereby made exceedingly sowre,
and that they drinke in stead of milke [Footnote: Presumably the first
mention of preserved milk in any form.]. They are very scrupulous, and take
diligent heed that they drinke not fayre water by it selfe.

De bestijs quas comedunt, et de vestibus, ac de venatione eorum. Chap. 7.

Magni domini habent casalia versus meridiem, de quibus afferunt eis milium
et farinam contra hyemem, pauperes procurant sibi pro arietibus et pellibus
commutando. Sclaui etiam implent ventrem suum aqua crassa, et hac contenti
sunt. Mures cum longis caudis non comedunt et omne genus murium habens
curtam caudam. Sunt etiam ibi multa marmotes, quas ipsi vocant Sogur; qua
conueniunt in vna fouea in hyeme 20. vel 30. pariter, et dormiunt sex
mensibus: quas capiunt in magna multitudine. Sunt etiam ibi, cuniculi
habentes longam caudam sicut cari; et in summitate cauda habent pilos
nigros et albos. Habent et multas alias bestiolas bonas ad comedendum: quas
ipsi valde bene discernunt. Ceruos non vidi ibi; lepores paucos vidi,
gaselos multos. Asinos syluestres vidi in magna multitudine, qui sunt quasi
muli. Vidi et aliud genus animalis quod dicitur Artak, quod habet recte
corpus arietis et cornua torta, sed tanta quantitatis, quod vix poteram vna
manu leuare duo cornua: et faciunt de cornibus illis ciphos magnos. Habent
falcones, girfalcones, et herodios in magna multitudine: quos omnes portant
super manum dexteram: et ponunt semper falconi vnam corrigiam paruulam
circa collum, qua pendet ei vsque ad medietatem pectoris: per quam cum
proijciunt eum ad pradam, inclinant cum sinistra manu caput et pectus
falconis, ne verberetur a vento, vel ne feratur sursum. Magnum ergo partem
victus sui acquirunt venatione. De vestibus et habitu eorum noueritis, quod
de Cataya et alijs regionibus Orientis, et etiam de Perside et alijs
regionibus austri veniunt eis panni serici et aurei, et tela de bambasio,
quibus induuntur in astate. [Sidenote: Maior Hungaria.] De Russia, de
Moxel, et Maiore Bulgaria et Pascatir, qua est maior Hungaria, et Kersis:
(qua omnes sunt regiones ad Aquilonem et plena syluis;) et alijs multis
regionibus ad latus aquilonare, qua eis obediunt, adducuntur eis pelles
preciosa multi generis; quas nunquam vidi in partibus nostris: Quibus
induuntur in hyeme. Et faciunt semper in hyeme duas pelliceas ad minus:
vnam, cuius pilus est ad carnem: aliam cuius pilus est extra contra ventum
et niues, qua multoties sunt de pellibus lupinis vel vulpibus vel
papionibus. Et dum sedent in domo habent aliam delicatiorem. Pauperes
faciunt illas exteriores de canibus et capris. Quum volunt venari feras,
conueniunt magna multitudo et circundant regionem in qua sciunt feras esse,
et paulatim appropinquant sibi, donec concludant feras inter se quasi infra
circulum, et tunc sagitant ad eas; faciunt etiam braccas de pellibus.
Diuites etiam furrant vestes suas de stupa seta, qua est supra modum
mollis, et leuis et calida. Pauperes furrant vestes de tela de bambasio, de
delicatiori lana quam possunt extrahere: de grossiori faciunt filtrum ad
cooperiendum domos suas et cistas, et ad lectisternia. De lana etiam et
tertia parte pilorum equi admixta, faciunt cordas suas. De filtro etiam
faciunt pauellas sub sellis, et capas contra pluuiam. [Sidenote: Nota.]
Vnde multum expendunt de lana. Habitum virorum vidistis.

The same in English.

Of the beastes which they eat, of their garments, and of their maner of
hunting. Chap. 7.

Great lords haue cottages or granges towards the South, from whence their
tenants bring them Millet and meale against winter. The poorer sort prouide
themselues of such necessaries, for the exchange of rams, and of other
beasts skins. The Tartars slaues fil their bellies with thick water, and
are therewithall contented. They wil neither eate mise with long tailes,
nor any kinde of mise with short tailes. They haue also certaine litle
beasts called by them Sogur, which lie in a caue twenty or thirty of them
together, al the whole winter sleeping there for the space of sixe moneths:
[Footnote: Marmosets] and these they take in great abundance. There are
also a kind of conies hauing long tayles like vnto cats: and on the outside
of their tailes grow blacke and white haires. They haue many other small
beasts good to eat, which they know and discerne right well. I saw no Deere
there, and but a fewe hares but a great number of Roes. I saw wild asses in
great abundance which be like vnto Mules. Also I saw another kind of beast
called Artak, hauing in al resemblance the body of a ram and crooked
hornes, which are of such bignes, that I could scarce lift vp a paire of
them with one hand; and of these hornes they make great drinking cups.
[Sidenote: Our falconers vse the left first. Another strange custome, which
I leaue to be scanned by falconers themselues.] They haue Falcons,
Girfalcons, and other haukes in great plenty all which they cary vpon their
right hands: and they put alwaies about their Falcons necks a string of
leather, which hangeth down to the midst of their gorges, by the which
string they cast them off the fist at their game, with their left hand they
bow doune the heads and breasts of the sayd haukes, least they should be
tossed vp and downe, and beaten with the wind, or least they should soare
too high. Wherefore they get a great part of their victuals, by hunting and
hauking. Concerning their garments and attire be it knowen vnto your
Maiestie, that out of Cataya and other regions of the East, out of Persia
also and other countries of the South, there are brought vnto them stuffes
of silke, cloth of gold, and cotton cloth, which they weare in time of
summer. But out of Russia, Moxel, Bulgaria the greater, and Pascatir, that
is Hungaria the greater, and out of Kersis (all which are Northerne regions
and full of woods) and also out of many other countries of the North, which
are subiect vnto them, the inhabitants bring them rich and costly skins of
diuers sortes (which I neuer saw in our countries) wherewithal they are
clad in winter. And alwaies against winter they make themselues two gownes,
one with the fur inward to their skin, and another with the furre outward,
to defend them from wind and snow, which for the most part are made of
woolues skins, or Fox skins, or els of Papions. And when they sit within
the house, they haue a finer gowne to weare. The poorer sort make their
vpper gowne of dogs or of goats skins. When they goe to hunt for wild
beasts, there meets a great company together, and inuironing the place
round about, where they are sure to find some game, by litle and litle they
approach on al sides, til they haue gotten the wild beasts into the midst,
as it were into a circle, and then they discharge their arrowes at them.
Also they make themselues breeches of skins. The rich Tartars somtimes fur
their gowns with pelluce or silke shag, which is exceeding soft, light, and
warme. The poorer sort do line their clothes with cotton cloth which is
made of the finest wooll they can pick out, and of the courser part of the
said wool, they make felt to couer their houses and their chests, and for
their bedding also. [Sidenote: Great expense of wooll.] Of the same wool,
being fixed with one third part of horse haire, they make all their
cordage. They make also of the said felt couerings for their stooles, and
caps to defende their heads from the weather: for all which purposes they
spend a great quantity of their wooll. And thus much concerning the attyre
of the men.

De rasura virorum et ornatu mulierum. Cap. 8.

Viri radunt in summitate capitis quadrangulum, et ab anterioribus angulis
ducunt rasuram crista capitis vsque ad tempora. Radunt etiam tempora et
collum vsque ad summum concauitatis ceruicis: et frontem anterius vsque ad
frontinellam, super quam relinquunt manipulum pilorum descendentium vsque
ad supercilia. In angulis occipitis relinquunt crines, quibus faciunt
tricas, quas succingunt nodando vsque ad aures. Et habitus puellarum non
differt ab habitu virorum, nisi quod aliquantulum est longior. Sed in
crastino postquam est nupta radit caluariam suam a medietate capitis versus
frontem, et habet tunicam latam sicut cucullam monialis, et per omnia
latiorem et longiorem, fissam ante, quam ligat sub dextro latere. In hoc
enim differunt Tartari a Turcis: quod Turci ligani tunicas suas ad
sinistram, Tartari semper ad dextram. Postea habent ornamentum capitis,
quod vocant botta, quod fit de cortice arboris vel alia materia, quam
possunt inuenire, leuiore: et est grossum et rotundum, quantum potest
duabus manibus complecti; longum vero vnius cubiti et plus, quadrum
superius, sicut capitellum vnius columna. Istud botta cooperiunt panno
serico precioso; et est concauum interius: et super capitellum in medio vel
super quadraturam illam ponunt virgulam de calamis pennarum vel cannis
gracilibus longitudinis scilicet vnius cubiti et plus: et illam sibi
virgulam ornant superius de pennis pauonis, et per longum in circuitu
pennulis cauda malardi, et etiam lapidibus praciosis. Diuites domina istud
ornamentum ponunt in summitate capitis quod stringunt fortiter cum almucia,
qua foramen habet in summitate ad hoc aptatum, et in isto recondunt crines
suos quos recolligunt a parte posteriori ad summitatem capitis quasi in
nodo vno et reponunt in illo botta, quod postea fortiter ligant sub
gutture. Vnde quum equitant plures domina simul et videntur a longe,
apparent milites, habentes galeas in capitibus cum lanceis eleuatis. Illud
enim botta apparet galea de super lancea. Et sedent omhes mulieres super
equos sicut viti diuersificantes coxas; et ligant cucullas suas panno
serico aerij coloris super renes, et alia fascia stringunt ad mamillas: et
ligant vnam peciam albam sub occulis, qua descendit vsque ad pectus. Et
sunt mulieres mira pinguedinis, et qua minus habet de naso pulchrior
reputatur. Deturpant etiam turpiter pinguedine facies suas: nunquam cubant
in lecto pro puerperio.

The same in English.

Of the fashion which the Tartars vse in cutting their haire, and of the
attire of their women. Chap. 8.

The men shaue a plot foure square vpon the crownes of their heads, and from
the two formost corners they shaue, as it were, two seames downe to their
temples: they shaue also their temples and the hinder part of their head
euen vnto the nape of the necke: likewise they shaue the forepart of their
scalp downe to their foreheads, and vpon their foreheads they leaue a locke
of hayre reaching downe vnto their eye browes: vpon the two hindermost
corners of their heads, they haue two lockes also, which they twine and
braid into knots and so bind and knit them vnder each eare one. Moreouer
their womens garments differ not from their mens, sauing that they are
somewhat longer. But on the morrowe after one of their women is maried,
shee shaues her scalpe from the middest of her head downe to her forehead,
and weares a wide garment like vnto the hood of a Nunne, yea larger and
longer in all parts then a Nuns hood, being open before and girt vnto them
vnder the right side. For herein doe the Tartars differ from the Turkes:
because the Turkes fasten their garments to their bodies on the left side:
but the Tartars alwaies on the right side. They haue also an ornament for
their heads which they call Botta, being made of the barke of a tree, or of
some such other lighter matter as they can find, which by reason of the
thicknes and roundnes therof cannot be holden but in both hands together:
and it hath a square sharp spire rising from the top therof, being more
then a cubite in length, and fashioned like vnto a pinacle. The said Botta
they couer al ouer with a piece of rich silke: and it is hollow within: and
vpon the midst of the sayd spire or square toppe, they put a bunch of quils
or of slender canes a cubite long and more: and the sayd bunch, on the top
thereof, they beautifie with Peacocks feathers, and round about al the
length therof, with the feathers of a Malards taile, and with precious
stones also. Great ladies weare this kind of ornament vpon their heads
binding it strongly with a certain hat or coyfe, which hath an hole in the
crowne, fit for the spire to come through it: and vnder the fore-said
ornament they couer the haires of their heads, which they gather vp round
together from the hinder part therof to the crowne, and so lap them vp in a
knot or bundel within the said Botta, which afterward they bind strongly
vnder their throtes. Hereupon when a great company of such gentlewomen ride
together, and are beheld a far off, they seem to be souldiers with helmets
on their heads carrying their launces vpright: for the said Botta appeareth
like an helmet with a launce ouer it. Al their women sit on horsebacke
bestriding their horses like men: and they bind their hoods or gownes about
their wastes with a skie coloured silke skarfe, and with another skarfe
they girde it aboue their breasts: and they bind also a piece of white
silke like a mufler or mask vnder their eyes, reaching down vnto their
breast These gentlewomen are exceeding fat, and the lesser their noses be,
the fairer are they esteemed: they daube ouer their sweet faces with grease
too shamefully: and they neuer lie in bed for their trauel of childbirth.

De officio mulierum, et operibus earum, ac de nuptijs earum. Cap. 9.

Officium foeminarum est ducere bigas, ponere domus super eas et deponere,
mungere vaccas, facere butirum et griut, parare pelles, et consuere eas,
quas consuunt filo deneruis; diuidunt enim neruos in minuta fila, et postea
illa contorquent in vnum longum filum. Consuunt etiam soculares et soccos
et alias vestes. Vestes vero nunquam lauant, quia dicunt quod Deus tunc
irascitur, et quod fiant torotrua si suspendantur ad siccandum: Imo
lauantes verberant et eis auferunt. Tonitrua supra modum timent: tunc omnes
extraneos emittunt de domibus suis; et inuoluunt se in filtris nigris, in
quibus latitant, donec transierit. Nunquam etiam lauant scutellos, imo
carne cocta alueum in quo debent ponere eam lauant brodio bulliente de
caldaria, et postea refundunt in caldariam; faciunt et filtrum et
cooperiunt domos. Viri faciunt solum arcus et sagittas, fabricant strepas,
et frana, et faciunt cellas, carpentant domos et bigas: custodiunt equos et
mungunt equas, concutiunt ipsum cosmos et lac equinum, faciunt vires in
quibus reconditur: custodiunt etiam camelos, et onerant eos Oues et Capras
custodiunt mixtim et mungunt aliquando viri, aliquando mulieres. [Sidenote:
Pellium paratio] De lacte ouium inspissato et salso parant pelles. Cum
volunt manus vel caput lauare implent os suum aqua et paulatim fundunt de
ore suo super manus, et eadem humectant crines suos, et lauant caput suum.
De nuptijs eorum noueritis, quod nemo habet ibi vxorem nisi emat eam; vnde
aliquando sunt puella multum aduita ante quam nubant: semper enim tenent
eas parentes, donec vendant eas. Seruant etiam gradus consanguinitatis
primum et secundum: nullum autem seruant affinitatis. Habent enim simul vel
successiue duas sorores. Nulla vidua nubit inter eos, hac ratione; quia
credunt quod omnes qui seruiunt eis in hac vita seruient in futura. Vnde
vidua credunt, quod semper reuertitur post mortem ad primum maritum. Vnde
accidit turpis consuetudo inter eos quod filius scilicet ducit aliquando
omnes vxores patris sui, excepta matre. Curia enim patris et matris semper
accidit iuniori filio. Vnde oportet quod ipse prouideat omnibus vxoribus
patris sui, quia adueniunt ea cum curia paterna. Et tunc si vult vtitur eis
pro vxoribus, quia non reputat sibi iniuriam, si reuertatur ad patrem post
mortem. Cum ergo aliquis fecerit pactum cum aliquo de filia accipienda,
facit pater puella conuiuium, et illa fuagit ad consanguineos, vt ibi
lateat: Tunc pater dicit, Ecce filia mea tua est, accipe eam vbicunque
inueneris: Tunc ille quarit cum amicis suis, donec inueniat eam, et
oportet, quod vi capiat eam et ducat eam quasi violenter ad domum.

The same in English.

Of the dueties inioined vnto the Tartarian women, and of their labours, and
also of their mariages. Chap. 9.

The duties of women are, to driue carts: to lay their houses vpon carts and
to take them downe again: to milke kine: to make butter and Gry-vt: to
dresse skins and to sow them, which they vsually sowe with thread made of
sinewes, for they diuide sinewes into slender threads, and then twine them
into one long thread. They make sandals and socks and other garments.
Howbeit they neuer wash any apparel: for they say that God is then angry,
and that dreadful thunder wil ensue, if washed garments be hanged forth to
drie: yea, they beat such as wash and take their garments from them. They
are wonderfully afraid of thunder: for in the time of thunder they thrust
all strangers, out of their houses, and then wrapping themselues in black
felt, they lie hidden therein, til the thunder be ouerpast. They neuer wash
their dishes or bowles: yea, when their flesh is sodden, they wash the
platter wherein it must be put, with scalding hot broth out of the pot, and
then powre the said broth into the pot againe. They make felte also, and
couer their houses therewith. The duties of the men are to make bowes and
arrowes, stirrops, bridles and saddles, to build houses and carts, to keep
horses, to milke, mares, to churne Cosmos and mares milke, and to make bags
wherein to put it, they keepe camels also and lay burthens vpon them. As
for sheepe and goates they tend and milke them, aswell the men as the
women. With sheeps milke thicked and salted they dresse and tan their
hides. When they wil wash their hands or their heads, they fil their
mouthes full of water, and spouting it into their hands by little and
little, they sprinckle their haire and wash their heades therwith.
[Footnote: The same custom still exists amongst the inhabitants of the Lena
Delta] As touching mariages, your Highnes is to vnderstand, that no man can
haue a wife among them till he hath bought her whereupon somtimes their
maids are very stale before they be maried, for their parents alwaies keepe
them till they can sel them. They keepe the first and second degrees of
consanguinitie inuiolable, as we do but they haue no regard of the degrees
of affinity: for they wil marrie together, or by succession, two sisters.
Their widowes marie not at al, for this reason: because they beleeue, that
al who haue serued them in this life, shall do them seruice in the life to
come also. Whereupon they are perswaded, that euery widow after death shal
returne vnto her own husband. And herehence ariseth an abominable and
filthy custome among them, namely that the sonne marieth somtimes all his
fathers wiues except his own mother: For the court or house of the father
or mother falleth by inheritance alwaies to the yonger son. Whereupon he is
to prouide for all his fathers wiues, because they are part of his
inheritance aswel as his fathers possessions. And then if he will he vseth
then for his owne wiues: for he thinks it no iniurie or disparagement vnto
himselfe, although they returne vnto his father after death. Therfore when
any man hath bargained with another for a maid, the father of the said
damosel makes him a feast: in the meane while she fleeth vnto some of her
kinsfolks to hide her selfe. Then saith her father vnto the bridegrome:
Loe, my daughter is yours, take her whersoeuer you can find her. Then he
and his friends seek for her till they can find her, and hauing found her
hee must take her by force and cary her, as it were, violently vnto his
owne house.

De iusticijs eorum et iudicijs, et de morte ac sepultura eorum. Cap. 10.

De iusticijs eorum nouentis, quod quando duo homines pugnant, nemo audet se
intermittere. Etiam pater non audet iuuare filium. Sed qui peiorem partem
habet, appellat ad curiam domini. Et si alius post appellationem tangat
eum, interficitur. Sed oportet quod statim absque dilatione vadat: Et ille
qui passus est iniuriam ducit eum quasi captiuum. Neminem puniunt capitali
sententia, nisi deprehensus fuerit in facto, vel confessus. Sed quum
diffamatus est a pluribus, bene torquent eum, vt confiteatur. Homicidium
puniunt capitali sententia, et etiam coitum cum non sua. Non suam dico vel
vxorem vel famulam: Sua enim sclaua licet vti prout libet. Item enorme
furtum puniunt morte. Pro leui furto, sicut pro vno ariete, dummodo non
fuerit sape deprehensus in hoc, verberant crudeliter. Et si dant centum
ictus oportet quod habeant centum baculos, de illis dico, qui verberantur
sententia curia. Item falsos nuncios, quia faciunt se nuncios et non sunt,
interficiunt. Item sacrilegas, de quibus dicam vobis postea plenius, quia
tales reputant veneficas. Quando aliquis moritur plangunt vehementer
vlulando: et tunc sunt liberi quod non dant vectigal vsque ad annum. Et si
quis interest morti alicuius adulti non ingreditur domum ipsius Mangucham
vsque ad annum. Si paruulus est qui moritur, non ingreditur vsque post
lunationem. Iuxta sepulturam defuncti semper relinquunt domum vnam. Si est
de nobilibus, hoc est de genere Chingis, qui fuit primus pater et domimis
eorum, illius qui moritur ignoratur sepultura: et semper circa loca illa
vbi sepeliunt nobiles suos est vna herbergia hominum custodientium
sepulturas. Non intellexi quod ipsi recondunt thesaurum cum mortuis. Comani
faciunt magnum tumulum super defunctum et erigunt ei statuam versa facie ad
orientem, tenentem ciphum in manu sua ante vmbelicum; fabricant et
diuitibus pyramides, id est domunculas acutas: et alicubi vidi magnas
turres de tegulis coctis: alicubi lapideas domos, quamuis lapides non
inueniantur ibi. Vidi quendam nouiter defunctum, cui suspenderant pelles
sexdecem equorum, ad quodlibet latus mundi quatuor inter perticas altas: et
apposuerunt ei cosmos vt biberet, et carnes vt comederet: et tamen dicebant
de illo quod fuerat baptizatus. Alias vidi sepulturas versus orientem.
Areas scilicet magnas structas lapidibus, aliquas rotundas, aliquas
quadratas, et postea quatuor lapides longos erectos ad quatuor regiones
mundi circa aream. Et vbi aliquis infirmatur cubat in lecto et ponit signum
super domum suam, quod ibi est infirmus, et quod nullus ingrediatur: vnde
nullus visitat infirmum nisi seruiens eius. Quando etiam aliquis de magnis
curijs infirmatur, ponunt custodes longe circa curiam, qui infra illos
terminos neminem permittunt transire: timent enim ne mali spiritus vel
ventus veniant cum ingredientibus. Ipsos diuinatores vocant tanquam
sacerdotes suos.

The same in English.

Of their execution of iustice and iudgement: and of their deaths and
burials. Chap. 10.

Concerning their lawes or their execution of iustice, your Maiesty is to be
aduertised, and when two men fight, no third man dare intrude himself to
part them. Yea, the father dare not help his owne sonne. But he that goes
by the worst must appeale vnto the court of his lord. And whosoeuer els
offereth him any violence after appeale, is put to death. But he must go
presently without all delay: and he that hath suffered the iniury, carieth
him, as it were captiue. They punish no man with sentence of death, vnles
hee bee taken in the deede doing, or confesseth the same. But being accused
by the multitude, they put him vnto extreame torture to make him confesse
the trueth. They punish murther with death, and carnall copulation also
with any other besides his owne. By his own, I meane his wife or his maid
seruant, for he may vse his slaue as he listeth himself. Heinous theft also
or felony they punish with death. For a light theft, as namely for stealing
of a ram, the party (not being apprehended in the deed doing, but otherwise
detected) is cruelly beaten. And if the executioner laies on an 100.
strokes, he must haue an 100. staues, namely for such as are beaten vpon
sentence giuen in the court. Also counterfeit messengers, because they
feine themselues to be messengers, when as indeed they are none at all,
they punish with death. Sacrilegious persons they vse in like manner (of
which kind of malefactors your Maiesty shall vnderstand more fully
hereafter) because they esteeme such to be witches. When any man dieth,
they lament and howle most pitifully for him: and the said mourners are
free from paying any tribute for one whole yeare after. Also whosoeuer is
present at the house where any one growen to mans estate lieth dead, he
must not enter into the court of Mangu-Can til one whole yere be expired.
If it were a child deceased he must not enter into the said court til the
next moneth after. Neere vnto the graue of the partie deceased they alwaies
leaue one cottage. If any of their nobles (being of the stock of Chingis,
who was their first lord and father) deceaseth, his sepulcher is vnknowen.
And alwayes about those places where they interre their nobles, there is
one house of men to keep the sepulchers. I could not learn that they vse to
hide treasures in the graues of their dead. The Comanians build a great
toomb ouer their dead, and erect the image of the dead party thereupon,
with his face towards the East, holding a drinking cup in his hand, before
his nauel. They erect also vpon the monuments of rich men, Pyramides, that
is to say, little sharpe houses or pinacles: and in some places I saw
mighty towers made of brick, in other places Pyramides made of stones,
albeit there are no stones to be found thereabout. I saw one newly buried,
in whose behalfe they hanged vp 16. horse hides, vnto each quarter of the
world 4, betweene certain high posts: and they set besides his graue Cosmos
for him to drink, and flesh to eat: and yet they sayd that he was baptized.
I beheld other kinds of sepulchers also towards the East: namely large
flowres or pauements made of stone, some round and some square, and then 4.
long stones pitched vpright, about the said pauement towards the 4. regions
of the world. When any man is sicke, he lieth in his bed, and causeth a
signe to be set vpon his house, to signifie that there lieth a sicke person
there, to the end that no man may enter into the sayd house: whereupon none
at all visit any sicke party but his seruant only. Moreouer, when any one
is sicke in their great courts, they appoint watchmen to stand round about
the said court, who wil not suffer any person to enter within the precincts
thereof. For they feare least euill spirits or winds should come together
with the parties that enter in. They esteeme of soothsayers, as of their
priests.

Qualiter ingressi sunt inter Tartaros, et de ingratitudine eorum. Cap. 11.

Quando ergo ingressi sumus inter illos barbaros, visum fuit mihi, vt dixi
superius, quod ingrederer aliud seculum. Circumdederunt enim nos in equis
postquam diu fecerant nos expectare sedentes in vmbra sub bigis nigris.
Prima quastio fuit, vtrum vnquam fuissemus inter eos; habito quod non:
inceperunt impudenter petere de cibarijs nostris, et dedimus de pane
biscocto et vino quod attuleramus nobiscum de villa: et potata vna lagena
vini, petierunt aliam, dicentes, quod homo non ingreditur domum vno pede;
non dedimus eis, excusantes nos quod parem haberemus Tunc quasiuerunt vnde
veniremus, et quo vellemus ire; dixi eis superiora verba, quod audieramus
de Sartach, quod esset Christianus, et quod vellem ire ad eum, quia habebam
deferre ei literas vestras. Ipsi diligenter quasiuerunt, vtrum irem de mea
voluntate, vel vtrum mitterer. Ego respondi quod nemo coegit me ad eundum,
nec iuissem nisi voluissem: vnde de mea voluntate ibam, et etiam de
voluntate superioris me. Bene caui, quod nunquam dixi, me esse nuncium
vestrum. Tunc quasiuerunt quid esset in bigis, vtrum esset aurum vel
argentum, vel vestes preciosa, quas deferrem Sartach. Ego respondi, quod
Sartach videret quid deferremus ei quando perueniremus ad eum; et quod non
intererat eorum ista quarere: sed facerent me deduci vsque ad capitaneum
suum, et ipse si vellet mihi prabere ducatum vsque ad Sartach faceret: sin
minus, reuerterer. Erat enim in illa prouincia vnus consanguineus Baatu,
nomine Scacatai, cui dominus imperator Constantinopolitanus mittebat
literas deprecatorias, quod me permitteret transire. Tunc ipsi
acquieuerunt, prabentes nobis equos et boues et duos homines, qui
deducerent nos. Et alij qui adduxerant nos sunt reuersi. Prius tamen
antequam pradicta darent, fecerunt nos diu expectare petentes de pane
nostro pro paruulis suis: Et omnia qua videbant super famulos nostros,
cultellos, chirothecas, bursas, corrigias, omnia admirantes et volentes
habere. Excusabam me, quia longa nobis restabat via, nec debebamus ita cito
spoliare nos rebus necessarijs ad tantam viam perficiendam. Tunc dicebant
quod essem batrator. Verum est quod nihil abstulerint vi: Sed valde
importune et impudenter petunt qua vident. Et si dat homo eis perdit, quia
sunt ingrati. Reputant se dominos mundi, et videtur eis, quod nihil debeat
eis negari ab aliquo. Si non dat, et postea indigeat seruicio eorum, male
ministrant ei. Dederunt nobis bibere de lacte suo vaccino, a quo contractom
erat butirum, acetoso valde, quod ipsi vocant Apram et sic recessimus ab
eis. Et visum fuit mihi recte, quod euadissem de manibus damonum. In
crastino peruenimus ad capitaneum. Ex quo recessimus a Soldaia vsque ad
Sartach in duobus mensibus nunquam iacuimus in domo nec in tentorio, sed
semper sub dio, vel sub bigis nostris, nec vidimus aliquam villam, vel
vestigium alicuius adificij vbi fuisset villa, nisi tumbas Comanorum in
maxima multitudine. Illo sero dedit nobis garcio qui ducebat nos bibere
cosmos; ad cuius haustum totus sudaui propter horrorem et nouitatem, quia
nunquam biberam de eo; valde tamen sapidum videbatur mihi, sicut vere est.

The same in English.

Of our first entrance among the Tartars, and of their ingratitude. Chap.
11.

And being come amongst those barbarous people, me thought (as I said
before) that I was entred into a new world: for they came flocking about vs
on horse back, after they had made vs a long time to awaite for them
sitting in the shadow, vnder their black carts. The first question which
they demanded was whether we had euer bin with them heretofore, or no? And
giuing them answere that we had not, they began impudently to beg our
victuals from vs. And we gaue them some of our bisket and wine, which we
had brought with vs from the towne of Soldaia. And hauing drunke off one
flagon of our wine they demanded another, saying, that a man goeth not into
the house with one foote. Howbeit we gaue them no more, excusing our selues
that we had but a litle. Then they asked vs, whence we came, and whither we
were bound? I answered them with the words aboue mentioned: that we had
heard concerning duke Sartach, that he was become a Christian, and that
vnto him our determination was to trauel, hauing your Maiesties letters to
deliuer vnto him. They were very inquisitiue to know whether I came of mine
own accord, or whether I were sent? I answered that no man compelled me to
come, neither had I come, vnles I my selfe had bin willing: and that
therefore I was come according to mine own wil, and to the will of my
superior. I tooke diligent heed neuer to say that I was your Maiesties
ambassador. Then they asked what I had in my carts; whether it were gold or
siluer, or rich garments to carie vnto Sartach? I answered that Sartach
should see what we had brought, when we were once come vnto him, and that
they had nothing to do to aske such questions, but rather ought to conduct
me vnto their captaine, and that he, if he thought good, should cause me to
be directed vnto Sartach: if not, that I would returne. For there was in
the same prouince one of Baatu his kinsmen called Scacati, vnto whom my
lord the Emperor of Constantinople had written letters of request to suffer
me to passe through his territory. With this answere of ours they were
satisfied, giuing vs horses and oxen, and two men to conduct vs. Howbeit
before they would allow vs the foresayd neccessaries for our iorney, they
made vs to awayt a long whyle, begging our bread for their yong brats,
wondering at all things which they sawe about our seruants, as their
kniues, gloues, purses, and points, and desiring to haue them. I excused my
self that we had a long way to trauel, and that we must in no wise so soon
depriue our selues of things necessary, to finish so long a iourney. Then
they said that I was a very varlet. True it is, that they tooke nothing by
force from me: howbeit they will beg that which they see very importunatly
and shamelesly. And if a man bestow ought vpon them, it is but cost lost,
for they are thankles wretches. They esteeme themselues lords and think
that nothing should be denied them by any man. If a man giues them nought,
and afterward stands in neede of their seruice, they will do right nought
for him. They gaue vs of their cowes milke to drink after that butter was
cherned out of it, being very sower, which they cal Apram. And so we
departed from them. And in very deed it seemed to me that we were escaped
out of the hands of diuels. On the morrow we were come vnto the captain.
From the time wherin we departed from Soldaia, till we arriued at the court
of Sartach, which was the space of two moneths, we neuer lay in house or
tent, but alwaies vnder the starry canopy, and in the open aire, or vnder
our carts. Neither yet saw we any village, nor any mention of building
where a village had bin, but the graues of the Comanians in great
abundance. The same euening our guide which had conducted vs, gaue vs some
Cosmos. After I had drunke thereof I sweat most extreamly for the nouelty
and strangenes, because I neuer dranke of it before. Notwithstanding me
thought it was very sauory, as indeed it was.

De curia Scacatay, et quod Christiani non bibunt cosmos. Cap. 12.

Mane ergo obuiauimus bigis Scacatay onustis domibus. Et videbatur mihi quod
obuiaret mihi ciuitas magna. Mirabar etiam super multitudine armentorum
boum et equorum et gregum ouium: paucos videbam homines qui ista
gubernarent; vnde inquisiui quot homines haberet sub se? et dictum fuit
mihi, quod non plusquam quingentos, quorum medietatem transiueramus in alia
herbergia. Tunc incepit mihi dicere garcio qui ducebat nos, quod aliquid
oporteret Scacatay dare: et ipse fecit nos stare, et pracessit nuncians
aduentum nostrum. Iam erat hora plusquam tertia, et deposuerunt domos suas
iuxta quondam aquam. Et venit ad nos interpres ipsius, qui statim cognito,
quod nunquam fueramus inter illos, poposcit de cibis nostris, et dedimus
ei, poscebat etiam vestimentum aliquod, quia dicturas erat verbum nostrum
ante dominum suum. Excusauimus nos. Quasiuit quid portaremus domino suo?
Accepimus vnum flasconem de vino, et impleuimus vnum veringal de biscocto
et platellum vnum de pomis et aliis fructibus. Sed non placebat ei, quia
non ferebamos aliquem pannum pretiosum. Sic tamen ingressi sumus cum timore
et verecundia. Sedebat ipse in lecto suo tenens citharulam in manu, et vxor
sua iuxta eum: de qua credebam in veritate, quod amputasset sibi nasum
inter oculos vt simior esset: nihil enim habebat ibi de naso, et vnxerat
locum ilium quodam vnguento nigro, et etiam supercilia: quod erat
turpissimum in oculis nostris. Tunc dixi ei verba supradicta. [Sidenote:
Nota diligenter.] Vbique enim aportebat nos dicere idem verbum. Super hoc
enim eramus bene pramoniti ab illis qui fuerant inter illos, quod nunquam
mutaremus verba nostra. Rogaui etiam eum vt dignaretur accipere munusculum
de manu nostra, excusans me, quia monachus eram, nec erat ordinis nostri
possidere aurum, vel argentum, vel vestes preciosas. Vnde non habebam
aliquid talium, quod possem ei dare: sed de cibis nostris acciperet pro
benedictione. Tunc fecit recipi, et distribuit statim hominibus suis qui
conuenerant ad potandum. Dedi etiam ei literas Imperatoris
Constantinopolitani: (Hoc fuit in octauis ascensionis). Qui statim eas
Soldaiam misit vt ibi interpretarentur: quia erant in Graco, nec habebat
secum qui sciret literas Gracas. Quasiuit etiam a nobis, si vellemus bibere
cosmos, hoc est, lac iumentinum. Christiani enim Ruteni, Graci, et Alani,
qui sunt inter eos, qui volunt stricte custodire legem suam, non bibunt
illud: Imo non reputant se Christianos postquam biberunt. Et sacerdotes
eorum reconciliant eos, tanquam negassent fidem Christianam. Ego respondi,
quod habebamus adhuc sufficienter ad bibendum: et cum ille potus deficeret
nobis, oporteret nos bibere illud, quod daretur nobis. Quasiuit etiam quid
contineretur in literis nostris, quas mittebatis Sartach. Dixi quod clausa
erant bulla nostra; et quod non erant in eis nisi bona verba et amicabilia.
Quasiuit et qua verba diceremus Sartach? Respondi, Verba fidei Christiana.
Quasiuit qua? Quia libenter vellet audire. Tunc exposui ei prout potui per
interpretem meum, qui nullius erat ingenij, nec alicuius eloquentia,
symbolum fidei. Quo audito, ipse tacuit et mouit caput. Tunc assignauit
nobis duos homines, qui nos custodirent, et equos et boues: et fecit nos
bigare secum, donec reuerteretur nuncius, quem ipse miserat pro
interpretatione, literarum imperatoris; et iuimus cum eo vsque in crastinum
Pentecostes.

The same in English.

Of the court of Scacatai: and how the Christians drinke no Cosmos. Chap.
12.

On the morrowe after we met with the cartes of Scacatai laden with houses,
and me thought that a mighty citie came to meete me. I wondered also at the
great multitude of huge droues of oxen, and horses, and at the flockes of
sheepe. I could see but a fewe men that guided all these matters: whereupon
I inquired how many men he had vnder him, and they told me that he had not
aboue 500. in all, the one halfe of which number we were come past, as they
lay in another lodging. Then the seruant which was our guide told me, that
I must present somwhat vnto Scacatay: and so he caused vs to stay, going
himselfe before to giue notice of our comming. By this time it was past
three of the clocke, and they vnladed their houses nere vnto a certain
water: And there came vnto vs his interpreter, who being aduertised by vs
that wee were neuer there before, demanded some of our victuals, and we
yeelded vnto his request. Also he required of vs some garment for a reward,
because he was to interpret our sayings vnto his master. Howbeit we excused
our selues as well as wee could. Then he asked vs, what we would present
vnto his Lord? And we tooke a flagon of wine, and filled a maund with
bisket, and a platter with apples and other fruits. But he was not
contented therewith, because we brought him not some rich garment.
Notwithstanding we entred so into his presence with feare and bashfulnes.
He sate vpon his bed holding a citron in his hand, and his wife sate by
him: who (as I verily thinke) had cut and pared her nose betweene the eyes,
that she might seeme to be more flat and saddle-nosed: for she had left her
selfe no nose at all in that place, hauing annointed the very same place
with a black ointment, and her eye browes also: which sight seemed most
vgly in our eies. Then I rehearsed vnto him the same wordes, which I had
spoken in other places before. For it stoode vs in hand to vse one and the
same speech in all places. [Sidenote: A caueat right worthy the noting.]
For we were wel forewarned of this circumstance by some which had been
amongst the Tartars, that we should neuer varie in our tale. Then I
besought him, that he would vochsafe to accept that small gifte at our
hands, excusing my selfe that I was a Monke, and that it was against our
profession to possesse gold, or siluer, or precious garments, and therefore
that I had not any such thing to giue him, howbeit he should receiue some
part of our victuals instead of a blessing. Hereupon he caused our present
to be receiued, and immediately distributed the same among his men, who
were mette together for the same purpose, to drinke and make merrie. I
deliuered also vnto him the Emperor of Constantinople his letters (this was
eight dayes after the feast of Ascension) who sent them forthwith to
Soldaia to haue them interpreted there: for they were written in Greeke,
and he had none about him that was skilfulle in the Greeke tongue. He asked
vs also whether we would drink any Cosmos, that is to say mares milke? (For
those that are Christians among them, as namely the Russians, Grecians, and
Alanians, who keep their own law very strictly, wil in no case drinke
thereof, yea, they accompt themselues no Christians after they haue once
drunke of it, and their priests reconcile them vnto the Church as if they
had renounced the Christian faith.) I gaue him answere, that we had as yet
sufficient of our owne to drinke, and that when our drinke failed vs, we
must be constrained to drink such as should be giuen vnto vs. He enquired
also what was contained in our letters, which your Maiestie sent vnto
Sartach? I answered: that they were sealed vp, and that there was nothing
conteined in them, but good and friendly wordes. And he asked what wordes
wee would deliuer vnto Sartach? I answered: the words of Christian faith.
He asked again what these words were? For he was very desirous to heare
them. Then I expounded vnto him as well as I could, by mine interpretor,
(who had no wit nor any vtterance of speech) the Apostles creed. Which
after he had heard, holding his peace, he shooke his head. Then hee
assigned vnto vs two men, who shoulde giue attendance vpon our selues, vpon
our horses, and vpon our Oxen. And hee caused vs to ride in his companie,
till the messenger whome hee had sent for the interpretation of the
Emperours letters, was returned. And so wee traueiled in his companie till
the morowe after Pentecost.

Qualiter Alani venerunt ad eos in vigilia pentecostes. Cap. 13.

In vigilia Pentecostes venerunt ad nos quidam Alani, qui ibi dicuntur
[Marginal note: Vel Akas.] Acias, Christiani secundum ritum Gracorum;
habentes literas Gracas et sacerdotes Gracos: tamen non sunt schismatici
sicut Graci; sed sine acceptione personarum venerantur omnem Christianum:
et detulerunt nobis carnes coctas, rogantes vt comedremus de cibo eorum, et
oraremus pro quodam defuncto eorum. Tunc dixi quod vigilia erat tanta
solennitatis, quod illa die non comederemus carnes. Et exposui eis de
solennitate, super quo fuerunt multum gauisi; quia omnia ignorabant qua
spectant ad ritum Christianum, solo nomine Christi excepto. Quasiuerunt et
ipsi et alij multi Christiani, Ruteni et Hungari, vtrum possent saluari,
quia oportebat eos bibere cosmos, et comedere morticinia et interfecta a
Saracenis et alijs infidelibus: qua etiam ipsi Graci et Ruteni sacerdotes
reputant quasi morticinia vel idolis immolata: quia ignorabant tempora
ieiunij: nec poterant custodire etiam si cognouissent. Tunc rectificabar
eos prout potui, docens et confortans in fide. Carnes quas detulerant
reseruauimus vsque ad diem festum: nihil enim inueniebamus venale pro auro
et argento, nisi pro telis et alijs [Marginal note: Nota diligentissime.]
pannis: et illos non habebamus. Quum famuli nostri offerebant eis
ipperpera, ipsi fricabant digitis, et ponebant ad nares, vt odore,
sentirent, vtrum essent cuprum. Nec dabant nobis cibum nisi lac vaccinum
acre valde et foetidum. Vinum iam deficiebat nobis. Aqua ita turbabatur ab
equis, quod non erat potabilis. Nisi fuisset biscoctum quod habebamus, et
gratia Dei, forte fuissemus mortui.

The same in English.

Howe the Alanians came vnto vs on Pentecost or Whitson euen. Chap. 13.

Vpon the euen of Pentecost, there came vnto vs certaine Alanians, wno are
called [Marginal note: Or Akas.] Acias, being Christians after the maner of
the Grecians, vsing greeke bookes and Grecian priests: howbeit they are not
schismatiques as the Grecians are, but without acception of persons, they
honour al Christians. And they brought vnto vs sodden flesh, requesting vs
to eat of their meat, and to pray for one of their company being dead. Then
I sayd, because it was the euen of so great and so solemne a feast day,
that we would not eate any flesh for that time. And I expounded vnto them
the solemnitie of the sayd feast, whereat they greatly reioyced: for they
were ignorant of all things appertayning to Christian religion, except only
the name of Christ. They and many other Christians, both Russians, and
Hungarians demanded of vs, whether they might be saued or no, because they
were constrained to drinke Cosmos, and to eate the dead carkases of such
things, as were slaine by the Saracens, and other infidels? Which euen the
Greeke and Russian priests themselues also esteeme as things strangled or
offered vnto idoles: because they were ignorant of the times of fasting,
neither could they haue obserued them albeit they had knowen them. Then
instructed I them as well as I could and strengthened them in the faith. As
for the flesh which they had brought we reserued it vntill the feast day.
[Sidenote: Cloth is the chiefe marchandise in Tartarie.] For there was
nothing to be sold among the Tartars for gold and siluer, but only for
cloth and garments of the which kind of marchandise wee had none at all.
When our seruants offered them any coine called Yperpera, they rubbed it
with their fingers, and put it vnto their noses, to try by the smell
whether it were copper or no. Neither did they allow vs any foode but cowes
milke onely which was very sowre and filthy. There was one thing most
necessary greatly wanting vnto vs. For the water was so foule and muddy by
reason of their horses, that it was not meete to be drunk. And but for
certaine bisket, which was by the goodnes of God remaining vnto vs, we had
vndoubtedly perished.

De Saraceno qui dixit se velle baptizari, et de hominibus qui apparent
leprosi. Cap. 14.

In die pentecostes venit ad nos quidam Saracenus, qui cum loqueretur
nobiscum, incepimus exponere fidem. Qui audiens beneficia Dei exhibita
humano generi in incarnatione Christi, et resurrectionem mortuorum, et
indicium futurum, et quod ablutio peccatorum esset in baptismo: dixit se
velle baptizari. Et cum pararemus nos ad baptizandum eum, ipse subito
ascendit equum suum, dicens se iturum domum et habiturum consilium cum
vxore sua. Qui in crastino loquens nobiscum, dixit quod nullo modo auderet
accipere baptisma, quia tunc non biberet cosmos. Christiani enim illius
loci hoc dicebant, quod nullus verus Christianus deberet bibere: et sine
potu illo non posset viuere in solitudine illa. A qua opinione nullo modo
potui diuertere illum. Vnde noueritis pro certo quod multum elongantur a
fide propter illam opinionem qua iam viguit inter illos per Rutenos, quorum
maxima multitude est inter eos. Illa die dedit nobis ille capitaneus vnum
hominem, qui nos deduceret vsque ad Sartach et duos qui ducerent nos vsque
ad proximam herbergiam; qua inde distabat quinque dietas prout boues
poterant ire. Dederunt etiam nobis vnam capram pro cibo et plures vtres
lactis vaccini, et de cosmos parum: quia illud preciosum est inter illos.
Et sic arripientes iter recte in aquilonem, visum fuit mihi quod vnam
portam inferni transissemus. Garciones qui ducebant nos, incipiebant nobis
audacter furari, quia videbant nos parum cautos. Tandem amissis pluribus
vexatio dabat nobis intellectum Peruenimus tandem ad extremitatem illius
prouinca, qua clauditur vno fossato ab vno mari vsque ad aliud: extra quam
erat herbergia eorum apud quos intrassemus: videbantur nobis leprosi omnes:
[Sidenote: Salina.] quia erant viles homines ibi collocati, vt reciperent
tributum ab accipientibus sal a salinis superius dictis. Ab illo loco, vt
dicebant, oportebat nos ambulare quindecim diebus, quibus non inueniremus
populum. Cum illis bibimus cosmos: et dedimus illis vnum veringal plenum
fructibus et panem biscoctum. [Sidenote: Decem dieta.] Qui dederunt nobis
octo boues, vnam captram pro tanto itinere, et nescio quot vtres plenos
lacte vaccino. Sic mutatis bobus arripuimus iter, quod perfecimus decem
diebus vsque ad aliam herbergiam: nec inuenimus aquam in ilia via nisi in
fossis in conuallibus factis, exceptis duobus paruis fluminibus. Et
tendebamus recte in orientem ex quo exiuimus pradictam prouinciam Gasaria,
habentes mare ad meridiem et vastam solitudinem ad aquilonem: qua durat per
viginti dietas alicubi in latitudine; In qua nulla est sylua, nullus mons,
nullus lapis. Herba est optima. In hac solebant pascere Comani, qui
dicuntur Capchat. A Teutonicis vero dicuntur Valani, et prouincia Valania.
Ab Isidoro vero dicitur a flumine Tanai vsque ad paludes Meotidis et
Danubium Alania. Et durat ista terra in longitudine a Danubio vsque Tanaim;
qui est terminus Asia; et Europa, itinere duorum mensium velociter
equitando prout equitant Tartari: [Sidenote: Comania longitudo.] Qua tota
inhabitabatur a Comanis Capchat, et etiam vltra a Tanai vsque [Marginal
note: Etilia qua et Volga flumen.] Etiliam: Inter qua flumina sunt decem
diete magna. [Sidenote: Russia.] Ad aquilonem vero istius prouincia iacet
Russia, qua vbique syluas habet, et protenditur a Polonia et Hungaria vsque
Tanaim: qua tota vastata est a Tartaris, et adhuc quotidie vastatur.
Praponunt enim Rutenis, quia sunt Christiani, Saracenos: et cum non possunt
amplius dare aurum vel argentum, ducunt eos et paruulos eorum tanquam
greges ad solitudinem vt custodiant animalia eorum. [Sidenote: Prussia.]
Vltra Russiam ad aquilonem est Prussia, quam nuper subiugauerunt totam
fratres Teutonici. Et certe de facili acquierent Russiam, si apponerent
manum. Si enim Tartari audirent, quod magnus sacerdos, hoc est, Papa
faceret cruce signari contra eos, omnes fugerunt ad solitudines suas.

The same in English.

Of a Saracen which said that he would be baptized: and of certaine men
which seemed to be lepers. Chap. 14.

Vpon the day of Pentecost there came vnto vs a certain Saracen, vnto whome,
as hee talked with vs, we expounded the Christian faith. Who (hearing of
God's benefits exhibited vnto mankind by the incarnation of our Sauior
Christ, and the resurrection of the dead, and the iudgement to come, and
that in baptisme was a washing away of sinnes) sayd that hee would be
baptized. But when we prepared our selues to the baptising of him, he
suddenly mounted on horsebacke, saying that he would goe home and consult
with his wife what were best to be done. And on the morrow after he told
vs, that he durst in no case receiue baptisme, because then he should
drinke no more Cosmos. For the Christians of that place affirme that no
true Christians ought to drinke thereof: and that without the said liquor
he could not liue in that desert From which opinion, I could not for my
life remoue him. Wherefore be it knowen of a certainty vnto your highnes,
that they are much estranged from the Christian faith by reason of that
opinion which hath bin broached and confirmed among them by the Russians,
of whom there is a great multitude in that place. The same day Scacatay the
captaine aforesayd gaue vs one man to conduct vs to Sartach, and two other
to guide vs vnto the next lodging, which was distant from that place fiue
dayes iourney for oxen to trauell. They gaue vnto vs also a goate for
victuals, and a great many bladders of cowes milke, and but a little
Cosmos, because it is of so great estimation among them. And so taking our
iourney directly toward the North, me thought that wee had passed through
one of hell gates. The seruants which conducted vs began to play the bold
theeues with vs, seeing vs take so little heed vnto our selues. At length
hauing lost much by their theeuery, harme taught vs wisdome. And then we
came vnto the extremity of that prouince, which is fortified with a ditch
from one sea vnto another: without the bounds wherof their lodging was
situate. Into the which, so soone as we had entred, al the inhabitants
there seemed vnto vs to be infected with leprosie: [Sidenote: Salt pits.]
for certain base fellowes were placed there to receiue tribute of al such
as tooke salt out of the salt pits aforesaid. From that place they told vs
that we must trauel fifteen daies iourney, before we shuld find any other
people. With them wee dranke Cosmos, and gaue vnto them a basket full of
fruites and of bisket. And they gaue vnto vs eight oxen and one goate, to
sustaine vs in so great a iourney, and I knowe not how many bladders of
milke. [Sidenote: Ten dayes iorney.] And so changing our oxen, we tooke our
iourney which we finished in tenne dayes, arriuing at another lodging:
neither found wee any water all that way, but onely in certane ditches made
in the valleys, except two small riuers. And from the time wherein wee
departed out of the foresaid prouince of Gasaria, we trauailed directly
Eastward, hauing a Sea on the South side of vs, and a waste desert on the
North, which desert, in some places, reacheth twenty dayes iourney in
breadth, and there is neither tree, mountaine, nor stone therein. And it is
most excellent pasture. Here the Comanians, which were called Capthac, were
wont to feede their cattell. Howbeit by the Dutch men they are called
Valani, and the prouince it selfe Valania. [Sidenote: The length of
Comania.] But Isidore calleth all that tract of land stretching from the
riuer of Tanais to the lake of Maotis, and so along as farre as Danubius,
the countrey of Alania. And the same land contunueth in length from
Danubius vnto Tanais (which diuideth Asia from Europe) for the space of two
moneths iourney, albeit a man should ride poste as fast as the Tartars vse
to ride: and it was all ouer inhabited by the Comanians, called Capthac:
yea and beyond Tanais, as farre as the riuer Edil or Volga: the space
betweene the two which riuers is a great and long iourney to bee trauailed
in ten dayes. [Sidenote: Russia.] To the North of the same prouince lieth
Russia, which is full of wood in all places, and stretcheth from Polonia
and Hungaria, euen to the riuer of Tanais: and it hath bene wasted all ouer
by the Tartars, and as yet is daily wasted by them. They preferre the
Saracens before the Russians, because they are Christians, and when they
are able to giue them no more golde or siluer, they driue them and their
children like flockes of sheepe into the wildernes, constraining them to
keepe their cattell there. [Sidenote: Prussia.] Beyond Russia lieth the
countrey of Prussia, which the Dutch knights of the order of Saint Maries
hospitall of Ierusalem haue of late wholly conquered and subdued. And in
very deede they might easily winne Russia, if they would put to their
helping hand. For if the Tartars should but once know, that the great
Priest, that is to say, the Pope did cause the ensigne of the crosse to bee
displaied against them, they would flee all into their desert and solitarie
places. [Footnote: There is some confusion in original edition, which I
have here corrected.]

De tedijs qua patiebantur, et de sepultura Comanorum. Cap. 15.

Ibamus ergo versus orientem, nihil videntes nisi coelum et terram, et
aliquando mare ad dextram, quod dicitur Mare Tanais, et etiam sepulturas
Comanorum, qua apparebant nobis a duabus leucis secundum quod solebant
parentela eorum sepeliri simul. Quam diu eramus in solitudine bene erat
nobis: quod tadium quod patiebar quum veniebamus ad mansiones eorum non
possem exprimere verbis. Volebat enim dux noster, quod ad quoslibet
capitaneos ingrederer cum xenio: et ad hoc non sufficiebant expensa.
Quotidie enim eramus octo persona comedentes viaticum nostrum exceptis
seruientibus, qui omnes volebant comedere nobiscum. Nos enim eramus
quinqui, et ipsi tres qui ducebant nos: duo ducentes bigas, et vnus iturus
nobiscum vsque ad Sartach. Carnes quas dabant non sufficiebant; nec
inueniebamus aliquid venale pro moneta. [Sidenote: Calor maximus ibi in
astate.] Et cum sedebamus sub bigis notris pro vmbra, quia calor erat ibi
maximus illo tempore, ipsi ita importune ingerebant se nobis, quod
conculcabant nos, volentes omnia nostra videre. Si arripiebat eos appetitus
purgandi ventrem, non elongabant se a nobis, quam possit faba iactari. Imo
iuxta nos colloquentes mutuo faciebant immunditias suas: et multa alia
faciebant qua erant supra modum tadiosa. Super omnia grauabat me, quod cum
volebam dicere eis aliquod verbum adificationis, interpres meus dicebat,
non facietis me pradicare: quia nescio talia verba dicere. Et verum
dicebat. Ego enim perpendi postea, quum incepi aliquantulum intelligere
idioma, quod quum dicebam vnum, ipse totum aliud dicebat, secundum quod ei
occurrebat. Tunc videns periculum loquendi per ipsum, elegi magis facere.
[Sidenote: Tanais fluuius.] Ambulauimus ergo cum magno labore de mansione
in mansionem: ita quod paucis diebus ante festum beata Maria Magdalena veni
ad fluuium magnum Tanais: qui diuidit Asiam ab Europa, sicut Nilus fluuius
Agypti, Asiam ab Africa. [Sidenote: Casale Rutenorum.] In illo loco quo
applicuimus fecerunt Baatu et Sartach fieri quoddam casale de Rutenis in
ripa orientali, qui transferant nuncios et mercatores cum nauiculis. Ipsi
transtulerunt nos primo et postea bigas ponentes vnam rotam in vna barca et
aliam in alia, ligantes barcas ad inuicem; et sic remigantes transibant.
Ibi egit dux noster valde stulte. Ipse enim credebat, quod illi de casali
deberent nobis ministrare equos, et dimisit animalia qua adduxeramus in
alia biga, vt redirent ad dominos suos. Et quum postulauimus ab eis
animalia, ipsi respondebant quod habebant priuilegium a Baatu, quod non
tenerentur ad aliud, nisi transferre euntes et redeuntes: etiam a
mercatoribus accipiebant magnum tributum. Stetimus ergo ibi in ripa
fluminis tribus diebus. Prima die dederunt nobis magnam borbatam recentem:
secunda die panem de siligine et parum de carnibus, quas acceperat
procurator villa ostiatim per diuersas domos. [Sidenote: Latitudo Tanais.]
Tertia die pisces siccos, quos habent ibi in magna multitudine. Fluuius
ille erat ibi tanta latitudinus, quanta est Sequana Parisijis. Et antequam
peruenissemus ad locum illum, transiuimus multas aquas pulcherrimas et
piscosissimas: Sed Tartari nesciunt eos capere, nec curant de pisce nisi
sit ita magnus, quod possunt comedere carnes eius, sicut carnes arietinas.
[Sidenote: Oceanus.] Ille fluuius est terminus Orientalis Russia; et oritur
de paludibus qua pertingunt ad Oceanum ad aquilonem. Fluuius vero currit ad
meridiem in quoddam magnum Mare septingentorum millium, antequam pertingat
ad Mare Ponti: Et omnes aqua quas transiuimus vadunt ad illas partes. Habet
etiam pradictum flumen magnam syluam in ripa Occidentali. Vltra locum illum
non ascendunt Tartari versus Aquilonem: quia tunc temporis [Marginal note:
Ad introitum Augusti redeunt ad meridiem.] circa introitum Augusti
incipiunt redire versus meridiem. Vnde aliud est casale inferius vbi
transeunt nuncij tempore hyemali. Eramus igitur ibi in magna angustia, quia
nec equos nec baues inueniebamus pro pecunia. Tandem postquam ostendi eis,
quod laboraui pro communi vtilitate omnium Christianorum, accommodauerunt
nobis boues et homines: nos autem oportebat ire pedibus. Tunc temporis
metebant siliginem: triticum non proficiebat ibi bene. Milium habent in
magna copia. Mulieres Rutena ornant capita sicut nostra. Supertunicalia sua
exterius ornant vario vel grisio a pedibus vsque ad genua. Homines portant
capas sicut Teutonici: sed in capite portant pileos de filtro acutos in
summitate longo acumine. Ambulauimus ergo tribus diebus non inuenientes
populum. Et cum essemus valde fatigati et boues similiter, nec sciremus
quorsum possemus Tartaros inuenire, accurrerunt subito duo equi, quos
recepimus cum gaudio magno, et ascenderunt eos dux noster et interpres, vt
specularentur quorsum possemus populum inuenire. Tandem quarta die inuentis
hominibus gauisi sumus tanquam naufragi venientes ad portum. Tunc acceptis
equis et bobus iuimus de mansione ad mansionem donec peruenimus vsque ad
herbergiam Sartach secundo Calendas Augusti.

The same in English.

Of our afflictions which we sustained: and of the Comanians maner of
buriall. Chap. 15.

We therefore went on towards the East, seeing nothing but heauen and earth,
and sometimes the sea on our right hand, called the Sea of Tanais, and the
sepulchres of the Comanians, which appeared vnto vs two leagues off, in
which places they were wont to burie their kinred altogether. So long as we
were trauelling through the desert, it went reasonably well with vs. For I
cannot sufficiently expresse in words the irkesome and tedious troubles
which I susteined, when I came at any of their places of abode. For our
guide would haue vs goe in vnto euery Captaine with a present, and our
expenses would not extend so farre. For we were euery day eight persons of
vs spending our waifaring prouision, for the Tartars seruants would all of
them eate of our victuals. We ourselues were fiue in number, and the
seruants our guides were three, two to driue our carts, and one to conduct
vs vnto Sartach. The flesh which they gaue vs was not sufficient for vs:
neither could we finde any thing to be bought for our money. [Sidenote:
Extreme heate in Sommer.] And as we sate vnder our carts in the coole
shadowe, by reason of the extreame and vehement heate which was there at
that time, they did so importunately and shamelesly intrude themselues into
our companie, that they would euen tread vpon vs, to see whatsoeuer things
we had. Hauing list at any time to ease themselues, the filthy lozels had
not the maners to withdrawe themselues farther from vs, then a beane can
bee cast. Yea, like vile slouens they would lay their tailes in our
presence, while they were yet talking with vs: many other things they
committed, which were most tedious and loathsome vnto vs. But aboue all
things it grieued me to the very heart, that when I would vtter ought vnto
them, which might tend to their edification, my foolish interpreter would
say: you shall not make me become a Preacher now: I tell you, I cannot nor
I will not rehearse any such wordes. And true it was which he saide, For I
perceiued afterward, when I began to haue a little smattering in the
language, that when I spake one thing, he would say quite another,
whatsoeuer came next vnto his witlesse tongues end. [Sidenote: Tanaia.]
Then seeing the danger I might incurre in speaking by such an interpreter,
I resolued much rather to holde my peace, and thus we traiueiled with great
toile from lodging to lodging, till at the length, a fewe dayes before the
feast of Saint Marie Magdalene, we arriued at the banke of the mightie
riuer Tanais which diuideth Asia from Europa, euen as the riuer Nilus of
Agypt disioyneth Asia from Africa. At the same place where wee arriued,
Baatu and Sartach did cause a certaine cottage to be built, vpon the
Easterne bankeof of the riuer, for a companie of Russians to dwelle in to
the ende they might transport Ambassadoors and merchants in ferrie-boates
ouer that part of the riuer. First they ferried vs ouer, and then our
carts, putting one wheele into one lyter, and the other wheele into another
lyter, hauing bounde both the lyters together, and so they rowe them ouer.
In this place our guide played the foole most extreamely. For hee imagining
that the said Russians, dwelling in the cottage, should haue prouided vs
horses, sent home the beasts which we brought with vs, in another cart,
that they might returne ynto their owne masters. And when we demanded to
haue some beasts of them, they answered, that they had a priuiledge from
Baatu, whereby they were bound to none other seruice, but only to ferry
ouer goers and commers: and that they receiued great tribute of marchants
in regard therof. We staied therfore by the said riuers side three daies.
The first day they gaue vnto vs a great fresh turbut: the second day they
bestowed rye bread, and a litle flesh vpon vs, which the purueyer of the
village had taken vp at euerie house for vs: and the third day dried
fishes, which they haue there in great abundance. [Sidenote: The breadth of
Tanaia.] The saide riuer was euen as broad in that place, as the riuer of
the Sein is at Paris. And before we came there, we passed ouer many goodly
waters, and full of fish: howbeit the Barbarous and rude Tartars know not
how to take them: neither do they make any reckoning of any fish, except it
be so great, that they may pray vpon the flesh thereof, as vpon the flesh
of a ram. [Sidenote: He is much deceiued.] The riuer is the limite of the
East part of Russia, and it springeth out of the fennes of Maotis, which
fennes stretch vnto the North Ocean. And it runneth Southward into a
certain great sea 700. miles about before it falleth into the sea called
Pontus Euximus. And al the riuers, which we passed ouer, ran with ful
stream into those quarters. The foresaid riuer hath great store of wood
also growing vpon the West side thereof. [Sidenote: About the beginning of
August, the Tartars returne southward.] Beyond this place the Tartars
ascend no farther vnto the North: for at that season of the yeere, about
the first of August, they begin to returne backe vnto the South. And
therefore there is another cottage somewhat lower, where passengers are
ferried ouer in Winter time. And in this place wee were driuen to great
extremitie, by reason that we could get neither horses, nor oxen, for any
money. At length, after I had declared vnto them, that my comming was to
labour for the common good of all Christians, they sent vs oxen and men;
howbeit we our selues were faine to trauel on foote. At this time they were
reaping their rye. Wheat prospereth not wel in that soile. They haue the
seede of Millium in great abundance. The Russian women attire their heads
like vnto our women. They imbroder their safegards or gowns on the outside,
from their feet vnto their knees with particoloured or grey stuffe. The
Russian men weare caps like vnto the Dutch men. Also they weare vpon their
heads certain sharpe, and high crowned hats made of felt much like vnto a
sugar loafe. Then traueiled we 3. daies together, not finding any people.
And when our selues and our oxen were exceeding weary and faint, not
knowing how far off we should find any Tartars, on the sudden, there came
two horses running towards vs, which we tooke with great ioy, and our guide
and interpreter mounted vpon their backes, to see, how far off they could
descry any people. At length vpon the fourth day of our iourney, hauing
found some inhabitants, we reioyced like sea faring men, which had escaped
out of a dangerous tempest, and had newly recouered the hauen. Then hauing
taken fresh horses, and oxen, we passed on from lodging to lodging, till at
the last, vpon the second of the Kalends of August, we arriued at the
habitation of Duke Sartach himselfe.

De regione Sartach, et de gentibus illius. Cap. 16.

Regio ista vltra Tanaim est pulcherrima, habens flumina et syluas
aquilonem. Sunt sylua maxima, quas inhabitant duo genera hominum: Moxel
scilicet, qui sunt sine lege, puri pagani. Ciuitatem non habent sed casulas
in syluis. Dominus eorum et magna pars eorum fuerunt interfecti in
Alemania. Tartari enim dux erant eos ad introitum Alemania. Vnde ipsi
multum commendant Alemanos, sperantes quod adhuc liberabuntur per eos a
seruitute Tartarorum. Si mercator veniat ad eos, oportet quod ille apud
quem primo descendit prouideat ei quamdiu vult esse inter eos. Si quis
dormiat cum vxore alterius, ille non curat nisi videat proprijs oculis:
vnde non sum Zelotypi. Abundant apud eos porei, mel, et cera, pelles
preciosa, et falcones. [Sidenote: Merdui Saraceni.] Post illos sunt alij
qui dicuntur Merdas, quos latini vocant Merduos, et sunt Saraceni. Post
illos est [Marginal note: vel Volga fluuius.] Etilia, qua est maior
fiuuius, quam vnquam viderim: et venit ab Aquilone de maiori Bulgaria
tendens ad meridiem: et cadit in quendam lacum habentum spacium quatuor
mensium in circuitu, de quo postea dicam vobis. Ista ergo duo flumina
Tanais et Etilia versus regiones Aquilonis per quas transiuimus non distant
ab inuicem nisi decem dietis, sed ad meridiem multum diuiduntur ab inuicem.
Tanais enim descendit in Mare Ponti: Etilia facit pradictum Mare siue
lacum, cum alijs multis fluminibus, qua cadunt in ilium de Perside.
Habebamus autem ad meridiem montes maximos in quibus habitant in lateribus
versus solitudinem illam Cergis et Alani siue [Marginal note: Kerkis. vel
Aais.] Acas, qui sunt Christiani et adhuc pugnant contra Tartaros.
[Sidenote: Lesgi Saraceni.] Post istos prope Mare siue lacum Etilia sunt
quidam Saraceni qui dicuntur Lesgi, qui similiter obediunt. Post hos est
Porta ferrea, quam fecit Alexander ad excludendas Barbaras gentes de
Perside; de cuius situ dicam vobis postea, [Marginal note: Reditus eius per
Derbent.] quia transiui per eam in reditu. Et inter ista duo flumina in
illis terris per quas transiuimus habitabant Comani antequam Tartari
occuparent eas.

The same in English.

Of the dominion of Sartach, and of his Subiects. Chap. 16.

The region lying beyond Tanais, is a very goodly countrey, hauing store of
riuers and woods toward the North part thereof. There be mighty huge woods
which two sorts of people do inhabite. [Sidenote: The people of Moxel are
Pagans.] One of them is called Moxel, being meere Pagans, and without law.
They haue neither townes nor cities, but only cottages in the woods. Their
lord and a great part of themselues were put to the sword in high Germanie.
Whereupon they highly commend the braue courage of the Almans, hoping as
yet to be deliuered out of the bondage of the Tartars, by their meanes. If
any merchant come vnto them, he must prouide things necessary for him, with
whom he is first of all enterteined, all the time of his abode among them.
If any lieth with another mans wife, her husband, vnles he be an eiewitnes
therof, regardeth it not: for they are not ielous ouer their wiues. They
haue abundance of hogs, and great store of hony and waxe, and diuers sorts
of rich and costly skins, and plentie of falcons. [Sidenote: The people
called Merdui being Saracens.] Next vnto them are other people called
Merclas, which the Latines cal Merdui, and they are Saracens. Beyond them
is the riuer of Etilia or Volga, which is the mightiest riuer that euer I
saw. And it issueth from the North part of Bulgaria the greater, and so
trending along Southward, disimboqueth into a certain lake containing in
circuit the space of 4. moneths trauel, whereof I will speak hereafter.
[Sidenote: The circuite of the Caspian sea.] The two foresaid riuers,
namely Tanais and Etilia, otherwise called Volga, towards the Northren
regions through the which we traueiled, are not distant asunder aboue x.
daies iourney, but Southward they are diuided a great space one from
another. For Tanais descendeth into the sea of Pontus. Etitilia maketh the
foresaid sea or lake, with the help of many other riuers which fal therinto
out of Persia. [Sidenote: Kergis or Asa.] And we had to the South of vs
huge high mountains, vpon the sides wherof, towards the said desert, doe
the people called Cergis, and the Alani or Acas inhabit, who are as yet
Christians, and wage warre against the Tartars. [Sidenote: The Saracens
called Lesgi.] Beyond them, next vnto the sea or lake of Etilia, there are
certaine Saracens called Lesgi, who are in subiection vnto the Tartars.
Beyond these is Porta ferrea, or the yron gate, nowe called Derbent, which
Alexander built to exclude the barbarous nations out of Persia. [Sidenote:

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