And now ye have heard all that we can tell you about the Tartars and the Saracens and their customs, and likewise about the other countries of the world as far as our researches and information extend. Only we have said nothing whatever about the GREATER SEA and the provinces that lie round it, although we know it thoroughly. But it seems to me a needless and useless task to speak about places which are visited by people every day. For there are so many who sail all about that sea constantly, Venetians, and Genoese, and Pisans, and many others, that everybody knows all about it, and that is the reason that I pass it over and say nothing of it.
Of the manner in which we took our departure from the Court of the Great Kaan you have heard at the beginning of the Book, in that chapter where we told you of all the vexation and trouble that Messer Maffeo and Messer Nicolo and Messer Marco had about getting the Great Kaan’s leave to go; and in the same chapter is related the lucky chance that led to our departure. And you may be sure that but for that lucky chance, we should never have got away in spite of all our trouble, and never have got back to our country again. But I believe it was God’s pleasure that we should get back in order that people might learn about the things that the world contains. For according to what has been said in the introduction at the beginning of the Book, there never was a man, be he Christian or Saracen or Tartar or Heathen, who ever travelled over so much of the world as did that noble and illustrious citizen of the City of Venice, Messer Marco the son of Messer Nicolo Polo.
Thanks be to God! Amen! Amen!
1 This conclusion is not found in any copy except in the Crusca Italian, and, with a little modification, in another at Florence, belonging to the Pucci family. It is just possible that it was the embellishment of a transcriber or translator; but in any case it is very old, and serves as an epilogue.
Illustration: Asiatic Warriors of Polo’s Age. (From a contemporary Persian Miniature.)
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:12