Marco Polo; his travels and adventures

 
9781236660664: Marco Polo; his travels and adventures
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1892 edition. Excerpt: ... learned, were the public baths. Of these he was told there were no less than four thousand in the city, in each of which a hundred people could bathe at once; and now Marco was at no loss to account for the very neat appearance that all the natives made. Marco had the curiosity, one day soon after reaching Kinsai, to go into one of these large bathhouses. He found a wide square pool of clear, cold water in the centre, with broad flights of stone steps leading down into it; and there was a crowd of forty or fifty men, women and children, of all ages and sizes, with only a cloth band about their waists, floundering about in the water, and evidently much enjoying themselves. In the very centre of the city Marco found the royal palace, which had been occupied by the ancient kings of the country before it was conquered by Kublai Khan. It was scarcely less magnificent than Kublai's palace itself. Like the latter, it was surrounded by vast, high walls; and between these walls were orchards, lawns, parks, sparkling fountains, glossy little lakes, and artifical hillocks thickly planted with rare trees and shrubs. The great hall of the palace was decorated in gold and azure, and covered with pictures of beasts, birds, knights, beautiful women, and enchanting landscapes. Other buildings stood around the palace, and in all, Marco was told, there was ample room to seat ten thousand men at table. In the palace were no less than one thousand bed chambers. Not far from this right royal edifice was a high mound, on which was placed a large wooden table; and upon this, when there was a fire in any part of the city, a man struck heavy blows with a hammer, which resounded sharply to a considerable distance. In another part of the city was a large stone tower,...

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