The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa











































 -  His kinsfolk and friends then set him
up on a cart, and provide him with twelve knives, and proceed to - Page 660
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His Kinsfolk And Friends Then Set Him Up On A Cart, And Provide Him With Twelve Knives, And Proceed To Conduct Him All About The City, Proclaiming Aloud:

"This valiant man is going to slay himself for the love of (such an idol)." And when they be come to the place of execution he takes a knife and sticks it through his arm, and cries:

"I slay myself for the love of (such a god)!" Then he takes another knife and sticks it through his other arm, and takes a third knife and runs it into his belly, and so on until he kills himself outright. And when he is dead his kinsfolk take the body and burn it with a joyful celebration.[NOTE 8] Many of the women also, when their husbands die and are placed on the pile to be burnt, do burn themselves along with the bodies. And such women as do this have great praise from all.[NOTE 9]

The people are Idolaters, and many of them worship the ox, because (say they) it is a creature of such excellence. They would not eat beef for anything in the world, nor would they on any account kill an ox. But there is another class of people who are called Govy, and these are very glad to eat beef, though they dare not kill the animal. Howbeit if an ox dies, naturally or otherwise, then they eat him.[NOTE 10]

And let me tell you, the people of this country have a custom of rubbing their houses all over with cow-dung.[NOTE 11] Moreover all of them, great and small, King and Barons included, do sit upon the ground only, and the reason they give is that this is the most honourable way to sit, because we all spring from the Earth and to the Earth we must return; so no one can pay the Earth too much honour, and no one ought to despise it.

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