Of the City Fuco

Travelling more eastward, I came unto a city named Fuco, which containeth thirty miles in circuit, wherein be exceeding great and fair cocks, and all their hens are as white as the very snow, having wool instead of feathers, like unto sheep. It is a most stately and beautiful city and standeth upon the sea. Then I went eighteen days' journey on further, and passed by many provinces and cities, and in the way I went over a certain great mountain, upon the one side whereof I beheld all living creatures to be as black as a coal, and the men and women on that side differed somewhat in manner of living from others; howbeit, on the other side of the said hill every living thing was snow-white, and the inhabitants in their manner of living, were altogether unlike unto others. There, all married women carry in token that they have husbands, a great trunk of horn upon their heads. From thence I travelled eighteen days' journey further, and came unto a certain great river, and entered also into a city, whereunto belongeth a mighty bridge to pass the said river. And mine host with whom I sojourned, being desirous to show me some sport, said unto me: Sir, if you will see any fish taken, go with me. Then he led me unto the foresaid bridge, carrying in his arms with him certain dive-doppers or water fowls, bound unto a company of poles, and about every one of their necks he tied a thread, lest they should eat the fish as fast as they took them: and he carried three great baskets with him also. Then loosed he the dive-doppers from the poles, which presently went into the water, and within less than the space of one hour, caught as many fishes as filled the three baskets: which being full, mine host untied the threads from about their necks, and entering the second time into the river they fed themselves with fish, and being satisfied they returned and suffered themselves to be bound unto the said poles as they were before. And when I did eat of those fishes, me thought they were exceeding good. Travelling thence many days' journey, at length I arrived at another city called Canasia, which signifieth in our language, the city of heaven. Never in my life did I see so great a city: for it containeth in circuit an hundred miles: neither saw I any plot thereof, which was not throughly inhabited: yea, I saw many houses of ten or twelve stories high, one above another. It hath mighty large suburbs containing more people than the city itself. Also it hath twelve principal gates: and about the distance of eight miles, in the highway unto every one of the said gates standeth a city as big by estimation as Venice, and Padua. The foresaid city of Canasia is situated in waters or marshes, which always stand still, neither ebbing nor flowing: howbeit, it hath a defence for the wind like unto Venice. In this city there are more than 11,000 bridges, many whereof I numbered and passed over them: and upon every of those bridges stand certain watchmen of the city, keeping continual watch and ward about the said city, for the great Can the Emperor of Catay. The people of this country say, that they have one duty enjoined unto them by their lord ; for every fire payeth one balis in regard of tribute: and a balis is five papers or pieces of silk, which are worth one florin and an half of our coin. Ten or twelve households are accounted for one fire, and so pay tribute but for one fire only. All those tributary fires amount unto the number of eighty-five thuman, with other four thuman of the Saracens, which make eighty-nine in all: and one thuman consisteth of 10,000 fires. The residue of the people of the city are some of them Christians, some merchants, and some travellers through the country, whereupon I marvelled much how such an infinite number of persons could inhabit and live together. There is great abundance of victuals in this city, as namely of bread and wine, and especially of hogs' flesh, with other necessaries.

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