The Road To the East

(E.J.Boog Watson and J.I.Carruthers)

Marco Polo was a famous traveler. “The Road To the East” is a historic tale of his adventurous journey to the East. The story is taken from “Beyond The Sunset” that contains great adventures of the world. The interesting and encouraging story has been told in a simple and gripping manner. It is a beautiful blend of romance and adventure. It also shows the strong determination of the Polos with which they faced the hardships and over come them bravely. The writer has also given some interesting details of Kublai’s court and the feast he arranged.

Nearly seven hundred years ago, two Venetians merchant brother Nicolo Polo and Meffew Polo set on a business tour to the east. They did not return home for a long time. Nicolos’s young son, Marco Polo, grew up and wondered about the safety of his father    and uncle.

Actually they had traveled to Asia Minor where they did their business. When they were about to return, they learnt that robbers had blocked the road. They stayed at Bokhara for sometime and then went to China. The Emperor of China, Kublai Khan, received them warmly and treated them nicely. He was interested in the teaching of Christ. He asked them to fetch one hundred missionaries to preach his people and some holy oil from the lamp burning on the tomb of Christ. He sent them home safely. They narrated the story of their adventures.

Marco Polo requested them to take him back with them as he had a burning desire to travel to the East. They took some holy oil but only two preacher agreed to accompany them. They set out for China in 1271. The preachers left them on the way when they heard the stories of robbers and savage armies. Anyhow, The three Venetians continued their journey across the Gobi Desert and reached Peking. They had to face so many hardships on the way. Flooding of rivers, heavy snows and the vastness of the desert could not defeat these dauntless travelers from marching forward.

Kublai Khan received them warmly and employed young Marco Polo to report on the state of different provinces and cities of China. He did his job very well. He had great admiration for Kublai Khan. He calls him “The Styled Lord of Lords”. He has given some interesting details of his court. The king arranged feasts in his court. He sat raised so high that even his son sat with their heads at the level of his feet. Presents were also given to him. A lion was led into his presence that bowed to him. It moved about without any chain in the palace.

They served the King for seventeen years and then wished to return home. They left China by sea and escorted Princess Kogatin to Persia where she was married to a Persian Prince. When they returned to Venice, they were so changed as no one could recognize them. After one year Venice went on war with Genoa. Marco Polo was caught during this period and while fighting and put behind the bar for three years. During this period he wrote his world famous book “ The Travel” which is one the classics of the world literature. It brings out the spirit of the man, which consist in adventure and inquiry. It involves the new knowledge of other nations, their languages and cultures.

The story is full of romance and adventure. It inspires us to explore the new world. It teaches us to be firm in our determination. We learn that we can tide over all the difficulties of life with strong determination. It also teaches devotion and patience.


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