And All of This Costs the Khan Nothing

And of Kublai:
"I have told you of that emperor's city in detail
And will tell you of the coining in Cambaluc
       that hyght the secret of alchemy:
They take bast of the mulberry-tree,
That is a skin between the wood and the bark,
And of this they make paper, and mark it
Half a tornesel, a tornesel, or a half-groat of silver,
Or two groats, or five groats, or ten groats,
Or, for a great sheet, a gold bezant, 3 bezants, 
                 ten bezants;
And they are written on by officials,
And smeared with the great khan's seal in vermillion;
And the forgers are punished with death.
And all this costs the Khan nothing,
And so he is rich in this world."

- Canto XVIII
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Pound

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s