Friday, May 2, 2008

1.4.08


Macko had become uneasy about Powala caring so much about their safety, he thanked Powala with gratitude just before they entered the city. Here both, Macko and Zbyszko, forgot for a while about danger in the presence of the wonders they saw in front of them.

In Lithuania and on the frontier, they had only seen single castles, and the only city of any importance, which they knew, was Wilno, a badly burned town whole in ashes and ruins, but here many of the merchants' houses were more magnificent than the grand duke's palace in Lithuania.

It is true that there were many wooden houses; but even these astonished them by the loftiness of their walls and roofs; also by the windows, made of glass set in lead which so reflected the rays of the setting sun, that one would imagine that there was fire in the house.

In the streets near the downtown, there were many highly ornamented houses of red brick, or of stone. They stood side by side like soldiers; some of them, broad; others, narrow; but all lofty with vaulted halls, very often crosses or an image of the Virgin Mary over the door. There were some streets, on which one could see two rows of houses, between them, a road paved with stones; and on both sides as far as one could see stores and stores.

These were full of the best foreign goods, at which being accustomed to war and the capture of booty, Macko still looked with a longing eye. But both were still more astonished at the sight of the public buildings; the church of Our Lady; the Cloth Hall for merchants; the city hall with its gigantic cellar, in which they were selling beer from Swidnica; other churches, depots of broadcloth, depots for foreign merchants; then a building housing the public scales, bath houses, cooper works, wax works, silver works, gold works, breweries, the mountains of barrels, in a word, riches which a man not familiar with the city, even wealthy one, could not imagine.

Powala led Macko and Zbyszko to his house situated on Saint Anna Street, assigned a large room to them, recommended them to his pages, and then went to the castle, from which he returned for supper much later at night.

A few friends accompanied him, and they enjoyed the plenty of wine and meat. The host alone was sorrowful. When finally the guests departed, he said to Macko:

"I spoke to a canon, able in writing and in the law, who says, that an insult to an envoy is a capital offence. Therefore pray to God, that the Teutonic Knight will not complain."

Hearing this, both knights retired with sorrowful hearts. Macko could not even sleep and after a while when they were in beds, he said to his nephew:

"Zbyszku?"

"What?"

"I have considered everything and I do think they will execute you."

"You think so?" asked Zbyszko, in a sleepy voice.
Having turned toward the wall, he fell sound asleep, because he was very weary.

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