Marco Polo Museum Exhibition Scene: Love Story of Marco Polo and Princess Cocacine
Nicholas, Matthew and Marco Polo once again stepped before the Khan, nine time touching the floor by theirforeheads asking him to give them permission to return to beloved Venice and Korcula. Prior to their speech,Kublai Khan explained that Persian ruler’s wife, his niece, had died. Her last will was that the ruler’s new wife… be a woman of Tartarian origin.
Ambassadors came and a young, seventeen-year-old princess Cocacine was chosen. The war in Central Asia prevented them from going back to Persia by land, so they set off by sea. As the Polos were experienced seamen, they would escort them to Persia. This was to be their last mission after which the route to Venice was open. Kublai Khan gave them a gold plate, serving as a pass and guarantee through all Khan’s lands.
This also meant they would be treated with great honour and would be given everything they might ask for to make their journey safe. Marco was disappointed having learnt the news of the Princess being promised to the ruler of Persia. He met her at few occasions in gardens and groves, they would even touch each other’s hands, so he thought they might be in love and now there he was, in her rose garden, among exotic plants and bushes, looking at her.
She placed a piece of paper and an Indian ink stick in front of herself, held a brush in her hand and calligraphically filled the paper. Marco raised his eyes toward the Great Wall of China that was to protect the garden and toward the nanny whose duty was to watch over the Princess and her chastity. He knew well that he could speak with the Princess, the nanny would be silent because she loved her and respected him as the Khan’s counsellor.
He was overwhelmed with feelings of love and longing for the beautiful Princess who was writing lines of some poem, not raising her head. She made him wait. Marco watched her neck, her arms stretching from wide sleeves, she was as immobile as a statue. Nice and gentle, almost white-tanned, her skin as the finest porcelain, fragile as a cherry-tree, with bright red lips, nicely shaped eyebrows as ink-drawn, sweet but still sophisticated expression of her narrow almond eyes, black cap-covered hair. He stood speechless, fearing he might destroy the scene. The nanny looked at them closely.
He knew she didn’t trust him, not after she had caught them in the park. He also knew he crossed the line with that. There he told the Princess he loved her, that she had to be his, his only. He drew her closer, their lips touched, he felt she didn’t resist, then suddenly her body reared and she sprang. She was appalled. That very moment the furious nanny jumped from the bush and seized the Princess. Marco was petrified and ashamed, his heart bleeding and love pain tearing him from inside.
And there he stood again by her side, her guide to Persia. When he wanted to tell her how much he appreciated seeing her after that unpleasant encounter, the Princess silently handed him the paper with calligraphy. Marco read: She is as silent as the grave, only weeping, bending herhead, covering her face with her hand, tears shine in the moonlight, down her white cheeks farewell tears like pearls run drop by drop, goodbye, my dear…… Marco escorted the Princess Cocacine to Persia.
The journey lasted three months and they went through Cambodia, Indochina, Vietnam, Java, Sumatra, Ceylon, Sian, South Arabia, to Hormuz and Tabriz . There they parted with the Princess. Marco, Nicholas and Matthew took a ship to Constantinople and from there they made their way to Korcula and Venice. The year was 1295.
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