The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Ambassadors feast

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On Sunday, the 29th of June, the said ambassadors departed from Sultanieh, on good horses, and passed the night at a village called Atengale. Next day, at noon, they came to another large village called Huar, and at night they came to a village called Cequesana, where there were many streams and fruit gardens. On the following Wednesday they spent the night in a castle, which had been abandoned a few days before; and they said that the lord had passed by, with his army, about a month since; and as he did not find either barley or straw in that place, and, besides, as there was no grass in the neighbourhood for the horses and flocks of the army, he ordered that they should eat the wheat which was sown; and the rear guard of his army plundered everything they found in the place, and for this reason it was abandoned. But there were men here, with a hundred post horses of the lord; and from Sultanieh to this place, there were only two villages without post horses. On Thursday, the 3rd of July, they provided horses for the ambassadors, who departed from this place, and reached a city called Xaharcan {Kazveen ?}, where they were well received, and provided with all that they required. While they were in this city, a message came from a knight named Baba Sheikh, to say that the great lord had ordered them to be treated with honour, and to ask whether they desired to visit him. They remained in this city from the Thursday, on which they arrived, to Saturday. On Saturday they were provided with post horses, and set out at night. On Sunday, the 6th of July, at noon, they came to a city called Tehran, where they found Baba Sheikh, who came out to receive them, and conducted them to a lodging, which was used by the lord when he was there, and which was the largest in the city. On Monday the said knight sent for the ambassadors, and, when they were near his house, he came out to meet them, and sat down in a room with them. Presently he sent for the ambassador of the Sultan of Babylon, who had arrived with presents for Timur Beg, and gave him many dishes of meat to eat, which had been prepared; amongst which was a horse roasted with its head. After they had eaten, the knight said to them that, on another day, they should go and visit a great Meerza, who was son-in-law to the lord. When the ambassadors were going to depart, he gave Ruy Gonzalez a dress, and a hat, and said that he was to accept them as a token of the friendship which Timur Beg felt for his king. This city of Tehran was very large, but it had no walls, and it was a very delightful place, well supplied with everything; but it was an unhealthy place, according to the natives, and fevers were very prevalent. The territory in which it stands is called Rei, which is a great and extensive lordship, possessed by the son-in-law of the lord. The road from Sultanieh to Tehran is very level, and the country is populous, and very hot. On Tuesday, in the afternoon, they departed, and, at a distance of two leagues, they came in sight of a great city, all in ruins, on the right hand side of the road; but there appeared towers and mosques, and the name of the place was Xahariprey {The ruins of the ancient city of Rhe (the Rhages of the Apocrypha), are a few miles south of the city of Tehran. They cover a vast extent of ground, and have supplied materials for the modern capital of Persia}. This was once the largest city in all that land, though it is now uninhabited. On Wednesday they came to a village; and the road had now left the plains, and entered mountains, through which they had to go to visit that knight. In the night they left the village, which is called Lanaza, and that night they slept in the open air {They seem to have turned up towards the mountain passes leading into Mazanderan}.