The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Bagino Garden - Samarkand

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[On] the following Friday, when [Timur] went to another garden, where there was a very rich palace, which he had lately ordered to be built, called Bayginar {Bagh-e-chenar?-'Plane-tree garden,' mentioned by Babur}. On Monday, the 15th of September, the lord went from that palace and garden to another, which was very beautiful. This garden had a very lofty and handsome entrance, made of bricks, and adorned with tiles in blue and gold, arranged in various patterns. On this day the lord ordered a great feast to be prepared, and sent for the ambassadors, and many other people, both men and women. This garden is very large, and contains many fruit, and other trees, which give shade. Amongst them there were avenues, and wooden terraces, on which the people walked. In the garden there were many tents, and awnings of red cloth, and of various coloured silks, some embroidered in various ways, and others plain. In the centre of the garden there was a very beautiful house, built in the shape of a cross, and very richly adorned with ornaments. In the middle of it there were three chambers, for placing beds and carpets in, and the walls were covered with glazed tiles. Opposite the entrance, in the largest of the chambers, there was a silver gilt table, as high as a man, and three arms broad, on the top of which there was a bed of silk cloths, embroidered with gold, placed one on the top of the other, and here the lord was seated. The walls were hung with rose-coloured silk cloths, ornamented with plates of silver gilt, set with emeralds, pearls, and other precious stones, tastefully arranged. Above these ornaments there were pieces of silk, a palmo broad, whence hung tassels of various colours, and the wind moved them backwards and forwards, which caused a very pretty effect. Before the great arch, which formed the entrance to the chamber, there were ornaments of the same kind, and silk cloths raised up by spear poles, and kept together by silken cords, with large tassels, which came down to the ground. The other chambers were furnished in the same way, and on the floors there were carpets and rush mats. In the centre of the house, opposite the door, there were two gold tables, each standing on four legs, and the table and legs were all in one. They were each five palmos long, and three broad; and seven golden phials stood upon them, two of which were set with large pearls, emeralds, and torquoises, and each one had a ruby near the mouth. There were also six round golden cups, one of which was set with large round clear pearls, inside, and in the centre of it there was a ruby, two fingers broad, and of a brilliant colour. The ambassadors were invited to this feast by the lord, but they had to wait for their interpreter, and when they arrived the lord had dined. The lord said that, on another day, when he sent for them, they were to come at once, and not to wait for the interpreter, but that this time he would forgive them. He had made this feast for them, that they might see the house, and the people. The lord was in a great rage with the Meerzas, because the ambassadors did not come in time for the feast, and because the interpreter was not with them. He sent for the interpreter, and said,- 'How is it that you have caused me to be enraged, and put out ? Why were you not with the Frank ambassadors ? I order that a hole be bored through your nose, that a rope be passed through it, and that you be dragged through the army, as a punishment.' He had scarcely finished speaking, when men took the interpreter by the nose, to bore a hole in it; and the knight, who attended upon the ambassadors by order of the lord, asked for mercy, and he was pardoned, escaping the infliction of his sentence. The lord sent to the ambassadors, at their lodging, to say that as they had not been at the feast, they should have a part of it; and he sent them five sheep, and two great jars of wine. At this feast many people were assembled, as well ladies as great nobles, and many other people; but as the ambassadors did not see this house and garden, nor the chambers in it, they spoke to some of the people who had seen them.