The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Garden encampment feast

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On Monday, the 29th of September, the lord went to the city of Samarkand, and lodged in some houses near the entrance, which he had ordered to be built in honour of the mother of his wife Cano {Khanum - Queen}, who was interred in a chapel within these houses. These houses were very rich, and they were not yet finished, but every day there were men working at them. On this day the lord gave a great feast, and sent for the ambassadors. He gave this feast, at the reception of some ambassadors who had come to him, from a land which borders on the territory of China, and which used to be within the dominions of the emperor of China. These ambassadors arrived on that day, and were dressed in the following manner:-the chief amongst them had on a dress of skins, with the hair outside, and these skins were the worse for wear. On his head he wore a small hat, with a cord to fasten it to his breast, and the hat was so small that his head would scarcely go into it. All those who came with him wore dresses of skin, some with the hair outside, and others with it turned inside, and they looked like a party of blacksmiths. They brought presents to the lord, of skins of martins and sables, white foxes, and falcons: and they were Christians, after the manner of those of China. The object of the embassy was to ask the lord, to give them a grandson of Tocatmish, who was formerly emperor of Tartary, to be their ruler. On this day the lord played at chess, for a long time, with, some Zaytes {Syuds}, or men who were of the lineage of Mohammed {Timur was very fond of the game of chess. He increased the number of the men and squares, and made it much more complicated}. On this day he would not receive the presents from the ambassadors, but they were brought forward, and he saw them. On Thursday the 2nd of October, the lord sent the ambassadors to a garden, where a knight lodged who was his chief porter; and the knight told them that the lord had ordered him to say that he knew well that the Franks drank wine every day, but that they did not drink at their ease before him. He had therefore sent them to this place, that they might eat and drink at their ease: and he sent them ten sheep and a horse to eat, and also a load of wine; and, when the food was eaten, and the wine drunk, they dressed the ambassadors in robes, and gave them shirts and hats, and horses.