The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Perescote Castle

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On Thursday, the 10th of July, at the hour of mass, they met some men on horseback, who said, that the knight was in an adjacent plain with his horde, and that he had sent to say that he intended to wait for the ambassadors of the Sultan, and that he would see all the ambassadors together. When the ambassadors from Cairo arrived, they all went on until they were near the horde, when they stopped. In a short time the knight sent for them, and they found him sitting under a shade, before his tent. He made them sit near him, caused food to be set before them, and received them well. He then ordered them to return to their tents, and said that, on another day, they should eat with him. When they reached their tents he sent them much food, live sheep, and bread, and flour. On another day they went to eat with him; and they had plenty of dishes, dressed according to the custom of the country, horses roasted, and their tripes boiled; and there was a great number of people at this feast. After they had eaten, he said that he was ordered by the lord to examine the presents which they brought. When he had seen them, he ordered that horses and camels should be provided, to convey them to where the lord then was; and when the ambassadors departed, he gave them robes, and he gave a tall ambling horse to Ruy Gonzalez, for they set a high value on those which amble; but it was not provided with a very good saddle or bridle. On another day he gave him a shirt, and a hat. This knight was named Solyman Meerza, and he was a favourite of the lord; and the place where they found him was a small plain, watered by rivers, and surrounded by mountains. It was a very pleasant place, and the mountains were called the mountains of Lar, and there were as many as three thousand tents on the plain. This knight was married to a daughter of Timur Beg, and with him there was a grandson of Timur Beg, named Sultan Ahmed Meerza, who was sick. When he heard of the ger falcons which the king had sent to Timur Beg, he sent to Solyman, to say that he wished for one of the falcons, and that the lord would not resent his having taken one. Solyman, thinking that the gift of a falcon to the grandson would please Timur Beg, ordered one to be given to him. The ambassadors said that it was wonderful that he should venture to take any of the presents which they were taking to the lord; but they were told that this grandson was one of the most valiant Bahadoors in the family of the lord, that he was sick, and that, therefore, they might venture to give him one, as the lord would not resent it. They also said that, when Timur Beg was in battle with the Turk, this grandson commanded the body guard, and that, during the battle, the lord ordered certain guards who were with him, to go and fight; and this grandson said to him, that on such a day he ought not to be left behind, but should be ordered to go and fight also; and the lord did not answer him; they added that, in his hurry, his head piece fell off, and that he went into the battle, and fought, on that day, with nothing on his head. On Saturday, the 12th of July, they departed. The master of theology, and Gomez de Salazar, were sick, but Ruy Gonzalez felt a little better, and some of the retinue were also sick. Solyman Meerza, therefore, sent to say that, as these people were sick, they must remain behind, that they might not perish in the long journey. Seven men were left behind; and there were among them two esquires of Ruy Gonzalez, and another of the master of theology, and a lad of Gomez. These sick people returned to the city of Tehran, and remained there until the ambassadors returned, but two of them died. On the day of their departure they encamped near a river.