The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Samarkand City

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On the next day, which was the 23rd of September, the lord went to another house and garden, near the former one, called Dilicaya; where he gave another feast, at which a great multitude of his followers were assembled, and the ambassadors also went. This house and garden is very beautiful; and on this occasion the lord was very jovial, and he drank wine as well as those who were with him; and the food consisted of horses and sheep, according to their custom. When they had eaten, the lord ordered robes to be given to the ambassadors, and they returned to their lodgings, which were very near at hand. At these feasts such a multitude of people were assembled, that, when they came near to the lord, they could not get on, except by the help of the guards appointed to make way for the ambassadors; and the dust was such that people's faces and clothes were all one colour. In front of these gardens there was a vast plain, through which a river flowed, and many smaller streams. On this plain the lord ordered many tents to be pitched for himself and his women; and that all his host, which was scattered in detachments over the land, should be assembled together, each man in his place, and that their tents should be pitched, and that they should come there, with their women, to be present at the festivals and marriages which he wished to celebrate. When the tents of the lord were pitched, each man knew where his own tent should be pitched, and every one, high and low, knew his place, so that the work was done without confusion or noise. After three or four days, twenty thousand men were assembled round the tents of the lord, and a day did not pass without many arriving from all parts. In this horde there are always butchers and cooks who sell cooked sheep, and others who sell fruit and barley, and bakers who sell bread. Every division of the horde is provided with all that the troops require, and they are arranged in streets. There are even baths and bath men in the horde, who pitch their tents and make their huts for hot baths, with boilers for heating the water, and all that they require; and as each man arrived, he was shown his station. The lord ordered that the ambassadors should be conducted to a house and garden near the encampment.