The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Tehran to Damghan

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On Sunday they encamped on the banks of another river; and at noon, on Monday, the 14th of July, they reached a castle called Perescote. Timur Beg had left this place, about twelve days before, on his road to Samarkand; and he had left orders that the ambassadors should follow him as fast as possible, such was his desire that they should see Samarkand. This city was the first which he conquered, and the one which he honours more than any other, and here he has deposited his treasure. The lord had been besieging this castle of Perescote, and had entered it by force, about fifteen days before the ambassadors arrived, and the reason why he besieged it was this:-the lord of this castle was a servant to whom he had shown great kindness, and he had given him this castle and much land; but he was now enraged against him, and ordered him to be taken prisoner to Samarkand; but when the knight arrived to execute these orders, the people seized him. When the lord knew this, he besieged this castle for thirty days, at the end of which time the people yielded, and the lord of the castle fled by night. This castle is so strong, that no one could ever enter it, if the defenders did not yield. It is built on a very high rock, which stands by itself, on a plain; and is surrounded by a wall, with towers, and at the foot of it there is a village. Above the first wall, there is a second higher one, and above that, there is another with towers; and between the walls there is a village, above which there is a very strong castle, with walls, and many towers; so that there are three fortresses, one above the other. Within there is a spring of water, which supplies the garrison, besides which a river flows by the rock on which the castle stands; and the gates of the town open upon the draw bridges, below which the river flows.