The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Timur conquest of Delhi

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On Monday, the 13th of October, Timur Beg gave a feast, and sent for the ambassadors. When they approached near the great pavilion where the lord was to dine, they found that two fresh enclosures were set up, with their tents; like the others which I have described to you, except that these tents were very rich, and more splendid than any that had been pitched before. One of the walls was of crimson cloth, covered with embroidery of gold lace, in many figures and patterns, which was very beautiful to look upon. This wall was higher than any of the others, and the entrance was shaped like an arch, with a vaulted covering above it; and the whole was embroidered, in beautiful designs, with gold lace; and the doors were of carpeting, embroidered in the same way. On the top of the entrance there was a square tower with turrets, all made of cloth, embroidered with gold; and the wall had turrets of embroidered cloth, all round it, at intervals. There were windows in the walls, with lattices made of silken cords, and these windows also had cloth shutters. Within the enclosure the tents were pitched, and they were very rich and beautiful. Close to this enclosure there was another, the walls of which were of white satin, with the entrance and windows the same as the former, and these enclosures had doors leading from one to the other. The ambassadors did not go in to see these enclosures on this day, because the lord had the great feast under his own pavilion; but on another day they were shown these enclosures, and the tents. In front of these enclosures a great pavilion was pitched, made of white silk; and it was ornamented, both inside and out, with many patterns, in various coloured silks. The ground, near the pavilion of the lord, was covered with jars of wine, which were placed in a row, a stone's throw in length. No man was allowed to pass beyond these jars towards the pavilion, and mounted guards were placed to watch the line, with bows and arrows, and maces in their hands. If anyone passed the line, they shot arrows at him, and gave him such blows with their maces, that some men were taken outside the gates for dead; and a great assemblage of people was waiting in the camp, for the time when the lord should come forth, and go under the great pavilion. Near this pavilion there were a great number of awnings, and under each awning there was a very large jar of wine, and these jars were so large, that they would hold fifteen ordinary jugs of wine. After the ambassadors had been waiting for a long time, they were told to go and pay their respects to a grandson of the lord, who had come from India the day before. Timur Beg had sent for him to see him, as it was seven years since they had met. This grandson was a son of Timur's first born son, who was dead, whose name was Jehanghir. Timur loved him very much, and he was fond of this grandson, whose name was Peer Mohammed, for his father's sake. The ambassadors found him in a tent of red cloth, seated on the floor, with many knights standing round him. When the ambassadors approached the tent, two knights came and took them by the arms, and made them kneel on the ground, they then took them a little nearer, and made them kneel again. When they came into the tent, they made their reverence, which was this: to kneel with the right knee on the ground, cross the arms on the breast, and incline the head. The knights who conducted them then raised them, and led them out. This grandson of the lord was very richly dressed, according to his custom. He had on a robe of blue satin, embroidered with golden wheels, some on the back, and others on the breast and sleeves. His hat was adorned with large pearls and precious stones, with a very brilliant ruby on the top; and the people who stood round him treated him with great reverence and ceremony. In front of him there were two wrestlers, dressed in leathern doublets, without sleeves; but they neither of them could throw the other. At last one of them threw the other, and held him down for a long time; for they all said that if he got up, the fall would not be counted. On the same day all the ambassadors who were there went to do reverence to this grandson of Timur Beg, who was about twenty-two years of age. He was dark and beardless, and they call him lord of India; but in this they do not speak the truth, for the present rightful lord of India is a Christian, named N. {The same in both editions}, as the ambassadors were informed.