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0226 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 226 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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on a black horse with white points which had been sent as a present by 1 Iirza Olug Beg, and which had housings of yellow brocaded with gold.

Two grooms ran alongside, each holding by one of the stirrups, and

these also were dressed in gold brocade of a royal magnificence. The emperor had on a red mantle brocaded with gold, to which was stitched

a pocket of black satin in which the imperial beard was cased. Seven

small covered palankins were borne after him on men's shoulders ; these contained young ladies of the emperor's family. There was also a great palankin carried by seventy men. Right and left of the emperor, at the interval of a bow-shot, were columns of horsemen who kept exactly

abreast of him. These lines extended as far as the eye could reach, and there was a space of twenty paces between their ranks. They marched in this way, keeping exact alinement, to the gates of the city. The emperor rode in the middle, accompanied by the Dah-daji, whilst the Kazi rode with the Li-daji and the An-daji. The Kazi coming forward, said to the ambassadors : ' Dismount and touch the ground with your heads'; and so they did. The emperor then desired them to mount again, which they did, and joined the procession. The monarch began to reproach them, saying to Shadi Khw6ja : ` When horses or other objects of value are sent as presents to kings, they should be of the best, if they are meant to strengthen the bonds of friendship. Here, I mounted for the chase yesterday one of the horses which you brought me, and the beast, being excessively old, came down with me. My hand is much hurt and has become black and blue. It is only by applying gold in great quantities that the pain has abated a little.' Shadi Khwaja, to put the best face on the matter, answered : ' The fact is, this horse belonged to the Great Amir, Amir Timur Kurkan. His Majesty Shah-Rukh in sending the animal to you intended to give you a testimony of his highest consideration ; indeed, he thought that in your dominions this horse would be regarded as a very pearl of horses.» This account of the matter satisfied the emperor who then treated the ambassadors with kindness."

After this one of the emperor's favourite wives died, and also a fire, occasioned by lightning, took place in the new palace, so that "contrary to what usually happens," the diarist observes, "the prediction of the astrologers was completely verified." These misfortunes made the old emperor quite ill, and it was from his son that the ambassadors received their dismissal. During the days that they remained at Peking after this they no longer received the usual supplies.

On their return journey, however, they met with all the same attentions as on their way to court. They followed the same road as before, and quitting Khanbalik on the middle of Jumadah first (about 18th May

As the Great Amir was dead sixteen years before, this Pearl of horses must indeed have been a venerable animal.