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who did sport with us, and did use us verie kindly, sufferinge us to go into his towne by two at a time, which was a verie greate favor, for he doth not use to allow anie stranger to go into it. There is but onely one gate to goe into the towne, which is no wider than one horse may passe through alone; there is alsoe in the middle of the towne a verie strong castle, planted with ordnance, where the Kinge himselfe doth lye; this castle commands all round about it, that they cannot come to plant anie ordnance to give batterie, without the losse of manie thousands; for the Turke did sende a greate armie agaynst it; but on one day and a night service, they were faine to fie awaye, with the losse of the better halfe of his men. This Kinge did give us great incouragement, assuring us we should find the Sophie of Persia the most famous Prince in the world, both for his bounty and valour, and to be a greate friend to Christianes ; soe we tooke our leave of him, houldinge on our jorney; and, in fewe days after, we were safely arrived in the kingdom of Persia, without the losse of one man in our companie; whereupon the sudden we found such an alteratione of the countrey and people that we were overcome with joye.”
Of our usage in Persia, and the entertainment we had there.
“ After we had entered the countrey some two or three miles, Sir Anthony called us all together; and, fallinge upon our knees, givinge thankes to God that we were come safely to our intended purpose, although we were sometime before past hope of our lives ; but that we had soe worthy a leader, which, in the greatest of our extremities, never made anie showe of dispaire; but, with a gallant spirite, did incourage us not to take anie feare, for he would ingage his life for us. The first towne we came to was verie strongly situated, for we could not see anie house att all, but a place like unto a greate mountaine, where did issue out smoke in manie places, which were their houses, digged underneath the mountaine very strangely, to the number of some three hundred dwelling houses; the streetes verie faire, and as even as a table, and on the top of the mountayne greate holes were cute to give light to these streetes and houses ; there we found great store of victuales of all sortes, and the people verie courteouse and willinge to doe us anie service; there was alsoe a hundred souldiers lying there, for the Kinge hath a guard round about his countrey, at everye entrance; they be all horsemen, and goe all in red, with red turbans on their heads, and red feathers, with their bowes and arrowes, sword and targett, and their short peeces; these souldiers did use us verie respectfully, and tould us their Kinge would be overcome with joye when he did heare of our cominge; soe, aster we had rested there one day and a night, we did houlde on our journey towards Casbeene, a famose cittie, and of greate antiquitie. We passed by manie townes, but none of anie account, and the further we went, the more kinder the people were; in everye village where we did lodge, the cheefe men would come and present us with one commoditie or other every night, and happie was he who could have the best house to lodge us; likewise their women would come and welcome us, which
we thought a greate wonder, in regard we had not the speech of anie woman for a longe time before. In our way to Casbeene, we did see a most miraculous peece of work, wrought by this Kinge that now is ; for, in some partes of the kingdome, water is verrie scarce, and this Kinge, with the multitude of men, hath wrought a vale twenty dayes journey from a river, and so bath brought water enough into the countrey ; it was wrought soe, that within everie three-score yards it is open to the ayre; soe, passinge alonge the countrey, and beinge in safety, Sir Anthony sent Angelo, our guide, accompanied with an English gentleman, whose name was John Ward, some four dayes journey before us to Casbeene, in secrete to provide us of a lodginge, and to attend our coming two or three miles from the cittie, somewhat late in the evening, and soe to convey us to our lodginge without the knowledge of the cittizens, in regard we were unprovided with aparell and other necessaries, by reason of our longe travelles; yett they could not soe secretly worke their intended purposes, but it was made knowne both to the Lord Steward of the Kinge's house, and alsoe to the Governor of the cittie, who sent for them both, to know what he was that was coming to see their Kinge; they tould thein the truth, but did not acquaint them the certaine daye of oure cominge, which made both them and the citizens greatly discontented, in regard they made greate preparation to receive us with greate triumphes; but, accordinge to our intention, we came in by night, and soe did disappoint them; the next day the Lord Steward came to our house, with a greate traine followinge him of gallant gentlemen, and did salute Sir Anthony in this sorte :-In my Kinge's behalfe, who now is in the Tartarian wars, this small kindness I would intreat you accept, in regard to your longe and wearie travells; and that, you beinge strangers here in our countrey, it may be your supplies cannot be so suddenly accomplished, therefore I would request you to pardon me, if I doe amisse in my offer; and, lainge twenty pounds in gould at Sir Anthony's feete, tould him, this much you shall receive everie daye for your provision beside other commodities; this doe I of myselfe, untill we heare from our Kinge; who, I am sure, will treble it at his returne. Sir Anthony, accordinge to his princely minde, turninge the money over with his foote, returned this answer : Know this, brave Persiane, I come not a begginge to the Kinge, but hearinge of his greate fame and worthines, thought I could not spend my time better than come to see him. and kiss his hand, with the adventure of my bodie to second him in his princely warrs: the Persiane, hearinge this answere, stept backe verie suddenlye, and, making a lowe congè, replied thus, Pardon me, brave stranger, for now I see thou art a Prince thyselfe, for soe it seemeth by thy princely answere. Sir Anthony, replyinge, sayd, No, I am the second sonne to an English knight, but I have bine trained up in martial affaires, and well esteemed of in my prince's court, and for this cause doe I come to doe thy Kinge the best office I can, if it please his highnes to accept of me. I knowe my Kinge, sayde the Persiane, will highly esteeme of thy cominge, and think himselfe a happie man to receive so worthie a persone into his courte; and soe saluting all one after another, did take his leave. So soone as
he was gone, the governor of the cittie came with a gallant train of gentile men verie well horsed to attend him, beinge a man of a gallant personage, well spoken, and of good carriage; and gave Sir Anthony and all of us a verie kinde welcome, offeringe Sir Anthony all that he was worth to be at his service: he thanked him verie kindly, but tould him he did hope to have no such occasion to use his offer; soe for that time he tooke his leave of us; and that night the Lord Steward and Governor did send such a variety of presents to Sir Anthony, that itt did make us wonder att it, and soe they did everie daye, for they two did strive who should use us best; soe after some five or six dayes rest wee were furnished with apparel and horses; and then the Lord Steward did invite Sir Anthony and all we of his companie to a greate banquett at the king's pallace, which Sir Anthony did not refuse; when the Lord Steward did royally receive us, meetinge us halfe the way, attended with forty gentile men very well horsed; soe coming to the palace we did behould there a somptuouse spectacle, which was the palace gate beinge curiously sett, wrought and garneshed with rich stones verie bright, the like I thinke the world cannott afford; the goinge up unto the gatte was seven steppes, abought some halfe dozen yards brode, of a verie stronge kinde of stone; soe when wee were alighted from our horses and come neere unto the gatte, the Lord Steward tould Sir Anthony that it was the fashion that those that did enter into the gate, must kisse the first stepe, and especially strangers, but you shall be priveledged to doe as it shall please you ; Sir Anthony replied, in honour of the Sophie thy Kinge, I will doe this; and soe he made a low obeysance, and in the like sorte did Mr. Robert Sherley his brother, but all we did kisse the step, which did greatly rejoyce the Lord Steward and his companie; soe into the house we came, which was richly hanged in everie roome with gould carpets, and under foote with rich arras, but to tell the severall sorts of dishes we had there I cannot expresse, and everie dish trimmed with rice coloured of all kind of colours; we had alsoe the Kinge's musicke to attend us, both there and home or where we would command them; there was alsoe at that feast ten weomen verie gallantly aparelled, and verie beautiful, which did dance acordinge to their countrey maner, and singe all the time we were feastinge; there we spent that daye, and att our returne to our house we were garded verie royally with all the citizenes of worth, with the sound both of drume and trumpett; and in the like sort did the Governor feast us, and all men were willing to shewe us anie pleasure we would ; in the end there came a poste from the Kinge, forth of Tartaria, with a proclamation written with the Kinge's own hand, which proclamation was proclaimed by a nobleman in Casbeene, and we were all sent for to hear it; this was the effect of it, that we should command horse and man to be at our service, upon paine of death to those that should not obey; moreover, if anie man did hold up his hand to offer the worst in our companie wrong, he should lose his head; which proclamation the citizenes did all embrace verie willingly, and thus I leave awhile to treat of our entertainment: now will I speake of by what means this Kinge came to his crowne; and then will I shewe you the maner of his coming from the warrs, and the entertainment he gave us.
“ You shall understand that they have a lawe or custome in Persia, when the kinge doth dye, the eldest son that is to succeed his father doth put out the eyes of his bretheren, be theye never soe many of them, for feare they should winne any faver in the countrey and soe comitt rebelione; this kinge that nowe doth reign in Persia, whose name is Shahe Abbas, that is kinge Abbas, for this word Shahe is the Persian word for a kinge, he was the second, who, when he heard his father was dead, presantly fled from the countrey into Cordea, and sometimes he lived on the frontiers or borders of Persia, havinge to the number of one thousand men with him. His eldest brother beinge crowned kinge, sent manie flatteringe letters unto him, that if he would come and submitt himselfe unto him, he should live and enjoy his eyesight, and that he should have greate command in the countrey; but he would not trust the kinge, but did continue his course as he did before, and his companie increased daylie. There was alsoe a nobleman which was verie neere unto the kinge, who sent a letter privately unto this kinge Abbas, that if he would give him such a dukedom, which was the greatest command in all the kingdome of Persia, that then he would cause the kinge his brother to be put to death, and that he should be made kinge; whereupon he returned this answeare, which was, that if he would be the death of so lovinge a master as the kinge his brother was to him, he could be well contented to lose his brother to succeede him in the kingdome, and that he should be made for his labore the greatest duke in Persia; and soe he did signe his letter with his blood, for that is the fashion when they doe ingage themselves one to the other; this nobleman receaved this letter with greate joye, and did put in practise how to end the dayes of his deare lord and master, who loved him beyond all measure, as myselfe have heard manye Persians reporte; yet was not that kinge beloved of his subjects: well, this was his plott; he did give the kinge's barber a greate reward to cut his throate when he did shave him, which thing when it was performed this nobleman fled imediately to his newe master, whoe imbraced him freindly. The countrey straight were up in armes, and half a dozen kinges were proclaimed; some brothers that were blinde and some uncles that were blind alsoe, for the people did accordinge as their affections were; but this kinge Abbas came with his powre that he had and laid siege to Casbeene, for because the citizenes would not receive him, but in fewe dayes he gatte it, and put most of them to the sword because they did withstande him; soe his forces increased every day, and he marched towards Ispahanne, which is the chiefest cittie in the kingdome, some ten dayes' journey from Casbeene, conqueringe the countrey, but they came to him in multitudes to increase his powre: the lords of the counsell gathered a greate armie together, thinkinge to encounter him, but when they understoode what powre he was of, they altered their mindes and met him on their knees, receivinge him with greate triumphts, and the next day he was proclaimed kinge in Ispahanne, and crowned some two dayes after with great joye: after he was crowned, this nobleman, which was the death of his brother, came to the kinge and demanded his dukedome, which the kinge promised him; the kinge answeared hiin, thou art worthie of it; so biddinge him kneele did create him duke and placed him next unto himself, and then was he the greatest man in Persia next unto the kinge. The next day after, the kinge and lords sittinge in counsell, the kinge demanded this question, what was he worthie to receive, that havinge a lovinge master, yea one that loved him better than himselfe, and yett was the cause of his death? It is the fashion of the country, that when the kinge doth aske a question the beste man in the place next to the kinge must give the answere; soe this new made duke, beinge then in presents, after long pause, verie unwillinge gave answeare that such a servant was worthie of great punishment; then the kinge standinge up suddenly drew his sword and sayed, Villan that thou art, thou shalt have thy desert; and soe cutt of his head with his owne hands, and sayde, Thou that didest betray soe lovinge a master, thou wouldst doe the like to me, therefore take thy desert; and soe caused his carcase to be throwne into the feelds for the crowes to feede on; and thus much in breefe concerninge the maner of his cominge to the crowne.
Now will I shewe you in what fashion he came from the wars, and the
welcome he gave us.
The Kinge, some two dayes before he entered into Casbeene, sent a curreire or post before him to his lord steward, to furnish us with the best horses he could gett, and that we should meete him four miles forth of Casbeene, accompanied with the governor and himselfe, which was verie gallantly performed by them both; in this sort was Sir Anthony and wee of his companie apoynted ; first, Sir Anthony himselfe in riche cloth of gould, his gowne and his under cote; bis sword hanginge in a rich scarfe to the worth of a thousand pounds, beinge sett with pearle and diamonds; and on his head a turbant accordinge to the worth of two hundred dollars, his bootes imbrodered with pearle and rubies; his brother, Mr. Robert Sherley, likewise in cloth of gould, his gowne and under cote, with a rich turbant on his head; his interpreter, Angelo, in cloth of silver gownes and under cotes; four in cloth of silver gownes, with under cotes of silke dammaske; four in crimson velvett gownes, with dammask under cotes; four in blew dammaske gownes, with taffitie under cotes; four in yellow dammaske, with there under cotes of a Persian stuff; his page in cloth of gould; his four footemen in carnation taffitie, and thus we sett forward; Sir Anthony and his brother ridinge together; the lord steward on the right hand and the governor on the lefte, the rest came after by two and two, myselfe directly before Sir Anthony, with a white stafe in my hand, for it pleased him to make me his marshall, for in that countrey every great man hath his marshall to ride before him. Soe after we were halfe a mile forth of the cittie we sawe such a prospect as is not usually seene; which was, twelve hundred souldiers, horsmen, carringe twelve hundred heads of men on their launces, and some havinge the ears of men put on stringes and hanged about their neckes; next after these came the trumpeters, makinge a wonderfulle noyse; because they are contrarie to oure English trumpets, these