A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.

[12] This nowhere distinctly appears; but we may easily understand
    incidentally, and from the history of the period, that the Venetian
    republic endeavoured to stir up enemies to the Turkish empire in the
    east, being unable to resist its power, now exerted against them in
    the Morea and the Greek islands; and we may even surmise that Uzun-
    Hassan was subsidized by the Venetians to make war upon the Turks.—­E.


Contarini accompanies Uzun-Hassan from Ispahan to Tauris, where he finds Ambassadors from the Duke of Burgundy and the Prince of Muscovy, and gets leave to return to Venice.

The king left Ispahan with all his court on the 25th of November for Tauris, and we travelled along with him, passing through most of the places which we had seen in going to Ispahan.  In this journey we always slept in tents in the fields, and the camp was well supplied with provisions, as many merchants had received orders to provide grain, victuals of all kinds, and all sorts of necessaries.  On the 14th of November we arrived at Kom, where we remained two days under tents, exposed to extremely cold weather, and experienced much difficulty to procure a small house in which to shelter ourselves.  We continued at this place till the 21st of March 1474, during which interval we went frequently to court, to pay our respects to the king, on which occasions we were generally invited to dinner.  The Persian court is very magnificent, being attended by many high officers of state, and every day 400 persons dine along with the king.  These are all seated on the ground, and are served in copper basons with boiled rice, or some other mess made of flesh and grain boiled together; but the king is served in great magnificence at a separate table, with a great variety of dishes of different kinds of meat.  During his meals, the king is often served with wine, and then the musicians sing and play upon flutes such songs and tunes as the king pleases to order.  The king is of a good size, with a thin visage and agreeable countenance, having somewhat of the Tartar appearance, and seemed to be about seventy years old.  His manners were very affable, and he conversed familiarly with every one around him; but I noticed that his hands trembled when he raised the cup to his lips.  It is not needful that I should enumerate all the audiences which I had on the subject of my mission, of which I shall make occasional mention hereafter.

On the 21st of March the king and all the court left Kom, on their journey towards Tauris, the baggage being carried by camels and mules.  Each day we hardly exceeded ten or twelve, or at the most twenty Italian miles, and always stopt at each encampment till the forage in the neighbourhood was consumed.  The Persian mode of travelling is thus:  The women always arrive first at the new camp, where they set up the tents and cook provisions for their husbands. 

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