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Meakin, Annette M. B. / In Russian Turkestan; a garden of Asia and its people

Chapter VI: government of native towns,   pp. 44-50

Page 46

always numerous courtiers whose duty it was to ap-
pear in gorgeous robes on state occasions, and help
to increase the pomp that surrounded their ruler.
Twice every year the Amir of Bokhara receives a
prescribed number of presents from each of his
Begs-so many horses, so many robes, so many
yards of silk. The costliness of these presents is
regulated according to the wealth of the terri-
tory over which the Beg is ruler.  If the Amir
chooses to visit one of his Begs, he must be
received, retinue and all, into the Beg's palace,
where he remains as long as he likes at the ex-
pense of the town. In February 19o2 the Amir
of Bokhara spent ten days with the Beg of Charjui,
on his way to St. Petersburg, and the cost of en-
tertaining him was by no means light. The women
of Charjui are said to be the most beautiful in all
Bokhara; and among his presents the Beg has to
supply two young girls every year for the Amir's
Before the Russian conquest the Amirs of Bok-
hara had their summer palace at Samarkand. Ker-
min6, about seventy miles from the town of Bokhara,
is the favourite residence of the present Amir. "He
was Beg there before he became Amir, and has a
particular attachment for the place." So says an
official guide-book published in Tashkent; but in
Bokhara the natives tell a different tale.
The relationship I have described as existing

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