Part I, Chapter XIV. On the Able Wazírs and their statesmanship.
f187a f134b 736 Introduction. Adhudu’d-Dawla defeats Shamsu’l-Ma‘álí Qábús b. Washmgír by the help of the minister, the Ṣáḥib Ismá‘íl b. ‘Abbád.
f187b f135a 737 The Ṣáḥib Ismá‘íl b. ‘Abbád propounds four methods of subjugating the enemy before fighting.
738 The Qayṣar of Rúm releases the prisoners of war of Ruknu’d-Dawla, being afraid of the shrewdness of the Ṣáḥib Ismá‘íl b. ‘Abbád, his veteran counsellor.
739 Congratulatory letter of Sahl b. Hárún to Ḥasan b. Sahl on his appoint­ment as the Wazír of the Caliph al-Ma’mún after the assassination of his own brother, the late Wazír.
f187b f135a 740 Adhudu’d-Dawla sends a sword to his Wazír Abú ‘Alí Khaṭír as a warning, and the Wazír’s challenge by throwing down his pen in reply.
741 Shamsu’l-Ma‘álí Qábús b. Washmgír endorses the letter that passed between Fakhru’d-Dawla and the Wazír of Níshápúr with the remark that ‘Pen’ and ‘Sword’ are useless unless guided by sound judgment.
742 A Persian Wazír changes the issue of a battle by cleverly putting a dot under the word <Arabic> in the order issued by the king for the recall of the army (see Anec. 1152).
f135b 743 The Caliph Hárún appoints ‘Alí b. ‘Ísá b. Máhán as the governor of Khurásán against the sound advice of Yaḥyá b. Khálid, the Barmecide, and repents for it in the end.
f188a 744 An account of the rise of the great Wazír Niẓámu’l-Mulk, who first served under ‘Izzu’d-Dín Qifá‘í (?) or ‘Azízu’d-Dín Fuqqá‘í (?) and was then given the charge of the revenue of Maliksháh the Saljúq.
745 How the Niẓámu’l-Mulk rewards the blind man by endowing him with an estate, in recompense for the money he had once stolen from the mosque.
f136a 746 How the Niẓámu’l-Mulk rescues Maliksháh the Saljúq who had accidentally fallen into the clutches of the Qayṣar of Rúm and defeats him and obtains from him cleverly a large piece of land in Constantinople for erecting a convent. (The latter portion of this anecdote is quoted in the Tajáribu’s-Salaf. See Browne, G. or. 3. f138b).
f188b 747 How Qásim b. ‘Abdu’llah’s secrets leaked out and how he detected the secret agent and regained the favour of the Caliph al-Mu‘tadhid.
f189a f136b 748 How Músá b. ‘Abdu’l-Malik, the Wazír of al-Mutawakkil, averts disaster by stealing the order of the Caliph from ‘Attáb and pleading guilty.
f137a 749 How Aḥmad [b.] Abú Khálid warns ‘Amr b. Mas‘ada of the displeasure of the Caliph al-Ma’mún, and explains before the Caliph his own obligations to Aḥmad.
f189b 750 A witty remark of an official newly appointed by Sulaymán b. Wahb stops his master from the bad policy of changing officials suddenly.
751 The Wazír Abu’l-Haṣan ibnu’l-Furát is meant dissuades the Caliphs Muktafí and Muqtadir from granting fertile lands to their favourites, the Amír Waṣíf b. Ṣuwartigín and Mufliḥ.
f137b 752 Qásim b. ‘Abdu’llah, the Wazír of Mu‘tadhid blackens a yellow spot on his dress, thinking that an ink-stain on the garment of the Wazír was not so bad as on that of any other person.
753 A Wazír of an Indian Ráy prefers to squint in the presence of the king for twenty years, lest he might be suspected of indecent behaviour on a past occasion.
f190a * 754 A capable Wazír of Núshírwán, when maliciously charged with misgovern­ment, asks the king for a barren piece of twenty Jaríbs, as pension allowance. The king, finding none, is convinced of the good management of the Wazir and restores him to favour.
* 755 A wealth-amassing Indian Ráy advised persistently by his able Wazir to muster armies against his enemies. — The demonstration and counter-demonstration of a bowl of honey …. (?) and flies.
f190a * 756 Abu’l-Qásim Isrá’íl advises Abú Ayyúb Sulaymán b. Aḥmad b. Sulaymán al-Múriyání to send Khálid the Barmecide to Khurásán, and thus keep himself safe from the danger of poisoning the Caliph al-Manṣúr’s ears.
f190b * 757 Mu‘áwiya b. ‘Abdu’llah beseeches the Caliph al-Mahdí not to kill ‘Abdu’llah b. Ḥasan the ‘Alawid, and thereby receives blessings from the Caliph ‘Alí in dream.
f137b 758 The bold reply of Abú Manṣúr Zamání or Rayyání, the Wazír of the Sultan Ṭughril, when asked by the king the cause of delay — Homage to the Lord first, the service of the king next.
f191a 759 A contrast of the two Wazir’s, the Khwájá Aḥmad b. Ḥasan Maymandí and the Niẓámu’l-Mulk: the former refuses to present a slave to the Sultan Maḥmúd, whereas the latter enlists two thousand slave-guards in the service of Maliksháh at a slight hint.
760 The reply of a Wazír of a Persian king about the cause of the popularity of his father’s rule — his sense of opportune action.
761 Buzurjmihr’s ideal of a Wazír and his qualifications.
* 762 Fadhl b. Sahl, the Wazír, stops the Caliph al-Ma’mún from playing chess, while urgent state affairs required his attention, which act is first resented by the Caliph, but is ultimately appreciated.
f191b f138a 763 al-Múriyání’s dishonesty about the grant of land to Ṣáliḥ the Miskín, and Khálid the Barmecide’s good opportunity to win the Caliph al-Manṣúr’s favour and overthrow his rival.
* 764 Ḥasan b. Aḥmad the Wazír of Abu’l-Jaysh Ṭúlún cautiously stops the payment of rewards ordered by the king in drunkenness.
f138a 765 ‘Alí b. Haytham or Háshim’s (?) observation on the rise and fall and pomp and poverty of Ḥasan b. Sahl the Wazír: at one time a leather bag was all he possessed, and at another a thousand camels were not suf­ficient for loading his baggage.
f192a 766 ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd, the Wazír of Marwán b. Muḥammad — his firm loyalty to his master to the last.
767 The firm friendship and mutual sacrifice of Ibnu’l-Muqaffa‘ and ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd.
f138b 768 Abdu’l-Ḥamíd, the Wazír, Ba‘lbakk the cryer of prayer, and Sallám the Ḥádí, the servants of the deposed Marwán brought as captives before the Caliph al-Manṣúr, who orders the assassination of the former and releases the other two.
769 The disgrace of Fadhl b. Rabí‘ as a warning to the higher officials.
f192b 770 Poverty of Khálid the Barmecide in his early days, and Aḥmad b. Abí Khálid al-Aḥwal’s timely help, and Khálid’s advice to his son and how Yaḥyá observed it.
f193a * 771 Ḥasan b. Sahl abides by the slip of his pen in awarding 100,000 Dirhams to a needy water-bearer, lest the correction of it might suggest his weakness.
f139a 772 Abu’l-Ḥasan ibnu’l-Furát, the Wazír of Muqtadir, forgives Sulaymán b. Makhlad at the invocation of his mother. (T. F. S.).
f193a f139a 773 Rayyán-i-Ṣalt favoured by Fadhl b. Sahl becomes very prosperous. (T.F.S. pt. II. ch. vii, pp. 5—7).
f193b f139b 774 ‘Alí b. ‘Ísá’s period of virtuous prime-ministership, in consequence of which his supplication for water in the desert is granted miraculously.
* 775 The Niẓámu’l Mulk repeatedly rewards a crook who appears at various times in various dresses, and in the end discloses his own knowledge of him.
f139b 776 Abú ‘Alí b. Muqla, the Wazír, takes pity on Muḥammad Jár and helps him.
f194a f140a 777 Muslim b. Walíd’s story of Fadhl b. Sahl’s bounty after he became the Wazír of the Caliph al-Ma’mún.
778 Buzurjmihr blinded in prison, and how he read the puzzling letter of the Qayṣar of Rúm to Núshírwán and his restoration to office.
* 779 The incarceration of a Wazír and his twenty sons in a well; the Wazír survives and gets into the favour of the Ráy and avenges himself.
f194b f140a 780 Abú Ja‘da, the Wazír of Marwán-i-Ḥimár goes over to the Abbásids, but when Marwán’s head is brought before as-Saffáḥ, recognises it and calls him the late Commander of the Faithful. ‘Abbás b. ‘Alí urges that he should be put to death, but al-Manṣúr saves him, and in return he, when consulted by as-Saffáḥ, speaks in favour of al-Manṣúr’s succession.
f195a f140b 781 The Caliph al-Muntaṣir ashamed of a meagre reward to a poet, and Hishám the Khaṭíb’s experience with Kawthar the factotum, who would not let the Caliph’s son count less than 1000.
782 Like the Khwája Aḥmad b. Ḥasan Maymandi, the Khwája Abu’l-‘Abbás Isfará’íní refuses to give up a slave, whom the Sultan Maḥmúd wanted at his banquet, and thereby ruins himself.
f195b f141a 783 Yaḥyá b. Khálid the Barmecide used to ascertain the public opinion about the choice of provincial governors.
784 Yaḥyá the Barmecide’s policy of choosing experienced persons for responsible offices.
785 The Caliph al-Ma’mún relates an instance of Fadhl b. Sahl’s foolishness before Yaḥyá b. Khálid the Barmecide.
f196a 786 Fadhl b. Sahl assumes the appearance of an old man at the remark of the ambassador from Rúm about his youth and experience in state-craft.
f141b 787 Adhúdu’d-Dawla’s reluctance to pay the yearly tribute to the Sámánid ruler Núḥ b. Manṣúr as contracted in the early days. Abu’l-Ḥasan b. ‘Ísá’s demand and the Ṣáḥib Ismá‘íl b. ‘Abbád’s acquiescence in the established practice prevent a rupture between the Sámánids and the Buwayhids.
      The chapter ends without a eulogy.