f206a * 878 The Caliph al-Hárún excuses Ja‘far b. Muḥammad b. Ash‘ath on account of a witty reply of his.
* 879 Isḥáq b. Ibráhím al-Mawṣilí liberates a slave on account of a witty remark.
* 880 The Caliph al-Manṣúr incautiously orders Rayyán to execute Fudhayl b. ‘Imrán al-Kúfí, but when the deed has been perpetrated accuses Rayyán, who saves his own neck by a pointed remark.
f149b 881 ‘Abdu’llah b. Ṭáhir refuses the bribe offered to him by the rebel ‘Abdu’llah ibnu’r-Ráy of Egypt, and suppresses him, upon which the Caliph al-Ma’mún appoints him governor of Egypt.
882 The Ṣúfí saint Ma‘rúf of Karkh preaches the gospel of work; the Shaykhu’l-Islám ‘Abdu’llah al-Anṣárí’s couplet is cited in support.
* 883 Aḥmad b. ‘Umar’s pathetic appeal to the Caliph al-Ma’mún to show mercy in this world, if he expects the same from God in the other.
f150a 884 A poor old water-carrier explains to the Caliph al-Mu‘taṣim the reason of the long lives of the honest labourers and the short ones of the idle rich. (Kháqáni cited).
f206b * 885 ‘Amr b. Aws of the Baní Azd cajoles Mu‘áwiya by calling him maternal uncle of the Muslims and thereby obtains his own release.
f150a 886 The sharp retort of the Wazír ‘Abú ‘Alí the Khaṭíb by sending a pen for the sword in retaliation for the threat of Ḥasanawayh the ruler of ‘Iráq.
887 Witty remarks of an old person about the period of his past life as 4 years only and about planting a nutmeg tree at such a late period in life, and the Caliph Hárún’s appreciation and rewards. (Cf. infra III. iii. Anec. 1561 and also N. S. N. p. 118).
888 Abu’l-‘Ayná’ justifies his satires by citing two verses from the Qur’án, to the effect that he praised the virtuous and condemned the wicked, upon which the Caliph al-Ma’mún rewards him. (The author’s own quatrain).
889 ash-Sha‘bí defends his ignorance of a certain legal point, by quoting the famous verse — the reply of the angels to God about names.
890 ‘Abdu’llah b. Mubárak al-Marwazí rebukes an ‘Alawí drunkard who called him the son of an infidel.
f207a 891 ‘Abdu’llah b. ‘Amr ibnu’l-‘Áṣ as-Sahmí points out to Mu‘áwiya the prediction of the Prophet about the murderers of ‘Ammár b. Yásir.
892 The Qádhí Iyás b. Mu‘áwiya’s piquant reply to a person who wanted to befool him about the legality of date-wine.
* 893 Iyás b. Mu‘áwiya baffles Ḥakam b. Ayyúb, when the latter wanted to convict him as a Khárijite.
f150b 894 The Imám Sháfi‘í explains to the Caliph Hárún the utility of gnats in the scheme of universe, by saying that they are meant to humiliate the proud and show the weakness of man. (Anec. repeated; see above I. 1. 21).
895 The Sultan Bahrámsháh of Ghazna punishes a minstrel whom he happened to see in the morning, but after his victorious return from his Indian campaign, the minstrel remarks that the king’s seeing him had brought ill-luck to him (the minstrel), not to the king’.
896 The irritating message of the Persian general Suhráb and the reprimand of the Muslim general al-Muthanná.
897 A preacher gives an equivocal reply to a questioner from amongst his Mázandarání Shí‘a audience about the first lawful successor of the Prophet and obtains a reward from the ruler.
f207b 898 Khálid b. Ṣafwán’s pithy description of the court of al-Mahdí.
* 899 The Caliph al-Mahdí’s happy explanation of the release of the victims of his father’s time.
f150b 900 The pertinent reply of a plaintiff, who had come from Khurásán to claim redress from the Caliph Hárún against the tyranny of ‘Alí b. ‘Ísá b. Máhán.
901 A witty pretext of Ibnu’l-Háshimí before his father, in defence of his behaviour while drunk. (Cf. N. S. N. p. 118).
902 Abu’l-‘Ayná’s humorous replies to the questions of the Wazír al-Muhallabí (?) about his unfortunate experiences in Iṣfahán.
903 The five precepts of a shepherd which contained the essence of wisdom.
* 904 Buzurjmihr’s alternative replies as to what is best for man; intellect; failing that, culture; failing that, concealment of one’s defects; failing that, modesty; failing that, silence; failing all, death (Saná’í cited).
f207b f151a 905 The Amír Naṣr b. Aḥmad’s intention to take revenge upon his old harsh teacher and the latter’s judicious replies.
f208a 906 A witty reply of a condemned stirrup-holder of the Kisrá.
* 907 The Kisrá orders the execution of a steward, who had accidentally spoiled his clothes, but on the victim’s pouring the contents of the bowl on the royal head while justifying himself, the King forgives him (T. F. S.).
f151a 908 The joke of a Persian ruler, Atábak Dakla (?).
909 Malik Muḥammad, the ruler of Kirmán, discovers the joke played upon him, hinting at his fondness for wine.
910 The same ruler dismisses a treasurer who told a very lengthy story of his dream, on the ground that he must be in the habit of sleeping too long.
911 The young Fatḥ b. Kháqán’s brilliant reply to the Caliph al-Mu‘taṣim, when a guest in the palace of his father.
f151a 912 The Sultan Bahrámsháh of Ghazna’s grudge against the Qádhí Abu’l-Barakát and the latter’s clever defence.
f208b f151b 913 The suggestive present of a mirror by Abú ‘Alí Ayyúb, the Amír of Fárs to the Caliph al-Mu‘tazz.
914 Abú Dulaf b. Abí Dá’úd’s explanation to his brother, why he took up the profession of a harpist after his past occupation as a warrior.
915 The Caliph al-Ma’mún asks Ḥasan b. Sahl why one should rely on the wise sayings of the bygone days.
* 916 Abú Rajá’ Jábir b. Dhaḥḥák gets the better of Aḥmad b. Abí Khálid in a contest in presence of the Caliph al-Ma’mún.
f209a * 917 Abú Ja‘far-i-Gázur, a veteran of the Sámánid army, pleases ‘Abdu’l-Malik b. Núḥ by justifying his nickname.
* 918 Baṭak (?)’s sarcastic reply to Abú Bakr b. Aḥmad in presence of the Ḥájib Khúmártigín.
f151b 919 Retorts of an ugly person and a blind man on personal attacks.
920 al-Ḥajjáj illustrates the destruction of the gate of Jerusalem which the Caliph ‘Abdu’l-Malik had erected, and the preservation of the one that he himself had built, by an apt comparison with the acceptance and rejection of the sacrifices of Hábíl and Qábíl.
      The Chapter ends without any eulogy.