Part I. Chapter XVIII. On the Anecdotes of the Secretaries.
f215b f155b 987 Introduction: A short discourse on the importance of the office of a Secretary. ‘Abdu’llah b. Ṭáhir Dhu’l-Yamínayn’s epigrammatic epistle sent to al-Ma’­mún after his victory over ‘Alí b. ‘Isá b. Máhán.
f216a f156a 988 ‘Amr b. Mas‘ada’s, encounter with the “Weaver of words” and his brilliant description of the five kinds of secretaries, viz. for revenue settlement, civil procedure, criminal procedure, army enlistment, and diplomatic correspondence. (T. F. S. Pt. II. pp. 35—8).
f216b * 989 Yúsuf-i-‘Ijlí, the secretary of ‘Abdu’llah b. ‘Alí the Umayyad and the Caliph al-Manṣúr.
f156b 990 The eloquent plea of an Arab for obtaining a reward from Abú ‘Abdi’llah, the Wazír of al-Mahdí, and the remark of his secretary.
f217a 991 Muẓaffar Khamj (?), the retired secretary of Maliksháh the Saljúq, and how he was installed in office by Sanjar without any effort of his own.
f217b * 992 Naṣr b. Málik al-Khuzá‘í restored to the favour of the Caliph Hárún by submitting an apologetic request.
* 993 Ibn Nawwába (?), the secretary of the Caliph al-Muqtadir, composes the mandate about the reinstallation of Abu’l-Ḥasan Furát to the Wizárat.
* 994 Abu’l-Ḥasan ‘Alí b. ‘Ísá drafts a mandate to the governor of Egypt, at the request of Ibn-i-Muqla, after the restoration of al-Muqtadir to the Caliphate.
f218a f157a 995 Abú Abdi’llah (?) the secretary forwards the pathetic appeal of Ibn-i-Muqla to Ibnu’l-Furát. Account of the intrigues of Ibn-i-Muqla.
f218b * 996 The Sultan Maḥmúd’s threat to the Caliph, and the short reply of <Arabic> from the Caliph, and its interpretation by Abú Bakr Quhistání.
* 997 How the title of “Mawlá” was changed into “Wálí” by the Caliph, at the clever suggestion of one of the secretaries of the Sultan Maḥmúd.
* 998 How the Sultan Maḥmúd mischievously obtains the mandate of the Caliph from the Court of the Khán of Samarqand and tries to excite the wrath of the Caliph.
f219a * 999 How an unemployed secretary, a native of Baghdád, goes to Mawṣil and obtains office from the Ṣáḥib-i-Díwán of the Caliph al-Mahdí.
* 1000 A clever secretary who saves his employer, the governor of Ádharbáyján from disappointment.
f219b * 1001 Account of the release and appointment of ‘Alí (b.) Ḥusayn Iskáfí, the secretary of Abú Músá Bughá-i-Kabír.
* 1002 How an unemployed secretary obtains office from Abu’l-Ḥasan the governor of Iṣfahán.
f220a f157b 1003 Appeal for redress sent by the Muslim prisoners in Byzantium to Sultan Sanjar, and the epistle sent by Mu‘ín-i-Aṣamm, the famous secretary, to the Qayṣar of Rúm. [This epistle is cited from here in the Átháru’l-Wuzará’. See Or. 4107. Br. Mus. ff. 111—114].
f221a f158b 1004 The epigrammatic challenge written by Abu’l-Qásim Iskáf, the secretary of the Amír of the Chaghánís, to Núḥ b. Manṣúr the Sámánid, his arrest and enlistment in the service of the Sámánids.
* 1005 How Duwayb b. Tha‘lab was punished secretly by a secretary of the Caliph ‘Abdu’l-Malik b. Marwán.
* 1006 The inflammatory letter of Bú Sa‘íd Jannábí. Qirmiṭi to the Caliph al-Mu‘tadhid, which was sent through ‘Abbás (b.) ‘Amr Ghanawí.
f221b * 1007 The reply of an imprisoned secretary to a consolatory letter, through which he indirectly gains the favour of ‘Abdu’llah b. Ṭáhir.
f221b * 1008 How Fadhl b. Marwán, the Ṣáḥib-i-Díwán of the Caliph al-Mu‘taṣim, appoints Ibn-i-‘Arús as his assistant at the recommendation of Yúnus b. Walíd al-Anbárí.
f222a f158b 1009 The clever artifice of an unemployed secretary in al-Mu‘taṣim’s reign, who amassed wealth out of nothing.
* 1010 How Ṣáliḥ b. ‘Alí Kátib is restored to prosperity through the favour of Aḥmad b. Abí Khálid and is made the governor of Egypt.
f222b * 1101 How ‘Abdu’llah Hubayrí (?), one of the old clerks of the Umayyads, used to annoy Aḥmad b. Abí Khálid by his visits and how the Caliph al-Ma’mún appoints him governor of Egypt.
f223a f158b 1012 The tacit pact among three young friends: Abú Khálid, Abú ‘Abdi’llah Mahdí and Abú Ayyúb, and how Abú ‘Abdi’llah when he obtained the office of secretary fulfilled his early promises.
f159a 1013 How Ibráhim b. Rayyán, the assistant secretary of Muḥammad b. ‘Abdu’l Malik, the secretary of the Caliph al-Wáthiq, was warned by the secretary and reminded of the dignity of the office.
1014 A secretary of Ibráhím b. ‘Abbás omits the date in a letter, and is reminded by his master of the importance of putting dates in correspondence.
1015 The clever suggestion of Sulaymán b. Wahb, the secretary of the Caliph al-Mu‘taṣim to Aḥmad-i-‘Ammár about Iṣfáḥ (?), the chamberlain, one of the undischarged clients of the Caliph.
f223b * 1016 Khusrawsháh points out to Naṣru’llah b. ‘Abdi’l-Ḥamíd the etiquette of writing the name of a place in which the word Maḥmúd occured.
* 1017 Another instance of Khusrawsháh the Ghaznawid’s short method of cor­recting and replying to petitions.
* 1018 Rashídu’d-Dín Waṭwáṭ writes an euphemistic letter by the order of Sultan Után with instructions to castrate Aḥmad Zawzaní, who had torn out one of the testicles of Abú ‘Abdi’llah in a fight.
* 1019 Rashídu’d-Dín Waṭwáṭ’s request to the Sultan Sanjar to be sent back to the service of Sultan Után.
f224a * 1020 ‘Alí [b.] Haytham (?) Tha‘álibí or Taghlibí (?) quits for ever the service of Fadhl b. Rabí‘ when abused by him once.
* 1021 How Yaḥyá b. Khálid the Barmecide rewarded ‘Abdu’llah (<Arabic>) (?) his secretary for having annoyed him.
f159a 1022 The controversy of the commander (amír) and the secretary (dabír) about their respective merits.
1023 The author Muḥammad al-‘Awfí’s own discourse on the comparative merits of the sword and the pen, and an epilogue in which he declares that the services of both have tended to enhance the success of his patron Wazír, the Niẓámu’l-Mulk Muḥammad b. Abí Sa‘d al-Junaydí.