Part I, Chapter XXIII: On the Anecdotes of Poets and their Extempore Verses.
f239b f166b 1107 Introductory discourse on extempore poetry, and the poet as the perpetuator of the fame of Kings. Arabic couplets cited and the corresponding Persian couplets of Niẓámí ‘Arúdhi-i-Samarqandí. Marwán b. Abí Ḥafṣa the panegyrist of Ma‘n b. Zá’ida seeks patronage at the court of al-Mahdí and Hárún, and wins reward from both through the merit of his poetical genius.
f240a 1108 Ḥasan Dhaḥḥak, the poet laureate to the Caliph al-Mu‘taṣim, wins the favour of the Caliph by extemporising verses in his honour.
f167a 1109 Abú Jarwal Zuhayr b. Ṣurad, the poet-representative of the tribe of Hawázin’s pathetic appeal for amnesty addressed to the Prophet. (See H. S. R. p. 877 for the cited verses). (T. F. S. Pt. I, ch. V, p. 88).
* 1110 Account of the release of Abú Bakr ‘Abdu’llah, who had incurred the displeasure of the Caliph al-Manṣúr, and his association with the poet ar-Rá’iḥí who wrote an ode on Ma‘n b. Zá’ida.
f240b f167a 1111 Abu’l-‘Atáhiya’s arrest by the Caliph al-Mahdí for not writing poetry, and his strange meeting in prison with the son of ‘Ísá b. Zayd; his extempore verses in presence of the Caliph obtain deliverance for him.
f241a f167b 1112 How Ibráhím Mudbir obtains his release from the prison of Najáḥ b. Maslama by sending his verses to be sung before the Caliph al-Mutawakkil.
* 1113 A poet in retaliation satirises Abu’l-Fadhl Míkálí in a couplet, but after being rewarded supplements it in praise of Abu’l-Fadhl.
f241a * 1114 A poet of the court of al-Ḥajjáj in disappointment addresses ‘Abdu’llah b. Ṭáhir, who in turn replies in verse and rewards him.
* 1115 How Ṭurayḥ b. Ismá‘íl ath-Thaqafí defended his verses in praise of Walíd, when questioned by the Caliph al-Manṣúr.
f241b * 1116 Abú Tammám’s extempore couplets in honour of Aḥmad the son of the Caliph al-Mu‘taṣim, when accused of comparing the Caliph with smaller persons.
* 1117 Abu’sh-Shamaqmaq’s lines on the breaking of the banner of Khálid b. Yazíd b. Mazyad ash-Shaybání, while he was at the gate of Mawṣil.
f167b 1118 Badí‘u’z-Zamán Hamadhání’s fame at the early age of ten; the Ṣáḥib Ismá‘íl tests his talents for improvisation by giving him a verse from the Díwán of Manṣúr-i-Manṭiqí to translate into Arabic, which he does with such skill as to meet with the approbation of the great Ṣáḥib. (The Yatímatu’d-Dahr referred to for a detailed account of Badí‘u’z-Zamán).
* 1119 The Amír Khalaf of Sístán threatened by the poet Ma‘rúf of Balkh if the Amír did not reward him for his ode.
* 1120 The Caliph Hárún’s explanation to the Imám Abú Yúsuf about his extreme consideration for the Christian poet Akhṭal.
f242a f167b 1121 The Caliph al-Mu‘taṣim dismisses Abú Ḥátim-i-Khurásání, his treasurer, in consequence of the satire of Ibnu’r-Rúmí, which the poet had composed in order to revenge himself on Abú Ḥátim.
* 1122 Ibnu’l-Ash‘ath’s reply to ‘Abdu’l Malik about the generosity of Qays-i-Ma‘díkarib to A‘shá and the value of the immortal verses which com­memorated his glory in return (Firdawsí cited).
* 1123 The Caliph al-Manṣúr asks Ru’ba, the poet, whether he would accept three hundred Dínárs or three counsels in compensation for his poetry.
* 1124 The Sultan Maḥmúd asks the poets of his court to translate two couplets (cf. Lubáb II, p. 22) of ‘Abdu’llah b. Muḥammad al-Walwálají, the poet. On the failure of all the others, Abu’l-Qásim, the son of the Wazír Abu’l-‘Abbás Isfará’iní extemporises in Arabic.
f168a 1125 An account of Farrukhí’s poetry and his journey to Samarqand: his classic description of a traveller without money in a beautiful town, when asked about Samarqand by the Sultan Maḥmúd.
      The chapter ends without any eulogy.