History of the Conduct of Abúl-Hasán-Símjúr, as General of the Army of Khurasán, unto the end of his Life and the Transference of that office unto his Son.

When Tásh, in his flight from Abú Alí and Faik, came to Jurján the Vizír Abd-Allah-’bn-Aziz was extremely importunate with Abúl-Hasan-Simjúr that he would consent to attack him, and, on account of his indifference respecting the right of the Khutbah of the country of Korkan, and on account of his slothfulness in the matter of Tásh, and on account of his permitting his frontier-line to be diminished, he blamed him. But he, in this matter, continued to act as became his old age, and to observe the usual duties of mildness and gravity, so that he let the matter rest, and, upon various pretexts abstained, obtained his end and repulsed these suggestions; for he thought that if he were to lay the foundation and commence any quarrel with the army of Dilám he would not arrive per­fectly at the object of his wishes and would not be advancing towards the desired result. And it might happen that he might become struck with the evil eye, and that the same accident might befall him as befell Tásh at Karkán, and the mis­fortune of that error and the injury of that affair might afflict all his remaining years, and his ancient kingdom and his well-established province for this cause might become disturbed, and its set­tlement be called in question.

And, in the year 377, they removed Abd-Alláh-’bn-Aziz from the office of Vizír and banished him to Khwárazam, and gave that dignity to Abú-Ali-Damagání. And he used his utmost exertions to transact his business effectually, and he put a stop to those corruptions which had found admission in some districts of the State. But his strength and authority became diminished by this circumstance. The greater part of the country remained in the grasp of the dependants, and the Vizír was unable to remove them, and the army, at the instigation of a malignant person, became intractable, and the Turks found assistance, and the influence of Vizírs suffered detriment, and, disturbances having arisen, they removed him also, and gave the office of Vizír to Abú-Nasr-Záid. He was a man of great efficiency in business, a man of great good sense and perfect intelligence, well known and distinguished for his great eloquence, and for his skill in applying his mind to affairs, and ennobled amongst the most eminent of his age and the excellent of his time. But, in a short period, they gave an order for dis­missing him also, and restored the chief office to Abú-Alí-Damagání. And, in these days, Abul-Hasán-Ibn-Simjúr went from Nishapúr and pro­ceeded upon a journey of recreation, and took with him one girl out of all the women of his seraglio, and died suddenly whilst amusing himself with her.

And his son Abú-Alí occupied his throne, the chieftainship of the family of Simjúr and the baili­wick and lordship of Khurasán were conferred upon him, on the ground of being heir and on the ground of merit. And all laid their necks before him and unanimously girded up the loins of service and obedience unto him. But, on the part of His Highness of Bukhárá, they nominated Fáík as governor of Herát. And when this news came to Abú-Alí he sent a letter to Fáík, and in this letter alluded to the rights of former friendship and past attachment of regard in various services, and said, “Have the former intercessions made for me, and the zealous pleas offered for me by your father, and the obligations of my own service, imposed such a debt of gratitude upon you that, at the time of his decease, you should thus inflict such a wound upon me from the most distant and unexpected quarters? Or, otherwise, how is it that you have drawn the hand of covetousness over my provinces and my portion? it would rather have become you to have refrained from this violation of honour and fidelity. And yet, with regard to me, thou hast overlooked the observance of treaties and of former attachment; otherwise this outrage and this attack upon my hereditary kingdom and ancient right would never have occurred, and this scorn and contempt would never have proceeded from you.” And, after many words, they came to this agreement, that Herát should belong to Fáík, and Nishapúr and the command of the army to Abú-Alí.

Accordingly both of them set forward to their own country and to their own provinces. And they caused to be dispatched, from His Highness of Bukhárá, the commission and the robe of honour, such as is usually given to the generals in the army. And Abú-Alí imagined that they had sent them for him, but, when they had conveyed them some stages and had arrived at the top of the two roads, they conveyed them towards Herát, whence it became known to Abú-Alí, with respect to Fáík, that their former agreement had been set aside and particularly it appeared evident that Fáík designed to reap the harvest of these gifts, and it was clear that, if this treachery should reach its mark and this thought be carried on to action, and if he should be at all remiss in opposing this attempt and in maintaining the dignity of his family, his standard would again receive injury (lit., be pecked at). And lest, by any means, any offence should be committed, to the detriment of his condition and to the troubling himself and his family, he used the utmost diligence in the matter and ceased not to examine into the affair, from beginning to end (Verse)

“Truly the Divine command is before the eyes, but we have gone on casting away from our remembrance the conse­quences” (of sin).

And when the news came that Fáík had departed from Herát he pursued him and met him between Herát and Búshaikh,* and defeated him completely, with the loss of many killed and wounded, and Fáík fell back in confusion to Merúrúd,* and a body of the army of Abú-Alí went after him, as far as the bridge of Merúrúd. But he was prepared for them and arranged his army to receive them, and he made prisoners of some of the troops and carried them to Bukhárá.

And Abú-Alí went to Merú, and sent some one to His Highness of Bukhárá, with an humble offer of allegiance, and proposed to regard himself as bound to His Highness by the rules of servitude, and to gird himself to his service as one of his devoted attendants, and to strengthen him by means of his kindred and his friends, and he made an earnest request that they should confirm his father’s office unto himself and should not suffer to pass away those ancient rights of patronage (on the one hand) and of clientship (on the other) which had so constantly existed between the royal house of Sámán and the family of Simjúr, and should not expel him from the list of servants and the body of dependents, and that he should not listen to or receive the reports stirred up by troublesome persons against his fidelity, and that he should not account anything as lawful which might be a cause of abuse and of despair. Núh-’bn-Mansúr listened to his words with favour and satisfaction, and determined that his request should obtain its object, and he confirmed to him the command and gave to him the surname of Imad-Addoulat. Therefore he returned to Nisha­púr with the object of his wishes, and by every good method and popular measure occupied himself in arranging and setting in order his affairs, and in regulating his business. And the means of his glory and the degree of his honour became so increased that unto his other surnames they added the name of Amír-Al-Umara-Al-Muwayyad. And (the poet) Abú-Bakr-Khwá­razmy says thus, in his eulogy (Verse)

“The eminent keep their thoughts and their breasts behind a veil.
“Dust (of blame, &c.) falls upon them and in the morning it makes them an example.
“Truly in the morning they are in a state of captivity, although at eve they were in a state of greatness,” &c., &c. (alluding to the discomfiture of Fáík).

And when his affairs had arrived at a great height of power he took into his service a body of men from the country and the villages of Khura­sán, and began to divide his property and his taxes amongst his followers; and when Núh-’bn-Mansúr requested of him that he would set apart some portion of his territory for the supply of the royal Treasury he refused his consent, and gave answer, “This province is to be regarded as a collected whole, without division, and the means of the treasury must not be drowned (overwhelmed) in expenses upon the dissipated, and the whole extent of this province would not suffice for them. Therefore it would be necessary that His Highness should order me some additional allowance, and add another province to those which I already possess, as a means of maintaining hospitality.” And thus, during this affair, he vacillated between obedience and disobedience, and exhibited the ill-disposed (mind) behind the curtain of sincerity. *And Abú-Alí began to make arrangements for raising money and stimulating payments, and began to stretch out the hand of oppression, and he reduced the better part of the revenue of Khu­rasán to its lowest point, and made demands upon the people for money, whether they could or whether they could not comply with them, until the blood of both the upper and lower classes oozed out. They afterwards presented a paper accusation against the Collector to the Diván, and put him to death with the greatest suffering, exposing him to the torture upon the rack and to the blows of sticks. And a messenger was sent to Harún-’bn-Ilák-Khán, the Turkish Prince, who was appointed to arrange with him plans of agree­able intercourse, and settle a treaty of alliance and hospitality. And they made a secret agreement with him, that they should divide the kingdom of the family of Sámán with him that Bukhárá and Samarkand, and all the country beyond the river Jihún should be his, and that the half part thus divided by the Jihún should be settled upon Abú-Alí, and that both of them should agree upon a mutual alliance and assistance. With this proposal he was dazzled and became more confirmed in his desire to possess the kingdom, and he therefore entertained a design of blockading Bukhárá with a considerable army. Thus it happened according to the saying, “For Muhammád they drew the swords of Muhammád, and struck down with them the chiefs of Muhammád.”* Yet Abú-Alí, in appearance, still supported the pretensions of Núh, and, in his province, introduced the title of that Prince into the public prayers, and struck money in his name, but, notwithstanding, he began to turn aside towards the path of perfidy and falsehood, and to incline towards the direction of faulty and blameable conduct. And when the beginning of this misfortune became apparent, all the nobles of Máwarannahr became inclined to the sweetness of novelty and change, and expressed their weariness of the long duration of the dynasty of the family of Sámán, and ceased to regard themselves as bound to be attached to those princes. Thus the Amírs rose up in disaffection and employed all their efforts to influence his opinion, and stimulate his determination, that so he might cut off in plunder the borders of that kingdom, and might behold the success of his wish and the attainment of his object. Thus resolved upon his secret business he arrived at the clouds (of ambition). And Núh sent, to encounter him, his Chamberlain Ibikh, with a distinguished army and officers. A severe struggle ensued, so that the brilliancy of day became darkened, and from the darkness of the day the stars emerged from the curtain of calamity, and the field of battle became a well-furnished table for beasts and birds. And Ibikh, who was the pillar of the kingdom and the column of the State, was taken prisoner, with many of the officers and chiefs of the army. Thus the covetousness of the Khán, for the kingdom of Khurasán and the throne of the family of Sámán became confirmed, and his eagerness to obtain the free enjoyment of his wishes and the complete possession of that province became augmented.