Account of the Return of the Prince Ridha* to Bukhárá, after the Departure of Baghrákhán from thence.

Baghrakhan was injured by the air of Bukhárá, although he had a great desire and base longing to injure the ancient lords and the noble family. And on account of the severity of his disease, they knew no means of curing him, except by returning to the air of Turkistán. Wherefore they carried him in a litter to the borders of Turkistán; and the people stretched the hand of vengeance upon the rear of his army, and they killed many of the people. And the road of his retreat was by the territory of the Gozz Turks, and these Gozz tribes went several marches behind him, and killed the stragglers of his army, and plundered their baggage and their provisions. And Baghrakhán, in one of these journeys, resigned his soul. And when this news came to the Prince Núh he deter­mined to re-establish his authority, and the people of Bukhárá made rejoicings at his arrival, and the wise and great men of the city came forth to meet his stirrup, and they were as charmed with his fortunate arrival as the day-watchman at the rising of the full moon, or the thirsty traveller at the sight of the pure brook. And the princes of Buk­hárá and Samarkand, and their allies, came to settle the Treasury affairs of the Prince Núh, and they placed his commands and his prohibitions upon their usual footing and upon their former authority. And thus all the causes of contention were cut off. And when Abú-Alí-Simjúr saw that the affairs of the kingdom of Núh were in course of settlement, and that the affairs of his own province approached to a blameable condition, and his wishes, through the confused times and through the troubled period, had produced no fruit, since his desire was broken and despised, and that the line of his desire upon the dice of fortune had become crooked (and askew), and, moreover, that the settlements which he held from Baghrakhàn, respecting the completion of the conventions, and the fulfilment of the verbal treaties which had been agreed upon between them, respecting the division of the province of Khurasán and of Máwarannahr, and also the settlement concerning its equal partition between them, had not been carried into effect, (for Baghrakhán, when he took the throne of Bukhárá, inserted the name of Abú-Alí-Simjur in the public prayers in the same list with the other generals of the army, and made no alteration with respect to him in the usual state of things); then Abú-Alí began to gnaw the fingers of vexation and repentance, and the bril­liant light of his flag was destroyed in the darkness of his calamity, and the garden of his enjoyment withered in the cold wind of this event; whereupon he assembled the nobles of the state, and the counsellors of his court; and, in order to obtain their advice, asked them to enter upon the consideration of some remedy of this affair, and some means of escape from this misfortune. They all said, “The clay of which the royal house of Sámán was formed is made up with the water of generosity, and of a kind and forgiving temper; but the dissensions and the depressions of the princes of this family, through the errors of their servants and the blunders of their dependants, have become notorious every day. This is the only way of pro­ceeding, that thou shouldest request this healing plaster of pardon from them, and shouldest request acceptance of thy excuses from their court. For, indeed, in this life-risking whirlpool, there is no possibility of arriving at the shore of safety, except in the boat of the assistance of Núh, and this inundation of disaster will never assuage, except by means of the fortunate empire of Núh, and it will be necessary to go under his protection, with sword and with shroud,* and to cast yourselves upon his generosity and his pity, and thus to draw out the thorn, which has (unfortunately) lodged and broken in his breast, by the beak of humility and submission; and to remove the dust which unluckily had become attached to the border of the garment of his mind, by blowing the breath of kindness and union; and, since affairs have arrived at this extremity of inefficiency, it will be neces­sary to deserve approbation by their services, and to take hold of the course of service, and the rules of obedience; since there can be no better remedy for a broken head than the lint, or for sinners than an agreeable refuge; nor will he restrain from you the face of apology, acceptance, and pardon.”

Abú-Alí found this discourse to possess a just weight in the scale of good sense, and that it would comprehend the circle of his conveniences. He, therefore, collected together of his various posses­sions many presents and packets of precious stones, in order that he might send them by the hand of an ambassador who had an oily tongue unto Prince Núh, so that by this trick the perception of his base plan might escape the enlightened mind, and by the softness of craftiness the bird of kindness might raise up his wing, which had been wetted in the mist of dislike. But he again thought of the decreed word, “Resolution is equal to fore­thought.” He therefore tried another expedient, and said, “There is an old warning spoken (by the wise), ‘He that soweth thorns will never obtain grapes therefrom.’ If I have sown a piece of ground quite full of the seeds of wrong, how shall I measure it out in autumn full of the harvest of gratitude; and if I plant in my enclosure the young tree of opposition, how can I expect the fruit of concord; since to put a wounded snake into one’s bosom, or to taste the poison which is upon the bow, is not the action of a wise man; for the intelligent have said, ‘Kings have teeth in their bellies, like the crocodile,’ and they are like the sea, which although it be the source of the fountain of life, and although it contain all kinds of jewels and valuable things, nevertheless is sometimes like a whirlpool, which, in the twinkling of an eye, can destroy the world, and carry away mankind; and that ‘A king is a sea, in which we may be drowned even when it is at rest over its pearls, and when it swells we should beware.’”

And Fáík also, when he saw that the boat of Núh had arrived in safety, and at settled prosperity, lost all firmness of heart and quietness of spirit, and sought some safe refuge from the evil of this storm. At last he determined upon this weak plan, and this crude object, and this excess of impudence, that he should put a bold face upon the affair; and set off towards Bukhárá, in order that he might recover Núh to his interest, by means of contention and violence. But to be ob­structed in our end is odious to all. The Prince Núh sent on before him the best portions of his private guards and chamberlains, and between the two armies various battles and horrible slaughters took place, and many were killed on both sides; and the birds and lions, and eagles and hyænas obtained from those who were slain in this assembly of sorrow, and from those who were found in this meat-distributing place, a merry feast and a table of delicacies. And Fáík, when he escaped with but a small part of his army from the sword of the people of Bukhárá, and had saved himself from the talons of fate, took to flight, and since he knew no refuge except the court of Abú Alí, or any place to fly to, went to Merú; and Abú Alí was rejoiced at his arrival, and considered the contrac­tion of an alliance with him would be an affair of importance, based upon sound judgment, he there­fore embraced his offer of help and support, and considered that his presence would enable him to dispense with the favour of Ridha-Núh-Ibn Man­shir, he therefore sent Fáík the money which he had prepared for the tribute due to Bukhárá, and there was confirmed between them a complete unity, and a mutual association, and sincere affec­tion, and an agreement to oppose all one-anothers’ enemies and adversaries. And they came together to Nishapúr, and occupied themselves in the preparation of arms, and in the arrangement of the means of service in the field, and in organizing matters for the day of battle. And the Prince Núh when he heard of their agreement to ruin and injure him, and when their combination to do him wrong became apparent, applied all his thoughts to consider by what forbearing skill he might compel these two young colts to become obedient to the burden, and by what power he might catch these two savage crocodiles in the snare of punish­ment, and by the assistance of what lion he might most completely seize in his claws these two crafty wolves. And after consideration the lot of his election fell upon Nasir-Addin-Sabaktagín,* since he was well known, and of established reputation amongst the nobles of those provinces for his pre­eminence in all good ways, and his firmness in that which is right, and his careful regard for the happiness of the people, and for his support of religion, and his aid given to God. He therefore sent Abú-Nasr-Farsi to him, and signified the evil deeds, and the disgraceful actions of Abú-Alí and Fáík, and requested from his repelling arm, and his expansive benevolence, the remedy for this disease, and the means of mollifying this fury; and offered a request to him respecting the removal of this anxiety, and the taking away of this treachery, and said, “The way of hope from all other quarters of the kingdom, and from all other resources of the state, hath been stopped up, and there is no probability of meeting with any help, nor any hope of repelling these evils, unless by the powerful force and vigorous bridle of Nasir-Addoulat-Abú-Mansúr, and in the breast of thought there can be entertained no idea respecting the conferring this favour and the accomplishing this service from any other than from him.” And Nasúr Addin was refreshed in heart, and his bosom was gladdened that he was entrusted to expedite, and purify, and arrange in this matter of the wounded (state), and was jealously (indignant) on account of this attenuating consumption of the family of Saman, and abhorred the crimes and baseness of Abú Alí, and the meanness and low manners of Fáík. He therefore girded up his loins to transfer the empire from them, and to respond to the demand of the Prince. He speedily marched, and with eagerness to fulfil his duty, and in the ardour of his faithful disposi­tion arrived at Máwaránnahr. The Prince Núh rose up, and went to the borders of Kash, to wit­ness his arrival. Here they met with the greatest friendliness; but before the meeting Nasúr Addín had requested to be excused the trouble of dis­mounting, and the felicity of kissing the ground of obedience, on account of the weakness of old age and the burden of advanced years, and the Prince Núh for that reason accepted his excuse; but when the eyes of Nasír Addín fell upon the external appearance of the prince, his veneration for his king and emperor wrested the rein from his hand, and he alighted and kissed the stirrup of Núh. And Núh sent to meet him some agreeable presents, and attracted him by extreme honour and entire respect, and from the meeting of these two great men, and the association of these two kings, joy came to all hearts; and the rose of delight unfolded its flowers amongst high and low, and became so universally diffused that such a state of affairs has never been recorded or described in history. And the prince Núh opened the hand of kindness and generosity, and much gratified him­self and his followers with various gifts and dignities; and in the end it appeared how the sin­cerity of his advances was worthy of his greatness, when during several days he sought his counsel, respecting the injury and damage of those two benefit-beliers, he exhibited perfect confidence, Nasir Addín was delighted, and offered his zealous service, and engaged himself to sincere obedience and allegiance, and requested a delay of some days that he might go to Ghazna, and make arrange­ments respecting the assembling an army, and the preparation of military necessaries; and with per­fect zeal might betake himself to the sacred war against the wicked. The prince consented, and presented him with splendid robes of honour, and royal gifts and unlimited presents of various kinds of valuable articles, and both of them went to their own abode, and used their utmost industry in settling their affairs, and assembling soldiers, and in arranging arms, and in providing necessaries and horses for the expedition.

And Abú-Alí, when he received information of these things, became confounded and confused, and the sun of his judgment tended towards declension, and the culmination of his star (of good fortune) proceeded towards an eclipse, and his contemptible disposition lost the right road in the brightness of the intellect of the King. And this question was proposed to the council of his officers and favourites, and he endeavoured to increase his fire from the breath of every one, and having considered the means of getting out of the difficulty, the most excellent advice and the most approved opinion of all was this, that he ought to propose friendship and fraternity with Fakhr-Addoulat, and that his love would be an important handle (by which to obtain his objects) and his friendship an efficient supporter of his views. For he thought that it would be expedient to obtain the advantage of his alliance, before any alteration in his fortunes, “so that if (he said) we should happen to find difficulty in retaining the province of Khurasán, we might have in readiness an excel­lent resource and an eminent place of refuge.” And the volume of their wise counsels was arranged and sealed upon these conditions. And Abú-Alí proceeded according to this plan, and he appointed Abú-Jafar-Zulkarnain for this expedition, and sent for Fakhr-Addoulat, by his hand, some packages full of the fine productions of Khurasán, and of the export goods of Turkistán. And, in like manner, he entered into arrangements with respect to Sahíb-Kafi, and he felt assured that, by his means and his guidance, he should succeed.