“And at this time Nasír-Addín was posted at Merú, and when the news of that which had be­fallen Abú-Alí came to him he went to Balk, and a letter came to him from the Prince Núh, telling him that ‘Ilek-khan had come upon the frontiers of his territory, and designed to conquer it; and he had pressed the collectors of the revenue to give up to him the revenues received. It would therefore be consonant with thy kindness and virtue that thou shouldest bring to perfection that good conduct which thou hast hitherto displayed, and that thou shouldest embroider with a border of pearls that robe of zeal which thou hast so firmly held in arranging the affairs of our province, by fulfilling this enterprise; and that thou shouldest once more display thy army in repulsing this khán; and that by the hand of thy good counsel and kindness thou shouldest roll back this ball of anxiety.’

“(Hereupon) Nasír-Addín assembled his chief officers, and the experienced and ingenious men of his Court, and requested them to explain whether this proposal was wrong, or honourable, or right; but upon this point their notions were different, and their thoughts were various. He therefore set them all on one side, and took counsel from God’s blessing alone, and the rain of his jealousy rushed down, and the force of veneration and regard be­came excited within him, and he demanded that the affair whose foot by reason of weakness had stumbled should stand firmly, and that the build­ing which had been erected for the support of the kingdom (and which had become diminished by negligence) should be restored.

“And he summoned the secretary, and he dis­patched a royal order for collecting an army from all quarters of the provinces of Khurasan and Ghuzna,* and Zabulistan, and commanded them to march forth and set forward. And he marched to the villages which are called the private villages, between Kash and Nasaf, in order that the armies of Jurján, and Khatal, and Saganyan, and other parts might join him; and Saif-Addoulat-Mahmúd proceeded from Nishapúr with an army arrayed in order and a large number of attendants.

“And when Ilek received information of their number he sent to Nasír-Addín several of his senators and eminent officers, and gave them a letter which they were to convey, and they said, ‘Ilek-Khan says thus— between us there ought to be a brotherhood for the faith, and since our days and our hours pass away, they should be occupied in the sacred warfare against those infidel Turks and Hindús, and in illustrating the rights of the faith, and in procuring victory to religion, and in prostrating the idolators and the malicious, and in displaying our hatred by war with the wicked and the evil doers. Now Núh hath seated himself in the midst of a peaceful state, and is squandering the revenues of Khurasán upon his amusements and dissipations; and gives not any protection to Islám, nor any preservation or defence to the fron­tiers, it would therefore be more convenient that we should make this country free from him, and that we should convert the sources of wealth to the service of the faith and the aid of Islám, and its supremacy; and that we should turn aside (divert to other objects) those firm ranks (of yours) which have been arrayed to attack our troops, and that we should enter into a treaty for the mutual sup­port of each other, and that we should found a bulwark against our adversaries. And to bring our followers into serious contingencies, the hard­ship of which results to us, and the advantage to others, is far removed from the judgment of good sense, and the high-road of justice. And I myself will never free myself from the obligations of reli­gion, since during my whole life I have drawn the sword in the sacred warfare, and in the countries of the infidels have on this path sought to reckon up renown. Let me draw it before the face of Islám, for safety and fortune in the other world are due only to the cutting off of iniquity, and the re­jection of evil, for therein the indulgent Verse will be fulfilled: ‘Though thou hast extended thy hand upon me, in order to kill me; I will not extend my hand against thee to kill thee; since I fear God, the ruler of both worlds.’

“Nasír-Addín made answer as follows, ‘Prince Núh has a great kingdom, and his ancestors have always possessed established rights over the Maho­metan people. And the Princes of Khurasán and of the neighbouring provinces have ever been subject to those ancient Lords, and to that noble family. And when his allies and his servants rebelled against him, and betook themselves to the way of perverseness, he relied upon my support and depended upon my assistance, and I gave my time to the service and to the protection of his government, and to the strengthening the frontiers of his province. And I became firmly attached to him, and if he had wished that my life, and fortune, and army should have been thrown away to the winds, for the purpose of protecting his safety, and strengthening his kingdom, and assisting his friends, and appeasing his enemies, I should not have declined the fulfilment of his views. And I never gave place unto the Kings of his province, but entirely according to the rules of the Divine law, and according to the directions of sacred de­crees, my mind is of necessity devoted to his ser­vice in repulsing his ill-wishers and enemies. And to repulse also thy rebellion and disobedience from the area of his kingdom, and from the circumference of his possessions, my pledged mind regards as a duty, according to the declaration of the glorious Koran, “If one of the two rebel against the other then fight ye him who rebels until he die, accord­ing to God’s word.”’

“When Ilek-Khan heard this answer he began to make preparation for the affair, and he sent heralds to all parts of the provinces, and to all the Turkish tribes, and collected an army so great that on account of its number neither the mountains or the plains could be warmed by the sun, so as to produce fruit, and the expanse of the earth became narrow, through their greatness and their bulk (Verse)

“‘The torrent displaced the marble stones in the halls.
“‘One sees them prostrating themselves humbly at your feet.’

“And Nasír-Addín caused swift couriers to hasten unto Prince Núh, and said, ‘It is necessary (for you) to assemble the troops, and to march on the road of celerity, in order to stand up firmly, in answer to the disaffected, which will cause a double advantage to the standard of his Highness; one, that through the noble presence, strength of heart, and alacrity in movement, and avidity to resist, may be increased unto the nobles of the state; and, the second, that through the princely splendour and royal magnificence, and the good fortune of the happy umbrella, confusion and weakness may be caused unto the enemy.’

“The Prince Núh consulted the Vizir Abd-Allah-’bn-Azíz, and since, on account of his memory of past events, this Vizir was suspicious and timid, he said to the King, ‘Nasír-Addín possesses an innumerable army, with a staff, arms, abundant splendour, perfect decorations, a company of fine men, and a concourse of lieutenants, whilst his Highness has no suitable equipment. It would be a perfect misery to be in the society or the neighbourhood of one, who in imposing appear­ance, and in number, so royally outstrips, both in quantity and quality, the Prince. The way is this: Let a number of the Princes and Lords, and dis­tinguished chiefs of the Court, and also a number of the common soldiers, attach themselves to his ser­vice, and let his Highness give orders that they all should become obedient followers of his standard; and let the Prince employ apologies, and use the means of making excuses accepted, and ask pardon of their Highnesses.’* Thus did the Vizir exer­cise all his judgment in managing and dealing with his master. The Prince Núh was purchased by his cajolery, and became cheated by his hypocrisy and enchantments, and he accordingly wrote a letter to Nasír-Addín, and sent the army for his service. Nasír-Addín was satisfied that the cause of this refusal and opposition was the treachery and the powerful influence, and management of the Vizir, and his object and design was to the following effect: that the exertions which Násir-Addín had made in collecting an army, and in completing their equipment, and arranging their march, and promoting their honour, might be wasted, he provided therefore Saif-Addoulat-Mahmúd with twenty thousand cavalry, and sent him to Bukhárá, in order that he might bring Núh to co-operate in his measures, whether willing or unwilling, and subject him to his own will. And he nominated Abú-Nasr-’bn-Abi-Zaid to be Vizir, and he sent an army with him to Bukhárá.* And Abd-Allah-Azíz when he received intelligence of these affairs felt that the world had become unpropitious to him, and sought some place to which he might escape, and took refuge in flight, and remained in conceal­ment. And Abu-Nasr-’bn-Abi-Zaid came to his Highness, and the Prince Núh, in deference to the judgment of Nasír-Addín greatly honoured him, and confirmed the appointment of Vizir to him; and he displayed both efficiency and skill in the arrangement of those affairs, and added splendour to the office of Vizir, and entered upon his office with firmness, and succeeded in the best manner in repairing and settling those evils which had emerged under the administration of ’bn-Azíz. And Abul-Fath-Basti in describing this event says as follows (Verse)

“‘I could have sacrificed myself for the venerable Abú-Nasír.
“‘He who, in giving joy to all, dispersed the darkness of sorrow.
“‘Although, in war, the sword blunts,
“‘He could be sublime but not wearying,’ &c.

“And in like manner he wrote these lines at the time when the office of Vizir was confirmed to him (Verse)

“‘Carry out my word (I say) to every one who seeks for patronage,
“‘And to every one who hopes not to fail in his object,
“‘Approach the glorious venerable Shaikh,
“‘The Vizir of Vizirs, Ahmad-’bn-Muhammad,’ &c.

“And Nasír-Addín wrote a detailed account to Prince Núh, and made him believe the certainty of the deceitfulness of ’bn-Azíz, and his inclination to the party of Abú-Alí, and his declension from their alliance and from the treaty of mutual assistance, and requested that he would deliver him again into his hands. And this request met with a favourable reply, and before the arrival of Saif-Addoulat he gave up ’bn-Azíz, and he sent Ilmangú, Chamber­lain of Abú-Alí to him, and he sent ’bn-Azíz to the castle of Jardin, and detained him in prison, in a place the horror of which if he beheld even in a dream, life would have become wretched, and the world to his eyes dark and miserable.

“And, in the midst of these events, Ilek-Khan arrived, with the tribes and cavalry of Turkistán, together with his followers, over against Mawaral­nahar, and sent a messenger to Nasír-Addín, and proposed to him words of peace and the offer of a truce; and he, on account of the inertness and indecision of Núh, gave in to peace. And a con­vention was concluded between them, to the effect that Kútúm should be the actual frontier and repelling boundary of the two kingdoms, and that neither power should seek to augment his territory beyond that settled point, and neither should oppose this condition or infringe this treaty.

“And, with respect to the city of Samarkand, they, through the intercession of Ilek-Khan, and in order to supply the claims of his old service, confirmed it to Fáík. And, by way of confirma­tion of this, he received a written document, wit­nessed by the Imáms and senators of Mawaral­nahar.

“And the two (princes) turned their face from each other, and each went unto his own province, and Nasír-Addín* came unto Balkh, and Saif-Addoulat* to Nishapúr, and the Prince Núh became happily freed from the contentions of the army of the Turks, and from the anxiety of heart caused by them.

“And Abu-Nasr-’bn-Abí-Zaid became occupied in the arrangement of the affairs of the Vizárat, and, on account of the deliverance and freedom of the provinces, and the return of the sources of revenue, and the (change in the former) weakness and ruined state of the revenue collections, applied himself to strengthen and to confirm and settle the means of tribute. And his time passed away in expediencies and contrivances, and he washed away blood with blood.* And when fifty months had elapsed from the time of his investiture with the office of Vizir certain of his young guards laid hands upon him and killed him. And Prince Núh was extremely confounded and disheartened at this event, and, on account of the (consequent) ill-will of Nasír-Addín, and the probability that he might be suspected of this assassination, and that the imputation of being gratified with this deed might fall upon him. He sought some means of escape, and displayed every mark of sympathy and sorrow, and came forth from the royal palace, and offered prayers for his soul, and arrested those young men, and put them all to death with the utmost severity. And amongst various poems in commemoration of this Vizir that by Abú-Nasr says thus (Verse)

“‘The hearts of men are sick with grief, and the soul of glory and piety is afflicted with disease.
“‘Why does the world grieve for thee?
“But that by losing thee thou hast left the world an orphan.’”