History of Abul-Kasim-Simjur, and of what fell out between him and Begtuzum.

Abul-Kasim-Simjúr, after the death of Fakhr-Addoulat, became settled at Jurjan, in the Court of his son Majd-Addoulat, and appeared constant in his obedience and service to him, and the most eminent of the servants and the most important of the courtiers of the family of Simjúr betook themselves to him from Khurasán, and a consider­able army was collected together with him, and all his affairs were well ordered, both as regards the compactness of the army, and the liberal supply of stores and men, and Faik, on account of the irrita­tion which he felt against Begtuzum, wrote soothing letters to Abul-Kásim, and stirred him up to march against Begtuzum, and excited him, and induced him to request the office of general of the army, which was the ancient dignity belonging to the family of Simjur, until he began to inhale this breath (of flattery) and to buy this coquetry (of deception) and forgetfully to sell ready money for credit, and, according to the proverb, “The den is the lodging for the lion,” he set his heart upon being separated from Jurjan, and he proceeded to oppress and vex Begtuzúm, and thus all things happened according to the saying (Verse)

“I am surely one who leave the assembly of the generous, and my cup fills with abundance the avaricious; like that bird who leaves her eggs uncovered and clothes the egg of another bird with her wings.”

And he sent on in advance the lawyer* Abu-Ali-’bn-Abil-Kasim. And he, when he came to Isfárayin, arrived at a place where a detachment from the army of Begtuzúm had taken up its posi­tion. He gave them battle and broke through them, and went on their rear as far as to Nishapúr, and, when they arrived at Nishapúr, Begtuzúm sent a message to Abul-Kasim, to the following effect, that the business of war rests upon no security, and its issue is behind the veil of mystery, and to support one’s self upon the prop of force and grandeur, and to become cheated and flattered by fortunate circumstances and propitious events, is a proceeding far removed from the system of good sense and the way of rectitude. And a man falls into the difficulties of war who finds no possible means of returning into the spacious and uncon­fined plain of peace. This is the most advisable proceeding, that you should halt at Kohistán, which is the (ancient) portion of the house of Simjúr, until I send to the king, and obtain a grant and concession (for you) of the province of Herat and the districts bordering upon those coasts.

Abul-Kasim, however, did not incline himself to these words and was entirely deceived by his victory over those timid youths and by the number of his followers, and he placed his entire reliance upon his force and strength, and remained indif­ferent to the consequences of self-will and careless­ness, and to the issue of rebellion and peevishness, and therefore he put his troops in array and pre­pared for war. And Bektuzúm, when he saw his stubbornness in folly and in error, and that, through his recklessness, like the moth flying into the flame, he had fallen into the narrow passage of ruin, began also to prepare the necessaries of war; and he made a prosperous commencement of the undertaking and set his face to carry on the war, and they fell upon each other at the moist desert at the gate of Nishapúr, and they made the social round of the cup of vengeance to each other, until their swords had drank well (of the streams of blood). And the sun, in terror at that battle, drew his round shield over his face, and the sword struck in attacking the young warriors, and the eastern rays of the sun, from shame at the western flash of the swords, became veiled, and the battle-axe recorded upon the helmet historical tales and exploits (Verse)

“The rejoicing dagger streamed with the blood of enemies, like clods of earth which are penetrated with the force of moisture.”

(Arabic Verse)

“The aimed javelins cut through livers, and thy protection is only to be found in the fortunate verses of the Koran.”

And at last Bektuzum obtained the victory and Simjur took to flight, and Abul-Kasim, the Divine, who was the pillar of the army and the support of affairs, together with the whole company of the other chiefs of the people, were taken prisoners, and Simjúr proceeded to Kohistán. This event happened in the month Rebia-Al-Awwal, in the year 388, and Bektuzum caused to run, in all directions, swift messengers, and gave information of the victory which had been gained; and the chiefs of the State were exalted at that joyful news and proof of God’s goodness, except Fáík, who was sorry thereat, and from vexation thereat gnawed the finger of spitefulness and rage. And with regard to Simjur he remained quiet at Kohistan, and began to recover from that misfortune, and was engaged in the business of his investiture, and urged on the collectors of taxes to be active in gathering the dues; and Bektuzum began to turn his attention unto him, in order that he might wrest that province from his grasp; and, when an engagement between them was nearly approaching, all who were around them interposed to mediate between them and to arrange the dispute, and they contrived to procure a meeting between them, and Abul-Kasim gave his son ’Bn-Abu-Sahl to Bek­tuzum, as an hostage, and the chief matter of dispute was thus cut off. And Abul-Kasim came to Kohistán and Bektuzum proceeded to Nishapur. This accommodation took place in the month Rejib, in the year 388.

But that grudge which had existed between Faik and the Vizir Abul-Muzaffar broke out afresh, and Abul-Muzaffar, from his dread of Faik, flew to the chief capital, and found safety in trans­ferring his allegiance to the Amír Abul-Hareth. And Fáík sent a person and demanded him again, in an overbearing and contentious manner; and the Amír Abul Hareth returned a sharp answer, and Fáík, in disgust, quitted the Governor’s palace, and resolved to proceed towards the Turkish provinces, but the senators of Bukhárá exerted themselves to restore friendship, and they appeased the mind of the Amír Abul-Hareth, and they pre­vailed upon Fáík to relax his fury, and, for the sake of peace, they sent Abul-Muzaffar, for a time, to the coast of Jurján, and they conferred the office of Vizir upon Abul-Kasim-Barmakí,* and the skilful lyre of Abu-Shanji thus sings of this equi­table arrangement, in these verses, where he says (Verse)

“We certainly, for a time, blamed (the course of) time, and we grieved that the office of Vizir should be given to Al-Balaami (the glutton). Time afterwards changed for us and attained from Al Balaami unto Al-Burghushi (the flea) and time will now unfold what it announced respecting him (namely) that he was near unto (the appointment of) Al-Bar­makí.”*

And Abul-Kasim Barmaki was virtuous, effi­cient, and intelligent, but, however, the spirit of avarice had obtained a mastery over his disposition, and, when he took possession of the office of Vizir, he betook himself to the course of injustice and of close calculation and scantiness towards the Turkish guards and officers of the army, with respect to their wages, and rations, and clothing. He was suddenly killed, by two or three of the guards; and these verses (following upon the subject) are remarkable for their beauty, their cadence, and their pleasing expression (Verse)

“There was mentioned to me an old camel, whose disposi­tion was mutilated and as it were possessed by a corrupt spirit. Never may the tips of my fingers touch that mutilated and depraved old camel. He is not one who melts (into his mouth) wine out of gold. And a cup of silver would choke an ava­ricious man.”