Account of the Conveyance of the Amír Ismaïl from the Citadel of Ghazna.

The Amír Saif-Addoulat brought down his brother, by professions of peace, and kindness, and friendship, from the citadel of Ghazna, and extorted from him the keys of the Treasury, and converted to his own use the property and the deposits of the citadel, and the state of weakness into which the army had recently fallen was reme­died and a state of security was restored. And he placed his own surveyors and collectors at Ghazna, over the revenue, and he replaced a strong guard of horse, for the purpose of guarding and protecting the treasure in the castle, and he came, with his army laden with booty, to Balkh, and communi­cated to His Highness (his Suzerain)* an account of his condition and of his famous victory, and of his complete arrangement of his brother’s affair, and of his return unto Khurasán, under the canopy of prosperity, and he gave a message, to the fol­lowing effect, “If my father, who was the guardian of the kingdom and the protector of the State, hath made a removal from the transitory unto the everlasting world, we nevertheless, in the service of the throne and in the maintenance of the rules of obedience, are our father’s heir, and we have stood firmly in maintaining our former duty to the King Ridha-Núh-’bn-Mansur, and in adhering to the rights of Abul-Hareth, who is the next link in the chain of royalty, and the heir of his crown and of his throne, and to him we bind up the loins of service, and we will charge ourselves with the duty of supporting the chiefs of the State, and of humbling the enemies of His Highness.”

The Amír Abul-Hareth sent unto him the Sayyad Abul-Hasan-Alawy-Hamadání, and, in order to congratulate him upon his arrival, sent by his hand a royal letter patent, confirming to him the government of Balkh, and Harát, and Bost, and Sarmadh. But, as to the question of Nishapúr and the prince-generalship of the troops, he, with great kindness and regard, observed, “Bektuzún* is a servant of the State and one who was piously well disposed and inclined to fulfil his ancient duties, and for me, without some new cause and the allegation of some excuse, to issue a royal order for his removal, and thus to cut off his bread, would be an action far removed from the rules of generosity and justice.” The Amir Saif-Addoulat charged this proceeding with the accusa­tion that it had been dictated by envious and malicious opponents; and he sent Abul-Hasam-Hamwali with a message to him and despatched by him, the particulars of his charge, informing him that both the pens of his writers and the intellects of his accountants were unable to define or to compute that communication. He expressed his expectation that the exalted mind would not change or alter the settlement to which he was engaged, or that the extension of mutual assistance, according to the rules of friendly intercourse, should receive no diminution. He said, “Those ties which have been established between us and our father, for the service of the royal throne, ought not to be destroyed by the violence or the cavils of enemies, nor ought the bracelet of affection be broken, or the foundation of mutual aid and support be split asunder, and that strength which has resulted and has enabled us to obtain a firm mastery over Khurasán, and to regulate all the affairs of the army, ought not to be ruined and undone.”

And when Hamwali arrived at Bukhárá the cushion of the Vizárat was vacant, and they pro­posed to him the gratification of this office. With this office he was so much overjoyed and flattered that he began to overlook the mission on which he had been sent, and the negotiation with which he had been charged and to which he had been engaged. And his condition resembled that of which the wise speak (Verse)

“The country was empty, so I ruled without a rival. But it was in misery, I was unrivalled in defects.”*

He in this office betook himself to labour hard in what was sinful, and to struggle in affecting that which was impossible, and he fancied that, by his own capabilities and management, he could untie a knot which by the revolutions of the sky (time) had been firmly fixed, and that, by his skill and wisdom, he could restore those systems which had arrived at old age to the freshness of youth, and that, through the manœuvreing and attention of ingenuity, he could restore newness and sweet­ness to the robe which, by constant wear in the streets and amongst the people, had become a tat­tered beggar’s garment, and was far from thinking of the proverb, “That which time has made offen­sive the perfumer will never make fresh.” And truly does the lyre of Boshanji say of him (Verse)

“Surely we blame fortune, through inexperience, with respect to Joseph and Al-Balghami, and others, until fortune shoots against our helmet afterwards, and we, both servant and master, do wrong,” &c.

And when the Amír Saif-Addoulat received by testimony the representation of affairs, and an account of his weak understanding, and his failing judgment, and of the clashing of interests, and of the bad guidance of the people, and understood that the kingdom was on the verge of ruin and the path of destruction, and that all those persons who are the most eminent of the State, and the chief officers of the Court, were engaged in benefiting their own condition, and in compassing their own ends, he set his face towards Nishapúr, in order to keep watch over his ancient dignity, and that he might remove those defacings which through mis­management had appeared upon the structure of his honour. And Bektuzún, when he became convinced of his intention and design, hurried out of the way of the course of the torrent, and conveyed himself and his property, and his house­hold, and his army out of danger, and removed from Nishapúr, and sent a letter to his Highness of Bukhárá and intimated his condition. And the Amír Abul-Hareth through the intoxication of youth, and the foolishness of boyhood, and because he had not experienced the changes of fortune, or tasted of the coldness or the warmth of time, col­lected a considerable army, and proceeded from Bukhárá unto the province of Khurasán, with the intention of opposition, and with the design of repelling him,* and came by successive marches to Sarakhs.* And the Amír Saif-Addoulat knew well that this proceeding was caused by folly, and by disregard to the opinion of people of judgment, and an evidence of a departure from right advice and counsel, since this body of men were not possessed of much strength, nor were a match for his forces, for that they all would be annihilated by one attack of the torrent of his sea, and by one charge of his reserved guard would be reduced to nothing. However he was unwilling to tear the curtain of his bashfulness,* or to rend his veil, or that the glory of that kingdom should pass away by his means, and that the claims of friendship should be destroyed or set aside for one fault. Therefore he exhibited some delay and procrastination in ad­vancing his standards to battle, and he went slowly to Merú and returned to Nishapúr, in order that at another time he might arrange that dispute by means of cutting wrangling, and clear argument, and brilliant apologies, that thus the darts of the envious, and the reproaches of the opposite party, should find no occasion for attacking him, and that both the learned and the ignorant, the high and the humble, might perceive that he had a sufficient excuse for his proceedings, therefore he proceeded from Merurúd unto the bridge Zaghúl, and re­mained quiet at that place, and occupied himself in the regulations of his affairs, and in meditating upon the most equitable method of proceeding. And Bektuzún proceeded to the Court of the Amír Abul-Hareth, where Fáík remained in the service of the throne. And Bektuzún had enter­tained expectations that the honours of his reception by the Amír Abul-Hareth would be greater than he perceived them (really to be), and he submitted to Fáík a complaint upon the subject; and Fáík on his side re-echoed the complaint, and both of them used their utmost endeavours to fix upon him* the imputation of errors and reprehensible actions, and of harshness of disposition, and roughness of de­portment, and of a want of popular manners. Their projects soon obtained favour, and they prevailed upon the commonalty to make a demand for his deprivation and removal from office, and they found in all a ready hearing to their directions, and obedience to their guidance; and they engaged together in a plot, and Bektuzún made a petition, and alleged a certain important affair, for which there was need of the assistance and advice of Abul-Hareth, and by this contrivance they pro­cured his presence at a Court, and they seized him and put out his world-seeing eyes, and tore his delicate beauty and his form like the new moon. Nor can they be considered free from the imputa­tion of infamy, nor their dress pure from the stain of ingratitude for benefits. But what was most wonderful was that in this condition he earnestly besought them for three necessary indulgences by way of existence. One was that they should deposit with him his wife, for the purpose of aid, conversation, and society, that he might not endure all the burden of the penalty, and severity, and misery of his offence;* but they, through the excess of their harshness and the fault of their dis­position, did not grant that request, but they resisted in a grudging and vacillating manner and through these restrictions and vain longings the fire of his sighs and the wind of his hardship, became increased.

And they placed his brother Abd-Almalik-Ibn-Núh upon the throne, and he was in the season of infancy and the time of perversity, and in the period of weakness and intellectual deficiency. And both high and low, humble and noble, stretched forth the tongue of reproof against this unjust action and shameful measure, and displayed the utmost aversion to this audacious proceeding. But no sooner had intelligence arrived that the Amír Saif-Addoulat had marched to the bridge of Zaghúl than all that party began to fly away in terror, like a flock of sheep from the violence of the lion, or a sparrow from the onset of the hawk, and they did not stop at any place until they arrived at Merú. And the Amír Saif-Addoulat sent a person to Fáík and Bektuzún, and made unmeasured complaints against them, for their infringement of the rights of their benefactor, and their diminution of the reverence due to him. And they betook themselves to deception, and obtained a justifica­tion of their proceedings from the mouth of Abdul-Malik-’bn-Núh, and promised additional subjects, and augmented power, and made liberal offers, for the purpose of detaching him (from the opposite party), and exciting avarice in the country of his enlarged soul and liberal feelings. But the Amír Saif-Addoulat, on account of his veneration for Islam and his jealousy for the faith, did not con­sider it lawful to connive at this shameful conduct, and persisted in resisting these tyrants and syco­phants, and marched out with his army and came to Merú, in order that this affair might arrive at examination and these words might be brought to an end by a discussion face to face. But upon the arrival of his stirrup (suite) all this party were struck with confusion, and various kinds of terror and of dread obtained the mastery over their tem­perament, and they were ashamed of what they had done. And when they fell into their hands, and saw that they had erred, they said, “Unless our Lord has mercy upon us, and forgives us, we shall certainly be among the wretched.”

And the Lord inflicted upon them vengeance, by means of Saif-Addoulat, and made them all examples and (proofs of) misery, according to their deeds and to the wickedness of their actions, and he stripped and pierced them all through with the anguish of their treachery, and with the vile­ness of their malice,* according to that verse of the Koran: “Thus hath thy Lord seized thee, when he seized thy back, and this is wretchedness, that a great calamity hath seized you.”