Account of the Alliance of the Sultán with Ilek-Khán, and their subsequent Estrangement.

When the Sultán had cleansed the Court of Khurásán from his adversaries, and had reduced the enemies of the family of Sámán to non-existence, Ilek-Khán succeeded to Máwaráhnnahr, and obtained the princes of the family of Sámán, their children and comrades. And these regions were entirely stripped of all that race and pearl-stock. And he wrote to the Sultán, and congratulated him on his inheritance of the kingdom of Khurá­sán, and proposed a reparation of good-will and the thread of friendship. An alliance was made between them, and motives of good inclination and attachment were established. And his discrimi­nating nature advanced from a sincere affection to a sincere unity; and, at the time when the Sultán went to repulse the attack at Nishápúr, he had sent the Imám Abúl-Taíb-Sahal-’bn-Sulaimán-Assala­oki, who was Imám of Hadis (or of the sacred tra­ditions) upon an embassy to Ilek-Khán, and sent (also) Tugánjuk, Prince of Sarkas, to him, and expressed a desire for a noble alliance with his nobles (or noble race) and presented before his greatness, his army and his fortress, curious valu­ables of pieces of pure gold, with jacinths and rubies, and chains of great and small pearls, and gifts of robes and eggs of amber, and vessels of gold and silver full of perfumes of camphor, and other productions of the provinces of India, made from frankincense-bearing trees, and Damascus scimitars, and war elephants adorned with many-coloured trappings and jewelled bits, in describing all which gems the mind would be confused, and in specifying all which incomparable things the eyes would become turbid. And celebrated horses, with ornaments and head-trappings of gold, and various other choice and desirable things. And when the Imám Abúl-Taíb arrived at the Turkish territory they exhibited much agitation and eager­ness at his approach, and expressed extreme readi­ness to pay homage and respect to his dignity, partly on account of their honour toward His Majesty the Sultán, and partly on account of the superabundant and excelling virtues of (the envoy) in all kinds of science, he being the singular scholar of his age. He was sound in controversial tact, and in casuistical divinity, and lunar calcula­tions. He thus attained to the object desired,* caused seeking to be joined with finding, and returned, having with diligent industry fully accomplished his pilgrimage; and he presented the unequalled pearl, which, as a diver, he had sought and found in Turkistán, before the Sultán’s presence, with valuable specimens of the purchased articles of Turkistán, pure gold and silver, sweet musk, high-bred horses, moon-faced slaves, well-featured girls, white falcons, packets of peacock-feathers, ermines, and tawny skins, with exquisite china vessels, and many other beautiful fabrics, so that, between the two kingdoms, an interwoven alliance and affinity became fastened, as with nails, and between them, as between artificers and officers, a partnership was established in the adjustment of benefits and union. For a long period affairs continued to be fitly ordered and duly arranged between these Courts, until, through the hateful anger of fate, the straight road of affection became damaged by ill-will, and by the interlopings of Satan the stream of the fountains of love became diminished, and the bonds of that sincere regard became untied. Some of the beauteous words of Abúl-Taíb have been cited, and at the end of this chronicle several of the subject-nobles of the Sultán (who in their paths were like bright stars, and in their fixed (orbits) like con­stellations, each one being a star of the stars of the age, and a moon of the moons of virtue, and a column of the pillars of science) will be commemo­rated. And these words are from many of the niceties of the judgment and novelties of the language of Abúl-Taíb: “He who offers himself before his time offers himself to the air.” And this apothegm is taken from “The Words” of Abu Mansur, the divine: “Even a dog has high thoughts, and he is of the lowest extremity of baseness in whom there is a seeking for power before the times of power,” &c., &c.*