Account of Shams-Al-Muali-Kabús-’bn-Washamgír and the remaining Portion of his Affairs, and of the Accession to the Throne of his Son, Falk-al-Muálí.

Shams-Al-Muálí, on account of his penetrating acuteness, and specially restless mind, when it was necessary to endure with patience, was harsh tempered and overbearing, and from his austere conduct and perpetually passing round the cup of his violence was never at peace with any one. If mildness of disposition had been in him as weighty as a stone mountain, he would have summoned it from its summit, by his light sword as by lightning, and if any sedateness could have been ever attributed to him, through the slappings of the billows of his anger it had become a myth in the green sea, for the smallest offence he inflicted a harsh punishment. He had no compassion or fear of shedding blood, he punished and corrected only by the cutting sword and raised spear, and his prisons were but cavern sepulchres fitted to receive bodies (catacombs).

Hence the people were destroyed by him, so that hearts were broken by dread of him, and breasts shattered by hatred of him. For if by various means of execution and coercion for casual errors and accidental slips, one must die, or be distressed, what purity from all sin and corruption exists in prophets, so that spirits retained no strength, and souls were furious. And there was a worthy man, his Chamberlain, a man of gentle and guileless nature, known and remarked by all for a peaceful disposition, to whom the guardian­ship and controlling of the taxes of those places had been entrusted. Him they accused of rebellion, and the prince ordered him to be killed, and he, declaring his innocence sought succour in abscond­ing and flying. He remained some time in his place of refuge, when his retreat was discovered, and although he at the time then present showed his fidelity and stability during time past, he ob­tained no favour. His execution increased the disgust of the army, and all hearts resolved to draw off the bridle of obedience, and openly to em­brace the word of rebellion and of freedom of their lives from the obnoxious moroseness of His High­ness. And whilst this was going on, he went out from Juzján, and by reason of the aid of absence the fuel was renewed in the troops, and through the arrangement of the army and their malicious ill-will, he remained without intelligence of their movements until they seized upon his castle, and plundered his goods, arms, horses, &c. His nobles stood up to repel them, and protected him from the malice of their enmity. And when the design of these people failed in the object they had in­tended to attain, they went to Juzján, and took that city by force and perseverance into their possession. And they summoned the Amír Manuch-har from Tabaristán, and he, on account of his vexation and the ruin of this event to his father, and the deep treachery of those people, hastened on, in order to take the direction of this affair. But when he arrived at Juzján, he saw the army broken up into mutiny, and the affair out of his hands. The regiments of the army then sent a message to him, thus:— If you will agree with us with respect to the deposition and dismissal of your father, we will bind up our loins with faith­ful zeal to serve you, and will be obedient, but if not, we will inaugurate some other man, or go to some other place. And the Amír Manuch-har saw no remedy but to obliterate all, and join them, for he thought that the curtain of respect was torn, that the fountain of strife and hatred might augment, and his old house fall from his hands. As to Sham-Al-Muálí, when he understood the coalition of their words in rebellion, and their agreement in all kinds of ill-will, he removed himself to Bastám with his light and heavy furniture, the royal seals, and the rest of his property, and awaited the end and boundary of the affair. And when the army re­ceived intelligence of this event, they compelled Manuch-har to attack him and remove him from that place, and by dint of necessity he went with them, and repelled wrong by wrong, and put fire upon fire. When, then, they came near Kabús he summoned his son, and Manuch-har coming to wait upon him, kissed the ground of respect, sate before him with the utmost submission, tears flow­ing from his eyes, and they began to enter into deep reflexions and complaints respecting recent events, and on both sides much passed between them on a son’s duty to his father, and a hundred pledges were given that the former should protect the latter from their violence. And the Amír Manuch-har said to his father, if you will permit me, I will risk my head in repulsing these forces, and freely yield up my life, and offer myself as the guardian of your existence, and sacrifice myself for your safety. Upon this Shams-Al-Muálí gave him the expression of his gladness of heart, and drawing him towards himself, kissed his face and said, I am now at the end of all my history, and the conclusion of my adventures, and you are the inheritor of my kingdom and my house. But this conduct of yours will merit distinction during my life and after my death. Upon this he consigned to him the seal of State, and delivered to him the keys of his treasures. And it was determined to place Shams-Al-Muálí in the castle of Khaba­shak, and make him engage himself in piety and devotion, and that he should resign royalty, and the right of binding and loosing to Manuch-har. They therefore removed Shams-Al-Muálí, to a dwelling within that fortress, with all his furniture, and servants, which they had preserved to him, and Manuch-har came to Juzján.

And Kabús occupied himself in taking pos­session of his property, and in conciliating the chiefs, and courting the commons. But notwith­standing all his attentions, and his earnest desire to be of service to all, hoth high and humble, time passed, and they found themselves not softened with regard to his errors, nor was their detestation of the past oppressions and horrible crimes of Kabús diminished, and they examined every avenue of contrivance or treachery, in order to set their minds at rest concerning him. And as their wish was so it was fulfilled; for when all had arrived at peace and quietness, they perverted his secretary that in order to extinguish and end his life, (he should permit) that his bed makers should enter his sleeping chamber, and they drew sheet after sheet, (or cloak after cloak) so as to be closely glued upon him,* and thus saw him dead, (or drew cloak after cloak from the furniture of his bed­chamber (upon him) and thus beheld him dead).

Thus they obtained their wish, and became at ease from the dread of the thunderbolts of his sword and spear. They interred him in a domed sepul­chre outside Juzján, on the road to Khurasán. His fate is intimated by the elegant poet (Verse)

“It was announced of thee that a fire was burning after thee,
“And the little dogs of society railed after thee;
“They published abroad and narrated the great affair.
“If thou hadst witnessed them therein they would not have mentioned it” (i. e., they would not have been living to do so).

And the Amír Manuch-har completed three days upon the seat of mourning, and after three days took his seat upon the throne, and being inaugurated by the army forgot Kabús. “There is no converse between Hajún and Safá” (mountains of Mecca). “There is no night gossip at Mecca.” And a diploma arrived from the Chancery of the Khaliph Al-Kádir-Billáh to the Amír Manuch­har, containing condolence and sympathy, con­ferring upon him the surname of Falk-Almuálí, and wishing him Heaven’s grace and happy guidance. And he was also protected by the mountain of the Sultán’s friendship and requested the support of being admitted one of the peers and followers of the Empire. Thus the fracture of his father’s circumstances became filled up by the weight of the interweaving friendship and pity of the Sultán, and by putting on the cloak of his aid and (seeking) utility under his dread shadow. And he sent several distinguished men of the Court to his presence, and he offered to the Sultán liberal presents, precious gems, and no scanty valuables, and assured him of his sincere wish and pure in­tention as respected his allegiance to His Majesty. The Sultán looked upon these gifts with an eye of favour, and returned a corresponding reply to his desire and petition, and marked the weights and measures of his regard with the standard of his good-will. And he gave a royal letter, ordaining that in the Amír’s country, the public prayers and the coins should be edged with the embroidery of his august surname. And he sent his signet-bearer Abú-Muhammad upon that journey to him, with a proper robe and perfect caresses. And the Amír Manuch-har, received this order with the ear of assent and obedience, and carried it out to the ut­most, so that in the pulpits of the kingdoms of Juzján, and Tabaristán, and Koms and Dárughán, the insignia of the Sultán’s style were displayed. Also, he was bound to pay five thousand dínars by way of tribute, which he sent every year to the treasury, and when the Sultán marched forth to fight for religion, he requested an army from him, and he sent to battle from the choice and flower of the men of Dilem, forces, who in ascending were like clubs (or maces), and in descending like a torrent, all fully equipped and provided with necessaries to the satisfaction of the exalted tem­perament, and he established confidence and faith­fulness in supplying his necessities and furthering his measures. And when the atoms of his happy disposition towards His Majesty arrived at (coalescing) unity, and the sincerity of his allegiance was confirmed, and the clearness of friendship emerged from the dusky ashes of suspicion, he sent to His Majesty Abú-Said-Sawál, a chief of Juzján, an eminent man, skilled in genealogy and etiquette, to propose that the bonds of friendship should be strengthened by the ropes of alliance. And he de­manded the honour of a marriage with one of the noble ones of His Majesty’s chamber. This Envoy with his usual modest virtues and innate laudable gravity, proceeded to this business, and succeeded so well in advancing his desire and prospering his wishes that the Sultán gave a loose rein to the promotion of his request, and the success of his hopes, so that the claims of Falk-Almuálí became attached to consent. And when this great man returned to the Amír’s Court, and represented the favours and honours which he had received, he mentioned the ready inclination of the Sultán to reply to his plea, and satisfy his request. Upon this, Falk-Al-Muálí sent him again to the Court, and joined with him the Kadi of Juzján, a senator of learning, a corner stone of theology, and a pillar of experience, that by his perfect forethought and skill he might bring the union in prospect to the bond of marriage and girdling together. These two accordingly went to the Court, and offered their respects and requested that the marriage might be finally concluded. Then the Sultán bound the Satans of wickedness by the Divine Law’s decrees, and gave to Falk-Al-Muálí a precious one, who was a corner of his heart, and the Venus in the heaven of his kingdom; a gem, fit only to be attached to the pinnacle of the hat of the sky, and a pearl of pearls only fit for the rolling heavens, and a bridal bed of queens, worthy only of the chamber of princes. At these nuptials such gifts, presents, gratifications and jewels were diffused and distributed that they would fill the record of time, and form a decorated border for the roll of all the acts of generosity. Ambassadors were sent to inform him of the accomplishment of his wishes, and Falk-Al-Muálí sent a dowry of such an amount, that the renown of his magnanimity and generosity spread throughout the world, and none of the lords and princes remained without his share of noble grati­fications and keepsakes. The Sultán reciprocated his homage by various noble acts, and fulfilled all that might respond to the expression of his allegiance, and was due to the claims of kindred. And he managed the principal chiefs and eminent men of his Court with precious honours and valuable robes, so that he became the model of Kings, and example of Sultáns in the world, and by his alliance with the pearl-producing shell of royalty and illustrious jacinth of sovereignty, his wealth advanced until it exceeded all that in any age had been stored up by the confluence of all the pens of book-keepers, or of those wise in understanding accounts. And as the moon’s disk becomes illu­minated by the sun opposite to it, and the womb of the gem-bearing shell is moistened by the gift of the sea, so the treasury of Falk-Al-Muálí became as full of riches, as the Ocean repository of brilliant pearls, or as a mine of jewels.

And when, by the support of that alliance, and by reason of that affinity, the affairs of the Amír were placed upon a firm basis, he began to arrange the affairs of his army, and to take vengeance upon the parties who had been concerned in the blood of Shams-Al-Muálí, and by various methods of guile and kinds of pretexts, he made a breach between those parties and their allies, and killed them all. But the son of Kharkash, who had been the source of the dissensions, fled from among them, and became a wanderer in the world, distressed and cast away, and no trace of him remained. And in all the odiousness of that sin, and the accusation of that wickedness, Abúl Kasim was implicated, who was Commander of the army, and in the highest position of the kingdom. He remained wavering between hope and fear, looking for grief and tor­menting anxiety. And Falk-Al-Muálí tore out his eyes, and (then) adopted the expedient of pro­crastination and delay, and deceived by feigned indifference and neglect, in order thus by stimulating his eagerness and longing for safety to draw him into the catching-trap, so that in the meeting of questioners (examiners) his tales were stopped, and the way of escape closed. However, the time of every affair is foreseen, and its issue defined, and its end known to the Disposer, and He in guiding affairs, can hasten or retard in a manner that is not imagined. Abúl Kasim fled through a strata­gem from prison, and wandered in various regions, until he came to Nisápúr to the Sultán’s Court, and sought an asylum in his protection, thinking that he should thereby obtain safety from the con­sequences of his serious deeds of shame and odious actions, on account of the intimate alliance and connection that existed, as well as by the expanded discrimination, and the unity of counsel that was established between their Highnesses. He how­ever knew not, that people slay those who slay, and that retribution like the bent bowstring, circles round the evil doer, and although the time be slow, finds a place to hit him on at last; and although the time was postponed, he at length fell into the trap of sorrow and the snare of misery. Doubtless the picture of his vile deeds was made known to the Sultán, for he commanded that he should be bound and delivered up to Falk-Al-Muálí, and Ibn-Rúmí hath composed these two verses of pure counsel and elegant admonition (Verse)

“Good is worked for him who fulfils it: if thou doest good it will make thee happy;
“And evil is done for him who perpetrates it: if thou doest evil it will ruin thee.”