Page images

“ of wisdom and the plenitude of authority.” Further on, he says: “ And

amongst the best known of the pieces attributed to him are the following:

[ocr errors]

O thou who reproachest us with our misfortunes ! knowest thou not that adversity wars only with the truly great ? Hast thou not observed that putrid corpses float on the surface of the sea, whilst the pearls dwell in its lowest depths ? If we have be• come the sport of Fortune-if we have suffered from her protracted cruelty, recollect * that in the heavens are stars without number, but only the sun and the moon suffer 'an eclipse.'



* Each time thy memory bursts upon my mind, it excites my love to flame, and I feel its thrill in my heart. Every member of my body contains a portion of that love, and they might be said to have become hearts.'"

The author quotes also a quantity of passages from his prose compositions. Kâbûs wrote a most beautiful hand, and when the Sahib Ibn Abbâd (vol. I. page 212) saw pieces in his handwriting, he used to say : “ This is either the

writing of Kâbûs or the wing of a peacock;” and he would then recite these verses of al-Mutanabbi's :

In every heart is a passion for his handwriting; it might be said that the ink which he employed was (a cause of ) love. His presence is a comfort for every eye, and his ab, sence an affliction.

The emir Kâbûs ruled over Jurjān and the neighbouring provinces, as did his father before him; his (grand father died in the month of Muharram, A. H. 337 (July-Aug., A. D. 948) at Jurjản. Then (after the death of Menütcheher, the son of Kåbûs), the empire of Jurján fell into the possession of another family (3); but it would be long to relate the history of these events. Kabùs came to the throne in the month of Shaabàn, A. H. 388 (4). The kingdom of Jurjân had passed to his father on the death of Merdàwij Ibn Ziâr, his father's brother. This Merdàwij was a powerful and aspiring prince; Imâd ad-Dawlat Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Buwaih (vol. II. p. 332) had served under him as commander in chief, and this circumstance mainly contributed to raise him to a throne (5).-Kâbûs was an honour and ornament to the world, but, with all his noble qualities and political foresight, the cup of his (domination) was ungrateful to the taste ; no one felt secure from the outbursts of his violence and severity; the least slip was requited with bloodshed, and, in his anger, he never thought of mercy. The ferocity of his character at length discontented all minds and alienated all hearts; the principal officers of his army conspired to depose him and submit no longer to his orders, and, as he happened at that time to be absent from Jurjân at a camp near one of his fortresses, these proceedings escaped his observation. He did not become aware of their design till they came to arrest him and plundered him of his treasures and his horses; but the band of chosen adherents who then accompanied him made so brave a defence that the conspirators returned to Jurjān. Having taken possession of the city, they dispatched a messenger to his son Abû Mansûr Menùtcheher, who was then in Tabaristân, requiring him to come without delay and receive their homage as sovereign. He set out immediately, and, on his arrival, they promised to acknowledge his authority provided he dethroned his father. Apprehensive that the empire might escape from the hands of his family if he rejected their offers, he felt himself obliged to comply, and the emir Kâbûs, perceiving the turn which affairs had taken, retired with his adherents to the neighbourhood of Bastâm, where he resolved to await the result. When the mutineers were informed of this movement, they forced his son Menùtcheher to march out with them, that they might expel their former master from the place of his retreat. On arriving there, the son had an interview with the father, and, after much weeping and lamentation on both sides, he offered to stand up in defence of his parent against every enemy, though it cost him his life. Kâbús perceived, however, that such a proceeding would be of no use, and feeling that he could not have a better successor than his son, he delivered the royal signet into his hands, with the request that he himself might be treated with kindness whilst he remained in the bonds of life ; and it was therefore agreed on between them that he should reside in a certain castle till he reached the term of his existence. After the removal of Kâbûs to the place of his detention, the son proceeded to load the troops with favours, but so apprehensive were they of the father's coming again into power that they never rested till they effected his death. He was murdered, A.H. 403 (A.D. 1012-3) and interred outside the city of Jurjần. It is said that, on his imprisonment in the castle, they refused 596 him a cloak or any warm covering, and the extreme coldness of the weather deprived him of life.—Jili here means belonging to Jil; Jil was the brother of Dailam, and they each left descendants who were surnamed after them respectively. It is necessary to remark that this surname is quite different from

that of Jili, signifying native of (Jilân,) the country beyond Tabarestàn. As they have been sometimes confounded together, I think it right to warn the reader. -We have already spoken of Jurjàn (vol. II. p. 223), and we need not therefore repeat our observations here.

(1) The signification of this name seems to be Quail-catcher.

(2) For the orthography of this name, I follow the autograph manuscript of the Annals of Abu 'l-Feda ; it occurs under the year 366.

(3) The text of Ibn Khallikân is here drawn up so carelessly, that, to save his reputation as an historian, I have been obliged to help it out by parentheses. Wushmaghir died A. H. 386, and was succeeded by his son Bisetûn. Kâbûs reigned after him.

(4) This is a mistake, in which however all the manuscripts agree; I consequently adopted the reading in the printed text, although aware of the error. Kabus succeeded to the throne of Jurján on the death of his brother Bisetûn, A. H. 366 (A.D. 976–7). I suspect the error to have originated with our author.

(8) 1 here suppress some observations which the author has already made in the life of Imád ad-Dawlat.


Abû Mansûr Kâimâz Ibn Abd Allah az-Zaini (a freedman of Zain ad-din), surnamed Mujâhid ad-din (champion of the faith), was a eunuch and an enfranchised slave of Zain ad-din Ali Ibn Baktikin, the father of al-Malik al-Muazzam Muzaffar ad-din, sovereign of Arbela. He was of a white complexion and a native of Tabarestân, whence he had been carried off when a child; and, as he gave tokens of great abilities, his patron promoted him and appointed him atâbek (or tutor) to his children. On the fifth day of the month of Ramadân, A. H. 559 (July, A. D. 1164), he entrusted him with the whole management of public affairs at Arbela, and, in this office, Kâimâz distinguished himself by the excellence of his administration and the justice with which he ruled the prince's subjects. Ever actuated by the spirit of virtue and piety, he built at Arbela a college and a (moslim) convent, on which he settled large estates (wakf). In the year 571 (A. D. 1175) he removed to Mosul, and, having fixed his residence in the citadel, he took in hand the direction of affairs, and, in his correspondence with


the neighbouring princes, he acquired more influence over them by his letters than any other had ever done before. The atâbek Saif ad-din Ghazi Ibn Maudûd (vol.

p. 441), the sovereign of Mosul, struck with the uprightness of his conduct, confided to him the government of all his possessions and placed full reliance on him in every circumstance, so that the lieutenant in title was the sultan in reality. The greater part of the revenues of Arbela was delivered over to him, and he left many fair monuments of his piety at Mosul, such as the great mosque, the college, and the (Moslim) convent which he erected outside the city, and all close to each other. He endowed the public charitable fund with numerous estates: he founded and provided for an orphan school, and he threw a new bridge across the river of Mosul, to the great convenience of the public for whose service the old bridge was insufficient. He founded many other charitable institutions. A number of poets celebrated his praises, Hais Bais amongst others (vol. I. p. 559), and Sibt Ibn at-Takwìzi; the latter, whose life will be found in this work, composed a kasida in his honour, commencing thus :

When will he be restored to health who languishes with desire for thy presence ? How can he ever recover who has been intoxicated with thy love ? My heart and consolation are at war, but my eyes and tears are at peace (and inseparable).

This poem, which is one of his best, was sent by him from Baghdad to Kaimáz, who forwarded to him, in return, an ample pecuniary recompense and the

present of a mule. When the latter arrived, he found it very much fallen away from the fatigue of the journey, and wrote these lines to his patron :

Mujahid ad-din! mayest thou be always a resource and a treasure for the indigent ! Thou hast sent me a mule, but, on the way, it was metamorphosed into a goat.

Bahả ad-din Asaad as-Sinjäri (vol. I. p. 196) composed also a poem in his honour, which is much celebrated and has been set to music. One of its passages is this :

Beshrew my heart for a wearisome companion! it and my eyes have caused the torments which I suffer. How happy the days I spent at Råma ! how sweet the hours I 397 passed at Hajir (1)! they fled so quickly, that the first moments touched the last

It was in pursuance of the emir Mujahid ad-din's orders that Abù 'l-Maali

Saad (2) al-Haziri composed his work, entitled Kitab al-Ijaz fi Hall il-Ahaji wa 'lAlgház (the book of superiority, on the solution of enigmatical questions). He then took it to him at Arbela and resided in the palace for some time, but feeling at length a longing desire to revisit his family al-Hazira, he said :

Who will condole with a fond parent who has but little consolation, and who now, in a distant city, sighs for his home? In Arbela he calls on those he loves ; but 0, how far is al-Hazira from Arbela !

Kaimáz loved literature and poetry; one of my acquaintances informed me that he frequently recited a piece of verse which contained the following passage :

When thy sarcasms wound my heart, I support the pain with patience; I conceal my sufferings and visit thee with a smiling countenance, as if I had heard nothing and seen nothing.

The piece to which these verses belong is by Osama Ibn Munkid (vol. I. p. 177). -Of Mujahid ad-din Kaimaz we may say, in a word, that he left a wide renown. Majd ad-din al-Mubarak Ibn al-Athìr (3), the author of the Jâmi al-Usul, was employed by him as secretary, and drew up the documents which he addressed to the neighbouring princes. On the death of the atábek Saif ad-din Ghazi, his brother and successor, Izz ad-din Masůd, listened to the frequent insinuations of evil-minded men relative to the conduct of Kâimâz, and, in the year 589 (A. D. 1193), he caused him to be arrested. Having afterwards discovered that he had been deceived, he set his prisoner at liberty and reinstated him in his former post. During the rest of his life, Kâimâz continued in office. He died in the Castle of Mosul on the 15th of the first Rabi—some say the sixth-A. H. 595 (January, A. D. 1199). Ibn al-Mustaufi states, in his History of Arbela, that his death took place in the month of Safar of that year. It was in A. H. 572 (A. D. 1176-7) that he commenced the erection of the mosque at Mosul which bears his name.


(1) Råma and Håjir were two romantic spots in Arabia. See vol. II. p. 437, and vol. I. P.

(2) The manuscripts and the printed text have here Asaad den l; this is an oversight of the copyists and the editor, as the poet's name was Saad Jew. See vol. I. p. 563.

(3) His life will be found in this volume.

« PreviousContinue »