THE SONS OF YEHYA BEN KHALID AND SAID BEN SALIM EL BAHILI

(Quoth Said ben Salim el Bahili (121)), I was once, in the days of Haroun er Reshid, in very narrow case and greatly oppressed with debts, that had accumulated upon me and that I had no means of discharging. My doors were blocked up with creditors and I was without cease importuned for payment by claimants, who dunned me in crowds, till I was at my wits' end what to do. At last, being sore perplexed and troubled, I betook myself to Abdallah ben Malik el Khuzai (122) and besought him to aid me with his judgment and of his good counsel direct me to the door of relief; and he said, "None can quit thee of this thy strait but the Barmecides." Quoth I, "Who can brook their pride and put up with their arrogance?" And he answered, "Thou must put up with it, for the sake of amending thy case." So I left him and went straight to El Fezl and Jaafer, sons of Yehya ben Khalid, to whom I related my case. "God give thee His aid," answered they, "and enable thee by His bounties to dispense with the aid of His creatures and vouchsafe thee abundant good and bestow on thee what shall suffice thee, without the need of any but Himself; for He can what He will and is gracious and provident with His servants."

I went out from them and returned to Abdallah, disappointed and perplexed and heavy at heart, and told him what they had said. Quoth he, "Thou wouldst do well to abide with us this day, that we may see what God the Most High will decree." So I sat with him awhile, and lo, up came my servant, who said to me, "O my lord, there are at our door many laden mules, and with them a man, who says he is the agent of Fezl and Jaafer ben Yehya." Quoth Abdallah, "I trust that relief is come to thee: go and see what is to do." So I left him and running to my house, found at the door a man, who gave me a letter, wherein was written the following: "Know that, after thou hadst been with us and acquainted us with thy case, we betook ourselves to the Khalif and informed him that the case had reduced thee to the humiliation of begging; whereupon he ordered thee a million dirhems from the Treasury. We represented to him that thou wouldst spend this money in paying thy creditors and said, 'Whence shall he provide for his subsistence?' So he ordered thee other three hundred thousand, and we have sent thee, of our own money, a million dirhems each, so that thou hast now three millions and three hundred thousand dirhems, wherewithal to order thine affair and amend thine estate."

      See, then, the munificence of these generous men; may God the Most High have mercy on them!


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