YAHYA BIN KHALID THE BARMECIDE AND THE POOR MAN



Yahya bin Khálid the Barmecide was returning home, one day, from the Caliph’s palace, when he saw, at the gate of his mansion, a man who rose as he drew near and saluted him, saying, “O Yahya, I am in sore need of that which is in they hand, and I make Allah my intermediary with thee.”  So Yahya caused a place to be set aside for him in his house and bade his treasurer carry him a thousand dirhams every day and ordered that his diet be of the choicest of his own meat.  The man abode in this case a whole month, at the end of which time, having received in all thirty thousand dirhams and fearing lest Yahya should take the money from him, because of the greatness of the sum, he departed by stealth. -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Ninety-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man, taking with him the money, departed by stealth.  But when they told Yahya of this, he said, “By Allah, though he had tarried with me to the end of his days, yet had I not stinted him of my largesse nor cut off from him the bounties of my hospitality!”  For, indeed, the excellences of the Barmecides were past count nor can their virtues be committed to description, especially those of Yahya bin Khalid, for he was an ocean [FN#132] of noble qualities, even as saith the poet of him,

    “I asked of Bounty, ‘Art thou free?’  Quoth she, *
         ‘No, I am slave to Yahyá Khálid-son!’
    ‘Boughten?’ asked I.  ‘Allah forfend,’ quoth she, *
         ‘By heirship, sire to sire’s transmission!’”

And the following is related of



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