Page:Quatrains of Omar Khayyam (tr. Whinfield, 1883).djvu/34

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

x

INTRODUCTION

in the class of that eminent person. He on his part regarded me with affection, and I for mine showed such attachment and devotion to his service that I continued with him for the space of four years. There had lately joined his class Hakím Omar Khayyám, and that miscreant Hasan ibn Sabah, both of whom were of the same age as I was, and equally remarkable for excellence of intelligence and power of intellect. We became friends, and when we went out from the Imám's class we used to repeat to one another the lesson we had just heard .... One day that miscreant Hasan said to us,—'It is the general opinion that the disciples of Imám Muaffik attain to fortune, and no doubt one of us will do so, even though all may not. What agreement or compact is there now between us?' I said, 'Whatever you please.' He answered, 'Whichever of us may attain to fortune shall share it with the others, and not engross it himself.' We agreed to these terms, and a compact was made accordingly. Time passed on. I went from Khorasán to Máwará un Nahr and Ghazní and Kábul, and on my return I was preferred to the post of Wazir to Sultan Alp Arslan (455 A.H.). At that time Hakím Omar Khayyám came to me, and in regard to him I carried out all the requirements of the compact and the obligations of my engagement. On his arrival I received him with all honour and distinction, and afterwards I said to him, 'A man of your ability ought to be a servant of the Sultan, and since, according to our agreement, while we were with Imam Muaffik, I am bound to share my position with you, I will recount your merits to the Sultan, and will so impress on his