That is the story of Apelchasem. The Emperor read the Sultan’s letter but did not think the offer contained therein worthy of consideration at all. And how could he have done so ? For if the Emperor’s little daughter, as the letter demanded, had been betrothed to the barbarian’s eldest son, she would assuredly have been unhappy. if she had gone to Persia and become mistress of a kingdom which would have brought her greater wretchedness than the worst poverty. But God forbade it nor did the Emperor ever intend that such a thing should happen, not even if his fortunes had sunk to the lowest ebb.
Directly after he first heard the letter he burst into laughter at the barbarian’s presumption with the remark that “Some demon put this into his mind.” This is what the Emperor thought of the marriage. But as he considered it expedient to keep the Sultan’s mind in suspense by feeding him on vain hopes, he sent Curticius and three others as ambassadors to him with letters, in which he pretended to entertain the idea of peace and to agree to his requests, whilst, on his side, he made other demands which would occasion further lapse of time.
Killed the Ameer Soliman
But before the ambassadors sent from Byzantium had reached Chorosan they heard of the Sultan’s murder, and so returned. For Tutuses, the Sultan’s brother, had killed the Ameer Soliman and also his own brother-in-law, who had marched against him from Arabia with an army, and as a result became puff ed up with conceit ; consequently when he learnt that the Sultan had already begun negotiations for peace with the Emperor, he contemplated murdering his brother.
So he sent for twelve Chasii, as they are called in Persian, who breathe murder, and sent them off quickly in the guise of ambassadors to the Sultan, having first suggested to them a way of killing his brother. “Go,” he said, “and first have it proclaimed that you have certain secrets to reveal to the Sultan, and, when you have been granted an audience, go up close to him as if you wanted to whisper in his ear, and then slay him quickly.” Then these ambassadors, or rather assassins, went off in very high spirits to kill the Sultan, just as if they had been invited to a dinner or a festivity. On arrival they found him drunk, and everything was made easy for them, because the guards entrusted with the watch over the Sultan were standing at some distance, so they approached him, and drawing their swords from under their arm, promptly dispatched the wretched man.
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