Historical Tales and Anecdotes of the Time of the Early Khalifahs/Anecdote of the plain-spoken Arab

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IT is said, that one day el-Hajjaj separated himself from his guards, and falling in with an Arab, asked him, "O chief of the Arabs! what about el-Hajjaj?" To which the man replied, "He is tyrannical and capricious." "Have you complained of him to 'Abd-el-Mdlik-ibn-Marwin?" asked el-Hajjaj. "He is more tyrannical and more capricious," replied the Arab. "May the curse of Allah be upon them both!" Now whilst this was going on, behold, the soldiers rejoined him. Then, the Arab becoming aware that it was el-Hajjaj himself, cried out, "O Prince! divulge the secret which is between me and thee to none save Allah." Whereupon el-Hajjaj laughed, and on departing gave liberally to him.