348 THE STORY OF PRINCE AHMED
the khan where he lodged, and told him out the money, and received the perspective glass.
Prince Ali was over-joyed at his bargain, and persuaded himself that, as his brothers would not be able to meet with anything so rare and admirable, the Princess Nouronnihar would be the recompense of his fatigue and trouble; that he thought of nothing but visiting the Court of Persia incognito, and seeing whatever was curious in Schiraz and thereabouts, till the caravan with which he came returned back to the Indies. As soon as the caravan was ready to set out, the Prince joined them, and arrived happily without any accident or trouble, otherwise than the length of the journey and fatigue of travelling, at the place of rendezvous, where he found Prince Houssain, and both waited for Prince Ahmed.
Prince Ahmed, who took the road of Samarcand, the next day after his arrival there went, as his brothers had done, into the bezestein, where he had not walked long but heard a crier, who had an artificial apple in his hand, cry it at five and thirty purses ; upon which he stopped the crier, and said to him: ' Let me see that apple, and tell me what virtue and extraordinary properties it has, 'to be valued at so high a rate.' ' Sir,' said the crier, giving it into his hand, ' if you look at the outside of this apple, it is very worthless, but if you consider its properties, virtues, and the great use and benefit it is of to mankind, you will say it is no price for it, and that he who possesses it is master of a great treasure. In short, it cures all sick persons of the most mortal diseases; and if the patient is dying it will recover him immediately and restore him to perfect health; and this is done after the easiest manner in the world, which is by the patient's smelling the apple.'
' If I may believe you,' replied Prince Ahmed, ' the virtues of this apple are wonderful, and it is invaluable; but what ground have I, for all you tell me, to be persuaded of the truth of this matter ? ' ' Sir,' replied the crier, ' the thing is known and averred by the whole city of Samarcand; but, without going any farther, ask all these merchants you see here, and hear what they say. You will find several of them will tell you they had not been alive this day if they had not made use of this excellent remedy. And, that you may the better comprehend what it is, I must tell you it is the fruit of the study and experiments of a celebrated philosopher of this city, who applied himself all his lifetime to the study and knowledge of the virtues of plants and minerals, and at last attained to this composition, by which he performed such surprising cures