The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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346               THE STORY OF PRINCE AHMED
him sat down, and as soon as he had formed his wish were trans­ported to the inn at which he and his brothers were to meet, and where he passed for a merchant till they came.
Prince Ali, Prince Houssain's second brother, who designed to travel into Persia, took the road, having three days after he parted with his brothers joined a caravan, and after four days' travel arrived at Schiraz, which was the capital of the kingdom of Persia. Here he passed for a jeweller.
The next morning Prince Ali, who travelled only for his pleasure, and had brought nothing but just necessaries along with him, after he had dressed himself, took a walk into that part of the town which they at Schiraz called the bezestein.
Among all the criers who passed backwards and forwards with several sorts of goods, offering to sell them, he was not a little surprised to see one who held an ivory telescope in his hand of about a foot in length and the thickness of a man's thumb, and cried it at thirty purses. At first he thought the crier mad, and to inform himself went to a shop, and said to the merchant, who stood at the door: ' Pray, sir, is not that man ' (pointing to the crier who cried the ivory perspective glass at thirty purses) ' mad ? If he is not, I am very much deceived.' ' Indeed, sir,' answered the mer­chant, ' he was in his right senses yesterday; and I can assure you he is one of the ablest criers we have, and the most employed of any when anything valuable is to be sold. And if he cries the ivory perspective glass at thirty purses it must be worth as much or more, on some account or other. He will come by presently, and we will call him, and you shall be satisfied ; in the meantime sit down on my sofa, and rest yourself.'
Prince Ali accepted the merchant's obliging offer, and pre­sently afterwards the crier passed by. The merchant called him by his name, and, pointing to the Prince, said to him : ' Tell that gen­tleman, who asked me if you were in your right senses, what you mean by crying that ivory perspective glass, which seems not to be worth much, at thirty purses. I should be very much amazed myself if I did not know you.' The crier, addressing himself to Prince Ali, said : ' Sir, you are not the only person that takes me for a madman on the account of this perspective glass. You shall judge yourself whether I am or no, when I have told you its property : and I hope you will value it at as high a price as those I have showed it to already, who had as bad an opinion of me as you.
' First, sir,' pursued the crier, presenting the ivory pipe to the
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