An expensive gift

The sultan was very protective of his tulips. Only his very special guests might sometimes receive a few flower bulbs as a gift. One of these famous guests was Mr. De Busbecq, a nobleman from Flanders who had been sent as an ambassador to Turkey. De Busbecq then gave the tulip bulbs to a friend of his, Carolus Clusius. Clusius, who was in charge of the herb garden belonging to the Emperor of Austria, gave the tulips a place of honor in that garden.

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