Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia: A Tale

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Edward Lacey, 1838 - 111 pages

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Page 24 - The business of a poet, said Imlac, is to examine, not the individual, but the species; to remark general properties and large appearances ; he does not number the streaks of the tulip, or describe the different shades in the verdure of the forest.
Page 1 - YE who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope ; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow ; attend to the history of Rasselas, prince of Abyssinia.
Page 24 - He must divest himself of the prejudices of his age or country ; he must consider right and wrong in their abstracted and invariable state ; he must disregard present laws and opinions, and rise to general and transcendental truths, which will always be the same...
Page 94 - He who has nothing external that can divert him, must find pleasure in his own thoughts, and must conceive himself what he is not; for who is pleased with what he is?
Page 111 - The prince desired a little kingdom, in which he might administer justice in his own person, and see all the parts of government with his own eyes ; but he could never fix the limits of his dominion, and was always adding to the number of his subjects. Imlac and the astronomer were contented to be driven along the stream of life without directing their course to any particular port.
Page 43 - Consider that external things are naturally variable, but truth and reason are always the same." "What comfort," said the mourner, "can truth and reason afford me? Of what effect are they now, but to tell me that my daughter will not be restored?
Page 41 - As he was one day walking in the street, he saw a spacious building which all were, by the open doors, invited to enter. He followed the stream of people, and found it a hall or school of declamation, in which professors read lectures to their auditory. He fixed his eye upon a sage raised above the rest, who discoursed with great energy on the government of the passions. His look was venerable, his action graceful, his pronunciation clear, and his diction elegant.
Page 2 - ... frequented by every fowl whom nature has taught to dip the wing in water. This lake discharged its superfluities by a stream, which entered a dark cleft of the mountain on the northern side, and fell with dreadful noise from precipice to precipice till it was heard no more.
Page 39 - The causes of good and evil, answered Imlac, are so various and uncertain, so often entangled with each other, so diversified by various relations, and so much subject to accidents which cannot be foreseen, that he who would fix his condition upon incontestable reasons of preference, must live and die inquiring and deliberating.
Page 94 - DISORDERS of intellect," answered Imlac, " happen much more often than superficial observers will easily believe. Perhaps, if we speak with rigorous exactness, no human mind is in its right state. There is no man whose imagination does not sometimes predominate over his reason, who can regulate his attention wholly by his will, and whose ideas will come and go at his command.

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