The History of Rasselas. And Elizabeth

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World Publishing House, 1876 - 395 pages

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Page 50 - 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 9 - 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 Abissinia.
Page 51 - 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 10 - From the mountains on every side, rivulets descended that filled all the valley with verdure and fertility, and formed a lake in the middle inhabited by fish of every species, and 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 33 - Nothing, replied the artist, will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. If you will favour my project, I will try the first flight at my own hazard. I have considered the structure of all volant animals, and find the folding continuity of the bat's wing most easily accommodated to the human form.
Page 97 - Let me only know, what it is to live according to nature ?" " When I find young men so humble and BO docile," said the philosopher, " I can deny them no information which my studies have enabled me to afford. To live according to nature is to act always with due regard to the fitness arising from the relations and qualities of causes and effects: to concur •with the great and unchangeable scheme of universal felicity ; to co-operate with the general disposition and tendency of the present system...
Page 31 - I am afraid," said he to the artist, " that your imagination prevails over your skill, and that you now tell me rather what you wish than what you know. Every animal has his element assigned him; the birds have the air, and man and beasts the earth.
Page 82 - He then communicated the various precepts given from time to time for the conquest of passion, and displayed the happiness of those who had obtained the important victory, after which man is no longer the slave of fear, nor the fool of hope ; is no more emaciated by envy, inflamed by anger...
Page 133 - I consider this mighty structure as a monument of the insufficiency of human enjoyments. A king, whose power is unlimited and whose treasures surmount all real and imaginary wants, is compelled to solace, by the erection of a pyramid, the satiety of dominion and tastelessness of pleasures, and to amuse the tediousness of declining life, by seeing thousands labouring without end, and one stone, for no purpose, laid upon another.
Page 176 - 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 bis command.

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