Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia: A Tale

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T.H. Carter, 1844 - Ethiopia - 124 pages

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Page 30 - 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 : he is to exhibit in his portraits of nature such prominent and striking features, as recall the original to every mind; and must neglect the minuter discriminations, which one may have remarked, and another have neglected, for those characteristics which...
Page 107 - To indulge the power of fiction, and send imagination out upon the wing, is often the sport of those who delight too much in silent speculation.
Page 58 - This," said a philosopher, who had heard him with tokens of great impatience, "is the present condition of a wise man. The time is already come, when none are wretched but by their own fault. Nothing is more idle than to inquire after happiness, \ which nature has kindly placed within our reach. The way to be happy is to live according to nature, in obedience to that universal and unalterable law with which every heart is originally impressed; which is not written on it by precept, but engraven by...
Page 66 - They act as beings under the constant sense of some known inferiority, that fills their minds with rancour, and their tongues with censure. They are peevish at home, and malevolent abroad; and, as the outlaws of human nature, make it their business and their pleasure to disturb that society which debars them from its privileges. To live without feeling or exciting sympathy, to be fortunate without adding to the felicity of others, or afflicted without tasting the balm of pity, is a state more gloomy...
Page 18 - 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 47 - 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 18 - you have seen but a small part of what the mechanic sciences can perform. I have been long of opinion, that instead of the tardy conveyance of ships and chariots, man might use the swifter migration of wings ; that the fields of air are open to knowledge, and that only ignorance and idleness need crawl upon the ground.
Page 59 - 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 of things.
Page 20 - I should with great alacrity teach them all to fly. But what would be the security of the good, if the bad could at pleasure invade them from the sky ? Against an army sailing through the clouds, neither walls, nor mountains, nor seas, could afford any security. A flight of northern savages might hover in the wind, and light at once with irresistible violence upon the capital of a fruitful region that was rolling under them.
Page 30 - 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.

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