« ElőzőTovább »
an intestine conflict. I took leave of my com- : panions in the house, who disiniffed me with cold indifference.”
Nekayah having heard her favourite's relation, rose and embraced her, and Raílelas gave her an hundred ounces of gold, which me presented to the Arab for the fifty that were promised.
THE HISTORY OF A MAN OF LEARNING.
II B Y returned to Cairo, and were so well pleased
at finding themselves together, that none of them went much abroad. The prince began to love learning, and one day declared to Imlac, that he intended to devote himself to science, and pass the rest of his days in literary solitude.
“ Before you make your final choice, answered Iınlac, you ouglit to examine its hazards, and cona verse with some of those who are grown old in the company of them elves. I have just left the oblervatory of one of the most learned astronomers in the world, who has spent forty years in unwearied attention to the motions and appearances of the celestial bodies, and has drawn out his soul in endlefs calculations. He admits a few fri once a month to hear his deductions and enjoy his discoveries. I was introduced as a man of knowledge worthy of his notice. Men of various ideas, and fiuent conversation, are commonly welcome to those whole thoughts have been long fixed upon a single point, and who find the images of other things stealing away. I delighted him with my remarks; he
smiled at the narrative of my travels, and was glad to forget the constellations, and descend for a moment into the lower world.
“On the next day of vacation I renewed my visit, and was so fortunate as to please him again. He relaxed from that time the severity of his rule, and permitted me to enter at my own choice. I found him always busy, and always glad to be relieved. As each knew much which the other was desirous of learning, we exchanged our notions with great delight. I perceived that I had every day more of his confidence, and always found new cause of admiration in the profundity of his mind. His comprehension is vast, inis memory capacious and retentive, his discourse is methodical, and his expression clear.
“ His integrity and benevolence are equal to his learning. His deepest researches and most favourite studies are willingly interrupted for any opportunity of doing good by his counsel or his riches. To his closest retreat, at his most busy moments, all are admitted that want his assistance: “ For though I exclude idleness and pleasure, I will never, says he, bar my doors against charity. To man is permitted the contemplation of the skies, but the practice of virtue is commanded.”
Surely, said the princess, this man is happy." « I visited him, said Imlae, with more and more frequency, and was every time more enamoured of his conversation : he was sublime without haughtiness, courteous without formality, and communicative without oftentation. I was at first, great princess, of your opinion, thought him the happiest of mankind, and often congratulated him on the blessing that he enjoyed. He seemed to hear nothing with indifference but the praises of his condition, to which he always returned a general anfwer, and diverted the conversation to some other topick.
“ Amidst this willingness to be pleased, and labour to please, I had quickly reason to imagine that some painful sentiment pressed upon his mind. He often looked up earnestly towards the sun, and let his voice fall in the midst of his discourse. He would sometimes when we were alone, gaze upon me in silence with the air of a man who longed to speak what he was yet resolved to suppress. He would often send for me with vehement injunctions of hase, though, when I came to him, he had nothing extraordinary to say. And sometimes, when I was leaving him, would call me back, pause a few moments, and then dismiss me.
THE ASTRONOMER DISCOVERS THE CAUSE
AT laid the time came when the secret burst his
referve. We were fitting together last night in the turret of his houfe, watching the emersion of a satellite of Jupiter. A sudden tempest clouded the íky, and ditappointed our obfervation. We sat a while lilent in the dark, and then he addressed him. self to me in these words: “ Imlac, I have long considered thy friendship as the greatest blesing of my life. Integrity without knowledge is weak and
useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. I have found in thee all the qualities requisite for trust, benevolence, experience, and fortitude. I have long discharged an office which I must foon quit at the call of nature, and shall rejoice in the hour of imbecility and pain to devolve it upon thee.”
“ I thought myself honoured by this testimony, and protested, that whatever could conduce to his happiness would add likewise to mine.”
“ Hear Imlac, what thou wilt not without difficulcy credit. I have poffefsed for five years the regulation of weather, and the distribution of the seafons: the sun has listened to my dictates, and passed from tropick to tropick by my direction; the clouds, at my call, have poured their waters, and the Nile has overflowed at my command; I have restrained the rage of the dog-star, and mitigated the fervours of the crab. The winds alone, of all the elemental powers, have hitherto refused my authority, and multitudes have perished by equinoctial tempests, which I found myself unable to prohibit or restrain. I have administered this great office with exact justice, and made to the different nations of the earth an impartial dividend of rain and sunshine. What must have been the misery of half the globe, if I had limited the clouds to particular regions, or confined the sun to either side of the equator ?”
CH A P.
THE OPINION OF THE ASTRONOMER IS EXPLAINED
15 SUPPOSE he discovered in me, through the 1
obscurity of the room, fome tokens of amazement and doubt, for, after a short pause, he proceeded thus:
“ Not to be easily credited will neither surprise nor offend me; for I ain, probably, the first of human beings to whom this trust has been imparted. Nor do I know whether to deem this distinction a reward or punishment; since I have poffessed it I have been far leis happy than before, and nothing but the consciousness of good intention could have enabled me to support the weariness of unremitted via gilance."
“ How long, Sir, said I, has this great office been in your hands ?”
“ About ten years ago, said he, my daily obfervations of the changes of the sky led me to confler, wether, if I had the power of the seasons, I could confer greater plenty upon the inhabitants of the eart. Thus contenplation fastened on my mind, and I hit days and nigles in imaginary dominion, pouring upon this country and that the powers of fertility, and seconding every fall of rain with a due proportion of sunshine. I had yet only the will to do good, and did not imagine that I fould ever have
“One day, as I was looking on the fields withering with head, I felt in my mind a sudden with that