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hours, regretted his regret, and from that time bent his whole mind upon the means of escaping froin the valley of happiness.
CH A P. V.
THE PRINCE MEDITATES HIS ESCAFE.
HE now found that it would be very difficult
to effect that which it was very easy to suppofe effected. When he looked round about him, he saw himself confined by the bars of nature which had never yet been broken, and by the gate, through which none that once had paffid it were ever able
He was now impatient as an eagle in a grate. He passed week after week in clambering the mountains, to see if there was any aperture which the bushes might conceal, but found all the funmits inaccessible by their prominence. The iron gate he defpaired to open; for it was not only fecured with all the power of art, but was always watched by successive fentinels, and was by its pofition exposed to the perpetual observation of all the inhabitants.
Ile then examined the cavern through which the waters of the lake were discharged; and, looking down at a time when the sun shone strongly upon its mouth, he discovered it to be full of broken rocks, which, though they permitted the stream to flow through many narrow passages, would stop any body of solid bulk. He returned discouraged and dejected ; but, having now known the blessing of hope, resolved never to despair.
In these fruitless searches he spent ten months. The time, however, paffed cheerfully away: in the morning he rose with new hope, in the evening applauded his own diligence, and in the night slept found after his fatigue. He met a thousand amusements which beguiled his labour, and diversified his thoughts. He discerned the various instincts of animals, and properties of plants, and found the place replete with wonders, of which he purposed to solace himself with the contemplation, if he should never be able to accomplish his fight; rejoicing that his endeavours, though yet unsuccessful, had supplied him with a source of inexhaustible enquiry.
But his original curiosity was not yet abated; he resolved to obtain some knowledge of the ways of men. His with still continued, but his hope grew less. He ceased to survey any longer the walls of his prison, and spared to search by new toils for interstices which he knew could not be found, yet determined to keep his design always in view, and Jay hold on any expedient that time should offer.
C H A P. VÌ.
A DISSERTATION ON THE ART OF FLYING.
MONG the artists that had been allured into A
the happy valley, to labour for the accommodation and pleasure of its inhabitants, was a man eminent for his knowledge of the mechanick powers, who had contrived many engines both of use and recreation. By a wheel, which the stream turned, he forced the water into a tower, whence it was distributed to all the apartments of the palace. He erected a pavilion in the garden, around which he kept the air always cool by artificial showers. One of the groves, appropriated to the ladies, was ventilated by fans, to which the rivulet that run through it gave a constant motion; and inftruments of soft musick were placed at proper distances, of which some played by the impulse of the wind, and some by the power of the stream.
This artist was fometimes visited by Raitelas, who was pleased with every kind of knowledge, imagining that the time would come when all his acquisitions should be of ute to him in the open world. He came one day to amuse himself in his usual manner, and found the master busy in building a failing chariot: he saw that the design was practicable upon a level surface, and with expreflions of great efteem folicited its completion. The workman was pleased to find himself so much regarded by the prince, and resolved to gain yet higher honours.
Sir, said he, you have seen but a small part of what the mechanick sciences can perform. I have been long of opinion, that instead of the tardy conveyance of thips 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.”
This hint rekindled the prince's desire of passing the mountains; having seen what the mechanist had already performed, he was willing to fancy that he could do more; yet resolved to inquire further, before he suffered hope to afiliet him by disappoint“ 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." “ So, replied the mechanist, fishes have the water, in which yet beasts can swim by nature, and men by art. He that can swim needs not despair to fly: to swim is to Ay in a groffer fluid, and to fly is to swim in a subtler. We are only to proportion our power of resistance to the different density of matter through which we are to pass. You will be necessarily upborn by the air, if you can renew any impulse upon it, faster than the air can recede from the pressure.”
“ But the exercise of swimming, said the prince, is very laborious; the strongest limbs are foon wearied; I am afraid the act of Aying will be yet more violent, and wings will be of no great use, unless we can fly further than we can swim.”
« The labour of rising from the ground, said the artist, will be great, as we fee it in the heavier domestick fowls, but as we mount higher, the earth's attraction, and the body's gravity, will be gradually diminished, till we shall arrive at a region where the man will float in the air without any tendency to fall: no care will then be necessary but to move forwards, which the gentleft impulse will effect. You, Sir, whose curiosity is so extensive, will easily conceive with what pleasure a philofopher, furnished with wings, and hovering in the sky, would see the earth, and all its inhabitants, rolling beneath him, and presenting to him successively, by its diurnal motion, all the countries within the Vol. XI.
same parallel. How must it amuse the pendent spectator to see the moving scene of land and ocean, cities and deserts ! To survey with equal lecurity the marts of trade, and the fields of battle ; mountains infelied by barbarians, and fruitful regions gladdened by plenty, and lulled by peace! How easily mall we then trace the Nile through all his passage; pass over to distant regions, and examine the face of nature from one extremity of the earth to the other!”
“ All this, said the prince, is much to be desired; but I am afraid that no man will be able to breathe in these regions of speculation and tranquillity. I have been told, that respiration is difficult upon lofty mountains, yet from these precipices, though so high as to produce great tenuity of air, it is very easy to fall: therefore I suspect, that from any height, where life can be fupported, there may
be danger of too quick defeent."
Nothing, replied the artist, will ever be attempted, if all posible objections must be first Overconc. li you wiil favour ny project, I will try the first night at my own hazard.
I have conlidered the structure of all volant animals, and find the folding continuity of the bat’s wings mot easily accommodated to the human form. Upon this modul I shall begin my task to-norrow, and in a year expect to tower into the air beyond the malice and pursuit of man. But I will work only on this condition, that the art shall not be divulged, and that you thall not require me to make wings for any but ourselves.”