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XIV.

RASSELAS AND IMLAC RECEIVE AN UNEXPECTED VISIT,

HEY had now wrought their way to the mid

dle, and solaced their toil with the approach of liberty, when the prince, coming down to refresh himself with air, found his sister Nekayah standing before the mouth of the cavity. He started and stood confused, afraid to tell his design, and yet hopeless to conceal it. A few moments de. termined him to repose on her fidelity, and secure her secrecy by a declaration without reserve.

« Do not imagine, said the princess, that I came hither as a spy: I had long observed from my window, that you and imlac directed your walk every day towards the same point, but I did not suppose you had any better reason for the preference than a cooler fade, or more fragrant bank; nor followed you with any other design than to partake of your conversation. Since then not fufpicion but fondness }lus detected you, let me not lose the advantage of iny discovery. I am equally weary of confinement with youries, and not less desirous of knowing what is done or suffered in the world. Permit me to fly with you rom this tasteleis tranquillity, which will yer grow more loathsome when you have left me. You may deny me to accompany you, but cannot hinder me from following.”

The prince, who loved Nekayah above his other fifters, had no inclination to refuse her request, and

grieved grieved that he had lost an opportunity of thewing his confidence by a voluntary communication. It was therefore agreed that she should leave the valley with them; and that, in the mean time, she should watch, left any other straggler fhould, by chance or curiosity, follow them to the mountain.

At length their labour was at an end; they saw light beyond the prominence, and, issuing to the top of the mountain, beheld the Nile, yet a narrow current, wandering beneath them.

The prince looked round with rapture, anticipated all the pleasures of travel, and in thought was already transported beyond his father's dominions. Imlac, though very joyful at his escape, had less expectation of pleasure in the world, which he had before tried, and of which he had been weary.

Raffelas was so much delighted with a wider horizon, that he could not soon be persuaded to return into the valley. He informed his sister that the way was open, and that nothing now remained but to prepare for their departure.

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THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS LEAVE THE VALLEY,

AND SEE MANY WONDERS.

The prince and princess had jewels fufficient to

make them rich whenever they came into a place of commerce, which, by Imlac's direction, they hid in their clothes, and, on the night of the next full moon, all left the valley. The princefs was followed only by a single favourite, who did not know whither she was going.

followed

They clambered through the cavity, and began to go down on the other side. The princess and her maid turned their eyes towards every part, and, seeing nothing to bound their prospect, considered themselves as in danger of being loft in a dreary vacuity. They stopped and trembled.

“ I am almost afraid, said the princess, to begin a journey of which I cannot perceive an end, and to venture into this immense plain, where I

may

be

approached on every side by men whom I never saw.” The prince felt nearly the same emotions, though he thought it more manly to conceal them.

Imlac finiled at their terrours, and encouraged them to proceed; but the princess continued irresolute till she had been imperceptibly drawn for ward too far to return.

In the morning they found some shepherds in the field, who set milk and fruits before them. The princess wondered that he did not see a palace ready for her reception, and a table spread with delicacies; but, being faint and hungry, me drank the milk and eat the fruits, and thought them of a higher flavour than the products of the valley.

They travelled forward by easy journies, being all unaccustomed to toil or difficulty, and knowing, that though they might be mified, they could not be pursued. In a few days they came into a more populous region, where Imlac was diverted with the adıniration which his companions expressed ac the diversity of manners, ftations, and employments.

Their dress was such as might not bring upon then the suspicion of having any thing to conceal, yet the prince, wherever he came, expected to be obeyed, and the princess was frighted, because those that came into her presence did not prostrate themselves before her. Imlac was forced to observe then with great vigilance, lest they should betray their rank by their unusual behaviour, and detained them several weeks in the first village, to accustom them to the fight of common mortals.

By degrees the royal wanderers were taught to understand that they had for a time laid aside their dignity, and were to expect only such regard as liberality and courtesy could procure. And Imlac, having, by many admonitions, prepared them to endure the tumults of a port, and the ruggedness of the commercial race, brought them down to the fea-coast.

The prince and his sister, to whom every thing was new, were gratified equally at all places, and therefore remained for some months at the

port without any inclination to pass further. Imlac was content with their stay, because he did not think it safe to expose them, unpractised in the world, to the hazards of a foreign country.

At last he began to fear left they should be difcovered, and proposed to fix a day for their departure. They had no pretensions to judge for themselves, and referred the whole scheme to his direction. He therefore took paffage in a ship to Suez; and, when the time came, with great difficulty prevailed on the princess to enter the vessel. They had a quick and prosperous voyage, and from Suez travelled by land to Cairo.

CHAP. XVI.

THEY ENTER CAIRO, AND FIND EVERY MAN HAPPY .

S they approached the city, which filled the

Alrangers with astonishment, “ This, said Imlac to the prince, is the place where travellers and merchants assemble from all the corners of the earth. You will here find men of every character, and every occupation. Commerce is here honourable : I will act as a merchant, and you shall live as strangers, who have no other end of travel than curiosity; it will soon be observed that we are rich ; our reputation will procure us access to all whom we shall desire to know; you will see all the conditions of humanity, and enable yourself at leisure to make your choice of life.

They now entered the town, stunned by the noise, and offended by the crowds. Instruction had not yet so prevailed over habit, but that they wondered to lie themselves pais undistinguished along the street, and met by the lowest of the people without reverence or notice. The princess could not at first bear the thought of being levelled with the vulgar, and, for so.ne days, continued in her chamber, where she was served by her favourite Pekuah as in the palace of the valley.

Imlac, who understood traffick, fold part of the jewels the next day, and hired a house, which he adorned with such magnificence, that he was immediately considered as a merchant of great wealth. His politeness attracted many acquaintance, and his generosity made him courted by many dependants.

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