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but the natural effect of unlawful government, perturbation and confusion; that the betrays the fortreffes of the intellect to rebels, and excites her children to fedition againit reason their lawful sovereign. He compareu reason to the sun, of which the light is constant, uniform, and lasting; and fancy to a meteor, of bright but transitory lustre, irregular in its motion, and delusive in its dircction.
He then communicated the various precepts given from time to time for the conquest of passion, and displayed the hippiness 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 niore einaciated by envy, inflamed by anger, emafculated by tenderness, or depressed by grief; but walks on calmly through the tumults or privacies of life, as the sun persues alike his course through the calin or the formy sky.
He enumerated many examples of heroes immovable by pain or pleature, who looked with indifference on those modes or accidents to which the vulgar give tlie names of good and evil. He exhorte. I his h' arers to lay aside their prejudices, and arm themselves againt the shafts of malice or milfortune, by invulnerable patience; concluding, that this pite only was happiness, and that this happiness was in every one's power.
Raielas listened to him with the veneration due to the instructions of a superiour being, and, waiting for hin at the door, humbly implored the liberty of virg so great a matter of true wisdom. The laurer hcítated a moment, when Raffelas put a
purse purse of gold into his hand, which he received with a mixture of joy and wonder.
“ I have found, said the prince, at his return to Imlac, a man who can teach all that is necessary to be known, who, from the unshaken throne of rational fortitude, looks down on the scenes of life changing beneath him. He speaks, and attention watches his lips. He reasons, and conviction closes his periods. This man shall be my future guide: I will learn his doctrines, and imitate his life.”
“ Be not too hasty, said Imlac, to trust, or to admire, the teachers of morality: they discourse like angels, but they live like men.”
Rasselas, who could not conceive how any man could reason so forcibly without feeling the cogency of his own arguments, paid his visit in a few days, and was denied admission. He had now learned the of money, and made his way by a piece of gold to the inner apartment, where he found the philosopher in a room half darkened, with his eyes misty, and his face pale. “ Sir, said he, you are come at a time when all human friendship is useless; what I suffer cannot be remedied, what I have lost cannot be supplied. My daughter, my only daughter, from whose tenderness I expected all the comforts of my age, died last night of a fever. My views, my purposes, my hopes are at an end: I am now a lonely being disunited from . society.”
“ Sir, said the prince, mortality is an event by which a wise man can never be surprised: we know that death is always near, and it should therefore always be expected.” Young man, answered
the philosopher, you speak like one that has never felt the pangs of separation.”
“ Have you then forgot the precepts, faid Rasselas, which you so powerfully enforced? Has wildom no strength to arm the heart against calamity? Consider, that external things are naturally variable, but truth and reason are always the same.”
" What comfort, faid the mourner, can truth and reason afford me? of what effect are they now, but to tell me, that my daughter will not be restored ?”
The prince, whose humanity would not suffer him to insult misery with reproof, went away convinced of the emptiness of thetorical sound, and the inefficacy of polilled periods and studied sentences.
A GLIMPSE OF PASTORAL LIFE.
E was still eager upon the same enquiry; and
having heard of a hermit, that lived near the lowest cataract of the Nile, and filled the whole country with the fame of his sanctity, resolved to visit his retreat, and enquire whether that felicity, which publick life could not afford, was to be found in folitude; and whether a man, whose age and virtue made him venerable, could teach any peculiar art of fhunning evils, or enduring them ?
Imlac and the princess agreed to accompany him, and, after the necessary preparations, they began their journey. Their way lay through the fields, where shepherds tended their flocks, and the lambs were playing upon the pasture. " This, said the poet, is the life which has been often celebrated for
its innocence and quiet; let us pass the heat of the day among the shepherds tents, and know whether all our searches are not to terminate in pastoral simplicity.”
The proposal pleased thein, and they induced the Thepherds, by Imall presents and familiar questions, to tell their opinion of their own state : they were so rude and ignorant, so little able to compare the good with the evil of the occupation, and so indiftinct in their narratives and descriptions, that very little could be learned from them. But it was evident that their hearts were cankered with discontent; that they considered themselves as condemned to labour for the luxury of the rich, and looked
up malevolence toward those that were placed above them.
The princess pronounced with vehemence, that she would never suffer these envious savages to be her companions, and that she should not soon be desirous of seeing any more specimens of rustick happiness; but could not believe that all the accounts of primeval pleasures were fabulous, and was yet in doubt, whether life had any thing that could be justly preferred to the placid gratifications of fields and woods. She hoped that the time would come, when, with a few virtuous and elegant companions, she should gather flowers planted by her own hand, fondle the lambs of her own ewe, and listen, without care, among brooks and breezes, to one of her maidens reading in the Dade.
N the next day they continued their journey,
till the heat compelled them to look round for shelter. At a small distance they saw a thick wood, which they no sooner entered than they perceived that they were approaching the habitations of men. The Ihrubs were diligently cut away to open walks where the shades were darkest; the boughs of opposite trees were artifcially interwoven; seats of flowery turf were raised in vacant spaces, and a rivulet, that wantoned along the side of a winding path, had its banks sometimes opened into small basons, and its stream fometimes obstructed by little mounds of stone heaped together to increase its
They passed flowly through the wood, delighted with such unexpected accommodations, and entertained each other with conjecturing what, or who, he could be, that, in those rude and unfrequented regions, had leisure and art for such harmless luxury.
As they advanced they heard the sound of mufick, and saw youths and virgins dancing in the grove; and, going still further, beheld a stately palace built upon a hill surrounded with woods. The laws of eastern hospitality allowed them to enter, and the master welcomed them like a man liberal and wealthy.
He was skilful enough in appearances soon to discern that they were no common guests, and spread