of those for whom they were designed. The roofs were turned into arches of massy stone joined by a cement that grew harder by time, and the building stood from century to century deriding the fulftitial rains and equinoctial hurricanes, without need of reparation.

This house, which was so large as to be fully known to none but fome ancient officers who fuc. cessively inherited the secrets of the place, was built as if fufpicion herself had dictated the plan. To every room there was an open and secret pasage, every square had a communication with the rest, either from the upper stories by private galleries, or by subterranean pailages from the lower apart

Many of the columns had unsuspected cavities, in which a long race of monarchs had reposited their treasures. They then closed up the opening with marble, which was never to be removed but in the utmot exigencies of the kingdom; and recorded their accumulations in a book which was ittelf concealed in a tower not entered but by the emperour, attended by the prince who flood next in fucceflion.





ERE the funs and daughters of a bilinia lived

only to know the fuít vicillitudes of pleasure and repose, attended by all that were filiul to delight, and gratitied with whatever the feries can

enjoy. enjoy. They wandered in gardens of fragrance, and Nept in the fortresses of security. Every art was practised to make them pleased with their own condition. The sages who instructed them, told them of nothing but the miseries of publick life, and described all beyond the mountains as regions of calamity, where discord was always raging, and where man preyed upon man.

To heighten their opinion of their own felicity, they were daily entertained with songs, the subject of which was the happy valley. Their appetites were excited by frequent enumerations of different enjoyments, and revelry and merriment was the business of every hour from the dawn of morning to the close of even.

These methods were generally successful; few of the princes had ever wished to enlarge their bounds, but passed their lives in full conviction that they had all within their reach that art or nature could bestow, and pitied those whom fate had excluded from this feat of tranquillity, as the sport of chance and the llaves of misery.

Thus they role in the morning and lay down at night, pleased with each other and with themselves, all but Rasselas, who in the twenty-sixth year of his age began to withdraw himself from their pastimes and assemblies, and to delight in folitary walks and silent meditation. He often sat before tables covered with luxury, and forgot to taste the dainties that were placed before him: he rose abruptly in the midst of the song, and hastily retired beyond the sound of musick. His attendants observed the change, and endeavoured to renew his

B 3


love of pleasure: he neglected their officiousness, repulsed their invitations, and spent day after day on the banks of rivulets sheltered with trees, where he fometimes listened to the birds in the branches, sometimes observed the fish playing in the stream, and anon cast his eyes upon the pastures and mountains filled with animals, of which some were biting the herbage, and some sleeping among the bushes.

This singularity of his hurnour made him much observed. One of the Sages, in whole conversation he had formerly delighted, followed him secretly, in hope of discovering the cause of his disquiet. Raifelas, who knew not that any one was near him, having for some time fixed his eyes upon the goats that were brousing among the rocks, began to compare their condition with his own.

“ What," said he, « makes the difference between man and all the rest of the animal creation ? Every beast that strays beside me has the fame corpcial necessities with myself; he is hungry and crops the grass, he is thirsty and drinks the stream, bis thirit and hunger arc appeased, he is satisfied and fleeps; he rises again and is hungry, he is again fed and is at rest. I am hungry and thirfly like him, but when thirst and hunger cease I am not at rest; I a:n, like him, pained with want, but am not, like him, satisfied with fulness. The intermediate hours are tedious and gloomy; I long again to be hungry that I may again quicken my attention. The birds peck the berries or the corn, and fly away to the groves where they fit in seem. ing happiness on the branches, and waste their lives


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in tuning cne unvaried series of sounds. I likewise can call the lutanist and the finger, but the sounds that pleased me yesterday weary me to-day, and will grow yet more wearisome to.morrow. I can difcover within me no power of perception which is not glutted with its proper pleasure, yet I do not feel myself delighted. Man surely has some latent sense for which this place affords no gratification, or he has some desires distinct from fenfe which must be satisfied before he can be happy.”

After this he lifted up his head, and seeing the moon rising, walked towards the palace. As he passed through the fields, and saw the animals around him, “ Ye, said he, are happy, and need not envy me that walk thus among you, burdened with myself; nor do I, ye gentle beings, envy your felicity ; for it is not the felicity of man. 1 have many distresses from which ye are free; I fear pain when I do not feel it; I sometimes shrink at evils recollected, and sometimes start at evils anticipated : surely the equity of providence has bàlanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.”

With observations like these the prince amused himself as he returned, uttering them with a plaintive voice, yet with a look that discovered him to feel some complacence in his own perspicacity, and to receive some solace of the miseries of life, from consciousness of the delicacy with which he felt, and the eloquence with which he bewailed them. He mingled cheerfully in the diversions of the evening, and all rejoiced to find that his heart was lightened.

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N the next day his old instructor, imagining

that he had now made himself acquainted with his disease of mind, was in hope of curing it by counsel, and oificiously fought an opportunity of conference, which the prince, having long considered him as one whose intellects were exhausted, was not very willing to afford: “ Why, said he, does this man thus intrude upon me; shall I be never suffered to forget those lectures which pleased only while they were new, and to become new again must be forgotten?” He then walked into the wood, and composed himself to his usual meditations; when before his thoughts had taken any settled form, he perceived his pursuer at his side, and was at first prompted by his impatience to go hastily away; but, being unwilling to ofend a man whom he had once reverenced and still loved, he invited him to sit down with him on the bank.

The old man thus encouraged, began to lament the change which had been lately observed in the prince, and to enquire why he so often retired from the pleasures of the palace, to loneliness and silence. “ I fly from pleasure, fuid the prince, because pleasure has ceased to please; I am lonely because I am miserable, and am unwilling to cloud with my presence the happiness of others.” “ You, Sir, said the fage, are the first who has complained of misery in the happy valley. I hope to convince you that your complaints have no real cause. You


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