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tuted, that, as we approach one, we recede from another. There are goods so opposed that we cannot seize both, but, by too much prudence, may pass between them at too great a distance to reach either. This is often the fate of long consideration ; he does nothing who endeavours to do more than is allowed to humanity. Flatter not yourself with contrarieties of pleasure. Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content. No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the fowers of the spring: no man can, at the same time, fill his cup from the source and from the mouth of the Nile.”
CHA P. XXXIX.
LILAC EVTERS, AND CHANGES THE CONVERSATION.
HERE Inl.c entered, and interrupted them.
“ Imlac, said Raffelas, I have been taking from the princefs the dismal history of private life, and am aimcst discouraged from further search.”
« It feems to me, said Imlac, that while you are making the choice of life, you neglect to live. You wander about a single city, which, however large and diverfified, can now afford few novelties, and forget that you are in a country, fainous among the earliest monarchies for the power and wisdom of its inhabitants; a country where the sciences first dawned that illuninate the world, and beyond which the arts cannot be traced of civil society or domestick life.
as The old Egyptians have left behind them monuments of industry and power, before which all
European European magnificence is confessed to fade away. The ruins of their architecture are the schools of modern builders, and from the wonders which time has ipared we may conjecture, though uncertainly, what it has destroyed.”
“ My curiosity, said Rasselas, does not very strongly lead me to survey.piles of stone, or mounds of earth; my business is with man. I came hither not to measure fragments of temples, or trace choaked aqueducts, but to look upon the various scenes of the present world.”
“ The things that are now before us, said the princess, require attention, and deserve it. What have I to do with the heroes or the monuments of ancient times with times which never can return, and heroes, whose form of life was different from all that the present condition of mankind requires or allows ?”
“ To know any thing, returned the poet, we must know its effects; to fee men we must see their works, that we may learn what reason has dictated, or passion has incited, and find what are the moft powerful motives of action. To judge rightly of the present we must oppose it to the past; for all judgment is comparative, and of the future nothing can be known. The truth is, that no mind is much employed upon the present : recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments, Our paflions are joy and grief, love and hatred, hope and fear. Of joy and grief the past is the object, and the future of hope and fear; even love and hatred respect the past, for the cause must have been before the effect,
« The present state of things is the consequence of the former, and it is natural to inquire what were the sources of the good that we enjoy, or the evil that we suffer. If we act only for ourselves, to neglect the study of history is not prudent: if we are intrusted with the care of others, it is not just. Ignorance, when it is voluntary, is criminal; and he may properly be charged with evil who refused to learn how he might prevent it.
“ There is no part of history so generally useful as that which relates the progress of the human mind, the gradual improvement of reason, the successive advances of science, the vicissitudes of learning and ignorance which are the light and darkness of think. ing beings, the extinction and resuscitation of arts, and the revolutions of the intellectual world. If accounts of battles and invasions are peculiarly the business of princes, the useful or elegant arts are not to be neglected; thofe who have kingdoms to govern, have understandings to cultivate.
“Example is always more efficacious than precept. A foldier is forined in war, and a painter must copy pictures. In this, contemplative life has the ads vantage: great actions are feldom seen, but the latours of art are always at hand for those who defire to know what art has been able to perform.
“ When the eye or the imagination is struck with any uncommon work, the next tranfilion of an aülive mind is to the nicans by which it was perforned. Here begins the true use of such contemsition; we enlarge our comprehension by new itieus, and perhaps recover fome art loft to manhind, or learn what is less períectly known in our
own country. At least we compare our own with former times, and either rejoice at our improvements, or, what is the first motion towards good, discover our defects.”
“I am willing, said the prince, to see all that can deserve my search.” “And I, said the princess, shall rejoice to learn something of the manners of antiquity."
“ The most pompous monument of Egyptian greatness, and one of the most bulky works of manual industry, said Imlac, are the Pyramids; fabricks raised before the time of history, and of which the earliest narratives afford us only uncertain traditions. Of these the greatest is still standing very little injured by time.
“ Let us visit them to-morrow, said Nekayah. I have often heard of the Pyramids, and shall noç reft, till I have seen them within and without with my own eyes."
CHA P. xxx.
THEY VISIT THE PYRAMIDS.
The resolution being thus taken, they set out
the next day. They laid tents upon their camels, being resolved to stay among the Pyramids till their curiosity was fully fatisfied. They travelled gent.y, turned aside to every thing remarkable, stopped from time to time and conversed with the inhabitants, and observed the various appearances of towns ruined and inhabited, of wild and cul. tivated nature.
When they came to the great pyramid, they were astonished at the extent of the bale, and the height of the top. Imlac explained to them the principles upon which the pyra!nidal form was chosen for a fabrick intended to co-extend its duration with that of the world: hc thewed that its gradual diminution gave it such stability, as defeated all the common attacks of the elements, and could scarcely be overthrown by earthquakes themselves, the least resistible of natural violence. A concussion that fhould Shatter the pyramid would threaten the disolution of the continent.
They mcasured all its dimensions, and pitched their tenis at its foot. Next day they prepared to enter its interior apartments, and having hired the common guides climbed up to the first pairage, when the favourite of the princess, looking into the cavity, Herped back and treinbled. Pekuah, said the princeis, of what art thou afraid?”
« Of the narrow entrance, enlivered the lady, and of the dreadful sloom. I case not enter a place which must surely be inhabited by unquiet louis. The original posfeitors of the dreadful vaults will start up before 11:', and perhaps lliut us in for ever.” She spoke, and threw her arms round the neck of her mistress.
“If all your fear be of apparitions, said the prince, I will proinise you tafety: there is no danger from the dwell; he that is once buried will be seen 10 more.”
" That tie dood are fcen no more, said Imlac, I will not undertake to maintain, against the concurrent and unvaried teitimony of all ages, and of all nations. There is no people, rude or learned,