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Review: Rasselas, Prince of AbyssiniaUser Review - Shelby - Goodreads
I've read too many books in the past month that were not great. I've sped through them, because if I didn't, I wouldn't have finished them. I began reading this book in that mindset, thinking I would ... Read full review
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Abissinia afford afraid amuse answered Imlac Arab astronomer attention BANBURY Bassa began Cairo CHAP choice companions conceal considered continued conversation curiosity danger delight desire discovered dreadful easily endeavoured enjoy entered envy escape evil expected eyes fancy father favour favourite fear felicity folly happy valley hear heard hermit hope hope and fear hour human imagination inhabitants inQuiry Iong knowledge kuah labour lady lence less live lmlac looked maids mankind marriage mind misery mountains nations nature Nekayah ness never Nile observed once opinion palace passed passions Pekuah Persia pleased pleasure poet prince PRINCE of ABISSINIA princess pyramid Rasselas reason red sea resolved rest retired retreat returned rich sage scrupulosity shewed solitude sometimes soon sorrow sound of music suffer supposed tain things thou thought tion travelled turbed virtue weary wisdom wonder youth
Page 115 - In time, some particular train of ideas fixes the attention, all other intellectual gratifications are rejected; the mind, in weariness or leisure, recurs constantly to the favourite conception, and feasts on the luscious falsehood, whenever she is offended with the bitterness of truth. By degrees the reign of fancy is confirmed; she grows first imperious, and in time despotic. Then fictions begin to operate as realities, false opinions fasten upon the mind, and life passes in dreams of rapture or...
Page 28 - Being now resolved to be a poet, I saw every thing with a new purpose ; my sphere of attention was suddenly magnified : no kind of knowledge was to be overlooked. I ranged mountains and deserts for images and resemblances, and pictured upon my mind every tree of the forest and flower of the valley.
Page 29 - But the knowledge of nature is only half the task of a poet; he must be acquainted likewise with all the modes of life. His character requires that he estimate the happiness and misery of every condition ; observe the power of all the passions in all their combinations, and trace the changes of the human mind as they are modified by various institutions and accidental influences of climate or custom, from the sprightliness of infancy to the despondence of decrepitude.
Page 94 - ... remain uninjured, nature will find the means of reparation. Distance has the same effect on the mind as on the eye, and while we glide along the stream of time, whatever we leave behind us is always lessening, and that which we approach increasing in magnitude. Do not suffer life to stagnate ; it will grow muddy for want of motion : commit yourself again to the current of the world ; Pekuah will vanish by degrees; you will meet in your way some other favourite, or learn to diffuse yourself in...
Page 115 - The mind dances from scene to scene, unites all pleasures in all combinations, and riots in delights which nature and fortune, with all their bounty, cannot bestow.
Page 29 - He must divest himself of the prejudices of his age or country ; he must consider right and wrong in their abstracted and invariable state ; he must disregard present laws and opinions, and rise to general and transcendental truths, which will always be the same...
Page 7 - 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.
Page 86 - I consider this mighty structure as a monument of the insufficiency of human enjoyments. A king, whose power is unlimited, and whose treasures surmount all real and imaginary wants, is compelled to solace, by the erection of a pyramid, the satiety of dominion and tastelessness of pleasures, and to amuse the tediousness of declining life, by seeing thousands labouring without end, and one stone, for no purpose, laid upon another.
Page 27 - And yet it fills me with wonder, that, in almost all countries, the most ancient poets are considered as the best: whether it be that every other kind of knowledge is an acquisition gradually attained, and poetry is a gift conferred at once; or that the first poetry of every nation surprised them as a novelty, and retained the credit by consent, which it received by accident at first; or whether, as the province of poetry is to describe Nature and Passion, which are always the same...