The prince of Abissinia [by S. Johnson].

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Page 13 - 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 sit in seeming happiness on the branches, and waste their lives in tuning one unvaried series of sounds.
Page 68 - The business of a poet," said Imlac, "is to examine not the individual but the species, to remark general properties and large appearances; he does not number the streaks of the tulip or describe the different shades in the verdure of the forest.
Page 42 - But what would be the security of the good if the bad could at pleasure invade them from the sky? Against an army sailing through the clouds, neither walls nor mountains nor seas could afford any security. A flight of northern savages might hover in the wind and light at once with irresistible violence upon the capital of a fruitful region that was rolling under them.
Page 69 - 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 15 - 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...
Page 4 - The sides of the mountains were covered with trees; the banks of the brooks were diversified with flowers; every blast shook spices from the rocks and every month dropped fruits upon the ground.
Page 52 - Inconsistencies," answered Imlac, "cannot both be right, but imputed to man they may both be true.
Page 66 - 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. I observed with equal care the crags of the rock and the pinnacles of the palace. Sometimes I wandered along the mazes of the rivulet, and sometimes watched the changes of the summer clouds.
Page 139 - To live according to nature, is to act always with due regard to the fitness arising from the relations and qualities of causes and effects ; to concur with the great and unchangeable scheme of universal felicity ; to co-operate with the general disposition and tendency of the present system of things.
Page 190 - This opinion, which, perhaps, prevails as far as human nature is diffused, could become universal only by its truth: those that never heard of one another would not have agreed in a tale which nothing but experience can make credible. That it is doubted by single cavillers can very little weaken the general evidence, and some who deny it with their tongues, confess it by their fears.

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