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rasselas, prince of abyssinia-及21嫗

弌傍 rasselas, prince of abyssinia 忖方 耽匈4000忖

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;His women察who considered me as a rival察looked on me with  malignity察but being soon informed that I was a great lady detained  only for my ransom察they began to vie with each other in  obsequiousness and reverence。
;Being again comforted with new assurances of speedy liberty察I was  for some days diverted from impatience by the novelty of the place。   The turrets overlooked the country to a great distance察and  afforded a view of many windings of the stream。  In the day I  wandered from one place to another察as the course of the sun varied  the splendour of the prospect察and saw many things which I had  never seen before。  The crocodiles and river´horses are common in  this unpeopled region察and I often looked upon them with terror察 though I knew they could not hurt me。  For some time I expected to  see mermaids and tritons察which察as Imlac has told me察the European  travellers have stationed in the Nile察but no such beings ever  appeared察and the Arab察when I inquired after them察laughed at my  credulity。
;At night the Arab always attended me to a tower set apart for  celestial observations察where he endeavoured to teach me the names  and courses of the stars。  I had no great inclination to this  study察but an appearance of attention was necessary to please my  instructor察who valued himself for his skill察and in a little while  I found some employment requisite to beguile the tediousness of  time察which was to be passed always amidst the same objects。  I was  weary of looking in the morning on things from which I had turned  away weary in the evening此 I therefore was at last willing to  observe the stars rather than do nothing察but could not always  compose my thoughts察and was very often thinking on Nekayah when  others imagined me contemplating the sky。  Soon after察the Arab  went upon another expedition察and then my only pleasure was to talk  with my maids about the accident by which we were carried away察and  the happiness we should all enjoy at the end of our captivity。;
;There were women in your Arab's fortress察─said the Princess察 why  did you not make them your companions察enjoy their conversation察 and partake their diversions拭 In a place where they found business  or amusement察why should you alone sit corroded with idle  melancholy拭or why could not you bear for a few months that  condition to which they were condemned for life拭
;The diversions of the women察─answered Pekuah察 were only childish  play察by which the mind accustomed to stronger operations could not  be kept busy。  I could do all which they delighted in doing by  powers merely sensitive察while my intellectual faculties were flown  to Cairo。  They ran from room to room察as a bird hops from wire to  wire in his cage。  They danced for the sake of motion察as lambs  frisk in a meadow。  One sometimes pretended to be hurt that the  rest might be alarmed察or hid herself that another might seek her。   Part of their time passed in watching the progress of light bodies  that floated on the river察and part in marking the various forms  into which clouds broke in the sky。
;Their business was only needlework察in which I and my maids  sometimes helped them察but you know that the mind will easily  straggle from the fingers察nor will you suspect that captivity and  absence from Nekayah could receive solace from silken flowers。
;Nor was much satisfaction to be hoped from their conversation此  for of what could they be expected to talk拭 They had seen nothing察 for they had lived from early youth in that narrow spot此 of what  they had not seen they could have no knowledge察for they could not  read。  They had no idea but of the few things that were within  their view察and had hardly names for anything but their clothes and  their food。  As I bore a superior character察I was often called to  terminate their quarrels察which I decided as equitably as I could。   If it could have amused me to hear the complaints of each against  the rest察I might have been often detained by long stories察but the  motives of their animosity were so small that I could not listen  without interrupting the tale。;
;How察─said Rasselas察 can the Arab察whom you represented as a man  of more than common accomplishments察take any pleasure in his  seraglio察when it is filled only with women like these拭 Are they  exquisitely beautiful拭
;They do not察─said Pekuah察 want that unaffecting and ignoble  beauty which may subsist without sprightliness or sublimity察 without energy of thought or dignity of virtue。  But to a man like  the Arab such beauty was only a flower casually plucked and  carelessly thrown away。  Whatever pleasures he might find among  them察they were not those of friendship or society。  When they were  playing about him he looked on them with inattentive superiority察 when they vied for his regard he sometimes turned away disgusted。   As they had no knowledge察their talk could take nothing from the  tediousness of life察as they had no choice察their fondness察or  appearance of fondness察excited in him neither pride nor gratitude。   He was not exalted in his own esteem by the smiles of a woman who  saw no other man察nor was much obliged by that regard of which he  could never know the sincerity察and which he might often perceive  to be exerted not so much to delight him as to pain a rival。  That  which he gave察and they received察as love察was only a careless  distribution of superfluous time察such love as man can bestow upon  that which he despises察such as has neither hope nor fear察neither  joy nor sorrow。;
;You have reason察lady察to think yourself happy察─said Imlac察 that  you have been thus easily dismissed。  How could a mind察hungry for  knowledge察be willing察in an intellectual famine察to lose such a  banquet as Pekuah's conversation拭
;I am inclined to believe察─answered Pekuah察 that he was for some  time in suspense察for察notwithstanding his promise察whenever I  proposed to despatch a messenger to Cairo he found some excuse for  delay。  While I was detained in his house he made many incursions  into the neighbouring countries察and perhaps he would have refused  to discharge me had his plunder been equal to his wishes。  He  returned always courteous察related his adventures察delighted to  hear my observations察and endeavoured to advance my acquaintance  with the stars。  When I importuned him to send away my letters察he  soothed me with professions of honour and sincerity察and when I  could be no longer decently denied察put his troop again in motion察 and left me to govern in his absence。  I was much afflicted by this  studied procrastination察and was sometimes afraid that I should be  forgotten察that you would leave Cairo察and I must end my days in an  island of the Nile。
;I grew at last hopeless and dejected察and cared so little to  entertain him察that he for a while more frequently talked with my  maids。  That he should fall in love with them or with me察might  have been equally fatal察and I was not much pleased with the  growing friendship。  My anxiety was not long察for察as I recovered  some degree of cheerfulness察he returned to me察and I could not  forbear to despise my former uneasiness。
;He still delayed to send for my ransom察and would perhaps never  have determined had not your agent found his way to him。  The gold察 which he would not fetch察he could not reject when it was offered。   He hastened to prepare for our journey hither察like a man delivered  from the pain of an intestine conflict。  I took leave of my  companions in the house察who dismissed me with cold indifference。;
Nekayah having heard her favourite's relation察rose and embraced  her察and Rasselas gave her a hundred ounces of gold察which she  presented to the Arab for the fifty that were promised。

CHAPTER XL ´ THE HISTORY OF A MAN OF LEARNING。

THEY returned to Cairo察and were so well pleased at finding  themselves together that none of them went much abroad。  The Prince  began to love learning察and one day declared to Imlac that he  intended to devote himself to science and pass the rest of his days  in literary solitude。
;Before you make your final choice察─answered Imlac察 you ought to  examine its hazards察and converse with some of those who are grown  old in the company of themselves

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