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CHAPTER XLIII ´ THE ASTRONOMER LEAVES IMLAC HIS DIRECTIONS。

;'HEAR察therefore察what I shall impart with attention察such as the  welfare of a world requires。  If the task of a king be considered  as difficult察who has the care only of a few millions察to whom he  cannot do much good or harm察what must be the anxiety of him on  whom depends the action of the elements and the great gifts of  light and heat拭 Hear me察therefore察with attention。
;'I have diligently considered the position of the earth and sun察 and formed innumerable schemes察in which I changed their situation。   I have sometimes turned aside the axis of the earth察and sometimes  varied the ecliptic of the sun察but I have found it impossible to  make a disposition by which the world may be advantaged察what one  region gains another loses by an imaginable alteration察even  without considering the distant parts of the solar system with  which we are acquainted。  Do not察therefore察in thy administration  of the year察indulge thy pride by innovation察do not please thyself  with thinking that thou canst make thyself renowned to all future  ages by disordering the seasons。  The memory of mischief is no  desirable fame。  Much less will it become thee to let kindness or  interest prevail。  Never rob other countries of rain to pour it on  thine own。  For us the Nile is sufficient。'
;I promised that when I possessed the power I would use it with  inflexible integrity察and he dismissed me察pressing my hand。  'My  heart' said he察'will be now at rest察and my benevolence will no  more destroy my quiet察I have found a man of wisdom and virtue察to  whom I can cheerfully bequeath the inheritance of the sun。';
The Prince heard this narration with very serious regard察but the  Princess smiled察and Pekuah convulsed herself with laughter。   ;Ladies察─said Imlac察 to mock the heaviest of human afflictions is  neither charitable nor wise。  Few can attain this man's knowledge  and few practise his virtues察but all may suffer his calamity。  Of  the uncertainties of our present state察the most dreadful and  alarming is the uncertain continuance of reason。;
The Princess was recollected察and the favourite was abashed。   Rasselas察more deeply affected察inquired of Imlac whether he  thought such maladies of the mind frequent察and how they were  contracted。

CHAPTER XLIV ´ THE DANGEROUS PREVALENCE OF IMAGINATION。

;DISORDERS of intellect察─answered Imlac察 happen much more often  than superficial observers will easily believe。  Perhaps if we  speak with rigorous exactness察no human mind is in its right state。   There is no man whose imagination does not sometimes predominate  over his reason who can regulate his attention wholly by his will察 and whose ideas will come and go at his command。  No man will be  found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannise察and  force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability。   All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity察but while  this power is such as we can control and repress it is not visible  to others察nor considered as any deprivation of the mental  faculties察it is not pronounced madness but when it becomes  ungovernable察and apparently influences speech or action。
;To indulge the power of fiction and send imagination out upon the  wing is often the sport of those who delight too much in silent  speculation。  When we are alone we are not always busy察the labour  of excogitation is too violent to last long察the ardour of inquiry  will sometimes give way to idleness or satiety。  He who has nothing  external that can divert him must find pleasure in his own  thoughts察and must conceive himself what he is not察for who is  pleased with what he is拭 He then expatiates in boundless futurity察 and culls from all imaginable conditions that which for the present  moment he should most desire察amuses his desires with impossible  enjoyments察and confers upon his pride unattainable dominion。  The  mind dances from scene to scene察unites all pleasures in all  combinations察and riots in delights which Nature and fortune察with  all their bounty察cannot bestow。
;In time some particular train of ideas fixes the attention察all  other intellectual gratifications are rejected察the mind察in  weariness or leisure察recurs constantly to the favourite  conception察and feasts on the luscious falsehood whenever she is  offended with the bitterness of truth。  By degrees the reign of  fancy is confirmed察she grows first imperious and in time despotic。   Then fictions begin to operate as realities察false opinions fasten  upon the mind察and life passes in dreams of rapture or of anguish。
;This察sir察is one of the dangers of solitude察which the hermit has  confessed not always to promote goodness察and the astronomer's  misery has proved to be not always propitious to wisdom。;
;I will no more察─said the favourite察 imagine myself the Queen of  Abyssinia。  I have often spent the hours which the Princess gave to  my own disposal in adjusting ceremonies and regulating the Court察I  have repressed the pride of the powerful and granted the petitions  of the poor察I have built new palaces in more happy situations察 planted groves upon the tops of mountains察and have exulted in the  beneficence of royalty察till察when the Princess entered察I had  almost forgotten to bow down before her。;
;And I察─said the Princess察 will not allow myself any more to play  the shepherdess in my waking dreams。  I have often soothed my  thoughts with the quiet and innocence of pastoral employments察till  I have in my chamber heard the winds whistle and the sheep bleat察 sometimes freed the lamb entangled in the thicket察and sometimes  with my crook encountered the wolf。  I have a dress like that of  the village maids察which I put on to help my imagination察and a  pipe on which I play softly察and suppose myself followed by my  flocks。;
;I will confess察─said the Prince察 an indulgence of fantastic  delight more dangerous than yours。  I have frequently endeavoured  to imagine the possibility of a perfect government察by which all  wrong should be restrained察all vice reformed察and all the subjects  preserved in tranquillity and innocence。  This thought produced  innumerable schemes of reformation察and dictated many useful  regulations and salutary effects。  This has been the sport and  sometimes the labour of my solitude察and I start when I think with  how little anguish I once supposed the death of my father and my  brothers。;
;Such察─said Imlac察 are the effects of visionary schemes。  When we  first form them察we know them to be absurd察but familiarise them by  degrees察and in time lose sight of their folly。;

CHAPTER XLV ´ THEY DISCOURSE WITH AN OLD MAN。

THE evening was now far past察and they rose to return home。  As  they walked along the banks of the Nile察delighted with the beams  of the moon quivering on the water察they saw at a small distance an  old man whom the Prince had often heard in the assembly of the  sages。  ;Yonder察─said he察 is one whose years have calmed his  passions察but not clouded his reason。  Let us close the  disquisitions of the night by inquiring what are his sentiments of  his own state察that we may know whether youth alone is to struggle  with vexation察and whether any better hope remains for the latter  part of life。;
Here the sage approached and saluted them。  They invited him to  join their walk察and prattled awhile as acquaintance that had  unexpectedly met one another。  The old man was cheerful and  talkative察and the way seemed short in his company。  He was pleased  to find himself not disregarded察accompanied them to their house察 and察at the Prince's request察entered with them。  They placed him  in the seat of honour察and set wine and conserves before him。
;Sir察─said the Princess察 an evening walk must give to a man of  learning like you pleasures which ignorance and youth can hardly  conceive。  You know the qualities and the causes of all that you  behold ´ the laws by which the river flows察the periods in which  the planets perform their revolutions。  Everything must supply you  with contemplation察and renew the consciousness of your own  dignity。;
;Lady察─answered he察 let the gay and the vigorous expect pleasure  

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