Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow, attend to the history of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia.
Rasselas was the fourth son of the mighty Emperor in whose dominions the father of waters begins his course whose bounty pours down the streams of plenty, and scatters over the world the harvests of Egypt.
According to the custom which has descended from age to age among the monarchs of the torrid zone, Rasselas was confined in a private palace, with the other sons and daughters of Abyssinian royalty, till the order of succession should call him to the throne.
The place which the wisdom or policy of antiquity had destined for the residence of the Abyssinian princes was a spacious valley in the kingdom of Amhara, surrounded on every side by mountains, of which the summits overhang the middle part.
|Publisher:||Robert Carter & Brothers|
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About the Author
Samuel Johnson was born in 1709 above his father's bookshop in Lichfield, England. He was a sickly child, scarred by smallpox, with facial and vocal tics, likely symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. But he proved a brilliant student, attending Oxford until a lack of funds forced his departure. (Numerous honorary degrees would later justify his famous sobriquet "Dr." Johnson.) At twenty-five he married Elizabeth "Tetty" Potter, a well-off widow twenty-one years his senior. She funded a school Johnson started, but lost much of her wealth when the school failed. Wracked by guilt, Johnson walked to London and, living virtually on the street, began writing reviews, essays and news for magazines, notably The Idler and The Rambler. In 1744, he published his masterpiece, Life Of Savage, an innovative warts-and-all biography of his friend, writer Richard Savage. Johnson would write several more "lives," culminating in his acclaimed three-volume Lives of The Poets. In 1746 a group of publishers asked Johnson to compile an authoritative English dictionary. He completed the massive undertaking in 1755, and A Dictionary of the English Language would set the standard for the next 150 years. Upon his death in 1784 he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Yet his fame only rose when, in 1791, his friend James Boswell published became the most famous "life" of them all: Life of Samuel Johnson.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A beautifully written book. Wonderful.