Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia

By Samuel Johnson | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER IX. THE HISTORY OF IMLAC CONTINUED.

"WHEN I first entered upon the world of waters, and lost sight of land, I looked round about me with pleasing terror, and, thinking my soul enlarged by the boundless prospect, imagined that I could gaze round forever without satiety; but, in a short time, I grew weary of looking on barren uniformity, where I could only see again what I had already seen. I then descended into the ship, and doubted for a while whether all my future pleasures would not end like this, in disgust and disappointwent. Yet, surely, said I, the ocean and the land are very different; the only variety of water is rest and motion, but the earth has mountains and valleys, deserts and cities; it is inhabited by men of different customs and contrary opinions; and I may hope to find variety in life, though I should miss it in nature.

"With this thought I quieted my mind, and amused myself during the voyage, sometimes by learning from the sailors the art of navigation, which I have never practised, and sometimes by forming schemes for my conduct in different situations, in not one of which I have ever been placed.

"I was almost weary of my naval amusements when we landed safely at Surat. I secured my money, and, purchasing some commodities for show, joined myself to a caravan that was passing into the inland country. My

-27-

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