THE HISTORY OF A MAN OF LEARNING.
THEY returned to Cairo, and were so well pleased at finding themselves together, that none of' them went much abroad. The prince began to love learning, 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," answered Imlac, "you ought to examine its hazards, and converse with those who are grown old in the company of themselves. I have just left the observatory of one of the most learned astronomers in the world, who has spent forty years in unwearied attention to the motions and appearances of the celestial bodies, and has drawn out his soul in endless calculations. He admits a few friends once a month to hear his deductions and enjoy his discoveries. I was introduced as a man of knowledge, worthy of his notice. Men of various ideas and fluent conversation are commonly welcome to those whose thoughts have been long fixed upon a single point, and who find the images of other things stealing away. I delighted him with my remarks; he smiled at the narrative of my travels; and was glad to forget the constellations, and descend for a moment into the lower world.
"On the next day of vacation I renewed my visit, and was so fortunate as to please him again. He relaxed from
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Publication information: Book title: Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia. Contributors: Samuel Johnson - Author. Publisher: Ginn. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1895. Page number: 125.
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