The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia

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The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia  (1759) 
Samuel Johnson

often abbreviated to Rasselas, is a 1759 novella, originally published anonymously in two volumes, on which this transcription is based. In it, Rasselas leaves his home in company with his sister, Nekayah, and a philosopher, Imlac, to seek adventure. His observation of other kinds of people eventually leads to the conclusion that there is no easy path to happiness.

In the second volume, most of the chapters are misnumbered. The first three (chapters 26-28) are correct, but Chapter 29 is incorrectly numbered 28, and chapter numbers from there on are one out. This error occurs in both the table of contents and the chapter headings.

THE

PRINCE

OF

ABISSINIA.

A

TALE.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.



LONDON;

Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, in Pall-Mall;
and W. Johnston, in Ludgate-Street.

MDCCLIX.


Volume 1

CONTENTS

OF THE

FIRST VOLUME.

CHAP. I.
DESCRIPTION of a palace in a valley page 1
CHAP. II.
The discontent of Rasselas in the happy valley 9
CHAP. III.
The wants of him that wants nothing 16
CHAP. IV.
The prince continues to grieve and muse 20
CHAP. V.
The prince meditates his escape 30
CHAP. VI.
A dissertation on the art of flying 33
CHAP. VII.
The prince finds a man of learning 43
CHAP. VIII.
The history of Imlac 46
CHAP. IX.
The history of Imlac continued 56
CHAP. X.
Imlac's history continued. A dissertation upon poetry 64
CHAP. XI.
Imlac's narrative continued. A hint on pilgrimage 71
CHAP. XII.
The story of Imlac continued 80
CHAP. XIII.
Rasselas discovers the means of escape 91
CHAP. XIV.
Rasselas and Imlac receive an unexpected visit 97
CHAP. XV.
The prince and princess leave the valley, and see many wonders 101
CHAP. XVI.
They enter Cairo, and find every man happy 106
CHAP. XVII.
The prince associates with young men of spirit and gaiety 115
CHAP. XVIII.
The prince finds a wife and happy man 119
CHAP. XIX.
A glimpse of pastoral life 126
CHAP. XX.
The dagger of prosperity 129
CHAP. XXI.
The happiness of solitude. The hermit's history 134
CHAP. XXII.
The happiness of a life led according to nature 141
CHAP. XXIII.
The prince and his sister divide between them the work of observation 148
CHAP. XXIV.
The prince examines the happiness of high stations 150
CHAP. XXV.
The princess persues her enquiry with more diligence than success 154


Volume 2



This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.