Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson
CHAPTER I - DESCRIPTION OF A PALACE IN A VALLEY.
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. The only passage by