Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia
by Samuel Johnson
Publisher: Project Gutenberg 1996
Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, leaves the easy life of the Happy Valley, accompanied by his sister Nekayah, her attendant Pekuah, and the much-travelled philosopher Imlac. Their journey takes them to Egypt, where they study the various conditions of men's lives, before returning home in a 'conclusion in which nothing is concluded'. Johnson's tale is not only a satire on optimism, but also an expression of truth about the human mind and its infinite capacity for hope.
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