of sense. In the state of future perfection, to which we all aspire, there will be pleasure without danger, and security without restraint.”

The princess was silent; and Rasselas, turning to the astronomer, asked him, whether he could not delay her retreat, by showing her something which she had not seen before.

“Your curiosity,” said the sage, “has been so general, and your pursuit of knowledge so vigorous, that novelties are not now very easily to be found; but what you can no longer procure from the living may be given by the dead. Among the wonders of this country are the Catacombs, or the ancient repositories in which the bodies of the earliest generations were lodged, and where, by the virtue of the gums which embalmed them, they yet remain without corruption.”

“I know not,” said Rasselas, “what pleasure the sight of the Catacombs can afford; but, since nothing else offered, I am resolved to view them, and shall place this with many other things, which I have done because I would do something.”

They hired a guard of horsemen, and the next day visited the Catacombs. When they were about to descend into the sepulchral caves, “Pekuah,” said the princess, “we are now again invading the habitations of the dead; I know that you will stay behind; let me find you safe when I return.” “No; I will not be left,” answered Pekuah, “I will go down between you and the prince.”

They then all descended, and roved with wonder through the labyrinth of subterraneous passages, where the bodies were laid in rows on either side.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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