The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

    Aroused by Gelert’s dying yell,
      Some slumberer waken’d nigh: 
    What words the parent’s joy can tell,
      To hear his infant cry!

    Conceal’d beneath a mangled heap,
      His hurried search had miss’d: 
    All glowing from his rosy sleep,
      His cherub boy he kiss’d!

    Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread;
      But the same couch beneath
    Lay a great wolf, all torn and dead—­
      Tremendous still in death!

[Illustration:  SYRIAN WOLF.]

    Ah! what was then Llewellyn’s pain,
      For now the truth was clear;
    The gallant hound the wolf had slain
      To save Llewellyn’s heir.

    Vain, vain was all Llewellyn’s woe—­
      “Best of thy kind, adieu! 
    The frantic deed which laid thee low,
      This heart shall ever rue!”

    And now a gallant tomb they raise,
      With costly sculpture deck’d;
    And marbles, storied with his praise,
      Poor Gelert’s bones protect.

    Here never could the spearman pass,
      Or forester, unmoved;
    Here oft the tear-besprinkled grass
      Llewellyn’s sorrow proved.

    And here he hung his horn and spear;
      And oft, as evening fell,
    In fancy’s piercing sounds would hear
      Poor Gelert’s dying yell.

    W. SPENCER.

* * * * *

THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA.

[Illustration:  Letter T.]

The important feature which the Great Wall makes in the map of China, entitles this vast barrier to be considered in a geographical point of view, as it bounds the whole north of China along the frontiers of three provinces.  It was built by the first universal Monarch of China, and finished about 205 years before Christ:  the period of its completion is an historical fact, as authentic as any of those which the annals of ancient kingdoms have transmitted to posterity.  It was built to defend the Chinese Empire from the incursions of the Tartars, and is calculated to be 1500 miles in length.  The rapidity with which this work was completed is as astonishing as the wall itself, for it is said to have been done in five years, by many millions of labourers, the Emperor pressing three men out of every ten, in his dominions, for its execution.  For about the distance of 200 leagues, it is generally built of stone and brick, with strong square towers, sufficiently near for mutual defence, and having besides, at every important pass, a formidable and well-built fortress.  In many places, in this line and extent, the wall is double, and even triple; but from the province of Can-sih to its eastern extremity, it is nothing but a terrace of earth, of which the towers on it are also constructed.  The Great Wall, which has now, even in its best parts, numerous breaches, is made of two walls of brick and

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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