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

[Illustration:  HAGAR AND ISHMAEL.]

After this, we have no account of the history of Ishmael, except that he established himself in the wilderness of Paran, near Mount Sinai, and belonged to one of the tribes by which the desert was frequented.  He was married, by his mother, to a countrywoman of her own, and maintained himself and his family by the produce of his bow.  Many of the Arabian tribes have been proud to trace their origin to this son of the Patriarch Abraham.

* * * * *

THE HOLLY BOUGH.

[Illustration:  Letter Y.]

    Ye who have scorn’d each other,
    Or injured friend or brother,
      In this fast fading year;
    Ye who, by word or deed,
    Have made a kind heart bleed,
      Come gather here. 
    Let sinn’d against, and sinning,
    Forget their strife’s beginning,
      And join in friendship now;
    Be links no longer broken,
    Be sweet forgiveness spoken
      Under the Holly-bough.

    Ye who have loved each other,
    Sister and friend and brother,
      In this fast fading year;
    Mother and sire and child,
    Young man and maiden mild,
      Come gather here;
    And let your hearts grow fonder,
    As Memory shall ponder
      Each past unbroken vow: 
    Old loves and younger wooing
    Are sweet in the renewing
      Under the Holly-bough.

    Ye who have nourish’d sadness. 
    Estranged from hope and gladness,
      In this fast fading year;
    Ye with o’erburden’d mind,
    Made aliens from your kind,
      Come gather here. 
    Let not the useless sorrow
    Pursue you night and morrow,
      If e’er you hoped, hope now—­
    Take heart, uncloud your faces,
    And join in our embraces
      Under the Holly-bough.

    MACKAY

[Illustration:  THE HOLLY CART.]

* * * * *

THE UNIVERSE.

To us who dwell on its surface, the earth is by far the most extensive orb that our eyes can any where behold; but, to a spectator placed on one of the planets, it looks no larger than a spot.  To beings who dwell at still greater distances, it entirely disappears.  That which we call alternately the morning and the evening star, as in the one part of the orbit she rides foremost in the procession of night, in the other ushers in and anticipates the dawn, is a planetary world, which, with the five others that so wonderfully vary their mystic dance, are in themselves dark bodies, and shine only by reflection; have fields, and seas, and skies of their own; are furnished with all accommodations for animal subsistence, and are supposed to be the abodes of intellectual life.  All these, together with our earthly habitation, are dependent on the

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