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.

There are few towns, and scarcely any metropolitan town, in which the natural supply of water is so inadequate as at Jerusalem; hence the many and elaborate contrivances to preserve the precious fluid, or to bring it to the town by aqueducts.

* * * * *

WINTER THOUGHTS.

[Illustration:  Letter A.]

    Ah! little think the gay licentious proud,
    Whom pleasure, pow’r, and affluence surround—­
    They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
    And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
    Ah! little think they, while they dance along
    How many feel this very moment death,
    And all the sad variety of pain: 
    How many sink in the devouring flood,
    Or more devouring flame! how many bleed
    By shameful variance betwixt man and man! 
    How many pine in want and dungeon glooms,
    Shut from the common air, and common use
    Of their own limbs! how many drink the cup
    Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
    Of misery!  Sore pierced by wintry winds,
    How many shrink into the sordid hut
    Of cheerless poverty!  How many shake
    With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
    Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse,
    Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life,
    They furnish matter for the Tragic Muse! 
    Even in the vale where Wisdom loves to dwell,
    With Friendship, Peace, and Contemplation join’d,
    How many, rack’d with honest passions, droop
    In deep retired distress.  How many stand
    Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
    And point the parting anguish!  Thought fond man
    Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
    That one incessant struggle render life—­
    One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
    Vice in its high career would stand appall’d,
    And heedless, rambling impulse learn to think;
    The conscious heart of Charity would warm,
    And her wide wish Benevolence dilate;
    The social tear would rise, the social sigh,
    And into clear perfection gradual bliss,
    Refining still, the social passions work.

    THOMSON.

* * * * *

BRITISH TROOPS IN CANADA.

[Illustration:  Letter R.]

Really winter in Canada must be felt to be imagined; and when felt can no more be described by words, than colours to a blind man or music to a deaf one.  Even under bright sun-shine, and in a most exhilirating air, the biting effect of the cold upon the portion of our face that is exposed to it resembles the application of a strong acid; and the healthy grin which the countenance assumes, requires—­as I often observed on those who for many minutes had been in a warm room waiting to see me—­a considerable time to relax.

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