NCERT Textbook - The Great Stone Face I Class 8 Notes | EduRev

Class 8 English by VP Classes

Class 8 : NCERT Textbook - The Great Stone Face I Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Before you read
Seen from a distance, hilltops and huge rocks seem to
assume various shapes. They may resemble an animal
or a human figure. People attribute stories to these
shapes. Some stories come true; others don’t.
The Great Stone Face is one such shape that reminds
the inhabitants of the valley of a prophecy. What was
it? Did it come true?
One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother
and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking
about the Great Stone Face. They had only to lift their
eyes and there it was, plain to be seen, though miles
away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.
2019-2020
Page 2


Before you read
Seen from a distance, hilltops and huge rocks seem to
assume various shapes. They may resemble an animal
or a human figure. People attribute stories to these
shapes. Some stories come true; others don’t.
The Great Stone Face is one such shape that reminds
the inhabitants of the valley of a prophecy. What was
it? Did it come true?
One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother
and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking
about the Great Stone Face. They had only to lift their
eyes and there it was, plain to be seen, though miles
away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.
2019-2020
And what was the Great Stone Face?
The Great Stone Face was a work of nature, formed on
the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense
rocks, which had been thrown together so that, when
viewed at a proper distance, they resembled the features
of a human face. If the spectator approached too near , he
lost the outline of the enormous face and could see only a
heap of gigantic rocks, piled one upon another . But seen
from a distance, the clouds clustering about it, the Great
Stone Face seemed positively to be alive. It was the belief
of many people that the valley owed much of its fertility to
the benign face that was continually beaming over it.
A mother and her little boy , as we said earlier, sat at
the door of their cottage, gazing at the Great Stone Face
and talking about it. The child’s name was Ernest.
“Mother,” said he, while the Great Face smiled on
him, “I wish that it could speak, for it looks so very
kindly that its voice must indeed be pleasant. If I
ever see a man with such a face, I should love him
very much.”
“If an old prophecy should come to pass,” answered
his mother, “we may see a man some time, with exactly
such a face as that.”
“What prophecy
do you mean, dear
Mother?” eagerly
inquired Ernest.
“Please tell me about
it.”
So his mother told
him a story that her
own mother had told
her, when she herself
was younger than
little Ernest; that, at
some future day, a
child should be born
perpendicular:
(cliff or rock-
face) rising
very steeply
immense:
huge
enormous:
very big
gigantic:
immense
clustering:
gathering
benign:
kind, gentle
prophecy:
statement
that tells what
will happen in
the future
The Great Stone Face - I 121 121 121 121 121
2019-2020
Page 3


Before you read
Seen from a distance, hilltops and huge rocks seem to
assume various shapes. They may resemble an animal
or a human figure. People attribute stories to these
shapes. Some stories come true; others don’t.
The Great Stone Face is one such shape that reminds
the inhabitants of the valley of a prophecy. What was
it? Did it come true?
One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother
and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking
about the Great Stone Face. They had only to lift their
eyes and there it was, plain to be seen, though miles
away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.
2019-2020
And what was the Great Stone Face?
The Great Stone Face was a work of nature, formed on
the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense
rocks, which had been thrown together so that, when
viewed at a proper distance, they resembled the features
of a human face. If the spectator approached too near , he
lost the outline of the enormous face and could see only a
heap of gigantic rocks, piled one upon another . But seen
from a distance, the clouds clustering about it, the Great
Stone Face seemed positively to be alive. It was the belief
of many people that the valley owed much of its fertility to
the benign face that was continually beaming over it.
A mother and her little boy , as we said earlier, sat at
the door of their cottage, gazing at the Great Stone Face
and talking about it. The child’s name was Ernest.
“Mother,” said he, while the Great Face smiled on
him, “I wish that it could speak, for it looks so very
kindly that its voice must indeed be pleasant. If I
ever see a man with such a face, I should love him
very much.”
“If an old prophecy should come to pass,” answered
his mother, “we may see a man some time, with exactly
such a face as that.”
“What prophecy
do you mean, dear
Mother?” eagerly
inquired Ernest.
“Please tell me about
it.”
So his mother told
him a story that her
own mother had told
her, when she herself
was younger than
little Ernest; that, at
some future day, a
child should be born
perpendicular:
(cliff or rock-
face) rising
very steeply
immense:
huge
enormous:
very big
gigantic:
immense
clustering:
gathering
benign:
kind, gentle
prophecy:
statement
that tells what
will happen in
the future
The Great Stone Face - I 121 121 121 121 121
2019-2020
122 122 122 122 122 Honeydew
near here, who was destined to become the greatest and
noblest person of his time and whose face, in manhood,
should bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone
Face. Many still had faith in this old prophecy. But
others took it to be nothing but idle talk. At all events
the great man of the prophecy had not yet appeared.
 “O, Mother,” cried Ernest, clapping his hands above
his head, “I do hope that I shall live to see him!”
His mother was an affectionate and thoughtful
woman. It was proper, she thought, not to discourage
the fanciful hopes of her little boy. So she said to him,
“Perhaps you may.”
And Ernest never forgot the story that his mother
told him. It was always in his mind whenever he looked
upon the Great Stone Face. He spent his childhood in
the log-cottage where he was born, was dutiful to his
mother and helpful to her in many things, assisting
her much with his little hands, and more with his loving
heart. In this manner, from a happy yet often pensive
child he grew up to be a mild and quiet youth.
Ernest had had no teacher , but the Great Stone Face
became one to him. When the work of the day was over ,
he would gaze at it for hours, until he began to imagine
that those vast features recognised him, and gave him a
smile of kindness and encouragement.
About this time there went a rumour throughout
the valley that the great man, who was to bear a
resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared at
last. It seems that, many years before, a young man
had left the valley and settled at a distant seaport.
Gathergold, which was his name, had set up as a
shopkeeper and, being sharp in business matters, had
become so very rich that it would have taken him a
hundred years only to count his wealth. In time he
thought of his native valley, and decided to go back
there, and end his days where he had been born.
pensive:
thoughtful
2019-2020
Page 4


Before you read
Seen from a distance, hilltops and huge rocks seem to
assume various shapes. They may resemble an animal
or a human figure. People attribute stories to these
shapes. Some stories come true; others don’t.
The Great Stone Face is one such shape that reminds
the inhabitants of the valley of a prophecy. What was
it? Did it come true?
One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother
and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking
about the Great Stone Face. They had only to lift their
eyes and there it was, plain to be seen, though miles
away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.
2019-2020
And what was the Great Stone Face?
The Great Stone Face was a work of nature, formed on
the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense
rocks, which had been thrown together so that, when
viewed at a proper distance, they resembled the features
of a human face. If the spectator approached too near , he
lost the outline of the enormous face and could see only a
heap of gigantic rocks, piled one upon another . But seen
from a distance, the clouds clustering about it, the Great
Stone Face seemed positively to be alive. It was the belief
of many people that the valley owed much of its fertility to
the benign face that was continually beaming over it.
A mother and her little boy , as we said earlier, sat at
the door of their cottage, gazing at the Great Stone Face
and talking about it. The child’s name was Ernest.
“Mother,” said he, while the Great Face smiled on
him, “I wish that it could speak, for it looks so very
kindly that its voice must indeed be pleasant. If I
ever see a man with such a face, I should love him
very much.”
“If an old prophecy should come to pass,” answered
his mother, “we may see a man some time, with exactly
such a face as that.”
“What prophecy
do you mean, dear
Mother?” eagerly
inquired Ernest.
“Please tell me about
it.”
So his mother told
him a story that her
own mother had told
her, when she herself
was younger than
little Ernest; that, at
some future day, a
child should be born
perpendicular:
(cliff or rock-
face) rising
very steeply
immense:
huge
enormous:
very big
gigantic:
immense
clustering:
gathering
benign:
kind, gentle
prophecy:
statement
that tells what
will happen in
the future
The Great Stone Face - I 121 121 121 121 121
2019-2020
122 122 122 122 122 Honeydew
near here, who was destined to become the greatest and
noblest person of his time and whose face, in manhood,
should bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone
Face. Many still had faith in this old prophecy. But
others took it to be nothing but idle talk. At all events
the great man of the prophecy had not yet appeared.
 “O, Mother,” cried Ernest, clapping his hands above
his head, “I do hope that I shall live to see him!”
His mother was an affectionate and thoughtful
woman. It was proper, she thought, not to discourage
the fanciful hopes of her little boy. So she said to him,
“Perhaps you may.”
And Ernest never forgot the story that his mother
told him. It was always in his mind whenever he looked
upon the Great Stone Face. He spent his childhood in
the log-cottage where he was born, was dutiful to his
mother and helpful to her in many things, assisting
her much with his little hands, and more with his loving
heart. In this manner, from a happy yet often pensive
child he grew up to be a mild and quiet youth.
Ernest had had no teacher , but the Great Stone Face
became one to him. When the work of the day was over ,
he would gaze at it for hours, until he began to imagine
that those vast features recognised him, and gave him a
smile of kindness and encouragement.
About this time there went a rumour throughout
the valley that the great man, who was to bear a
resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared at
last. It seems that, many years before, a young man
had left the valley and settled at a distant seaport.
Gathergold, which was his name, had set up as a
shopkeeper and, being sharp in business matters, had
become so very rich that it would have taken him a
hundred years only to count his wealth. In time he
thought of his native valley, and decided to go back
there, and end his days where he had been born.
pensive:
thoughtful
2019-2020
The Great Stone Face - I 123 123 123 123 123
Ernest had been deeply stirred by the idea that the
great man, the noble man, the man of prophecy, after
so many ages of delay, was at length to be seen in his
native valley. While the boy was still gazing up the valley
one day and imagining that the Great Stone Face
returned his gaze, the noise of wheels was heard, and a
crowd of people cried. “Here comes the great
Mr Gathergold.”
A carriage, drawn by four horses, dashed round the
turn of the road. Within it, thrust partly out of the window
appeared the face of an old man with yellow skin.
 “The very image of the Great Stone Face!” shouted
the people. “Sure enough, the old prophecy is true. Here
we have the great man, at last!”
And, what greatly puzzled Ernest, they seemed
actually to believe that here was the likeness which they
spoke of. He turned away sadly from the wrinkled
shrewdness of that unpleasant face, and gazed up the
valley, where the Stone Face seemed to say: He will come!
Fear not, Ernest; the man will come!
II
The years went on, and Ernest grew to be a young
man. He attracted little notice from the inhabitants of
the valley. They saw nothing remarkable in his way of
life, except that, when the labour of the day was over,
he still loved to gaze upon the Great Stone Face. Their
idea was that this was a folly, but pardonable, because
Ernest was industrious, kind and neighbourly. They
did not know that the Great Stone Face had become a
teacher to him, and that the sentiment which was
expressed in it would enlarge the young man's heart,
and fill it with deeper sympathies than other hearts.
They did not know that from this would come a better
wisdom than could be learnt from books. Neither did
Ernest know that the thoughts which came to him so
inhabitants:
people living
in the valley;
dwellers
labour:
work
stirred:
moved
sympathies:
feelings (of
sorrow,
approval,
understanding)
2019-2020
Page 5


Before you read
Seen from a distance, hilltops and huge rocks seem to
assume various shapes. They may resemble an animal
or a human figure. People attribute stories to these
shapes. Some stories come true; others don’t.
The Great Stone Face is one such shape that reminds
the inhabitants of the valley of a prophecy. What was
it? Did it come true?
One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother
and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking
about the Great Stone Face. They had only to lift their
eyes and there it was, plain to be seen, though miles
away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.
2019-2020
And what was the Great Stone Face?
The Great Stone Face was a work of nature, formed on
the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense
rocks, which had been thrown together so that, when
viewed at a proper distance, they resembled the features
of a human face. If the spectator approached too near , he
lost the outline of the enormous face and could see only a
heap of gigantic rocks, piled one upon another . But seen
from a distance, the clouds clustering about it, the Great
Stone Face seemed positively to be alive. It was the belief
of many people that the valley owed much of its fertility to
the benign face that was continually beaming over it.
A mother and her little boy , as we said earlier, sat at
the door of their cottage, gazing at the Great Stone Face
and talking about it. The child’s name was Ernest.
“Mother,” said he, while the Great Face smiled on
him, “I wish that it could speak, for it looks so very
kindly that its voice must indeed be pleasant. If I
ever see a man with such a face, I should love him
very much.”
“If an old prophecy should come to pass,” answered
his mother, “we may see a man some time, with exactly
such a face as that.”
“What prophecy
do you mean, dear
Mother?” eagerly
inquired Ernest.
“Please tell me about
it.”
So his mother told
him a story that her
own mother had told
her, when she herself
was younger than
little Ernest; that, at
some future day, a
child should be born
perpendicular:
(cliff or rock-
face) rising
very steeply
immense:
huge
enormous:
very big
gigantic:
immense
clustering:
gathering
benign:
kind, gentle
prophecy:
statement
that tells what
will happen in
the future
The Great Stone Face - I 121 121 121 121 121
2019-2020
122 122 122 122 122 Honeydew
near here, who was destined to become the greatest and
noblest person of his time and whose face, in manhood,
should bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone
Face. Many still had faith in this old prophecy. But
others took it to be nothing but idle talk. At all events
the great man of the prophecy had not yet appeared.
 “O, Mother,” cried Ernest, clapping his hands above
his head, “I do hope that I shall live to see him!”
His mother was an affectionate and thoughtful
woman. It was proper, she thought, not to discourage
the fanciful hopes of her little boy. So she said to him,
“Perhaps you may.”
And Ernest never forgot the story that his mother
told him. It was always in his mind whenever he looked
upon the Great Stone Face. He spent his childhood in
the log-cottage where he was born, was dutiful to his
mother and helpful to her in many things, assisting
her much with his little hands, and more with his loving
heart. In this manner, from a happy yet often pensive
child he grew up to be a mild and quiet youth.
Ernest had had no teacher , but the Great Stone Face
became one to him. When the work of the day was over ,
he would gaze at it for hours, until he began to imagine
that those vast features recognised him, and gave him a
smile of kindness and encouragement.
About this time there went a rumour throughout
the valley that the great man, who was to bear a
resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared at
last. It seems that, many years before, a young man
had left the valley and settled at a distant seaport.
Gathergold, which was his name, had set up as a
shopkeeper and, being sharp in business matters, had
become so very rich that it would have taken him a
hundred years only to count his wealth. In time he
thought of his native valley, and decided to go back
there, and end his days where he had been born.
pensive:
thoughtful
2019-2020
The Great Stone Face - I 123 123 123 123 123
Ernest had been deeply stirred by the idea that the
great man, the noble man, the man of prophecy, after
so many ages of delay, was at length to be seen in his
native valley. While the boy was still gazing up the valley
one day and imagining that the Great Stone Face
returned his gaze, the noise of wheels was heard, and a
crowd of people cried. “Here comes the great
Mr Gathergold.”
A carriage, drawn by four horses, dashed round the
turn of the road. Within it, thrust partly out of the window
appeared the face of an old man with yellow skin.
 “The very image of the Great Stone Face!” shouted
the people. “Sure enough, the old prophecy is true. Here
we have the great man, at last!”
And, what greatly puzzled Ernest, they seemed
actually to believe that here was the likeness which they
spoke of. He turned away sadly from the wrinkled
shrewdness of that unpleasant face, and gazed up the
valley, where the Stone Face seemed to say: He will come!
Fear not, Ernest; the man will come!
II
The years went on, and Ernest grew to be a young
man. He attracted little notice from the inhabitants of
the valley. They saw nothing remarkable in his way of
life, except that, when the labour of the day was over,
he still loved to gaze upon the Great Stone Face. Their
idea was that this was a folly, but pardonable, because
Ernest was industrious, kind and neighbourly. They
did not know that the Great Stone Face had become a
teacher to him, and that the sentiment which was
expressed in it would enlarge the young man's heart,
and fill it with deeper sympathies than other hearts.
They did not know that from this would come a better
wisdom than could be learnt from books. Neither did
Ernest know that the thoughts which came to him so
inhabitants:
people living
in the valley;
dwellers
labour:
work
stirred:
moved
sympathies:
feelings (of
sorrow,
approval,
understanding)
2019-2020
124 124 124 124 124 Honeydew
beheld:
saw
renowned:
famous
naturally, in the fields and at the fireside, were of a
higher tone than those which all men shared with him.
A simple soul — simple as when his mother first told
him the old story — he beheld the marvellous face
looking down the valley, and still wondered, why its
human likeness was so long in coming.
By this time poor Mr Gathergold was dead and
buried. His wealth, which was the body and spirit of
his existence, had disappeared before his death. Since
the melting away of his gold, it had been generally
agreed that there was no great likeness, after all,
between the ruined merchant and the majestic face
upon the mountain.
It so happened that another son of the valley had
become a soldier many years before. After a great deal of
hard fighting, he was now a famous commander . He was
known on the battlefield by the name of Blood-and-
Thunder. Old and tired now, he had lately expressed a
desire to return to his native valley. The inhabitants, his
old neighbours and their grown up children, prepared to
welcome the renowned commander . It was being said that
at last the likeness of the Great Stone Face had actually
appeared. Great, therefore, was the excitement
throughout the valley, and many people who had never
once thought of glancing at the Great Stone Face now
spent much time in gazing at it, for the sake of knowing
exactly how General Blood-and-Thunder looked.
On the day of the general’s arrival, Ernest and all
the other people of the valley left their work, and
proceeded to the spot where a great banquet had been
prepared. Soldiers stood on guard, flags waved and the
crowd roared. Ernest was standing too far back to see
Blood-and-Thunder’s face. However, he could hear
several voices.
“It’s the same face, exactly!” cried one man, dancing
for joy.
banquet:
feast
2019-2020
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