'Solitarily, with the indifference of nature herself, it crept up the mountain side and slipped down to the depth of the valley.....

Menacingly, the grim watch towers, stark and foursquare, at due intervals stood at their posts....

Ruthlessly it forged its dark way through a sea of rugged mountains....

Fearlessly, it went on its endless journey, league upon league, to the furthermost regions of Asia, mysterious like the great empire it guarded....

There in the mist, enormous, majestic, silent and terrible stood the Great Wall of China.'

From ‘Arabesque’, On a Chinese Screen, by William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)