Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/23

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24
A FEW HOURS IN A FAR-OFF AGE.

which they brought with them some annals—very imperfect, as subsequent events proved. It was supposed that somewhere near the west end of Alethia the old bright—and you would say very wicked—city of Melbourne had flourished for thousands of years in those far-off ages. And now, the question was to be settled most wonderfully by this very scheme for further instruction! The Battlefield was so named from its having once been the scene of a frightful conflict between the early Alethians and an invading army from the Northern Hemisphere. In those times it had been very strongly fortified; but for thousands of years peace had reigned over the world. In to-morrow's lecture I will give you more information on "war." The immense fortifications had long since fallen into ruins, and were completely hidden—deeply buried under decayed vegetable matter, in which grew dense shrubs and enormous trees. Geologists urged the adoption of this site, because they knew the land around was rising, and on that account could not be otherwise than a most valuable position for coming generations. Those who are to-day highest in the science declare that the whole of ancient Australia, with extensive additional land, will yet—in the far future—join Alethia, never again to sink. For choosing the Battlefield another reason was adduced—the constant supply of fresh air from the glorious ocean. So the fate of the grandly solemn little forest was decided. The most powerful machines of the age soon commenced the sad work of destruction; but how different to those former ones whose cruel mechanism lay obscured and powerless under nature's kindly growth! and how different the destruction! The old poets sang sweetly and prophetically of the great undertaking. They tell us how the continuous thunder of the falling trees caused deep