Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/31

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32
A FEW HOURS IN A FAR-OFF AGE.

CHAPTER IV.

THEY enter the alcove, fully a third of a mile from where I have remained watching them—happy to even see such beings. Truth, freedom, love and grace are indeed here. I shall join them after passing near the other families, and so give gladness to my "half brutal" self in contemplation of this shamless refinement. No glances of envy or tones of detraction. No slander. These must be women of really high birth.

Where are the low Illiterate ? The pompous, self-lauding, arrogant ignorami? That great band so heavily weighting the Car of Progress in my century! Not in any of these noble families! who appear so affectionately and so reverently united by honest endeavour for human perfection. Nowhere can I see the baleful, cruel stamp of ignorance. Mothers and fathers are ably imparting instruction to attentive—fascinatingly attentive—young people in matters which, up to the nineteenth century, have been left to chance study; and on other subjects beyond present comprehension, with eloquence exceeding my power to transcribe; yet causing so great an exaltation of my thought that I shudder at contemplating the barbaric misconceptions and young-world understandings awaiting my return to an unenlightened age.

While I linger occasionally, on my way up the gallery, to hear a little from the lips of these beautiful, earnest truth-seekers, I learn the origin of their Instruction Galleries, and pride upholds me upon finding that our Australia planted