Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/7

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8
A FEW HOURS IN A FAR-OFF AGE.

the first link in the long unbroken chain of eras of civilization. If time will permit we will take from the twenty-first century to the fifteenth."

Only six centuries in one whole morning! That seems slow work. We go through the relics of ages in an hour or so, and then think ourselves sufficiently informed in their wonderful lessons for the rest of our lives. I cannot help feeling a proud delight that these lovable persons are going to include the present time in their examinations, and shall remain by them to hear their gratifying expressions of astonishment at our remarkable progress.

They have turned into a very long gallery, over the entrance to which is written:

"Christian Era, or Age of Blood to the Twenty-first Century."

They enter an alcove containing four or five seats and desks—easily lowered or raised—writing necessaries and book of reference, concerning only those objects of interest which are placed in front. As far as I can see down the centre of this gallery are similar alcoves ranged back to back. All appear to be occupied by families somewhat resembling the one I have chosen to remain with, and that there is now no vacant room must be notified to new comers by some known signal, for I observe them look at one of the pillars supporting the roof and pass without entering. So there is no more movement to distract the students than is requisite for exchange of alcoves, which is managed with such courtesy and considerative quiet that it causes no interruption. No one speaks more loudly than is necessary for the distance in occupation by her or his party; and us all have musical voices, the combination of these soft, sweet