CHAPTER VIII �DEATH OF A WORLD �EVERYTHING around us on this Earth we see is subject to one inevitable cycle of birth, growth, decay. Nothing that begins but comes at last to end. Not less is this true of the Earth as a whole and of each of its sister planets. Though our own lives are too brief even to mark the slow nearing to that eventual goal, the past history of the Earth written in its rocks and the present aspects of the several planets that circle similarly round the Sun alike assure us of the course of aging as certainly as if time, with all it brings about, passed in one long procession before our very eyes. �Death is a distressing thing to contemplate under any circumstances, and not less so to a philosopher when that of a whole world is concerned. To think that this fair globe with all it has brought forth must lapse in time to nothingness; that the generations of men shall cease to be, their very records obliterated, is something to strike a chill into the heart of the most callous and numb endeavor at its core. That aeons must roll away before that final day is to the mind of the far-seeing no consolation for the end. Not only that we shall pass, �213 ��� �
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