Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/13

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14
A FEW HOURS IN A FAR-OFF AGE.

understanding by their vanity. In ethics they acted as far as their semi-barbarous nature made clear to them. Morality had then a different signification; their conception of it was far from resembling the high feeling it is with us. We must think of those poor creatures as they were constituted—not judge them by our advanced natures. To do so is as illogical as if you were to upbraid kind Leo with stupidity, because he could not solve one of your mathematical problems."

Kissing his mother's hand he acknowledges, in reverential words, her maturer reflections. Receiving his contrition with her habitual, lovable manner, she continues: "However, woman's position greatly changed in the twentieth century. The example was given in a grand part of the world called, America, where first appeared advanced intellect which guided human kind to nobler work than had before been thought of."

Then, turning to her daughter: "My Veritée, you who were so ready with your opinions two years ago have you none now to offer?"

"My silence is not from lessened interest, dear mother. On the contrary, I have been too occupied for speech in studying the reflex of my younger thoughts in those now expressed by Frederick. When you commenced your instruction of myself in evolution, I felt exactly as he feels. That such beings should have been our progenitors was an indignation that lasted long. I used to fervently hope some talented naturalist would discover it had been all a mistake—a futile and unreasonable hope, for at the same time I saw how indisputably real it had been proved to be. So beautifully has the growing intelligence of ages preserved through all the earth's changes traces of our slow but certain de-