Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/34

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As time grew men became educated from their apathy, and freely aided the women to the fullest extent of their power. They also introduced a measure for the erection of State galleries, in which the morning studies or lectures were to be continued after the children should have attained the age of sixteen or seventeen years, no admittance being permitted under that age. Such mornings there to be devoted to physiology, evolution, geology, mythology, &c., imparted in the manner I am now observing.

The two mornings of this week are occupied on evolution. Wherever I pass, the subject is being earnestly discussed; and it seems to be a very displeasing accession of knowledge to all the young students.

I am now opposite an alcove, in which are mother, father and two sons. The youngest says:—

"I regret, dear mother and father, having caused you so much trouble in proving our ascent from such bestial thought and matter; but I promise to give you no difficulty concerning our still more remote progenitors you speak of, for the difference between ourselves and those ferocious men of the merciless Christian era is so great that there cannot be much further descent to master."

Gravely his father replies:—

"In those words, my son, I grieve to read yet something remaining of your origin. They betray just a trace of the vanity which so perniciously opposed justice and progress in that transition age. It forms the one great lesson learnt from our valuable records. The nearer we approach the primordial savage the greater the amount of vanity we find. None can say either the immense length of time required to bring humankind even to the stage of improvement, with which you feel so dissatisfied or the probably still longer