Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/44

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truthfulness and reliability. She is more vivacious in her beauty, and ever ready to join in their laughter. Probably this is because her children have not been so difficult to instruct in what appears to be everywhere an unpleasant lesson. They are evidently lads of an advanced intelligence. The knowledge of their relationship to us is received with more philosophical equanimity than I have yet met with; and, except during the relation of any sad anecdote, which she uses to steady their thought, are more inclined to mirth than sorrow. I suppose they are of the more progressive ones of their age.

Wottah's eyes are sparkling with some fresh amusement in his mind, as he says:

"I wonder what we three would now have been, had there never existed any earnest women,—and noble men like our Founder?"

Felix, the elder son, in obedience to a sign from his mother, replies:

"What we should have been? Well, where are only fools and brutes there must be only folly and cruelty. Change being Nature's great abiding law, nothing is inert. If no progress can be effected, a fall must come to recommence the rise:—So I think human kind would have inevitably receded. Possibly tails would have become general again, and at this moment you and I would most probably have been holding to a branch with ours, endeavouring piously to hurt our dear mother, or some other person, with the least possibility of danger to our own valuable selves."

I leave them all merrily laughing at Felix's grave imitation of a lecture.