The Time Mashine
One Thursday evening, four or five men assembled for dinner at a friend's home near London. But as the evening passed, their host failed to appear. Finally, at half past seven the guests agreed it was a pity to spoil a good dinner and seated themselves to a delicious meal. The main topic of their conversation was time travel, a subject their host had seriously argued as a valid theory during an earlier dinner. He had gone so far as to show them the model of a curious machine he had built, which, he declared, could travel through the fourth dimension - time.
While the guests conversed, the door suddenly opened and in limped their host. He was in a state of disarray. His coat was dusty, dirty and smeared with green; his hair was markedly grayer than the last time they had seen him, his face pale, and his expression haggard and drawn as if by intense suffering. As he stumbled back through the door in tattered, bloodstained socks, he promised his guests that be would return shortly with an explanation for his actions and appearance.
Soon after, the gentleman did reappear, and commenced with his remarkable story:
That morning, his machine at last completed, he had begun his journey through time. Increasing the angle of his levers, at first he was able to maintain a sense of time and place. His laboratory still looked the same, but slowly its image dimmed. Then, faster and faster, night followed day, until the palpitation of night and day merged into one continuous grayness. New questions sprun up in the Traveller's mind: What had happened to civilization? How had humanity changed?
Now he saw great and splendid architecture rising about him, while the surrounding expanse became a richer green, with no interruptions made by winter. The Time Traveller decided to stop.
He fell from his machine to find himself at the foot of a colossal, winged, sphinx-like figure carved out of white stone on a bronze pedestal. The huge image, outlined by earlymorning mist, made him somewhat ill at ease. Then he noticed figures approaching,- slight creatures, perhaps four feet high, very beautiful and graceful, but indescribably frail. These beings advanced toward the Time Traveller, laughing without fear, and began touching him all over. \"So these are the citizens of the future,\" he mused. They acted like five-yearold children, and the Traveller was disappointed with their lack of intelligence and refinement.
These gentle people, called Eloi, bore their visitor to a towering building that appeared ready to collapse. Their world in general seemed in disrepair - a beautiful, tangled waste of bushes and flowers; a long-neglected and yet weedless garden. The Eloi served their guest a meal that consisted entirely of fruit. During this repast, they all sat as close to the Time Traveller as they could.
With much difficulty he began to learn their language, but the Floi, with their very short attention spans, tired easily of teaching him. That evening the Traveller began to hypothesize how these people, who all looked identical, dressed alike, and reacted to life in the same way, had evolved. Perhaps, he thought, mankind had overcome the numerous difficulties of life facing it in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Under new conditions of perfect comfort and security, perhaps power and intellect - the very qualities he most valued - had no longer been necessary. He decided that he had emerged into the sunset of humanity; a vegetarian society - for he had noticed no animals - where there was no need for either reasoning or strength.
As night drew near, the Time Traveller suddenly realized that his time machine had vanished. Engulfed by the fear of losing contact with his own age and being left helpless in this strange new world, he flew into a desperate rampage, a futile attempt to find his machine.
Soon the voyager's panic faded as he realized his machine was probably inside the huge stone figure near the spot where he had \"landed.\" He pounded on the bronze doors without effect, but he was certain he had heard some voice from inside - a distinct little chuckle. Calm,