The Time Machine — EN

VIII
Explanation

“So far as I could see, all the world dis­played the same exu­ber­ant rich­ness as the Thames val­ley. From every hill I climbed I saw the same abun­dance of splen­did build­ings, end­less­ly var­ied in mate­r­i­al and style, the same clus­ter­ing thick­ets of ever­greens, the same blos­som-laden trees and tree-ferns. Here and there water shone like sil­ver, and beyond, the land rose into blue undu­lat­ing hills, and so fad­ed into the seren­i­ty of the sky. A pecu­liar fea­ture, which present­ly attract­ed my atten­tion, was the pres­ence of cer­tain cir­cu­lar wells, sev­er­al, as it seemed to me, of a very great depth. One lay by the path up the hill, which I had fol­lowed dur­ing my first walk. Like the oth­ers, it was rimmed with bronze, curi­ous­ly wrought, and pro­tect­ed by a lit­tle cupo­la from the rain. Sit­ting by the side of these wells, and peer­ing down into the shaft­ed dark­ness, I could see no gleam of water, nor could I start any reflec­tion with a light­ed match. But in all of them I heard a cer­tain sound: a thudthudthud, like the beat­ing of some big engine; and I dis­cov­ered, from the flar­ing of my match­es, that a steady cur­rent of air set down the shafts. Fur­ther, I threw a scrap of paper into the throat of one, and, instead of flut­ter­ing slow­ly down, it was at once sucked swift­ly out of sight.

“After a time, too, I came to con­nect these wells with tall tow­ers stand­ing here and there upon the slopes; for above them there was often just such a flick­er in the air as one sees on a hot day above a sun-scorched beach. Putting things togeth­er, I reached a strong sug­ges­tion of an exten­sive sys­tem of sub­ter­ranean ven­ti­la­tion, whose true import it was dif­fi­cult to imag­ine. I was at first inclined to asso­ciate it with the san­i­tary appa­ra­tus of these peo­ple. It was an obvi­ous con­clu­sion, but it was absolute­ly wrong.

“And here I must admit that I learned very lit­tle of drains and bells and modes of con­veyance, and the like con­ve­niences, dur­ing my time in this real future. In some of these visions of Utopias and com­ing times which I have read, there is a vast amount of detail about build­ing, and social arrange­ments, and so forth. But while such details are easy enough to obtain when the whole world is con­tained in one’s imag­i­na­tion, they are alto­geth­er inac­ces­si­ble to a real trav­eller amid such real­i­ties as I found here. Con­ceive the tale of Lon­don which a negro, fresh from Cen­tral Africa, would take back to his tribe! What would he know of rail­way com­pa­nies, of social move­ments, of tele­phone and tele­graph wires, of the Parcels Deliv­ery Com­pa­ny, and postal orders and the like? Yet we, at least, should be will­ing enough to explain these things to him! And even of what he knew, how much could he make his untrav­elled friend either appre­hend or believe? Then, think how nar­row the gap between a negro and a white man of our own times, and how wide the inter­val between myself and these of the Gold­en Age! I was sen­si­ble of much which was unseen, and which con­tributed to my com­fort; but save for a gen­er­al impres­sion of auto­mat­ic orga­ni­za­tion, I fear I can con­vey very lit­tle of the dif­fer­ence to your mind.

“In the mat­ter of sepul­chre, for instance, I could see no signs of cre­ma­to­ria nor any­thing sug­ges­tive of tombs. But it occurred to me that, pos­si­bly, there might be ceme­ter­ies (or cre­ma­to­ria) some­where beyond the range of my explor­ings. This, again, was a ques­tion I delib­er­ate­ly put to myself, and my curios­i­ty was at first entire­ly defeat­ed upon the point. The thing puz­zled me, and I was led to make a fur­ther remark, which puz­zled me still more: that aged and infirm among this peo­ple there were none.

“I must con­fess that my sat­is­fac­tion with my first the­o­ries of an auto­mat­ic civ­i­liza­tion and a deca­dent human­i­ty did not long endure. Yet I could think of no oth­er. Let me put my dif­fi­cul­ties. The sev­er­al big palaces I had explored were mere liv­ing places, great din­ing-halls and sleep­ing apart­ments. I could find no machin­ery, no appli­ances of any kind. Yet these peo­ple were clothed in pleas­ant fab­rics that must at times need renew­al, and their san­dals, though undec­o­rat­ed, were fair­ly com­plex spec­i­mens of met­al­work. Some­how such things must be made. And the lit­tle peo­ple dis­played no ves­tige of a cre­ative ten­den­cy. There were no shops, no work­shops, no sign of impor­ta­tions among them. They spent all their time in play­ing gen­tly, in bathing in the riv­er, in mak­ing love in a half-play­ful fash­ion, in eat­ing fruit and sleep­ing. I could not see how things were kept going.

“Then, again, about the Time Machine: some­thing, I knew not what, had tak­en it into the hol­low pedestal of the White Sphinx.

Why? For the life of me I could not imag­ine. Those water­less wells, too, those flick­er­ing pil­lars. I felt I lacked a clue. I felt – how shall I put it? Sup­pose you found an inscrip­tion, with sen­tences here and there in excel­lent plain Eng­lish, and inter­po­lat­ed there­with, oth­ers made up of words, of let­ters even, absolute­ly unknown to you? Well, on the third day of my vis­it, that was how the world of Eight Hun­dred and Two Thou­sand Sev­en Hun­dred and One pre­sent­ed itself to me!

“That day, too, I made a friend – of a sort. It hap­pened that, as I was watch­ing some of the lit­tle peo­ple bathing in a shal­low, one of them was seized with cramp and began drift­ing down­stream. The main cur­rent ran rather swift­ly, but not too strong­ly for even a mod­er­ate swim­mer. It will give you an idea, there­fore, of the strange defi­cien­cy in these crea­tures, when I tell you that none made the slight­est attempt to res­cue the weak­ly cry­ing lit­tle thing which was drown­ing before their eyes. When I real­ized this, I hur­ried­ly slipped off my clothes, and, wad­ing in at a point low­er down, I caught the poor mite and drew her safe to land. A lit­tle rub­bing of the limbs soon brought her round, and I had the sat­is­fac­tion of see­ing she was all right before I left her. I had got to such a low esti­mate of her kind that I did not expect any grat­i­tude from her. In that, how­ev­er, I was wrong.

“This hap­pened in the morn­ing. In the after­noon I met my lit­tle woman, as I believe it was, as I was return­ing towards my cen­tre from an explo­ration, and she received me with cries of delight and pre­sent­ed me with a big gar­land of flow­ers – evi­dent­ly made for me and me alone. The thing took my imag­i­na­tion. Very pos­si­bly I had been feel­ing des­o­late. At any rate I did my best to dis­play my appre­ci­a­tion of the gift. We were soon seat­ed togeth­er in a lit­tle stone arbour, engaged in con­ver­sa­tion, chiefly of smiles. The creature’s friend­li­ness affect­ed me exact­ly as a child’s might have done. We passed each oth­er flow­ers, and she kissed my hands. I did the same to hers. Then I tried talk, and found that her name was Weena, which, though I don’t know what it meant, some­how seemed appro­pri­ate enough. That was the begin­ning of a queer friend­ship which last­ed a week, and end­ed – as I will tell you!

“She was exact­ly like a child. She want­ed to be with me always. She tried to fol­low me every­where, and on my next jour­ney out and about it went to my heart to tire her down, and leave her at last, exhaust­ed and call­ing after me rather plain­tive­ly. But the prob­lems of the world had to be mas­tered. I had not, I said to myself, come into the future to car­ry on a minia­ture flir­ta­tion. Yet her dis­tress when I left her was very great, her expos­tu­la­tions at the part­ing were some­times fran­tic, and I think, alto­geth­er, I had as much trou­ble as com­fort from her devo­tion. Nev­er­the­less she was, some­how, a very great com­fort. I thought it was mere child­ish affec­tion that made her cling to me. Until it was too late, I did not clear­ly know what I had inflict­ed upon her when I left her. Nor until it was too late did I clear­ly under­stand what she was to me. For, by mere­ly seem­ing fond of me, and show­ing in her weak, futile way that she cared for me, the lit­tle doll of a crea­ture present­ly gave my return to the neigh­bour­hood of the White Sphinx almost the feel­ing of com­ing home; and I would watch for her tiny fig­ure of white and gold so soon as I came over the hill.

“It was from her, too, that I learned that fear had not yet left the world. She was fear­less enough in the day­light, and she had the odd­est con­fi­dence in me; for once, in a fool­ish moment, I made threat­en­ing gri­maces at her, and she sim­ply laughed at them. But she dread­ed the dark, dread­ed shad­ows, dread­ed black things. Dark­ness to her was the one thing dread­ful. It was a sin­gu­lar­ly pas­sion­ate emo­tion, and it set me think­ing and observ­ing. I dis­cov­ered then, among oth­er things, that these lit­tle peo­ple gath­ered into the great hous­es after dark, and slept in droves. To enter upon them with­out a light was to put them into a tumult of appre­hen­sion. I nev­er found one out of doors, or one sleep­ing alone with­in doors, after dark. Yet I was still such a block­head that I missed the les­son of that fear, and in spite of Weena’s dis­tress I insist­ed upon sleep­ing away from these slum­ber­ing mul­ti­tudes.

“It trou­bled her great­ly, but in the end her odd affec­tion for me tri­umphed, and for five of the nights of our acquain­tance, includ­ing the last night of all, she slept with her head pil­lowed on my arm. But my sto­ry slips away from me as I speak of her. It must have been the night before her res­cue that I was awak­ened about dawn. I had been rest­less, dream­ing most dis­agree­ably that I was drowned, and that sea anemones were feel­ing over my face with their soft palps. I woke with a start, and with an odd fan­cy that some grey­ish ani­mal had just rushed out of the cham­ber. I tried to get to sleep again, but I felt rest­less and uncom­fort­able. It was that dim grey hour when things are just creep­ing out of dark­ness, when every­thing is colour­less and clear cut, and yet unre­al. I got up, and went down into the great hall, and so out upon the flag­stones in front of the palace. I thought I would make a virtue of neces­si­ty, and see the sun­rise.

“The moon was set­ting, and the dying moon­light and the first pal­lor of dawn were min­gled in a ghast­ly half-light. The bush­es were inky black, the ground a som­bre grey, the sky colour­less and cheer­less. And up the hill I thought I could see ghosts. There sev­er­al times, as I scanned the slope, I saw white fig­ures. Twice I fan­cied I saw a soli­tary white, ape-like crea­ture run­ning rather quick­ly up the hill, and once near the ruins I saw a leash of them car­ry­ing some dark body. They moved hasti­ly. I did not see what became of them. It seemed that they van­ished among the bush­es. The dawn was still indis­tinct, you must under­stand. I was feel­ing that chill, uncer­tain, ear­ly-morn­ing feel­ing you may have known. I doubt­ed my eyes.

“As the east­ern sky grew brighter, and the light of the day came on and its vivid colour­ing returned upon the world once more, I scanned the view keen­ly. But I saw no ves­tige of my white fig­ures. They were mere crea­tures of the half light.

“They must have been ghosts,” I said; “I won­der whence they dat­ed.” For a queer notion of Grant Allen’s came into my head, and amused me. If each gen­er­a­tion die and leave ghosts, he argued, the world at last will get over­crowd­ed with them. On that the­o­ry they would have grown some Eight Hun­dred Thou­sand Years hence, and it was no great won­der to see four at once. But the jest was unsat­is­fy­ing, and I was think­ing of these fig­ures all the morn­ing, until Weena’s res­cue drove them out of my head. I asso­ci­at­ed them in some indef­i­nite way with the white ani­mal I had star­tled in my first pas­sion­ate search for the Time Machine. But Weena was a pleas­ant sub­sti­tute. Yet all the same, they were soon des­tined to take far dead­lier pos­ses­sion of my mind.

“I think I have said how much hot­ter than our own was the weath­er of this Gold­en Age. I can­not account for it. It may be that the sun was hot­ter, or the earth near­er the sun. It is usu­al to assume that the sun will go on cool­ing steadi­ly in the future. But peo­ple, unfa­mil­iar with such spec­u­la­tions as those of the younger Dar­win, for­get that the plan­ets must ulti­mate­ly fall back one by one into the par­ent body. As these cat­a­stro­phes occur, the sun will blaze with renewed ener­gy; and it may be that some inner plan­et had suf­fered this fate. What­ev­er the rea­son, the fact remains that the sun was very much hot­ter than we know it.

“Well, one very hot morn­ing – my fourth, I think – as I was seek­ing shel­ter from the heat and glare in a colos­sal ruin near the great house where I slept and fed, there hap­pened this strange thing: Clam­ber­ing among these heaps of mason­ry, I found a nar­row gallery, whose end and side win­dows were blocked by fall­en mass­es of stone. By con­trast with the bril­lian­cy out­side, it seemed at first impen­e­tra­bly dark to me. I entered it grop­ing, for the change from light to black­ness made spots of colour swim before me. Sud­den­ly I halt­ed spell­bound. A pair of eyes, lumi­nous by reflec­tion against the day­light with­out, was watch­ing me out of the dark­ness.

“The old instinc­tive dread of wild beasts came upon me. I clenched my hands and stead­fast­ly looked into the glar­ing eye­balls. I was afraid to turn. Then the thought of the absolute secu­ri­ty in which human­i­ty appeared to be liv­ing came to my mind. And then I remem­bered that strange ter­ror of the dark. Over­com­ing my fear to some extent, I advanced a step and spoke. I will admit that my voice was harsh and ill-con­trolled. I put out my hand and touched some­thing soft. At once the eyes dart­ed side­ways, and some­thing white ran past me. I turned with my heart in my mouth, and saw a queer lit­tle ape-like fig­ure, its head held down in a pecu­liar man­ner, run­ning across the sun­lit space behind me. It blun­dered against a block of gran­ite, stag­gered aside, and in a moment was hid­den in a black shad­ow beneath anoth­er pile of ruined mason­ry.

“My impres­sion of it is, of course, imper­fect; but I know it was a dull white, and had strange large grey­ish-red eyes; also that there was flax­en hair on its head and down its back. But, as I say, it went too fast for me to see dis­tinct­ly. I can­not even say whether it ran on all-fours, or only with its fore­arms held very low. After an instant’s pause I fol­lowed it into the sec­ond heap of ruins. I could not find it at first; but, after a time in the pro­found obscu­ri­ty, I came upon one of those round well-like open­ings of which I have told you, half closed by a fall­en pil­lar. A sud­den thought came to me. Could this Thing have van­ished down the shaft? I lit a match, and, look­ing down, I saw a small, white, mov­ing crea­ture, with large bright eyes which regard­ed me stead­fast­ly as it retreat­ed. It made me shud­der. It was so like a human spi­der! It was clam­ber­ing down the wall, and now I saw for the first time a num­ber of met­al foot and hand rests form­ing a kind of lad­der down the shaft. Then the light burned my fin­gers and fell out of my hand, going out as it dropped, and when I had lit anoth­er the lit­tle mon­ster had dis­ap­peared.

“I do not know how long I sat peer­ing down that well. It was not for some time that I could suc­ceed in per­suad­ing myself that the thing I had seen was human. But, grad­u­al­ly, the truth dawned on me: that Man had not remained one species, but had dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed into two dis­tinct ani­mals: that my grace­ful chil­dren of the Upper-world were not the sole descen­dants of our gen­er­a­tion, but that this bleached, obscene, noc­tur­nal Thing, which had flashed before me, was also heir to all the ages.

“I thought of the flick­er­ing pil­lars and of my the­o­ry of an under­ground ven­ti­la­tion. I began to sus­pect their true import. And what, I won­dered, was this Lemur doing in my scheme of a per­fect­ly bal­anced orga­ni­za­tion? How was it relat­ed to the indo­lent seren­i­ty of the beau­ti­ful Upper-worlders? And what was hid­den down there, at the foot of that shaft? I sat upon the edge of the well telling myself that, at any rate, there was noth­ing to fear, and that there I must descend for the solu­tion of my dif­fi­cul­ties. And with­al I was absolute­ly afraid to go! As I hes­i­tat­ed, two of the beau­ti­ful Upper-world peo­ple came run­ning in their amorous sport across the day­light in the shad­ow. The male pur­sued the female, fling­ing flow­ers at her as he ran.

“They seemed dis­tressed to find me, my arm against the over­turned pil­lar, peer­ing down the well. Appar­ent­ly it was con­sid­ered bad form to remark these aper­tures; for when I point­ed to this one, and tried to frame a ques­tion about it in their tongue, they were still more vis­i­bly dis­tressed and turned away. But they were inter­est­ed by my match­es, and I struck some to amuse them. I tried them again about the well, and again I failed. So present­ly I left them, mean­ing to go back to Weena, and see what I could get from her. But my mind was already in rev­o­lu­tion; my guess­es and impres­sions were slip­ping and slid­ing to a new adjust­ment. I had now a clue to the import of these wells, to the ven­ti­lat­ing tow­ers, to the mys­tery of the ghosts; to say noth­ing of a hint at the mean­ing of the bronze gates and the fate of the Time Machine! And very vague­ly there came a sug­ges­tion towards the solu­tion of the eco­nom­ic prob­lem that had puz­zled me.

“Here was the new view. Plain­ly, this sec­ond species of Man was sub­ter­ranean. There were three cir­cum­stances in par­tic­u­lar which made me think that its rare emer­gence above ground was the out­come of a long-con­tin­ued under­ground habit. In the first place, there was the bleached look com­mon in most ani­mals that live large­ly in the dark – the white fish of the Ken­tucky caves, for instance. Then, those large eyes, with that capac­i­ty for reflect­ing light, are com­mon fea­tures of noc­tur­nal things – wit­ness the owl and the cat. And last of all, that evi­dent con­fu­sion in the sun­shine, that hasty yet fum­bling awk­ward flight towards dark shad­ow, and that pecu­liar car­riage of the head while in the light – all rein­forced the the­o­ry of an extreme sen­si­tive­ness of the reti­na.

“Beneath my feet, then, the earth must be tun­nelled enor­mous­ly, and these tun­nellings were the habi­tat of the new race. The pres­ence of ven­ti­lat­ing shafts and wells along the hill slopes – every­where, in fact except along the riv­er val­ley – showed how uni­ver­sal were its ram­i­fi­ca­tions. What so nat­ur­al, then, as to assume that it was in this arti­fi­cial Under­world that such work as was nec­es­sary to the com­fort of the day­light race was done? The notion was so plau­si­ble that I at once accept­ed it, and went on to assume the how of this split­ting of the human species. I dare say you will antic­i­pate the shape of my the­o­ry; though, for myself, I very soon felt that it fell far short of the truth.

“At first, pro­ceed­ing from the prob­lems of our own age, it seemed clear as day­light to me that the grad­ual widen­ing of the present mere­ly tem­po­rary and social dif­fer­ence between the Cap­i­tal­ist and the Labour­er, was the key to the whole posi­tion. No doubt it will seem grotesque enough to you – and wild­ly incred­i­ble! – and yet even now there are exist­ing cir­cum­stances to point that way. There is a ten­den­cy to uti­lize under­ground space for the less orna­men­tal pur­pos­es of civ­i­liza­tion; there is the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Rail­way in Lon­don, for instance, there are new elec­tric rail­ways, there are sub­ways, there are under­ground work­rooms and restau­rants, and they increase and mul­ti­ply. Evi­dent­ly, I thought, this ten­den­cy had increased till Indus­try had grad­u­al­ly lost its birthright in the sky. I mean that it had gone deep­er and deep­er into larg­er and ever larg­er under­ground fac­to­ries, spend­ing a still-increas­ing amount of its time there­in, till, in the end – ! Even now, does not an East-end work­er live in such arti­fi­cial con­di­tions as prac­ti­cal­ly to be cut off from the nat­ur­al sur­face of the earth?

“Again, the exclu­sive ten­den­cy of rich­er peo­ple – due, no doubt, to the increas­ing refine­ment of their edu­ca­tion, and the widen­ing gulf between them and the rude vio­lence of the poor – is already lead­ing to the clos­ing, in their inter­est, of con­sid­er­able por­tions of the sur­face of the land. About Lon­don, for instance, per­haps half the pret­ti­er coun­try is shut in against intru­sion. And this same widen­ing gulf – which is due to the length and expense of the high­er edu­ca­tion­al process and the increased facil­i­ties for and temp­ta­tions towards refined habits on the part of the rich – will make that exchange between class and class, that pro­mo­tion by inter­mar­riage which at present retards the split­ting of our species along lines of social strat­i­fi­ca­tion, less and less fre­quent. So, in the end, above ground you must have the Haves, pur­su­ing plea­sure and com­fort and beau­ty, and below ground the Have-nots, the Work­ers get­ting con­tin­u­al­ly adapt­ed to the con­di­tions of their labour. Once they were there, they would no doubt have to pay rent, and not a lit­tle of it, for the ven­ti­la­tion of their cav­erns; and if they refused, they would starve or be suf­fo­cat­ed for arrears. Such of them as were so con­sti­tut­ed as to be mis­er­able and rebel­lious would die; and, in the end, the bal­ance being per­ma­nent, the sur­vivors would become as well adapt­ed to the con­di­tions of under­ground life, and as hap­py in their way, as the Upper-world peo­ple were to theirs. As it seemed to me, the refined beau­ty and the eti­o­lat­ed pal­lor fol­lowed nat­u­ral­ly enough.

“The great tri­umph of Human­i­ty I had dreamed of took a dif­fer­ent shape in my mind. It had been no such tri­umph of moral edu­ca­tion and gen­er­al co-oper­a­tion as I had imag­ined. Instead, I saw a real aris­toc­ra­cy, armed with a per­fect­ed sci­ence and work­ing to a log­i­cal con­clu­sion the indus­tri­al sys­tem of today. Its tri­umph had not been sim­ply a tri­umph over Nature, but a tri­umph over Nature and the fel­low-man. This, I must warn you, was my the­o­ry at the time. I had no con­ve­nient cicerone in the pat­tern of the Utopi­an books. My expla­na­tion may be absolute­ly wrong. I still think it is the most plau­si­ble one. But even on this sup­po­si­tion the bal­anced civ­i­liza­tion that was at last attained must have long since passed its zenith, and was now far fall­en into decay. The too-per­fect secu­ri­ty of the Upper-worlders had led them to a slow move­ment of degen­er­a­tion, to a gen­er­al dwin­dling in size, strength, and intel­li­gence. That I could see clear­ly enough already. What had hap­pened to the Under-grounders I did not yet sus­pect; but from what I had seen of the Mor­locks – that, by the by, was the name by which these crea­tures were called – I could imag­ine that the mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the human type was even far more pro­found than among the “Eloi,” the beau­ti­ful race that I already knew.

“Then came trou­ble­some doubts. Why had the Mor­locks tak­en my Time Machine? For I felt sure it was they who had tak­en it. Why, too, if the Eloi were mas­ters, could they not restore the machine to me? And why were they so ter­ri­bly afraid of the dark? I pro­ceed­ed, as I have said, to ques­tion Weena about this Under-world, but here again I was dis­ap­point­ed. At first she would not under­stand my ques­tions, and present­ly she refused to answer them. She shiv­ered as though the top­ic was unen­durable. And when I pressed her, per­haps a lit­tle harsh­ly, she burst into tears. They were the only tears, except my own, I ever saw in that Gold­en Age. When I saw them I ceased abrupt­ly to trou­ble about the Mor­locks, and was only con­cerned in ban­ish­ing these signs of the human inher­i­tance from Weena’s eyes. And very soon she was smil­ing and clap­ping her hands, while I solemn­ly burned a match.

exu­ber­ant ɪgˈzjuːbərənt adj Mar­ked by unre­strained abun­dance: extrav­a­gant, lush, lav­ish, pro­fuse, opul­tent

splen­did ˈsplɛndɪd adj Bril­liant or fine, esp in appear­ance: excel­lent, won­der­ful, mar­vel­lous

thick­et ˈθɪkɪt n A dense growth of bush­es.

ever­green ˈɛvə­griːn n A plant with leaves that do not fall off in win­ter.

blos­som ˈblɒsəm n A flower or a group of flow­ers.

laden ˈleɪdn adj Car­ry­ing some­thing heavy, or sup­port­ing the weight of some­thing heavy.

fern fɜːn n A plant with leaves shaped like feath­ers and no flow­ers.

undu­late ˈʌnd­jʊleɪt adj To cause to move in waves.

seren­i­ty sɪˈrɛnɪti n The state of being uncloud­ed.

pecu­liar pɪˈkjuːliə adj Not usu­al or nor­mal.

wrought rɔːt n Care­ful­ly formed or worked into shape.

cupo­la ˈkjuːpələ n Domed roof or ceil­ing.

shaft­ed dark­ness ⇒ Dark­ness in which shafts of light go through;

gleam gliːm n A small amount or sign of some­thing.

thud θʌd n Dull sound, as that of a heavy object strik­ing a sol­id sur­face.

flare fleə v To shine or burn sud­den­ly and briefly: flame, glow

to set down ⇒ To run/flow down.

shaft ʃɑːft n An open­ing or pas­sage in a mine.

scrap skræp n A small piece or por­tion: frag­ment

flut­ter ˈflʌtə v To wave, flap, or toss about:

suck sʌk v To draw into the mouth by move­ments of the tongue and lips.

flick­er ˈflɪkə v To move waver­ing­ly.

scorch skɔːʧ v To make hot: burn, bake

to put togeth­er ⇒ To piece togeth­er.

to reach a sug­ges­tion ⇒ To sug­gest, to put forth.

sub­ter­ranean ˌsʌbtəˈreɪniən adj Locat­ed or oper­at­ing beneath the earth’s sur­face: under­ground

import ɪmˈpɔːt n Mean­ing; impli­ca­tion.

to incline to do some­thing ⇒ To have a ten­den­cy to do some­thing

san­i­tary ˈsænɪtəri adj Relat­ing to good health or pro­tec­tion from infec­tion, dis­ease, etc.

con­veyance kənˈveɪəns n The mov­ing of some­thing from one place to anoth­er: trans­porta­tion, trans­port, car­riage

con­ve­nience kənˈviːniəns n Any­thing that increas­es phys­i­cal com­fort: facil­i­ty, com­fort, ameni­ty

utopia juːˈtəʊpjə n An ide­al­ly per­fect place, espe­cial­ly in its social, polit­i­cal, and moral aspects.

negro ˈniː­grəʊ n A per­son who has dark skin and who belongs to a race of peo­ple who are orig­i­nal­ly from Africa.

to take back ⇒ To take some­thing to the place it came from.

par­cel ˈpɑːsl n Some­thing wrapped in paper or in a large enve­lope to be sent by post.

and the like ⇒ And the oth­ers of that kind.

at least ⇒ if noth­ing else.

appre­hend ˌæprɪˈhɛnd v To grasp the mean­ing of; under­stand, espe­cial­ly intu­itive­ly: per­ceive, under­stand, grasp, com­pre­hend, fig­ure out, pick up

sen­si­ble of ⇒ Aware of.

sepul­chre, aм. sep­ul­cher ˈsɛpəlkə n Bur­ial place for human remains: tomb, vault, cat­a­comb

cre­ma­to­ri­um, cre­ma­to­ry ˌkrɛməˈtɔːrɪəm, ˈkrɛmətəri pl cre­ma­to­ria ˌkrɛməˈtɔːrɪə n A place or estab­lish­ment for the incin­er­a­tion of dead person’s corpses in a fur­nace.

sug­ges­tive səˈʤɛstɪv adj Bring­ing thoughts, mem­o­ries, or feel­ings into the mind.

tomb tuːm n Grave or oth­er place of bur­ial.

it occurred to me ⇒ it came to/entered my mind.

to put a ques­tion to some­one ⇒ To ask some­one a ques­tion.

infirm ɪnˈfɜːm adj Weak because of old age or ill­ness.

deca­dent ˈdɛkədənt adj Hav­ing low morals and a great love of plea­sure, mon­ey, fame, etc.

san­dal ˈsændl n A shoe con­sist­ing of a sole fas­tened by straps to the foot.

spec­i­men ˈspɛsɪmɪn n Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a group or class: case, exam­ple, instance, sam­ple

met­al­work ˈmɛt(ə)lˌwɜːk n Met­al objects, or the met­al parts of some­thing.

no ves­tige of ⇒ no trace of.

impor­ta­tion ˌɪm­pɔːˈteɪʃən n The act of import­ing prod­ucts.

pedestal ˈpɛdɪstl n An archi­tec­tur­al base for a stat­ue.

for the life of some­one ⇒ Despite one’s best efforts; to any degree what­so­ev­er.

pil­lar ˈpɪlə n An upright struc­ture of stone, brick, met­al, etc, that sup­ports a super­struc­ture or is used for orna­men­ta­tion.

inscrip­tion ɪnˈskrɪpʃən n Some­thing inscribed, esp words carved or engraved on a coin, tomb, etc.

inter­po­late ɪnˈtɜːpəʊleɪt n To put or set into, between, or among oth­er things: intro­duce, insert, inter­pose, inter­ject

there­with ðeəˈwɪθ adv In addi­tion to; right after that.

to make up of ⇒ To grasp, to com­pre­hend.

to make friends with ⇒ To become a friend of a per­son.

cramp kræmp n Sud­den, spas­mod­ic mus­cu­lar con­tra­ction caus­ing severe pain.

down­stream ˌdaʊnˈstriːm n With or in the direc­tion of the cur­rent of a body of water flow­ing in a chan­nel, riv­er, or brook.

defi­cien­cy /dɪˈfɪʃənsi n The state or con­di­tion of lack­ing some­thing: weak­ness, imper­fec­tion

to slip off ⇒ To push off cloth­ing with a quick and easy move­ment.

wade weɪd v To walk in or through water.

mite maɪt n Very small object or crea­ture.

to bring some­one round ⇒ To bring some­one back to con­scious­ness, as after a faint­ing spell or coma.

to get to ⇒ To reach, to arrive at.

grat­i­tude ˈgrætɪtjuːd n A feel­ing of appre­ci­a­tion or thanks.

gar­land ˈgɑːlənd n A wreath of flow­ers, leaves, or oth­er mate­r­i­al, worn for orna­ment or as an hon­or or hung on some­thing as a dec­o­ra­tion.

des­o­late ˈdɛsəlɪt adj Bereft of friends or hope: sad, for­lorn, lone­ly, lone­some, desert­ed

at any rate ⇒ in any case.

to do one’s best ⇒ To make every pos­si­ble effort.

arbour ˈɑːbə n Shady rest­ing place, formed by tree branch­es, shrubs, etc.

queer kwɪə adj Devi­at­ing from the cus­tom­ary: strange, curi­ous, odd, pecu­liar, sin­gu­lar, quaint, weird

out and about ⇒ Out­side the house; out­door

it goes to one’s heart to do smoething ⇒ To make some­one feel pity or bad to do some­thing.

at last ⇒ After a long wait; final­ly.

exhaust­ed ɪgˈzɔːstɪd adj Drained of strength or ener­gy: tired

plain­tive ˈpleɪn­tɪv adj Full of sor­row: dole­ful, mourn­ful, woe­ful, rue­ful

to car­ry on ⇒ To have.

flir­ta­tion flɜːˈteɪʃən n Super­fi­cial and usu­al­ly tem­po­rary romance: dal­liance

dis­tress dɪsˈtrɛs n Acute anx­i­ety, pain, or sor­row or any­thing that caus­es it: both­er, has­sle, fuss

expos­tu­la­tion ɪksˌpɒstjʊˈleɪʃən n An expres­sion of oppo­si­tion by argu­ment: objec­tion, protest, remon­strance

fran­tic ˈfræn­tɪk adj Wild or marked by uncon­trolled­with emo­tion, excite­ment or emo­tion: fren­zied

devo­tion dɪˈvəʊʃən n Great love, inter­est, care and sup­port for some­body or some­thing: ded­i­ca­tion, com­mit­ment, devot­ed­ness, ado­ra­tion

inflict ɪnˈflɪkt v To cause harm or dam­age on some­one or some­thing in order to make them suf­fer it: impose

to be fond of some­one ⇒ To have a strong lik­ing or affec­tion for some­one.

futile ˈfjuː­taɪl adj Hav­ing no use­ful result: use­less, vain, unsuc­cess­ful, bar­ren, inef­fec­tive

came over ⇒ To arrive in sight; to be man­i­fest; to appear.

dread drɛd v To fear some­thing that will or might hap­pen.

dread­ful ˈdrɛd­fʊl adj Excep­tion­al­ly bad or dis­pleas­ing, caus­ing fear or ter­ror.

sin­gu­lar­ly ˈsɪŋgjʊləli adv In a way that is very notice­able or unusu­al.

some­thing sets me think­ing ⇒ some­thing pro­vokes my think­ing.

drove drəʊv n Large mass of peo­ple act­ing as a body: flock

tumult ˈtjuːmʌlt n An inter­rup­tion of pub­lic peace: dis­tur­bance, com­mo­tion, tur­bu­lence, fuss, uproar, stir

appre­hen­sion ˌæprɪˈhɛnʃ(ə)n n Fear that some­thing bad or unpleas­ant is going to hap­pen: fear, dread, anx­i­ety, wor­ry, con­cern

block­head ˈblɒkhɛd n A stu­pid per­son usu­al­ly not very intel­li­gent: fool, imbe­cile, idiot

slum­ber ˈslʌm­bə v To be asleep: sleep, nap, doze

my sto­ry slips away from me ⇒ My words/thoughts escape my mind.

anemone əˈnɛməni n Kind of wood­land flower, usu­al­ly white, pale-blue or dark-red.

feel fiːl v To touch, to learn about some­thing by touch­ing, hold­ing etc.

palp pælp n An elon­gat­ed appendage usu­al­ly found near the mouth in insects, the func­tions of which may include sen­sa­tion, loco­mo­tion, and feed­ing.

to wake with a start ⇒ To wake with a sud­den move­ment of sur­prise, fear etc.

grey­ish ˈgreɪɪʃ adj Some­what grey.

flag­stone ˈflægstəʊn n A hard, flat piece of stone that is used for mak­ing paths.

to make a virtue of neces­si­ty ⇒ To pre­tend to do some­thing with will­ing­ness although it is nec­es­sary and oblig­a­tory to do it any­way.

pal­lor ˈpælə n Extreme or unnat­ur­al pale­ness.

min­gle ˈmɪŋgl v To mix togeth­er but still stay rec­og­niz­able: mix, com­mix, uni­fy, amal­ga­mate

ghast­ly ˈgɑːstli adj Very shock­ing or hor­ri­ble.

som­bre ˈsɒm­bə adj Dark or dull in colour.

soli­tary ˈsɒlɪtəri adj Being the only one; sin­gle and iso­lat­ed from oth­ers: lone, lone­some, only, sole

ape eɪp n A large pri­mate that lacks a tail, includ­ing the goril­la, chim­panzees, orang­utan, and gib­bons.

leash liːʃ n Set of three.

I did not see what became of them ⇒ I did not see what hap­pened with them.

indis­tinct ˌɪndɪsˈtɪŋkt adj Not clear­ly per­ceived: faint, vague, dim, obscure, hazy, shad­owy

vivid ˈvɪvɪd adv Very clear, pow­er­ful, and detailed in your mind.

ves­tige ˈvɛstɪʤ n Rem­nant that indi­cates the for­mer pres­ence of some­thing: trace, remains

whence wɛns adv From what place or cir­cum­stance.

Grant Allen ⇒ (1848 – 1899) Cana­di­an sci­ence writer and nov­el­ist; a pub­lic pro­mot­er of of the evo­lu­tion doc­trine and an expounder of Dar­win­ism.

years hence ⇒ years lat­er; hence hɛns adv From this time.

jest ʤɛst n Some­thing said or done to cause laugh­ter: joke

star­tle ˈstɑːtl v To sur­prise or fright­en some­one sud­den­ly but not seri­ous­ly: fright­en, scare, ter­ri­fy, alarm

to be des­tined to do some­thing ⇒ To be fated/ doomed to do some­thing

to take pos­ses­sion of ⇒ To seize, to grip.

to account for ⇒ To give an expla­na­tion of.

Charles Robert Dar­win ⇒ (1809 – 1882) An Eng­lish nat­u­ral­ist, geol­o­gist and biol­o­gist, best known for his con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­ence of evo­lu­tion.

blaze bleɪz n A strong flame that burns bright­ly: blaz­ing

glare gleə n Unpleas­ant­ly bright light.

clam­ber ˈklæm­bə v To climb or crawl in an awk­ward way.

heap hiːp n A large, dis­or­dered pile of things: pile

mason­ry ˈmeɪs­nri n Stonework or brick­work.

by con­trast with ⇒ in con­trast to, in com­par­i­son with.

impen­e­tra­bly ɪmˈpɛnɪtrəbli adv In an impos­si­ble to pass or see through way.

grope grəʊp v To search uncer­tain­ly: feel, fum­ble

halt hɔːlt v To stop: stay, check, cease, arrest

spell­bound ˈspɛl­baʊnd adj Entranced by a spell.

lumi­nous ˈluːmɪnəs adj Soft­ly bright or radi­ant.

dread drɛd n Fear­ful expec­ta­tion or antic­i­pa­tion.

clench klɛnʧ v To hold some­thing tight­ly.

stead­fast­ly ˈstɛd­fəstli adj With res­olute deter­mi­na­tion: firm­ly, unwa­ver­ing­ly

glare gleə v To stare fierce­ly and angri­ly.

eye­balls ˈaɪbɔːlz n The whole round ball that forms an eye.{eyeball

ill-con­trolled ˈɪlkənˈtrəʊld adj Reveal­ing one’s emo­tion­al state.

at once ⇒ with­out delay; imme­di­ate­ly.

dart dɑːt v To thrust or move sud­den­ly or rapid­ly: dash, scoot, scud, flash, shoot, whip

to have one’s heart in one’s mouth ⇒ To be very fright­ened.

blun­der ˈblʌndə v To move clum­si­ly in an unsteady way, as if you can­not see prop­er­ly: stum­ble, lurch, wal­low, bum­ble

gran­ite ˈgrænɪt n A usu­al­ly light-col­ored, coarse-grained igneous rock com­posed most­ly of quartz, feldspar, and mica, one of the most com­mon rocks in the crust of con­ti­nents.

stag­ger ˈstægə v To walk or move unsteadi­ly, almost falling over.

dull dʌl adj Not shiny.

flax­en ˈflæk­sən adj Hav­ing the pale gray­ish-yel­low colour of flax fiber.

all-fours ˈɔːlˈfɔːz adj All four limbs of a per­son.

fore­arm ˈfɔːrɑːm n The part of a per­son­’s arm extend­ing from the elbow to the wrist or the fin­ger­tips.

obscu­ri­ty əbˈskjʊərɪti n Dark­ness; dim­ness; indis­tinct­ness.

well-like ⇒ Look­ing like a well (a place for obtain­ing water from an under­ground source).

shud­der ˈʃʌdə v To shiv­er con­vul­sive­ly: shake, trem­ble, quiver, qua­ver

the truth dawned on me ⇒ The truth became clear to me.

descen­dant dɪˈsɛndənt n A per­son con­sid­ered as descend­ed from some ances­tor or race: off­spring, scion

bleach bliːʧ v To lose nor­mal coloura­tion: blanch, pale, eti­o­late

obscene ɒbˈsiːn adj Beyond all rea­son: ridicu­lous, mon­strous, pre­pos­ter­ous, shock­ing

noc­tur­nal nɒkˈtɜːnl adj Relat­ing to or occur­ring in the night: night, night­ly

heir n Some­one who by law receives wealth, pro­prty etc. when the own­er dies.

lemur ˈliːmə n Small, liv­ing in trees, chiefly noc­tur­nal mam­mal of Mada­gas­car and the Comoro Islands, usu­al­ly hav­ing large eyes, a fox­like face, and wool­ly fur.

indo­lent ˈɪndələnt adj Resis­tant to exer­tion and activ­i­ty: idle, lazy, shift­less, sloth­ful

seren­i­ty sɪˈrɛnɪti n A feel­ing of being calm or peace­ful.

with­al wɪˈðɔːl adv Besides.

amorous ˈæmərəs adj Indi­caitve of love: erot­ic, ama­to­ry

dis­tressed dɪsˈtrɛst v Feel­ing or show­ing extreme unhap­pi­ness, strain, anx­i­ety, suf­fer­ing or pain: both­er, has­sle, fuss

aper­ture ˈæpətjʊə n An open­ing, such as a hole or slit: open­ing

vague veɪg adv In not clear­ly per­cep­ti­ble man­ner: faint­ly, dim­ly, unclear­ly

emer­gence ɪˈmɜːʤəns n The becom­ing vis­i­ble: egress, issue

.for instance ⇒ for exam­ple.

owl aʊl n Noc­tur­nal bird of prey, hav­ing a broad head with large, for­ward-direct­ed eyes that are usu­al­ly sur­round­ed by disks of mod­i­fied feath­ers.

and last of all ⇒ final­ly.

fum­ble ˈfʌm­bl v To pro­ceed in an unsteady, fal­ter­ing man­ner: stag­ger, shuf­fle

awk­ward ˈɔːk­wəd n Hard to han­dle; incon­ve­nient to use, uncom­fort­able.

car­riage ˈkærɪʤ n Char­ac­ter­is­tic way of bear­ing one’s body: bear­ing, pos­ture

reti­na ˈrɛtɪnə n The inner­most light-sen­si­tive mem­brane cov­er­ing the back wall of the eye­ball.

habi­tat ˈhæbɪtæt n The nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment of some­thing: home, haunt

in fact ⇒ in real­i­ty or in truth; actu­al­ly.

ram­i­fi­ca­tion ˌræmɪfɪˈkeɪʃən n Sub­or­di­nate part extend­ing from a main body.

plau­si­ble ˈplɔːzəbl n Appar­ent­ly rea­son­able and cred­i­ble, and there­fore con­vinc­ing: believ­able.

I went on to assume ⇒ I con­tin­ued assum­ing that.

how haʊ n A man­ner or method of doing some­thing.

antic­i­pate ænˈtɪsɪpeɪt v To know in advance: see, fore­see

it fell far short of the truth ⇒ it was far from true.

clear as day­light ⇒ Eas­i­ly seen or under­stood; obvi­ous, evi­dent.

grotesque grəʊˈtɛsk adj With no ref­er­ence to real­i­ty or com­mon sense: fan­tas­tic, bizarre, far-fetched

uti­lize ˈjuːtɪˌlaɪz v To put into use: use, employ, exploit

birthright ˈbɜːθraɪt n A right that you have because you were born into a par­tic­u­lar posi­tion, fam­i­ly, place, etc., or because it is a right of all peo­ple.

I mean that ⇒ I have in mind that.

due to ⇒ because of, owing to.

refine­ment rɪˈ­faɪn­mənt n An improve­ment or elab­o­ra­tion.

rude ruːd adj Not show­ing con­cern or respect for the rights and feel­ings of oth­er peo­ple: unciv­il

to shut in ⇒ To iso­late, not allow to go out.

intru­sion ɪnˈtruːʒən n Ille­gal entry upon a prop­er­ty.

temp­ta­tion tɛm­pˈteɪʃən n Some­thing that seduces or has the qual­i­ty to seduce: lure, attrac­tion, fas­ci­na­tion, appeal, induce­ment

on the part of ⇒ From the point of.

inter­mar­riage ˌɪn­təˈmærɪʤ n Mar­riage between peo­ple of dif­fer­ent reli­gions, tribes, castes, eth­nic­i­ties, or racial groups.

at present ⇒ At this time, now.

retards rɪˈtɑːdz v To make slow or delay the devel­op­ment or progress of an action, process, etc.

strat­i­fi­ca­tion ˌstrætɪfɪˈkeɪʃən n For­ma­tion of lay­ers in soci­ety.

cav­ern ˈkævən n Large under­ground cham­ber.{

starve stɑːv v To die or per­ish from lack of food or nour­ish­ment.

suf­fo­cate ˈsʌfəkeɪt v To kill by pre­vent­ing access of air.

arrears əˈrɪəz n pl. An unpaid, over­due debt.

con­sti­tute ˈkɒn­stɪtjuːt v Cre­ate and charge with a task or func­tion: appoint, name, nom­i­nate

rebel­lious rɪˈbɛljəs adj Fight­ing against a gov­ern­ment and refus­ing to obey rules or author­i­ty.

in their way ⇒ in their own mode/ man­ner.

as it seemed to me ⇒ As it appeared to me.

eti­o­late ˈiːtɪəʊleɪt v To lose nor­mal col­oration; turn pale: bleach, blanch, pale

pal­lor ˈpælə n Extreme or unnat­ur­al pale­ness.

at the time ⇒ At a par­tic­u­lar moment in the past; then.

cicerone ˌʧɪʧəˈrəʊni n pl ciceroni ˌʧɪʧəˈrəʊniː Ital­ian A guide for sight­seers.

utopi­an juːˈtəʊpjən adj Not com­pat­i­ble with real­i­ty.

sup­po­si­tion ˌsʌpəˈzɪʃən n Belief used as the basis for some­thing: the­o­ry, hypoth­e­sis

attain əˈteɪn v To gain as an objec­tive: achieve

zenith ˈzɛnɪθ n The high­est state: height, peak, cli­max, cul­mi­na­tion, apogee

to fall into decay ⇒ To become the seri­ous state men­tioned.

degen­er­a­tion dɪˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən n Descent to a low­er lev­el or con­di­tion: decline, dete­ri­o­ra­tion, deca­dence, wors­en­ing

dwin­dle ˈdwɪndl n To grow grad­u­al­ly less: reduce, dimin­ish, lessen, shrink, decrease

by the by ⇒ by the way.

shiv­er ˈʃɪvə v To shake slight­ly because of cold, fear, etc: trem­ble, shud­der, vibrate, shake, quake

unen­durable ˌʌnɪnˈd­jʊərəbl adj Not capa­ble of being tol­er­at­ed: intol­er­a­ble, unbear­able

to burst into tears ⇒ To start cry­ing sud­den­ly.

abrupt­ly əˈbrʌptli adv Quick­ly and with­out warn­ing: sud­den­ly, hasti­ly, hur­ried­ly

ban­ish ˈbænɪʃ v To dri­ve away.

inher­i­tance ɪnˈhɛrɪtəns n The process of genet­ic trans­mis­sion of char­ac­ter­is­tics from par­ent or ances­tor to off­spring.

clap klæp n To strike the palms of the hands against one anoth­er to make a sound, usu­al­ly repeat­ed­ly, espe­cial­ly to express approval.

solemn­ly ˈsɒləm­li adj Seri­ous­ly and with­out any humour.

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