The Coming Race HTML version

Chapter 11
Nothing had more perplexed me in seeking to reconcile my sense to the existence of
regions extending below the surface of the earth, and habitable by beings, if dissimilar
from, still, in all material points of organism, akin to those in the upper world, than the
contradiction thus presented to the doctrine in which, I believe, most geologists and
philosophers concur- viz., that though with us the sun is the great source of heat, yet the
deeper we go beneath the crust of the earth, the greater is the increasing heat, being, it is
said, found in the ratio of a degree for every foot, commencing from fifty feet below the
surface. But though the domains of the tribe I speak of were, on the higher ground, so
comparatively near to the surface, that I could account for a temperature, therein, suitable
to organic life, yet even the ravines and valleys of that realm were much less hot than
philosophers would deem possible at such a depth- certainly not warmer than the south of
France, or at least of Italy. And according to all the accounts I received, vast tracts
immeasurably deeper beneath the surface, and in which one might have thought only
salamanders could exist, were inhabited by innumerable races organised like ourselves, I
cannot pretend in any way to account for a fact which is so at variance with the
recognised laws of science, nor could Zee much help me towards a solution of it. She did
but conjecture that sufficient allowance had not been made by our philosophers for the
extreme porousness of the interior earth- the vastness of its cavities and irregularities,
which served to create free currents of air and frequent winds- and for the various modes
in which heat is evaporated and thrown off. She allowed, however, that there was a depth
at which the heat was deemed to be intolerable to such organised life as was known to the
experience of the Vril-ya, though their philosophers believed that even in such places life
of some kind, life sentient, life intellectual, would be found abundant and thriving, could
the philosophers penetrate to it. "Wherever the All-Good builds," said she, "there, be
sure, He places inhabitants. He loves not empty dwellings." She added, however, that
many changes in temperature and climate had been effected by the skill of the Vril-ya,
and that the agency of vril had been successfully employed in such changes. She
described a subtle and life-giving medium called Lai, which I suspect to be identical with
the ethereal oxygen of Dr. Lewins, wherein work all the correlative forces united under
the name of vril; and contended that wherever this medium could be expanded, as it were,
sufficiently for the various agencies of vril to have ample play, a temperature congenial
to the highest forms of life could be secured. She said also, that it was the belief of their
naturalists that flowers and vegetation had been produced originally (whether developed
from seeds borne from the surface of the earth in the earlier convulsions of nature, or
imported by the tribes that first sought refuge in cavernous hollows) through the
operations of the light constantly brought to bear on them, and the gradual improvement
in culture. She said also, that since the vril light had superseded all other light-giving
bodies, the colours of flower and foliage had become more brilliant, and vegetation had
acquired larger growth.
Leaving these matters to the consideration of those better competent to deal with them, I
must now devote a few pages to the very interesting questions connected with the
language of the Vril-ya.