The Coming Race HTML version

Chapter 18
As Taee and myself, on quitting the town, and leaving to the left the main road which led
to it, struck into the fields, the strange and solemn beauty of the landscape, lighted up, by
numberless lamps, to the verge of the horizon, fascinated my eyes, and rendered me for
some time an inattentive listener to the talk of my companion.
Along our way various operations of agriculture were being carried on by machinery, the
forms of which were new to me, and for the most part very graceful; for among these
people art being so cultivated for the sake of mere utility, exhibits itself in adorning or
refining the shapes of useful objects. Precious metals and gems are so profuse among
them, that they are lavished on things devoted to purposes the most commonplace; and
their love of utility leads them to beautify its tools, and quickens their imagination in a
way unknown to themselves.
In all service, whether in or out of doors, they make great use of automaton figures,
which are so ingenious, and so pliant to the operations of vril, that they actually seem
gifted with reason. It was scarcely possible to distinguish the figures I beheld, apparently
guiding or superintending the rapid movements of vast engines, from human forms
endowed with thought.
By degrees, as we continued to walk on, my attention became roused by the lively and
acute remarks of my companion. The intelligence of the children among this race is
marvellously precocious, perhaps from the habit of having intrusted to them, at so early
an age, the toils and responsibilities of middle age. Indeed, in conversing with Taee, I felt
as if talking with some superior and observant man of my own years. I asked him if he
could form any estimate of the number of communities into which the race of the Vril-ya
is subdivided.
"Not exactly," he said, "because they multiply, of course, every year as the surplus of
each community is drafted off. But I heard my father say that, according to the last
report,there were a million and a half of communities speaking our language, and
adopting our institutions and forms of life and government; but, I believe, with some
differences, about which you had better ask Zee. She knows more than most of the Ana
do. An An cares less for things that do not concern him than a Gy does; the Gy-ei are
inquisitive creatures."
"Does each community restrict itself to the same number of families or amount of
population that you do?"
"No; some have much smaller populations, some have larger- varying according to the
extent of the country they appropriate, or to the degree of excellence to which they have
brought their machinery. Each community sets its own limit according to circumstances,
taking care always that there shall never arise any class of poor by the pressure of
population upon the productive powers of the domain; and that no state shall be too large