[Cabal and Passworthy are observing the launch of a moon rocket through a
reflecting telescope.] Cabal watches the mirror intently, then cries to Passworthy:
"There they go! That faint gleam of light."
"I feel that what we've done is monstrous."
"What we've done is magnificent."
"Will they come back?"
"Yes. And go again and again, until a landing is
made and the moon is conquered. This is only a beginning."
"If they don't come back--my son and your daughter--what
of that, Cabal?"
"Then, presently, others will go."
"Oh, God, is there never to be an age of happiness?
Is there never to be any rest?"
"Rest enough for the individual man--too much, and too
soon, and we call it Death. But for Man no rest and no ending.
He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet
with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that
restrain him. Then the planets about him, and at last out across
immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of
space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning."
"But...we're such little creatures. Poor humanity's
so fragile, so weak. Little...little animals."
"Little animals. If we're no more than animals we
must snatch each little scrap of happiness and live and suffer and pass,
mattering no more than all the other animals do or have done."
Cabal points to the image of space in the mirror.
"It is this--or that: all the universe or nothingness. Which
shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?"