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To Be Little Animals, or Gods....


   [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?"

-- From H. G. Wells' film, "Things to Come"


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