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TitleVril the Power of the Coming Race
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Page 67

this is notably recorded: "Humble yourselves, my descendants; the
father of your race was a twat (tadpole): exalt yourselves, my
descendants, for it was the samd Divine Thought which created your
father that develops itself in exalting you."

Aph-Lin told me this fable while I gazed on the three Batrachian
portraits. I said in reply: "You make a jest of my supposed ignorance
and credulity as an uneducated Tish, but though these horrible daubs
may be of great antiquity, and were intended, perhaps, for some rude
caricature, I presume that none of your race, even in the less
enlightened ages, ever believed that the great-grandson of a Frog
became a sententious philosopher; or that any section, I will not say of
the lofty Vril-ya, but of the meanest varieties of the human race, had its
origin in a Tadpole."

"Pardon me," answered Aph-Lin: "in what we call the Wrangling or
Philosophical Period of History, which was at its height about seven
thousand years ago, there was a very distinguished naturalist, who
proved to the satisfaction of numerous disciples such analogical and
anatomical agreements in structure between an An and a Frog, as to
show that out of the one must have developed the other. They had
some diseases in common; they were both subject to the same
parasitical worms in the intestines; and, strange to say, the An has, in
his structure, a swimming-bladder, no longer of any use to him, but
which is a rudiment that clearly proves his descent from a Frog. Nor is
there any argument against this theory to be found in the relative
difference of size, for there are still existent in our world Frogs of a
size and stature not inferior to our own, and many thousand years ago
they appear to have been still larger."

"I understand that," said I, "because Frogs thus enormous are,
according to our eminent geologists, who perhaps saw them in
dreams, said to have been distinguished inhabitants of the upper
world before the Deluge; and such Frogs are exactly the creatures
likely to have flourished in the lakes and morasses of your
subterranean regions. But pray, proceed."

"In the Wrangling Period of History, whatever one sage asserted
another sage was sure to contradict. In fact, it was a maxim in that age,
that the human reason could only be sustained aloft by being tossed to
and fro in the perpetual motion of contradiction; and therefore
another sect of philosophers maintained the doctrine that the An was
not the descendant of the Frog, but that the Frog was clearly the


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improved development of the An. The shape of the Frog, taken
generally, was much more symmetrical than that of the An; beside the
beautiful conformation of its lower limbs, its flanks and shoulders, the
majority of the Ana in that day were almost deformed, and certainly
ill-shaped. Again, the Frog had the power to live alike on land and in
water--a mighty privilege, partaking of a spiritual essence denied to
the An, since the disuse of his swimming-bladder clearly proves his
degeneration from a higher development of species. Again, the earlier
races of the Ana seem to have been covered with hair, and, even to a
comparatively recent date, hirsute bushes deformed the very faces of
our ancestors, spreading wild over their cheeks and chins, as similar
bushes, my poor Tish, spread wild over yours. But the object of the
higher races of the Ana through countless generations has been to
erase all vestige of connection with hairy vertebrata, and they have
gradually eliminated that debasing capillary excrement by the law of
sexual selection; the Gy-ei naturally preferring youth or the beauty of
smooth faces. But the degree of the Frog in the scale of the vertebrata
is shown in this, that he has no hair at all, not even on his head. He was
born to that hairless perfection which the most beautiful of the Ana,
despite the culture of incalculable ages, have not yet attained. The
wonderful complication and delicacy of a Frog's nervous system and
arterial circulation were shown by this school to be more susceptible
of enjoyment than our inferior, or at least simpler, physical frame
allows us to be. The examination of a Frog's hand, if I may use that
expression, accounted for its keener susceptibility to love, and to
social life in general. In fact, gregarious and amatory as are the Ana,
Frogs are still more so. In short, these two schools raged against each
other; one asserting the An to be the perfected type of the Frog; the
other that the Frog was the highest development of the An. The
moralists were divided in opinion with the naturalists, but the bulk of
them sided with the Frog-preference school. They said, with much
plausibility, that in moral conduct (viz., in the adherence to rules best
adapted to the health and welfare of the individual and the
community) there could be no doubt of the vast superiority of the
Frog. All history showed the wholesale immorality of the human race,
the complete disregard, even by the most renowned among them, of
the laws which they acknowledged to be essential to their own and the
general happiness and well-being. But the severest critic of the Frog
race could not detect in their manners a single aberration from the
moral law tacitly recognised by themselves. And what, after all, can be
the profit of civilisation if superiority in moral conduct be not the aim


Page 133

Zee divined my doubt. "Fear not," said she, with a faint smile; "your
return is assured. I began this work when the Silent Hours
commenced, and all else were asleep: believe that I did not pause till
the path back into thy world was clear. I shall be with thee a little
while yet. We do not part until thou sayest, `Go, for I need thee no

My heart smote me with remorse at these words. "Ah!" I exclaimed,
"would that thou wert of my race or I of thine, then I should never say,
`I need thee no more.'"

"I bless thee for those words, and I shall remember them when thou
art gone," answered the Gy, tenderly. During this brief interchange of
words, Zee had turned away from me, her form bent and her head
bowed over her breast. Now, she rose to the full height of her grand
stature, and stood fronting me. While she had been thus averted from
my gaze, she had lighted up the circlet that she wore round her brow,
so that it blazed as if it were a crown of stars. Not only her face and her
form, but the atmosphere around, were illumined by the effulgence of
the diadem.

"Now," said she, "put thine arms around me for the first and last time.
Nay, thus; courage, and cling firm."

As she spoke her form dilated, the vast wings expanded. Clinging to
her, I was borne aloft through the terrible chasm. The starry light from
her forehead shot around and before us through the darkness.
Brightly, and steadfastly, and swiftly as an angel may soar heavenward
with the soul it rescues from the grave, went the flight of the Gy, till I
heard in the distance the hum of human voices, the sounds of human
toil. We halted on the flooring of one of the galleries of the mine, and
beyond, in the vista, burned the dim, rare, feeble lamps of the miners.
Then I released my hold. The Gy kissed me on my forehead
passionately, but as with a mother's passion, and said, as the tears
gushed from her eyes, "Farewell for ever. Thou wilt not let me go into
thy world--thou canst never return to mine. Ere our household shake
off slumber, the rocks will have again closed over the chasm, not to be
re-opened by me, nor perhaps by others, for ages yet unguessed. Think
of me sometimes, and with kindness. When I reach the life that lies
beyond this speck in time, I shall look round for thee. Even there, the
world consigned to thyself and thy people may have rocks and gulfs
which divide it from that in which I rejoin those of my race that have


Page 134

gone before, and I may be powerless to cleave way to regain thee as I
have cloven way to lose."

Her voice ceased. I heard the swan-like sough of her wings, and saw
the rays of her starry diadem receding far and farther through the

I sate myself down for some time, musing sorrowfully; then I rose and
took my way with slow footsteps towards the place in which I heard
the sounds of men. The miners I encountered were strange to me, of
another nation than my own. They turned to look at me with some
surprise, but finding that I could not answer their brief questions in
their own language, they returned to their work and suffered me to
pass on unmolested. In fine, I regained the mouth of the mine, little
troubled by other interrogatories;--save those of a friendly official to
whom I was known, and luckily he was too busy to talk much with me.
I took care not to return to my former lodging, but hastened that very
day to quit a neighbourhood where I could not long have escaped
inquiries to which I could have given no satisfactory answers. I
regained in safety my own country, in which I have been long
peacefully settled, and engaged in practical business, till I retired, on a
competent fortune, three years ago. I have been little invited and little
tempted to talk of the rovings and adventures of my youth. Somewhat
disappointed, as most men are, in matters connected with household
love and domestic life, I often think of the young Gy as I sit alone at
night, and wonder how I could have rejected such a love, no matter
what dangers attended it, or by what conditions it was restricted. Only,
the more I think of a people calmly developing, in regions excluded
from our sight and deemed uninhabitable by our sages, powers
surpassing our most disciplined modes of force, and virtues to which
our life, social and political, becomes antagonistic in proportion as our
civilisation advances,--the more devoutly I pray that ages may yet
elapse before there emerge into sunlight our inevitable destroyers.
Being, however, frankly told by my physician that I am afflicted by a
complaint which, though it gives little pain and no perceptible notice
of its encroachments, may at any moment be fatal, I have thought it my
duty to my fellow-men to place on record these forewarnings of The
Coming Race.

129 Vril, The Power Of The Coming Race By Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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