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not trace this line in any of the dimensions of Space generally
recognized? But certainly it traced such a line, and that line,
therefore, we must conclude was along the Time-Dimension.’ ‘But,’
said the Medical Man, staring hard at a coal in the fire, ‘if Time is
really only a fourth dimension of Space, why is it, and why has it
always been, regarded as something different? And why cannot we
move in Time as we move about in the other dimensions of Space?’
The Time Traveller smiled. ‘Are you sure we can move freely in
Space? Right and left we can go, backward and forward freely
enough, and men always have done so. I admit we move freely in
two dimensions. But how about up and down? Gravitation limits
us there.’

‘Not exactly,’ said the Medical Man. ‘There are balloons.’ ‘But
before the balloons, save for spasmodic jumping and the
inequalities of the surface, man had no freedom of vertical
movement.’ ‘Still, they could move a little up and down,’ said the
Medical Man.

‘Easier, far easier down than up.’ ‘And you cannot move at all in
Time, you cannot get away from the present moment.’ ‘My dear
sir, that is just where you are wrong. That is just where the whole
world has gone wrong. We are always getting away from the
present moment.

Our mental existences, which are immaterial and have no
dimensions, are passing along the Time-Dimension with a uniform
velocity from the cradle to the grave. Just as we should travel
down if we began our existence fifty miles above the earth’s
surface.’ ‘But the great difficulty is this,’ interrupted the
Psychologist. ‘You can move about in all directions of Space, but
you cannot move about in Time.’ ‘That is the germ of my great
discovery. But you are wrong to say that we cannot move about in
Time. For instance, if I am recalling an incident very vividly I go
back to the instant of its occurrence: I become absent-minded, as
you say. I jump back for a moment. Of course we have no means of
staying back for any length of Time, any more than a savage or an
animal has of staying six feet above the ground. But a civilized
man is better off than the savage in this respect.

He can go up against gravitation in a balloon, and why should he
not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his
drift along the Time-Dimension, or even turn about and travel the
other way?’ ‘Oh, this,’ began Filby, ‘is all-’ ‘Why not?’ said the
Time Traveller.

‘It’s against reason,’ said Filby.
‘What reason?’ said the Time Traveller.
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