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continually adapted to the conditions of their labour. Once they
were there, they would no doubt have to pay rent, and not a little
of it, for the ventilation of their caverns; and if they refused, they
would starve or be suffocated for arrears. Such of them as were so
constituted as to be miserable and rebellious would die; and, in the
end, the balance being permanent, the survivors would become as
well adapted to the conditions of underground life, and as happy
in their way, as the Upper-world people were to theirs. As it
seemed to me, the refined beauty and the etiolated pallor followed
naturally enough.

‘The great triumph of Humanity I had dreamed of took a different
shape in my mind. It had been no such triumph of moral education
and general co-operation as I had imagined. Instead, I saw a real
aristocracy, armed with a perfected science and working to a
logical conclusion the industrial system of to-day. Its triumph had
not been simply a triumph over Nature, but a triumph over Nature
and the fellow-man. This, I must warn you, was my theory at the
time. I had no convenient cicerone in the pattern of the Utopian
books. My explanation may be absolutely wrong. I still think it is
the most plausible one. But even on this supposition the balanced
civilization that was at last attained must have long since passed its
zenith, and was now far fallen into decay. The too-perfect security
of the Upper-worlders had led them to a slow movement of
degeneration, to a general dwindling in size, strength, and
intelligence. That I could see clearly enough already. What had
happened to the Under-grounders I did not yet suspect; but from
what I had seen of the Morlocks-that, by the by, was the name by
which these creatures were called-I could imagine that the
modification of the human type was even far more profound than
among the “Eloi,” the beautiful race that I already knew.

‘Then came troublesome doubts. Why had the Morlocks taken my
Time Machine? For I felt sure it was they who had taken it. Why,
too, if the Eloi were masters, could they not restore the machine to
me? And why were they so terribly afraid of the dark? I proceeded,
as I have said, to question Weena about this Underworld, but here
again I was disappointed. At first she would not understand my
questions, and presently she refused to answer them. She shivered
as though the topic was unendurable. And when I pressed her,
perhaps a little harshly, she burst into tears. They were the only
tears, except my own, I ever saw in that Golden Age. When I saw
them I ceased abruptly to trouble about the Morlocks, and was
only concerned in banishing these signs of the human inheritance
from Weena’s eyes. And very soon she was smiling and clapping
her hands, while I solemnly burned a match.
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