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the sense of a soul withinof God in the
world, and over it, and all around itwhereof
comes man's hope of a future life beyond
his presence here. Thus upward, and thus
onward ever.

'And all this monstrous vegetation above
ground shall be cast down and embedded deep
in the dark bowels of the earth, there under
the chemical process of ages to become a fuel
for future generations of men, yet unborn,
who will require it for their advance in
civilisation and knowledge. Yes; these huge
ferns, these trunks, and stems, and towering
fabrics of trees, shall all crash downsink
deep into the earth with all the rank enfolding
mass of undergrowththere to be jammed
and mashed up between beds of fiery stone
and grit and clay, and covered with oozy
mud and sand, till stratum after stratum of
varied matter rises above them, and forms a
new surface of earth. On this surface the
new vegetation of the world will commence,
while that of the old lies beneath,—not rotting
in vain, nor slumbering uselessly in darkness,
but gradually, age after age, undergoing
transmutation by the alchemy of Nature, till
verdure becometh veriest blackness, and wood is
changed to coal.

'Then man is born, appearing on the earth
only when the earth is ready to receive him,
and minister to his wants. At first he useth
wood for his fuel; but as his knowledge
expands and deepens he penetrates far below
the surface, and there finds forests of fuel
almost inexhaustible, made ready for his
various needs and arts. And when, in far-off
ages, these vast stores become exhausted,
others will be discovered not only of the same
date, but which have been since accumulated;
for the same process of transmutation is
constantly going on. Thus present time always
works for future ages.

'Slowly as moves the current in my veins,'
the Elfin rose up as he said this'veins
which seem to your eye to contain a stagnant
gold, but whose metallic current, in its
appointed period of years, performs each several
circulation within me,—yea, slowly as this,
or any other invisible progression, move these
mighty forest trees towards their downward
course, to rise again in coals,—in fire,—and
thence ascend to air. Yes, this invisible
motion is as certain withal, as that immediate
action which mortal nature best can comprehend.'

As the Elfin uttered these last words, the
great trees around sank with crashing slant
one over the other!—then came rushing, like a
sudden tempest, down upon the earth; and
the young man was overwhelmed with the
foliage, and instantly lost all further

The traveller who has journeyed for many
days across the fertile levels and shining flats
of Holland, must often have bethought him
that all this was surging ocean, but a few
years ago; in like manner, by an inverse
process, the voyager up the Mississippi or
Missouri rivers, or the wayfarer for many
days through the apparently interminable
and dense forests of North America, might
look forward to a period when all these
masses of vegetation would become coal, if
left to be dealt with by the regular process of

The rapid advances of civilisation into these
wooded solitudes may prevent the transmutation
to which they were otherwise destined;
and the same may be said of the forests even
on many of the vast tracts, as yet scarcely
trodden by the foot of man, in New Zealand
and Australia; but many other giant forest
tracts exist in unknown regions, which are
destined to follow the law of transmutation,
and secretly become a carbonic fuel for future

But what does young Flashley now behold?
He is aroused from his trance, and is again
conscious of surrounding objects. He is seated,
so that he cannot move, on a little wooden
bench beneath a low wooden shed, such as
labourers 'knock up' by way of temporary
shelter in the vicinity of some great works.
Great works are evidently in hand all around

Labourers with pick-axes and spades came
hurrying to the spot, and began to dig a
circular hole of some seven feet in diameter.
Then came others with a great wooden roller
on a stand, with a thick rope, like a well-rope,
wound round it; and fixing this across the
top of the hole, they let down a basket, ever
and anon, and brought it up filled with earth
and stones. It was evident that they were
employed in sinking a shaft.

They worked away at a prodigious rate,
the descending baskets continually taking
down men with pickaxes and spades; and next
with carpenter's tools and circular pieces of
wood-work, with which they made an inner
frame round the sides of the shaft below.
Bricklayers, with hods of bricks, were next let
down in the baskets, and with the support of
the circular frame beneath, they rapidly cased
the inside of the shaft with brickwork up to
the top. More and deeper digging out then
took placemore wooden frame-work below,
with more brickwork round the sides, and
gradually sinking lower and lower. This was
continued again and again, till suddenly loud
cries from below announced some new event.
The diggers had arrived at springswater was
gushing in upon them!

Up came the rope and basket with three men
standing up inside and holding on the rope,
and two men and a boy clinging round rope
and basket, and round each other as they best
could, and with no small peril to all. Leaping,
scrambling, or lugged to the side, they relieved
the basket, which rapidly ran down again to
bring up others.

Meanwhile came labourers heavily trotting
beneath the weight of pumps and pump-gear;
and they rigged up the pump, and as soon as