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IN A THOUSAND YEARS

 

YESin a thousand years people will fly on the wings of steam through the airover the oceanThe young inhabitants of America will become visitors of old EuropeThey will come over to see the monuments and the great citieswhich will then be in ruinsjust as we in our time make pilgrimages to the mouldering splendours of Southern AsiaIn a thousand years they will come

The Thamesthe Danubeand the Rhine still roll their courseMont Blanc stands firm with its snowcapped summitand the Northern Lights gleam over the lands of the Northbut generation after generation has become dustwhole rows of the mighty of the moment are forgottenlike those who already slumber under the grave-mound on which the rich trader whose ground it is has built a benchon which he can sit and look out across his waving cornfields

To Europe!”cry the young sons of America;“to the land of our ancestorsthe glorious land of memories and fancy——to Europe!”

The ship of the air comesIt is crowded with passengersfor the transit is quicker than by seaThe electromagnetic wire under the ocean has already telegraphed the number of the aerial caravanEurope is in sightit is the coast of Ireland that they seebut the passengers are still asleepthey will not be called till they are exactly over EnglandThere they will first step on European shorein the land of Shakespeare as the educated call itin the land of politicsthe land of machineryas it is called by others

Here they stay a whole dayThat is all the time the busy race can devote to the whole of England and Scotland

Then the journey is continued through the tunnel under the English Channelto Francethe land of Charlemagne and NapoleonMoliere is namedthe learned men talk of a classical and romantic school of remote antiquitythere is rejoicing and shouting for the names of heroespoetsand men of sciencewhom our time does not knowbut who will be born after our time in Paristhe crater of Europe

The air steamboat flies over the country whence Columbus went forthwhere Cortez was bornand where Calderon sang dramas in sounding verseBeautiful blackeyed women live still in the blooming valleysand ancient songs speak of the Cid and the Alhambra

Then through the airover the seato Italywhere once lay oldeverlasting RomeIt has vanishedThe Campagna lies deserta single ruined wall is shown as the remains of StPeter'sbut there is a doubt if this ruin be genuine

Next to Greeceto sleep a night in the grand hotel at the top of Mount Olympusto say that they have been thereand the journey is continued to the Bosphorusto rest there a few hoursand see the place where Byzantium layand where the legend tells that harem stood in the time of the Turkspoor fishermen are now spreading their nets

Over the remains of mighty cities on the broad Danubecities which we in our time know notthe travellers passbut here and thereon the rich sites of those that time shall bring forththe caravan sometimes descendsand departs thence again

Down below lies Germanythat was once covered with a close net of railways and canalsthe region where Luther spokewhere Goethe sangand Mozart once held the sceptre of harmonyGreat names shone therein science and in artnames that are unknown to usOne day devoted to seeing Germanyand one for the Norththe country of Oersted and Linnausand for Norwaythe land of the old heroes and the young NormansIceland is visited on the journey homeGeyser boils no longerHecla is an extinct volcanobut the rocky island is still fixed in the midst of the foaming seaa continual monument of legend and poetry

There is really a great deal to be seen in Europe,”says the young American,“and we have seen it in a weekaccording to the directions of the great traveller”(and here he mentions the name of one of his contemporaries)“in his celebrated work,‘How to See all Europe in a Week.’”

 


 

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