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The Time Machine

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Chapters 1 and 2


The Time Traveller is in his home, speaking to a group of men that includes the narrator.

He is lecturing on the fourth dimension. He tells them that a cube exists not only in space,

but also in time. Time is the fourth dimension. Many of them are skeptical. The Time

Traveller claims that one should be able to move about in the fourth dimension just as

one can move about in the other three. After all, he notes, we are constantly moving

forward in time, why not move faster or slower or even backward? He produces a

miniature time machine, the size of a clock, made of ivory and crystal. The Time

Traveller explains that one lever sends the machine into the future and the other one

sends it into the past. He asks one of the guests to push the forward lever, and the

machine disappears in a small gust. He claims that the machine is now gliding forward

into the future. The guests ask why they cannot still see it, since they too are moving into

the future, and the Time Traveller explains that it is moving forward too quickly to be

seen, like the spokes of a wheel or a speeding bullet. The guests are amazed. The

Traveller then shows them a much larger machine, with which he plans to explore time.

The narrator concludes that not many of the guests believed the Time Traveller, as he was

a very intelligent man, likely to play elaborate pranks. The narrator returns to dinner at his

house the next week. The guests include some of the men from the previous week and

some new guests. They have been instructed to begin dinner without their host. When he

enters, he is incredibly dusty and dishevelled. He quickly drinks some champagne, then

goes to wash up. The narrator suggests to the other guests that their host has been

travelling in time. The others are incredulous and make sarcastic remarks in reply. When

the Time Traveller is finally ready to tell his story, the guests quickly raise objections.

The Time Traveller says that he has no energy to argue and will speak only if everyone

agrees not to interrupt. The guests agree, and sit in increasingly rapt attention as the story


Chapters 3 and 4


The Time Traveller gets on his machine and pushes the forward lever just a little. He feels

a dizzying sensation, and when he looks at the clock in his lab he sees that five hours

have passed. He then presses the forward lever a bit more. Night and day fly by in

increasingly rapid succession. Soon the lab disappears. He can see the hazy outline of

buildings as well as the sun going in a continuous path across the sky that moves up and

down with the seasons. A feeling of headlong motion turns into exhilaration. He begins to

worry that when he stops the machine it will land where there is already some solid

object, and he will be obliterated. He becomes very frightened and pulls the lever to a

stop. He ends up flying headlong through the air.

The traveller finds himself in a hail storm. As it passes, he notices a giant statue of a

white sphinx on a bronze pedestal. He begins to fear what man may have evolved into.

Perhaps it is something very cruel or savage. He notices large buildings, and as he turns

his time machine over on the right side, he notices that some figures in rich robes are

observing him from the nearest building. One of the creatures approaches him. It is

beautiful but very frail, reminding the Time Traveller of someone afflicted by

tuberculosis .

More of the creatures surround him, speaking in a "sweet and liquid tone." They seem

free of fear, and he feels safe. He removes the control levers from his time machine so

that no one else can use it. The creatures have large eyes, curly hair, and thin red lips.

When he points up to the sun to try to explain where he has come from, one of the

creatures makes the sound of thunder, thinking that he came from the hail storm. He

wonders if they are fools and is flooded with disappointment. They begin to run about and

shower him with strange flowers, and he laughs at how wrongly he had imagined the


The creatures take the traveller into one of their large buildings. It is covered with strange

hieroglyphics. They give him a meal of strange fruit. He tries to learn a few words. They

laugh at his attempts to speak their language, and soon grow weary of teaching him. They

seem foolish and indolent. He walks out to explore the world of 802,701 AD. There are

ruins. He notices that all of the creatures live together in huge buildings. He also notices

that there are no outward signs of gender, and that there are no old people. He thinks he

has arrived in a communist paradise, and that these creatures are the result of a world

without hardship and fear. He thinks how in his own time,



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