The Time Machine
How we cite our quotes:
The Editor stood up with a sigh. "What a pity it is you're not a writer of stories!" he said.
"I'm hanged if it isn't a quarter to one," said the Journalist. "How shall we get home?" (12.16)
After hearing the Time Traveller's story, the Editor and the Journalist are the first to reject it and the first to bring everyone's attention back to their day-to-day concerns. It's certainly easier to deal with the problem of getting home than the future of the human species. This is mental passivity – these two would rather take the easy way out and avoid any serious, difficult thinking.