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ginal species? The solution of this systematists. From the use, or rather question involves more difficulties than abuse, of such phrases, the uninitiated the former one; for although the doc- would be apt to suppose that the vatrine of the permanence of species is rious tribes of mankind might be as the basis of all sound natural history, easily classified as the inhabitants of the it is unquestionably, in many cases, wards and streets of a great city; and very difficult to decide what are species, it is this unfortunate rage for applying and what are mere varieties. In in system where system is inapplicable, vestigating the specific unity of the that gives an air of precision to what human race, under all its variations, is most indefinite. It is in this way we must be guided, in as far as natural that the terms Caucasian, Mongolian, history is concerned, by indirect re- &c., have been so abused, that it is desults. Every botanist who has studied sirable that science should speedily get such genera as the rose and the wil. quit of what can only produce mislow, knows that it is almost impossible takes. to ascertain what are species, and what If the varieties of mankind stood varieties; and the same difficulties oc- out so boldly as is thus supposed, car in the animal kingdom. e all some presumption of a plurality of can distinguish between a hare and species might be entertained. But such rabbit, but how difficult is it to express ideas are far from the truth. If we the difference in words. The fox, the take the woolly-haired type, as learned jackal, and the wolf, are distinct spe- men delighted to call it, or, in other cies, yet they do not appear to differ so words, the African, we immediately much as the terrier, the greyhound, imagine a man with a black skin, and the mastiff; yet these are, un woolly hair, a narrow, receding forequestionably, merely varieties of the head, and weak shin bones, &c. Now dog. We must, however, remember, such a combination of characters are that even where the cannot find organic rare even in Africa. The Hottentot differences, we sometimes find other is certainly not a Negro; and if any criteria no less decisive of species. one will compare portraits of a Nubian, Thus the mode of breeding and rear- a Caffir, a native of Congo and ing their young, indicates a specific Mozambique, he will find that the distinction between the hare and rab Africans present a rich variety of bit; and in like manner the solitary features and complexion; so that here fox and the jackal, who hunts in packs, we have an endless variety of conmay from these habits alone be consi- formations to classify. The Hindered distinct. The unity of the doo, the Greek, and the Scandinahuman species, in as far as it is a zoo vian, are unquestionably of a comlogical question, appears to be by far mon descent; yet we may make three the most probable view, and is scarcely types or sub-types, if we are so incontradicted by any opposing evidence. clined. In short, when we take an We know that domestication exercises extensive survey of the varieties of a powerful influence in producing, in mankind, we find that classification is varieties, the Shetland pony and the impossible, and that the divisions conLondon dray-horse ; and the varieties stituted by naturalists, are unsuscepof our tame animals, and also of our tible of definition, and can be referred cultivated vegetables, prove how greatly to no common standard. species may vary, and the varieties of From these remarks, it follows that the human race are not greater than there are no definite characters which those which we observe within the lis separate and define the various races mits of species in the inferior animals. of mankind, and that so far from Another source of confusion in this in- finding specific characters, we are quiry is from the narrow and technical unable even to draw lines of demarviews which mere naturalists are too cation between the varieties. If we apt to entertain, and of this the work take even the most extreme cases, of Col. Hamilton Smith affords a cu- such as the Negro, the Australian, rious illustration. The learned writer the Mongol, and the European, we speaks of normaland aberrant races of find no point of organisation in which man, of typical and subtypical stocks, they differ. In seeking for such disno doubt to the wonder of those who tinctions, the most skilful anatomists know not the sacred language of the have failed, and their existence has been maintained only by those whose periods by the Spanish ecclesiastics. limited views have prevented them Nor is this all—the process of flattenfrom taking a general survey, or who ing the head is still practised by have forgotten the most obvious facts various tribes, and has been witnessed of anatomy. Instances of such strange in all its stages by competent scientific oversights are but too numerous in observers, so that a deformed and the work of Colonel Hamilton Smith, flattened cranium is no proof of the and a few examples will explain the existence of a peculiar species or want of reflection which is but too often variety of the human race; the only displayed in such investigations. We wonderful thing is, that such a notion select as an instance the remains of should ever have become prevalent. crania found in ancient tumuli in We have stated that a small bone is Peru, which we find so strangely often found in these Peruvian skulls, flattened and distorted, as to differ which is interposed between the bone from anything which we observe in of the hind-head and the two bones any other quarter of the world. Not which form the vault of the skull. only are these heads totally different Now, it is truly marvellous that this bone in form from the average heads of should have been considered as wondermankind, but we find also several fulor peculiar to the skulls of the tribe of other peculiarities, which have been American Indians; it is as common esteemed very anomalous. It is dif. in the skulls of Europeans as of Inficult to render those differences in dians, and what is the Incas bone of telligible to the non-professional some travellers, has been known, time student, but we must make the at out of mind, to every medical student tempt. In the greater number of by the name of Wormian bone. In cases, the bone of the hind-head, like manner, the flattened surfaces of called the occiput, is directly united the teeth is as common among the to the two bones which form the roof Indians of the present day as it ever of the skull; but in the flat-heads was at any remote period. We will there is a bone interposed between only state another instance in which the three bones just mentioned. Con- the most vague and hypothetical cerning this bone much speculation statements are advanced. It is a has been expended, and as being cha well-known theory, that the human racteristic of an extinct nation, per- embryo goes through a series of haps an extinct species has been de changes, which correspond with the corated in good Latin with the name permanent structure of the different of os-Incæ, or the Inca bone, as being classes of inferior animals. Whether characteristic of the ancient inhabit. this theory be true or false, our learned ants of Peru. Another wonderful author presents us with a strange circumstance is, that the teeth of caricature of the doctrinethese Indians have been so worn down as to present flat surfaces, as if the « The human brain successively asvery teeth were differently constructed sumes the form of the Negroes, the from those of ordinary mortals. It is Malays, the Americans, and the Manvery afflicting to notice such a com- golians, before it attains the Caucabination of blunders in an elementary sian, one of the earliest points where work, whose readers are not likely to
ossification commences in the lower be able to detect the fallacy.
the follo. The
jaw. This bone, therefore, is sooner truth, however, is, that the flat heads
completed than any other of the head,
and acquires a predominance which it of these Indians is not aboriginal or
never loses in the Negro during the congenital, but is obviously the re soft pliant state of the bones of the sult of art. It is true we cannot skull—the oblong form which they naprove this with respect to Indians turally assume approaches nearly the who lived, died, and were buried permanent shape of the American. It before Columbus was born, or Pizarro has the flattened face &c. of the infant had spread ruin and devastation represented in the Mongolian form." through the country ; but we know that the practice of flattening the head These inaccurate and ill-expressed by artificial means, prevailed in Peru notions only deserve notice in as far before the conquest, that it was dis- as they are apt to be entertained by a couraged by the Incas, and at later numerous class of readers, who may
not have the means of correcting them. That the brain of a European infant passes through the forms of a Negro, Malay, and American brain, is at best a mere hypothesis, derived from another ill-understood hypothesis, and is, besides, contrary to what is actually the case. Tiedeman, one of the ablest anatomists of the present time, instituted a most careful comparison between the structure of the European and Negro brains, and could not detect the smallest difference; and thus, as is too often the case, fact is opposed to theory.
Although all the weight of evidence indicates that the varieties of the human race belong to a single species-and such is the opinion of those who haveinvestigated the subject most carefullyit would by no means follow from this alone that all the races of mankind are descended from a single pair. This is an inquiry in which our natural his tory knowledge can be of comparatively little aid. We must seek for information elsewhere ; but we must keep the physical, the philological, and historical branches of the investigation distinct, and interrogate them separately. The natural history argument for the common origin of the human family, although it has been largely insisted upon by Dr. Pritchard in his excellent and candid work, has always appeared to us very inconclusive. The argument is as follows:- It is wellknown that all great regions of our globe possess its own peculiar creation of plants and animals, thus forming a little world within the greater one. This remarkable distribution of organic bodies does not depend on any physical necessity. The plants and animals of tropical Africa and tropical America are almost and always of distinct species, and very often distinct families, although there is little doubt that, if they were respectively to change their abodes, they would subsist and multiply in their new habitations. Each region of the earth has, therefore, possessed, so to speak, its own centre of creation, whence the various tribes have spread, until their progress was impeded by some physical obstacle, such as seas, mountains, or change of climate. From these truths concerning which every one is agreed, it has been inferred that each species originated from a single original pair, and hence
by analogy, the same origin is inferred for the human race. This analogical argument, however, appears to be extremely inconclusive, even when applied to the animal and vegetable kingdoms; and indeed the presumption appears to us to be altogether on the other side. The ant-bears consume thousands of ants per diem, and it is obvious that a single pair of ants and of ant-bears created at the same instant is an impossibility. At all events, this argument is far too vague to be of any value in reasoning respecting the parentage of man and the dispersion of his tribes.
If the analogical argument is of no value, and affords no evidence on either side, we are inclined to think that some presumptions, at least, may be obtained by calling in the aid of philology and history. The only reason, as far as we can see, for assuming a plurality of parentage for the human family, is the remarkable varieties of form, complexion, and mental disposition, which we perceive in different regions of the earth. Impressed with extremes or limits of diversity, some who admit a unity of species contend for a multiplicity of parent stocks. Cuvier- who, however, does not appear to have bestowed much attention on the subject
was inclined to admit three primary families--the African, the Mongol, the source of the Chinese, Americans, and Malays, and the Caucasian or IndoEuropean family, and this is very much the opinion of Col. Hamilton Smith. There are many considerations which are opposed to this view of the subject; and if in the present instance, even if we cannot prove our own opinions, we can at least do some service, by pointing out the difficulties attending the opposite hypothesis. If well-marked varieties are to be traced each to a separate parentage, it is obvious we must admit far more than three original stocks. The Hottentot and the Australian must be taken from the negro race, and the American and Malay are equally entitled to their own family honours. On the other hand, it is impossible to define the three pri. mary stocks; they vary infinitely in different situations; and what is still more difficult to comprehend, they pass into each other. The ancient Egyptian and the Canary Islanders are, in physical appearance, neither Cauca
sian nor Negro. The black Indians of California are almost Negroes, while the Indians of Queen Charlotte's Island may be said to resemble Finlanders. There is, however, a still more decisive consideration, the im. portance of which was first fully per. ceived by Dr. Pritchard, who pointed out that varieties are not permanent, and that in the course of ages the physical features of a nation may undergo great changes. One of the most curi. ous results of the science of compara tive philology, is the light which it throws on the history of that family of mankind which Dr. Pritchard calls the Allophylian race. This race, which may once have occupied all that country from the Ganges to Ireland, and which is now the patrimony of the Indo-European family, appears to have preceded the Celtic race in Europe, and subsequently to have had its limits still more curtailed by the Germanic migrations. At present they are still numerous, and include the Laplanders, Fins, Esthonians, Permians, and Huns, besides numerous tribes on both sides of the Ural Mountains. A compari. son of their languages proves that all these scattered tribes have a common origin, and we all know how diverse their features are. The mere dealer in zoological technicalities would class some of them with the Mongol stock, and others he would refer to his Cau casian type. How different is an Esthonian from a Baskir, or from his Uralian ancestors; and we know that when the Magyars settled in Pannonia, they were a very unseemly race; but an abode of several centuries in a rich country, under a fine climate, and the influence of Christianity, have rendered the modern Hungarians a hand. some race, and one of the most spirited nations of Europe. There is another and equally striking example of the fluctuation of national features afforded by the history of the Celtic and Ger manic races. The late Mr. Pinkerton, whose strength of intellect and power ful judgment, unfortunately for him self and for literature, was not regu. lated by a corresponding vigour of moral principle, in his usual imperious and dogmatic style, asserted that light hair and blue eyes were the preroga. tive of the Goth, while dark eyes and a sallow complexion characterised the unhappy Celts.
When Mr. Pinkerton associated intellectual inferiority with dark complexions, he surely forgot Greece and Rome, Spain and Italy; Dante and Cervantes alone might have reconciled the great “ king of the Goths," as he was called, to swarthy skin and black ringlets. This notion of distinguishing the two races by their complexion has misled less prejudiced writers than poor Pinkerton. It appears, however, that the ancient Gauls and other Celts had light or red hair, although their descendants are, in general, darkhaired. Niebuhr-an authority which will not be lightly esteemed_describes the ancient Gauls as yellow-haired. Ammianus, who lived among them, describes them as red-haired. As Dr. Pritchard remarks, the Gauls are universally described by the ancients, as a remarkably tall, yellow-haired, blueeyed people. As, however, Niebuhr observed, “ that the Germans are no longer red-haired, so the Gauls, or their descendants, have lost the yellow hair of their forefathers.” In this respect both Gauls and Germans have changed their features; and it is only in Scandinavia that we can perceive the physical characters of the German race, such as they were seen and described by Tacitus. We have already mentioned the great variety of features exhibited by the Indo-European family, who have all sprung from a common stock, and must have migrated from the same regions.
If the features of nations are unquestionably subject to variation, so as to induce us to reject the hypothesis of distinct aboriginal stocks, it is also a remarkable circumstance, that those inoral and intellectual peculiarities which constitute what we call national character, are even more permanent than the external physiognomy of nations. In the American race, for example, extending through every degree of latitude, living under every variety of physical conditions, and presenting a great variety of complexion and stature, we find a remarkably uniform, but far from pleasing, moral character. In Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, we find the same malignant and revengeful temper, and the cold blooded and hard-hearted cruelty; and this displayed equally by the savage Iroquois and the polished and semi-civilized na. tives of Mexico ; so that one would
almost be tempted to trace their descent from the first homicide. In the nu. merous archipelagoes of the Pacific, we find also a uniform character of gay and thoughtless licentiousness, possessing none of the stern and in flexible character of the Carib or Algonquin of the American forests. Itis, how ever, among the various races of Europe that we perceive this stability of national character. In this respect three great races of civilized nations present very remarkable distinctions. The Chinese and allied nations display a national character which is strikingly contrasted with that' of the IndoEuropean race. “ Prophets," says Mr. Newman, “never made their appearance in China: all its institutions proceed from men, and are calculated for temporal good. The Chinese were the utilitarians of the ancient world. It is not by flying from the world, and giving themselves to penance, like the Hindoos, that the Chinese obtain the favour of their gods, but by patient endurance in the midst of society, in obedience to the laws of their ancestors. What the Chinese cannot comprehend with their natural understanding exists not for them, and is an object of their derision." With such a people, poetry and imagination have no place; statistics, organisation, and practical principles, are what they alone care for. Such a people would canonize Adam Smith and 'Malthus, while Bentham Fould occupy the chief place in their pantheon. With this worldly-minded people, with whom prudence is the highest good, the Semitic or Aramaean family form a wonderful contrast. This race alone of all antiquity possessed true and worthy ideas re. specting the divine nature and the mo. ral relations of man, of guilt and pun ishment, which is so truly wonderful when we look upon the materialism of China, and the gigantic pantheism of the Hindoos. They alone of all the nations knew a personal deity distinct from his works-not merely the or derer and arranger of the material world, but the creator of its very elements. It is to this race that we must trace not merely our religion, but our civilization. The nearly allied Phoenicians carried Semitic civiliza tion to the west, introduced alphabetic writing into Greece, and traded with
Cornwall and the Baltic, and imported the spices of India, long before the beginning even of Greek traditions.
The Indo-European family exhibits decided intellectual tendencies, no less marked than the two families we have described. In all of them we find traces, more or less distinct, of a priestly caste, under the names of Brahmins, Magi, or Druids. None of the members of this family ever rose to the conception of a personal deity distinct from his creation. From India to Greece the basis of their doctrines was always some form of pantheism or emanation; and thus a physical religion, in which the laws and powers of nature were considered as portion of the divine nature, and personated in the endless forms of their mythology. How strong this tendency to nature-worship and pantheistic speculations is rooted in the Indo-European mind, is obvious from the uniformity of their mythology; or to him who has studied that uninterrupted succession of thought which pervades the Vedas and Hindoo philo. sophy, the poems of Hesiod, the early Greek philosophy, the latter doctrines of the Alexandrian school, and, in our own day, the writings of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.
In the subordinate divisions of this Indo-European race, we also perceive a national character still more permanent than national features. The Spaniard, for example, notwithstanding his country is broken into provinces, and has been oftener conquered than any other European kingdom, still retains his national character, if, unfortunately, he has lost much of his national spirit. The same spirit of enduring fortitude, of obstinate resistance, has been displayed at all periods of Spanish history, from the days of Hannibal to the siege of Zaragosa. The same inflated style and Castillian pride may be seen in Seneca and Lucian, as in their descendants of the present day. But the history of the Celts, as contrasted with that of the Teutonic race, affords, perhaps, the best illustration of the permanence of national character. The Gauls of Cæsar and Ammianus were the French of the present day. We have still the same lively fickleness, excitable temperament, the same taste for wild enterprise, without the practical wisdom