That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.


Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:58 pm

Chapter 13: Perfectibility of Man

Imperfect notions of the capability of savage tribes—Parallel between our civilization and those that preceded it—Our modern political theories no novelty—The political parties of Rome—Peace societies—The art of printing a means, the results of which depend on its use—What constitutes a "living" civilization—Limits of the sphere of intellectual acquisitions.

To understand perfectly the differences existing among races, in regard to their intellectual capacity, it is necessary to ascertain the lowest degree of stupidity that humanity is capable of. The inferior branches of the human family have hitherto been represented, by a majority of scientific observers, as considerably more abased than they are in reality. The first accounts of a tribe of savages almost always depict them in exaggerated colors of the darkest cast, and impute to them such utter intellectual and reasoning incapacity, that they seem to sink to the level of the monkey, and below that of the elephant. There are, indeed, some contrasts. Let a navigator be well received in some island—let him succeed in persuading a few of the natives to work, however little, with the sailors, and praises are lavished upon the fortunate tribe: they are declared susceptible of every improvement; and perhaps the eulogist will go so far as to assert that he has found among them minds of a very superior order.

To both these judgments we must object—the one being too favorable, the other too severe. Because some natives of Tahiti assisted in repairing a whaler, or some inhabitant of Tonga Tabou exhibited good feelings towards the white strangers who landed on his isle, it does not follow that either are capable of receiving our civilization, or of being raised to a level with us. Nor are we warranted in classing among brutes the poor naturals of a newly-discovered coast, who greet their first visitors with a shower of stones and arrows, or who are found making a dainty repast on raw lizards and clods of clay. Such a meal does not, indeed, indicate a very superior intelligence, or very refined manners. But even in the most repulsive cannibal there lies latent a spark of the divine flame, and reason may be awakened to a certain extent. There are no tribes so very degraded that they do not reason in some degree, whether correctly or otherwise, upon the things which surround them. This ray of human intelligence, however faint it may be, is what distinguishes the most degraded savage from the most intelligent brute, and capacitates him for receiving the teachings of religion.

But are these mental faculties, which every individual of our species possesses, susceptible of indefinite development? Have all men the same capacity for intellectual progress? In other words, can cultivation raise all the different races to the same intellectual standard? and are no limits imposed to the perfectibility of our species? My answer to these questions is, that all races are capable of improvement, but all cannot attain the same degree of perfection, and even the most favored cannot exceed a certain limit.

The idea of infinite perfection has gained many partisans in our times, because we, like all who came before us, pride ourselves upon possessing advantages and points of superiority unknown to our predecessors. I have already spoken of the distinguishing features of our civilization, but willingly revert to this subject again.

It may be said, that in all the departments of science we possess clearer and more correct notions; that, upon the whole, our manners are more polished, and our code of morals is preferable to that of the ancients. It is further asserted, as the principal proof of our superiority, that we have better defined, juster and more tolerant ideas with regard to political liberty. Sanguine theorists are not wanting, who pretend that our discoveries in political science and our enlightened views of the rights of man will ultimately lead us to that universal happiness and harmony which the ancients in vain sought in the fabled garden of Hesperides.

These lofty pretensions will hardly bear the test of severe historical criticism.

If we surpass preceding generations in scientific knowledge, it is because we have added our share to the discoveries which they bequeathed to us. We are their heirs, their pupils, their continuators, just as future generations will be ours. We achieve great results by the application of the power of steam; we have solved many great problems in mechanics, and pressed the elements as submissive slaves into our service. But do these successes bring us any nearer to omniscience. At most, they may enable us ultimately to fathom all the secrets of the material world. And when we shall have achieved that grand conquest, for which so much requires still to be done that is not yet commenced, nor even anticipated; have we advanced a single step beyond the simple exposition of the laws which govern the material world? We may have learned to direct our course through the air, to approach the limits of the respirable atmosphere; we may discover and elucidate several interesting astronomical problems; we may have greater powers for controlling nature and compelling her to minister to our wants, but can all this knowledge make us better, happier beings? Suppose we had counted all the planetary systems and measured the immense regions of space, would we know more of the grand mystery of existence than those that came before us? Would this add one new faculty to the human mind, or ennoble human nature by the eradication of one bad passion?

Admitting that we are more enlightened upon some subjects, in how many other respects are we inferior to our more remote ancestors? Can it be doubted, for instance, that in Abraham's times much more was known of primordial traditions than the dubious beams which have come down to us? How many discoveries which we owe to mere accident, or which are the fruits of painful efforts, were the lost possessions of remote ages? How many more are not yet restored? What is there in the most splendid of our works that can compare with those wonders by which Egypt, India, Greece, and America still attest the grandeur and magnificence of so many edifices which the weight of centuries, much more than the impotent ravages of man, has caused to disappear? What are our works of art by the side of those of Athens; our thinkers by the side of those of Alexandria or India; our poets by the side of a Valmiki, Kalidasa, Homer, Pindar?

The truth is, we pursue a different direction from that of the human societies whose civilization preceded ours. We apply our mind to different purposes and different investigations; but while we clear and cultivate new lands, we are compelled to neglect and abandon to sterility those to which they devoted their attention. What we gain in one direction we lose in another. We cannot call ourselves superior to the ancients, unless we had preserved at least the principal acquisitions of preceding ages in all their integrity, and had succeeded in establishing by the side of these, the great results which they as well as we sought after. Our sciences and arts superadded to theirs have not enabled us to advance one step nearer the solution of the great problems of existence, the mysteries of life and death. "I seek, but find not," has always been, will ever be, the humiliating confession of science when endeavoring to penetrate into the secrets concealed by the veil that it is not given to mortal to lift. In criticism [174] we are, undoubtedly, much in advance of our predecessors; but criticism implies classification, not acquisition.

Nor can we justly pride ourselves upon any superiority in regard to political ideas. Political and social theories were as rife in Athens after the age of Pericles as they are in our days. To be convinced of this, it is necessary only to study Aristophanes, whose comedies Plato recommends to the perusal of whoever wishes to become acquainted with the public morals of the city of Minerva. It has been pretended that our present structure of society, and that of the ancients, admit of no comparison, owing to the institution of slavery which formed an element of the latter. But the only real difference is that demagogism had then an even more fertile soil in which to strike root. The slaves of those days find their precise counterpart in our working classes and proletarians. [175] The Athenian people propitiating their servile class after the battle of Arginuses, might be taken for a picture of the nineteenth century.

Look at Rome. Open Cicero's letters. What a specimen of the moderate Tory that great Roman orator was; what a similarity between his republic and our constitutional bodies politic, with regard to the language of parties and parliamentary debates! There, too, the background of the picture was occupied by degraded masses of a servile and prædial population, always eager for change, and ready to rise in actual rebellion.

Let us leave those dregs of the population, whose civil existence the law ignored, and who counted in politics but as the formidable tool of designing individuals of free birth. But does not the free population of Rome afford a perfect analogue to a modern body politic? There is the mob crying for bread, greedy of shows, flattery, gratuitous distributions, and amusements; the middle classes (bourgeoisie) monopolizing and dividing among themselves the public offices; the hereditary aristocracy, continually assailed at all points, continually losing ground, until driven in mere self-defence to abjure all superior claims and stipulate for equal rights to all. Are not these perfect resemblances?

Among the boundless variety of opinions that make themselves heard in our day, there is not one that had not advocates in Rome. I alluded a while ago to the letters written from the villa of Tusculum; they express the sentiments of the Roman conservative Progressistparty. By the side of Sylla, Pompey and Cicero were Radicals. [176] Their notions were not sufficiently radical for Cæsar; too much so for Cato. At a later period we find in Pliny the younger a mild royalist, a friend of quiet, even at some cost. Apprehensive of too much liberty, yet jealous of power too absolute; very practical in his views, caring but little for the poetical splendor of the age of the Fabii, he preferred the more prosaic administration of Trajan. There were others not of his opinion, good people who feared an insurrection headed by some new Spartacus, and who, therefore, thought that the Emperor could not hold the reins too tight. Then there were others, from the provinces, who obstreperously demanded and obtained what would now be called "constitutional guaranties." Again, there were the socialists, and their views found no less an expounder than the Gallic Cæsar, C. Junius Posthumus, who exclaims: "Dives et pauper, inimici," the rich and the poor are enemies born.

Every man who had any pretensions to participate in the lights of the day, declaimed on the absolute equality of all men, their "inalienable rights," the manifest necessity and ultimate universality of the Greco-Latin civilization, its superiority, its mildness, its future progress, much greater even than that actually made, and above all its perpetuity. Nor were those ideas merely the pride and consolation of the pagans; they were the firm hopes and expectations of the earliest and most illustrious Fathers of the Church, whose sentiments found so eloquent an interpreter in Tertullian.

And as a last touch, to complete the picture, let us not forget those people who, then as now, formed the most numerous of all parties: those that belonged to none—people who are too weak-minded, or indifferent, or apprehensive, or disgusted, to lay hold of a truth, from among the midst of contradictory theories that float around them—people who are content with order when it exists, submit passively in times of disorder and confusion; who admire the increase of conveniences and comforts of life unknown to their ancestors, and who, without thinking further, centre their hope in the future and pride in the present, in the reflection: "What wonderful facilities we enjoy now-a-days."

There would be some reason for believing in an improvement in political science, if we had invented some governmental machinery which had hitherto been unknown, or at least never carried into practice. This glory we cannot arrogate to ourselves. Limited monarchies were known in every age. There are even some very curious examples of this form of government found among certain Indian tribes who, nevertheless, have remained savages. Democratic and aristocratic republics of every form, and balanced in the most varied manner, flourished in the new world as well as the old. Tlascala is as complete a model of this kind as Athens, Sparta, or Mecca before Mohammed's times. And even supposing that we have applied to governmental science some secondary principle of our own invention, does this justify us in our exaggerated pretension to unlimited perfectibility? Let us rather be modest, and say with the wisest of kings: "Nil novi sub sole." [177]

It is said that our manners are milder than those of the other great human societies; this assertion also is very open to criticism. There are some philanthropists who would induce nations no longer to resort to armies in settling their quarrels. The idea is borrowed from Seneca. Some of the Eastern sages professed the same principles in this respect as the Moravian Brethren. But assuming that the members of the Peace Congress succeed in disgusting Europe with the turmoil and miseries of warfare, they would still have the difficult task left of forever transforming the human passions. Neither Seneca nor the Eastern sages have been able to accomplish this, and it may reasonably be doubted whether this grand achievement is reserved for our generation. We possess pure and exalted principles, I admit, but are they carried into practice? Look at our fields, the streets of our cities—the bloody traces of contests as fierce as any recorded in history are scarcely yet effaced. Never since the beginning of our civilization has there been an interval of peace of fifty years, and we are, in this respect, far behind ancient Italy, which, under the Romans, once enjoyed two centuries of perfect tranquillity. But even so long a repose would not warrant us in concluding that the temple of Janus was thenceforth to be forever closed.

The state of our civilization does not, therefore, prove the unlimited perfectibility of man. If he have learned many things, he has forgotten others. He has not added another to his senses; his soul is not enriched by one new faculty. I cannot too much insist upon the great though sad truth, that whatever we gain in one direction is counterbalanced by some loss in another; that, limited as is our intellectual domain, we are doomed never to possess its whole extent at once. Were it not for this fatal law, we might imagine that at some period, however distant, man, finding himself in possession of the experience of successive ages, and having acquired all that it is in his power to acquire, would have learned at last to apply his acquisitions to his welfare—to live without battling against his kind, and against misery; to enjoy a state, if not of unalloyed happiness, at least of abundance and peace.

But even so limited a felicity is not promised us here below, for in proportion as man learns he unlearns; whatever he acquires, is at the cost of some previous acquisition; whatever he possesses he is always in danger of losing.

We flatter ourselves with the belief that our civilization is imperishable, because we possess the art of printing, gunpowder, the steam engine, &c. These are valuable means to accomplish great results, but the accomplishment depends on their use.

The art of printing is known to many other nations beside ourselves, and is as extensively used by them as by us. [178] Let us see its fruits. In Tonquin, Anam, Japan, books are plentiful, much cheaper than with us—so cheap that they are within the reach of even the poorest—and even the poorest read them. How is it, then, that these people are so enervated, so degraded, so sunk in sloth and vice [179] —so near that stage in which even civilized man, having frittered away his physical and mental powers, may sink infinitely below the rude barbarian, who, at the first convenient opportunity, becomes his master? Whence this result? Precisely because the art of printing is a means, and not an agent. So long as it is used to diffuse sound, sterling ideas, to afford wholesome and refreshing nutriment to vigorous minds, a civilization never decays. But when it becomes the vile caterer to a depraved taste, when it serves only to multiply the morbid productions of enervated or vitiated minds, the senseless quibbles of a sectarian theology instead of religion, the venomous scurrility of libellists instead of politics, the foul obscenities of licentious rhymers instead of poesy—how and why should the art of printing save a civilization from ruin?

It is objected that the art of printing contributes to the preservation of a civilization by the facility with which it multiplies and diffuses the masterpieces of the human mind, so that, even in times of intellectual sterility, when they can no longer be emulated, they still form the standard of taste, and by their clear and steady light prevent the possibility of utter darkness. But it should be remembered that to delve in the hoarded treasures of thought, and to appropriate them for purposes of mental improvement, presupposes the possession of that greatest of earthly goods—an enlightened mind. And in epochs of intellectual degeneracy, few care about those monuments of lost virtues and powers; they are left undisturbed on their dusty shelves in libraries whose silence is but seldom broken by the tread of the anxious, painstaking student.

The longevity which Guttenberg's invention assures to the productions of genius is much exaggerated. There are a few works that enjoy the honor of being reproduced occasionally; with this exception, books die now precisely as formerly did the manuscripts. Works of science, especially, disappear with singular rapidity from the realms of literature. A few hundred copies are struck off at first, and they are seldom, and, after a while, never heard of more. With considerable trouble you can find them in some large collection. Look what has become of the thousands of excellent works that have appeared since the first printed page came from the press. The greater portion are forgotten. Many that are still spoken of, are never read; the titles even of others, that were carefully sought after fifty years ago, are gradually disappearing from every memory.

So long as a civilization is vigorous and flourishing, this disappearance of old books is but a slight misfortune. They are superseded; their valuable portions are embodied in new ones; the seed exists no longer, but the fruit is developing. In times of intellectual degeneracy it is otherwise. The weakened powers cannot grapple with the solid thought of more vigorous eras; it is split up into more convenient fragments—rendered more portable, as it were; the strong beverage that once was the pabulum of minds as strong, must be diluted to suit the present taste; and innumerable dilutions, each weaker than the other, immediately claim public favor; the task of learning must be lightened in proportion to the decreasing capacity for acquiring; everything becomes superficial; what costs the least effort gains the greatest esteem; play upon words is accounted wit; shallowness, learning; the surface is preferred to the depth. Thus it has ever been in periods of decay; thus it will be with us when we have once reached that point whence every movement is retrogressive. Who knows but we are near it already?—and the art of printing will not save us from it.

To enhance the advantages which we derive from that art, the number and diffusion of manuscripts have been too much underrated. It is true that they were scarce in the epoch immediately preceding; but in the latter periods of the Roman empire they were much more numerous and much more widely diffused than is generally imagined. In those times, the facilities for instruction were by no means of difficult access; books, indeed, were quite common. We may judge so from the extraordinary number of threadbare grammarians with which even the smallest villages swarmed; a sort of people very much like the petty novelists, lawyers, and editors of modern times, and whose loose morals, shabbiness, and passionate love for enjoyments, are described in Pretronius's Satyricon. Even when the decadence was complete, those who wished for books could easily procure them. Virgil was read everywhere; so much so, that the illiterate peasantry, hearing so much of him, imagined him to be some dangerous and powerful sorcerer. The monks copied him; they copied Pliny, Dioscorides, Plato, and Aristotle; they copied Catullus and Martial. These books, then, cannot have been very rare. Again, when we consider how great a number has come down to us notwithstanding centuries of war and devastation—notwithstanding so many conflagrations of monasteries, castles, libraries, &c.—we cannot but admit that, in spite of the laborious process of transcription, literary productions must have been multiplied to a very great extent. It is possible, therefore, to greatly exaggerate the obligations under which science, poetry, morality, and true civilization lie to the typographic art; and I repeat it, that art is a marvellous instrument, but if the arm that wields it, and the head that directs the arm, are not, the instrument cannot be, of much service.

Some people believe that the possession of gunpowder exempts modern societies from many of the dangers that proved fatal to the ancient. They assert that it abates the horrors of warfare, and diminishes its frequency, bidding fair, therefore, to establish, in time, a state of universal peace. If such be the beneficial results attendant on this accidental invention, they have not as yet manifested themselves.

Of the various applications of steam, and other industrial inventions, I would say, as of the art of printing, that they are great means, but their results depend upon the agent. Such arts might be practised by rote long after the intellectual activity that produced them had ceased. There are innumerable instances of processes which continue in use, though the theoretical secret is lost. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose, that the practice of our inventions might survive our civilization; that is, it might continue when these inventions were no longer possible, when no further improvements were to be hoped for. Material well-being is but an external appendage of a civilization; intellectual activity, and a consequent progress, are its life. A state of intellectual torpor, therefore, cannot be a state of civilization, even though the people thus stagnating, have the means of transporting themselves rapidly from place to place, or of adorning themselves and their dwellings. This would only prove that they were the heirs of a former civilization, but not that they actually possessed one. I have said, in another place, that a civilization may thus preserve, for a time, every appearance of life: the effect may continue after the cause has ceased. But, as a continuous change seems to be the order of nature in all things material and immaterial, a downward tendency is soon manifest. I have before compared a civilization to the human body. While alive, it undergoes a perpetual modification: every hour has wrought a change; when dead, it preserves, for a time, the appearance of life, perhaps even its beauty; but gradually, symptoms of decay become manifest, and every stage of dissolution is more precipitate than the one before, as a stone thrown up in the air, poises itself there for an inappreciable fraction of time, then falls with continually increasing velocity, more and more swiftly as it approaches the ground.

Every civilization has produced in those who enjoyed its fruits, a firm conviction of its stability, its perpetuity.

When the palanquins of the Incas travelled rapidly on the smooth, magnificent causeways which still unite Cuzco and Quito, a distance of fifteen hundred miles, with what feelings of exultation must they have contemplated the conquests of the present, what magnificent prospects of the future must have presented themselves to their imaginations! Stern time, with one blow of his gigantic wings, hurled their empire into the deepest depths of the abyss of oblivion. These proud sovereigns of Peru—they, too, had their sciences, their mechanical inventions, their powerful machines: the works they accomplished we contemplate with amazement, and a vain effort to divine the means employed. How were those blocks of stone, thirty-five feet long and eighteen thick, raised one upon another? How were they transported the vast distance from the quarries where they were hewn? By what contrivance did the engineers of that people hoist those enormous masses to a dizzy height? It is indeed a problem—a problem, too, which we will never solve. Nor are the ruins of Tihuanaco unparalleled by the remains of European civilizations of ante-historic times. The cyclopean walls with which Southern Europe abounds, and which have withstood the all-destroying tooth of time for thousands upon thousands of years—who built them? Who piled these monstrous masses, which modern art could scarcely move?

Let us not mistake the results of a civilization for its causes. The causes cease, the results subsist for a while, then are lost. If they again bear fruit, it is because a new spirit has appropriated them, and converted them to purposes often very different from those they had at first. Human intelligence is finite, nor can it ever reign at once in the whole of its domain: [180] it can turn to account one portion of it only by leaving the other bare; it exalts what it possesses, esteems lightly what it has lost. Thus, every generation is at the same time superior and inferior to its predecessors. Man cannot, then, surpass himself: man's perfectibility is not infinite.
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Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:58 pm

Chapter 14: Mutual Relations of Different Modes of Intellectual Culture

Necessary consequences of a supposed equality of all races—Uniform testimony of history to the contrary—Traces of extinct civilizations among barbarous tribes—Laws which govern the adoption of a state of civilization by conquered populations—Antagonism of different modes of culture; the Hellenic and Persian, European and Arab, etc.

Had it been the will of the Creator to endow all the branches of the human family with equal intellectual capacities, what a glorious tableau would history not unfold before us. All being equally intelligent, equally aware of their true interests, equally capable of triumphing over obstacles, a number of simultaneous and flourishing civilizations would have gladdened every portion of the inhabited globe. While the most ancient Sanscrit nations covered Northern India with harvests, cities, palaces, and temples; and the plains of the Tigris and Euphrates shook under the trampling of Nimrod's cavalry and chariots, the prognathous tribes of Africa would have formed and developed a social system, sagaciously constructed, and productive of brilliant results.

Some luckless tribes, whose lot fortune had cast in inhospitable climes, burning sands, or glacial regions, mountain gorges, or cheerless steppes swept by the piercing winds of the north, would have been compelled to a longer and severer struggle against such unpropitious circumstances, than more fortunate nations. But being not inferior in intelligence and sagacity, they would not have been long in discovering the means of bettering their condition. Like the Icelanders, the Danes, and Norwegians, they would have forced the reluctant soil to afford them sustenance; if inhabitants of mountainous regions, they would, like the Swiss, have enjoyed the advantages of a pastoral life, or like the Cashmerians, resorted to manufacturing industry. But if their geographical situation had been so unfavorable as to admit of no resource, they would have reflected that the world was large, contained many a pleasant valley and fertile plain, where they might seek the fruits of intelligent activity, which their stepmotherly native land refused them.

Thus all the nations of the earth would have been equally enlightened, equally prosperous; some by the commerce of maritime cities, others by productive agriculture in inland regions, or successful industry in barren and Alpine districts. Though they might not exempt themselves from the misfortunes to which the imperfections of human nature give rise—transitory dissensions, civil wars, seditions, etc.—their individual interests would soon have led them to invent some system of relative equiponderance. As the differences in their civilizations resulted merely from fortuitous circumstances, and not from innate inequalities, a mutual interchange would soon have assimilated them in all essential points. Nothing could then prevent a universal confederation, that dream of so many centuries; and the inhabitants of the most distant parts of the globe would have been as members of one great cosmopolite people.

Let us contrast this fantastic picture with the reality. The first nations worthy of the name, owed their formation to an instinct of aggregation, which the barbarous tribes near them not only did not feel then, but never afterward. These nations spread beyond their original boundaries, and forced others to submit to their power. But the conquered neither adopted nor understood the principles of the civilization imposed upon them. Nor has the force of example been of avail to those in whom innate capacity was wanting. The native populations of the Spanish peninsula, and of Transalpine and Ligurian Gaul, saw Phenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians, successively establish flourishing cities on their coasts, without feeling the least incitement to imitate the manners or forms of government of these prosperous merchants.

What a glorious spectacle do not the Indians of North America witness at this moment. They have before their eyes a great and prosperous nation, eminent for the successful practical application of modern theories and sciences to political and social forms, as well as to industrial art. The superiority of this foreign race, which has so firmly established itself upon his former patrimony, is evident to the red man. He sees their magnificent cities, their thousands of vessels upon the once silent rivers, their successful agriculture; he knows that even his own rude wants, the blanket with which he covers himself, the weapon with which he slays his game, the ardent spirits he has learned to love so well, can be supplied only by the stranger. The last feeble hope to see his native soil delivered from the presence of the conqueror's race, has long since vanished from his breast; he feels that the land of his fathers is not his own. Yet he stubbornly refuses to enter the pale of this civilization which invites him, solicits him, tries to entice him with superior advantages and comforts. He prefers to retreat from solitude to solitude, deeper and deeper into the primitive forest. He is doomed to perish, and he knows it; but a mysterious power retains him under the yoke of his invincible repugnances, and while he admires the strength and superiority of the whites, his conscience, his whole nature, revolts at the idea of assimilating to them. He cannot forget or smother the instincts of his race.

The aborigines of Spanish America are supposed to evince a less unconquerable aversion. It is because the Spanish metropolitan government had never attempted to civilize them. Provided they were Christians, at least in name, they were left to their own usages and habits, and, in many instances, under the administration of their Caziques. The Spaniards colonized but little, and when the conquest was completed and their sanguinary appetites glutted by those unparalleled atrocities which brand them with indelible disgrace, they indulged in a lazy toleration, and directed their tyranny rather against individuals than against modes of thinking and living. The Indians have, in a great measure, mixed with their conquerors, and will continue to live while their brethren in the vicinity of the Anglo-Saxon race are inevitably doomed to perish.

But not only savages, even nations of a higher rank in the intellectual scale are incapable of adopting a foreign civilization. We have already alluded to the failure of the English in India and of the Dutch in Java, in trying to import their own ideas into their foreign dependencies. French philanthropy is at this moment gaining the same experience in the new French possession of Algeria. There can be no stronger or more conclusive proof of the various endowments of different races.

If we had no other argument in proof of the innate imparity of races than the actual condition of certain barbarous tribes, and the supposition that they had always been in that condition, and, consequently, always would be, we should expose ourselves to serious objections. For many barbarous nations preserve traces of former cultivation and refinement. There are some tribes, very degraded in every other respect, who yet possess traditional regulations respecting the marriage celebration, the forms of justice and the division of inheritances, which evidently are remnants of a higher state of society, though the rites have long since lost all meaning. Many of the Indian tribes who wander over the tracts once occupied by the Alleghanian race, may be cited as instances of this kind. The natives of the Marian Islands, and many other savages, practise mechanically certain processes of manufacture, the invention of which presupposes a degree of ingenuity and knowledge utterly at variance with their present stupidity and ignorance. To avoid hasty and erroneous conclusions concerning this seeming decadence, there are several circumstances to be taken into consideration.

Let us suppose a savage population to fall within the sphere of activity of a proximate, but superior race. In that case they may gradually learn to conform externally to the civilization of their masters, and acquire the technicalities of their arts and inventions. Should the dominant race disappear either by expulsion or absorption, the civilization would expire, but some of its outward forms might be retained and perpetuated. A certain degree of mechanical skill might survive the scientific principles upon which it was based. In other words, practice might long continue after the theory was lost. History furnishes us a number of examples in support of this assertion.

Such, for instance, was the attitude of the Assyrians toward the civilization of the Chaldeans; of the Iberians, Celts, and Illyrians towards that of the Romans. If, then, the Cherokees, the Catawbas, Muskogees, Seminoles, Natchez and other tribes, still preserve a feeble impress of the Alleghanian civilization, I should not thence conclude that they are the pure and direct descendants of the initiatory element of that people, which would imply that a race may once have been civilized, and be no longer so. I should say, on the contrary, that the Cherokees, if at all ethnically connected with the ancient dominant type, are so by only a collateral tie of consanguinity, else they could never have relapsed into a state of barbarism. The other tribes which exhibit little or no vestiges of the former civilization are probably the descendants of a different conquered population which formed no constituent element of the society, but served rather as the substratum upon which the edifice was erected. It is no matter of surprise, if this be the case, that they should preserve—without understanding them and with a sort of superstitious veneration—customs, laws, and rites invented by others far more intelligent than themselves.

The same may be said of the mechanical arts. The aborigines of the Carolines are about the most interesting of the South Sea islanders. Their looms, sculptured canoes, their taste for navigation and commerce show them vastly superior to the Pelagian negroes, their neighbors. It is easy to account for this superiority by the well-authenticated admixture of Malay blood. But as this element is greatly attenuated, the inventions which it introduced have not borne indigenous fruits, but, on the contrary, are gradually, but surely, disappearing.

The preceding observations will, I think, suffice to show that the traces of civilization among a barbarous tribe are not a necessary proof that this tribe itself has ever been really civilized. It may either have lived under the domination of a superior but consanguineous race, or living in its vicinity, have, in an humble and feeble degree, profited by its lessons. This result, however, is possible only when there exists between the superior and the inferior race a certain ethnical affinity; that is to say, when the former is either a noble branch of the same stock, or ennobled by intermixture with another. When the disparity between races is too great and too decided, and there is no intermediate link to connect them, the contact is always fatal to the inferior race, as is abundantly proved by the disappearance of the aborigines of North America and Polynesia.

I shall now speak of the relations arising from the contact of different civilizations.

The Persian civilization came in contact with the Grecian; the Egyptian with the Grecian and Roman; the Roman with the Grecian; and finally the modern civilization of Europe with all those at present subsisting on the globe, and especially with the Arabian.

The contact of Greek intelligence with the culture of the Persians was as frequent as it was compulsory. The greater portion of the Hellenic population, and the wealthiest, though not the most independent, was concentrated in the cities of the Syrian coast, the Greek colonies of Asia Minor, and on the shores of the Euxine, all of which formed a part of the Persian dominions. Though these colonies preserved their own local laws and politics, they were under the authority of the satraps of the great king. Intimate relations, moreover, were maintained between European Greece and Asia. That the Persians were then possessed of a high degree of civilization is proved by their political organization and financial administration, by the magnificent ruins which still attest the splendor and grandeur of their cities. But the principles of government and religion, the modes and habits of life, the genius of the arts, were very differently understood by the two nations; and, therefore, notwithstanding their constant intercourse, neither made the slightest approach toward assimilation with the other. The Greeks called their puissant neighbors barbarians, and the latter, no doubt, amply returned the compliment.

In Ecbatana no other form of government could be conceived than an undivided hereditary authority, limited only by certain religious prescriptions and a court ceremonial. The genius of the Greeks tended to an endless variety of governmental forms; subdivided into a number of petty sovereignties. Greek society presented a singular mosaic of political structures; oligarchical in Sparta, democratical in Athens, tyrannical in Sicyon, monarchical in Macedonia, the forms of government were the same in scarcely two cities or districts. The state religion of the Persians evinced the same tendency to unity as their politics, and was more of a metaphysical and moral than a material character. The Greeks, on the contrary, had a symbolical system of religion, consisting in the worship of natural objects and influences, which gradually changed into a perfect prosopopœia, representing the gods as sentient beings, subject to the same passions, and engaged in the same pursuits and occupations as the inhabitants of the earth. The worship consisted principally in the performance of rites and demonstrations of respect to the deities; the conscience was left to the direction of the civil laws. Besides, the rites, as well as the divinities and heroes in whose honor they were practised, were different in every place.

As for the manners and habits of life, it is unnecessary to point out how vastly different they were from those of Persia. Public contempt punished the young, wealthy, pleasure-loving cosmopolitan, who attempted to live in Persian style. Thus, until the time of Alexander, when the power of Greece had arrived at its culminating point, Persia, with all her preponderance, could not convert Hellas to her civilization.

In the time of Alexander, this incompatibility of dissimilar modes of culture was singularly demonstrated. When the empire of Darius succumbed to the Macedonian phalanxes, it was expected, for a time, that a Hellenic civilization would spread over Asia. There seemed the more reason for this belief when the conqueror, in a moment of aberrancy, treated the monuments of the land with such aggressive violence as seemed to evince equal hatred and contempt. But the wanton incendiary of Persepolis soon changed his mind, and so completely, that his design became apparent to simply substitute himself in the room of the dynasty of Achæmenes, and rule over Persia like a Persian king, with Greece added to his estates. Great as was Alexander's power, it was insufficient for the execution of such a project. His generals and soldiers could not brook to see their commander assume the long flowing robes of the eastern kings, surround himself with eunuchs, and renounce the habits and manners of his native land. Though after his death some of his successors persisted in the same system, they were compelled greatly to mitigate it. Where the population consisted of a motley compound of Greeks, Syrians, and Arabs, as in Egypt and the coast of Asia Minor, a sort of compromise between the two civilizations became thenceforth the normal state of the country; but where the races remained unmixed, the national manners were preserved.

In the latter periods of the Roman empire, the two civilizations had become completely blended in the whole East, including continental Greece; but it was tinged more with the Asiatic than the Greek tendencies, because the masses belonged much more to the former element than to the latter. Hellenic forms, it is true, still subsisted, but it is not difficult to discover in the ideas of those periods and countries the Oriental stock upon which the scions of the Alexandrian school had been engrafted. The respective influence of the various elements was in strict proportion to the quantity of blood; the intellectual preponderance belonged to that which had contributed the greatest share.

The same antagonism which I pointed out between the intellectual culture of the Greeks and that of the Persians, will be found to result from the contact of all other widely different civilizations. I shall mention but one more instance: the relations between the Arab civilization [181] and our own.

There was a time when the arts and sciences, the muses and their train, seemed to have forsaken their former abodes, to rally around the standard of Mohammed. That our forefathers were not blind to the excellencies of the Arab civilization is proved by their sending their sons to the schools of Cordova. But not a trace of the spirit of that civilization has remained in Europe, save in those countries which still retain a portion of Ishmaelitic blood. Nor has the Arab civilization found a more congenial soil in India over which, also, its dominion extended. Like those portions of Europe which were subjected to Moslem masters, that country has preserved its own modes of thinking intact.

But if the pressure of the Arab civilization, at the time of its greatest splendor and our greatest ignorance, could not affect the modes of thinking of the races of Western Europe, neither can we, at present, when the positions are reversed, affect in the slightest degree the feeble remnants of that once so flourishing civilization. Our action upon these remnants is continuous—the pressure of our intellectual activity upon them immense; we succeed only in destroying, not in transforming or remodelling. [182]

Yet this civilization was not even original, and might, therefore, be supposed to have a less obstinate vitality. The Arab nation, it is well known, based its empire and its intellectual culture upon fragments of races which it had aggregated by the weight of the sword. A variegated compound like the Islamitic populations, could not but develop a civilization of an equally variegated character, to which each ethnical element contributed its share. These elements it is not difficult to determine and point out.

The nucleus, around which aggregated those countless multitudes, was a small band of valiant warriors who unfurled in their native deserts the standard of a new creed. They were not, before Mohammed's time, a new or unknown people. They had frequently come in contact with the Jews and Phenicians, and had in their veins the blood of both these nations. Taking advantage of their favorable situation for commerce, they had performed the carrier trade of the Red Sea, and the eastern coast of Africa and India, for the most celebrated nations of ancient times, the Jews and the Phenicians, later still, for the Romans and Persians. They had the same traditions in common with the Shemitic and Hamitic families from which they sprung. [183] They had even taken an active part in the political life of neighboring nations. Under the Arsacides and the sons of Sassan, some of their tribes exerted great influence in the politics of the Persian empire. One of their adventurers [184] had become Emperor of Rome; one of their princes protected the majesty of Rome against a conqueror before whom the whole east trembled, and shared the imperial purple with the Roman sovereign; [185] one of their cities had become, under Zenobia, the centre and capital of a vast empire that rivalled and even threatened Rome. [186]

It is evident, therefore, that the Arab nation had never ceased, from the remotest antiquity, to entertain intimate relations with the most powerful and celebrated ancient societies. It had taken part in their political and intellectual [187] activity; and it might not inappropriately be compared to a body half-plunged into the water, and half exposed to the sun, as it partook at the same time of an advanced state of civilization and of complete barbarism.

Mohammed invented the religion most conformable to the ideas of a people, among whom idolatry had still many zealous adherents, but where Christianity, though having made numerous converts, was losing favor on account of the endless schisms and contentions of its followers. [188] The religious dogma of the Koreishite prophet was a skilful compromise between the various contending opinions. It reconciled the Jewish dispensation with the New Law better than could the Church at that time, and thus solved a problem which had disquieted the consciences of many of the earlier Christians, and which, especially in the east, had given rise to many heretical sects. This was in itself a very tempting bait, and, besides, any theological novelty had decided chances of success among the Syrians and Egyptians. [189] Moreover, the new religion appeared with sword in hand, which in those times of schismatical propagandism seemed a warrant of success more relied upon by the masses to whom it addressed itself, than peaceful persuasion.

Thus arrayed, Islamism issued from its native deserts. Arrogant, and possessed but in a very slight degree of the inventive faculty, it developed no civilization peculiar to itself, but it had adopted, as far as it was capable of doing, the bastard Greco-Asiatic civilization already extant. As its triumphant banners progressed on the east and south of the Mediterranean, it incorporated masses imbued with the same tendencies and spirit. From each of these it borrowed something. As its religious dogmas were a patchwork of the tenets of the Church, those of the Synagogue, and of the disfigured traditions of Hedjaz and Yemen, so its code of laws was a compound of the Persian and the Roman, its science was Greco-Syrian [190] and Egyptian, its administration from the beginning tolerant like that of every body politic that embraces many heterogeneous elements.

It has caused much useless surprise, that Moslem society should have made such rapid strides to refinement of manners. But the mass of the people over whom its dominion extended, had merely changed the name of their creed; they were old and well-known actors on the stage of history, and have simply been mistaken for a new nation when they undertook to play the part of apostles before the world. These people gave to the common store their previous refinement and luxury; each new addition to the standard of Islamism, contributed some portion of its acquisitions. The vitalizing principle of the society, the motive power of this cumbrous mass, was the small nucleus of Arab tribes that had come forth from the heart of the peninsula. They furnished, not artists and learned men, but fanatics, soldiers, victors, and masters.

The Arab civilization, then, is nothing but the Greco-Syrian civilization, rejuvenated and quickened, for a time, with a new and energetic, but short-lived, genius. It was, besides, a little renovated and a little modified, by a slight dash of Persian civilization.

Yet, motley and incongruous as are the elements of which it is composed, and capable of stretching and accommodating itself as such a compound must be, it cannot adapt itself to any social structure erected by other elements than its own. In other words, many as are the races that contributed to its formation, it is suited to none that have not contributed to it.

This is what the whole course of history teaches us. Every race has its own modes of thinking; every race, capable of developing a civilization, develops one peculiar to itself, and which it cannot engraft upon any other, except by amalgamation of blood, and then in but a modified degree. The European cannot win the Asiatic to his modes of thinking; he cannot civilize the Australian, or the Negro; he can transmit but a portion of his intelligence to his half-breed offspring of the inferior race; the progeny of that half-breed and the nobler branch of his ancestry, is but one degree nearer, but not equal to that branch in capacity: the proportions of blood are strictly preserved. I have adduced illustrations of this truth from the history of various branches of the human family, of the lowest as well as of the higher in the scale of intellectual progress. Are we not, then, authorized to conclude that the diversity observable among them is constitutional, innate, and not the result of accident or circumstances—that there is an absolute inequality in their intellectual endowments?
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Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:59 pm

Chapter 15: Moral and Intellectual Characteristics of the Three Great Varieties

Impropriety of drawing general conclusions from individual cases—Recapitulatory sketch of the leading features of the Negro, the Yellow, and the White races—Superiority of the latter—Conclusion of volume the first.

In the preceding pages, I have endeavored to show that, though there are both scientific and religious reasons for not believing in a plurality of origins of our species, the various branches of the human family are distinguished by permanent and irradicable differences, both mentally and physically. They are unequal in intellectual capacity, [191] in personal beauty, and in physical strength. Again I repeat, that in coming to this conclusion, I have totally eschewed the method which is, unfortunately for the cause of science, too often resorted to by ethnologists, and which, to say the least of it, is simply ridiculous. The discussion has not rested upon the moral and intellectual worth of isolated individuals.

With regard to moral worth, I have proved that all men, to whatever race they may belong, are capable of receiving the lights of true religion, and of sufficiently appreciating that blessing to work out their own salvation. With regard to intellectual capacity, I emphatically protest against that mode of arguing which consists in saying, "every negro is a dunce;" because, by the same logic, I should be compelled to admit that "every white man is intelligent;" and I shall take good care to commit no such absurdity.

I shall not even wait for the vindicators of the absolute equality of all races, to adduce to me such and such a passage in some missionary's or navigator's journal, wherefrom it appears that some Yolof has become a skilful carpenter, that some Hottentot has made an excellent domestic, that some Caffre plays well on the violin, or that some Bambarra has made very respectable progress in arithmetic.

I am prepared to admit—and to admit without proof—anything of that sort, however remarkable, that may be related of the most degraded savages. I have already denied the excessive stupidity, the incurable idiotcy of even the lowest on the scale of humanity. Nay, I go further than my opponents, and am not in the least disposed to doubt that, among the chiefs of the rude negroes of Africa, there could be found a considerable number of active and vigorous minds, greatly surpassing in fertility of ideas and mental resources, the average of our peasantry, and even of some of our middle classes. But the unfairness of deductions based upon a comparison of the most intelligent blacks and the least intelligent whites, must be obvious to every candid mind.

Once for all, such arguments seem to me unworthy of real science, and I do not wish to place myself upon so narrow and unsafe a ground. If Mungo Park, or the brothers Lander, have given to some negro a certificate of superior intelligence, who will assure us that another traveller, meeting the same individual, would not have arrived at a diametrically opposite conclusion concerning him? Let us leave such puerilities, and compare, not the individuals, but the masses. When we shall have clearly established of what the latter are capable, by what tendencies they are characterized, and by what limits their intellectual activity and development are circumscribed, whether, since the beginning of the historic epoch, they have acted upon, or been acted upon by other groups—when we shall have clearly established these points, we may then descend to details, and, perhaps, one day be able to decide why the greatest minds of one group are inferior to the most brilliant geniuses of another, in what respects the vulgar herds of all types assimilate, and in what others they differ, and why. But this difficult and delicate task cannot be accomplished until the relative position of the whole mass of each race shall have been nicely, and, so to say, mathematically defined. I do not know whether we may hope ever to arrive at results of such incontestable clearness and precision, as to be able to no longer trust solely to general facts, but to embrace the various shades of intelligence in each group, to define and class the inferior strata of every population and their influence on the activity of the whole. Were it possible thus to divide each group into certain strata, and compare these with the corresponding strata of every other: the most gifted of the dominant with the most gifted of the dominated races, and so on downwards, the superiority of some in capacity, energy, and activity would be self-demonstrated.

After having mentioned the facts which prove the inequality of various branches of the human family, and having laid down the method by which that proof should be established, I arrived at the conclusion that the whole of our species is divisible into three great groups, which I call primary varieties, in order to distinguish them from others formed by intermixture. It now remains for me to assign to each of these groups the principal characteristics by which it is distinguished from the others.

The dark races are the lowest on the scale. The shape of the pelvis has a character of animalism, which is imprinted on the individuals of that race ere their birth, and seems to portend their destiny. The circle of intellectual development of that group is more contracted than that of either of the two others.

If the negro's narrow and receding forehead seems to mark him as inferior in reasoning capacity, other portions of his cranium as decidedly point to faculties of an humbler, but not the less powerful character. He has energies of a not despicable order, and which sometimes display themselves with an intensity truly formidable. He is capable of violent passions, and passionate attachments. Some of his senses have an acuteness unknown to the other races: the sense of taste, and that of smell, for instance.

But it is precisely this development of the animal faculties that stamps the negro with the mark of inferiority to other races. I said that his sense of taste was acute; it is by no means fastidious. Every sort of food is welcome to his palate; none disgusts [192] him; there is no flesh nor fowl too vile to find a place in his stomach. So it is with regard to odor. His sense of smell might rather be called greedy than acute. He easily accommodates himself to the most repulsive.

To these traits he joins a childish instability of humor. His feelings are intense, but not enduring. His grief is as transitory as it is poignant, and he rapidly passes from it to extreme gayety. He is seldom vindictive—his anger is violent, but soon appeased. It might almost be said that this variability of sentiments annihilates for him the existence of both virtue and vice. The very ardency to which his sensibilities are aroused, implies a speedy subsidence; the intensity of his desire, a prompt gratification, easily forgotten. He does not cling to life with the tenacity of the whites. But moderately careful of his own, he easily sacrifices that of others, and kills, though not absolutely bloodthirsty, without much provocation or subsequent remorse. [193] Under intense suffering, he exhibits a moral cowardice which readily seeks refuge in death, or in a sort of monstrous impassivity. [194]

With regard to his moral capacities, it may be stated that he is susceptible, in an eminent degree, of religious emotions; but unless assisted by the light of the Gospel, his religious sentiments are of a decidedly sensual character.

Having demonstrated the little intellectual and strongly sensual [195] character of the black variety, as the type of which I have taken the negro of Western Africa, I shall now proceed to examine the moral and intellectual characteristics of the second in the scale—the yellow.

This seems to form a complete antithesis to the former. In them, the skull, instead of being thrown backward, projects. The forehead is large, often jutting out, and of respectable height. The facial conformation is somewhat triangular, but neither chin nor nose has the rude, animalish development that characterizes the negro. A tendency to obesity is not precisely a specific feature, but it is more often met with among the yellow races than among any others. In muscular vigor, in intensity of feelings and desires, they are greatly inferior to the black. They are supple and agile, but not strong. They have a decided taste for sensual pleasures, but their sensuality is less violent, and, if I may so call it, more vicious than the negro's, and less quickly appeased. They place a somewhat greater value upon human life than the negro does, but they are more cruel for the sake of cruelty. They are as gluttonous as the negro, but more fastidious in their choice of viands, as is proved by the immoderate attention bestowed on the culinary art among the more civilized of these races. In other words, the yellow races are less impulsive than the black. Their will is characterized by obstinacy rather than energetic violence; their anger is vindictive rather than clamorous; their cruelty more studied than passionate; their sensuality more refinedly vicious than absorbing. They are, therefore, seldom prone to extremes. In morals, as in intellect, they display a mediocrity: they are given to grovelling vices rather than to dark crimes; when virtuous, they are so oftener from a sense of practical usefulness than from exalted sentiments. In regard to intellectual capacity, they easily understand whatever is not very profound, nor very sublime; they have a keen appreciation of the useful and practical, a great love of quiet and order, and even a certain conception of a slight modicum of personal or municipal liberty. The yellow races are practical people in the narrowest sense of the word. They have little scope of imagination, and therefore invent but little: for great inventions, even the most exclusively utilitarian, require a high degree of the imaginative faculty. But they easily understand and adopt whatever is of practical utility. The summum bonum of their desires and aspirations is to pass smoothly and quietly through life.

It is apparent from this sketch, that they are superior to the blacks in aptitude and intellectual capacity. A theorist who would form some model society, might wish such a population to form the substratum upon which to erect his structure; but a society, composed entirely of such elements, would display neither great stamina nor capacity for anything great and exalted.

We are now arrived at the third and last of the "primary" varieties—the white. Among them we find great physical vigor and capacity of endurance; an intensity of will and desire, but which is balanced and governed by the intellectual faculties. Great things are undertaken, but not blindly, not without a full appreciation of the obstacles to be overcome, and with a systematic effort to overcome them. The utilitarian tendency is strong, but is united with a powerful imaginative faculty, which elevates, ennobles, idealizes it. Hence, the power of invention; while the negro can merely imitate, the Chinese only utilize, to a certain extent, the practical results attained by the white, the latter is continually adding new ones to those already gained. His capacity for combination of ideas leads him perpetually to construct new facts from the fragments of the old; hurries him along through a series of unceasing modifications and changes. He has as keen a sense of order as the man of the yellow race, but not, like him, from love of repose and inertia, but from a desire to protect and preserve his acquisitions. At the same time, he has an ardent love of liberty, which is often carried to an extreme; an instinctive aversion to the trammels of that rigidly formalistic organization under which the Chinese vegetates with luxurious ease; and he as indignantly rejects the haughty despotism which alone proves a sufficient restraint for the black races.

The white man is also characterized by a singular love of life. Perhaps it is because he knows better how to make use of it than other races, that he attaches to it a greater value and spares it more both in himself and in others. In the extreme of his cruelty, he is conscious of his excesses; a sentiment which it may well be doubted whether it exist among the blacks. Yet though he loves life better than other races, he has discovered a number of reasons for sacrificing it or laying it down without murmur. His valor, his bravery, are not brute, unthinking passions, not the result of callousness or impassivity: they spring from exalted, though often erroneous, sentiments, the principal of which is expressed by the word "honor." This feeling, under a variety of names and applications, has formed the mainspring of action of most of the white races since the beginning of historical times. It accommodates itself to every mode of existence, to every walk of life. It is as puissant in the pulpit and at the martyr's stake, as on the field of battle; in the most peaceful and humble pursuits of life as in the highest and most stirring. It were impossible to define all the ideas which this word comprises; they are better felt than expressed. But this feeling—we might call it instinctive—is unknown to the yellow, and unknown to the black races: while in the white it quickens every noble sentiment—the sense of justice, liberty, patriotism, love, religion—it has no name in the language, no place in the hearts, of other races. This I consider as the principal reason of the superiority of our branch of the human family over all others; because even in the lowest, the most debased of our race, we generally find some spark of this redeeming trait, and however misapplied it may often be, and certainly is, it prevents us, even in our deepest errors, from falling so fearfully low as the others. The extent of moral abasement in which we find so many of the yellow and black races is absolutely impossible even to the very refuse of our society. The latter may equal, nay, surpass them in crime; but even they would shudder at that hideous abyss of corrosive vices, which opens before the friend of humanity on a closer study of these races. [196]

Before concluding this picture, I would add that the immense superiority of the white races in all that regards the intellectual faculties, is joined to an inferiority as strikingly marked, in the intensity of sensations. Though his whole structure is more vigorous, the white man is less gifted in regard to the perfection of the senses than either the black or the yellow, and therefore less solicited and less absorbed by animal gratifications.

I have now arrived at the historical portion of my subject. There I shall place the truths enounced in this volume in a clearer light, and furnish irrefragable proofs of the fact, which forms the basis of my theory, that nations degenerate only in consequence and in proportion to their admixture with an inferior race—that a society receives its death-blow when, from the number of diverse ethnical elements which it comprises, a number of diverse modes of thinking and interests contend for predominance; when these modes of thinking, and these interests have arisen in such multiplicity that every effort to harmonize them, to make them subservient to some great purpose, is in vain; when, therefore, the only natural ties that can bind large masses of men, homogeneity of thoughts and feelings, are severed, the only solid foundation of a social structure sapped and rotten.

To furnish the necessary details for this assertion, to remove the possibility of even the slightest doubt, I shall take up separately, every great and independent civilization that the world has seen flourish. I shall trace its first beginnings, its subsequent stages of development, its decadence and final decay. Here, then, is the proper test of my theory; here we can see the laws that govern ethnical relations in full force on a magnificent scale; we can verify their inexorably uniform and rigorous application. The subject is immense, the panorama spread before us the grandest and most imposing that the philosopher can contemplate, for its tableaux comprise the scene of action of every instance where man has really worked out his mission "to have dominion over the earth."

The task is great—too great, perhaps, for any one's undertaking. Yet, on a more careful investigation, many of the apparently insuperable difficulties which discouraged the inquirer will vanish; in the gorgeous succession of scenes that meet his glance, he will perceive a uniformity, an intimate relation and connection which, like Ariadne's thread, will enable the undaunted and persevering student to find his way through the mazes of the labyrinth: we shall find that every civilization owes its origin, its development, its splendors, to the agency of the white races. In China and in India, in the vast continent of the West, centuries ere Columbus found it—it was one of the group of white races that gave the impetus, and, so long as it lasted, sustained it. Startling as this assertion may appear to a great number of readers, I hope to demonstrate its correctness by incontrovertible historical testimony. Everywhere the white races have taken the initiative, everywhere they have brought civilization to the others—everywhere they have sown the seed: the vigor and beauty of the plant depended on whether the soil it found was congenial or not.

The migrations of the white race, therefore, afford us at once a guide for our historical researches, and a clue to many apparently inexplicable mysteries: we shall learn to understand why, in a vast country, the development of civilization has come to a stand, and been superseded by a retrogressive movement; why, in another, all but feeble traces of a high state of culture has vanished without apparent cause; why people, the lowest in the scale of intellect, are yet found in possession of arts and mechanical processes that would do honor to a highly intellectual race.

Among the group of white races, the noblest, the most highly gifted in intellect and personal beauty, the most active in the cause of civilization, is the Arian [197] race. Its history is intimately associated with almost every effort on the part of man to develop his moral and intellectual powers.

It now remains for me to trace out the field of inquiry into which I propose to enter in the succeeding volumes. The list of great, independent civilizations is not long. Among all the innumerable nations that "strutted their brief hour on the stage" of the world, ten only have arrived at the state of complete societies, giving birth to distinct modes of intellectual culture. All the others were imitators or dependents; like planets they revolved around, and derived their light from the suns of the systems to which they belonged. At the head of my list I would place:—

1. The Indian civilization. It spread among the islands of the Indian Ocean, towards the north, beyond the Himalaya Mountains, and towards the east, beyond the Brahmapootra. It was originated by a white race of the Arian stock.

2. The Egyptian civilization comes next. As its satellites may be mentioned the less perfect civilizations of the Ethiopians, Nubians, and several other small peoples west of the oasis of Ammon. An Arian colony from India, settled in the upper part of the Nile valley, had established this society.

3. The Assyrians, around whom rallied the Jews, Phenicians, Lydians, Carthaginians, and Hymiarites, were indebted for their social intelligence to the repeated invasions of white populations. The Zoroastrian Iranians, who flourished in Further Asia, under the names of Medes, Persians, and Bactrians, were all branches of the Arian family.

4. The Greeks belonged to the same stock, but were modified by Shemitic elements, which, in course of time, totally transformed their character.

5. China presents the precise counterpart of Egypt. The light of civilization was carried thither by Arian colonies. The substratum of the social structure was composed of elements of the yellow race, but the white civilizers received reinforcements of their blood at various times.

6. The ancient civilization of the Italian peninsula (the Etruscan civilization), was developed by a mosaic of populations of the Celtic, Iberian, and Shemitic stock, but cemented by Arian elements. From it emerged the civilization of Rome.

7. Our civilization is indebted for its tone and character to the Germanic conquerors of the fifth century. They were a branch of the Arian family.

8, 9, 10. Under these heads I class the three civilizations of the western continent, the Alleghanian, the Mexican, and the Peruvians.

This is the field I have marked out for my investigations, the results of which will be laid before the reader in the succeeding volumes. The first part of my work is here at an end—the vestibule of the structure I wish to erect is completed.
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Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:04 pm

Part 1 of 2

Appendix, by J.C. Nott, M.D., Mobile, Alabama

I have seldom perused a work which has afforded me so much pleasure and instruction as the one of Count Gobineau, "Sur l'Inégalité des Races Humaines," and regard most of his conclusions as incontrovertible. There are, however, a few points in his argument which should not be passed without comment, and others not sufficiently elaborated. My original intention was to say much, but, fortunately for me, my colleague, Mr. Hotz, has so fully and ably anticipated me, in his Introduction and Notes, as to leave me little of importance to add.

The essay of Count Gobineau is eminently practical and useful in its design. He views the various races of men rather as a historian than a naturalist, and while he leaves open the long mooted question of unity of origin, he so fully establishes the permanency of the actual moral, intellectual, and physical diversities of races as to leave no ground for antagonists to stand upon. Whatever remote causes may be assigned, there is no appeal from the conclusion that white, black, Mongol, and other races were fully developed in nations some 3000 years before Christ, and that no physical causes, during this long course of time, have been in operation, to change one type of man into another. Count Gobineau, therefore, accepts the existing diversity of races as at least an accomplished fact, and draws lessons of wisdom from the plain teachings of history. Man with him ceases to be an abstraction; each race, each nation, is made a separate study, and a fertile but unexplored field is opened to our view.

Our author leans strongly towards a belief in the original diversity of races, but has evidently been much embarrassed in arriving at conclusions by religious scruples and by the want of accurate knowledge in that part of natural history which treats of the designation ofspecies, and the laws of hybridity; he has been taught to believe that two distinct species cannot produce perfectly prolific offspring, and therefore concludes that all races of men must be of one origin, because they are prolific inter se. My appendix will therefore be devoted mainly to this question of species.


Our author has taken the facts of Dr. Morton at second hand, and, moreover, had not before him Dr. Morton's later tables and more matured deductions; I shall therefore give an abstract of his results as published by himself in 1849, with some comments of my own. The figures represent the internal capacity of the skull in cubic inches, and were obtained by filling the cavity with shot and afterwards pouring them into an accurately graduated measure.

It must be admitted that the collection of Morton is not sufficiently full in all its departments to enable us to arrive at the absolute capacity of crania in the different races; but it is sufficiently complete to establish beyond cavil, the fact that the crania of the white are much larger than those of the dark races. His table is very incomplete in Mongol, Malays, and some others; but in the white races of Europe, the black races, and the American, the results are substantially correct. I have myself had ample opportunities for examining the heads of living negroes and Indians of America, as well as a considerable number of crania, and can fully indorse Dr. Morton's results. It will be seen that his skulls of American aborigines amount to 338.


Dr. Morton's mind, it will be seen by this table, had not yet freed itself from the incubus of artificial and unnatural classifications. Like Tiedemann and others, he has grouped together races which have not the slightest affinity in physical, moral, or linguistic characters. In the Caucasian group, for example, are placed the Teutonic, Indostanic, Shemitic, and Nilotic families, each of which, it can be shown, has existed utterly distinct for 5000 years, not to mention many subdivisions.

The table of Dr. Morton affords some curious results. His ancient Pelasgic heads and those of the modern white races, give the same size of brain, viz: 88 cubic inches; and his ancient Egyptians and their modern representatives, the Fellahs, yield the same mean, 80 cubic inches; the difference between the two groups being 8 cubic inches. These facts have a strong bearing on the question of permanence of types. The small-headed Hindoos present the same cranial capacity as the Egyptians, and though these races have each been the repository of early civilization, it is a question whether either was the originator of civilization. The Egyptian race, from the earliest monumental dawn, exhibits Shemitic adulteration; and Latham proves that the Sanscrit language was not indigenous to India, but was carried there from Northern Europe in early ages by conquerors.

Again, in the negro group, while it is absolutely shown that certain African races, whether born in Africa, or of the tenth descent in America, give a cranial capacity almost identical, 83 cubic inches; we see, on the contrary, the Hottentot and Australian yielding a mean of but 75 inches, thereby showing a like difference of eight cubic inches.

In the American group, also, the same parallel holds good. The Toltecan family, the most civilized race, exhibit a mean of but 77 inches, while the barbarous tribes give 84, that is, a difference of 7 inches in favor of the savage. While, however, the Toltecans have the smaller heads, they are, according to Combe, much more developed in the anterior or intellectual lobes, which may serve to explain this apparent paradox.

When we compare the highest and lowest races with each other, the contrast becomes still more striking, viz: the Teutonic with the Hottentot and Australian. The former family gives a mean capacity of 92 inches, while the latter two yield but 75, or a difference of 17 cubic inches between the skulls of these types!

Now, as far back as history and monuments carry us, as well as crania and other testimonies, these various types have been permanent; and most of them we can trace back several thousand years. If such permanence of type through thousands of years, and in defiance of all climatic influences, does not establish specific characters, then is the naturalist at sea without a compass to guide him.

These facts determine clearly the arbitrary nature of all classifications heretofore adopted; the Teuton, the Jew, the Hindoo, the Egyptian, &c., have all been included under the term Caucasian; and yet they have, as far as we know, been through all time as distinct in physical and moral characters from each other, as they have from the negro races of Africa and Oceanica. The same diversity of types is found among all the other groups, or arbitrary divisions of the human family.

Rich and rare as is the collection of Dr. Morton, it is very defective in many of its divisions, and it occurred to me that this deficiency might to some degree be supplied by the hat manufacturers of various nations; notwithstanding that the information derived from this source could give but one measurement, viz: the horizontal periphery. Yet this one measurement alone, on an extended scale, would go far towards determining the general size of the brain. I accordingly applied to three hat dealers in Mobile, and a large manufacturer in New Jersey, for statements of the relative number of hats of each size sold to adult males; their tables agree so perfectly as to leave no doubt as to the circumference of the heads of the white population of the United States. The three houses together dispose of about 15,000 hats annually.

The following table was obligingly sent me by Messrs. Vail & Yates, of Newark; and they accompanied it with the remark, that their hats were sent principally to our Western States, where there is a large proportion of German population; also that the sizes of these hats were a little larger (about one fourth of an inch) than those sold in the Southern States. This remark was confirmed by the three dealers in Mobile. Our table gives, 1st. The number or size of the hat. 2d. The circumference of the head corresponding. 3d. The circumference of the hat; and lastly, the relative proportion of each No. sold out of 12 hats.


All hats larger than these are called "extra sizes."

The average size, then, of the crania of white races in the United States, is about 22½ inches circumference, including the hair and scalp, for which about 1½ inches should be deducted, leaving a mean horizontal periphery, for adult males, of 21 inches. The measurements of the purest Teutonic races in Germany and other countries, would give a larger mean; and I have reason to believe that the population of France, which is principally Celtic, would yield a smaller mean. I hope that others will extend these observations.

Dr. Morton's measurements of aboriginal American races, give a mean of but 19½ inches; and this statement is greatly strengthened by the fact that the Mexicans and other Indian races wear much smaller hats than our white races. (See Types of Mankind, p. 289 and 453.)

Prof. Tiedemann, of Heidelberg, asserts that the head of the negro is as large as that of the white man, but this we have shown to be an error. (Types of Mankind, p. 453.)

Tiedemann adopted the vulgar error of grouping together under the term Caucasian, all the Indo-Germanic, Shemitic, and Nilotic races; also all the black and dark races of Africa under the term Negro. Now I have shown that the Hindoo and Egyptian races possess about 12 cubic inches less of brain than the Teutonic; and the Hottentots about 8 inches less than the Negro proper. I affirm that no valid reason has ever been assigned why the Teuton and Hindoo, or Hottentot and Negro, should be classed together in their cranial measurements. I can discover no facts which can assign a greater age to one of these races than another; and unless Professor Tiedemann can overcome these difficulties, he has no right to assume identity for the various races he is pleased to group under each of his arbitrary divisions. Mummies from the catacombs, and portraits on the monuments, show that the heads of races on both sides of the Red Sea have remained unchanged 4000 years.

As Dr. Morton tabulated his skulls on the same arbitrary basis, I abandon his arrangement and present his facts as they stand in nature, allowing the reader to compare and judge for himself. The following table gives the internal capacity in cubic inches, and it will be seen that the measurements arrange themselves in a sliding scale of 17 cubic inches from the Teuton down to the Hottentot and Australian.


Such has been, through several thousand years, the incessant commingling of races, that we are free to admit that absolute accuracy in measurements of crania cannot now be attained. Yet so constant are the results in contrasting groups, that no unprejudiced mind can deny that there is a wide and well-marked disparity in the cranial developments of races.


As the discussion stands at the present day, we may assume that the scientific world is pretty equally divided on the question of unity of the human family, and the point is to be settled by facts, and not by names. Natural history is a comparatively new and still rapidly progressing science, and the study of man has been one of the last departments to attract serious attention. Blumenbach and Prichard, who may be regarded among the early explorers in this vast field, have but recently been numbered with the dead; and we may safely assert that the last ten years have brought forth materials which have shed an entirely new light on this subject.

Mr. Agassiz, Dr. Morton, Prof. Leidy, and many other naturalists of the United States, contend for an original diversity in the races of men, and we shall proceed to give some of the reasons why we have adopted similar views. Two of the latest writers of any note on the opposite side are the Rev. Dr. Bachman, of Charleston, and M. Flourens, of Paris; and as these gentlemen have very fully travelled over the argument opposed to us, we shall take the liberty, in the course of our remarks, to offer some objections to their views.

The great difficulty in this discussion is, to define clearly what meaning should be attached to the term species; and to the illustration of this point, mainly, will our labors be confined. Genera are, for the most part, well defined by anatomical characters, and little dispute exists respecting them; but no successful attempt has yet been made to designate species in this way, and it is by their permanency of type alone, as ascertained from written or monumental records, that our decision can be guided.


The following definitions of species have been selected by Dr. Bachman, and may be received as unexceptionable as any others; but we shall show that they fall far short of the true difficulties of the case.

"We are under the necessity of admitting the existence of certain forms, which have perpetuated themselves, from the beginning of the world, without exceeding the limits prescribed: all the individuals belonging to one of these forms constitute a species."—Cuvier.

"We unite under the designation species all those individuals who mutually bear to each other so close a resemblance as to allow of our supposing that they may have proceeded originally from a single being, or a single pair."—De Candolle.

"The name species is applied to an assemblage of individuals which bear a strong resemblance to each other, and which are perpetuated with the same essential qualities. Thus man, the dog, the horse, constitute to the zoologist so many distinct species."—Milne Edwards and Achille Compte.

We have no objection to this definition, but the examples cited are points in dispute, and not received by many of the leading naturalists of the day.

"Species are fixed and permanent forms of being, exhibiting indeed certain modes of variation, of which they may be more or less susceptible, but maintaining throughout those modifications a sameness of structural essentials, transmitted from generation to generation, and never lost by the influence of causes which otherwise produce obvious effects. Varieties are either accidental or the result of the care and culture of man.: [198] —Martin.

Dr. Bachman gives another, substantially the same, from Agassiz; and also one of his own, to which he appends, as an additional test of species, the production of "fertile offspring by association." In this definition the doctor assumes one of the main points in dispute.

"Varieties," says Dr. Bachman, "are those that are produced within the limits of particular species, and have not existed from its origin. They sometimes originate in wild species, especially those that have a wide geographical range, and are thus exposed to change of climate and temperature," &c. * * * "Permanent varieties are such as, having once taken place, are propagated in perpetuity, and do not change their characteristics unless they breed with other varieties."

We may remark that the existence of such permanent varieties as here described is also in dispute.

The same author continues:—

"On comparing these definitions, as given by various naturalists, each in his own language, it will be perceived that there is no essential difference in the various views expressed in regard to the characters by which a species is designated. They all regard it as 'the lowest term to which we descend, with the exception of varieties, such as are seen in domestic animals.' They are, to examine the external and internal organization of the animal or plant—they are, to compare it with kindred species, and if by this examination they are found to possess permanent characters differing from those of other species, it proves itself to be a distinct species. When this fact is satisfactorily ascertained, and the specimen is not found a domestic species, in which varieties always occur, presumptive evidence is afforded of its having had a primordial existence. We infer this from the fact that no species is the production of blind chance, and that within the knowledge of history no true species, but varieties only, whose origin can be distinctly traced to existing and well-known species, have made their appearance in the world. This, then, is the only means within the knowledge of man by which any species of plant or animal can be shown to be primordial. The peculiar form and characters designated the species, and its origin was a necessary inference derived from the characters stamped on it by the hand of the Creator."

To all the positions thus far taken by Dr. Bachman, we most cheerfully subscribe; they are strictly scientific, and by such criteria alone do we desire to test the unity of the human family; but we must enter a decided demurrer to the assertion which follows, viz: that, "according to the universally received definition of species, all the individuals of the human race are proved to be of one species." When it shall be shown that all the races of men, dogs, horses, cattle, wolves, foxes, &c., are "varieties only, whose origin can be distinctly traced to existing and well-known species," we may then yield the point; but we must be permitted to say that Dr. Bachman is the only naturalist, as far as we know, who has assumed to know these original types.

Now, if the reader will turn back and review carefully all the definitions of species cited, he will perceive that they are not based upon anatomical characters, but simply on the permanency of certain organic forms, and that this permanence of form is determined by its history alone.

Professor Owen, of London, has thrown the weight of his great name into the scale, and tells us that "man is the sole species of his genus, the sole representative of his order." But proving that man is not a monkey, as the professor has done in the lecture alluded to, does not prove that men are all of one species, according to any definition yet received: he has made the assertion, but has assigned no scientific reasons to sustain it. No one would be more rejoiced than ourselves, to see the great talent and learning of Professor Owen brought fully to bear on this point; but, like most naturalists, he has overlooked one of the most important points in this discussion—the monumental history of man.

Will Professor Owen or Dr. Bachman tell us wherein the lion and tiger—the dog, wolf, fox, and jackal—the fossil horse, and living species—the Siberian mammoth and the Indian elephant, differ more from each other than the white man and the negro? Are not all these regarded by naturalists as distinct species, and yet who pretends to be able to distinguish the skeleton of one from the other by specific characters?

The examples just cited, of living species, have been decided upon simply from their permanency of type, as derived from their history; and we say that, by the same process of reasoning, the races of men depicted on the monuments of Egypt, five thousand years ago, and which have maintained their types through all time and all climates since, are distinct species.

Dr. Morton defines species—"a primordial organic form," and determines these forms by their permanence through all human records; and Mr. Agassiz, who adopts this definition, adds: "Species are thus distinct forms of organic life, the origin of which is lost in the primitive establishment of the state of things now existing; and varieties are such modification of the species as may return to the typical form under temporary influences."

Dr. Bachman objects very strongly to this definition, and declares it a "cunning device, and, to all intents, an ex post facto law," suddenly conjured up during a controversy, to avoid the difficulties of the case; but we have serious doubts whether these gentlemen are capable of such subterfuge in matters of science, and confess that we cannot see any substantial difference between their definition and those given by Dr. Bachman. Morton and Agassiz determine a form to be "primordial" by its permanency, as proved by history, and the other definitions assign no other test.

Professor Leidy, who has not only studied the "lower departments of zoology," like Mr. Agassiz, but also the "higher forms of animal life," says that "too much importance has been attached to the term species," and gives the following definition: "A species of plant or animal may be defined to be an immutable organic form, whose characteristic distinctions may always be recognized by a study of its history." [199]

M. Jourdain, under the head "Espèce," in his Dictionnaire des Termes des Sciences Naturelles, after citing a long list of definitions from leading authors, concludes with the following remarks, which, as the question now stands before the world, places the term species just where it should be:—

"It is evident that we can, among organized bodies, regard as a species only such a collection of beings as resemble each other more than they resemble others, and which, by a consent more or less unanimous, it is agreed to designate by a common name; for a species is but a simple abstraction of the mind, and not a group, exactly determined by nature herself, as ancient as she is, and of which she has irrevocably traced the limits. It is in the definition of species that we recognize how far the influence of ideas adopted without examination in youth is powerful in obscuring the most simple ideas of general physics."

Although not written with the expectation of publication, I will take the liberty of publishing the following private letter just received from Prof. Leidy. He has not appeared at all in this controversy before the public, and we may safely say that no one can be better qualified than he is to express an opinion on this question of species.

"With all the contention about the question of what constitutes a species, there appears to be almost no difficulty, comparatively, in its practical recognition. Species of plants and animals are daily determined, and the characters which are given to distinguish them are viewed by the great body of naturalists as sufficient. All the definitions, however, which have been given for a species, are objectionable. Morton says: 'A species is a primordial organic form.' But how shall we distinguish the latter? How can it be proved that any existing forms primordially were distinct? In my attempted definition, I think, I fail, for I only direct how species are discovered.

"According to the practical determination of a species by naturalists, in a late number of the Proceedings of our Academy (vol. vii. p. 201), I observe: 'A species is a mere convenient word with which naturalists empirically designate groups of organized beings possessing characters of comparative constancy, as far as historic experience has guided them in giving due weight to such constancy.'

"According to this definition, the races of men are evidently distinct species. But it may be said that the definition is given to suit the circumstances. So it is, and so it should be; or, if not, then all characterized species should conform to an arbitrary definition. The species of gypætus, haliætus, tanagra, and of many other genera of birds, are no more distinguishable than the species of men; and, I repeat, the anatomy of one species of haliætus, or of any other genus, will answer for that of all the other species of the same genus. The same is the case with mammals. One species of felis, ursus, or equus will give the exact anatomy of all the other species in each genus, just as you may study the anatomy of the white man upon the black man. While Prof. Richard Owen will compare the orang with man, and therefore deduce all races of the latter to be of one species, he divides the genus cervus into several other genera, and yet there is no difference in their internal anatomy; while he considers the horse and the ass as two distinct genera, and says that a certain fossil horse-tooth, carefully compared with the corresponding tooth of the recent horse, showed no differences, excepting in being a little more curved, he considers it a distinct species, under the name of equus curvidens; and yet, with differences of greater value in the jaws of the negro and white man, he considers them the same.

"In the restricted genera of vertebrata of modern naturalists, the specific characters are founded on the external appendages, for the most part—differences in the scales, horns, antlers, feathers, hairs, or bills. Just as you separate the black and white man by the difference in the color of the skin and the character of the hair, so do we separate the species of bears, or cats, &c.

"Philadelphia, April 18, 1855."

We might thus go on and multiply, to the extent of an octavo volume, evidence to show how vague and unsettled is the term species among naturalists, and that, when we abandon historical records, we have no reliable guide left. Moreover, were we able to establish perfectly reliable landmarks between species, we still have no means of determining whether they were originally created in one pair, or many pairs. The latter is certainly the most rational supposition: there is every reason to believe that the earth and the sea brought forth "abundantly" of each species.

It must be clear to the reader, from the evidence above adduced, that Dr. Bachman claims far too much when he asserts that—

"Naturalists can be found, in Europe and America, who, without any vain boast, can distinguish every species of bird and quadruped on their separate continents; and the characters which distinguish and separate the several species are as distinct and infallible as are those which form the genera." [200]

And, again, when he says:—

"From the opportunities we have enjoyed in the examination of the varieties and species of domesticated quadrupeds and birds, we have never found any difficulty in deciding on the species to which these varieties belong."

Those of us who are still groping in darkness certainly have a right to ask who are the authorities alluded to, and what are those "characters which distinguish and separate species" as distinctly and infallibly as "genera?" They are certainly not in print.

The doctor must pardon us for reminding him that there is printed evidence that his own mind is not always free from doubts. In the introduction of Audubon and Bachman's Quadrupeds of America, p. vii., it is said:—

"Although genera may be easily ascertained by the forms and dental arrangements peculiar to each, many species so nearly approach each other in size, while they are so variable in color, that it is exceedingly difficult to separate them with positive certainty."

Again, in speaking of the genus vulpes (foxes), the same work says:—

"The characters of this genus differ so slightly from those of the genus canis, that we are induced to pause before removing it from the sub-genus in which it had so long remained. As a general rule, we are obliged to admit that a large fox is a wolf, and a small wolf may be termed a fox. So inconveniently large, however, is the list of species in the old genus canis, that it is, we think, advisable to separate into distinct groups such species as possess any characters different from true wolves."

Speaking of the origin of the domestic dog, Dr. Bachman, in his work on Unity of Races, p. 63, says:—

"Notwithstanding all these difficulties—and we confess we are not free from some doubts in regard to their identity (dog and wolf)—if we were called upon to decide on any wild species as the progenitor of our dogs, we would sooner fix upon the large wolf than on any other dog, hyena, or jackal," &c.

The doctor is unable, here at least (and we can point out many other cases), to "designate species;" and the recent investigations of Flourens, at the Jardin des Plantes, prove him wrong as regards the origin of the dog. The dog is not derived from the "large wolf," but, with it, produces hybrids, sterile after the third generation. The dog forms a genus apart.

We repeat, then, that in a large number of genera, the species cannot be separated by any anatomical characters, and that it is from their history alone naturalists have arrived at those minute divisions now generally received. We may, without the fear of contradiction, go a step further, and assert that several of the races of men are as widely separated in physical organization, physiological and psychological characters, as are the canidæ, equidæ, felines, elephants, bears and others. When the white races of Europe, the Mongols of Asia, the aborigines of America, the black races of Africa and Oceanica are placed beside each other, they are marked by stronger differences than are the species of the genera above named. It has been objected that these gaps are filled by intermediate links which make the chain complete from one extremity to the other. The admission of the fact does not invalidate our position, for we have shown elsewhere (seeTypes of Mankind) gradation is the law of nature. The extreme types, we have proven, have been distinct for more than 5000 years, and no existing causes during that time have transformed one type into another. The well-marked negro type, for example, stands face to face with the white type on the monuments of Egypt; and they differ more from each other than the dog and wolf, ass and Equis Hemionus, lion and tiger, &c. The hair and skin, the size and shape of head, the pelvis, the extremities, and other points, separate certain African and Oceanican negroes more widely than the above species. This will not be questioned, whatever difference of opinion may exist with regard to the permanency of these forms. In the language of Prof. Leidy, "the question to be determined is, whether the differences in the races of men are as permanent and of as much value as those which characterize species in the lower genera of animals." These races of men too are governed by the same laws of geographical distribution, as the species of the lower genera; they are found, as far back as history can trace them, as widely separated as possible, and surrounded by local Floræ and Faunæ.


This term is very conveniently introduced to explain all the difficulties which embarrass this discussion. Dr. Bachman insists that all the races of men are mere varieties, and sustains the opinion by a repetition of those analogies which have been so often drawn from the animal kingdom by Prichard and his school. It is well known that those animals which have been domesticated undergo, in a few generations, very remarkable changes in color, form, size, habits, &c. For example, all the hogs, black, white, brown, gray, spotted, &c., now found scattered over the earth, have, it is said, their parentage in one pair of wild hogs. "This being admitted," says Dr. B. "we invite the advocates of plurality in the human species to show wherein these varieties are less striking than their eight (alluding to Agassiz) originally created nations." Again—

"And how has the discovery been made that all the permanent races are mere varieties, and not 'originally created' species, or 'primitive varieties?' Simply because the naturalists of Germany, finding that the original wild hog still exists in their forests, have, in a thousand instances, reclaimed them from the woods. By this means they have discovered that their descendants,after a few generations, lose their ferocity, assume all colors," &c.

The same reasoning is applied to horses, cattle, goats, sheep, &c., while many, if not most of the best naturalists of the day deny that we know anything of the origin of our domestic animals. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, in his work, just out, denies it in toto. We are, however, for the sake of argument, willing to admit all the examples, and all he claims with regard to the origin of endless varieties in domesticated animals. [201]

Let us, on the other hand, "invite the advocates of unity of the human species" to say when and where such varieties have sprung up in the human family. We not only have the written history of man for 2000 years, but his monumental history for 2000 more; and yet, while the naturalists of Germany are catching wild hogs, and recording in a thousand instances "after a few generations" these wonderful changes, no one has yet pointed out anything analogous in the human family; the porcupine family in England, a few spotted Mexicans, &c., do not meet the case; history records the origin of no permanent variety. No race of men has in the same country turned black, brown, gray, white, and spotted. The negroes in America have not in ten generations turned to all colors, though fully domesticated, like pigs and turkeys. The Jews in all countries for 2000 years are still Jews. The gypsies are everywhere still gypsies. In India, the different castes, of different colors, have been living together several thousand years, and are still distinct, &c. &c.

Nor does domestication affect all animals and fowls equally; compare the camel, ass, and deer, with the hog and dog; the Guinea fowl, pea fowl, and goose, with pigeons, turkeys, and common fowls. In fact, no one animal can be taken as an analogue for another: each has its own physiological laws; each is influenced differently and in different degrees by the same external influences. How, then, can an animal be taken as an analogue for man?

We have also abundant authority to show that all wild species do not present the same uniformity in external characters.

"All packs of American wolves usually consist of various shades of color, and varieties nearly black have been occasionally found in every part of the United States.... In a gang of wolves which existed in Colleton District, South Carolina, a few years ago (sixteen of which were killed by hunters in eighteen months), we were informed that about one-fifth were black, and the others of every shade of color, from black to dusky gray and yellowish white."—Audubon & Bachman, 2d Amer. ed., vol. ii. pp. 130-1.

Speaking of the white American wolf, the same authors say:—

"Their gait and movements are precisely the same as those of the common dog, and their mode of copulating and number of young brought forth at a litter, are about the same." (It might have been added that their number of bones, teeth, whole anatomical structure are the same.) "The diversity of their size and color is remarkable, no two being quite alike."... "The wolves of the prairies ... produce from six to eleven at a birth, of which there are very seldom two alike in color."—Op. cit., p. 159.

"The common American wolf, Richardson observes, sometimes shows remarkable diversity of color. On the banks of the Mackenzie River I saw five young wolves leaping and tumbling over each other with all the playfulness of the puppies of the domestic dog, and it is not improbable they were all of one litter. One of them was pied, another black, and the rest showed the colors of the common gray wolves."

The same diversity is seen in the prairie wolf, and naturalists have been much embarrassed in classifying the various wolves on account of colors, size, &c.

All this is independent of domestication, and shows the uncertainty of analogues; and still it is remarkable that though considerable variety exists in the native dogs of America in color and size, they do not run into the thousand grotesque forms seen on the old continent, where a much greater mixture exists. The dogs of America, like the aboriginal races of men, are comparatively uniform. In the East, where various races have come together, the men, like the dogs, present endless varieties, Egypt, Assyria, India, &c.

Let us suppose that one variety of hog had been discovered in Africa, one in Asia, one in Europe, one in Australia, another in America, as well marked as those Dr. B. describes; that these varieties had been transferred to other climates as have been Jews, gypsies, negroes, &c., and had remained for ages without change of form or color, would they be considered as distinct species or not?—can any one doubt? The rule must work both ways, or the argument falls to the ground.

In fact the Dr. himself makes admissions which fully refute his whole theory.

"Whilst," says he, "we are willing to allow some weight to the argument advanced by President Smyth, who endeavors to account for the varieties in man from the combined influences of three causes, 'climate, the state of society, and manner of living,' we are free to admit that it is impossible to account for the varieties in the human family from the causes which he has assigned." [202]

The Dr. further admits, in the same work, that the races have been permanent since the time of the old Egyptian empire, and supposes that at some extremely remote time, of which we have no record, that "they were more susceptible of producing varieties than at a later period." These suppositions answer a very good purpose in theology, but do not meet the requirements of science.


Having shown the insufficiency of all the other arguments in establishing the landmarks of species, let us now turn to those based on hybridity, which seems to be the last stronghold of the unity party. On this point hang all the difficulties of M. Gobineau, and had he been posted up to date here, his doubts would all have vanished. The last twelve months have added some very important facts to those previously published, and we shall, with as little detail as possible, present the subject in its newest light.

It is contended that when two animals of distinct species, or, in other words, of distinct origin, are bred together, they produce a hybrid which is infertile, or which at least becomes sterile in a few generations if preserved free from admixture with the parent stocks. It is assumed that unlimited prolificness is a certain test of community of origin.

We, on the contrary, contend that there is no abrupt line of demarcation; that no complete laws of hybridity have yet been established; that there is a regular gradation in the prolificness of the species, and that, according to the best lights we now possess, there is a continued series from perfect sterility to perfect prolificacy. The degrees may be expressed in the following language:—

1. That in which hybrids never reproduce; in other words, where the mixed progeny begins and ends with the first cross.

2. That in which the hybrids are incapable of producing inter se, but multiply by union with the parent stock.

3. That in which animals of unquestionably distinct species produce a progeny which are prolific inter se, but have a tendency to run out.

4. That which takes place between closely proximate species; among mankind, for example, and among those domestic animals most essential to human wants and happiness; here the prolificacy is unlimited.

It seems to be a law that in those genera where several or many species exist, there is a certain gradation which is shown in degrees of hybridity; some having greater affinity than others. Experiments are still wanting to make our knowledge perfect, but we know enough to establish our points.

There are many points we have not space to dwell on, as the relative influence of the male and female on the offspring; the tendency of one species to predominate over another; the tendency of types to "crop out" after lying dormant for many generations; the fact that in certain species some of the progeny take after one parent and some after the other, while in other cases the offspring presents a medium type, &c.

The genus Equus (Horse) comprises six species, of which three belong to Asia, and three to Africa. The Asiatic species are the Equus Caballus (Horse), Equus Hemionus (Dzigguetai), and Equus Asinus (Ass). Those of Africa are the Equus Zebra (Zebra), Equus Montanus(Daw), and the Equus Quaccha (Quagga). The horse and ass alone have been submitted to domestication from time immemorial; the others have remained wild.

It is well known that the horse and ass produce together an unprolific mule, and as these two species are the furthest removed from each other in their physical structure, Dr. Morton long since suggested that intermediate species bred together would show a higher degree of prolificness, and this prediction has been vindicated by experiments recently made in the Garden of Plants at Paris, where the ass and dzigguetai have been bred together for the last ten years. "What is very remarkable, these hybrids differ considerably from each other; some resemble much more closely the dzigguetai, others the ass." In regard to the product of the male dzigguetai and the jenny, Mr. Geoffroy St. Hilaire says: [203]—

"Another fact, not less worthy of interest, is the fecundity, if not of all the mules, at least the firstborn among them; with regard to this, the fact is certain; he has produced several times with Jennies, and once with the female dzigguetai, the only one he has covered." [204]

At a meeting of the "Société Zoologique d'Acclimation,"

M. Richard (du Cantal) "parle des essais de croisements de l'hémione avec l'anesse, et dit qu'ils ont donnè un mulet beaucoupplus ardent que l'âne. Il asserte que les produits de l'hémione avec l'âne, sont féconds, et que le métis, nommé Polka, à déja produit."

To what extent the prolificness of these two species will go is yet to be determined, and there is an unexplored field still open among the other species of this genus; it is highly probable that a gradation may be established from sterility, up to perfect prolificacy.

Not only do the female ass and the male onager breed together, but a male offspring of this cross, with a mare, produces an animal more docile than either parent, and combining the best physical qualities, such as strength, speed, &c.; whence the ancients preferred the onager to the ass, for the production of mules. [205] Mr. Gliddon, who lived upwards of twenty years in Egypt and other eastern countries, informs me this opinion is still prevalent in Egypt, and is acted upon more particularly in Arabia, Persia, &c., where the gour, or wild ass, still roams the desert. The zebra has also been several times crossed with the horse.

The genus canis contains a great many species, as domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals, &c., and much discussion exists as to which are really species and which mere varieties. In this genus experiments in crossing have been carried a step further than in the Equidæ, but there is much yet to be done. All the species produce prolific offspring, but how far the prolificness might extend in each instance is not known; there is reason to believe that every grade would be found except that of absolute sterility which is seen in the offspring of the horse and ass.

The following facts are given by M. Flourens, and are the result of his own observations at the Jardin des Plantes.

"The hybrids of the dog and wolf are sterile after the third generation; those of the jackal and dog, are so after the fourth.

"Moreover, if one of these hybrids is bred with one of the primitive species, they soon return, completely and totally, to this species.

"My experiments on the crossing of species have given me opportunities of making a great many observations of this kind.

"The union of the dog and jackal produces a hybrid—a mixed animal, an animal partaking almost equally of the two, but in which, however, the type of the jackal predominates over that of the dog.

"I have remarked, in fact, in my experiments, that all types are not equally dominant and persistent. The type of the dog is more persistent than that of the wolf—that of the jackal more than that of the dog; that of the horse is less than that of the ass, &c. The hybrid of the dog and the wolf partakes more of the dog than the wolf; the hybrid of the jackal and dog, takes more after the jackal than dog; the hybrid of the horse and the ass partakes less of the horse than the ass; it has the ears, back, rump, voice of the ass; the horse neighs, the ass brays, and the mule brays like the ass, &c.

"The hybrid of the dog and jackal, then, partakes more of the jackal than dog—it has straight ears, hanging tail, does not bark, and is wild—it is more jackal than dog.

"So much for the first cross product of the dog with the jackal. I continue to unite, from generation to generation, the successive products with one of the two primitive stocks—with that of the dog, for example. The hybrid of the second generation does not yet bark, but has already the ears pendent at the ends, and is less savage. The hybrid of the third generation barks, has the ears pendent, the tail turned up, and is no longer wild. The hybrid of the fourth generation is entirely a dog.

"Four generations, then, have sufficed to re-establish one of the two primitive types—the type of the dog; and four generations suffice, also, to bring back the other type." [206]

From the foregoing facts, M. Flourens deduces, without assigning a reason, the following non sequitur:—

"Thus, then, either hybrids, born of the union of two distinct species, unite and soon become sterile, or they unite with one of the parent stocks, and soon return to this type—they in no case give what may be called a new species, that is to say, an intermediate durable species." [207]

The dog also produces hybrids with the fox and hyena, but to what extent has not yet been determined. The hybrid fox is certainly prolific for several generations.

There are also bovine, camelline, caprine, ovine, feline, deer with the ram, and endless other hybrids, running through the animal kingdom, but they are but repetitions of the above facts, and experiments are still far from being complete in establishing the degrees which attach to each two species. We have abundant proofs, however, of the three first degrees of hybridity. 1st. Where the hybrid is infertile. 2d. Where it produces with the parent stock. 3d. Where it is prolific for one, two, three, or four generations, and then becomes sterile. Up to this point there is no diversity of opinion. Let us now inquire what evidence there is of the existence of the 4th degree, in which hybrids may form a new and permanent race.

To show how slow has been our progress in this question, and what difficulties beset our path, we need only state that the facts respecting the dog, wolf, and jackal, quoted above from Flourens, have only been published within the last twelve months. The identity of the dog and wolf has heretofore been undetermined, and the degrees of hybridity of the dog with the wolf and jackal were before unknown. These experiments do not extend beyond one species of wolf.

M. Flourens says:—

"Les espèces ne s'altèrent point, ne changent point, ne passent point de l'une à l'autre; les espèces sont fixés."

"If species have a tendency to transformation, to pass one into another, why has not time, which, in everything, effects all that can happen, ended by disclosing, by betraying, by implying this tendency.

"But time, they may tell me, is wanting. It is not wanting. It is 2000 years since Aristotle wrote, and we recognize in our day all the animals which he describes; and we recognize them by the characters which he assigns.... Cuvier states that the history of the elephant is more exact in Aristotle than in Buffon. They bring us every day from Egypt, the remains of animals which lived there two or three thousand years ago—the ox, crocodiles, ibis, &c. &c., which are the same as those of the present day. We have under our eyes human mummies—the skeleton of that day is identical with that of the Egyptian of our day."

(M. Flourens might have added that the mummies of the white and black races show them to have been as distinct then as now, and that the monumental drawings represent the different races more than a thousand years further back.)

"Thus, then, through three thousand years, no species has changed. An experiment which continues through three thousand years, is not an experiment to be made—it is an experiment made. Species do not change." [208]

Permanence of type, then, is the only test which he can adduce for the designation of species, and he here comes back plainly to the position we have taken. Let us now test the races of men by this rule. The white Asiatic races, the Jew, the Arab, the Egyptian, the negro, at least, are distinctly figured on the monuments of Egypt and Assyria, as distinct as they are now, and time and change of climate have not transformed any one type into another. In whatever unexplored regions of the earth the earliest voyagers have gone, they have found races equally well marked. These races are all prolific inter se, and there is every reason to believe that we here find the fourth and last degree of hybridity. Whether the prolificacy is unlimited between all the races or species of men is still an unsettled point, and experiments have not yet been fully and fairly made to determine the question. The dog and wolf become sterile at the third. The dog and jackal at the fourth generation, and who can tell whether the law of hybridity might not show itself in man, after a longer succession of generations. There are no observations yet of this kind in the human family. It is a common belief in our Southern States, that mulattoes are less prolific, and attain a less longevity than the parent stocks. I am convinced of the truth of this remark, when applied to the mulatto from the strictly white and black races, and I am equally convinced, from long personal observation, that the dark-skinned European races, as Spaniards, Portuguese, Italians, Basques, &c., mingle much more perfectly with the negroes than do fair races, thus carrying out the law of gradation in hybridity. If the mulattoes of New Orleans and Mobile be compared with those of the Atlantic States, the fact will become apparent.

The argument in favor of unlimited prolificacy between species may be strongly corroborated by an appeal to the history of our domestic animals, whose history is involved in the same impenetrable mystery as that of man. M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire very justly remarks that we know nothing of the origin of our domestic animals; because we find wild hogs, goats, sheep, &c., in certain parts of Europe, several thousand years subsequent to the early migrations of man, this does not prove that the domestic come from these wild ones. The reverse may be the case. [209]

We have already made some general observations on the genus canis, whose natural history is most closely allied to that of man. Let us now inquire whether the domestic dog is but one species, or whether under this head have been included many proximate species of unlimited prolificacy. If we try the question by permanency of type, like the races of men, and all well-marked species, the doubt must be yielded.

There are strong reasons given by Dr. Morton and other naturalists, for supposing that our common dogs, independent of mixtures of their various races, may also have an infusion of the blood of foxes, wolves, jackals, and even the hyena; thus forming, as we see every day around us, curs of every possible grade; but setting aside all this, we have abundant evidence to show that each zoological province has its original dog, and, perhaps, not unfrequently several.

In one chapter on hybridity in the "Types of Mankind," it is shown that our Indian dogs in America present several well-marked types, unlike any in the Old World, and which are indigenous to the soil. For example, the Esquimaux dog, the Hare Indian dog, the North American dog, and several others. We have not space here to enter fully into the facts, but they will be found at length in the work above mentioned. These dogs, too, are clearly traced to wild species of this continent.

In other parts of the world we find other species equally well marked, but we shall content ourselves with the facts drawn from the ancient monuments of Egypt. It is no longer a matter of dispute that as far back, at least, as the twelfth dynasty, about 2300 years before Christ, we find the common small dog of Egypt, the greyhound, the staghound, the turnspit, and several other types which do not correspond with any dogs that can now be identified. [210] We find, also, the mastiff admirably portrayed on the monuments of Babylon, which dog was first brought from the East to Greece by Alexander the Great, 300 years B. C. The museums of natural history, also, everywhere abound in the remains of fossil dogs, which long antedate all living species.

The wolf, jackal, and hyena are also found distinctly drawn on the early monuments of Egypt, and a greyhound, exactly like the English greyhound, with semi-pendent ears, is seen on a statue in the Vatican, at Rome. It is clear, then, that the leading types of dogs of the present day (and probably all) existed more than four thousand years ago, and it is equally certain that the type of a dog, when kept pure, will endure in opposite climates for ages. Our staghounds, greyhounds, mastiffs, turnspits, pointers, terriers, &c., are bred for centuries, not only in Egypt and Europe without losing their types, but in any climate which does not destroy them. No one denies that climate influences these animals greatly, but the greyhound, staghound, or bulldog can never be transformed into each other.

The facts above stated cannot be questioned, and it is admitted that these species are all prolific without limit inter se.

The llama affords another strong argument in favor of the fourth degree of hybridity. Cuvier admits but two species—the llama (camelus llacma), of which he regards the alpaca as a variety, and the vigogne (camelus vicunna). More recent naturalists regard the alpaca as a distinct species, among whom is M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire. [211] At all events, it seems settled that they all breed together without limit.

"A son tour, après la vigogne, viendra bientôt l'alpavigogne, fruit du croisement de l'alpaca avec la vigogne. Don Francisco de Theran, il ya quarante ans, et M. de Castelnau, avaient annoncé déjà que ce métis est fécond, et qu'il porte une laine presque aussi longue que celle de l'alpaca, presque aussi fine que celle de la vigogne.... M. Weddell a mis tout récemment l'Académie des Sciences à même de voir et d'admirer cette admirable toison. Il a confirmé en même temps un fait que n'avait trouvé que des incrédules parmi les naturalists—la fécondité de l'alpaca-vigogne: l'abbé Cabrera, curé de la petite ville de Macusani, a obtenu une race qui se perpétue et dont il possède déjà tout un troupeau. C'est, donc, pour ainsi dire, une nouvelle espèce créée par l'homme; et si paradoxal qu' ait pu sembler ce résultat, il est, fort heureusement pour l'industrie, définitivement acquis à la science.

"Ce résultat n'aurait rien de paradoxal, si l'alpaca n'était, comme l'ont pensé plusieurs auteurs, qu'une race domestique et três modifiée de la vigogne. Cette objection contre le pretendu principe de l'infécondite des mulets ne serait d'ailleurs levée que pour faire place à une autre; l'alpa-llama serait alors un mulet, issu de deux espèces distincts, et l'alpa-llama est fécond comme l'alpa-vigogne." [212]

We have recently seen exhibited in Mobile a beautiful hybrid of the alpaca and common sheep, and the owner informed us that he had a flock at home, which breed perfectly.

Dr. Bachman confesses that he has not examined the drawings given in the works of Lepsius, Champollion, Rossellini, and other Egyptologists, of various animals represented on the monuments, and ridicules the idea of their being received as authority in matters of natural history. Although many of the drawings are rudely done, most of them, in outline, are beautifully executed, and Dr. B. is the first, so far as we know, to call the fact in question. Dr. Chas. Pickering is received by Dr. B. as high authority in scientific matters—he has not only examined these drawings, but their originals. Lepsius, Champollion, Rossellini, Wilkinson, and all the Egyptologists, have borne witness to the reliability of these drawings, and have enumerated hundreds of animals and plants which are perfectly identified.

Martin, the author of the work on "Man and Monkeys," is certainly good authority. He says:—

"Now we have in modern Egypt and Arabia, and also in Persia, varieties of greyhound closely resembling those of the ancient remains of art, and it would appear that two or three varieties exist—one smooth, another long haired, and another smooth with long-haired ears, resembling those of the spaniel. In Persia, the greyhound, to judge from specimens we have seen, is silk-haired, with a fringed tail. They are of a black color; but a fine breed, we are informed, is of a slate or ash color, as are some of the smooth-haired greyhounds depicted in the Egyptian paintings. In Arabia, a large, rough, powerful race exists; and about Akaba, according to Laborde, a breed of slender form, fleet, with a long tail, very hairy, in the form of a brush, with the ears erect and pointed, closely resembling, in fact, many of those figured by the ancient Egyptians." [213]

He goes on to quote Col. Sykes, and others, for other varieties of greyhound in the east, unlike any in Europe.

Dr. Pickering, after enumerating various objects identified on the monuments of the third and fourth dynasties, as Nubians, white races, the ostrich, ibis, jackal, antelope, hedgehog, goose, fowls, ducks, bullock, donkey, goats, dog-faced ape, hyena, porcupine, wolves, foxes, &c. &c., when he comes down to the twelfth dynasty, says:—

"The paintings on the walls represent a vast variety of subjects; including, most unexpectedly, the greater part of the arts andtrades practised among civilized nations at the present day; also birds, quadrupeds, fishes, and insects, amounting to anextended treatise on zoology, well deserving the attention of naturalists. The date accompanying these representations has been astronomically determined by Biot, at about B. C. 2200 (Champollion-Figeac, Egyp. Arc.); and Lepsius's chronological computation corresponds." [214]

Dr. P. gives us a fauna and flora of Egypt, running further back than Usher's date for the creation, and it cannot be doubted that the drawings are as reliable as those in any modern work on natural history.
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Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:05 pm

Part 2 of 2


Mr. Gobineau remarks (p. 367), that he has very serious doubts as to the unity of origin. "These doubts, however," he continues, "I am compelled to repress, because they are in contradiction to a scientific fact, which I cannot refute—the prolificness of half-breeds; and secondly, what is of much greater weight with me, they impugn a religious interpretation sanctioned by the church."

With regard to the prolificness of half-breeds, I have already mentioned such facts as might have served to dispel the learned writer's doubts, had he been acquainted with them. In reference to the other, more serious, obstacle to his admission of the plurality of origins, he himself intimates (p. 339) that the authority of this interpretation might, perhaps, be questioned without transgressing the limits imposed by the church. Believing this view to be correct, I shall venture on a few remarks upon this last scruple of the author, which is shared by many investigators of this interesting subject.

"The strict rule of scientific scrutiny," says the most learned and formidable opponent in the adversary's camp, [215] "exacts, according to modern philosophers, in matters of inductive reasoning, an exclusive homage. It requires that we should close our eyes against all presumptive and exterior evidence, and abstract our minds from all considerations not derived from the matters of fact which bear immediately on the question. The maxim we have to follow in such controversies is 'fiat justitia, ruat cœlum.' In fact, what is actually true, it is always desirous to know, whatever consequences may arise from its admission."

To this sentiment I cheerfully subscribe: it has always been my maxim. Yet I find it necessary, in treating of this subject, to touch on itsbiblical connections, for although we have great reason to rejoice at the improved tone of toleration, or even liberality which prevails in this country, the day has not come when science can be severed from theology, and the student of nature can calmly follow her truths, no matter whither they may lead. What a mortifying picture do we behold in the histories of astronomy, geology, chronology, cosmogony, geographical distribution of animals, &c.; they have been compelled to fight their way, step by step, through human passion and prejudice, from their supposed contradiction to Holy Writ. But science has been vindicated—their great truths have been established, and the Bible stands as firmly as it did before. The last great struggle between science and theology is the one we are now engaged in—the natural history of man—it has now, for the first time, a fair hearing before Christendom, and all any question should ask is "daylight and fair play."

The Bible should not be regarded as a text-book of natural history. On the contrary, it must be admitted that none of the writers of the Old or New Testament give the slightest evidence of knowledge in any department of science beyond that of their profane contemporaries; and we hold that the natural history of man is a department of science which should be placed upon the same footing with others, and its facts dispassionately investigated. What we require for our guidance in this world is truth, and the history of science shows how long it has been stifled by bigotry and error.

It was taught for ages that the sun moved around the earth; that there had been but one creation of organized beings; that our earth was created but six thousand years ago, and that the stars were made to shed light upon it; that the earth was a plane, with sides and ends; that all the animals on earth were derived from Noah's ark, &c. But what a different revelation does science give us? We now know that the earth revolves around the sun, that the earth is a globe which turns on its own axis, that there has been a succession of destructions and creations of living beings, that the earth has existed countless ages, and that there are stars so distant as to require millions of years for their light to reach us; that instead of one, there are many centres of creation for existing animals and plants, &c.

If so many false readings of the Bible have been admitted among theologians, who has authority or wisdom to say to science—"thus far shalt thou go, and no further?" The doctrine of unity for the human family may be another great error, and certainly a denial of its truth does no more, nay, less violence to the language of the Bible, than do the examples above cited.

It is a popular error, and one difficult to eradicate, that all the species of animals now dwelling on the earth are descendants of pairs and septuples preserved in Noah's ark, and certainly the language of Genesis on this point is too plain to admit of any quibble; it does teach that every living being perished by the flood, except those alone which were saved in the ark. Yet no living naturalist, in or out of the church, believes this statement to be correct. The centres of creation are so numerous, and the number of animals so great that it is impossible it should be so.

On the other hand, the first chapter of Genesis gives an account entirely in accordance with the teachings of science.

"And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; and it was so." Gen. i. 11.

"And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly, the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." v. 20.

"And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly," &c. v. 21.

"And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind, and it was so." v. 24.

"God created man in his own image; male and female created he them."

In the language above quoted, nothing is said about one seed or one blade of grass; about one fruit tree, or about single pairs of animals or human beings. On the contrary, this chapter closes with the distinct impression on the mind that everything was created abundantly. The only difficulty arises with regard to the human family, and we are here confused by the contradictory statements of the first and second chapters. In the first chapter, man was created male and female, on the sixth day—in the second chapter, woman was not created until after Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden. Commentators explain this discrepancy by the difference in style of the two chapters, and the inference that Genesis is a compilation made up by Moses from two or three different writers; but it is not our purpose here to open these theological discussions. Both sides are sustained by innumerable authorities. From what we have before shown, it is clear that the inspired writers possessed no knowledge of physical sciences, and as little respecting the natural history of man, as of any other department.

Their moral mission does not concern our subject, and we leave that to theologians, to whom it more properly belongs. On the other hand, we ask to be let alone in our study of the physical laws of the universe. The theologian and the naturalist have each an ample field without the necessity of interfering with each other.

The Bible is here viewed only in its relations with physical science. We have already alluded to the fact that in astronomy, geology, &c., the authors of the Bible possessed no knowledge beyond that of their profane contemporaries, and a dispassionate examination of the text from Genesis to Revelation will show that the writers had but an imperfect knowledge of contemporary races, and did not design to teach the doctrine of unity of mankind, or rather origin from a single pair. The writer of the Pentateuch could attach little importance to such an idea, as he nowhere alludes to a future existence, or rewards and punishments—all good and evil, as far as the human race is concerned, with him, were merely temporal.

This idea of a future state does not distinctly appear in the Jewish writings until after their return from the Babylonish captivity.

The extent of the surface of the globe, known even to the writers of the New Testament, formed but a small fraction of it—little beyond the confines of the Roman empire. No allusion is even made to Southern and Eastern Asia; Africa, south of the Desert; Australia, America, &c.; all of which were inhabited long before the time of Moses; and of the races of men inhabiting these countries, and their languages, they certainly knew nothing. The Chinese and Indian empires, at least, are beyond dispute. The early Hebrews were a pastoral people; had little commercial or other intercourse with the rest of the world, and were far from being "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." The Egyptian empire was fully developed—arts and science as flourishing—pyramids and gorgeous temples built, not only before the time of Moses, but long prior to that of the Patriarch Abraham, who, with Sarah, went to Egypt to buy corn of the reigning Pharaoh. What is remarkable, too, the Egyptians had their ethnographers, and had already classified the human family into four races, and depicted them on the monuments, viz: the black, white, yellow, and red. [216]

In fact, nothing can be more incomplete, contradictory, and unsatisfactory than the ethnography of Genesis. We see Cain going into a foreign land and taking a wife before there were any women born of his parent stock. Cities are seen springing up in the second and third generations, in every direction, &c. All this shows that we have in Genesis no satisfactory history of the human family, and that we can rely no more upon its ethnography than upon its geography, astronomy, cosmogony, geology, zoology, &c.

We have already alluded to the fact that the writers of the New Testament give no evidence of additional knowledge in such matters. The sermon from the Mount comes like a light from Heaven, but this volume is mute on all that pertains to the physical laws of the universe.

If the common origin of man were such an important point in the eyes of the Almighty as we have been taught to believe, is it reasonable to suppose it would have been left by the inspired writers in such utter confusion and doubt? The coming of Christ changed the whole question, and we should expect, at least in the four Gospels, for some authority that would settle this vital point; but strange as the assertion may seem, there is not a single passage here to be found, which, by any distortion, can be made to sustain this unity; and on searching diligently the New Testament, from one end to the other, we were not a little surprised to find but a single text that seemed to bear directly upon it, viz: the oft quoted one in Acts xvii. 26: "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth," &c. Being astonished at the fact that this great question of common origin of man should thus be made to hang so much upon a single verse, it occurred to me that there might be some error, some interpolation in the text, and having no material at hand for such an investigation in Mobile, I wrote to a competent friend in Philadelphia, to examine for me all the Greek texts and old versions, and his reply confirmed fully my suspicions. The word blood is an interpolation, and not to be found in the original texts. The word blood has been rejected by the Catholic Church, from the time of St. Jerome to the present hour. The text of Tischendorf is regarded, I believe, generally as the most accurate Greek text known, and in this the word blood does not appear. I have at hand a long list of authorities to the same effect, but as it is presumed no competent authority will call our assertion in question, it is needless to cite them. The verse above alluded to in Acts should, therefore, read:—

"And hath made of one all races (genus) of men," &c.

The word blood is a gloss, and we have just as much right to interpolate one form, one substance, one nature, one responsibility, or anything else, as blood.

These remarks on the ethnography of the Bible might be greatly extended, but my object here is simply to show that the Bible, to say the least, leaves the field open, and that I have entered it soberly, discreetly, and advisedly.
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Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:05 pm

Part 1 of 3


1. Researches into the Physical History of Mankind. By James Cowles Prichard, M. D., London, 1841. Vol. i. p. 1.

2. "Mr. Prichard's permanent variety, from his own definition, is to all intents and purposes a species."—Kneeland's Introduction to Hamilton Smith's Natural History of the Human Species, p. 84.

3. Smith's Wealth of Nations, Amer. ed., vol. i. p. 29.

4. Vide Bigland's Effects of Physical and Moral Causes on the Character and Circumstances of Nations. London, 1828, p. 282.

5. Op. cit., p. 7.

6. St. Matthew, ch. xi. v. 25.

7. Vide Prichard's Natural History of Man, p. 66, et passim. "His theory," says Van Amringe, "required that animals should be analogous to man. It was therefore highly important that, as he was then laying the foundation for all his future arguments and conclusions, he should elevate animals to the proper eminence, to be analogous; rather than, as Mr. Lawrence did, sink man to the level of brutes. It was an ingenious contrivance by which he could gain all the advantages, and escape the censures of the learned lecturer. It is so simple a contrivance, too—merely substituting the word 'psychological' for 'instinctive characteristics,' and the whole animal kingdom would instantly rise to the proper platform, to be the types of the human family. To get the psychology of men and animals thus related, without the trouble of philosophically accomplishing so impossible a thing, by the mere use of a word, was an ingenious, though not an ingenuous achievement. It gave him a specious right to use bees and wasps, rats and dogs, sheep, goats, and rabbits—in short, the whole animal kingdom—as human psychical analogues, which would be amazingly convenient when conclusions were to be made."—Natural History of Man, by W. F. Van Amringe. 1848, p. 459.

8. This fact is considered by Dr. Nott as a proof of specific difference among dogs.—Types of Mankind. Phila., 1854.

9. In 1497, Vasco di Gama sailed around Cape Good Hope; even previous to that, Portuguese vessels had coasted along the western shores of Africa. Since that time the Europeans have subjected the whole of the American continents, southern Asia and the island world of the Pacific, while Africa is almost as unknown as it ever was. The Cape Colony is not in the original territory of the negro. Liberia and Sierra Leone contain a half-breed population, and present experiments by no means tested. It may be fairly asserted that nowhere has the power and intelligence of the white race made less impression, produced fewer results, than in the domain of the negro.

10. Roberts, the president of the Liberian Republic, boasts of but a small portion of African blood in his veins. Sequoyah, the often-cited inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, so far from being a pure Indian, was the son of a white man.

11. For the great perfection to which the Chinese have carried the luxuries and amenities of life, see particularly M. Huc's Travels in China. He lived among them for years, and, what few travellers do, spoke their language so fluently and perfectly that he was enabled, during a considerable number of years, to discharge the duties of a missionary, disguised as a native.

12. It would be useless to remind our readers of the famous Great Wall, the Imperial Canals, that largest of the cities of the world—Pekin. The various treatises of the Chinese on morals and politics, especially that of Confucius, have been admired by all European thinkers. Consult Pauthier's elaborate work on China. It is equally well known that the Chinese knew the art of printing, gunpowder and its uses, the mariner's compass, etc., centuries before we did. For the general diffusion of elementary knowledge among the Chinese, see Davis's Sketches, and other authors. Those who may think me a biassed panegyrist of the Chinese, I refer to the following works as among the most reliable of the vast number written on the subject:—

o Description Historique, Géographique, et Littéraire de la Chine. Par M. G. Pauthier. Paris, 1839.

o China Opened. By Rev. Chs. Gutzlaff. London, 1838.

o China, Political, Commercial, and Social. By R. Montgomery Martin. London, 1847.

o Sketches of China. By John F. Davis. London, 1841.

And above all, for amusing and instructive reading,

o Journey through the Chinese Empire. By M. Huc. New York, 1855; and

o Mélanges Asiatiques. Par Abel Remusat. Paris, 1835.

13. Unwilling to introduce statistic pedantry into a composition of so humble pretensions as an introduction, I have refrained to give the figures—not always very accurate, I admit—upon which the preceding gradation is based, viz: the number of persons able to read and write in each of the above-named countries. How far England and France are behindhand in this respect, compared either with ourselves, or with other European nations, is tolerably well known; but the fact that not only in China proper, but in Thibet, Japan, Anam, Tonquin, etc., few can be found devoid of that acquirement, will probably meet with many incredulous readers, though it is mentioned by almost every traveller. (See J. Mohl's Annual Report to the Asiatic Society, 1851.) But, it may be safely asserted that, in the whole of that portion of Asia lying south of the Altai Mountains, including Japan, altogether the most populous region of the globe, the percentage of males unable to read and write is by far smaller than in the entire population of Europe. Be it well understood, that I do not, therefore, claim any superiority for the inhabitants of the former region over those of the latter.

"In China," says M. Huc, "there are not, as in Europe, public libraries and reading-rooms; but those who have a taste for reading, and a desire to instruct themselves, can satisfy their inclinations very easily, as books are sold here at a lower price than in any other country. Besides, the Chinese find everywhere something to read; they can scarcely take a step without seeing some of the characters of which they are so proud. One may say, in fact, that all China is an immense library; for inscriptions, sentences, moral precepts, are found in every corner, written in letters of all colors and all sizes. The façades of the tribunals, the pagodas, the public monuments, the signs of the shops, the doors of the houses, the interior of the apartments, the corridors, all are full of fine quotations from the best authors. Teacups, plates, vases, fans, are so many selections of poems, often chosen with much taste, and prettily printed. A Chinese has no need to give himself much trouble in order to enjoy the finest productions of his country's literature. He need only take his pipe, and walk out, with his nose in the air, through the principal streets of the first town he comes to. Let him enter the poorest house in the most wretched village; the destitution may be complete, things the most necessary will be wanting; but he is sure of finding some fine maxims written out on strips of red paper. Thus, if those grand large characters, which look so terrific in our eyes, though they delight the Chinese, are really so difficult to learn, at least the people have the most ample opportunities of studying them, almost in play, and of impressing them ineffaceably on their memories."—A Journey through the Chinese Empire, vol. i. pp. 327-328.

14. Is it necessary to call to the mind of the reader, that the most prominent physicians, the greatest chemists, the best mathematicians, were French, and that to the same nation belong the Comptes, the De Maistres, the Guizots, the De Tocquevilles; or that, notwithstanding its political extravaganzas, every liberal theory was first fostered in its bosom? The father of our democratic party was the pupil of French governmental philosophy, by the lessons of which even his political opponents profited quite as much as by its errors.

15. Brace, in his Home Life in Germany, mentions an instance of this kind, but not having the volume at hand, I cannot cite the page. To every one, however, that has travelled in Europe, or has not, such facts are familiar. It is well known, for instance, that in some of the most polished European countries, the wooden ploughshare is still used; and that, in Paris, that metropolis of arts and fashion, every drop of water must be carried, in buckets, from the public fountains to the Dutchess' boudoir in the first, and to the Grisette's garret in the seventh story. Compare this with the United States, where—not to mention Fairmount and Croton—the smallest town, almost, has her water-works, if required by her topography. Are we, then, so infinitely more civilized than France?

16. Since writing the above, I lit upon the following striking confirmation of my idea by Dr. Pickering, whose analogism here so closely resembles mine, as almost to make me suspect myself of unconscious plagiarism. "While admitting the general truth, that mankind are essentially alike, no one doubts the existence of character, distinguishing not only individuals, but communities and nations. I am persuaded that there is, besides, a character of race. It would not be difficult to select epithets; such as 'amphibious, enduring, insititious;' or to point out as accomplished by one race of men, that which seemed beyond the powers of another. Each race possessing its peculiar points of excellence, and, at the same time, counterbalancing defects, it may be that union was required to attain the full measure of civilization. In the organic world, each field requires a new creation; each change in circumstances going beyond the constitution of a plant or animal, is met by a new adaptation, until the whole universe is full; while, among the immense variety of created beings, two kinds are hardly found fulfilling the same precise purpose. Some analogy may possibly exist in the human family; and it may even be questioned, whether any one of the races existing singly would, up to the present day, have extended itself over the whole surface of the globe."—The Races of Man, and their Geographical Distribution. By Charles Pickering, M. D. Boston, 1811. (U. S. Exploring Expedition, vol. ix. p. 200.)

17. Since Champollion's fortunate discovery of the Rosetta stone, which furnished the key to the hieroglyphics, the deciphering of these once so mysterious characters has made such progress, that Lepsius, the great modern Egyptologist, declares it possible to write a minute court gazette of the reign of Ramses II., the Sesostris of the Greeks, and even of monarchs as far back as the IVth dynasty. To understand that this is no vain boast, the reader must remember that these hieroglyphics mostly contain records of private or royal lives, and that the mural paintings in the temples and sepulchral chambers, generally represent scenes illustrative of trades, or other occupations, games, etc., practised among the people of that early day.

18. Ethnological Journal, edited by Luke Burke, London, 1848; June 1, No. 1, from Types of Mankind. By Nott and Gliddon, p. 49.

19. From Types of Mankind. By Nott and Gliddon, p. 52.

20. The term "race" is of relative meaning, and, though often erroneously used synonymously with species, by no means signifies the same. The most strenuous advocates of sameness of species, use it to designate well-defined groups, as the white and black. If we consider ourselves warranted by the language of the Bible, to believe in separate origins of the human family, then, indeed, it may be considered as similar in meaning to species; otherwise, it must signify but subdivisions of one. We may therefore speak of ten or a hundred races of man, without impugning their being descended from the same stock. All that is here contended for is, that the distinctive features of such races, in whatever manner they may have originated, are now persistent. Two men may, the one arrive at the highest honors of the State, the other, with every facility at his command, forever remain in mediocrity. Yet, these two men may be brothers.

That the question of species, when disconnected from any theological bearing, is one belonging exclusively to the province of the naturalist, and in which the metaphysician can have but a subordinate part, may be illustrated by a homely simile. Diversity of talent in the same family involves no doubt of parentage; but, if one child be born with a black skin and woolly hair, questions about the paternity might indeed arise.

21. Natural History of the Varieties of Man. By Robert Gordon Latham. London, 1850.

22. The collision between these two nationalities, only a few years ago, was attended by scenes so revolting—transcending even the horrors of the Corcyrian sedition, the sack of Magdeburg, or the bloodiest page in the French Revolution—that, for the honor of human nature, I would gladly disbelieve the accounts given of them. But the testimony comes from neutral sources, the friends of either party being interested in keeping silence. I shall have occasion to allude to this subject again, and therefore reserve further details for a note in the body of the work.

23. Even the historians of ancient Greece wondered at those gigantic ruins, of which many are still extant. Of these cyclopean remains, as they were often called, no one knew the builders or the history, and they were considered as the labors of the fabulous heroes of a traditional epoch. For an account of these memorials of an ante-hellenic civilization in Greece, of which we have no record, particularly the ruins of Orchomonos, Tirgus, Mycene, and the tunnels of Lake Copais, see Niebuhr's Ancient History, vol. i. p. 241, et passim.

24. Democracy in America, vol. ii. ch. xviii. p. 424.

25. Daniel ii. 44.

26. Daniel ii. 31 to 35.

27. Among many passages illustrative of the ultra utilitarianism of the Chinese, I can find space but for one, and that selected almost at random. After speaking of the exemplary diffusion of primary instruction among the masses, he says that, though they all read, and frequently, yet even their reading is of a strictly utilitarian character, and never answers any but practical purposes or temporary amusement. The name of the author is seldom known, and never inquired after. "That class are, in their eyes, only idle persons, who pass their time in making prose or verse. They have no objection to such a pursuit. A man may, they say, 'amuse himself with his pen as with his kite, if he likes it as well—it is all a matter of taste.' The inhabitants of the celestial empire would never recover from their astonishment if they knew to what extent intellectual labor may be in Europe a source of honor and often wealth. If they were told that a person among us may obtain great glory by composing a drama or a novel, they would either not believe it, or set it down as an additional proof of our well-known want of common sense. How would it be if they should be told of the renown of a dancer or a violin player, and that one cannot make a bound, nor the other draw a bow anywhere without thousands of newspapers hastening to spread the important news over all the kingdoms of Europe!

"The Chinese are too decided utilitarians to enter into our views of the arts. In their opinion, a man is only worthy of the admiration of his fellow-creatures when he has well fulfilled the social duties, and especially if he knows better than any one else how to get out of a scrape. You are regarded as a man of genius if you know how to regulate your family, make your lands fruitful, traffic with ability, and realize great profits. This, at least, is the only kind of genius that is of any value in the eyes of these eminently practical men."—Voyages en Chine, par M. Huc, Amer. trans., vol. i. pp. 316 and 317.

28. Nat. Hist. of the Varieties of Man. London.

29. According to Latham's classification, op. cit.

30. A. de Humboldt, Examen Critique de l'Histoire de la Géographie du Nouveau Continent. Paris.

31. Amadée Thierry, La Gaule sous l'Administration Romaine, vol. i. p. 244.

32. See Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico.

33. C. F. Weber, M. A. Lucani Pharsalia. Leipzig, 1828, vol. i. pp. 122-123, note.

34. Prichard, Natural History of Man.—Dr. Martius is still more explicit. (See Martius and Spix, Reise in Brasilien. Munich, vol. i. pp. 379-380.)

Mr. Gobineau quotes from M. Roulin's French translation of Prichard's great work, and as I could not always find the corresponding pages in the original, I have sometimes been obliged to omit the citation of the page, that in the French translation being useless to English readers.—Transl.

35. I greatly doubt whether the fanaticism of even the ancient Mexicans could exceed that displayed by some of our not very remote ancestors. Who, that reads the trials for witchcraft in the judicial records of Scotland, and, after smiling at the frivolous, inconsistent testimony against the accused, comes to the cool, uncommented marginal note of the reporter: "Convicta et combusta," does not feel his heart leap for horror? But, if he comes to an entry like the following, he feels as though lightning from heaven could but inflict too mild a punishment on the perpetrators of such unnatural crimes.

"1608, Dec. 1.—The Earl of Mar declared to the council, that some women were taken in Broughton as witches, and being put to an assize, and convicted, albeit they persevered constant in their denial to the end, they were burnt quick (alive), after such a cruel manner, that some of them died in despair, renouncing and blaspheming God; and others, half-burned, brak out of the fire, and were cast in it again, till they were burned to death." Entry in Sir Thomas Hamilton's Minutes of Proceedings in the Privy Council. (From W. Scott's Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft, p. 315.)

Really, I do not believe that the Peruvians ever carried fanaticism so far. Yet, a counterpart to this horrible picture is found in the history of New England. A man, named Cory, being accused of witchcraft, and refusing to plead, was accordingly pressed to death. And when, in the agony of death, the unfortunate man thrust out his tongue, the sheriff, without the least emotion, crammed it back into the mouth with his cane. (See Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana, Hardford.Thau. Pneu, c. vii. p. 383, et passim.)

Did the ferocity of the most brutish savages ever invent any torture more excruciating than that in use in the British Isles, not much more than two centuries ago, for bringing poor, decrepit old women to the confession of a crime which never existed but in the crazed brain of bigots. "The nails were torn from the fingers with smith's pincers; pins driven into the places which the nails defended; the knees were crushed in the boots, the finger-bones splintered in the pilniewinks," etc. (Scott, op. cit., p. 312.) But then, it is true, they had a more gentle torture, which an English Lord (Eglington) had the honor and humanity to invent! This consisted in placing the legs of a poor woman in the stocks, and then loading the bare shins with bars of iron. Above thirty stones of iron were placed upon the limbs of an unfortunate woman before she could be brought to the confession which led her to the stake. (Scott, op. cit., pp. 321, 324, 327, etc. etc.)

As late as 1682, not yet 200 years ago, three women were hanged, in England, for witchcraft; and the fatal statute against it was not abolished until 1751, when the rabble put to death, in the most horrible manner, an old pauper woman, and very nearly killed another.

And, in the middle of last century, eighty-five persons were burnt, or otherwise executed, for witchcraft, at Mohra, in Sweden. Among them were fifteen young children.

If God had ordained that fanaticism should be punished by national ruin, were not these crimes, in which, in most cases, the whole nation participated, were not they horrible enough to draw upon the perpetrators the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah? Surely, if fanaticism were the cause of national decay, most European nations had long since been swept from the face of the globe, "so that their places could nowhere be found."—H.

36. There seem, at first sight, to be exceptions to the truth of the assertion, that luxury, in itself, is not productive of national ruin. Venice, Genoa, Pisa, etc., were aristocratic republics, in which, as in monarchies, a high degree of luxury is not only compatible with, but may even be greatly conducive to the prosperity of the state. But the basis of a democratic republic is a more or less perfect equality among its citizens, which is often impaired, and, in the end, subverted by too great a disparity of wealth. Yet, even in them, glaring contrasts between extravagant luxury and abject poverty are rather the sign than the cause, of the disappearance of democratic principles. Examples might be adduced from history, of democracies in which great wealth did not destroy democratic ideas and a consequent simplicity of manners. These ideas must first be forgotten, before wealth can produce luxury, and luxury its attendant train of evils. Though accelerating the downfall of a democratic republic, it is therefore not the primary cause of that downfall.—H.

37. Balzac, Lettre à Madame la Duchesse de Montausier.

38. That this stricture is not too severe will be obvious to any one who reflects on the principles upon which this legislation was based. Inculcating that war was the great business of life, and to be terrible to one's enemies the only object of manly ambition, the Spartan laws sacrificed the noblest private virtues and domestic affections. They deprived the female character of the charms that most adorn it—modesty, tenderness, and sensibility; they made men brutal, coarse, and cruel. They stunted individual talents; Sparta has produced but few great men, and these, says Macaulay, only became great when they ceased to be Lacedemonians. Much unsound sentimentality has been expended in eulogizing Sparta, from Xenophon down to Mitford, yet the verdict of the unbiassed historian cannot differ very widely from that of Macaulay: "The Spartans purchased for their government a prolongation of its existence by the sacrifice of happiness at home, and dignity abroad. They cringed to the powerful, they trampled on the weak, they massacred their helots, they betrayed their allies, they contrived to be a day too late for the battle of Marathon, they attempted to avoid the battle of Salamis, they suffered the Athenians, to whom they owed their lives and liberties, to be a second time driven from their country by the Persians, that they might finish their own fortifications on the Isthmus; they attempted to take advantage of the distress to which exertions in their cause had reduced their preservers, in order to make them their slaves; they strove to prevent those who had abandoned their walls to defend them, from rebuilding them to defend themselves; they commenced the Peloponnesian war in violation of their engagements with their allies; they gave up to the sword whole cities which had placed themselves under their protection; they bartered for advantages confined to themselves the interests, the freedom, and the lives of those who had served them most faithfully; they took, with equal complacency, and equal infamy, the stripes of Elis and the bribes of Persia; they never showed either resentment or gratitude; they abstained from no injury, and they revenged none. Above all, they looked on a citizen who served them well as their deadliest enemy."—Essays, iii. 389.—H.

39. The horrid scenes of California life, its lynch laws, murders, and list of all possible crimes, are still ringing in our ears, and have not entirely ceased, though their number is lessened, and they are rapidly disappearing before lawful order. Australia offered, and still offers, the same spectacle. Texas, but a few years ago, and all newly settled countries in our day, afford another striking illustration of the author's remark. Young communities ever attract a great number of lawless and desperate men; and this has been the case in all ages. Rome was founded by a band of fugitives from justice, and if her early history be critically examined, it will be found to reveal a state of society, with which the Rome described by the Satirists, and upbraided by the Censors, compares favorably. Any one who will cast a glance into Bishop Potter's Antiquities, can convince himself that the state of morals, in Athens, was no better in her most flourishing periods than at the time of her downfall, if, indeed, as good; notwithstanding the glowing colors in which Isocrates and his followers describe the virtues of her youthful period, and the degeneracy of the age. Who can doubt that public morality has attained a higher standard in England, at the present day when her strength seems to have departed from her, than it had at any previous era in her history. Where are the brutal fox-hunting country squires of former centuries? the good old customs, when hospitality consisted in drinking one's guest underneath the table? What audience could now endure, or what police permit, the plays of Congreve and of Otway? Even Shakspeare has to be pruned by the moral censor, before he can charm our ears. Addison himself, than whom none contributed more to purify the morals of his age, bears unmistakable traces of the coarseness of the time in which he wrote. It will be objected that we are only more prudish, no better at the bottom. But, even supposing that the same vices still exist, is it not a great step in advance, that they dare no longer parade themselves with unblushing impudence? Many who derive their ideas of the Middle Ages, of chivalry, etc., from the accounts of romance writers, have very erroneous notions about the manners of that period. "It so happens," says Byron, "that the good old times when 'l'amour du bon vieux temps, l'amour antique' flourished, were the most profligate of all possible centuries. Those who have any doubts on the subject may consult St. Palay, particularly vol. ii. p. 69. The vows of chivalry were no better kept than any other vows whatever, and the songs of the troubadour were not more decent, and certainly much less refined, than those of Ovid. The 'cours d'amour, parlements d'amour, ou de courtoisie et de gentilesse,' had much more of love than of courtesy and gentleness. (See Roland on the same subject with St. Palay.)" Preface to Childe Harold. I should not have quoted the authority of a poet on historical matters, were I not convinced, from my own investigations, that his pungent remarks are perfectly correct. As a further confirmation, I may mention that a few years ago, in rummaging over the volumes of a large European library, I casually lit upon a record of judicial proceedings during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in a little commonwealth, whose simplicity of manners, and purity of public morals, especially in that period, has been greatly extolled by historians. There, I found a list of crimes, to which the most corrupt of modern great cities can furnish no parallel. In horror and hellish ingenuity, they can be faintly approached only by the punishment which followed them. Of many, our generation ignores even the name, and, of others, dares not utter them.—H.

40. This assertion may surprise those who, in the words of a piquant writer on Parisian life, "have thought of Paris only under two aspects—one, as the emporium of fashion, fun, and refinement; the abode of good fellows somewhat dissipated, of fascinating ladies somewhat over-kind; of succulent dinners, somewhat indigestible; of pleasures, somewhat illicit;—the other, as the place par excellence, of revolutions, émeutes, and barricades." Yet, all who have pierced below the brilliant surface, and penetrated into the recesses of destitution and crime, have seen the ministering angel of charity on his errand, and can bear witness to the truth of the author's remark. No city can show a greater number of benevolent institutions, none more active and practical private charity, which inquires not after the country or creed of its object.—H.

41. Tottering, falling Greece, gave birth to a Demosthenes, a Phocian; the period of the downfall of the Roman republic was the age of Cicero, Brutus, and Cato.—H.

42. The subjoined picture of the manners of the Frankish conquerors of Gaul, is selected on account of the weighty authority from which it comes, from among a number of even darker ones. "The history of Gregory of Tours shows us on the one hand, a fierce and barbarous nation; and on the other, kings of as bad a character. These princes were bloody, unjust, and cruel, because all the nation was so. If Christianity seemed sometimes to soften them, it was only by the terror which this religion imprints in the guilty; the church supported herself against them by the miracles and prodigies of her saints. The kings were not sacrilegious, because they dreaded the punishments inflicted on sacrilegious people: but this excepted, they committed, either in their passion or cold blood, all manner of crimes and injustice, because in these the avenging hand of the Deity did not appear so visible. The Franks, as I have already observed, bore with bloody kings, because they were fond of blood themselves; they were not affected with the wickedness and extortion of their princes, because this was their own character. There had been a great many laws established, but the kings rendered them all useless by the practice of issuing preceptions, a kind of decrees, after the manner of the rescripts of the Roman emperors. These preceptions were orders to the judges to do, or to tolerate, things contrary to law. They were given for illicit marriages, and even those with consecrated virgins; for transferring successions, and depriving relations of their rights; for putting to death persons who had not been convicted of any crime, and not been heard in their defence, etc."—Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, b. 31, c. 2.—H.

43. Augustin Thierry, Récit des Temps Mérovingiens. (See particularly the History of Mummolus.)

44. Lucretius was the author of De Rerum Natura, and one of the most distinguished of pagan "free-thinkers." He labored to combine the philosophy of Epicurus, Evhenius, and others, into a sort of moral religion, much after the fashion of some of the German mystics and Platonists of our times.—H.

45. Cæsar, whose private opinions were both democratical and sceptical, found it convenient to speak very differently in public, as the funeral oration in honor of his aunt proves. "On the maternal side, said he, my aunt Julia is descended from the kings; on the paternal, from the immortal gods. For my aunt's mother was of the family of the Martii, who are descended from King Ancus Martius; and the Julii, to which stock our family belongs, trace their origin to Venus. Thus, in her blood was blended the majesty of kings, the most powerful of men, and the sanctity of the gods, who have even the kings in their power."—Suetonius, Julius, 5.

Are not these sentiments very monarchical for a democrat; very religious for an atheist?

46. It is well known that Constantine did not receive the rite of baptism until within the last hours of his life, although he professed to be a sincere believer. The coins, also, struck during his reign, all bore pagan emblems.—H.

47. Acts xxvi. 24, 28, 31.

48. It will be understood that I speak here, not of the political existence of a centre of sovereignty, but of the life of an entire nation, the prosperity of a civilization. Here is the place to apply the definition given above, page 114.

49. This assertion will appear paradoxical to those who are in the habit of looking upon Spain as the type of hopeless national degradation. But whoever studies the history of the last thirty years, which is but a series of struggles to rise from this position, will probably arrive at the same conclusions as the author. The revolution of 1820 redeems the character of the nation. "The Spanish Constitution" became the watchword of the friends of constitutional liberty in the South of Europe, and ere thirteen months had fully passed, it had become the fundamental law of three other countries—Portugal, Naples, and Sardinia. At the mere sound of those words, two kings had resigned their crowns. These revolutions were not characterized by excesses. They were, for the most part, accomplished peacefully, quietly, and orderly. They were not the result of the temporary passions of an excited mob. The most singular feature of these countries is that the lowest dregs of the population are the most zealous adherents of absolutism. No, these revolutions were the work of the best elements in the population, the most intelligent classes, of people who knew what they wanted, and how to get it. And then, when Spain had set that ever glorious example to her neighbors, the great powers, with England at the head, concluded to re-establish the former state of things. In those memorable congresses of plenipotentiaries, the most influential was the representative of England, the Duke of Wellington. And by his advice, or, at least, with his sanction, an Austrian army entered Sardinia, and abolished the new constitution; an Austrian army entered Naples and abolished the new constitution; English vessels of war threatened Lisbon, and Portugal abolished her new constitution; and finally a French army entered Spain, and abolished the new constitution. So Naples and Portugal regained their tyrants, and Spain her imbecile dynasty. For years the Spaniards have tried to shake it off, and English influence alone has maintained on a great nation's throne, a wretch that would have disgraced the lowest walks of private life. But the day of Spanish liberty and Spanish independence will dawn, and perhaps already has dawned. The efforts of the last Cortes were wisely directed, and their proceedings marked with a manliness, a moderation, and a firmness that augur well for the future weal of Spain.—H.

50. Who is not reminded of Oxenstierna's famous saying to his son: "Cum parva sapientiâ mundus gubernatur."—H.

51. It is obvious that so long as the vitality of a nation remains unimpaired, misgovernment can be but a temporary ill. The regenerative principle will be at work to remove the evil and heal the wounds it has inflicted; and though the remedy be sometimes violent, and throw the state into fearful convulsions, it will seldom be found ineffectual. So long as the spirit of liberty prevailed among the Romans, the Tarquiniuses and Appiuses were as a straw before the storm of popular indignation; but the death of Cæsar could but substitute a despot in the stead of a mild and generous usurper. The first Brutus might save the nation, because he was the expression of the national sentiment; the second could not, because he was one man opposed to millions. It is a common error to ascribe too much to individual exertions, and whimsical philosophers have amused themselves to trace great events to petty causes; but a deeper inquiry will demonstrate that the great catastrophes which arrest our attention and form the landmarks of history, are but the inevitable result of all the whole chain of antecedent events. Julius Cæsar and Napoleon Bonaparte were, indeed, especially gifted for their great destinies, but the same gifts could not have raised them to their exalted positions at any other epoch than the one in which each lived. Those petty causes are but the drop which causes the measure to overflow, the pretext of the moment; or as the small fissure in the dyke which produces the crevasse: the wall of waters stood behind. No man can usurp supreme power, unless the prevailing tendency of the nation favors it; no man can long persist in hurrying a nation along in a course repulsive to it; and in this sense, therefore, not with regard to its abstract justness, it is undoubtedly true, that the voice of the nation is the voice of God. It is the expression of what shall and must be.—H.

52. The author has neglected to advert to one very clear explanation of this word, which, from its extensive popularity, seems to me to deserve some notice. It is said, and very commonly believed, that there is a physical degeneracy in mankind; that a nation cultivating for a long time the arts of peace, and enjoying the fruits of well-directed industry, loses the capacity for warfare; in other words becomes effeminate, and, consequently, less capable of defending itself against ruder, and, therefore, more warlike invaders. It is further said, though with less plausibility, that there is a general degeneracy of the human race—that we are inferior in physical strength to our ancestors, etc. If this theory could be supported by incontestable facts—and there are many who think it possible—it would give to the term degeneracy that real and tangible meaning which the author alleges to be wanting. But a slight investigation will demonstrate that it is more specious than correct.

In the first place, to prove that an advance in civilization does not lessen the material puissance of a nation, but rather increases it, we may point to the well-known fact that the most civilized nations are the most formidable opponents in warfare, because they have brought the means of attack and defence to the greatest perfection.

But that for this strength they are not solely indebted to artificial means, is proved by the history of modern civilized states. The French now fight with as much martial ardor and intrepidity, and with more success than they did in the times of Francis I. or Louis XIV., albeit they have since both these epochs made considerable progress in civilization, and this progress has been most perceptible in those classes which form the bulk and body of armies. England, though, perhaps, she could not muster an army as large as in former times, has hearts as stout, and arms as strong as those that gained for her imperishable glory at Agincourt and Poitiers. The charge at Balaklava, rash and useless as it may be termed, was worthy of the followers of the Black Prince.

A theory to be correct, must admit of mathematical demonstration. The most civilized nations, then, would be the most effeminate; the most barbarous, the most warlike. And, descending from nations to individuals, the most cultivated and refined mind would be accompanied by a deficiency in many of the manly virtues. Such an assertion is ridiculous. The most refined and fastidious gentleman has never, as a class, displayed less courage and fortitude than the rowdy and fighter by profession. Men sprung from the bosom of the most polished circles in the most civilized communities, have surpassed the most warlike barbarians in deeds of hardihood and heroic valor.

Civilization, therefore, produces no degeneracy; the cultivation of the arts of peace, no diminution of manly virtues. We have seen the peaceful burghers of free cities successfully resist the trained bands of a superior foe; we have seen the artisans and merchants of Holland invincible to the veteran armies of the then most powerful prince of Christendom, backed as he was by the inexhaustible treasures of a newly discovered hemisphere; we have seen, in our times, troops composed of volunteers who left their hearthstones to fight for their country, rout incredible odds of the standing armies of a foe, who, for the last thirty years, has known no peace.

I believe that an advanced state of civilization, accompanied by long peace, gives rise to a certain domestication of man, that is to say, it lays on a polish over the more ferocious or pugnacious tendencies of his nature; because it, in some measure deprives him of the opportunities of exercising them, but it cannot deprive him of the power, should the opportunity present itself. Let us suppose two brothers born in some of our great commercial cities, one to enter a counting-house, the other to settle in the western wilderness. The former might become a polished, elegant, perhaps even dandified young gentleman; the other might evince a supreme contempt for all the amenities of life, be ever ready to draw his bowie-knife or revolver, however slight the provocation. The country requires the services of both; a great principle is at stake, and in some battle of Matamoras or Buena Vista, the two brothers fight side by side; who will be the braver?

I believe that both individual and national character admit of a certain degree of pressure by surrounding circumstances; the pressure removed, the character at once regains its original form. See with what kindliness the civilized descendant of the wild Teuton hunter takes to the hunter's life in new countries, and how soon he learns to despise the comforts of civilized life and fix his abode in the solitary wilderness. The Normans had been settled over six centuries in the beautiful province of France, to which they gave their name; their nobles had frequented the most polished court in Europe, adapted themselves to the fashions and requirements of life in a luxurious metropolis; they themselves had learned to plough the soil instead of the wave; yet in another hemisphere they at once regained their ancient habits, and—as six hundred years before—became the most dreaded pirates of the seas they infested; the savage buccaneers of the Spanish main. I can see no difference between Lolonnois and his followers, and the terrible men of the north (his lineal ancestors) that ravaged the shores of the Seine and the Rhine, and whose name is even yet mentioned with horror every evening, in the other hemisphere, by thousands of praying children: "God preserve us from the Northmen." Morgan, the Welch buccaneer, who, with a thousand men, vanquished five times as many well-equipped Spaniards, took their principal cities, Porto Bello and Panama; who tortured his captives to make them reveal the hiding-place of their treasure; Morgan might have been—sixteen centuries notwithstanding—a tributary chief to Caractacus, or one of those who opposed Cæsar's landing in Britain. To make the resemblance still more complete, the laws and regulations of these lawless bands were a precise copy of those to which their not more savage ancestors bound themselves.

I regret that my limited space precludes me from entering into a more elaborate exposition of the futility of the theory that civilization, or a long continued state of peace, can produce physical degeneracy or inaptitude for the ruder duties of the battle-field; but I believe that what I have said will suffice to suggest to the thoughtful reader numerous confirmations of my position; and I may, therefore, now refer him to Mr. Gobineau's explanation of the term degeneracy.—H.

53. "Nothing but the great number of citizens in a state can occasion the flourishing of the arts and sciences. Accordingly, we see that, in all ages, it was great empires only which enjoyed this advantage. In these great states, the arts, especially that of agriculture, were soon brought to great perfection, and thus that leisure afforded to a considerable number of men, which is so necessary to study and speculation. The Babylonians, Assyrians, and Egyptians, had the advantage of being formed into regular, well-constituted states."—Origin of Laws and Sciences, and their Progress among the most Ancient Nations. By President De Goguet. Edinburgh, 1761, vol. i. pp. 272-273.—H.

54. "Conquests, by uniting many nations under one sovereign, have formed great and powerful empires, out of the ruins of many petty states. In these great empires, men began insensibly to form clearer views of politics, juster and more salutary notions of government. Experience taught them to avoid the errors which had occasioned the ruin of the nations whom they had subdued, and put them upon taking measures to prevent surprises, invasions, and the like misfortunes. With these views they fortified cities, secured such passes as might have admitted an enemy into their country, and kept a certain number of troops constantly on foot. By these precautions, several States rendered themselves formidable to their neighbors, and none durst lightly attack powers which were every way so respectable. The interior parts of such mighty monarchies were no longer exposed to ravages and devastations. War was driven far from the centre, and only infected the frontiers. The inhabitants of the country, and of the cities, began to breathe in safety. The calamities which conquests and revolutions had occasioned, disappeared; but the blessings which had grown out of them, remained. Ingenious and active spirits, encouraged by the repose which they enjoyed, devoted themselves to study. It was in the bosom of great empires the arts were invented, and the sciences had their birth."—Op. cit., vol. i. Book 5, p. 326.—H.

55. The history of every great empire proves the correctness of this remark. The conqueror never attempted to change the manners or local institutions of the peoples subdued, but contented himself with an acknowledgment of his supremacy, the payment of tribute, and the rendering of assistance in war. Those who have pursued a contrary course, may be likened to an overflowing river, which, though it leaves temporary marks of its destructive course behind, must, sooner or later, return to its bed, and, in a short time, its invasions are forgotten, and their traces obliterated.—H.

56. The most striking illustration of the correctness of this reasoning, is found in Roman history, the earlier portion of which is—thanks to Niebuhr's genius—just beginning to be understood. The lawless followers of Romulus first coalesced with the Sabines; the two nations united, then compelled the Albans to raze their city to the ground, and settle in Rome. Next came the Latins, to whom, also, a portion of the city was allotted for settlement. These two conquered nations were, of course, not permitted the same civil and political privileges as the conquerors, and, with the exception of a few noble families among them (which probably had been, from the beginning, in the interests of the conquerors), these tribes formed the plebs. The distinction by nations was forgotten, and had become a distinction of classes. Then began the progress which Mr. Gobineau describes. The Plebeians first gained their tribunes, who could protect their interests against the one-sided legislation of the dominant class; then, the right of discussing and deciding certain public questions in the comitia, or public assembly. Next, the law prohibiting intermarriage between the Patricians and Plebeians was repealed; and thus, in course of time, the government changed from an oligarchical to a democratic form. I might go into details, or, I might mention other nations in which the same process is equally manifest, but I think the above well-known facts sufficient to bring the author's idea into a clear light, and illustrate its correctness. The history of the Middle Ages, the establishment of serfdom and its gradual abolition, also furnish an analogue.

Wherever we see an hereditary aristocracy (whether called class or caste), it will be found to originate in a race, which, if no longer dominant, was once conqueror. Before the Norman conquest, the English aristocracy was Saxon, there were no nobles of the ancient British blood, east of Wales; after the conquest, the aristocracy was Norman, and nine-tenths of the noble families of England to this day trace, or pretend to trace, their origin to that stock. The noble French families, anterior to the Revolution, were almost all of Frankish or Burgundian origin. The same observation applies everywhere else. In support of my opinion, I have Niebuhr's great authority: "Wherever there are castes, they are the consequence of foreign conquest and subjugation; it is impossible for a nation to submit to such a system, unless it be compelled by the calamities of a conquest. By this means only it is, that, contrary to the will of a people, circumstances arise which afterwards assume the character of a division into classes or castes."—Lect. on Anc. Hist. (In the English translation, this passage occurs in vol. i. p. 90.)

In conclusion, I would observe that, whenever it becomes politic to flatter the mass of the people, the fact of conquest is denied. Thus, English writers labored hard to prove that William the Norman did not, in reality, conquer the Saxons. Some time before the French Revolution, the same was attempted to be proved in the case of the Germanic tribes in France. L'Abbé du Bos, and other writers, taxed their ingenuity to disguise an obvious fact, and to hide the truth under a pile of ponderous volumes.—H.

57. "It has been a favorite thesis with many writers, to pretend that the Saxon government was, at the time of the conquest, by no means subverted; that William of Normandy legally acceded to the throne, and, consequently, to the engagements of the Saxon kings.... But, if we consider that the manner in which the public power is formed in a state, is so very essential a part of its government, and that a thorough change in this respect was introduced into England by the conquest, we shall not scruple to allow that a new government was established. Nay, as almost the whole landed property in the kingdom was, at that time, transferred to other hands, a new system of criminal justice introduced, and the language of the law moreover altered, the revolution may be said to have been such as is not, perhaps, to be paralleled in the history of any other country."—De Lolme's English Constitution, c. i., note c.—"The battle of Hastings, and the events which followed it, not only placed a Duke of Normandy on the English throne, but gave up the whole population of England to the tyranny of the Norman race. The subjugation of a nation has seldom, even in Asia, been more complete."—Macaulay's History of England, vol. i. p. 10.—H.
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58. This assertion seems self-evident; it may, however, be not altogether irrelevant to the subject, to direct attention to a few facts in illustration of it. Great national calamities like wars, proscriptions, and revolutions, are like thunderbolts, striking mostly the objects of greatest elevation. We have seen that a conquering race generally, for a long time even after the conquest has been forgotten, forms an aristocracy, which generally monopolizes the prominent positions. In great political convulsions, this aristocracy suffers most, often in numbers, and always in proportion. Thus, at the battle of Cannæ, from 5,000 to 6,000 Roman knights are said to have been slain, and, at all times, the officer's dress has furnished the most conspicuous, and at the same time the most important target for the death-dealing stroke. In those fearful proscriptions, in which Sylla and Marius vied with each other in wholesale slaughter, the number of victims included two hundred senators and thirty-three ex-consuls. That the major part of the rest were prominent men, and therefore patricians, is obvious from the nature of this persecution. Revolutions are most often, though not always, produced by a fermentation among the mass of the population, who have a heavy score to settle against a class that has domineered and tyrannized over them. Their fury, therefore, is directed against this aristocracy. I have now before me a curious document (first published in the Prussian State-Gazette, in 1828, and for which I am indebted to a little German volume, Das Menschengeschlecht auf seinem Gegenwärtigen Standpuncte, by Smidt-Phiseldeck), giving a list of the victims that fell under the guillotine by sentence of the revolutionary tribunal, from August, 1792, to the 27th of July, 1794, in a little less than two years. The number of victims there given is 2,774. Of these, 941 are of rank unknown. The remaining 1,833 may be divided in the following proportions:—


59. Such facts require no comments.—H.

61. The recent insurrection in China has given rise to a great deal of speculation, and various are the opinions that have been formed respecting it. But it is now pretty generally conceded that it is a great national movement, and, therefore, must ultimately be successful. The history of this insurrection, by Mr. Callery and Dr. Ivan (one the interpreter, and the other the physician of the French embassy in China, and both well known and reliable authorities) leaves no doubt upon the subject. One of the most significant signs in this movement is the cutting off the tails, and letting the hair grow, which is being practised, says Dr. Ivan, in all the great cities, and in the very teeth of the mandarins. (Ins. in China, p. 243.) Let not the reader smile at this seemingly puerile demonstration, or underrate its importance. Apparently trivial occurrences are often the harbingers of the most important events. Were I to see in the streets of Berlin or Vienna, men with long beards or hats of a certain shape, I should know that serious troubles are to be expected; and in proportion to the number of such men, I should consider the catastrophe more or less near at hand, and the monarch's crown in danger. When the Lombard stops smoking in the streets, he meditates a revolution; and France is comparatively safe, even though every street in Paris is barricaded, and blood flows in torrents; but when bands march through the streets singing the ça ira, we know that to-morrow the Red Republic will be proclaimed. All these are silent, but expressive demonstrations of the prevalence of a certain principle among the masses. Such a one is the cutting off of the tail among the Chinese. Nor is this a mere emblem. The shaved crown and the tail are the brands of conquest, a mark of degradation imposed by the Mantchoos on the subjugated race. The Chinese have never abandoned the hope of one day expelling their conquerors, as they did already once before. "Ever since the fall of the Mings," says Dr. Ivan, "and the accession of the Mantchoo dynasty, clandestine associations—these intellectual laboratories of declining states—have been incessantly in operation. The most celebrated of these secret societies, that of the Triad, or the three principles, commands so extensive and powerful an organization, that its members may be found throughout China, and wherever the Chinese emigrate; so that there is no great exaggeration in the Chinese saying: 'When three of us are together, the Triad is among us.'" (Hist. of the Insur. in Ch., p. 112.) Again, the writer says: "The revolutionary impetus is now so strong, the affairs of the pretender or chief of the insurrection in so prosperous a condition, that the success of his cause has nothing to fear from the loss of a battle. It would require a series of unprecedented reverses to ruin his hopes" (p. 243 and 245).

I have written this somewhat lengthy note to show that Mr. Gobineau makes no rash assertion, when he says that the Mantchoos are about to experience the same fate as their Tartar predecessors.—H.

62. The author might have mentioned Russia in illustration of his position. The star of no nation that we are acquainted with has suffered an eclipse so total and so protracted, nor re-appeared with so much brilliancy. Russia, whose history so many believe to date from the time of Peter the Great only, was one of the earliest actors on the stage of modern history. Its people had adopted Christianity when our forefathers were yet heathens; its princes formed matrimonial alliances with the monarchs of Byzantine Rome, while Charlemagne was driving the reluctant Saxon barbarians by thousands into rivers to be baptized en masse. Russia had magnificent cities before Paris was more than a collection of hovels on a small island of the Seine. Its monarchs actually contemplated, and not without well-founded hopes, the conquest of Constantinople, while the Norman barges were devastating the coasts and river-shores of Western Europe. Nay, to that far-off, almost polar region, the enterprise of the inhabitants had attracted the genius of commerce and its attendants, prosperity and abundance. One of the greatest commercial cities of the first centuries after Christ, one of the first of the Hanse-Towns, was the great city of Novogorod, the capital of a republic that furnished three hundred thousand fighting men. But the east of Europe was not destined to outstrip the west in the great race of progress. The millions of Tartars, that, locust-like—but more formidable—marked their progress by hopeless devastation, had converted the greater portion of Asia into a desert, and now sought a new field for their savage exploits. Russia stood the first brunt, and its conquest exhausted the strength of the ruthless foe, and saved Western Europe from overwhelming ruin. In the beginning of the thirteenth century, five hundred thousand Tartar horsemen crossed the Ural Mountains. Slow, but gradual, was their progress. The Russian armies were trampled down by this countless cavalry. But the resistance must have been a brave and vigorous one, for few of the invaders lived long enough to see the conquest. Not until after a desperate struggle of fifty years, did Russia acknowledge a Tartar master. Nor were the conquerors even then allowed to enjoy their prize in peace. For two centuries more, the Russians never remitted their efforts to regain their independence. Each generation transmitted to its posterity the remembrance of that precious treasure, and the care of reconquering it. Nor were their efforts unsuccessful. Year after year the Tartars saw the prize gliding from their grasp, and towards the end of the fifteenth century, we find them driven to the banks of the Volga, and the coasts of the Black Sea. Russia now began to breathe again. But, lo! during the long struggle, Pole and Swede had vied with the Tartar in stripping her of her fairest domains. Her territory extended scarce two hundred miles, in any direction from Moscow. Her very name was unknown. Western Europe had forgotten her. The same causes that established the feudal system there, had, in the course of two centuries and a half, changed a nation of freemen into a nation of serfs. The arts of peace were lost, the military element had gained an undue preponderance, and a band of soldiers, like the Pretorian Guards of Rome, made and deposed sovereigns, and shook the state to its very foundations. Yet here and there a vigorous monarch appeared, who controlled the fierce element, and directed it to the weal of the state. Smolensk, the fairest portion of the ancient Russian domain, was re-conquered from the Pole. The Swede, also, was forced to disgorge a portion of his spoils. But it was reserved for Peter the Great and his successors to restore to Russia the rank she had once held, and to which she was entitled.

I will not further trespass on the patience of the reader, now that we have arrived at that portion of Russian history which many think the first. I would merely observe that not only did Peter add to his empire no territory that had not formerly belonged to it, but even Catharine, at the first partition of Poland (I speak not of the subsequent ones), merely re-united to her dominion what once were integral portions. The rapid growth of Russia, since she has reassumed her station among the nations of the earth, is well known. Cities have sprung up in places where once the nomad had pitched his tent. A great capital, the handsomest in the world, has risen from the marsh, within one hundred and fifty years after the founder, whose name it perpetuates, had laid the first stone. Another has risen from the ashes, within less than a decade of years from the time when—a holocaust on the altar of patriotism—its flames announced to the world the vengeance of a nation on an intemperate aggressor.

Truly, it seems to me, that Mr. Gobineau could not have chosen a better illustration of his position, that the mere accident of conquest can not annihilate a nation, than this great empire, in whose history conquest forms so terrible and so long an episode, that the portion anterior to it is almost forgotten to this day.—H.

63. The author of Democracy in America (vol. ii. book 3, ch. 1), speculating upon the total want of sympathy among the various classes of an aristocratic community, says: "Each caste has its own opinions, feelings, rights, manners, and mode of living. The members of each caste do not resemble the rest of their fellow-citizens; they do not think and feel in the same manner, and believe themselves a distinct race.... When the chroniclers of the Middle Ages, who all belonged to the aristocracy by birth and education, relate the tragical end of a noble, their grief flows apace; while they tell, with the utmost indifference, of massacres and tortures inflicted on the common people. In this they were actuated by an instinctrather than by a passion, for they felt no habitual hatred or systematic disdain for the people: war between the several classes of the community was not yet declared." The writer gives extracts from Mme. de Sevigné's letters, displaying, to use his own words, "a cruel jocularity which, in our day, the harshest man writing to the most insensible person of his acquaintance would not venture to indulge in; and yet Madame de Sevigné was not selfish or cruel; she was passionately attached to her children, and ever ready to sympathize with her friends, and she treated her servants and vassals with kindness and indulgence." "Whence does this arise?" asks M. De Tocqueville; "have we really more sensibility than our forefathers?" When it is recollected, as has been pointed out in a previous note, that the nobility of France were of Germanic, and the peasantry of Celtic origin, we will find in this an additional proof of the correctness of our author's theory. Thanks to the revolution, the barriers that separated the various ranks have been torn down, and continual intermixture has blended the blood of the Frankish noble and of the Gallic boor. Wherever this fusion has not yet taken place, or but imperfectly, M. De Tocqueville's remarks still apply.—H.

64. The spirit of clanship is so strong in the Arab tribes, and their instinct of ethnical isolation so powerful, that it often displays itself in a rather odd manner. A traveller (Mr. Fulgence Fresnel, if I am not mistaken) relates that at Djidda, where morality is at a rather low ebb, the same Bedouine who cannot resist the slightest pecuniary temptation, would think herself forever dishonored, if she were joined in lawful wedlock to the Turk or European, to whose embrace she willingly yields while she despises him.

65. The man Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of man, and of the human frame A mechanized automaton.

Shelley, Queen Mab.

66. Montesquieu expresses a similar idea, in his usual epigrammatic style. "The customs of an enslaved people," says he, "are a part of their servitude; those of a free people, a part of their liberty."—Esprit des Lois, b. xix. c. 27.—H.

67. "A great portion of the peculiarities of the Spartan constitution and their institutions was assuredly of ancient Doric origin, and must have been rather given up by the other Dorians, than newly invented and instituted by the Spartans."—Niebuhr's Ancient History, vol. i. p. 306.—H.

68. See note on page 121.

69. The amalgamation of races in South America must indeed be inconceivable. "I find," says Alex. von Humboldt, in 1826, "by several statements, that if we estimate the population of the whole of the Spanish colonies at fourteen or fifteen millions of souls, there are, in that number, at most, three millions of pure whites, including about 200,000 Europeans." (Pers. Nar., vol. i. p. 400.) Of the progress which this mongrel population have made in civilization, I cannot give a better idea than by an extract from Dr. Tschudi's work, describing the mode of ploughing in some parts of Chili. "If a field is to be tilled, it is done by two natives, who are furnished with long poles, pointed at one end. The one thrusts his pole, pretty deeply, and in an oblique direction, into the earth, so that it forms an angle with the surface of the ground. The other Indian sticks his pole in, at a little distance, and also obliquely, and he forces it beneath that of his fellow-laborer, so that the first pole lies, as it were, upon the second. The first Indian then presses on his pole, and makes it work on the other, as a lever on its fulcrum, and the earth is thrown up by the point of the pole. Thus they gradually advance, until the whole field is furrowed by this laborious process." (Dr. Tschudi, Travels in Peru, during the years 1838-1842. London, 1847, p. 14.) I really do not think that a counterpart to this could be found, except, perhaps, in the manner of working the mines all over South America. Both Darwin and Tschudi speak of it with surprise. Every pound of ore is brought out of the shafts on men's shoulders. The mines are drained of the water accumulating in them, in the same manner, by means of water-tight bags. Dr. Tschudi describes the process employed for the amalgamation of the quicksilver with the silver ore. It is done by causing them to be trodden together by horses', or human feet. Not only is this method attended with incredible waste of material, and therefore very expensive, but it soon kills the horses employed in it, while the men contract the most fearful, and, generally, incurable diseases! (Op. cit., p. 331-334.)—H.

70. A. von Humboldt, Examen critique de l'Histoire et de la Géographie du N. C., vol. ii. p. 129-130.

The same opinion is expressed by Mr. Humboldt in his Personal Narrative. London, 1852, vol. i. p. 296.—H.

71. Speaking of the habit of tattooing among the South Sea Islanders, Mr. Darwin says that even girls who had been brought up in missionaries' houses, could not be dissuaded from this practice, though in everything else, they seemed to have forgotten the savage instincts of their race. "The wives of the missionaries tried to prevent them, but a famous operator having arrived from the South, they said: 'We really must have just a few lines on our lips, else, when we grow old, we shall be so ugly.'"—Journal of a Naturalist, vol. ii. p. 208.—H.

72. For the latest details, see Mr. Gustave d'Alaux's articles in the Revue des Deux Mondes, 1853.

73. The subjoined comparison of the exports of Haytien staple products may not be uninteresting to many of our readers, while it serves to confirm the author's assertion. I extract it from a statistical table in Mackenzie's report to the British government, upon the condition of the then republic (now empire). Mr. Mackenzie resided there as special envoyé several years, for the purpose of collecting authentic information for his government, and his statements may therefore be relied upon. (Notes on Hayti, vol. ii. note FF. London, 1830.)


74. It will be perceived, from these figures, that the decrease is greatest in that staple which requires the most laborious cultivation. Thus, sugar requires almost unremitting toil; coffee, comparatively little. All branches of industry have fearfully decreased; some of them have ceased entirely; and the small and continually dwindling commerce of that wretched country consists now mainly of articles of spontaneous growth. The statistics of imports are in perfect keeping with those of exports. (Op. cit., vol. ii. p. 183.) As might be expected from such a state of things, the annual expenditure in 1827 was estimated at a little more than double the amount of the annual revenue! (Ibid., "Finance.")

75. That matters have not improved under the administration of that Most Gracious, Most Christian monarch, the Emperor Faustin I., will be seen by reference to last year's Annuaire de la Revue del deux Mondes, "Haiti," p. 876, et seq., where some curious details about his majesty and his majesty's sable subjects will be found.

77. Upon this subject, consult Prichard, d'Orbigny, and A. de Humboldt.

78. I recollect having read, several years ago, in a Jesuit missionary journal (I forget its name and date, but am confident that the authority is a reliable one), a rather ludicrous account of an instance of this kind. One of the fathers, who had a little isolated village under his charge, had occasion to leave his flock for a time, and his place, unfortunately, could not be replaced by another. He therefore called the most promising of his neophytes, and committed to their care the domestic animals and agricultural implements with which the society had provided the newly-converted savages, then left them with many exhortations and instructions. His absence being prolonged beyond the period anticipated, the Indians thought him dead, and instituted a grand funeral feast in his honor, at which they slaughtered all the oxen, and roasted them by fires made of the ploughs, hoe-handles, etc.; and he arrived just in time to witness the closing scenes of this mourning ceremony.—H.

79. Consult, among others, Carus: Uber ungleiche Befähigung der vershiedenen Menschen-stämme für höhere geistige Entwickelung. Leipzig, 1849, p. 96 et passim.

80. Prichard, Natural History of Man, vol. ii.

See particularly the recent researches of E. G. Squier, published in 1847, under the title: Observations on the Aboriginal Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, and also in various late reviews and other periodicals.

81. The very singular construction of these tumuli, and the numerous utensils found in them, occupy at this moment the penetration and talent of American antiquaries. I shall have occasion, in a subsequent volume, to express an opinion as to their value in the inquiries about a former civilization; at present, I shall only say that their almost incredible antiquity cannot be called in question. Mr. Squier is right in considering this proved by the fact merely, that the skeletons exhumed from these tumuli crumble into dust as soon as exposed to the atmosphere, although the condition of the soil in which they lie, is the most favorable possible; while the human remains under the British cromlichs, and which have been interred for at least eighteen centuries, are perfectly solid. It is easily conceived, therefore, that between the first possessors of the American soil and the Lenni-Lenape and other tribes, there is no connection. Before concluding this note, I cannot refrain from praising the industry and skill manifested by American scholars in the study of the antiquities of their immense continent. To obviate the difficulties arising from the excessive fragility of the exhumed skulls, many futile attempts were made, but the object was finally accomplished by pouring into them a bituminous preparation which instantly solidifies and thus preserves the osseous parts. This process, which requires many precautions, and as much skill as promptitude, is said to be generally successful.

82. Ancient India required, on the part of its first white colonists, immense labor of cultivation and improvement. (See Lassen,Indische Alterthumskunde, vol. i.) As to Egypt, see what Chevalier Bunsen, Ægypten's Stelle in der Weltgeschichte, says of the fertilization of the Fayoum, that gigantic work of the earliest sovereigns.

83. "Why have accidental circumstances always prevented some from rising, while they have only stimulated others to higher attainments?"—Dr. Kneeland's Introd. to Hamilton Smith's Nat. Hist. of Man, p. 95.—H.

84. Salvador, Histoire des Juifs.

85. M. Saint-Marc Girardin, Revue des Deux Mondes.

86. See, upon this often-debated subject, the opinion—somewhat acerbly expressed—of a learned historian and philologist:—

"A great number of writers have suffered themselves to be persuaded that the country made the nation; that the Bavarians and Saxons were predestined, by the nature of their soil, to become what they are to-day; that Protestantism belonged not to the regions of the south; and that Catholicism could not penetrate to those of the north; and many similar things. Men who interpret history according to their own slender knowledge, their narrow hearts, and near-sighted minds, would, by the same reasoning, make us believe that the Jews had possessed such and such qualities—more or less clearly understood—because they inhabited Palestine, and not India or Greece. But, if these philosophers, so dextrous in proving whatever flatters their notions, were to reflect that the Holy Land contained, in its limited compass, peoples of the most dissimilar religions and modes of thinking, that between them, again, and their present successors, there is the utmost difference conceivable, although the country is still the same; they would understand how little influence, upon the character and civilization of a nation has the country they inhabit."—Ewald, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, vol. i. p. 259.

87. Although the success of the Chinese missions has not been proportionate to the self-devoting zeal of its laborers, there yet are, in China, a vast number of believers in the true faith. M. Huc tells us, in the relation of his journey, that, in almost every place where he and his fellow-traveller stopped, they could perceive, among the crowds that came to stare at the two "Western devils" (as the celestials courteously call us Europeans), men making furtively, and sometimes quite openly, the sign of the cross. Among the nomadic hordes of the table-lands of Central Asia, the number of Christians is much greater than among the Chinese, and much greater than is generally supposed. (See Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, No. 135, et seq.)—H.

88. The tutelary divinity was generally a typification of the national character. A commercial or maritime nation, would worship Mercury or Neptune; an aggressive and warlike one, Hercules or Mars; a pastoral one, Pan; an agricultural one, Ceres or Triptolemus; one sunk in luxury, as Corinth, would render almost exclusive homage to Venus.

As the author observes, all ancient governments were more or less theocratical. The regulations of castes among the Hindoos and Egyptians were ascribed to the gods, and even the most absolute monarch dared not, and could not, transgress the limits which the immortals had set to his power. This so-called divine legislation often answered the same purpose as the charters of modern constitutional monarchies. The authority of the Persian kings was confined by religious regulations, and this has always been the case with the sultans of Turkey. Even in Rome, whose population had a greater tendency for the positive and practical, than for the things of another world, we find the traces of theocratical government. The sibylline books, the augurs, etc., were something more than a vulgar superstition; and the latter, who could stop or postpone the most important proceedings, by declaring the omens unpropitious, must have possessed very considerable political influence, especially in the earlier periods. The rude, liberty-loving tribes of Scandinavia, Germany, Gaul, and Britain, were likewise subjected to their druids, or other priests, without whose permission they never undertook any important enterprise, whether public or private. Truly does our author observe, that Christianity came to deliver mankind from such trammels, though the mistaken or interested zeal of some of its servants, has so often attempted, and successfully, to fasten them again. How ill adapted Christianity would be, even in a political point of view, for a theocratical formula, is well shown by Mr. Guizot, in his Hist. of Civilization, vol. i. p. 213.—H.

89. I have already pointed out, in my introduction (p. 41-43), some of the fatal consequences that spring from that doctrine. It may not, however, be out of place here to mention another. The communists, socialists, Fourrierites, or whatever names such enemies to our social system assume, have often seduced the unwary and weak-minded, by the plausible assertion that they wished to restore the social system of the first Christians, who held all goods in common, etc. Many religious sectaries have created serious disturbances under the same pretence. It seems, indeed, reasonable to suppose, that if Christianity had given its exclusive sanction to any particular social and political system, it must have been that which the first Christian communities adopted.—H.

90. See note on page 188. —H.

91. Natural History of Man, p. 390. London, 1843.

92. Synopsis of the Indian Tribes of North America.

93. Had I desired to contest the accuracy of the assertions upon which Mr. Prichard bases his arguments in this case, I should have had in my favor the weighty authority of Mr. De Tocqueville, who, in speaking of the Cherokees, says: "What has greatly promoted the introduction of European habits among these Indians, is the presence of so great a number of half-breeds. The man of mixed race—participating as he does, to a certain extent, in the enlightenment of the father, without, however, entirely abandoning the savage manner of the mother—forms the natural link between civilization and barbarism. As the half-breeds increase among them, we find savages modify their social condition, and change their manners." (Dem. in Am., vol. i. p. 412.) Mr. De Tocqueville ends by predicting that the Cherokees and Creeks, albeit they are half-breeds, and not, as Mr. Prichard affirms, pure aborigines, will, nevertheless, disappear before the encroachments of the whites.

94. "When four pieces of cards were laid before them, each having a number pronounced once in connection with it, they will, after a re-arrangement of the pieces, select any one named by its number. They also play at domino, and with so much skill as to triumph over biped opponents, whining if the adversary plays a wrong piece, or if they themselves are deficient in the right one."—Vest. of Cr., p. 236.—H.

95. In those portions of the present France, over one million and a half of the inhabitants speak German. The pure Gauls in the Landes have not yet learned the French language, and speak a peculiar—probably their original—patois.

96. With the exception of Normandy.

97. See p. 183.

98. I am not aware that any writer has ever presumed to doubt this fact except Mr. Guizot, who dismisses it with a sneer. Fortunately, a sneer is not an argument, though it often has more weight.

99. Hazlitt's translation, vol. i. p 21. New York, 1855.—H.

100. A careful comparison of Mr. Guizot's views with those expressed by Count Gobineau upon this interesting subject convinced me that the differences of opinion between these two investigators required a more careful and minute examination than the author has thought necessary. With this view, I subjoin further extracts from the celebrated "History of Civilization in Europe," from which, I think, it will appear that few of the great truths comprised in the definition of civilization have escaped the penetration and research of the illustrious writer, but that, being unable to divest himself of the idea of unity of civilization, he has necessarily fallen into an error, with which a great metaphysician justly charges so many reasoners. "It is hard," says Locke, speaking of the abuse of words, "to find a discourse written on any subject, especially of controversy, wherein one shall not observe, if he read with attention, the same words (and those commonly the most material in the discourse, and upon which the argument turns) used sometimes for one collection of simple ideas, and sometimes for another.... A man, in his accompts with another, might with as much fairness, make the characters of numbers stand sometimes for one, and sometimes for another collection of units (e. g., this character, 3, stand sometimes for three, sometimes for four, and sometimes for eight), as, in his discourse or reasoning, make the same words stand for different collections of simple ideas."

Mr. Guizot opens his first lecture by declaring his intention of giving a "general survey of the history of European civilization, of its origin, its progress, its end, its character. I say European civilization, because there is evidently so striking a uniformity in the civilization of the different states of Europe, as fully to warrant this appellation. Civilization has flowed to them all from sources so much alike, it is so connected in them all—notwithstanding the great differences of time, of place, and circumstances—by the same principles, and it tends in them all to bring about the same results, that no one will doubt of there being a civilization essentially European."

Here, then, Mr. Guizot acknowledges one great truth contended for in this volume; he virtually recognizes the fact that there may be other civilizations, having different origins, a different progress, different characters, different ends.

"At the same time, it must be observed, that this civilization cannot be found in—its history cannot be collected from—the history of any single state of Europe. However similar in its general appearance throughout the whole, its variety is not less remarkable, nor has it ever yet developed itself completely in any particular country. Its characteristic features are widely spread, and we shall be obliged to seek, as occasion may require, in England, in France, in Germany, in Spain, for the elements of its history."

This is precisely the idea expressed in my introduction, that according to the character of a nation, its civilization manifests itself in various ways; in some, by perfection in the arts, useful or polite; in others, by development of political forms, and their practical application, etc. If I had then wished to support my opinion by a great authority, I should, assuredly, have quoted Mr. Guizot, who, a few pages further on, says:—

"Wherever the exterior condition of man becomes enlarged, quickened, and improved; wherever the intellectual nature of man distinguishes itself by its energy, brilliancy, and its grandeur; wherever these signs occur, notwithstanding the gravest imperfections in the social system, there man proclaims and applauds a civilization."

"Notwithstanding the gravest imperfections in the social system," says Mr. Guizot, yet in the series of hypotheses, quoted in the text, in which he attempts a negative definition of civilization, by showing what civilization is not, he virtually makes a political form the test of civilization.

In another passage, again, he says that civilization "is a course for humanity to run—a destiny for it to accomplish. Nations have transmitted, from age to age, something to their successors which is never lost, but which grows, and continues as a common stock, and will thus be carried on to the end of all things. For my part (he continues), I feel assured that human nature has such a destiny; that a general civilization pervades the human race; that at every epoch it augments; and that there, consequently, is a universal history of civilization to be written."

It must be obvious to the reader who compares these extracts, that Mr. Guizot expresses a totally distinct idea or collection of ideas in each.

First, the civilization of a particular nation, which exists "wherever the intellectual nature of man distinguishes itself by its energy, brilliancy, and grandeur." Such a civilization may flourish, "notwithstanding the greatest imperfections in the social system."

Secondly, Mr. Guizot's beau-idéal of the best, most perfect civilization, where the political forms insure the greatest happiness, promote the most rapid—yet well-regulated—progress.

Thirdly, a great system of particular civilizations, as that of Europe, the various elements of which "are connected by the same principles, and tend all to bring about the same general results."

Fourthly, a supposed general progress of the whole human race toward a higher state of perfection.

To all these ideas, provided they are not confounded one with another, I have already given my assent. (See Introduction, p. 51.) With regard to the latter, however, I would observe that it by no means militates against a belief in the intellectual imparity of races, and the permanency of this imparity. As in a society composed of individuals, all enjoy the fruits of the general progress, though all have not contributed to it in equal measure, and some not at all: so, in that society, of which we may suppose the various branches of the human family to be the members, even the inferior participate more or less in the benefits of intellectual labor, of which they would have been incapable. Because I can transport myself with almost the swiftness of a bird from one place to another, it does not follow that—though I profit by Watt's genius—I could have invented the steam-engine, or even that I understand the principles upon which that invention is based.—H.

101. W. Von Humboldt, Ueber die Kawi-Sprache auf der Insel Java; Einleitung, vol. i. p. 37. Berlin. "Die Civilization ist die Vermenschlichung der Völker in ihren äusseren Einrichtungen und Gebräuchen, und der darauf Bezug habenden inneren Gesinnung."

102. William Von Humboldt. "Die Kultur fügt dieser Veredlung des gesellschaftlichen Zustandes Wissenschaft und Kunst hinzu."

103. W. Von Humboldt, op. cit., p. 37: "Wenn wir in unserer Sprache Bildung sagen, so meinen wir damit etwas zugleich Höheres und mehr Innerlicheres, nämlich die Sinnesart, die sich aus der Erkenntniss und dem Gefühle des gesammten geistigen und sittlichen Streben harmonish auf die Empfindung und den Charakter ergiesst."

As nothing can exceed the difficulty of rendering an abstract idea from the French into English, except to transmit the same from German into French, and as if all these processes must be undergone, the identity of the idea is greatly endangered, I have thought proper to translate at once from the original German, and therefore differ somewhat from Mr. Gobineau, who gives it thus: "L'homme formé, c'est-à-dire, l'homme qui, dans sa nature, possède quelque chose de plus haut, de plus intime à la fois, c'est-à-dire, une façon de comprendre qui répand harmonieusement sur la sensibilité et le charactère les impressions qu'elle reçoit de l'activité intellectuelle et morale dans son ensemble." I have taken great pains to express clearly Mr. Von Humboldt's idea, and have therefore amplified the word Sinnesart, which has not its precise equivalent in English.—Trans.

104. See page 154.

105. Mr. Klemm (Allgemeine Culturgeschichte der Menschheit, Leipzig, 1849) adopts, also, a division of all races into two categories, which he calls respectively the active and the passive. I have not had the advantage of perusing his book, and cannot, therefore, say whether his idea is similar to mine. It would not be surprising that, in pursuing the same road, we should both have stumbled over the same truth.

106. The translator has here permitted himself a deviation from the original. Mr. Gobineau, to express his idea, borrows from the symbolism of the Hindoos, where the feminine principle is represented by Prakriti, and the masculine by Purucha, and calls the two categories of races respectively feminine and masculine. But as he "thereby wishes to express nothing but a mutual fecundation, without ascribing any superiority to either," and as the idea seems fully rendered by the words used in the translation, the latter have been thought preferable, as not so liable to misrepresentation and misconception.—H.

107. See a quotation from De Tocqueville to the same effect, p. 77.

108. One striking observation, in connection with this fact, Mr. Gobineau has omitted to make, probably not because it escaped his sagacity, but because he is himself a Roman Catholic. Wherever the Teutonic element in the population is predominant, as in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, England, Scotland, Northern Germany, and the United States, Protestantism prevails; wherever, on the contrary, the Germanic element is subordinate, as in portions of Ireland, in South America, and the South of Europe, Roman Catholicism finds an impregnable fortress in the hearts of the people. An ethnographical chart, carefully made out, would indicate the boundaries of each in Christendom. I do not here mean to assert that the Christian religion is accessible only to certain races, having already emphatically expressed my opinion to the contrary. I feel firmly convinced that a Roman Catholic may be as good and pious a Christian as a member of any other Christian Church whatever, but I see in this fact the demonstration of that leading characteristic of the Germanic races—independence of thought, which incites them to seek for truth, even in religion, for themselves; to investigate everything, and take nothing upon trust.

I have, moreover, in favor of my position, the high authority of Mr. Macaulay: "The Reformation," says that distinguished essayist and historian, "was a national as well as a moral revolt. It had been not only an insurrection of the laity against the clergy, but also an insurrection of the great German race against an alien domination. It is a most significant circumstance, that no large society of which the tongue is not Teutonic, has ever turned Protestant, and that, wherever a language derived from ancient Rome is spoken, the religion of modern Rome to this day prevails." (Hist. of England, vol. i. p. 53.)—H.

109. Thus Sparta and Athens, respectively, stood at the head of the oligarchic and democratic parties, and the alternate preponderance of either of the two often inundated each state with blood. Yet Sparta and Athens, and the partisans of each in every state, possessed the spirit of liberty and independence in an equal degree. Themistocles and Aristides, the two great party leaders of Athens, vied with each other in patriotism.

This uniformity of general views and purpose, Mr. De Tocqueville found in the United States, and he correctly deduces from it the conclusion that "though the citizens are divided into 24 (31) distinct sovereignties, they, nevertheless, constitute a single nation, and form more truly a state of society, than many peoples of Europe, living under the same legislation, and the same prince." (Vol. i. p. 425.) This is an observation which Europeans make last, because they do not find it at home; and in return, it prevents the American from acquiring a clear conception of the state of Europe, because he thinks the disputes there involve no deeper questions than the disputes around him. In certain fundamental principles, all Americans agree, to whatever party they may belong; certain general characteristics belong to them all, whatever be the differences of taste, and individual preferences; it is not so in Europe—England, perhaps, excepted, and Sweden and Denmark. But I will not anticipate the author.—H.

110. It is well known that, in both Greece and Rome, the education of the children of wealthy families was very generally intrusted to slaves. Some of the greatest philosophers of ancient Greece were bondsmen.—H.

111. China has no hereditary nobility. The class of mandarins is composed of those who have received diplomas in the great colleges with which the country abounds. A decree of the Emperor Jin-Tsoung, who reigned from 1023 to 1063, regulated the modes of examination, to which all, indiscriminately, are admitted. The candidates are examined more than once, and every precaution is taken to prevent frauds. Thus, the son of the poorest peasant may become a mandarin, but, as he afterwards is dependent on the emperor for office or employment, this dignity is often of but little practical value. Still, there are numerous instances on record, in the history of China, of men who have risen from the lowest ranks to the first offices of the State, and even to the imperial dignity. (See Pauthier's Histoire de la Chine.)—H.

112. John F. Davis, The Chinese. London, 1840, p. 274. "Three or four volumes of any ordinary work of the octavo size and shape, may be had for a sum equivalent to two shillings. A Canton bookseller's manuscript catalogue marked the price of the four books of Confucius, including the commentary, at a price rather under half a crown. The cheapness of their common literature is occasioned partly by the mode of printing, but partly also by the low price of paper."

These are Canton prices; in the interior of the empire, books are still cheaper, even in proportion to the value of money in China. Their classic works are sold at a proportionably lower price than the very refuse of our literature. A pamphlet, or small tale, may be bought for a sapeck, about the seventeenth part of a cent; an ordinary novel, for a little more or less than one cent.—H.

113. There are certain offences for which the punishment is remitted, if the culprit is able to explain lucidly the nature and object of the law respecting them. (See Huc's Trav. in China, vol. ii. p. 252.) In the same place, Mr. Huc bears witness to the correctness of our author's assertion. "Measures are taken," says he, "not only to enable the magistrates to understand perfectly the laws they are called upon to apply, but also to diffuse a knowledge of them among the people at large. All persons in the employment of the government, are ordered to make the code their particular study; and a special enactment provides, that at certain periods, all officers, in all localities, shall be examined upon their knowledge of the laws by their respective superiors; and if their answers are not satisfactory, they are punished, the high officials by the retention of a month's pay; the inferior ones by forty strokes of the bamboo." It must not be imagined that Mr. Huc speaks of the Chinese in the spirit of a panegyrist. Any one who reads this highly instructive and amusing book (now accessible to English readers by a translation), will soon be convinced of the contrary. He seldom speaks of them to praise them.—H.

114. Op. cit., p. 100.

115. The reader will remember that Diocletian, who, the son of a slave, rose from the rank of a common soldier, to the throne of the empire of the world, associated with himself in the government, his friend Maximian, A. D. 286. After six years of this joint reign, they took two other partners, Galerius and Constantius. Thus, the empire, though nominally one sovereignty, had in reality four supreme heads. Under Constantine the Great, the imperial unity was restored; but at his decease, the purple was again parcelled out among his sons and nephews. A permanent division of the empire, however, was not effected until the death of Theodosius the Great, who for sixteen years had enjoyed undivided power.

116. It is not universally known that the various populations of France differ, not only in character, but in physical appearance. The native of the southern departments is easily known from the native of the central and northern. The average stature in the north is said to be an inch and a half more than in the south. This difference is easily perceptible in the regiments drawn from either.—H.

117. Many of these patois bear but little resemblance to the French language: the inhabitants of the Landes, for example, speak a tongue of their own, which, I believe, has roots entirely different. For the most part, they are unintelligible to those who have not studied them. Over a million and a half of the population of France speak German or German dialects.—H.

118. Mr. Gobineau's remarks apply with equal, and, in some cases, with greater force, to other portions of Europe, as I had myself ample means for observing. I have always considered the character of the European peasantry as the most difficult problem in the social system of those countries. Institutions cannot in all cases account for it. In Germany, for instance, education is general and even compulsory: I have never met a man under thirty that could not read and write. Yet, each place has its local patois, which no rustic abandons, for it would be deemed by his companions a most insufferable affectation. I have heard ministers in the pulpit use local dialects, of which there are over five hundred in Germany alone, and most of them widely different. Together with their patois, the rustics preserve their local costumes, which mostly date from the Middle Ages. But the peculiarity of their manners, customs, and modes of thinking, is still more striking. Their superstitions are often of the darkest, and, at best, of the most pitiable nature. I have seen hundreds of poor creatures, males and females, on their pilgrimage to some far distant shrine in expiation of their own sins or those of others who pay them to go in their place. On these expeditions they start in great numbers, chanting Aves on the way the whole day long, so that you can hear a large band of them for miles. Each carries a bag on the back or head, containing their whole stock of provisions for a journey of generally from one to two weeks. At night, they sleep in barns, or on stacks of hay in the fields. If you converse with them, you will find them imbued with superstitions absolutely idolatrous. Yet they all know how to read and write. The perfect isolation in which these creatures live from the world, despite that knowledge, is altogether inconceivable to an American. As Mr. Gobineau says of the French peasants, they believe themselves a distinct race. There is little or no discontent among them; the revolutionary fire finds but scanty fuel among these rural populations. But they look upon those who govern and make the laws as upon different beings, created especially for that purpose; the principles which regulate their private conduct, the whole sphere of their ideas, are peculiar to themselves. In one word, they form, not a class, but a caste, with lines of demarcation as clearly defined as the castes of India. I have said before that this is not from want of education; nor can any other explanation of the mystery be found. It is not poverty, for among these rustics there are many wealthy people, and, in general, they are not so poor as the lower classes in cities. Nor do the laws restrain them within the limits of a caste. In Germany, hereditary aristocracy is almost obsolete. The ranks of the actual aristocracy are daily recruited from the burgher classes. The highest offices of the various states are often found in possession of untitled men, or men with newly created titles. The colleges and universities are open to all, and great facilities are afforded even to the poorest. Yet these differences between various parts of the population remain, and this generally in those localities which the ethnographer describes as strongly tinctured with non-Teutonic elements.—H.

119. A nurse from Tours had put a bird into the hands of her little ward, and was teaching him to pull out the feathers and wings of the poor creature. When the parents reproached her for giving him this lesson of wickedness, she answered: "C'est pour le rendre fier."—(It is to make him fierce or high-spirited.) This answer of 1847 is in strict accordance with the most approved maxims of education of the nurse's ancestors in the times of Vercingetorix.

120. A few years ago, a church-warden was to be elected in a very small and very obscure parish of French Brittany, that part of the former province which the real Britons used to call the pays Gallais, or Gallic land. The electors, who were all peasants, deliberated two days without being able to agree upon a selection, because the candidate, a very honest, wealthy, and highly respected man and a good Christian, was a foreigner. Now, this foreigner was born in the locality, and his father had resided there before him, and had also been born there, but it was recollected that his grandfather, who had been dead many years, and whom no one in the assembly had known, came from somewhere else.

121. This is no exaggeration, as every one acquainted with French history knows. In the great revolution of the last century, the peasantry of France took no interest and no part. In the Vendée, indeed, they fought, and fought bravely, for the ancient forms, their king, and their feudatory lords. Everywhere else, the rural districts remained in perfect apathy. The revolutions since then have been decided in Paris. The émeutes seldom extended beyond the walls of the great cities. It is a well-known fact, that in many of the rural districts, the peasants did not hear of the expulsion of the Bourbon dynasty, until years afterwards, and even then had no conception of the nature of the change. Bourbon, Orleans, Republic, are words, to them, of no definite meaning. The only name that can rouse them from their apathy, is "Napoleon." At that sound, the Gallic heart thrills with enthusiasm and thirst for glory. Hence the unparalleled success with which the present emperor has appealed to universal suffrage.—H.

122. It is not generally appreciated how much we are indebted to Oriental civilizations for our lighter and more graceful literature. Our first works of fiction were translations or paraphrases of Eastern tales introduced into Western Europe by the returning crusaders. The songs of the troubadour, the many-tomed romances of the Middle Ages—those ponderous sires of modern novels—all emanated from that source. The works of Dante, Tasso, Ariosto, Boccacio, and nearer home, of Chaucer and Spenser, are incontestable proofs of this fact. Even Milton himself drew from the inexhaustible stores of Eastern legends and romances. Our fairy tales, and almost all of our most graceful lyric poesy, that is not borrowed from Greece, is of Persian origin. Almost every popular poet of England and the continent has invoked the Oriental muse, none more successfully than Southey and Moore. It would be useless to allude to the immense popularity of acknowledged versions of Oriental literature, such as the Thousand and One Nights, the Apologues, Allegories, &c. What we do not owe to the East, we have taken from the Greeks. Even to this day, Grecian mythology is the never-failing resource of the lyric poet, and so familiar has that graceful imagery become to us, that we introduce it, often mal-à-propos, even in our colloquial language.

In metaphysics, also, we have confessedly done little more than revive the labors of the Greeks.—H.

123. M. Flourens, Eloge de Blumenbach, Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences. Paris, 1847, p. xiii. This savant justly protests against such a method.

124. For the description of types in this and other portions of this chapter, I am indebted to

M. William Lawrence, Lect. on the Nat. Hist. of Man. London, 1844. But especially to the learned

James Cowles Prichard, Nat. Hist. of Man. London, 1848.

125. Prichard, op. cit., p. 129.

126. It is impossible to conceive an idea of the scarce human form of these creatures, without the aid of pictorial representations. In Prichard's Natural History of Man will be found a plate (No. 23, p. 355) from M. d'Urville's atlas, which may assist the reader in gaining an idea of the utmost hideousness that the human form is capable of. I cannot but believe that the picture there given is considerably exaggerated, but with all due allowance in this respect, enough ugliness will be left to make us almost ashamed to recognize these beings as belonging to our kind.—H.

127. Op. cit., p. 111.

128. It will be observed that Prichard and Camper, and further on Blumenbach, here use the word nation as synonymous to race. See my introduction, p. 65.—H.

129. Prichard, op. cit., p. 115.

130. Op. cit., p. 117.

131. Carus, Ueber ungleiche Befähigung, etc., p. 19.

132. Op. cit., p. 20.

133. As Mr. Gobineau has taken the facts presented by Dr. Morton at second hand, and, moreover, had not before him Dr. Morton's later tables and more matured deductions, Dr. Nott has given an abstract of the result arrived at by the learned craniologist, as published by himself in 1849. This abstract, and the valuable comments of Dr. Nott himself, will be found in the Appendix, under A.—H.

134. I fear that our author has here fallen into an error which his own facts disprove, and which is still everywhere received without examination, viz: that cultivation can change the form or size of the head, either of individuals or races; an opinion, in support of which, no facts whatever can be adduced. The heads of the barbarous races of Europe were precisely the same as those of civilized Europe in our day; this is proven by the disinterred crania of ancient races, and by other facts. Nor do we see around us among the uneducated, heads inferior in form and size to those of the more privileged classes. Does any one pretend that the nobility of England, which has been an educated class for centuries, have larger heads, or more intelligence than the ignoble? On the contrary, does not most of the talent of England spring up from plebeian ranks? Wherever civilization has been brought to a population of the white race, they have accepted it at once—their heads required no development. Where, on the contrary, it has been carried to Negroes, Mongols, and Indians, they have rejected it. Egyptians and Hindoos have small heads, but we know little of the early history of their civilization. Egyptian monuments prove that the early people and language of Egypt were strongly impregnated with Semitic elements. Latham has shown that the Sanscrit language was carried from Europe to India, and probably civilization with it.

I have looked in vain for twenty years for evidence to prove that cultivation could enlarge a brain, while it expands the mind. The head of a boy at twelve is as large as it ever is.—N.

135. Carus, op. cit., p. 12.

136. There are some very slight ones, which nevertheless are very characteristic. Among this number I would class a certain enlargement on each side of the lower lip, which is found among the English and Germans. I find this indication of Germanic origin in several paintings of the Flemish school, in the Madonna of Rubens, in the museum of Dresden, in theSatyrs and Nymphs of the same collection, in a Lute-player of Miéris, etc. No cranioscopic method whatever could embrace such details, which, however, are not without value in the great mixture of races which Europe presents.

137. Prichard, op. cit., p. 329.

138. Job Ludolf, whose facilities of observation must necessarily have been very defective when compared with those we enjoy at the present day, nevertheless combats in very forcible language, and with arguments—so far as concerns the negro—invincible, the opinion here adopted by Mr. Prichard. I cannot refrain from quoting him in this place, not for any novelty contained in his arguments, but to show their very antiquity: "De nigredine Æthiopum hic agere nostri non est instituti, plerique ardoribus solis atquæ zonæ torridæ id tribuant. Verum etiam intra solis orbitam populi dantur, si non plane albi, saltem non prorsus nigri. Multi extra utrumque tropicum a media mundi linea longius absunt quam Persæ aut Syri, veluti pramontorii Bonæ Spei habitantes, et tamen iste sunt nigerrimi. Si Africæ tantum et Chami posteris id inspectari velis, Malabares et Ceilonii aliique remotiores Asiæ populi æque nigri excipiendi erunt. Quod si causam ad cœli solique naturam referas, non homines albi in illis regionibus renascentes non nigrescunt? Aut qui ad occultas qualitates confugiunt, melius fecerint si sese nescire fateantur."—Jobus Ludolfus, Commentarium ad Historiam Æthiopicam, fol. Norimb. p. 56.
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Part 3 of 3

139. Prichard, op. cit., p. 124.

140. Prichard, op. cit., p. 433.

141. Neither the Swiss, nor the Tyrolese, nor the Highlanders of Scotland, nor the Sclaves of the Balkan, nor the tribes of the Himaleh, nor any other mountaineers whatever, present the monstrous appearance of the Quichuas.

142. The distinguished microscopist, Dr. Peter A. Browne, of Philadelphia, has published the most elaborate observations on hair, of any author I have met with; and he asserts that the pile of the negro is wool, and not hair. He has gone so far as to distinguish the leading races of men by the direction, shape, and structure of the hair. The reader is referred to his works for much very curious, new, and valuable matter.—N.

To those of our readers who may not have the inclination or opportunity of consulting Mr. Browne's work, the following concise and excellent synopsis of his views, which I borrow from Dr. Kneeland's Introduction to Hamilton Smith's Natural History of Man, may not be unacceptable: "There are, on microscopical examination, three prevailing forms of the transverse section of the filament, viz: the cylindrical, the oval, and the eccentrically elliptical. There are also three directions in which it pierces the epidermis. The straight and lank, the flowing or curled, and the crisped or frizzled, differ respectively as to the angle which the filament makes with the skin on leaving it. The cylindrical and oval pile has an oblique angle of inclination. The eccentrically elliptical pierces the epidermis at right angles, and lies perpendicularly in the dermis. The hair of the white man is oval; that of the Choctaw, and some other American Indians, is cylindrical; that of the negro is eccentrically elliptical or flat. The hair of the white man has, beside its cortex and intermediate fibres, a central canal, which contains the coloring matter when present. The pile of the negro has no central canal, and the coloring matter is diffused, when present, either throughout the cortex or the intermediate fibres. Hair, according to these observations, is more complex in its structure than wool. In hair, the enveloping scales are comparatively few, with smooth surfaces, rounded at their points, and closely embracing the shaft. In wool, they are numerous, rough, sharp-pointed, and project from the shaft. Hence, the hair of the white man will not felt, that of the negro will. In this respect, therefore, it comes near to true wool"—pp. 88, 89.—H.

143. A full answer to this objection will be found in our Appendix, under B.—N.

144. For the arguments which may be deduced from the language of Holy Writ, in favor of plurality of origins, see Appendix C.—H.

145. Among others, Frédéric Cuvier, Annales du Muséum, vol. xi. p. 458.

146. The reader will be struck by the remarkable illustration of the truth of this remark, which the equine species affords. The vast difference between the swift courser, who excites the enthusiasm of admiring multitudes, and the common hack, need not be pointed out, and it is as well known that either, if the breed be preserved unmixed, will perpetuate their distinctive qualities to a countless progeny.—H.

147. A free mulatto, who had received a very good education in France, once seriously undertook to prove to me that the Saviour's earthly form partook, at the same time, of the characteristics of the white and the black races; in other words, was that of a half-breed. The arguments by which he supported this singular hypothesis were drawn from theology, as well as Scriptural ethnology, and were remarkably plausible and ingenious. I am convinced that if the real opinion of colored Christians on this subject could be collected, a vast majority would be found to agree with my informant.—H.

148. Our author here gives evidence of a want of critical study of races—the resemblances he has traced do not exist. There is no type in Africa south of the equator, or among the aborigines of America, that bears any resemblance to any race in Europe or Asia.—N.

149. Müller, Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen, vol. ii. p. 639.

150. Prichard, op. cit., pp. 484, 485.

151. An exception, however, must be made in the case of Shakspeare, while painting on an Italian canvas. In Romeo and Juliet, Capulet says:—

"My child is yet a stranger in the world, She hath not seen the change of fourteen years; Let two more summers wither in their pride, Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride."

To which Paris answers:—

"Younger than she are happy mothers made."

152. According to M. Krapff, a Protestant minister in Eastern Africa, among the Wanikos both sexes marry at the age of twelve. (Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft, vol. iii. p. 317.) In Paraguay, the Jesuits had established the custom, which subsists to this day, of marrying their neophytes, the girls at the age of ten, the boys at that of thirteen. It is not rare to find, in that country, widowers and widows eleven and twelve years old. (A. d'Orbigny, L'Homme Américain, vol. i. p. 40.) In Southern Brazil, females marry at the age of ten and eleven. Menstruation there begins also at a very early age, and ceases equally early. (Martius and Spix, Reise in Brasilien, vol. i. p. 382.) I might increase the number of similar quotations indefinitely.

153. Prichard, op. cit., p. 486.

154. Botta, Monumens de Ninive. Paris, 1850.

155. Edinburgh Review, "Ethnology, or the Science of Races," Oct. 1844, p. 144, et passim. "There is probably no evidence of original diversity of race which is so generally and unhesitatingly relied upon as that derived from the color of the skin and the character of the hair; ... but it will not, we think, stand the test of serious examination.... Among the Kabyles of Algiers and Tunis, the Tuarites of Sahara, the Shelahs or mountaineers of Southern Morocco, and other people of the same race, there are very considerable differences of complexion." (p. 448.)

156. Ibid., loc. cit., p. 453. "The Cinghalese are described by Dr. Davy as varying in color from light brown to black, the prevalent hue of their hair and eyes is black, but hazel eyes and brown hair are not very uncommon; gray eyes and red hair are occasionally seen, though rarely, and sometimes the light-blue or red eye and flaxen hair of the albino."

157. Ibid., loc. cit. "The Samoiedes, Tungusians, and others living on the borders of the Icy Sea, have a dirty-brown or swarthy complexion."

158. Edinburgh Review, p. 439.

159. Hammer, Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches, vol. i. p. 2. (History of the Ottoman Empire.)

160. Ritter, Erdkunde Asien, vol. i. p. 433, et passim, p. 1115, etc. Lassen, Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, vol. ii. p. 65. Benfey, Encyclopædie, by Ersch and Gruber, Indien, p. 12. Alexander Von Humboldt, speaking of this fact, styles it one of the most important discoveries of our times. (Asie Centrale, vol. ii. p. 649.) With regard to its bearings upon historical science, nothing can be more true.

161. Nouschirwan, whose reign falls in the first half of the sixth century of our era, married Scharouz, the daughter of the Khakan of the Turks. She was the most beautiful woman of her time. (Haneberg, Zeitschr. f. d. K. des Morgenl., vol. i. p. 187.) This is by no means an isolated instance; Schahnameh furnishes a number of similar ones.

162. The Scythes, though having adopted a language of the Arian classes, were, nevertheless, a Mongolian nation; there would, therefore, be nothing very surprising if the Orghuses had been an Arian nation, though speaking a Finnic dialect. This hypothesis is singularly corroborated by a passage in the relations of the traveller Rubruquis, who was sent by St. Louis as ambassador to the sovereign of the Mongols. "I was struck," says the worthy monk, "with the prince's resemblance to the deceased M. John de Beaumont, whose complexion was equally fresh and colored." Alexander Von Humboldt, justly interested by this remark, adds: "This physiognomical observation acquires importance, when we recollect that the monarch here spoken of belonged to the family of Tchinguiz, who were really of Turkish, not of Mogul origin." And pursuing this trace, the great savant finds another corroborating fact: "The absence of Mongolian features," says he, "strikes us also in the portraits which we possess of the Baburides, the conquerors of India." (Asie Centrale, vol. i. p. 248, and note.)

163. It will be seen that Mr. Gobineau differs, in the date he gives of the institution of the Janissaries, from all other European writers, who unanimously ascribe the establishment of this corps to Mourad I., the third prince of the line of Othman. This error, into which Gibbon himself has fallen, originated with Cantemir: but the concurrent testimony of every Turkish historian fixes the epoch of their formation and consecration by the Dervish Hadji-Becktash, to the reign of Orkhan, the father of Mourad, who, in 1328, enrolled a body of Christian youths as soldiers under this name (which signifies, "new regulars"), by the advice of his cousin Tchenderli, to whose councils the wise and simple regulations of the infant empire are chiefly attributed. Their number was at first only a thousand; but it was greatly augmented when Mourad, in 1361, appropriated to this service, by an edict, the imperial fifth of the European captives taken in the war—a measure which has been generally confounded with the first enrolment of the corps. At the accession of Soliman the Magnificent, their effective strength had reached 40,000; and under Mohammed IV., in the middle of the seventeenth century, that number was more than doubled. But though the original composition of the Janissaries is related by every writer who has treated of them, it has not been so generally noticed that for more than two centuries and a half not a single native Turk was admitted into their ranks, which were recruited, like those of the Mamelukes, solely by the continual supply of Christian slaves, at first captives of tender age taken in war, and afterwards, when this source proved inadequate to the increased demand, by an annual levy among the children of the lower orders of Christians throughout the empire—a dreadful tax, frequently alluded to by Busbequius, and which did not finally cease till the reign of Mohammed IV.

At a later period, when the Krim Tartars became vassals of the Porte, the yearly inroads of the fierce cavalry of that nation into the southern provinces of Russia, were principally instrumental in replenishing this nursery of soldiers; and Fletcher, who was ambassador from Queen Elizabeth to Ivan the Terrible, describes, in his quaint language, the method pursued in these depredations: "The chief bootie the Tartars seeke for in all their warres, is to get store of captives, specially young boyes and girles, whom they sell to the Turkes, or other, their neighbours. To this purpose, they take with them great baskets, made like bakers' panniers, to carrie them tenderly; and if any of them happens to tyre, or bee sicke on the way, they dash him against the ground, or some tree, and so leave him dead." (Purchas's Pilgrims, vol. iii. p. 441.)

The boys, thus procured from various quarters, were assembled at Constantinople, where, after a general inspection, those whose personal advantages or indications of superior talent distinguished them from the crowd, were set aside as pages of the seraglio or Mamelukes in the households of the pashas and other officers, whence in due time they were promoted to military commands or other appointments: but the remaining multitude were given severally in charge to peasants or artisans of Turkish race, principally in Anatolia, by whom they were trained up, till they approached the age of manhood, in the tenets of the Moslem faith, and inured to all the privations and toils of a hardy and laborious life. After this severe probation, they were again transferred to the capital, and enrolled in the different odas or regiments; and here their military education commenced.—H.

164. Erdkunde, Asien, vol. i. p. 448.

165. Ethnology, etc., p. 439: "The Hungarian nobility ... is proved by historical and philological evidence to have been a branch of the great Northern Asiatic stock, closely allied in blood to the stupid and feeble Ostiaks, and the untamable Laplander."

166. St. Stephen reigned about the year 1000, nearly one century and a half after the first invasion of the Magyars, under their leaders, Arpad and Zulta. He introduced Christianity among his people, on which account he was canonized, and is now the tutelary saint of his nation. It may not be known to the generality of our readers, that the Magyars, though they have now resided nearly one thousand years in Hungary, have, with few exceptions, never applied themselves to the tillage of the soil. Agriculture, to this day, remains almost exclusively in the hands of the original (the Slowack or Sclavonian) population. The Magyar's wealth consists in his herds, or, if he owns land, it is the Slowacks that cultivate it for him. It is a singular phenomenon that these two races, though professing the same religion, have remained almost entirely unmixed, and each still preserves its own language.—H.

167. Essai Historique sur l'Origine des Hongrois. Paris, 1844.

168. It appears that we shall be compelled henceforward to considerably modify our usually received opinions with regard to the nations of Central Asia. It cannot now be any longer doubted that many of these populations contain a very considerable admixture of white blood, a fact of which our predecessors in the study of history had not the slightest apprehension. Alexander Von Humboldt makes a very important remark upon this subject, in speaking of the Kirghis-Kazakes, mentioned by Menander of Byzant, and Constantine Porphyrogenetus; and he shows conclusively that the Kirghis (χερχις) concubine spoken of by the former writer as a present of the Turkish chief Dithubùl to Zemarch, the ambassador of Justinian II., in A. D. 569, was a girl of mixed blood—partly white. She is the precise counterpart of those beautiful Turkish girls, whose charms are so much extolled by Persian writers, and who did not belong, any more than she, to the Mongolian race. (Vide Asie Centrale, vol. i. p. 237, et passim, and vol. ii. pp. 130, 131.)

169. Schaffarick, Slawische Alterthümer, vol. i. p. 279, et passim.

170. Aug. Thierry, Histoire de la Conquite de l'Angleterre. Paris, 1846, vol. i. p. 155.

171. In my introductory note to Chapters VIII. and IX. (see p. 244), I have mentioned a remarkable instance of the permanency of characteristics, even in branches of the same race. An equally, if not more striking illustration of this fact is given by Alex. Von Humboldt.

It is well known that Spain contains a population composed of very dissimilar ethnical elements, and that the inhabitants of its various provinces differ essentially, not only in physical appearance, but still more in mental characteristics. As in all newly-settled countries, immigrants from the same locality are apt to select the same spot, the extensive Spanish possessions on this continent were colonized, each respectively, by some particular province in the mother country. Thus the Biscayans settled Mexico; the Andalusians and natives of the Canary Islands, Venezuela; the Catalonians, Buenos Ayres; the Castillians, Peru, etc. Although centuries have elapsed since these original settlements, and although the character of the Spanish Americans must have been variously modified by the physical nature of their new homes, whether situated in the vicinity of coasts, or of mining districts, or in isolated table-lands, or in fertile valleys; notwithstanding all this, the great traveller and experienced observer still clearly recognizes in the character of the various populations of South America, the distinctive peculiarities of the original settlers. Says he: "The Andalusians and Canarians of Venezuela, the Mountaineers and the Biscayans of Mexico, the Catalonians of Buenos Ayres, evince considerable differences in their aptitude for agriculture, for the mechanical arts, for commerce, and for all objects connected with intellectual development. Each of these races has preserved, in the new, as in the old world, the shades that constitute its national physiognomy; its asperity or mildness of character; its freedom from sordid feelings, or its excessive love of gain; its social hospitality, or its taste of solitude.... In the inhabitants of Caracas, Santa Fé, Quito, and Buenos Ayres, we still recognize the features that belong to the race of the first settlers."—Personal Narrative, Eng. Trans., vol. i. p. 395.—H.

172. I have already alluded to the classification adopted by Mr. Latham, the great ethnographer, which, though different in the designations, is precisely similar to that of Mr. Gobineau. Hamilton Smith also comes to the conclusion that, "as there are only three varieties who attain the typical standard, we have in them the foundation of that number being exclusively aboriginal." He therefore divides the races of men into three classes, which he calls "typical forms," and which nearly correspond to Mr. Gobineau's and Mr. Latham's "primary varieties." But, notwithstanding this weight of authorities against me, I cannot entirely agree as to the correctness of this classification. Fewer objections seem to me to lie against that proposed by Van Amringe, which I recommend to the consideration of the reader, and, though perhaps out of place in a mere foot-note, subjoin at full length. It must be remembered that the author of this system, though he uses the word species to distinguish the various groups, is one of the advocates for unity of origin. (The words Japhetic and Shemitic are also employed in a sense somewhat different from that which common usage has assigned them.)


Psychical or Spiritual Character, viz:—
All the Physical Attributes developed harmoniously.—Warlike, but not cruel, or destructive.


Physical Character, viz:—
A high degree of sensibility; fair complexion; copious, soft, flowing hair, often curled, or waving; ample beard; small, oval, perpendicular face, with features very distinct; expanded forehead; large and elevated cranium; narrow elevated nose, distinct from the other features; small mouth, and thin lips; chin, round, full, and somewhat prominent, generally equal with the lips.


The Israelites, Greeks, Romans, Teutones, Sclavons, Celts, &c., and many sub-varieties.


Psychical or Spiritual Character, viz:
Attributes unequally developed. Moderately mental—originative, inventive, but not speculative. Not warlike, but destructive.


Physical Character, viz:—
Medium sensibility; olive yellow complexion; hair thin, coarse, and black; little or no beard; broad, flattened, and triangular face; high, pyramidal, and square-shaped skull; forehead small and low; wide and small nose, particularly broad at the root; linear and highly arched eyebrows; very oblique eyes, broad, irregular, and half-closed, the upper eyelid extending a little beyond the lower; thick lips.


The Chinese, Mongolians, Japanese, Chin Indians, &c., and probably the Esquimaux, Toltecs, Aztecs, Peruvians.


Psychical or Spiritual Character, viz:—
Attributes generally equally developed. Moderately mental; not originative, or inventive, but speculative; roving, predatory, revengeful, and sensual. Warlike and highly destructive.


Physical Character.—Sub-medium sensibility; dark skin, more or less red, or of a copper-color tinge; hair black, straight, and strong; face broad, immediately under the eyes; high cheek-bones; nose prominent and distinct, particularly in profile; mouth and chin, European.


Most of the Tartar and Arabian tribes, and the whole of the American Indians, unless those mentioned in the second species should be excepted.


Psychical or Spiritual Character, viz:—
Attributes equally undeveloped. Inferiorly mental; not originative, inventive, or speculative; roving, revengeful, predatory, and highly sensual; warlike and destructive.


Physical Character.—Sluggish sensibility, approaching to torpor; dark or black skin; hair black, generally woolly; skull compressed on the sides, narrow at the forehead, which slants backwards; cheek-bones very prominent; jaws projecting; teeth oblique, and chin retreating, forming a muzzle-shaped profile; nose broad, flat, and confused with the face; eyes prominent; lips thick.


The Negroes of Central Africa, Hottentots, Cafirs, Australasian Negroes, &c.; and probably the Malays, &c.

Nat. Hist. of Man, p. 73 et passim.
If the reader will carefully examine the psychical characteristics of these groups, as given in the above extract, he will find them to accord better with the whole of Mr. Gobineau's theories, than Mr. Gobineau's own classification.—H.

173. It is probably a typographical error, that makes Mr. Flourens (Eloge de Blumenbach, p. 11) say that the Polynesian race was "a mixture of two others, the Caucasian and the Mongolian." The Black and the Mongolian is undoubtedly what the learned Academician wished to say.

174. This may be so in our eyes. It is natural for us to think those the most pleasing in appearance, that closest resemble our own type. But were an African to institute a comparative scale of beauty, would he not place his own race highest, and declare that "all races rose in the scale of beauty in proportion to the perfectness of the development" of African features? I think it extremely probable—nay, positively certain.

Mr. Hamilton Smith takes the same side as the author. "It is a mistaken notion," says he, "to believe that the standard contour of beauty and form differs materially in any country. Fashion may have the influence of setting up certain deformities for perfections, both at Pekin and at Paris, but they are invariably apologies which national pride offers for its own defects. The youthful beauty of Canton would be handsome (?) in London," etc.

Mr. Van Amringe, on the contrary, after a careful examination of the facts brought to light by travellers and other investigators, comes to the conclusion that "the standard of beauty in the different species (see p. 371, note) of man is wholly different, physically, morally, and intellectually. Consequently, that taste for personal beauty in each species is incompatible with the perception of sexual beauty out of the species." (Op. cit., p. 656.) "A difference of taste for sexual beauty in the several races of men is the great natural law which has been instrumental in separating them, and keeping them distinct, more effectually than mountains, deserts, or oceans. This separation has been perfect for the whole historic period, and continues to be now as wide as it is or has been in any distinct species of animals. Why has this been so? Did prejudice operate four thousand years ago exactly as it does now? If it did not, how came the races to separate into distinct masses at the very earliest known period, and, either voluntarily or by force, take up distinct geographical abodes?" (Ibid., pp. 41 and 42.)—H.

175. This inequality is not the less great, nor the less permanent, if we suppose each type to have its own standard. Nay, if the latter be true, it is a sign of a more radical difference among races.—H.

176. Upon the aborigines of America, consult Martius and Spix, Reise in Brasilien, vol. i. p. 259; upon the negroes, Pruner, Der Neger, eine aphoristische Skizze aus der medicinischen Topographie von Cairo. In regard to the superiority in muscular vigor over all other races, see Carus, Ueber ungl. Bef., p. 84.

177. Because we now find the Chinese apparently stationary, many persons unreflectingly conclude that they were always so; which would presuppose that the Chinese were placed upon earth with the faculty of making porcelain, gunpowder, paper, etc., somewhat after the manner in which bees make their cells. But in the annals of the Chinese empire, the date of many of their principal inventions is distinctly recorded. There was a long period of vigorous intellectual activity among that singular people, a period during which good books were written, and ingenious inventions made in rapid succession. This period has ceased, but the Chinese are not therefore stationary. They are retrograding. No Chinese workman can now make porcelain equal to that of former ages, which consequently bears an exorbitant price as an object of virtû. The secret of many of their arts has been lost, the practice of all is gradually deteriorating. No book of any note has been written these hundreds of years in that great empire. Hence their passionate attachment to everything old, which is not, as is so generally presumed, the cause of their stagnation: it is the sign of intellectual decadence, and the brake which prevents a still more rapid descent. Whenever a nation begins to extravagantly prize the productions of preceding ages, it is a confession that it can no longer equal them: it has begun to retrograde. But the very retrogression is a proof that there once was an opposite movement.

178. The fearful scenes of blood which the beginning of our century witnessed, had crowded the hospitals with wounded and dying. Professional nurses could afford little help after battles like those of Jena, of Eylau, of Feldbach, or of Leipsic. It was then that, in Northern Germany, thousands of ladies of the first families sacrificed their health, and, in too many instances, their lives, to the Christian duty of charity. Many of the noble houses still mourn the loss of some fair matron or maiden, who fell a victim to her self-devotion. In the late war between Denmark and Prussia, the Danish ladies displayed an equal zeal. Scutari also will be remembered in after ages as a monument of what the women of our race can do. But why revert to the past, and to distant scenes? Have we not daily proofs around us that the heroic virtues of by-gone ages still live in ours?

179. The word criticism has here been used by the translator in a sense somewhat unusual in the English language, where it is generally made to signify "the art of judging of literary or artistic productions." In a more comprehensive sense, it meansthe art of discriminating between truth and error, or rather, perhaps, between the probable and the improbable. In this sense, the word is often used by continental metaphysicians, and also, though less frequently, by English writers. As the definition is perfectly conformable to etymology, I have concluded to let the above passage stand as it is.—H.

180. It will be remembered that Mr. Gobineau speaks of Europe.—H.

181. The term "Radical" is used on the European continent to designate that party who desire thorough, uncompromising reform: the plucking out of evils by the root.—H.

182. The principles of government applied to practice at the formation of our Constitution, Mr. Gobineau considers as identical with those laid down at the beginning of every society founded by the Germanic race. In his succeeding volumes he mentions several analogues.—H.

183. M. J. Mohl, Rapport Annuel à la Société Asiatique, 1851, p. 92: "The Indian book trade of indigenous productions is extremely lively, and consists of a number of works which are never heard of in Europe, nor ever enter a European's library even in India. Mr. Springer asserts in a letter, that in the single town of Luknau there are thirteen lithographical establishments exclusively occupied with multiplying books for the schools, and he gives a list of considerable length of books, none of which have probably ever reached Europe. The same is the case in Delhi, Agra, Cawnpour, Allahabad, and other cities."

184. The Siamese are probably the most debased in morals of any people on earth. They belong to the remotest outskirts of the Indo-Chinese civilization; yet among them every one knows how to read and write. (Ritter, Erdkunde, Asien, vol. iii. p. 1152.)

185. No individual can encompass the whole circle of human knowledge: no civilization comprise at once all the improvements possible to humanity.—H.

186. The word Arab is here used instead of the more common, but less correct, term Saracen, which was the general appellation bestowed on the first propagators of the Islam by the Greeks and Latins. The Arab civilization reached its culminating point about the reign of Harun al Rashid. At that time, it comprised nearly all that remained of the arts and sciences of former ages. The splendor and magnificence for which it was distinguished, is even yet the theme of romancers and poets; and may be discerned to this day in the voluptuous and gorgeous modes of life among the higher classes in those countries where it still survives, as well as in the remains of Arab architecture in Spain, the best preserved and most beautiful of which is the well-known Alhambra. Though the Arab civilization had a decidedly sensual tendency and character, it was not without great benefits to mankind. From it our forefathers learned some valuable secrets of agriculture, and the first lessons in horticulture. The peach, the pear, the apricot, the finer varieties of apples and plums, and nearly all of our most valued fruits were brought into Western and Central Europe by the returning crusaders from the land of the Saracens. Many valuable processes of manufacture, and especially of the art of working metals, are derived from the same source. In the science of medicine, the Arabs laid the foundation of that noble structure we now admire. Though they were prevented by religious scruples from dissecting the human body, and, therefore, remained in ignorance of the most important facts of anatomy, they brought to light innumerable secrets of the healing powers in the vegetable kingdom; they first practised the art of distillation and of chemical analysis. They were the beginners of the science of Chemistry, to which they gave its name, and in which many of the commonest technical terms (such as alkali, alembic, alcohol, and many others), still attest their labors. In mathematical science they were no less industrious. To them we owe that simple and useful method which so greatly facilitates the more complex processes of calculation, without which, indeed, some of them would be impossible, and which still retains its Arabic name—Algebra. But what is more, to them we owe our system of notation, so vastly superior to that of the Greeks and Romans, so admirable in its efficacy and simplicity, that it has made arithmetic accessible to the humblest understanding; at the present time, the whole Christian world uses Arabic numerals.—H.

187. It is supposed by many that Turkey will ultimately be won to our civilization, and, as a proof of this, great stress is laid upon the efforts of the present Sultan, as well as his predecessor, to "Europeanize" the Turks. Whoever has carefully and unbiassedly studied the present condition of that nation, knows how unsuccessful these efforts, backed, though they were, by absolute authority, and by the immense influence of the whole of Western Europe, have hitherto been and always will be. It is a notorious fact, that the Turks fight less well in their semi-European dress and with their European tactics, of which so much was anticipated, than they did with their own. The Moslem now regards the Christian with the same feelings that he did in the zenith of his power, and these feelings are not the less bitter, because they can no longer be so ostentatiously displayed.—H.

188. The Arabs believed themselves the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Hagar. This belief, even before Mohammed's time, had been curiously blended with the idolatrous doctrines of some of their tribes.—H.

189. Philip, an Arabian adventurer who was prefect of the prætorian guards under the third Gordian, and who, through his boldness and ability, succeeded that sovereign on the throne in A. D. 244.—H.

190. Odenathus, senator of Palmyra, after Sapor, the King of Persia, had taken prisoner the Emperor of Rome, and was devastating the empire, met the ruthless conqueror with a body of Palmyrians, and several times routed his much more numerous armies. Being the only one who could protect the Eastern possessions of the Roman empire against the aggressions of the Persians, he was appointed Cæsar, or coadjutor to the emperor by Gallienus, the son of Valerian, the captive sovereign.—H.

191. The history of Zenobia, the Queen of the East, as she styled herself, and one of the most interesting characters in history, is well known. As in the preceding notes, I shall, therefore, merely draw attention to familiar facts, with a view to refresh the reader's memory, not to instruct him.

The famous Arabian queen was the widow of Odenathus, of Palmyra, who bequeathed to her his dignity as Cæsar, or protector of the Eastern dominions of Rome. It soon, however, became apparent that she disdained to owe allegiance to the Roman emperors, and aimed at establishing a new great empire for herself and her descendants. Though the most accomplished, as well as the most beautiful woman of her time, she led her armies in person, and was so eminently successful in her military enterprises that she soon extended her dominion from the Euphrates to the Nile. Palmyra thus became the centre and capital of a vast empire, which, as Mr. Gobineau observes, rivalled and even threatened Rome itself. She was, however, defeated by Aurelian, and, in A. D. 273, graced the triumph of her conqueror on his return to Rome.

The former splendor of the now deserted Palmyra is attested by the magnificent ruins which still form an inexhaustible theme for the admiration of the traveller and antiquarian.—H.

192. Though the mass of the nation were ignorant of letters, the Arabs had already before Mohammed's times some famous writers. They had even made voyages of discovery, in which they went as far as China. The earliest, and, as modern researches have proved, the most truthful, account of the manners and customs of that country is by Arab writers.—H.

193. At the time of the appearance of the false prophet, Arabia contained within its bosom every then known religious sect. This was owing not only to the central position of that country, but also to the liberty which was then as now a prerogative of the Arab. Among them every one was free to select or compose for himself his own private religion. While the adjacent countries were shaken by the storms of conquest and tyranny, the persecuted sects fled to the happy land where they might profess what they thought, and practice what they professed.

A religious persecution had driven from Persia many who professed the religion of the ancient Magi. The Jews also were early settlers in Arabia. Seven centuries before the death of Mohammed they had firmly established themselves there. The destruction of Jerusalem brought still greater numbers of these industrious exiles, who at once erected synagogues, and to protect the wealth they rapidly acquired, built and garrisoned strongly fortified towns in various portions of the wilderness. The Bible had at an early day been translated into the Arabic tongue. Christian missionaries were not wanting, and their active zeal was eminently successful. Several of the Arab tribes had become converts. There were Christian churches in Yemen; the states of Hira and Gassan were under the jurisdiction of Jacobite and Nestorian bishops. The various heretical sects found shelter and safety among the hospitable Arabs. But this very fact proved detrimental to the progress of the Christian religion, and opened the path for the creed of Mohammed. So many and various were the Christian sects that crowded together in that country, and so widely departed from the true spirit of Christianity were some of them, that bitter hostilities sprung up among them, and their religion fell into contempt. The Eastern Christians of the seventh century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of paganism, one of the sects (the Collyridian heretics) had even gone so far as to invest the virgin Mary with the name and honors of a goddess. This is what the author alludes to in saying that Christianity was losing favor in Arabia at the time of the appearance of Mohammed.—H.

194. The student of ecclesiastical history knows what a number of sects had sprung up about that time to distress and harass the Church. It is not so generally appreciated, however, that for the first hundred years, the progress of Islamism was almost exclusively at the expense of Christianity. The whole of the present Ottoman empire, and almost the whole northern coast of Africa were previously Christian countries. Whether the loss is greatly to be regretted, I know not, for the Syrians and Egyptians, from being very indifferent Christians, became good Mohammedans. These populations were to the Christian Church like a cankered limb, the lopping off of which may have been ordained by an all-wise Providence for the salvation of what was yet sound in the body.—H.

195. W. Von Humboldt. Ueber die Karo-Sprache, Einleitung, p. 243. "Durch die Richtung auf diese Bildung und durch innere Stammes-verwandschaft wurden sie wirklich für griechischen Geist und griechische Sprache empfänglich, da die Araber vorzugsweise nur an den wissenschaftlichen Resultaten griechischer Forschung hiengen."

196. I do not hesitate to consider as an unmistakable mark of intellectual inferiority, the exaggerated development of instincts that characterizes certain savages. The perfection which some of their senses acquire, cannot but be at the expense of the reasoning faculties. See, upon this subject, the opinions of Mr. Lesson des Papous, in a memoir inserted in the tenth volume of the Annales des Sciences Naturelles.

197. "The negro's sense of smell and of taste is as powerful as it is unselecting. He eats everything, and I have good reasons for asserting, that odors the most disagreeable to us, are positively pleasant to him." (Pruner, Op. cit., vol. i. p. 133.)

Mr. Pruner's assertions would, I think, be corroborated by every one who has lived much among the negroes. It is a notorious fact that the blacks on our southern plantations eat every animal they can lay hold of. I have seen them discuss a piece of fox, or the still more strongly flavored pole-cat, with evident relish. Nay, on one occasion, I have known a party of negroes feast on an alligator for a whole week, during which time they bartered their allowance of meat for trinkets. Upon my expressing surprise at so strange a repast, I was assured that it was by no means uncommon; that it was a favorite viand of the negroes in their native country, and that even here they often killed them with the prospect of a savory roast or stew. I am aware that some persons north of the Mason's & Dixon's line might be disposed to explain this by asserting that hunger drove them to such extremities; but I can testify, from my own observation, that this is not the case. In the instances I have mentioned, and in many others which are too repulsive to be committed to paper, the banqueters were well fed, and evidently made such a feast from choice. There are, in the Southern States, many of the poor white population who are neither so well clothed nor so well fed as these negroes were, and yet I never heard of their resorting to such dishes.

In regard to the negro's fondness for odors, I am less qualified to speak from my own observations, but nearly every description of the manners of his native climes that I have read, mentioned the fact of their besmearing themselves with the strong musky fluid secreted by many animals—the alligator, for instance. And I remember having heard woodsmen in the South say, that while the white man shuns the polecat more than he does the rattlesnake, and will make a considerable circuit to get out of its way, the negro is but little afraid of this formidable animal and its nauseous weapon.—H.

198. This is illustrated by many of their practices in their natural state. For instance, the well-known custom of putting to death, at the demise of some prince or great man, a number—corresponding with the rank of the deceased—of his slaves, in order that they may wait upon him in the other world. Hundreds of poor creatures are often thus massacred at the funeral celebrations in honor of some king or ruler. Yet it would be unjust to call the negro ferocious or cruel. It merely proves the slight estimation in which he holds human life.—H.

199. There is a callousness in the negro, which strikingly distinguishes him from the whites, though it is possessed in perhaps an equal degree by other races. I borrow from Mr. Van Amringe's Nat. Hist. of Man, a few remarks on this subject by Dr. Mosely, in his Treatise on Tropical Diseases: "Negroes," says the Doctor, "whatever the cause may be, are devoid of sensibility (physical) to a surprising degree. They are not subject to nervous diseases. They sleep sound in every disease, nor does any mental disturbance ever keep them awake. They bear chirurgical operations much better than white people, and what would be the cause of insupportable pain to a white man, a negro would almost disregard. I have amputated the legs of many negroes, who have held the upper part of the limb themselves." Every southern planter, and every physician of experience in the South, could bear witness to these facts.—H.

200. Thinking that it might not be uninteresting to some of our readers to see the views concerning the negro of another European writer besides Mr. Gobineau, I subjoin the following extract from Mr. Tschudi's Travels in South America. Mr. Tschudi is a Swiss naturalist of undoubted reputation, an experienced philosophic observer, and a candid seeker for truth. His opinion is somewhat harsher than would be that of a man who had resided among that class all his life, but it nevertheless contains some valuable truths, and is, at least, curious on account of the source whence it comes.

"In Lima, and, indeed, throughout the whole of Peru, the free negroes are a plague to society. Too indolent to support themselves by laborious industry, they readily fall into any dishonest means of getting money. Almost all the robbers that infest the roads on the coast of Peru are free negroes. Dishonesty seems to be a part of their very nature; and, moreover, all their tastes and inclinations are coarse and sensual. Many warm defenders excuse these qualities by ascribing them to the want of education, the recollection of slavery, the spirit of revenge, etc. But I here speak of free-born negroes, who are admitted into the houses of wealthy families, who, from their early childhood, have received as good an education as falls to the share of many of the white Creoles—who are treated with kindness and liberally remunerated, and yet they do not differ from their half-savage brethren who are shut out from these advantages. If the negro has learned to read and write, and has thereby made some little advance in education, he is transformed into a conceited coxcomb, who, instead of plundering travellers on the highway, finds in city life a sphere for the indulgence of his evil propensities.... My opinion is, that the negroes, in respect to capability for mental improvement, are far behind the Europeans; and that, considered in the aggregate, they will not, even with the advantages of careful education, attain a very high degree of cultivation. This is apparent from the structure of the skull, on which depends the development of the brain, and which, in the negro, approximates closely to the animal form. The imitative faculty of the monkey is highly developed in the negro, who readily seizes anything merely mechanical, whilst things demanding intelligence are beyond his reach. Sensuality is the impulse which controls the thoughts, the acts, the whole existence of the negroes. To them, freedom can be only nominal, for if they conduct themselves well, it is because they are compelled, not because they are inclined to do so. Herein lie at once the cause of, and the apology for, their bad character." (Travels in Peru, London, 1848, p. 110, et passim.)—H.

201. The sickening moral degradation of some of the branches of our species is well known to the student of anthropology, though, for obvious reasons, details of this kind cannot find a place in books destined for the general reader.—H.

202. As many of the terms of modern ethnography have not yet found their way into the dictionaries, I shall offer a short explanation of the meaning of this word, for the benefit of those readers who have not paid particular attention to that science.

The word "Arian" is derived from Aryas or Αριοι, respectively the indigenous and the Greek designation of the ancient Medes, and is applied to a race, or rather a family of races, whose original ethnological area is not as yet accurately defined, but who have gradually spread from the centre of Asia to the mouth of the Ganges, to the British Isles, and the northern extremities of Scandinavia. To this family of races belong, among others, the ancient Medes and Persians, the white conquerors of India (now forming the caste of the Brahmins), and the Germanic races. The whole group is often called Indo-European. The affinities between the Greek and the German languages had long been an interesting question to philologists; but Schlegel, I believe, was the first to discover the intimate relations between these two and the Sanscrit, and he applied to the whole three, and their collateral branches, the name of Indo-Germanic languages. The discovery attracted the attention both of philologists and ethnographers, and it is now indubitably proved that the civilizers of India, and the subverters of the Roman Empire are descended from the same ethnical stock. It is known that the Sanscrit is as unlike all other Indian languages, as the high-caste Brahmins are unlike the Pariahs and all the other aboriginal races of that country; and Latham has lately come to the conclusion that it has actually been carried to India from Europe. It will be seen from this that Mr. Gobineau, in his view of the origin of various civilizations, is supported in at least several of the most important instances.

It is a familiar saying that civilization travels westward: if we believe ethnologists, the Arian races have always migrated in that direction—from Central Asia to India, to Asia Minor, to Egypt, to Greece, to Western Europe, to the western coasts of the Atlantic, and the same impulse of migration is now carrying them to the Pacific.—H.

203. Natural History of Man and Monkeys.

204. Fauna and Flora within Living Animals, p. 9.

205. Doctrine of the Unity of the Human Race, p. 10.

206. We are told that the pigs in one department of France are all black, in another, all white, and local causes are assigned! When I was a boy, my father introduced what was then called the China hog into the Union District, South Carolina; they were black, with white faces. On a visit to that district about twelve years ago, I found the whole country for 40 miles covered with them. On a visit one year ago, I found they had been supplanted entirely by other breeds of different colors: the old familiar type had disappeared.

207. Op. cit., p. 177.

208. Domestication et Naturalization des Animaux utiles, par M. Isadore Geoffroy St. Hilaire, p. 71, Paris, 1854.

209. Ibid.

210. Columbia, p. 135.

211. De la Longevité Humaine, &c., par P. Flourens, Paris, 1855.

212. M. Flourens here, perhaps, speaks too positively. The blood of the apparently lost species will show itself from time to time for many, if not endless generations.

213. Op. cit.

214. Op. cit., p. 122.

215. It has been objected, that the drawings cannot be relied on, as some of these types are no longer to be found. But there are several well-marked types of domestic animals on the old monuments that no longer exist, because they have been supplanted by better breeds. In this country several varieties of the Indian dogs are rapidly disappearing for the same reason. The llama must give place, in the same way, to the cow and the horse. Many other instances may be cited.

216. Op. cit., p. 29. 1854.

217. Op. cit., p. 101.

218. Op. cit., p. 53.

219. Geographical Dist., p. 17.

This work, I believe, is not yet issued, but Dr. Pickering has kindly sent me the first 150 pages, as printed.

220. Prichard, Nat. Hist. of Man, p. 8. London, 1843.

221. See "Types of Mankind," by Nott and Gliddon.
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