THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PARTICUL

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.

Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:53 pm

Chapter 7: Influence of Christianity Upon Moral and Intellectual Diversity of Races

The term Christian civilization examined—Reasons for rejecting it—Intellectual diversity no hindrance to the universal diffusion of Christianity—Civilizing influence of Christian religion by elevating and purifying the morals, etc.; but does not remove intellectual disparities—Various instances—Cherokees—Difference between imitation and comprehension of civilized life.

By the foregoing observations, two facts seem to me clearly established: first, that there are branches of the human family incapable of spontaneous civilization, so long as they remain unmixed; and, secondly, that this innate incapacity cannot be overcome by external agencies, however powerful in their nature. It now remains to speak of the civilizing influence of Christianity, a subject which, on account of its extensive bearing, I have reserved for the last, in my consideration of the instruments of civilization.

The first question that suggests itself to the thinking mind, is a startling one. If some races are so vastly inferior in all respects, can they comprehend the truths of the gospel, or are they forever to be debarred from the blessing of salvation?

In answer, I unhesitatingly declare my firm conviction, that the pale of salvation is open to them all, and that all are endowed with equal capacity to enter it. Writers are not wanting who have asserted a contrary opinion. They dare to contradict the sacred promise of the Gospel, and deny the peculiar characteristic of our faith, which consists in its accessibility to all men. According to them, religions are confined within geographical limits which they cannot transgress. But the Christian religion knows no degrees of latitude or longitude. There is scarcely a nation, or a tribe, among whom it has not made converts. Statistics—imperfect, no doubt, but, as far as they go, reliable—show them in great numbers in the remotest parts of the globe: nomad Mongols, in the steppes of Asia, savage hunters in the table-lands of the Andes; dark-hued natives of an African clime; persecuted in China; [82] tortured in Madagascar; perishing under the lash in Japan.

But this universal capacity of receiving the light of the gospel must not be confounded, as is so often done, with a faculty of entirely different character, that of social improvement. This latter consists in being able to conceive new wants, which, being supplied, give rise to others, and gradually produce that perfection of the social and political system which we call civilization. While the former belongs equally to all races, whatever may be their disparity in other respects, the latter is of a purely intellectual character, and the prerogative of certain privileged groups, to the partial or even total exclusion of others.

With regard to Christianity, intellectual deficiencies cannot be a hindrance to a race. Our religion addresses itself to the lowly and simple, even in preference to the great and wise of this earth. Intellect and learning are not necessary to salvation. The most brilliant lights of our church were not always found among the body of the learned. The glorious martyrs, whom we venerate even above the skilful and erudite defender of the dogma, or the eloquent panegyrist of the faith, were men who sprang from the masses of the people; men, distinguished neither for worldly learning, nor brilliant talents, but for the simple virtues of their lives, their unwavering faith, their self-devotion. It is exactly in this that consists one great superiority of our religion over the most elaborate and ingenious systems devised by philosophers, that it is intelligible to the humblest capacity as well as to the highest. The poor Esquimaux of Labrador may be as good and as pure a Christian as the most learned prelate in Europe.

But we now come to an error which, in its various phases, has led to serious consequences. The utilitarian tendency of our age renders us prone to seek, even in things sacred, a character of material usefulness. We ascribe to the influence of Christianity a certain order of things, which we call Christian civilization.

To what political or social condition this term can be fitly applied, I confess myself unable to conceive. There certainly is a Pagan, a Brahmin, and Buddhistic, a Judaic civilization. There have been, and still are, societies so intimately connected with a more or less exclusive theological formula, that the civilizations peculiar to them, can only be designated by the name of their creed. In such societies, religion is the sole source of all political forms, all civil and social legislation; the groundwork of the whole civilization. This union of religious and temporal institutions, we find in the history of every nation of antiquity. Each country had its own peculiar divinity, which exercised a more or less direct influence in the government, [83] and from which laws and civilization were said to be immediately derived. It was only when paganism began to wane, that the politicians of Rome imagined a separation of temporal and religious power, by attempting a fusion of the different forms of worship, and proclaiming the dogma of legal toleration. When paganism was in its youth and vigor, each city had its Jupiter, Mercury, or Venus, and the local deity recognized neither in this world nor the next any but compatriots.

But, with Christianity, it is otherwise. It chooses no particular people, prescribes no form of government, no social system. It interferes not in temporal matters, has naught to do with the material world, "its kingdom is of another." Provided it succeeds in changing the interior man, external circumstances are of no import. If the convert fervently embraces the faith, and in all his actions tries to observe its prescriptions, it inquires not about the built of his dwelling, the cut of his garments, or the materials of which they are composed, his daily occupations, the regulations of his government, the degree of despotism, or of freedom, which pervades his political institutions. It leaves the Chinese in his robes, the Esquimaux in his seal-skins; the former to his rice, the latter to his fish-oil; and who would dare to assert that the prayers of both may not breathe as pure a faith as those of the civilized European? No mode of existence can attract its preference, none, however humble, its disdain. It attacks no form of government, no social institution; prescribes none, because it has adopted none. It teaches not the art of promoting worldly comforts, it teaches to despise them. What, then, can we call a Christian civilization? Had Christ, or his disciples, prescribed, or even recommended any particular political or social forms, [84] the term would then be applicable. But his law may be observed under all—of whatever nature—and is therefore superior to them all. It is justly and truly called the Catholic, or Universal.

And has Christianity, then, no civilizing influence? I shall be asked. Undoubtedly; and a very great one. Its precepts elevate and purify the soul, and, by their purely spiritual nature, disengage the mind from worldly things, and expand its powers. In a merely human point of view, the material benefits it confers on its followers are inestimable. It softens the manners, and facilitates the intercourse between man and his fellow-man; it mitigates violence, and weans him from corrosive vices. It is, therefore, a powerful promoter of his worldly interests. But it only expands the mind in proportion to the susceptibility of the mind for being expanded. It does not give intellect, or confer talents, though it may exalt both, and render them more useful. It does not create new capacities, though it fosters and develops those it finds. Where the capacities of an individual, or a race, are such as to admit an improvement in the mode of existence, it tends to produce it; where such capacities are not already, it does not give them. As it belongs to no particular civilization, it does not compel a nation to change its own. In fine, as it does not level all individuals to the same intellectual standard, so it does not raise all races to the same rank in the political assemblage of the nations of the earth. It is wrong, therefore, to consider the equal aptitude of all races for the true religion, as a proof of their intellectual equality. Though having embraced it, they will still display the same characteristic differences, and divergent or even opposite tendencies. A few examples will suffice to set my idea in a clearer light.

The major portion of the Indian tribes of South America have, for centuries, been received within the pale of the church, yet the European civilization, with which they are in constant contact, has never become their own. [85] The Cherokees, in the northern part of the same continent, have nearly all been converted by the Methodist missionaries. At this I am not surprised, but I should be greatly so, if these tribes, without mixing with the whites, were ever to form one of the States, and exercise any influence in Congress. The Moravians and Danish Lutheran missionaries in Labrador and Greenland, have opened the eyes of the Esquimaux to the light of religion; but their neophytes have remained in the same social condition in which they vegetated before. A still more forcible illustration is afforded by the Laplanders of Sweden, who have not emerged from the state of barbarism of their ancestors, though the doctrine of salvation was preached to them, and believed by them, centuries ago.

I sincerely believe that all these peoples may produce, and, perhaps, already have produced, persons remarkable for piety and pure morals; but I do not expect ever to see among them learned theologians, great statesmen, able military leaders, profound mathematicians, or distinguished artists;—any of those superior minds, whose number and perpetual succession are the cause of power in a preponderating race; much less those rare geniuses whose meteor-like appearance is productive of permanent good only when their countrymen are so constituted as to be able to understand them, and to advance under their direction. We cannot, therefore, call Christianity a promoter of civilization in the narrow and purely material sense of some writers.

Many of my readers, while admitting my observations in the main to be correct, will object that the modifying influence of religion upon the manners must produce a corresponding modification of the institutions, and finally in the whole social system. The propagators of the gospel, they will say, are almost always—though not necessarily—from a nation superior in civilization to the one they visit. In their personal intercourse, therefore, with their neophytes, the latter cannot but acquire new notions of material well-being. Even the political system may be greatly influenced by the relations between instructor and pupil. The missionary, while he provides for the spiritual welfare of his flock, will not either neglect their material wants. By his teaching and example, the savage will learn how to provide against famine, by tilling the soil. This improvement in his condition once effected, he will soon be led to build himself a better dwelling, and to practise some of the simpler useful arts. Gradually, and by careful training, he may acquire sufficient taste for things purely intellectual, to learn the alphabet, or even, as in the case of the Cherokees, to invent one himself. In course of time, if the missionaries' labors are crowned with success, they may, perhaps, so firmly implant their manners and mode of living among this formerly savage tribe, that the traveller will find among them well-cultivated fields, numerous flocks, and, like these same Cherokees, and the Creeks on the southern banks of the Arkansas, black slaves to work on their plantations.

Let us see how far facts correspond with this plausible argument. I shall select the two nations which are cited as being the furthest advanced in European civilization, and their example will, it seems to me, demonstrate beyond a doubt, how impossible it is for any race to pursue a career in which their own nature has not placed them.

The Cherokees and Creeks are said to be the remnants or descendants of the Alleghanian Race, the supposed builders of those great monuments of which we still find traces in the Mississippi Valley. If this be the case, these two nations may lay claim to a natural superiority over the other tribes of North America.

Deprived of their hereditary dominions by the American government, they were forced—under a treaty of transplantation—to emigrate to regions selected for them by the latter. There they were placed under the superintendence of the Minister of War, and of Protestant missionaries, who finally succeeded in persuading them to embrace the mode of life they now lead. Mr. Prichard, [86] my authority for these facts, and who derives them himself from the great work of Mr. Gallatin, [87] asserts that, while all the other Indian tribes are continually diminishing, these are steadily increasing in numbers. As a proof of this, he alleges that when Adair visited the Cherokee tribes, in 1762, the number of their warriors was estimated at 2,300; at present, their total population amounts to 15,000 souls, including about 1,200 negroes in their possession. When we consider that their schools, as well as churches, are directed by white missionaries; that the greater number of these missionaries—being Protestants—are probably married and have children and servants also white, besides, very likely, a sort of retinue of clerks and other European employees;—the increase of the aboriginal population becomes extremely doubtful, [88] while it is easy to conceive the pressure of the white race upon its pupils. Surrounded on all sides by the power of the United States, incommensurable to their imagination; converted to the religion of their masters, which they have, I think, sincerely embraced; treated kindly and judiciously by their spiritual guides; and exposed to the alternation of working or of starving in their contracted territory;—I can understand that it was possible to make them tillers of the earth.

It would be underrating the intelligence of the humblest, meanest specimen of our kind, to express surprise at such a result, when we see that, by dexterously and patiently acting upon the passions and wants of animals, we succeed in teaching them what their own instincts would never have taught them. Every village fair is filled with animals which are trained to perform the oddest tricks, and is it to be wondered at that men submitted to a rigorous system of training, and deprived of the means of escaping from it, should, in the end, be made to perform certain mechanical functions of civilized life; functions which, even in the savage state, they are capable of understanding, though they have not the will to practise them? This were placing human beings lower in the scale of creation than the learned pig, or Mr. Leonard's domino-playing dogs. [89] Such exultation on the part of the believers in the equality of races is little flattering to those who excite it.

I am aware that this exaggeration of the intellectual capacity of certain races is in a great measure provoked by the notions of some very learned and distinguished men, who pretend that between the lowest races of men, and the highest of apes there was but a shade of distinction. So gross an insult to the dignity of man, I indignantly reject. Certainly, in my estimation, the different races are very unequally endowed, both physically and mentally; but I should be loath to think that in any, even in the most degraded, the unmistakable line of demarcation between man and brute were effaced. I recognize no link of gradation which would connect man mentally with the brute creation.

But does it follow, that because the lowest of the human species is still unmistakably human, that all of that species are capable of the same development? Take a Bushman, the most hideous and stupid of human families, and by careful training you may teach him, or if he is already adult, his son, to learn and practise a handicraft, even one that requires a certain degree of intelligence. But are we warranted thence to conclude that the nation to which this individual belongs, is susceptible of adopting our civilization? There is a vast difference between mechanically practising handicrafts and arts, the products of an advanced civilization, and that civilization itself. Let us suppose that the Cherokee tribes were suddenly cut off from all connection with the American government, the traveller, a few years hence, would find among them very unexpected and singular institutions, resulting from their mixture with the whites, but partaking only feebly of the character of European civilization.

We often hear of negroes proficient in music, negroes who are clerks in counting-rooms, who can read, write, talk like the whites. We admire, and conclude that the negroes are capable of everything that whites are. Notwithstanding this admiration and these hasty conclusions, we express surprise at the contrast of Sclavonian civilization with ours. We aver that the Russian, Polish, Servish nations, are civilized only at the surface, that none but the higher classes are in possession of our ideas, and this, thanks to their intermixture with the English, French, and German stock; that the masses, on the contrary, evince a hopeless inaptitude for participating in the forward movement of Western Europe, although these masses have been Christians for centuries, many of them while our ancestors were heathens. Are the negroes, then, more closely allied to our race than the Sclavonic nations? On the one hand, we assert the intellectual equality of the white and black races; on the other, a disparity among subdivisions of our own race.

There is a vast difference between imitation and comprehension. The imitation of a civilization does not necessarily imply an eradication of the hereditary instincts. A nation can be said to have adopted a civilization, only when it has the power to progress in it unprompted, and without guidance. Instead of extolling the intelligence of savages in handling a plough, after being shown; in spelling and reading, after they have been taught; let a single example be alleged of a tribe in any of the numerous countries in contact with Europeans, which, with our religion, has also made the ideas, institutions, and manners of a European nation so completely its own, that the whole social and political machinery moves forward as easily and naturally as in our States. Let an example be alleged of an extra-European nation, among whom the art of printing produces effects analogous to those it produces among us; where new applications of our discoveries are attempted; where our systems of philosophy give birth to new systems; where our arts and sciences flourish.

But, no; I will be more moderate in my demands. I shall not ask of that nation to adopt, together with our faith, all in which consists our individuality. I shall suppose that it rejects it totally, and chooses one entirely different, adapted to its peculiar genius and circumstances. When the eyes of that nation open to the truths of the Gospel, it perceives that its earthly course is as encumbered and wretched as its spiritual life had hitherto been. It now begins the work of improvement, collects its ideas, which had hitherto remained fruitless, examines the notions of others, transforms them, and adapts them to its peculiar circumstances; in fact, erects, by its own power, a social and political system, a civilization, however humble. Where is there such a nation? The entire records of all history may be searched in vain for a single instance of a nation which, together with Christianity, adopted European civilization, or which—by the same grand change in its religious ideas—was led to form a civilization of its own, if it did not possess one already before.

On the contrary, I will show, in every part of the world, ethnical characteristics not in the least effaced by the adoption of Christianity. The Christian Mongol and Tartar tribes lead the same erratic life as their unconverted brethren, and are as distinct from the Russian of the same religion, who tills the soil, or plies his trade in their midst, as they were centuries ago. Nay, the very hostilities of race survive the adoption of a common religion, as we have already pointed out in a preceding chapter. The Christian religion, then, does not equalize the intellectual disparities of races.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:54 pm

Introductory Note to Chapters 8 and 9

Rapid survey of the populations comprised under the appellation "Teutonic"—Their present ethnological area, and leading characteristics—Fondness for the sea displayed by the Teutonic tribes of Northwestern Europe, and perceptible in their descendants.

Several of the ideas expressed by the author in the course of the two next following chapters, seemed to the annotator of this volume to call for a few remarks on his part, which could not conveniently be condensed within the limited space of foot-notes. Besides, the text is already sufficiently encumbered with them, and any increase in their length or number could not but be displeasing to the eye, while it would divert attention from the main subject. He has, therefore, taken the liberty—an unwarranted one, perhaps—of introducing his remarks in this form and place.

The leading proposition in this volume is, that the civilization originated and developed by a race, is the clearest index of its character—the mirror in which its principal features are truthfully reflected. In other words, that every race, capable of developing a civilization, will develop one peculiar to itself, and impossible to every other. This the author illustrates by the actual state of our civilization, which he asserts to be originated by the Teutonic race, but modified in proportion to the admixture of that race with a different blood. To clearly comprehend his idea, and to appreciate the value of his arguments, it is, therefore, necessary for the reader to take a rapid survey of the populations comprised under the appellation Teutonic, and to examine into the present geographical extension of that race. This I shall endeavor to do, not, indeed, by entering into an elaborate ethnological disquisition—a task greatly beyond my powers, and the due performance of which would require a space much larger than the whole of this volume—but by merely grouping together well-known facts, in such a manner as to set the author's idea in a clearer light.

The words Teutonic and Germanic are generally used synonymously, and we shall not depart from this custom. Strict accuracy, however, would probably require that the term Teutonic should be used as the general appellation of all those swarms of northern warriors, who, under various names, harassed and finally subverted the overgrown dominion of ancient Rome, while the term Germanic would apply to a portion of them only. The Northern Barbarians, as the Romans contemptuously styled them, all claimed to belong to the "Thiudu," or the nation par excellence, and from that word the term Teutonic is supposed to be derived. Many of their descendants still retain the name:Teutsch or Deutsch (German). The Romans called them Germanes, from the boastful title of "the warlike," or "the men of war," which the first invading tribes had given themselves. These Germanes of the Romans were again divided into two classes, the Saxon tribes, and the Suevic; terms expressive of their mode of life, the former having fixed habitations and inclosed farms, the latter cultivating the fields by turn, and being prone to change their abodes. The first class comprised many other tribes besides those who figure in history, under the name of Saxons, as the invaders and conquerors of Britain. But as I desire to avoid all not well-authorized distinctions, I shall use the terms Teutonic and Germanic indiscriminately.

The Germans appear to have been at all times an eminently warlike and courageous race. History first speaks of them as warriors alarming, nay, terrifying, the arrogant Romans, and that not in the infancy of Rome's power, when the Samnites and Volscians were formidable antagonists, but in the very fulness of its strength, in the first vigor of youthful manhood, when Italy, Spain, part of Gaul, the northern coasts of Africa, Greece, Syria, and Asia Minor, were subdued to the republican yoke. Then it was that the Cimbri and Teutones invaded and harassed Italy, chilling the mistress of the world with fear.

The Germans next meet us in Cæsar's Commentaries. The principal resistance which the future usurper experienced in subduing Gaul, appears to have been offered, not by the Gallic population, but either by German tribes, settled in that country, or German armies from the right banks of the Rhine, who longed to dispute the tempting prize with the Romans. The great general twice crossed the Rhine, but probably more for the éclat of such an exploit, than with the hope of making permanent conquests. The temporary successes gained by his imperial successors were amply counterbalanced by the massacre of the flower of the Roman armies.

At the end of the first five centuries after Christ, nothing was left of the great Roman empire but ruins. Every country in Northern, Western, and Southern Europe acknowledged German masters. The tribes of the extreme north had entered Russia, and there established a powerful republic; the tribes of the northwest (the Angles and Saxons) had conquered Britain; a confederation of the southern tribes, under the name of Franks, had conquered Gaul; the various Gothic tribes of the east, the Heruli, the Longobardi, Ostrogoths, etc., had subjected Italy to their arms, and disputed its possession among themselves. Other Gothic tribes (the Visigoths, Burgundians, and Vandals) had shared with the Franks the beautiful tracts of Gaul, or had carried their victorious arms to Spain, and the northern coasts of Africa. The three most beautiful and most fertile countries of Europe, to this day, retain the name of their conquerors—England, France, Lombardy.

It is impossible now to determine with accuracy the amount of German blood in the populations of the various states founded by the Teutonic tribes. Yet certain general results are easily arrived at in this interesting investigation.

Thus, we know that Germany, notwithstanding its name, contains by no means a pure Germanic population. The fierce Scythian hordes, whom Attila led on to the work of devastation, after the death of their leader, incorporated themselves with various of the Teutonic tribes. They form one of the ethnical elements of the population of Italy, but especially of the south and southeast of Germany. While, therefore, the population of Northern Germany is comparatively pure Teutonic, that of the southern and eastern portion is a mixture of Teutonic and Sclavonian elements.

The Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians, are probably the most Germanic nations of continental Europe.

In Spain, the Visigoths were, in a great measure, absorbed by the native population, consisting of the aboriginal Celtiberians and the numerous Roman colonists. In the tenth century, an amalgamation began with the eastern blood brought by the Arab conquerors.

Italy, already at the time of the downfall of Rome, contained an extremely mixed population, drawn thither by the all-absorbing vortex of the Eternal City. In the north, the Germanic element had time to engraft itself in some measure; but the south, passing into the hands of the Byzantine emperors, received an addition of the already mixed Greek blood of the east.

Gaul, at the time of the Frankish conquest, was an extremely populous country. Beside the aboriginal Gauls, the population consisted of numerous Roman colonists. The Mediterranean coast of Gaul had, from the earliest times, received Phenician, Carthaginian, and Greek settlers, who founded there large and prosperous cities. The original differences in the population of Gaul are to this day perceptible. The Germanic element preponderates in the north, where already, in Cæsar's time, the Germans had succeeded in making permanent settlements, and in the northeast, where the Burgundians had well-nigh extirpated and completely supplanted the Gallic natives. [90] But everywhere else, [91] the Germanic element forms but a small portion of the population, and this is well illustrated by the striking resemblance of the character of the modern French to that of the ancient Gauls. But though vastly inferior in numbers, the descendants of the German conquerors, for one thousand years, were the dominant race in France. Until the fifteenth century, all the higher nobility were of Frankish or Burgundian origin. But, after the Celtic and Celto-Roman provinces south of the Loire had rallied around a youthful king, to reconquer their capital and best territories from the English foe, the Frankish blood ruled with less exclusive sway in all the higher offices of the state; and the distinction was almost entirely lost by the accession of the first southern dynasty, that of the Bourbons, towards the end of the sixteenth century. The corresponding variations in the national policy and the exterior manifestations of the national character, Mr. Gobineau has rapidly pointed out elsewhere. [92]

While the population of France presents so great a mixture of various different races, and but a slight infusion of German blood, that of England, on the contrary, is almost purely Teutonic. The original inhabitants of the country were, for the most part, driven into the mountain fastnesses of Wales by the German invaders, where they preserve, to this day, their original language. Every subsequent great addition to the population of England was by the German race. The Danes, and, after them, the Normans, were tribes of the same stock as the Saxons, and all came from very nearly the same portion of Europe. It is obvious, therefore, that England, even after the Norman conquest, when, for a time, the upper and the lower classes spoke different languages, contained a more homogeneous population than France did at the same, or any subsequent epoch. In England, from the Saxon yeoman up to the proudest Norman lord, all belonged to the great German race; in France, only the nobility, while the peasants were Gauls. The wars between the two countries afford a striking proof of the difference of these two races. The battles of Cressy, of Poitiers, and of Agincourt, which will never be forgotten so long as English poetry can find an echo in an English breast, were won by the English against greatly superior numbers. "Victories, indeed, they were," says Macaulay, "of which a nation may justly be proud; for they are to be attributed to the moral superiority of the victors, a superiority which was most striking in the lowest ranks. The knights of England found worthy rivals in the knights of France. Chandos encountered an equal foe in Du Guesclin. But France had no infantry that dared to face the English bows and bills." The Celt has probably, at no time, been inferior to the Teuton in valor; in martial enthusiasm, he exceeds him. But, at a time when bodily strength decided the combat, the difference between the sturdy Saxon and the small, slight—though active—Gaul, must have been great.

In this rapid and necessarily imperfect sketch, I have endeavored to show the relative proportion of the Teutonic blood in the population of the various countries of Europe. I have endeavored to direct the reader's attention to the fact, that though it forms an element in the population of all, it exists in perfect purity in but few, and that England presents a happy fusion of some of the most distinguished branches of the German family. If we now glance at the United States, we shall there find—at least in the first years of her national existence—a pendant to what has been asserted of England. The elements of the population of the original thirteen States, were almost exclusively of English, Lowland Scotch, Dutch, and Swedish blood; that is to say, decidedly Germanic. Ireland was as yet slightly represented. France had made but inconsiderable contributions to the population. Since we have assumed a rank among the great powers of the earth, every portion of the inhabited globe has sent us its contingent of blood, yet even now, the great body of the nation belongs to the Teutonic race.

Much has been said of the effects of ethnical mixture. Many consider it as decidedly beneficial, others as decidedly deleterious. It seems to me susceptible of mathematical demonstration, that when a very inferior race amalgamates with one of higher order, the compound—though superior to the one, must be inferior to the other. In that case, therefore, mixture is injurious. But when various branches of the same race, or nearly cognate races mix, as in the case of the Saxons, Angles, Danes, and Normans, the mixture cannot but be beneficial. For, while none of the higher qualities are lost, the compound presents a felicitous combination of some of the virtues peculiar to each.

]If our civilization received its tone and character from the Teutonic race, as Mr. Gobineau asserts, this character must be most strikingly displayed wherever that race forms the preponderating element of the population.

Before investigating this question, we must cast a glance on the manners and modes of thinking that characterized this race in the earliest times. Unfortunately, but few records are left to assist us in forming a judgment. Tacitus's celebrated treatise was, probably, more an imaginary sketch, which he wished to hold up to a people sunk in luxury and vice, as were his countrymen. In our times, the North American Indian has often been held up as a model of uncorrupted simplicity, and many touching romances have been written on the theme, now rather hackneyed and out of fashion. But though the noble Roman may have highly colored the picture, the incorruptible love of truth, which shines so brilliantly in all his works, assures us of the truth of its outlines.

Of one thing we can entertain no doubt, viz: that history nowhere shows us our Germanic forefathers in the same state of barbarism that we find other races—many of the American Indians, the South-Sea Islanders, and others. In the earliest times they practised agriculture, they cultivated rye, barley, oats and wheat. Many of the tribes had regular farms, which were inclosed. They knew how to work iron, an art which even the most civilized of the American Indians had never learned. They had extensive and complicated political relations, often forming themselves in vast confederacies. But, above all, they were an eminently chaste people; they respected woman, [93] and assigned to her her legitimate place in the social circle. Marriage with them was a sacred institution.

The greatest point of superiority of our civilization, over all preceding and contemporaneous ones—a point which Mr. Gobineau has omitted to mention—is the high rank which woman occupies in the modern structure of society. The boasted civilizations of Greece and Rome, if superior in others, are vastly inferior to us in this respect. And this glorious superiority we owe to the pure and chaste manners of our forefathers.

Representative government, trial by jury, and all the discoveries in political science upon which we pride ourselves most, are the necessary development of their simple institutions, to which, indeed, they can be distinctly traced.

I have purposely selected these two characteristics of the German races—respect for woman, and love of liberty, or, what is more, a capacity for establishing and preserving liberal institutions. The question now resolves itself into this: Does woman occupy the highest rank, do liberal institutions best flourish where the Germanic race is most pure? I will not answer the question, but beg the reader to compare the more Germanic countries with those that are less so—England, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Northern Germany, with France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Russia; the United States and Canada, with Mexico and the South American republics.

Mr. Gobineau speaks of the utilitarian character of the Germanic races, but furnishes no proofs of his assertion. I shall therefore endeavor to supply the deficiency.

Those countries which ethnology tells us contain the most Germanic populations, viz: England, the northern States of Europe, including Holland, and the United States, have the entire commerce, and nearly all the manufacture of the whole world in their hands. They have given to mankind all the great inventions which shed an everlasting lustre over our era. They, together, possess nine-tenths of all the railroads built in the world, and the greater part of the remaining tenth was built by their enterprise and capital. Whatever perfection in the useful arts one of these countries attains, is readily adopted by all; slowly only, and sometimes never by any of the others.

On the other hand, we find that the polite arts do not meet, in these countries, with a very congenial soil. Artists may flock thither, and, perhaps, reap a harvest of gold; but they seldom stay. The admiration which they receive is oftenest the mere dictate of fashion. It is true that England, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, and the United States, have produced some eminent artists, but the mass of the population do not exhibit that innate taste, that passionate fondness for the arts, which we find among all classes in Italy, Spain, and to some extent in France and Southern Germany.

Before I conclude this hasty sketch, for which I crave the reader's indulgence, I wish to draw attention to a striking instance of the permanency of ethnical characteristics. The nations that most fondly and most successfully plough the briny main, are the English, the Americans, the Swedes, Danes, Dutch. Notwithstanding the littleness of these latter, they have successfully competed in maritime discovery with larger nations; and even now, own considerable and far distant colonial possessions. The Dutch, for a time, were the greatest maritime power in the world, and to this day carry on an extensive and profitable commerce. History tells us that the forefathers of these nations were distinguished by the same nautical genius.

The real Saxons—the invaders of England—are mentioned already in the middle of the second century, by Ptolemy, as skilful sailors. In the fourth and fifth century, they became dreaded from their piracies. They and their confederates, the Angles, originally inhabited the present Holstein, and the islands in the vicinity of the Baltic coast. Their neighbors, the Danes, were equally famous for maritime exploits. Their celebrated vykings still live in song and tale. Their piratical incursions and settlements in England, are known to every schoolboy. How familiar the Normans were with the watery element, is abundantly proved by history. They ascended the Rhine, and other rivers, for hundreds of miles, marking their landing-place by devastation.

Of the Angle, the Saxon, the Dane, and the Norman, the present Englishman and his adventurous brother of Massachusetts, are lineal descendants. The best sailors in our commercial navy, next to the native sailors, are the Danes and the Swedes. Normandy, to this day, furnishes the best for the French service.—H.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:54 pm

Chapter 8: Civilization

Mr. Guizot's and Mr. W. von Humboldt's definitions examined. Its elements.

The reader will here pardon me an indispensable digression. I make use at almost every moment of a term comprising in its extensive signification a collection of ideas which it is important to define accurately: civilization. The greater or less degree in which this term is applicable to the social condition of various nations, is my only standard for the comparative merit of races. I also speak of a European civilization, in contradistinction to others of a different character. It is the more necessary to avoid the least vagueness, as I am under the disagreeable necessity of differing from a celebrated writer, who has assumed the special task of determining the meaning and comprehensiveness of this expression.

Mr. Guizot, in his History of Civilization in Modern Europe, makes use of a term which seems to me to give rise to a serious confusion of ideas, and lead to positive errors. He says that civilization is a fact.

Now, either the word fact must here be understood in a sense much less strict and precise than common usage requires, a sense so indistinct—I might almost say elastic—as has never pertained to it, or what we comprehend under the term civilization cannot be expressed by the word fact. Civilization is not a fact; it is a series, a concatenation of facts, more or less logically united, and resulting from ideas often sufficiently diverse: ideas and facts continually reproduce each other. Civilization is a term applied to a certain state or condition in which a society exists—a condition which is of its own creation, bears its character, and, in turn, reacts upon it. This condition is of so variable a nature, that it cannot be called a fact; for a fact cannot be variable without ceasing to be a fact. In other words, there is more than one civilization: there are various kinds. Thus, a civilization may flourish under every form of government, and it does not cease to exist when civil commotions destroy or alter that form.

Let it not be understood that I esteem governmental forms of little importance. Their choice is intimately connected with the prosperity of the society: if judicious, promoting and developing it; if unpractical, endangering its destruction. But I speak not here of the temporary prosperity or misery of a society. I speak of its civilization; and this is a phenomenon whose causes must be sought elsewhere, and deeper than in transient political forms. Its character, its growth, fecundity, or barrenness, depends upon elementary principles of far greater importance.

But, in Mr. Guizot's opinion, civilization is a fact, a unity; and it is of an essentially political character. Let us see how he defines it. He has chosen a series of hypotheses, describing society in various conditions, and then asks if the state so described is, in the general opinion of mankind, the state of a people advancing in civilization—if it answers to the signification which mankind generally attaches to this word. [94]

"First imagine a people whose outward circumstances are easy and agreeable; few taxes; few hardships; justice is fairly administered; in a word, physical existence, taken altogether, is satisfactorily and happily regulated. But, with all this, the moral and intellectual energies of this people are studiously kept in a state of torpor and inertness. It can hardly be called oppression; its tendency is not of that character—it is rather compression. We are not without examples of this state of society. There have been a great number of little aristocratic republics, in which the people have been thus treated like a flock of sheep, carefully tended, physically happy, but without the least intellectual and moral activity. Is this civilization? Do we recognize here a people in a state of moral and social advancement?"

I know not whether such a people is in a state of advancement, but it certainly may be in a very advanced state of civilization, else we should find ourselves compelled to class among the savages or barbarians all those aristocratic republics of ancient and modern times, which answer Mr. Guizot's description. But the common sense of mankind would never ratify a method which ejected from within the pale of civilization not only the Phenicians, Carthaginians, and Lacedæmonians, but even Venice, Genoa, Pisa, the free cities of Germany—in fact, all the powerful municipalities of the last centuries. But, besides this mode of proceeding being too paradoxical and restrictive, it seems to me to encounter another difficulty. Those little aristocratic states, to whom, on account of their form of government, Mr. Guizot denies the aptitude for civilization, have, for the most part, never been in possession of a special culture peculiar to themselves. Powerful as many of them have been, they assimilated, in this respect, with nations differently governed, but of consanguineous affinity; they formed a fragment only of a greater and more general civilization. Thus, the Carthaginians and Phenicians, though at a great distance from one another, had a similar mode of culture, the type of which must be sought in Assyria. The Italian republics participated in the same ideas and opinions which developed themselves in the bosom of neighboring monarchies. The imperial cities of Thuringia and Suabia, although perfectly independent in a political point of view, were nevertheless intimately united with the general progressive or retrogressive movement of the whole German race. Mr. Guizot, therefore, by assigning to the people of different countries degrees of merit proportionate to the degree and form of their liberty, creates unjustifiable subdivisions in the same race, and makes distinctions without a difference. A lengthy discussion is not in its place here, and I shall therefore proceed rapidly. If, however, it were necessary to enter into a controversy, might we not justly protest against recognizing any inferiority in the case of Genoa, Pisa, Venice, and others, when compared with countries like Milan, Naples, or Rome?

Mr. Guizot has himself foreseen this difficulty, and removed the objection. If he does not recognize a state of civilization among a people "mildly governed, but in a state of compression," neither does he accord this prerogative to another, "whose outward circumstances are less favorable and agreeable, although supportable, but whose intellectual and moral cravings have not been entirely neglected; among whom pure and elevated sentiments have been cultivated, and religious and moral notions reached a certain degree of improvement, but among whom the desire of liberty has been stifled; where a certain portion of truth is doled out to each, but no one permitted to seek for it himself. This is the condition to which most of the populations of Asia are sunk, because theocratical governments there restrain the progress of mankind; such, for instance, is the state of the Hindoos."

Thus, besides the aristocratic nations of the earth, we must moreover exclude from the pale of civilization the Hindoos, Egyptians, Etruscans, Peruvians, Thibetans, Japanese—nay, even modern Rome and her territories.

I omit the last two hypotheses, because, thanks to the first two, the state of civilization is already restricted within boundaries so contracted that scarce any people on the globe is justified in pretending to it. A nation, then, can be called civilized only when it enjoys institutions happily blending popular liberty and the requisite strength of authority for maintaining order; when its progress in material well-being and its moral development are co-ordinate in a certain manner, and no other; where religion, as well as government, is confined within limits accurately defined, which neither ever transgresses; where each individual possesses clearly determinate and inalienable rights. According to this formula, no nation can be civilized unless its political institutions are of the constitutional and representative form, and consequently it is impossible to save many European nations from the reproach of barbarism. Then, measuring the degree of civilization by the perfection of this same and only political form, we are compelled to place in a second rank all those constitutional states which have ill employed the engine of parliament, to reserve the crown exclusively for those who know how to make good use of it. By this reasoning, I am forced to consider as truly civilized, in the past as well as the present, none but the single English nation. [95]

I sincerely respect and admire that great people, whose victories, industry, and universal commerce have left no portion of our globe ignorant of its puissance and the prodigies it has performed. But still, I do not feel disposed to respect and admire in the world no other: it would seem to me too humiliating and cruel to humanity to confess that, since the beginning of time, it has never succeeded in producing a civilization anywhere but upon a small island of the Western Ocean, has never discovered the laws and forms which produce this state until the reign of William and Mary. Such a conception of civilization might seem to many rather a little too narrow and restrictive. But there is another objection. If we attach the idea of civilization to a political form, reason, observation, and science will soon lose their vote in the decision of the question, which must thenceforth be left to the passions and prejudices of parties. There will be some whose preferences will lead them stoutly to deny that the institutions of the British Isles are the "perfection of human reason:" their enthusiasm, perchance, will be expended in praising the order established in St. Petersburg or in Vienna. Many, again, and perhaps the greater number of all living between the Rhine and the Pyrenees, will sustain to the last that, notwithstanding a few blemishes, the most polished, the most civilized country of the world is la belle France. The moment that the decision of the degree of intellectual culture becomes a matter of preference, a question of sentiment, to come to an understanding is impossible. Each one will think him the man most advanced in civilization who shall coincide with his views about the respective duties of the governing and the governed; while those who are unfortunate enough to differ, will be set down as men behind the age, little better than barbarians, mere "old fogies," whose visual organs are too weak for the dazzling lights of the epoch; or else as daring, incendiary innovators, who wish to destroy all established order, and sap the very foundation of civilization. I think few will differ from me in considering Mr. Guizot's definition as defective, and the source from which he derives civilization as not the real one.

Let us now examine Baron W. Von Humboldt's definition. "Civilization," says that celebrated statesman, "is the humanization of nations in their outward institutions, in their manners, and in the inward feelings upon which these depend." [96]

Here we meet with a defect of the very opposite kind to that which I took the liberty to point out in Mr. Guizot's definition. The formula is too vague, the boundary lines too indistinct. If civilization consists in a softening of manners, more than one untutored tribe, some extremely low in the scale of races, might take precedence over several European nations whose character contains more acerbity. There are in the South Sea Islands, and elsewhere, very inoffensive populations, of exceedingly gentle manners, and kind, accommodating dispositions; yet, though we may praise them, no one would think of placing them, in the scale of civilization, above the rough Norwegians, or even above the ferocious Malays, who, dressed in brilliant garments of their own fabric, and upon skilfully constructed vessels of their own making, traverse the Indian seas, at the same time the terror and scourge of maritime commerce, and its most successful votaries. This observation could not escape so great a mind as William Von Humboldt's; and he therefore imagines, besides civilization, a higher degree of development, which he calls culture, and by which he declares that nations gain, above their gentle manners, "science and the arts." [97] When the world shall have arrived at this higher state, it will be peopled by affectionate andsympathetic beings, very erudite, poetic, and artistic, but, by reason of this same reunion of qualities, ignoring the grosser wants of existence: strangers to the necessity of war, as well as those of rude mechanical toil.

When we reflect upon the limited leisure that the mass of even those can enjoy whose lot is cast in the happiest epoch, to abandon themselves to purely intellectual occupations—when we consider how incessant and arduous must ever be the strife of man with nature and the elements to insure the mere means of subsistence, it will soon be perceived that the philosopher of Berlin aimed less at depicting realities than at drawing from the domain of abstraction certain entities which appeared to him beautiful and sublime, and which are so, indeed, and at causing them to act and move in a sphere as ideal as themselves. If any doubts should still remain in this respect, they are soon dispelled when we arrive at the culminating point of the system, consisting of a third and last degree superior to the two others. This greatest point of perfection is that upon which stands the finished man (der Gebildete); that is to say, the man who, in his nature, possesses "something higher and more inward or essential; a clear and comprehensive faculty of seeing all things in their true light; a recognition and appreciation of the ultimate goal of man's moral and intellectual aspirations, which diffuses itself harmoniously over all his feelings and his character." [98]

We here have a regular gradation from man in a civilized or "humanized" state, to the man of cultivation—the philosopher, the poet, the artist; and thence still higher to the finished, the perfect man, who has attained the greatest elevation possible to our species; a man who, if I seize rightly Mr. Humboldt's idea, had his living counterpart in Gœthe, as that towering mind is described to us in its olympic serenity. This theory rests upon no other basis than Mr. Von Humboldt's perception of the immense difference between the civilization of a nation and the comparative height of perfection attained by great, isolated individualities. This difference is so great that civilizations different from ours, and perhaps inferior to it, have produced men in some respects superior to those we admire most.

Upon this point I fully coincide with the great philosopher whose theory I am unfolding. It is perfectly correct, that our state of development—what we call the European civilization—produces neither the profoundest nor the sublimest thinkers, nor the greatest poets, nor the most skilful artists. Yet I venture to differ from the illustrious philologist in believing that to give a practical meaning to the word civilization, it is necessary to divest one's self, if but for a moment, from the prejudices or prepossessions resulting from the examination of mere details in any particular civilization. We must take the aggregate result of the whole, and not make the requisites too few, as in the case of the man of the first degree, whom I persist in not acknowledging as civilized merely because his manners are gentle; nor too many, as in the case of the sage of the third, for then the development of human faculties would be limited to a few individuals, and would produce results purely isolated and typical.

The Baron Von Humboldt's system, however, does honor to that exquisite and generous sensibility, that grand sublimity which was the dominant characteristic of this great mind; and in its purely abstract nature may be compared to the fragile worlds of Brahmin philosophy. Born from the brain of a slumbering god, they rise in the air like the irised bubbles that the child blows from the suds, bursting and succeeding one another as the dreams that amuse the celestial sleeper.

But the character of my researches permits me not to indulge in mere abstractions, however brilliant and attractive; I must arrive at results tangible to practical sense and common experience. I do not wish, like Mr. Guizot, to investigate the conditions more or less favorable to the prosperity of societies, nor, like Mr. William Von Humboldt, to speculate upon the isolated elevation of individual intelligences; my purpose is to encompass, if possible, the aggregate power, moral as well as material, which is developed in great masses of men. It is not without trepidation that I engage in a path in which two of the most admired men of our century have lost themselves; and to avoid the errors into which they have fallen, I shall descend to first principles, and define civilization by first investigating from what causes it results. If the reader, then, will follow me patiently and attentively through the mazes into which I am forced to enter, I shall endeavor to throw as much light as I am capable of, upon this inherently obscure and abstruse subject.

There is no human being so degraded, so brutish, in whom a twofold instinct, if I may be permitted so to call it, is not manifest; the instinct which incites to the gratification of material wants, and that which leads to higher aspirations. The degree of intensity of either of these two is the first and principal measure of the differences among races. In none, not even in the lowest tribes, are the two instincts precisely balanced. Among some, the physical wants or animal propensities preponderate; in others, these are subordinate to the speculative tendencies—the cravings for the abstract, the supernatural. Thus, the lowest of the yellow races seem to me to be dominated rather by the first, the physical instinct, without, however, being absolutely deprived of all capacity for abstractions. On the contrary, among the majority of the black races of corresponding rank, the habits are less active than pensive; imagination there attaches greater value to the things of the invisible than to those of the visible world. I do not thence deduce any conclusion of superior capacity for civilization on the part of those latter races over the former, for history demonstrates that both are equally insusceptible to attain it. Centuries, thousands of years, have passed by without either of them doing aught to ameliorate their condition, because they have never been able to associate a sufficient number of ideas with the same number of facts, to begin the march of progress. I wish merely to draw attention to the fact, that even among the lowest races we find this double current differently constituted. I shall now follow the ascending scale.

Above the Samoyedes on the one hand, and the Fidas and Pelagian negroes on the other, we must place those tribes who are not content with a mere hut of branches, and a social condition based upon force only, but who are capable of comprehending and aspiring to a better condition. These are one degree above the most barbarous.

If they belong to the first category of races—those who act more than they think, among whom the material tendency predominates over that for the abstract—their development will display itself in a greater perfection of their instruments of labor, and of war, in a greater care and skill in their ornaments, etc. In government, the warriors will take precedence over the priests; in their intercourse with others, they will show a certain aptitude and readiness for trafficking. Their wars, though still characterized by cruelty, will originate rather in a love of gain, than in the mere gratification of vindictive passions. In one word, material well-being, physical enjoyments, will be the main pursuit of each individual. I find this picture realized among several of the Mongol races, and also, to some extent, among the Quichuas and Azmaras of Peru.

On the other hand, if they belong to the second category—to those who have a predominating tendency for the speculative, the abstract—less care will be bestowed upon the material interests; the influence of the priests will preponderate in the government; in fact, we perceive a complete antithesis to the condition above described. The Dahomees, of Western Africa, and the Caffres of the south, are examples of this state.

Leaving those races whose progressive tendency is not sufficiently vigorous to enable them to extend their influence over great multitudes, [99] we come to those of a higher order, in whom this tendency is so vigorous that they are capable of incorporating, and bringing within their sphere of action, all those they come in contact with. They soon ingraft their own social and political system upon immense multitudes, and impose upon vast countries the dominion of that combination of facts and ideas—more or less co-ordinate—which we call a civilization. Among these races, again, we find the same difference, the same division, that I already pointed out in those of inferior merit—in some the speculative, in others the more materially active tendency predominates. It is, indeed, among these races only, that this difference has important consequences, and is clearly perceptible. When a tribe, by incorporating with it great multitudes, has become a people, has founded a vast dominion, we find that these two currents or tendencies have augmented in strength, according to the character of the populations which enter into the combination, and there become blended. Whatever tendency prevails among these populations, they will proportionably modify the character of the whole. It will be remarked, moreover, that at different periods of the life of a people, and in strict accordance with the mixture of blood and the fusion of different elements, the oscillation between the two tendencies becomes more violent, and it may happen that their relative proportion changes altogether; that one, at first subordinate, in time becomes predominant. The results of this mobility are important, as they influence, in a sensible manner, the character of a civilization, and its stability. [100]

For the sake of simplicity, I shall distinguish the two categories of races by designations expressive of the tendency which predominates in them, and shall call them accordingly, either speculative or utilitarian. [101] As I have before observed, these terms imply neither praise nor blame. I use them merely for convenience, to designate the leading characteristic, without thereby expressing a total absence of the other. Thus, the most utilitarian of the speculative races would closely approximate to the most speculative of the utilitarian. At the head of the utilitarian category, as its type, I place the Chinese; at the head, and as the type of the other, the Hindoos. Next to the Chinese I would put the majority of the populations of ancient Italy, the first Romans of the time of the republic, and the Germanic tribes. On the opposite side, among the speculative races, I would range next to the Hindoos, the Egyptians, and the nations of the Assyrian empire.

I have said already that the oscillations of the two principles or tendencies sometimes result in the preponderance of one, which before was subordinate, and thus the character of the civilization is changed. Minor modifications, the history of almost every people presents. Thus, even the materialistic utilitarian tendency of the Chinese has been somewhat modified by their amalgamation with tribes of another blood, and a different tendency. In the south, the Yunnan particularly, where this population prevailed, the inhabitants are much less exclusively utilitarian than in the north, where the Chinese element is more pure. If this admixture of blood operated so slight a change in the genius of that immense nation, that its effects have ceased, or make themselves perceptible only in an exceedingly slow manner, it is because its quantity was so extremely small, compared to the utilitarian population by which it was absorbed.

Into the actual populations of Europe, the Germanic tribes infused a strong utilitarian tendency, and in the north, this has been continually recruited by new accessions of the same ethnical element; but in the south (with some exceptions, Piedmont, and the North of Spain, for example), the Germanic element forms not so great a portion of the whole mass, and the utilitarian tendency has there been overweighed by the opposite genius of the native populations.

Among the speculative races we have signalized the Hindoos. They are endowed in a high degree with the tendency for the supernatural, the abstract. Their character is more meditative than active and practical. As their ancient conquests incorporated with them races of a similar disposition, the utilitarian element has never prevailed sufficiently to produce decided results. While, therefore, their civilization has arrived at a high degree of perfection in other respects, it has lagged far behind in all that promotes material comfort, in all that is strictly useful and practical.

Rome, at first strictly utilitarian, changed its character gradually as the fusion with Greek, Asiatic, and African elements proceeded, and when once the ancient utilitarian population was absorbed in this ethnical inundation, the practical character of Rome was lost.

From the consideration of these and similar facts, I arrive at the conclusion, that all intellectual or moral activity results from the combined action and mutual reaction of these two tendencies, and that the social system can arrive at that development which entitles it to the name of civilization, only in races which possess, in a high degree, either of the two, without being too much deficient in the other.

I now proceed to the examination of other points also deserving of notice.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:55 pm

Chapter 9: Elements of Civilization -- Continued

Definition of the term—Specific differences of civilizations—Hindoo, Chinese, European, Greek, and Roman civilizations—Universality of Chinese civilization—Superficiality of ours—Picture of the social condition of France.

When a tribe, impelled by more vigorous instincts than its neighbors, succeeds in collecting the hitherto scattered and isolated fragments into a compact whole, the first impetus of progress is thus given, the corner-stone of a civilization laid. But, to produce great and lasting results, a mere political preponderance is not sufficient. The dominant race must know how to lay hold of the feelings of the masses it has aggregated, to assimilate their individual interests, and to concentrate their energies to the same purposes. When the different elements composing the nation are thus blended into a more or less homogeneous mass, certain principles and modes of thinking become general, and form the standard around which all rally. These principles and modes of thinking, however, cannot be arbitrarily imposed, and must be resulting from, and in the main consonant with, pre-existing sentiments and desires. [102] They will be characterized by a utilitarian or a speculative tendency, according to the degree in which either instinct predominates in the constituent elements of the nation.

This harmony of views and interests is the first essential to civilization; the second is stability, and is a natural consequence of the first. The general principles upon which the political and social system rests, being based upon instincts common to all, are by all regarded with the most affectionate veneration, and firmly believed to be perpetual. The purer a race remains, the more conservative will it be in its institutions, for its instincts never change. But the admixture of foreign blood produces proportionate modifications in the national ideas. The new-comers introduce instincts and notions which were not calculated upon in the social edifice. Alterations therefore become necessary, and these are often wholesome, especially in the youthful period of the society, when the new ethnical elements have not as yet acquired an undue preponderance. But, as the empire increases, and comprises elements more and more heterogeneous, the changes become more radical, and are not always for the better. Finally, as the initiatory and conservative element disappears, the different parts of the nation are no longer united by common instincts and interests; the original institutions are not adapted to their wants; sudden and total transformations become common, and a vain phantom of stability is pursued through endless experiments. But, while thus vacillating betwixt conflicting interests, and changing its purpose every hour, the nation imagines itself advancing to some imaginary goal of perfection. Firmly convinced of its own perpetuity, it holds fast to the doctrine which its daily acts disprove, that one of the principal features of a civilization is God-like immutability. And though each day brings forth new discontents and new changes equally futile, the apprehensions of the day are quieted with the expectations of to-morrow.

I have said that the conditions necessary for the development of a civilization are—the aggregation of large masses, and stable institutions resulting from common views and interests. The sociable inclinations of man, and the less noble attributes of his nature, perform the rest. While the former bring him in intimate and varied connections with his fellow-men, the latter give rise to continual contests and emulation. In a large community, a strong fist is no longer sufficient to insure protection and give distinction, and the resources of the mind are applied and developed. Intellect continually seeks and finds new fields for exertion, either in the regions of the abstract, or in the material world. By its productions in either, we recognize an advanced state of society. The most common source of error in judging foreign nations, is that we are apt to look merely at the exterior demonstrations of their civilization, and because, in this respect, their civilization does not resemble ours, we hastily conclude that they are barbarous, or, at least, greatly inferior to us. A conclusion, drawn from such premises, must needs be very superficial, and therefore ought to be received with caution.

I believe myself now prepared to express my idea of a civilization, by defining it as

A state of comparative stability, in which a large collection of individuals strive, by peaceful means, to satisfy their wants, and refine their intelligence and manners.

This definition includes, without exception, all the nations which I have mentioned as being civilized. But, as these nations have few points of resemblance, the question suggests itself: Do not, then, all civilizations tend to the same results? I think not; for, as the nations called to the noble task of accomplishing a civilization, are endowed with the utilitarian and speculative tendencies in various degrees and proportions, their paths must necessarily lie in very divergent directions.

What are the material wants of the Hindoo? Rice and butter for his nourishment, and a piece of cotton cloth for his garment. Nor can this abstemiousness be accounted for by climate, for the native of Thibet, under a much more rigorous sky, displays the same quality. In these peoples, the imaginative faculty greatly predominates, their intellectual efforts are directed to abstractions, and the fruits of their civilization are therefore seldom of a practical or utilitarian character. Magnificent temples are hewn out of mountains of solid rock at an expense of labor and time that terrifies the imagination; gigantic constructions are erected;—all this in honor of the gods, while nothing is done for man's benefit, unless it be tombs. By the side of the miracles wrought by the sculptor's chisel, we admire the finished masterpieces of a literature full of vigor, and as ingenious and subtle in theology and metaphysics, as beautiful in its variety: in speculative efforts, human thought descends without trepidation to immeasurable depths; its lyric poetry challenges the admiration of all mankind.

But if we leave the domain of idealistic reveries, and seek for inventions of practical utility, and for the sciences that are their theoretical basis, we find a deplorable deficiency. From a dazzling height, we suddenly find ourselves descended to a profound and darksome abyss. Useful inventions are scarce, of a petty character, and, being neglected, remain barren of results. While the Chinese observed and invented a great deal, the Hindoos invented but little, and of that little took no care; the Greeks, also, have left us much information, but little worthy of their genius; and the Romans, once arrived at the culminating point of their history, could no longer make any real progress, for the Asiatic admixture in which they were absorbed with surprising rapidity, produced a population incapable of the patient and toilsome investigation of stern realities. Their administrative genius, however, their legislation, and the useful monuments with which they provided the soil of their territories, attest sufficiently the practical character which, at one time, so eminently characterized that people; and prove that if the South of Europe had not been so rapidly submerged with colonists from Asia and the North of Africa, positive science would have been the gainer, and less would have been left to be accomplished by the Germanic races, which afterward gave it a renewed impulse.

The Germanic conquerors of the fifth century were characterized by instincts of a similar kind to those of the Chinese, but of a higher order. While they possessed the utilitarian tendency as strongly, if not stronger, they had, at the same time, a much greater endowment of the speculative. Their disposition presented a happy blending of these two mainsprings of activity. Where-ever the Teutonic blood predominates, the utilitarian tendency, ennobled and refined by the speculative, is unmistakable. In England, North America, and Holland, this tendency governs and preponderates over all the other national instincts. It is so, in a lesser degree, in Belgium, and even in the North of France, where everything susceptible of practical application is understood with marvellous facility. But as we advance further south, this predisposition is less apparent, and, finally, disappears altogether. We cannot attribute this to the action of the sun, for the Piedmontese live in a much warmer climate than the Provençals and the inhabitants of the Languedoc; it is the effect of blood.

The series of speculative races, or those rendered so by admixture, occupies the greater portion of the globe, and this observation is particularly applicable to Europe. With the exception of the Teutonic family, and a portion of the Sclavonic, all other groups of our part of the world are but slightly endowed with the faculty for the useful and practical; or, having already acted their part in the world's history, will not be able to recommence it. All these races, from the Gaul to the Celtiberian, and thence to the variegated compounds of the Italian populations, present a descending scale from a utilitarian point of view. Not that they are devoid of all the aptitudes of that tendency, but they are wanting in some of the most essential.

The union of the Germanic tribes with the races of the ancient world, this engrafting of a vigorous utilitarian principle upon the ideas of that variegated compound, produced our civilization; the richness, diversity, and fecundity of our state of culture is the natural result of that combination of so many different elements, which each contributed their part, and which the practical vigor of our Germanic ancestors, succeeded in blending into a more or less harmonious whole.

Wherever our state of civilization extends, it is characterized by two traits; the first, that the population contains a greater or less admixture of Teutonic blood; the other, that it is Christian. This last feature, however, as I said before, though the most obvious and striking, is by no means essential, because many nations are Christian, and many more may become so, without participating in our civilization. But the first feature is positive, decisive. Wherever the Germanic element has not penetrated, our civilization cannot flourish. [103]

This leads me to the investigation of a serious and important question: "Can it be asserted that all the European nations are really and thoroughly civilized?" Do the ideas and facts which rise upon the surface of our civilization, strike root in the basis of our social and political structure, and derive their vitality from that source? Are the results of these ideas and facts such as are conformable to the instincts, the tendencies, of the masses? Or, in other words, have the lowest strata of our populations the same direction of thought and action as the highest—that direction which we may call the spirit or genius of our progressive movement?

To arrive at a true and unbiassed solution of this question, let us examine other civilizations, different from ours, and then institute a comparison.

The similarity of views and ideas, the unity of purpose, which characterized the whole body of citizens in the Grecian states, during the brilliant period of their history, has been justly admired. Upon every essential point, the opinions of every individual, though often conflicting, were, nevertheless, derived from the same source, emanated from the same general views and sentiments; individuals might differ in politics, one wishing a more oligarchical, another a more democratic government; or they might differ in religion, one worshipping, by preference, the Eleusinian Ceres, another the Minerva of the Parthenon; or in matters of taste, one might prefer Æschylus to Sophocles, Alceus to Pindar. At the bottom, the disputants all participated in the same views and ideas, ideas which might well be called national. The question was one of degree, not of kind. [104]

Rome, previous to the Punic wars, presented the same spectacle; the civilization of the country was uniform, and embraced all, from the master to the slave. [105] All might not participate in it to the same extent, but all participated in it and in no other.

But in Rome, after the Punic wars, and in Greece, soon after Pericles, and especially after Philip of Macedon, this character of homogeneity began to disappear. The greater mixture of nations produced a corresponding mixture of civilizations, and the compound thus formed exceeded in variety, elegance, refinement, and learning, the ancient mode of culture. But it had this capital inconvenience, both in Hellas and in Italy, that it belonged exclusively to the higher classes. Its nature, its merits, its tendencies, were ignored by the sub-strata of the population. Let us take the civilization of Rome after the Asiatic wars. It was a grand, magnificent monument of human genius. It had a cosmopolitan character: the rhetoricians of Greece contributed to it the transcendental spirit, the jurists and publicists of Syria and Alexandria gave it a code of atheistic, levelling, and monarchical laws—each part of the empire furnished to the common store some portion of its ideas, its sciences, and its character. But whom did this civilization embrace? The men engaged in the public administration or in great monetary enterprises, the people of wealth and of leisure. It was merely submitted to, not adopted by the masses. The populations of Europe understood nothing of those Asiatic and African contributions to the civilization; the inhabitants of Egypt, Numidia, or Asia, were equally uninterested in what came from Gaul and Spain, countries with which they had nothing in common. But a small minority of the Roman people stood on the pinnacle, and being in possession of the secret, valued it. The rest, those not included in the aristocracy of wealth and position, preserved the civilization peculiar to the land of their birth, or, perhaps, had none at all. Here, then, we have an example of a great and highly perfected civilization, dominating over untold millions, but founding its reign not in their desires or convictions, but in their exhaustion, their weakness, their listlessness.

A very different spectacle is presented in China. The boundless extent of that empire includes, indeed, several races markedly distinct, but I shall speak at present only of the national race, the Chinese proper. One spirit animates the whole of this immense multitude, which is counted by hundreds of millions. Whatever we think of their civilization, whether we admire or censure the principles upon which it is based, the results which it has produced, and the direction which it takes; we cannot deny that it pervades all ranks, that every individual takes in it a definite and intelligent part. And this is not because the country is free, in our sense of the word: there is no democratic principle which secures, by law, to every one the position which his efforts may attain, and thus spurs him on to exertions. No; I discard all Utopian pictures. The peasant and the man of the middle classes, in the Celestial Empire, are no better assured of rising by their own merit only, than they are elsewhere. It is true that, in theory, public honors are solely the reward of merit, and every one is permitted to offer himself as a candidate; [106] but it is well known that, in reality, the families of great functionaries monopolize all lucrative offices, and that the scholastic diplomas often cost more money than efforts of study. But disappointed or hopeless ambition never leads the possessor to imagine a different system; the aim of the reformer is to remedy the abuses of the established organization, not to substitute another. The masses may groan under ills and abuses, but the fault is charged, not to the social and political system, which to them is an object of unqualified admiration, but to the persons to whose care the performance of its duties is committed. The head of the government, or his functionaries, may become unpopular, but the form itself, the government, never. A very remarkable feature of the Chinese is that among them primary instruction is so universal; it reaches classes whom we hardly imagine to have any need of it. The cheapness of books, the immense number and low price of the schools, enable even the poorest to acquire the elements of knowledge, reading and writing. [107] The laws, their spirit and tendency, are well known and understood by all classes, and the government prides itself upon facilitating the study of this useful science. [108] The instinct of the masses is decidedly averse to all political convulsions. Mr. Davis, who was commissioner of H. B. Majesty in China, and who studied its affairs with the assiduity of a man who is interested in understanding them well, says that the character of the people cannot be better expressed than by calling them "a nation of steady conservatives." [109]

Here, then, we have a most striking contrast to the civilization of Rome in her latter days, when governmental changes occurred in fearfully rapid succession, until the arrival of the nations of the north. In every portion of that vast empire, there were whole populations that had no interest in the preservation of established order, and were ever ready to second the maddest schemes, to embark in any enterprise that seemed to promise advantage, or that was represented in seductive colors by some ambitious demagogue. During that long period of several centuries, no scheme was left untried: property, religion, the sanctity of family relations, were all called in question, and innovators in every portion of the empire, found multitudes ever disposed to carry their theories into practice by force. Nothing in the Greco-Roman world rested on a solid basis, not even the imperial unity, so indispensable, it would seem, to the mere self-preservation of such a state of society. It was not only the armies, with their swarm of improvisto Cæsars, that undertook the task of shaking this palladium of national safety; the emperors themselves, beginning with Diocletian, had so little faith in monarchy, that they willingly made the experiment of dualism in the government, and finally found four at a time not too many for governing the empire. [110] I repeat it, not one institution, not one principle, was stable in that wretched state of society, which continued to preserve some outward form, merely from the physical impossibility of assuming any others, until the men of the north came to assist in its demolition.

Between these two great societies, then, the Roman empire, and that of China, we perceive the most complete contrast. By the side of the civilization of Eastern Asia, I may mention that of India, Thibet, and other portions of Central Asia, which is equally universal, and diffused among all ranks and classes. As in China there is a certain level of information to which all attain, so in Hindostan, every one is animated by the same spirit; each individual knows precisely what his caste requires him to learn, to think, to believe. Among the Buddhists of Thibet, and the table-lands of Asia, nothing is rarer than to find a peasant who cannot read, and there everybody has the same convictions upon important subjects.

Do we find this homogeneity in European nations? It is scarce worth while to put the question. Not even the Greco-Roman empire presents incongruities so strange, or contrasts so striking, as are to be found among us; not only among the various nationalities of Europe, but in the bosom of the same sovereignty. I shall not speak of Russia, and the states that form the Austrian empire; the demonstration of my position would there be too facile. Let us turn to Germany; to Italy, Southern Italy in particular; to Spain, which, though in a less degree, presents a similar picture; or to France.

I select France. The difference of manners, in various parts of this country, has struck even the most superficial observer, and it has long since been observed that Paris is separated from the rest of France by a line of demarcation so decided and accurately defined, that at the very gates of the capital, a nation is found, utterly different from that within the walls. Nothing can be more true: those who attach to our political unity the idea of similarity of thoughts, of character—in fine, of nationality, are laboring under a great delusion. There is not one principle that governs society and is connected with our civilization, which is understood in the same manner in all our departments. I do not speak here merely of the peculiarities that characterize the native of Normandy, of Brittany, Angevin, Limousin, Gascony, Provence. Every one knows how little alike these various populations are. [111] and how they differ in their tendencies and modes of thinking. I wish to draw attention to the fact, that while in China, Thibet, India, the most essential ideas upon which the civilization is based, are common to all classes, participated in by all, it is by no means so among us. The very rudiments of our knowledge, the most elementary and most generally accessible portion of it, remain an impenetrable mystery to our rural populations, among whom but few individuals are found acquainted with reading and writing. This is not for want of opportunities—it is because no value is attached to these acquisitions, because their utility is not perceived. I speak from my own observation, and that of persons who had ample facilities, and brought extensive information and great judgment to the task of investigation. Government has made the most praiseworthy efforts to remedy the evil, to raise the peasantry from the sink of ignorance in which they vegetate. But the wisest laws, and the most carefully calculated institutions have proved abortive. The smallest village affords ample opportunities for common education; even the adult, when conscription forces him into the army, finds in the regimental schools every facility for acquiring the most necessary branches of knowledge. Compulsion is resorted to—every one who has lived in the provinces knows with what success. Parents send their children to school with undisguised repugnance, for they regret the time thus spent as wasted, and, therefore, eagerly seize the most trifling pretext for withdrawing them, and never suffer them to exceed the legal term of attendance. So soon as the young man leaves school, or the soldier has served his time, they hasten to forget what they were compelled to learn, and what they are heartily ashamed of. They return forever after to the local patois [112] of their birthplace, and pretend to have forgotten the French language, which, indeed, is but too often true. It is a painful conclusion, but one which many and careful observations have forced upon me, that all the generous private and public endeavors to instruct our rural population, are absolutely futile, and can tend no further than to enforce an outward compliance. They care not for the knowledge we wish to give them—they will not have it, and this not from mere negligence or apathy, but from a feeling of positive hostility to our civilization. This is a startling assertion, but I have not yet adduced all the proofs in support of it.

In those parts of the country where the laboring classes are employed in manufactures principally, and in the great cities, the workmen are easily induced to learn to read and write. The circumstances with which they are surrounded, leave them no doubt as to the practical advantages accruing to them from these acquisitions. But so soon as these men have sufficiently mastered the first elements of knowledge, to what use do they, for the most part, apply them? To imbibe or give vent to ideas and sentiments the most subversive of all social order. The instinctive, but passive hostility to our civilization, is superseded by a bitter and active enmity, often productive of the most fearful calamities. It is among these classes that the projectors of the wildest, most incendiary schemes readily recruit their partisans; that the advocates of socialism, community of goods and wives, all, in fact, who, under the pretext of removing the ills and abuses that afflict the social system, propose to tear it down, find ready listeners and zealous believers.

There are, however, portions of the country to which this picture does not apply; and these exceptions furnish me with another proof in favor of my proposition. Among the agricultural and manufacturing populations of the north and northeast, information is general; it is readily received, and, once received, retained and productive of good fruits. These people are intelligent, well-informed, and orderly, like their neighbors in Belgium and the whole of the Netherlands. And these, also, are the populations most closely akin to the Teutonic race, the race which, as I said in another place, gave the initiative to our civilization.

The aversion to our civilization, of which I spoke, is not the only singular feature in the character of our rural populations. If we penetrate into the privacy of their thoughts and beliefs, we make discoveries equally striking and startling. The bishops and parish clergy have to this day, as they had one, five, or fifteen centuries ago, to battle with mysterious superstitions, or hereditary tendencies, some of which are the more formidable as they are seldom openly avowed, and can, therefore, be neither attacked nor conquered. There is no enlightened priest, that has the care of his flock at heart, but knows from experience with what deep cunning the peasant, however devout, knows how to conceal in his own bosom some fondly cherished traditional idea or belief, which reveals itself only at long intervals, and without his knowledge. If he is spoken to about it, he denies or evades the discussion, but remains unshaken in his convictions. He has unbounded confidence in his pastor, unbounded except upon this one subject, that might not inappropriately be called his secret religion. Hence that taciturnity and reserve which, in all our provinces, is the most marked characteristic of the peasant, and which he never for a moment lays aside towards the class he calls bourgeois; that impassable barrier between him and even the most popular and well-intentioned landed proprietor of his district.

It must not be supposed that this results merely from rudeness and ignorance. Were it so, we might console ourselves with the hope that they will gradually improve and assimilate with the more enlightened classes. But these people are precisely like certain savages; at a superficial glance they appear unreflecting and brutish, because their exterior is humble, and their character requires to be studied. But so soon as we penetrate, however little, into their own circle of ideas, the feelings that govern their private life, we discover that in their obstinate isolation from our civilization, they are not actuated by a feeling of degradation. Their affections and antipathies do not arise from mere accidental circumstances, but, on the contrary, are in accordance with logical reasoning based upon well-defined and clearly conceived ideas. [113] In speaking of their religious notions awhile ago, I should have remarked what an immense distance there is between our doctrines of morals and those of the peasantry, how widely different are their ideas from those which we attach to the same word. [114] With what pertinacious obstinacy they continue to look upon every one not peasant like themselves, as the people of remote antiquity looked upon a foreigner. It is true they do not kill him, thanks to the singular and mysterious terror which the laws, in the making of which they have no part, inspire them; but they hate him cordially, distrust him, and if they can do so without too great a risk, fleece him without scruple and with immense satisfaction. Yet they are not wicked or ill-disposed. Among themselves they are kind-hearted, charitable, and obliging. But then they regard themselves as a distinct race—a race, they tell you—that is weak, oppressed, and that must resort to cunning and stratagem to gain their due, but which, nevertheless, preserves its pride and contempt for all others. In many of our provinces, the laborer believes himself of much better stock than his former lord or present employer. The family pride of many of our peasants is, to say the least, as great as that of the nobility during the Middle Ages. [115]

It cannot be doubted that the lower strata of the population of France have few features in common with the higher. Our civilization penetrates but little below the surface. The great mass is indifferent—nay, positively hostile to it. The most tragic events have stained the country with torrents of blood, unparalleled convulsions have destroyed every ancient fabric, both social and political. Yet the agricultural populations have never been roused from their apathetic indifference, [116] have never taken any other part but that to which they were forced. When their own personal and immediate interests were not at stake, they allowed the tempests to blow by without concern, without even passive sympathy on one side or the other. Many persons, frightened and scandalized at this spectacle, have declared the peasantry as irreclaimably perverse. This is at the same time an injustice, and a very false appreciation of their character. The peasants regard us almost as their enemies. They comprehend nothing of our civilization, contribute nothing to it of their own accord, and they think themselves authorized to profit by its disasters, whenever they can. Apart from this antagonism, which sometimes displays itself in an active, but oftener in a passive manner, it cannot be doubted that they possess moral qualities of a high order, though often singularly applied.

Such is the state of civilization in France. It may be asserted that of a population of thirty-six millions, ten participate in the ideas and mode of thinking upon which our civilization is based, while the remaining twenty-six altogether ignore them, are indifferent and even hostile to them, and this computation would, I think, be even more flattering than the real truth. Nor is France an exception in this respect. The picture I have given applies to the greater part of Europe. Our civilization is suspended, as it were, over an unfathomable gulf, at the bottom of which there slumber elements which may, one day, be roused and prove fearfully, irresistibly destructive. This is an awful, an ominous truth. Upon its ultimate consequences it is painful to reflect. Wisdom may, perhaps, foresee the storm, but can do little to avert it.

But ignored, despised, or hated as it is by the greater number of those over whom it extends its dominion, our civilization is, nevertheless, one of the grandest, most glorious monuments of the human mind. In the inventive, initiatory quality it does not surpass, or even equal some of its predecessors, but in comprehensiveness it surpasses all. From this comprehensiveness arise its powers of appropriation, of conquest; for, to comprehend is to seize, to possess. It has appropriated all their acquisitions, and has remodelled, reconstructed them. It did not create the exact sciences, but it has given them their exactitude, and has disembarrassed them from the divagations from which, by a singular paradox, they were anciently less free than any other branch of knowledge. Thanks to its discoveries, the material world is better known than at any other epoch. The laws by which nature is governed, it has, in a great measure, succeeded in unveiling, and it has applied them so as to produce results truly wonderful. Gradually, and by the clearness and correctness of its induction, it has reconstructed immense fragments of history, of which the ancients had no knowledge; and as it recedes from the primitive ages of the world, it penetrates further into the mist that obscures them. These are great points of superiority, and which cannot be contested.

But these being admitted, are we authorized to conclude—as is so generally assumed as a matter of course—that the characteristics of our civilization are such as to entitle it to the pre-eminence among all others? Let us examine what are its peculiar excellencies. Thanks to the prodigious number of various elements that contributed to its formation, it has an eclectic character which none of its predecessors or contemporaries possess. It unites and combines so many various qualities and faculties, that its progress is equally facile in all directions; and it has powers of analysis and generalization so great, that it can embrace and appropriate all things, and, what is more, apply them to practical purposes. In other words, it advances at once in a number of different directions, and makes valuable conquests in all, but it cannot be said that it advances at the same time furthest in all. Variety, perhaps, rather than great intensity, is its characteristic. If we compare its progress in any one direction with what has been done by others in the same, we shall find that in few, indeed, can our civilization claim pre-eminence. I shall select three of the most striking features of every civilization; the art of government, the state of the fine arts, and refinement of manners.

In the art of government, the civilization of Europe has arrived at no positive result. In this respect, it has been unable to assume a definite character. It has laid down no principles. In every country over which its dominion extends, it is subservient to the exigencies of the various races which it has aggregated, but not united. In England, Holland, Naples, and Russia, political forms are still in a state of comparative stability, because either the whole population, or the dominant portion of it, is composed of the same or homogeneous elements. But everywhere else, especially in France, Central Italy, and Germany, where the ethnical diversity is boundless, governmental theories have never risen to the dignity of recognized truth; political science consisted in an endless series of experiments. Our civilization, therefore, being unable to assume a definite political feature, is devoid, in this respect, of that stability which I comprised as an essential feature in my definition of a civilization. This impotency is not found in many other civilizations which we deem inferior. In the Celestial Empire, in the Buddhistic and Brahminical societies, the political feature of the civilization is clearly enounced, and clearly understood by each individual member. In matters of politics all think alike; under a wise administration, when the secular institutions produce beneficent fruits, all rejoice; when in unskilled or malignant hands, they endanger the public welfare, it is a misfortune to be regretted as we regret our own faults; but no circumstance can abate the respect and admiration with which they are regarded. It may be desirable to correct abuses that have crept into them, but never to replace them by others. It cannot be denied that these civilizations, therefore, whatever we may think of them in other respects, enjoy a guarantee of durability, of longevity, in which ours is sadly wanting.

With regard to the arts, our civilization is decidedly inferior to others. Whether we aim at the grand or the beautiful, we cannot rival either the imposing grandeur of the civilization of Egypt, of India, or even of the ancient American empires, nor the elegant beauty of that of Greece. Centuries hence—when the span of time allotted to us shall have been consumed, when our civilization, like all that preceded it, shall have sunk in the dim shades of the past, and have become a matter of inquiry only to the historical student—some future traveller may wander among the forests and marshes on the banks of the Thames, the Seine, or the Rhine, but he will find no glorious monuments of our grandeur; no sumptuous or gigantic ruins like those of Philæ, of Nineveh, of Athens, of Salsetta, or of Tenochtitlan. A remote posterity may venerate our memory as their preceptors in exact sciences. They may admire our ingenuity, our patience, the perfection to which we have carried inductive reasoning—not so our conquests in the regions of the abstract. In poesy we can bequeath them nothing. The boundless admiration which we bestow upon the productions of foreign civilizations both past and present, is a positive proof of our own inferiority in this respect. [117]

Perhaps the most striking features of a civilization, though not a true standard of its merit, is the degree of refinement which it has attained. By refinement I mean all the luxuries and amenities of life, the regulations of social intercourse, delicacy of habits and tastes. It cannot be denied that in all these we do not surpass, nor even equal, many former as well as contemporaneous civilizations. We cannot rival the magnificence of the latter days of Rome, or of the Byzantine empire; we can but imagine the gorgeous luxury of Eastern civilizations; and in our own past history we find periods when the modes of living were more sumptuous, polished intercourse regulated by a higher and more exacting standard, when taste was more cultivated, and habits more refined. It is true, that we are amply compensated by a greater and more general diffusion of the comforts of life; but in its exterior manifestations, our civilization compares unfavorably with many others, and might almost be called shabby.

Before concluding this digression upon civilization, which has already extended perhaps too far, it may not be unnecessary to reiterate the principal ideas which I wished to present to the mind of the reader. I have endeavored to show that every civilization derives its peculiar character from the race which gave the initiatory impulse. The alteration of this initiatory principle produces corresponding modifications, and even total changes, in the character of the civilization. Thus our civilization owes its origin to the Teutonic race, whose leading characteristic was an elevated utilitarianism. But as these races ingrafted their mode of culture upon stocks essentially different, the character of the civilization has been variously modified according to the elements which it combined and amalgamated. The civilization of a nation, therefore, exhibits the kind and degree of their capabilities. It is the mirror in which they reflect their individuality.

I shall now return to the natural order of my deductions, the series of which is yet far from being complete. I commenced by enouncing the truth that the existence and annihilation of human societies depended upon immutable and uniform laws. I have proved the insufficiency of adventitious circumstances to produce these phenomena, and have traced their causes to the various capabilities of different human groups; in other words, to the moral and intellectual diversity of races. Logic, then, demands that I should determine the meaning and bearing of the word race, and this will be the object of the next chapter.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

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Chapter 10: Question of Unity or Plurality of Species

Systems of Camper, Blumenbach, Morton, Carus—Investigations of Owen, Vrolik, Weber—Prolificness of hybrids, the great scientific stronghold of the advocates of unity of species.

It will be necessary to determine first the physiological bearing of the word race.

In the opinion of many scientific observers, who judge from the first impression, and take extremes [118] as the basis of their reasoning, the groups of the human family are distinguished by differences so radical and essential, that it is impossible to believe them all derived from the same stock. They, therefore, suppose several other genealogies besides that of Adam and Eve. According to this doctrine, instead of but one species in the genus homo, there would be three, four, or even more, entirely distinct ones, whose commingling would produce what the naturalists call hybrids.

General conviction is easily secured in favor of this theory, by placing before the eyes of the observer instances of obvious and striking dissimilarities among the various groups. The critic who has before him a human subject with a skin of olive-yellow; black, straight, and thin hair; little, if any beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes; a broad and flattened face, with features not very distinct; the space between the eyes broad and flat; the orbits large and open; the nose flattened; the cheeks high and prominent; the opening of the eyelids narrow, linear, and oblique, the inner angle the lowest; the ears and lips large; the forehead low and slanting, allowing a considerable portion of the face to be seen when viewed from above; the head of somewhat a pyramidal form; the limbs clumsy; the stature humble; the whole conformation betraying a marked tendency to obesity: [119] the critic who examines this specimen of humanity, at once recognizes a well characterized and clearly defined type, the principal features of which will readily be imprinted in his memory.

Let us suppose him now to examine another individual: a negro, from the western coast of Africa. This specimen is of large size, and vigorous appearance. The color is a jetty black, the hair crisp, generally called woolly; the eyes are prominent, and the orbits large; the nose thick, flat, and confounded with the prominent cheeks; the lips very thick and everted; the jaws projecting, and the chin receding; the skull assuming the form called prognathous. The low forehead and muzzle-like elongation of the jaws, give to the whole being an almost animal appearance, which is heightened by the large and powerful lower-jaw, the ample provision for muscular insertions, the greater size of cavities destined for the reception of the organs of smell and sight, the length of the forearm compared with the arm, the narrow and tapering fingers, etc. "In the negro, the bones of the leg are bent outwards; the tibia and fibula are more convex in front than in the European; the calves of the legs are very high, so as to encroach upon the hams; the feet and hand, but particularly the former, are flat; the os calcis, instead of being arched, is continued nearly in a straight line with the other bones of the foot, which is remarkably broad." [120]

In contemplating a human being so formed, we are involuntarily reminded of the structure of the ape, and we feel almost inclined to admit that the tribes of Western Africa are descended from a stock which bears but a slight and general resemblance to that of the Mongolian family.

But there are some groups, whose aspect is even less flattering to the self-love of humanity than that of the Congo. It is the peculiar distinction of Oceanica to furnish about the most degraded and repulsive of those wretched beings, who seem to occupy a sort of intermediate station between man and the mere brute. Many of the groups of that latest-discovered world, by the excessive leanness and starveling development of their limbs; [121] the disproportionate size of their heads; the excessive, hopeless stupidity stamped upon their countenances; present an aspect so hideous and disgusting, that—contrasted with them—even the negro of Western Africa gains in our estimation, and seems to claim a less ignoble descent than they.

We are still more tempted to adopt the conclusions of the advocates for the plurality of species, when, after having examined types taken from every quarter of the globe, we return to the inhabitants of Europe and Southern and Western Asia. How vast a superiority these exhibit in beauty, correctness of proportion, and regularity of features! It is they who enjoy the honor of having furnished the living models for the unrivalled masterpieces of ancient sculpture. But even among these races there has existed, since the remotest times, a gradation of beauty, at the head of which the European may justly be placed, as well for symmetry of limbs as for vigorous muscular development. Nothing, then, would appear more reasonable than to pronounce the different types of mankind as foreign to each other as are animals of different species.

Such, indeed, was the conclusion arrived at by those who first systematized their observations, and attempted to establish a classification; and so far as this classification depended upon general facts, it seemed incontestable.

Camper took the lead. He was not content with deciding upon merely superficial appearances, but wished to rest his demonstrations upon a mathematical basis, by defining, anatomically, the distinguishing characteristics of different types. If he succeeded in this, he would thereby establish a strict and logical method of treating the subject, preclude all doubt, and give to his opinions that rigorous precision without which there is no true science. I borrow from Mr. Prichard, [122] Camper's own account of his method. "The basis on which the distinction of nations [123] is founded, says he, may be displayed by two straight lines; one of which is to be drawn through the meatus auditorius (the external entrance of the ear) to the base of the nose; and the other touching the prominent centre of the forehead, and falling thence on the most prominent part of the upper jaw-bone, the head being viewed in profile. In the angle produced by these two lines, may be said to consist, not only the distinctions between the skulls of the several species of animals, but also those which are found to exist between different nations; and it might be concluded that nature has availed herself of this angle to mark out the diversities of the animal kingdom, and at the same time to establish a scale from the inferior tribes up to the most beautiful forms which are found in the human species. Thus it will be found that the heads of birds display the smallest angle, and that it always becomes of greater extent as the animal approaches more nearly to the human figure. Thus, there is one species of the ape tribe, in which the head has a facial angle of forty-two degrees; in another animal of the same family, which is one of those simiæ most approximating in figure to mankind, the facial angle contains exactly fifty degrees. Next to this is the head of an African negro, which, as well as that of the Kalmuc, forms an angle of seventy degrees; while the angle discovered in the heads of Europeans contains eighty degrees. On this difference of ten degrees in the facial angle, the superior beauty of the European depends; while that high character of sublime beauty, which is so striking in some works of ancient statuary, as in the head of Apollo, and in the Medusa of Sisocles, is given by an angle which amounts to one hundred degrees."

This method was seductive from its exceeding simplicity. Unfortunately, facts were against it, as happens to a good many theories. The curious and interesting discoveries of Prof. Owen have proved beyond dispute, that Camper, as well as other anatomists since him, founded all their observations on orangs of immature age, and that, while the jaws become enlarged, and lengthened with the increase of the maxillary apparatus, and the zygomatic arch is extended, no corresponding increase of the brain takes place. The importance of this difference of age, with respect to the facial angle, is very great in the simiæ. Thus, while Camper, measuring the skull of young apes, has found the facial angle even as much as sixty-four degrees; in reality, it never exceeds, in the most favored specimen, from thirty to thirty-five. Between this figure and the seventy degrees of the negro and Kalmuc, there is too wide a gap to admit of the possibility of Camper's ascending series.

The advocates of phrenological science eagerly espoused the theory of the Dutch savant. They imagined that they could detect a development of instincts corresponding to the rank which the animal occupied in his scale. But even here facts were against them. It was objected that the elephant—not to mention numerous other instances—whose intelligence is incontestably superior to that of the orang, presents a much more acute facial angle than the latter. Even among the ape tribes, the most intelligent, those most susceptible of education, are by no means the highest in Camper's scale.

Besides these great defects, the theory possessed another very weak point. It did not apply to all the varieties of the human species. The races with pyramidal skulls found no place in it. Yet this is a sufficiently striking characteristic.

Camper's theory being refuted, Blumenbach proposed another system. He called his invention norma verticalis, the vertical method. According to him, [124] the comparison of the breadth of the head, particularly of the vertex, points out the principal and most strongly marked differences in the general configuration of the cranium. He adds that the whole cranium is susceptible of so many varieties in its form, the parts which contribute more or less to determine the national character displaying such different proportions and directions, that it is impossible to subject all these diversities to the measurement of any lines and angles. In comparing and arranging skulls according to the varieties in their shape, it is preferable to survey them in that method which presents at one view the greatest number of characteristic peculiarities. "The best way of obtaining this end is to place a series of skulls, with the cheek-bones on the same horizontal line, resting on the lower jaws, and then, viewing them from behind, and fixing the eye on the vertex of each, to mark all the varieties in the shape of parts that contribute most to the national character, whether they consist in the direction of the maxillary and malar bones, in the breadth or narrowness of the oval figure presented by the vertex, or in the flattened or vaulted form of the frontal bone."

The results which Blumenbach deduced from this method, were a division of mankind into five grand categories, each of which was again subdivided into a variety of families and types.

This classification, also, is liable to many objections. Like Camper's, it left out several important characteristics. Owen supposed that these objections might be obviated by measuring the basis of the skull instead of the summit. "The relative proportions and extent," says Prichard, "and the peculiarities of formation of the different parts of the cranium, are more fully discovered by this mode of comparison, than by any other." One of the most important results of this method was the discovery of a line of demarcation between man and the anthropoid apes, so distinct, and clearly drawn, that it becomes thenceforward impossible to find between the two genera the connecting link which Camper supposed to exist. It is, indeed, sufficient to cast one glance at the bases of two skulls, one human, and the other that of an orang, to perceive essential and decisive differences. The antero-posterior diameter of the basis of the skull is, in the orang, very much longer than in man. The zygoma is situated in the middle region of the skull, instead of being included, as in all races of men, and even human idiots, in the anterior half of the basis cranii; and it occupies in the basis just one-third part of the entire length of its diameter. Moreover, the position of the great occipital foramen is very different in the two skulls; and this feature is very important, on account of its relations to the general character of structure, and its influence on the habits of the whole being. This foramen, in the human head, is very near the middle of the basis of the skull, or, rather, it is situated immediately behind the middle transverse diameter; while, in the adult chimpantsi, it is placed in the middle of the posterior third part of the basis cranii. [125]

Owen certainly deserves great credit for his observations, but I should prefer the most recent, as well as ingenious, of cranioscopic systems, that of the learned American, Dr. Morton, which has been adopted by Mr. Carus. [126]

The substance of this theory is, that individuals are superior in intellect in proportion as their skulls are larger. [127] Taking this as the general rule, Dr. Morton and Mr. Carus proceed thereby to demonstrate the difference of races. The question to be decided is, whether all types of the human race have the same craniological development.

To elucidate this fact, Dr. Morton took a certain number of skulls, belonging to the four principal human families—Whites, Mongolians, Negroes, and North American Indians—and, after carefully closing every aperture, except the foramen magnum, he measured their capacity by filling them with well dried grains of pepper. The results of this measurement are exhibited in the subjoined table. [128]

Image

The results given in the first two columns are certainly very curious, but to those in the last two I attach little value. These two columns, giving the maximum and minimum capacities, differ so greatly from the second, which shows the average, that they could be of weight only if Mr. Morton had experimented upon a much greater number of skulls, and if he had specified the social position of the individuals to whom they belonged. Thus, for his specimens of the white and copper-colored races, he might select skulls that had belonged to individuals rather above the common herd. [129] But the Blacks and Mongolians were not represented by the skulls of their great chiefs and mandarins. This explains why Dr. Morton could ascribe the figure 100 to an aboriginal of America, while the most intelligent Mongolian that he examined did not exceed 93, and is surpassed even by the negro, who reaches 94. Such results are entirely incomplete, fortuitous, and of no scientific value. In questions of this kind, too much care cannot be taken to reject conclusions which are based upon the examination of individualities. I am, therefore, unable to accept the second half of Dr. Morton's calculations.

I am also disposed to doubt one of the details in the other half. The figures 100, 83, and 78, respectively indicating the average capacity of the skull of the white, Mongolian, and negro, follow a clear and evident gradation. But the figures 83, 81, and 82, given for the Mongol, the Malay, and the red-skin, are conflicting; the more so, as Mr. Carus does not hesitate to comprise the Mongols and Malays into one and the same race, and thus unites the figures 83 and 81—by which he receives, as the average capacity of the yellow race, 82, or the same as that of the red-skins. Wherefore, then, take the figure 82 as the characteristic of a distinct race, and thus create, quite arbitrarily, a fourth great subdivision of our species.

This anomaly supports the weak side of Mr. Carus's system. The learned Saxon amuses himself by supposing that, just as we see our planet pass through the four stages of day, night, morning twilight, and evening twilight, so there must be four subdivisions of the human species, corresponding to these variations of light. He perceives in this a symbol, [130] which is always a dangerous temptation to a mind of refined susceptibilities. The white races are to him the nations of day; the black, those of night; the yellow, those of morning; the red, those of evening. It will be perceived how many ingenious analogies may be brought forward in support of this fanciful invention. Thus, the European nations, by the brilliancy of their scientific discoveries and their superior civilization, are in an enlightened state, while the blacks are plunged in the gloomy darkness of ignorance. The Eastern nations live in a sort of twilight, which affords them an incomplete, though powerful, social existence. And as for the Indians of the Western World, who are rapidly disappearing, what more beautiful image of their destiny can be found than the setting sun?

Unfortunately, parables are no arguments, and Mr. Carus has somewhat injured his beautiful theory by unduly abandoning himself to this poetical current. Moreover, what I have said with regard to all other ethnological theories—those of Camper, Blumenbach, and Owen—holds good of this: Mr. Carus does not succeed in systematizing regularly the whole of the physiological diversities observable in races. [131]

The advocates for unity of species have not failed to take advantage of this inability on the part of their opponents to find a system which will include the many varieties of the human family; and they pretend that, as the observations upon the conformation of the skull cannot be reduced to a system which demonstrates the original separation of types, the different varieties must be regarded as simple divergencies occasioned by adventitious and secondary causes, and which do not prove a difference of origin.

This is crying victory too soon. The difficulty of finding a method does not always prove that none can be found. But the believers in the unity of species did not admit this reserve. To set off their theory, they point to the fact that certain tribes, belonging to the same race, instead of presenting the same physical type, diverge from it very considerably. They cite the different groups of the mixed Malay-Polynesian family; and, without paying attention to the proportion of the elements which compose the mixtures, they say that if groups of the same origin can assume such totally different craniological and facial forms, the greatest diversities of that kind do not prove the primary plurality of origins. [132] Strange as it may be to European eyes, the distinct types of the negro and the Mongolian are not then demonstrative of difference of species; and the differences among the human family must be ascribed simply to certain local causes operating during a greater or less lapse of time. [133]

The advocates for the plurality of races, being met with so many objections, good as well as bad, have attempted to enlarge the circle of their arguments, and, ceasing to make the skull their only study, have proceeded to the examination of the entire individual. They have rightly shown that the differences do not exist merely in the aspect of the face and formation of the skull, but, what is no less important, they exist also in the shape of the pelvis, the relative proportion of the limbs, and the nature of the pilous system.

Camper and other naturalists had long since perceived that the pelvis of the negro presented certain peculiarities. Dr. Vrolik extended his researches further, and observed that in the European race the differences between the male and female pelvis are much less distinctly marked, while the pelvis of the negro, of either sex, partakes in a very striking degree of the animal character. The Amsterdam savant, starting from the idea that the formation of the pelvis necessarily influences that of the fœtus, concludes that there must be difference of origin. [134]

Mr. Weber has attacked this theory with but little success. He was obliged to allow that certain formations of the pelvis occur more frequently in one race than in another; and all he could do, was to show that the rule is not without exceptions, and that some individuals of the American, African, or Mongol race presented the forms common among the European. This is not proving a great deal, especially as it never seems to have occurred to Mr. Weber that these exceptions might be owing to a mixture of blood.

The adversaries of the unity doctrine pretend that the European is better proportioned. They are answered that the excessive leanness of the extremities among those nations which subsist principally on vegetable diet, or whose alimentation is imperfect, is not at all surprising; and this reply is certainly valid. But a much less conclusive reply is made to the argument drawn from the excessive development of bust among the mountaineers of Peru (Quichuas) by those who are unwilling to recognize it as a specific characteristic; for to pretend, as they do, that it can be explained by the elevation of the Andes, is not advancing a very serious reason. [135] There are in the world many mountain populations who are constituted very differently from the Quichuas. [136]

The color of the skin is another argument for diversity of origin. But the opposite party refuse to accept this as a specific characteristic, for two reasons: first, because, they say, this coloration depends upon climatic circumstances, and is not permanent—which is, to say the least of it, a very bold assertion; secondly, because color is liable to indefinite gradations, by which white insensibly passes into yellow, yellow into black, so that it is impossible to find a line of demarcation sufficiently decided. This fact simply proves the existence of innumerable hybrids; an observation to which the advocates for unity are constantly inattentive.

With regard to the specific differences in the formation of the pile, Mr. Flourens brings his great authority in favor of the original unity of race. [137]

I have now passed rapidly in review the more or less inconsistent arguments of the advocates of unity; but their strongest one still remains. It is of great force, and I therefore reserved it for the last—the facility with which the different branches of the human family produce hybrids, and the fecundity of these hybrids themselves.

The observations of naturalists seem to have well established the fact that half-breeds can spring only from nearly related species, and that even in that case they are condemned to sterility. It has been further observed that, even among closely allied species, where fecundation is possible, copulation is repugnant, and obtained, generally, either by force or ruse, which would lead us to suppose that, in a state of nature, the number of hybrids is even more limited than that obtained by the intervention of man. It has, therefore, been concluded that, among the number of specific characteristics, we must place the faculty of producing prolific offspring.

As nothing authorizes us to believe that the human race are exempt from this law, so nothing has hitherto been able to shake the strength of this objection, [138] which, more than all the others, holds the advocates for plurality in check. It is, indeed, affirmed that, in certain portions of Oceanica, indigenous women, after having brought forth a half-breed European child, can no longer be fecundated by compatriots. If this assertion be admitted as correct, it might serve as a starting point for further investigations; but at present it could not be used to invalidate the admitted principles of science upon the generation of hybrids—against the deductions drawn from these it proves nothing.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:56 pm

Chapter 11: Permanency of Types

The language of Holy Writ in favor of common origin—The permanency of their characteristics separates the races of men as effectually as if they were distinct creations—Arabs, Jews—Prichard's argument about the influence of climate examined—Ethnological history of the Turks and Hungarians.

The believers in unity of race affirm that types are different in appearance only; that, in fact, the differences existing among them are owing to local circumstances still in operation, or to an accidental peculiarity of conformation in the progenitor of a branch, and that, though they all, more or less, diverge from the original prototype, they all are capable of again returning to it. According to this, then, the negro, the North American savage, the Tungoose of North Siberia, might, under favorable circumstances, gain all the physical and mental attributes which now distinguish the European. Such a theory is inadmissible.

We have shown above that the only solid scientific stronghold of the believers in unity of species is the prolificness of human hybrids. This fact, which seems at present so difficult to refute, may not always present the same difficulties, and would not, by itself, suffice to arrest my conclusions, were it not supported by another argument which, I confess, appears to me of greater moment: Scripture is said to declare against difference of origin.

If the text is clear, peremptory, and indisputable, we must submit; the most serious doubts must disappear; human reason, in its imperfection, must bow to faith. Better to let the veil of obscurity cover a point of erudition, than to call in question so high and incontestable an authority. If the Bible declares that mankind are descended from the same common stock, all that goes to prove the contrary is mere semblance, unworthy of consideration. But is the Bible really explicit on this point? The sacred writings have a much higher purpose than the elucidation of ethnological problems; and if it be admitted that they may have been misunderstood in this particular, and that without straining the text, it may be interpreted otherwise, I return to my first impression.

The Bible evidently speaks of Adam as the progenitor of the white race, because from him are descended generations which—it cannot be doubted—were white. But nothing proves that at the first redaction of the Adamite genealogies the colored races were considered as forming part of the species. There is not a word said about the yellow nations, and I hope to prove, in my second volume, that the pretended black color of the patriarch Ham rests upon no other basis than an arbitrary interpretation. At a later period, doubtless, translators and commentators, who affirmed that Adam was the father of all beings called men, were obliged to bring in as descendants of the sons of Noah all the different varieties with whom they were acquainted. In this manner, Japheth was considered the progenitor of the European nations, while the inhabitants of the greater portion of Asia were looked upon as the descendants of Shem; and those of Africa, of Ham. This arrangement answers admirably for one portion of the globe. But what becomes of the population of the rest of the world, who are not included in this classification?

I will not, at present, particularly insist upon this idea. I dislike the mere appearance of impugning even simple interpretations if they have the sanction of the church, and wish merely to intimate that their authority might, perhaps, be questioned without transgressing the limits established by the church. [139] If this is not the case, and we must accept, in the main, the opinions of the believers in unity, I still do not despair that the facts may be explained in a manner different from theirs, and that the principal physical and moral differences among the branches of the human family may exist, with all their necessary consequences, independently of unity or plurality of origin.

The specific identity of all canines is acknowledged, [140] but who would undertake the difficult task of proving that all these animals, to whatever variety they may belong, were possessed of the same shapes, instincts, habits, qualities? The same is the case with many other species, the equine, bovine, ursine, etc. Here we find perfect identity of origin, and yet diversity in every other respect, and a diversity so radical, that even intermixture can not produce a real identity of character in the several types. On the contrary, so long as each type remains pure, their distinctive features are permanent, and reproduced, without any sensible deviation, in each successive generation. [141]

This incontestable fact has led to the inquiry whether in those species which, by domestication, have lost their original habits, and contracted others, the forms and instincts of the primitive stock were still discernible. I think this highly improbable, and can hardly believe that we shall ever be able to determine the shape and characteristics of the prototype of each species, and how much or how little it is approached by the deviations now before our eyes. A very great number of vegetables present the same problem, and with regard to man, whose origin it is most interesting and important for us to know, the inquiry seems to be attended with the greatest and most insurmountable difficulties.

Each race is convinced that its progenitor had precisely the characteristics which now distinguish it. This is the only point upon which their traditions perfectly agree. The white races represent to themselves an Adam and Eve, whom Blumenbach would at once have pronounced Caucasians; the Mohammedan negroes, on the contrary, believe the first pair to have been black; these being created in God's own image, it follows that the Supreme Being, and also the angels, are of the same color, and the prophet himself was certainly too greatly favored by his Sender to display a pale skin to his disciples. [142]

Unfortunately, modern science has as yet found no clue to this maze of opinions. No admissible theory has been advanced which affords the least light upon the subject, and, in all probability, the various types differ as much from their common progenitor—if they possess one—as they do among themselves. The causes of these deviations are exceedingly difficult to ascertain. The believers in the unity of origin pretend to find them, as I remarked before, in various local circumstances, such as climate, habits, &c. It is impossible to coincide with such an opinion, for, although these circumstances have always existed, they have not, within historical times, produced such alterations in the races which were exposed to their influence as to make it even probable that they were the causes of so vast and radical a dissimilarity as we now see before us. Suppose two tribes, not yet departed from the primitive type, to inhabit, one an alpine region in the interior of a continent, the other some isolated isle in the immensity of the ocean. Their atmospheric and alimentary conditions would, of course, be totally different. If we further suppose one of these tribes to be abundantly provided with nourishment, and the other possessing but precarious means of subsistence; one to inhabit a cold latitude, and the other to be exposed to the action of a tropical sun; it seems to me that we have accumulated the most essential local contrasts. Allowing these physical causes to operate a sufficient lapse of time, the two groups would, no doubt, ultimately assume certain peculiar characteristics, by which they might be distinguished from each other. But no imaginable length of time could bring about any essential, organic change of conformation; and as a proof of this assertion, I would point to the populations of opposite portions of the globe, living under physical conditions the most widely different, who, nevertheless, present a perfect resemblance of type.

The Hottentots so strongly resemble the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire, that it has even been supposed, though without good reasons, that they were originally a Chinese colony. A great similarity exists between the ancient Etruscans, whose portraits have come down to us, and the Araucanians of South America. The features and outlines of the Cherokees seem to be perfectly identical with those of several Italian populations, the Calabrians, for instance. The inhabitants of Auvergne, especially the female portion, much more nearly resemble in physiognomy several Indian tribes of North America than any European nation. Thus we see that in very different climes, and under conditions of life so very dissimilar, nature can reproduce the same forms. The peculiar characteristics which now distinguish the different types cannot, therefore, be the effects of local circumstances such as now exist. [143]

Though it is impossible to ascertain what physical changes different branches of the human family may have undergone anterior to the historic epoch, yet we have the best proofs that since then, no race has changed its peculiar characteristics. The historic epoch comprises about one half of the time during which our earth is supposed to have been inhabited, and there are several nations whom we can trace up to the verge of ante-historic ages; yet we find that the races then known have remained the same to our days, even though they ceased to inhabit the same localities, and consequently were no longer exposed to the influence of the same external conditions.

Witness the Arabs. As they are represented on the monuments of Egypt, so we find them at present, not only in the arid deserts of their native land, but in the fertile regions and moist climate of Malabar, Coromandel, and the islands of the Indian Ocean. We find them again, though more mixed, on the northern coasts of Africa, and, although many centuries have elapsed since their invasion, traces of Arab blood are still discernible in some portions of Roussillon, Languedoc, and Spain.

Next to the Arabs I would instance the Jews. They have emigrated to countries in every respect the most dissimilar to Palestine, and have not even preserved their ancient habits of life. Yet their type has always remained peculiar and the same in every latitude and under every physical condition. The warlike Rechabites in the deserts of Arabia present to us the same features as our own peaceable Jews. I had occasion not long since to examine a Polish Jew. The cut of his face, and especially his eyes, perfectly betrayed his origin. This inhabitant of a northern zone, whose direct ancestors for several generations had lived among the snows and ice of an inhospitable clime, seemed to have been tanned but the day before, by the ardent rays of a Syrian sun. The same Shemitic face which the Egyptian artist represented some four thousand or more years ago, we recognize daily around us; and its principal and really characteristic features are equally strikingly preserved under the most diverse climatic circumstances. But the resemblance is not confined to the face only, it extends to the conformation of the limbs and the nature of the temperament. German Jews are generally smaller and more slender in stature than the European nations among whom they have lived for centuries; and the age of puberty arrives earlier with them than with their compatriots of another race. [144]

This is, I am aware, an assertion diametrically opposed to Mr. Prichard's opinions. This celebrated physiologist, in his zeal to prove the unity of species, attempts to prove that the age of puberty in both sexes is the same everywhere and among all races. His arguments are based upon the precepts of the Old Testament and the Koran, by which the marriageable age of women is fixed at fifteen, and even eighteen, according to Abou-Hanifah. [145]

I hardly think that biblical testimony is admissible in matters of this kind, because the Scriptures often narrate facts which cannot be accounted for by the ordinary laws of nature. Thus, the pregnancy of Sarah at an extreme old age, and when Abraham himself was a centenarian, is an event upon which no ordinary course of reasoning could be based. As for the precepts of the Mohammedan law, I would observe that they were intended to insure not merely the physical aptitude for marriage, but also that degree of mental maturity and education which befit a woman about to enter on the duties of so serious a station. The prophet makes it a special injunction that the religious education of young women should be continued to the time of their marriage. Taking this view, the law-giver would naturally incline to delay the period of marriage as long as possible, in order to afford time for the development of the reasoning faculties, and he would therefore be less precipitate in his authorizations than nature in hers. But there are some other proofs which I would adduce against Mr. Prichard's grave arguments, which, though of less weighty character, are not the less conclusive, and will settle the question, I think, in my favor.

Poets, in their tales of love, are mainly solicitous of exhibiting their heroines in the first bloom of beauty, without caring much about their moral and mental development. Accordingly, we find that oriental poets have always made their lovers much younger than the age prescribed by the Koran. Zelika and Leila are not, surely, fourteen years old. In India, this difference is still more striking. Sacontala, in Europe, would be quite a small girl, a mere child. The spring-time of life for a Hindoo female is from the age of nine to that of twelve. In the Chinese romance, Yu-Kiao-li, the heroine is sixteen; and her father is in great distress, and laments pathetically that at so advanced an age she should still be unmarried. The Roman writers, following in the footsteps of their Greek preceptors, took fifteen as the period of bloom of a woman's life; our own authors for a long time adhered to these models, but since the ideas of the North have begun to exert their influence upon our literature, the heroines of our novels are full-grown young ladies of eighteen, and very often more. [146]

But arguments of a more serious character are by no means wanting. Besides what I said of the precocity of the Jews in Germany, I may point out the reverse as a peculiarity of the population of many portions of Switzerland. Among them the physical development is so slow, that the age of puberty is not always attained at twenty. The Zingaris, or gypsies, display the same physical precocity as their Hindoo ancestry, and, under the austere sky of Russia and Moldavia, they preserve, together with their ancient notions and habits, the general aspect of face and form of the Pariahs. [147]

I do not, however, wish to attack Mr. Prichard upon all points. There is one of his conclusions which I readily adopt, viz.: "that the difference of climate occasions very little, if any, important diversity as to the periods of life and the physical changes to which the human constitution is subject." [148] This conclusion is very well founded, and I shall not seek to invalidate it; but it appears to me that it contradicts a little the principles so ably advocated by the learned physiologist and antiquary.

The reader must have perceived that the discussion turns solely upon permanency of type. If it can be proved that the different branches of the human family are each possessed of a certain individuality which is independent of climate and the lapse of ages, and can be effaced only by intermixture, the question of origin is reduced to little importance; for, in that case, the different types are no less completely and irrevocably separated than if their specific differences arose from diversity of origin.

That such is the case, we have already proved by the testimony of Egyptian sculptures with regard to the Arabs, and by our observations upon the Jews and gypsies. Should any further proofs be needed, we would mention that the paintings in the temples and subterraneous buildings of the Nile valley as indubitably attest the permanence of the negro type. There we see the same crisped hair, prognathous skull, and thick lips. The recent discovery of the bas-reliefs of Khorsabad [149] has removed beyond doubt the conclusions previously formed from the figured monuments of Persepolis, viz.: that the present Assyrian nations are physiologically identical with those who formerly inhabited the same regions.

If similar investigations could be made upon a greater number of existing races, the results would be the same. We have established the fact of permanence of types in all cases where investigation is possible, and the burden of proof, therefore, falls upon the dissenting party.

Their arguments, indeed, are in direct contradiction to the most obvious facts. Thus they allege, although the most ordinary observation shows the contrary, that climate has produced alterations in the Jewish type, inasmuch as many light-haired, blue-eyed Jews are found in Germany. For this argument to be of any weight in their position, the advocates for unity of race must recognize climate to be the sole, or at least principal, cause of this phenomenon. But the adherents of that doctrine elsewhere assert that the color of the eyes, hair, and skin, no ways depends upon geographical situation or the action of heat and cold. [150] As an evidence of this, they justly cite the Cinghalese, who have blue eyes and light hair; [151] they even observe among them a very considerable difference of complexion, varying from a light brown to black. Again, they admit that the Samoiedes and Tungusians, though living on the borders of the Frozen Ocean, [152] have an exceedingly swarthy complexion. If, therefore, climate exerts no influence upon the complexion and color of hair and eyes, these marks must be considered as of no importance, or as pertaining to race. We know that red hair is not at all uncommon in the East, and at no time has been so; it cannot, therefore, create much surprise if we occasionally find it among the Jews of Germany. This fact cannot be adduced as evidence either in favor of, or against, the permanence of types.

The advocates for unity are no less unfortunate in their historical arguments. They furnish but two; the Turks and the Magyars. The Asiatic origin of the former is supposed to be established beyond doubt, as well as of their intimate relationship with the Finnic branches of the Laplanders and Ostiacs. It follows from this that they must originally have displayed the yellow skin, projecting cheek bones, and low stature of the Mongolian races. This point being settled, we are told to look at the Turks of our day, who exhibit all the characteristics of the European type. Types, then, are not permanent, it is victoriously concluded, because the Turks have undergone such a transformation. "It is true," say the adherents of the unity school, "that some pretend there had been an admixture of Greek, Georgian, and Circassian blood. But this admixture can have taken place only to a very limited extent; all Turks are not rich enough to buy their wives in the Caucasus, or to have seraglios filled with white slaves; on the other hand, the hatred which the Greeks cherish for their conquerors, and the religious antipathies of both nations, were not favorable to alliances between them, and consequently we see them—though inhabiting the same country—as distinct at this day as at the time of the conquest." [153]

These arguments are more specious than solid. In the first place, I am greatly disposed to doubt the Finnic origin of the Turkish race, because the only evidence that has hitherto been produced in favor of this supposition is affinity of language, and I shall hereafter give my reasons for believing this argument—when unsupported by any other—as extremely unreliable, and open to doubt. But even if we suppose the ancestors of the Turkish nation to belong to the yellow race, it is easy to show why their descendants have so widely departed from that type.

Centuries elapsed from the time of the first appearance of the Turanian hordes to the day which saw them the masters of the city of Constantine, and during that period, multifarious events took place; the fortune of the Western Turks has been a checkered one. Alternately conquerors or conquered, masters or slaves, they have become incorporated with various nationalities. According to the annalists, [154] their Orghuse ancestors, who descended from the Altai Mountains, inhabited in Abraham's time the immense steppes of Upper Asia which extend from Katai to the sea of Aral, from Siberia to Thibet, and which, as has recently been proved—were then the abode of numerous Germanic tribes. [155] It is a singular circumstance, that the first mentioning by Oriental writers of the tribes of Turkestan is in celebrating them for their beauty of face and form. [156] The most extravagant hyperboles are lavished on them without reserve, and as these writers had before their eyes the handsomest types of the old world with which to compare them, it is not probable that they should have wasted their enthusiasm on creatures so ugly and repulsive as are generally the races of pure Mongolian blood. Thus, notwithstanding the dicta of philology, I think serious doubts might be raised on that point. [157]

But I am willing to admit that the Turcomannic tribes were, indeed, as is supposed, of Finnic origin. Let us come down to a later period—the Mohammedan era. We then find these tribes under various denominations and in equally various situations, dispersed over Persia and Asia Minor. The Osmanli were not yet existing at that time, and their predecessors, the Seldjuks, were already greatly mixed with the races that had embraced Islamism. We see from the example of Ghaïased-din-Keikosrew, who lived in 1237, that the Seljuk princes were in the habit of frequently intermarrying with Arab women. They must have gone still further, for we find that Aseddin, the mother of one of the Seljuk dynasties, was a Christian. It is reasonable to suppose, that if the chiefs of the nation, who everywhere are the most anxious to preserve the purity of their genealogy, showed themselves so devoid of prejudice, their subjects were still less scrupulous on that point. Their constant inroads in which they ranged over vast districts, gave them ample opportunities for capturing slaves, and there is every reason to believe that already in the 13th century, the ancient Orghuse branch was strongly tinctured with Shemitic blood.

To this branch belonged Osman, the son of Ortoghrul, and father of the Osmanli. But few families were collected around his tent. His army was, at first, little better than a band of adventurers, and the same expedient which swelled the ranks of the first builders of Rome, increased the number of adherents of this new Romulus of the Steppes. Every desperate adventurer or fugitive, of whatever nation, was welcome among them, and assured of protection. I shall suppose that the downfall of the Seljuk empire brought to their standards a great number of their own race. But we have already said that this race was very much mixed; and besides, this addition was insufficient, as is proved by the fact that, from that time, the Turks began to capture slaves for the avowed purpose of repairing, by this means, the waste which constant warfare made in their own ranks. In the beginning of the 14th century, the sultan Orkhan, following the advice of his vizier, Khalil Tjendereli, surnamed the Black, instituted the famous military body called Janissaries. [158] They were composed entirely of Christian children captured in Poland, Germany, Italy, or the Bizantine Empire, who were educated in the Mohammedan religion and the practice of arms. Under Mohammed IV., their number had increased to 140,000 men. Here, then, we find an influx of at least half a million male individuals of European blood in the course of four centuries.

But the infusion of European blood was not limited to this. The piracy which was carried on, on so large a scale, in the whole basin of the Mediterranean, had for one of its principal objects the replenishment of the harems. Every victory gained increased the number of believers in the Prophet. A great number of the prisoners of war abjured Christianity, and were henceforth counted among the true believers. The localities adjacent to the field of battle supplied as many females as the marauding victors could lay hold of. In some cases, this sort of booty was so plentiful that it became inconvenient to dispose of. Hammer relates [159] that, on one occasion, the handsomest female captive was bartered for one boot. When we consider that the Turkish population of the whole Ottoman empire never exceeded twelve millions, it becomes apparent that the history of so amalgamated a nation affords no arguments, either for or against, the permanency of type. We will now proceed to the second historic argument advanced by the believers in unity.

"The Magyars," they say, "are of Finnic origin, nearly related to the Laplanders, Samoiedes, and Esquimaux, all of which are people of low stature, with big faces, projecting cheek-bones, and yellowish or dirty brown complexion. Yet the Magyars are tall, well formed, and have handsome features. The Finns have always been feeble, unintelligent, and oppressed; the Magyars, on the contrary, occupy a distinguished rank among the conquerors of the earth, and are noted for their love of liberty and independence. As they are so immensely superior, both physically and morally, to all the collateral branches of the Finnic stock, it follows that they have undergone an enormous transformation." [160]

If such a transformation had ever taken place, it would, indeed, be astonishing and inexplicable even to those who ascribe the least stability to types, for it must have occurred within the last 800 years, during which we know that the compatriots of St. Stephen [161] mixed but little with surrounding nations. But the whole course of reasoning is based upon false premises, for the Hungarians are most assuredly not of Finnic origin. Mr. A. De Gérando [162] has placed this fact beyond doubt. He has proved, by the authority of Greek and Arab historians, as well as Hungarian annalists and by indisputable philological arguments, that the Magyars are a fragment of that great inundation of nations which swept over Europe under the denomination of Huns. It will be objected that this is merely giving the Hungarians another parentage, but which connects them no less intimately with the yellow race. Such is not the case. The designation of Huns applies not only to a nation, but is also a collective appellation of a very heterogeneous mass. Among the tribes which rallied around the standards of Attila and his ancestors, there were some which have at all times been distinguished from the rest by the term white Huns. Among them the Germanic blood predominated. [163] It is true, that the close contact with the yellow race somewhat adulterated the breed; but this very fact is singularly exhibited in the somewhat angular and bony facial conformation of the Hungarians. I conclude, therefore, that the Magyars were white Huns, and of Germanic origin, though slightly mixed with the Mongolian stock.

The philological difficulty of their speaking a non-Germanic dialect is not insurmountable. I have already alluded to the Mongolian Scyths who yet spoke an Arian tongue; [164] I might, moreover, cite the Norman settlers in France who, not many years after their conquest, exchanged their Scandinavian dialect, in a great measure, for the Celto-Latin of their subjects, [165] whence sprang that singular compound called Norman-French, which the followers of William the Conqueror imported into England, and which now forms an element of the English language.

There is, therefore, no reason to suppose that the agency of climate and change of habits have transformed a Laplander, or an Ostiak, or a Tunguse, or a Permian, into a St. Stephen or a Kossuth.

Having thus, I think, refuted the only two historical instances which the believers in unity of species adduce, of a pretended alteration of type by local circumstances and change of habits, and having, moreover, instanced several cases where these causes could produce no alteration; the fact of permanency of type seems to me to be incontestably established. [166] Thus, whichever side we take, whether we believe in original unity, or original diversity, is immaterial; the several groups of the human species are, at present, so perfectly separated from each other, that no exterior influence can efface their distinctive peculiarities. The permanency of these differences, so long as there is no intermixture, produces precisely the same physical and moral results as if the groups were so many distinct and separate creations.

In conclusion, I shall repeat what I have said above, that I have very serious doubts as to the unity of origin. These doubts, however, 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.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:57 pm

Chapter 12: Classification of Races

Primary varieties—Test for recognizing them; not always reliable—Effects of intermixture—Secondary varieties—Tertiary varieties—Amalgamation of races in large cities—Relative scale of beauty in various branches of the human family—Their inequality in muscular strength and powers of endurance.

[In supervising the publication of this work, I have thought proper to omit, in this place, a portion of the translation, because containing ideas and suggestions which—though they might be novel to a French public—have often been laid before English readers, and as often proven untenable. This omission, however, embraces no essential feature of the book, no link of the chain of argumentation. It extends no further than a digressional attempt of the author to account for the diversities observable in the various branches of the human family, by imagining the existence of cosmogonal causes, long since effete, but operating for a time soon after the creation of man, when the globe was still in a nascent and chaotic state. It must be obvious that all such speculations can never bridge over the wide abyss which separates hypotheses from facts. They afford a boundless field for play to a fertile imagination, but will never stand the test of criticism. Even if we were to suppose that such causes had effected diversities in the human family in primeval times, the types thus produced must all have perished in the flood, save that to which Noah and his family belonged. If these writers, however, should be disposed to deny the universality of the deluge, they would evidently do greater violence to the language of Holy Writ, than by at once supposing a plurality of origins for mankind.

The legitimate field of human science is the investigation of the laws now governing the material world. Beyond this it may not go. Whatever is recognized as not coming within the scope of action of these laws, belongs not to its province. We have proved, and I think it is generally admitted, that the actual varieties of the human family are permanent; that there are no causes now in operation, which can transform them. The investigation of those causes, therefore, cannot properly be said to belong to the province of human science. In regard to their various systems of classification, naturalists may be permitted to dispute about unity or plurality of species, because the use of the word species is more or less arbitrary; it is an expedient to secure a convenient arrangement. But none, I hope, presume ever to be able to fathom the mysteries of Creative Power—to challenge the fiat of the Almighty, and inquire into his means.—H.]

In the investigation of the moral and intellectual diversities of races, there is no difficulty so great as an accurate classification. I am disposed to think a separation into three great groups sufficient for all practical purposes. These groups I shall call primary varieties, not in the sense of distinct creations, but as offering obvious and well-defined distinguishing characteristics. I would designate them respectively by the terms white, yellow, and black. I am aware of the inaccuracy of these appellations, because the complexion is not always the distinctive feature of these groups: other and more important physiological traits must be taken into consideration. But as I have not the right to invent new names, and am, therefore, compelled to select among those already in use, I have chosen these because, though by no means correct, they seemed preferable to others borrowed from geography or history, and not so apt as the latter to add to the confusion which already sufficiently perplexes the investigator of this subject. To obviate any misconception here and hereafter, I wish it to be distinctly understood that by "white" races I mean those usually comprised under the name of Caucasian, Shemitic, Japhetic; by "black," the Hamitic, African, etc.; by "yellow," the Altaic, Mongolian, Finnic, and Tartar. These I consider to be the three categories under which all races of the human family can be placed. I shall hereafter explain my reasons for not recognizing the American Indians as a separate variety, and for classing them among the yellow races. [167]

It is obvious that each of these groups comprises races very dissimilar among themselves, each of which, besides the general characteristics belonging to the whole group, possesses others peculiar to itself. Thus, in the group of black races we find marked distinctions: the tribes with prognathous skull and woolly hair, the low-caste Hindoos of Kamaoun and of Dekhan, the Pelagian negroes of Polynesia, etc. In the yellow group, the Tungusians, Mongols, Chinese, etc. There is every reason to believe that these sub-varieties are coeval; that is, the same causes which produced one, produced at the same time all the others.

It is, moreover, extremely difficult to determine the typical character of each variety. In the white, and also in the yellow group, the mixture of the sub-varieties is so great, that it is impossible to fix upon the type. In the black group, the type is perhaps discernible; at least, it is preserved in its greatest purity.

To ascertain the relative purity or mixture of a race, a criterion has been adopted by many, who consider it infallible: this is resemblance of face, form, constitution, etc. It is supposed that the purer a race has preserved itself, the greater must be the exterior resemblances of all the individuals composing it. On the contrary, considerable and varied intermixtures would produce an infinite diversity of appearance among individuals. This fact is incontestable, and of great value in ethnological science, but I do not think it quite so reliable as some suppose.

Intermixture of races does, indeed, produce at first individual dissemblances, for few individuals belong in precisely the same degree to either of the races composing the mixture. But suppose that, in course of time, the fusion has become complete—that every individual member of the mixed race had precisely the same proportion of mixed blood as every other—he could not then differ greatly from his neighbor. The whole mass, in that case, must present the same general homogeneity as a pure race. The perfect amalgamation of two races of the same group would, therefore, produce a new type, presenting a fictitious appearance of purity, and reproducing itself in succeeding generations.

I imagine it possible, therefore, that a "secondary" type may in time assume all the characteristics of a "primary" one, viz: resemblance of the individuals composing it. The lapse of time to produce this complete fusion would necessarily be commensurate to the original diversity of the constituent elements. Where two races belonging to different groups combine, such a complete fusion would probably never be possible. I can illustrate this by reference to individuals. Parents of widely different nations generally have children but little resembling each other—some apparently partaking more of the father's type, some more of the mother's. But if the parents are both of the same, or at least of homogeneous stocks, their offspring exhibits little or no variety; and though the children might resemble neither of the parents, they would be apt to resemble one another.

To distinguish the varieties produced by a fusion of proximate races from those which are the effect of intermixture between races belonging to different groups, I shall call the latter tertiary varieties. Thus the woolly-headed negro and the Pelagian are both "primary" varieties belonging to the same group; their offspring I would call a "secondary" variety; but the hymen of either of them with a race belonging to the white or yellow groups, would produce a "tertiary" variety. To this last, then, belong the mulatto, or cross between white and black, and the Polynesian, who is a cross between the black and the yellow. [168] Half-breeds of this kind display, in various proportions and degrees, the special characteristics of both the ancestral races. But a complete fusion, as in the case of branches of the same group, probably never results from the union of two widely dissimilar races, or, at least, would require an incommensurable lapse of time.

If a tertiary type is again modified by intermixture with another, as is the case in a cross between a mulatto and a Mongolian, or between a Polynesian and a European, the ethnical mixture is too great to permit us, in the present state of the science, to arrive at any general conclusions. It appears that every additional intermixture increases the difficulty of complete fusion. In a population composed of a great number of dissimilar ethnical elements, it would require countless ages for a thorough amalgamation; that is to say, so complete a mixture that each individual would have precisely the kind and relative proportion of mixed blood as every other. It follows, therefore, that, in a population so constituted, there is an infinite diversity of form and features among individuals, some pertaining more to one type than another. In other words, there being no equilibrium between the various types, they crop out here and there without any apparent reason.

We find this spectacle among the great civilized nations of Europe, especially in their capitals and seaports. In these great vortexes of humanity, every possible variety of our species has been absorbed. Negro, Chinese, Tartar, Hottentot, Indian, Malay, and all the minor varieties produced by their mixture, have contributed their contingent to the population of our large cities. Since the Roman domination, this amalgamation has continually increased, and is still increasing in proportion as our inventions bring in closer proximity the various portions of the globe. It affects all classes to some extent, but more especially the lowest. Among them you may see every type of the human family more or less represented. In London, Paris, Cadiz, Constantinople, in any of the greater marts and thoroughfares of the world, the lower strata of the native population exhibit every possible variety, from the prognathous skull to the pyramidal: you shall find one man with hair as crisp as a negro's; another, with the eyes of an ancient German, or the oblique ones of a Chinese; a third, with a thoroughly Shemitic countenance; yet all three may be close relations, and would be greatly surprised were they told that any but the purest white blood flows in their veins. In these vast gathering places of humanity, if you could take the first comer—a native of the place—and ascend his genealogical tree to any height, you would probably be amazed at the strange ancestry at the top.

It may now be asked whether, for all the various races of which I have spoken, there is but one standard of beauty, or whether each has one of its own. Helvetius, in his De l'Esprit, maintains that the idea of beauty is purely conventional and variable. This assertion found many advocates in its time, but it is at present superseded by the more philosophical theory that the conception of the beautiful is an absolute and invariable idea, and can never have a merely optional application. Believing the latter view to be correct, I do not hesitate to compare the various races of man in point of beauty, and to establish a regular scale of gradation. Thus, if we compare the various races, from the ungainly appearance of the Pelagian or Pecherai up to the noble proportions of a Charlemagne, the expressive regularity of features of a Napoleon, or the majestic countenance of a Louis XIV., we shall find in the lowest on the scale a sort of rudimentary development of the beauty which attracts us in the highest; and in proportion to the perfectness of that development, the races rise in the scale of beauty. [169] Taking the white race as the standard of beauty, we perceive all the others more or less receding from that model. There is, then, an inequality in point of beauty among the various races of men, and this inequality is permanent and indelible. [170]

The next question to be decided is, whether there is also an inequality in point of physical strength. It cannot be denied that the American Indians and the Hindoos are greatly inferior to us in this respect. Of the Australians, the same may safely be asserted. Even the negroes possess less muscular vigor. [171] It is necessary, however, to distinguish between purely muscular force—that which exerts itself suddenly at a given moment—and the force of resistance or capacity for endurance. The degree of the former is measured by its intensity, that of the other by its duration. Of the two, the latter is the typical—the standard by which to judge of the capabilities of races. Great muscular strength is found among races notoriously weak. Among the lowest of the negro tribes, for instance, it would not be difficult to find individuals that could match an experienced European wrestler or English boxer. This is equally true of the Lascars and Malays. But we must take the masses, and judge according to the amount of long-continued, persevering toil and fatigue they are capable of. In this respect, the white races are undoubtedly entitled to pre-eminence.

But there are differences, again, among the white races, both in beauty and in strength, which even the extensive ethnical mixture, that European nations present, has not entirely obliterated. The Italians are handsomer than the French and the Spaniards, and still more so than the Swiss and Germans. The English also present a high degree of corporeal beauty; the Sclavonian nations a comparatively humble one.

In muscular power, the English rank far above all other European nations; but the French and Spaniards are greatly superior in power of endurance: they suffer less from fatigue, from privations, and the rigors and changes of climate. This question has been settled beyond dispute by the fatal campaign in Russia. While the Germans, and other troops from the North, who yet were accustomed to severe cold, were almost totally annihilated, the French regiments, though paying fearfully dear for their retreat, nevertheless saved the greatest number of men. Some have attempted to explain this by a supposed superiority on the part of the French in martial education and military spirit. But the German officers had certainly as high a conception of a soldier's duty, as elevated a sentiment of honor, as our soldiers; yet they perished in incredibly greater numbers. I think it can hardly be disputed that the masses of the population of France possess a superiority in certain physical qualities, which enables them to defy with greater impunity than most other nations the freezing snows of Russia and the burning sands of Egypt.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:57 pm

Note to the Preceding Chapter

The position and treatment of woman among the various races of men a proof of their moral and intellectual diversity.

The reader will pardon me if to Mr. Gobineau's scale of gradation in point of beauty and physical strength, I add another as accurate, I think, if not more so, and certainly as interesting. I allude to the manner in which the weaker sex is regarded and treated among the various races of men.

In the words of Van Amringe, "from the brutal New Hollander, who secures his wife by knocking her down with a club and dragging the prize to his cave, to the polished European, who, fearfully, but respectfully and assiduously, spends a probation of months or years for his better half, the ascent may be traced with unfailing precision and accuracy." The same writer correctly argues that if any principle could be inferred from analogy to animals, it would certainly be a uniform treatment of the female sex among all races of man; for animals are remarkably uniform in the relations of the male and female in the same species. Yet among some races of men polygamy has always prevailed, among others never. Would not any naturalist consider as distinct species any animals of the same genus so distinguished? This subject has not yet met with due attention at the hands of ethnologists. "When we hear of a race of men," says the same author, "being subjected to the tyranny of another race, either by personal bondage or the more easy condition of tribute, our sympathies are enlisted in their favor, and our constant good wishes, if not our efforts, accompany them. But when we hear of hundreds of millions of the truest and most tender-hearted of human creatures being trodden down and trampled upon in everything that is dear to the human heart, our sympathies, which are so freely expended on slighter occasions or imaginary evils, are scarcely awakened to their crushing woes."

With the writer from whom I have already made copious extracts, I believe that the moral and intellectual diversity of the races of men cannot be thoroughly and accurately investigated without taking into consideration the relations which most influence individual as well as national progress and development, and which result from the position occupied by woman towards man. This truth has not escaped former investigators—it would be singular if it had—but they have contented themselves with asserting that the condition of the female sex was indicative of the degree of civilization. Had they said, of the intrinsic worth of various races, I should cheerfully assent. But the elevation or degradation of woman in the social scale is generally regarded as a result, not a cause. It is said that all barbarians treat their women as slaves; but, as they progress in civilization, woman gradually rises to her legitimate rank.

For the sake of the argument, I shall assume that all now civilized nations at first treated their women as the actual barbarians treat theirs. That this is not so, I hope to place beyond doubt; but, assuming it to be the case, might not the fact that some left off that treatment, while others did not, be adduced as a proof of the inequality of races? "The law of the relation of the sexes," says Van Amringe, "is more deeply engraven upon human nature than any other; because, whatever theories may be adopted in regard to the origin of society, languages, etc., no doubt can be entertained that the influence of woman must have been anterior to any improvements of the original condition of man. Consequently it was antecedent and superior to education and government. That these relations were powerfully instrumental in the origin of development, to give it a direction and character according to the natures operating and operated upon, cannot be doubted by any one who has paid the slightest attention to domestic influences, from and under which education, customs, and government commenced."

But I totally deny that all races, in their first state of development, treated their women equally. There is not only no historical testimony to prove that any of the white races were ever in such a state of barbarity and in such moral debasement as most of the dark races are to this day, and have always been, but there is positive evidence to show that our barbarous ancestors assigned to woman the same position we assign her now: she was the companion, and not the slave, of man. I have already alluded to this in a previous note on the Teutonic races; I cannot, however, but revert to it again.

As I have not space for a lengthy discussion, I shall mention but one fact, which I think conclusive, and which rests upon incontrovertible historical testimony. "To a German mind," says Tacitus (Murphy's transl.,vol. vii. 8), "the idea of a woman led into captivity is insupportable. In consequence of this prevailing sentiment, the states which deliver as hostages the daughters of illustrious families are bound by the most effectual obligations." Did this assertion rest on the authority of Tacitus only, it might perhaps be called in question. It might be said that the illustrious Roman had drawn an ideal picture, etc. But Cæsar dealt with realities, not idealities; he was a shrewd, practical statesman, and an able general; yet Cæsar did take females as hostages from the German tribes, in preference to men. Suppose Cæsar had made war against the King of Ashantee, and taken away some of his three thousand three hundred and thirty-three wives, the mystical number being thus forcibly disturbed, might have alarmed the nation, whose welfare is supposed to depend on it; but the misfortune would soon have been remedied.

But it is possible to demonstrate not only that all races did not treat their women equally in their first stage of development, but also that no race which assigned to woman in the beginning an inferior position ever raised her from it in any subsequent stage of development. I select the Chinese for illustration, because they furnish us with an example of a long-continued and regular intellectual progress, [172] which yet never resulted in an alteration of woman's position in the social structure. The decadent Chinese of our day look upon the female half of their nation as did the rapidly advancing Chinese of the seventh and eighth centuries; and the latter in precisely the same manner as their barbarous ancestors, the subjects of the Emperor Fou, more than twenty centuries before.

I repeat it, the relations of the sexes, in various races, are equally dissimilar in every stage of development. The state of society may change, the tendency of a race never. Faculties may be developed, but never lost.

As the mothers and wives of our Teutonic ancestors were near the battle-field, to administer refreshments to the wearied combatants, to stanch the bleeding of their wounds, and to inspire with renewed courage the despairing, so, in modern times, matrons and maidens of the highest rank—worthy daughters of a heroic ancestry—have been found by thousands ready to sacrifice the comforts and quiet of home for the horrors of a hospital. [173] As the rude warrior of a former age won his beloved by deeds of valor, so, to his civilized descendant, the hand of his mistress is the prize and reward of exertion. The wives and mothers of the ancient Germans and Celts were the counsellors of their sons and husbands in the most important affairs; our wives and mothers are our advisers in our more peaceful pursuits.

But the Arab, when he had arrived at the culminating point of his civilization, and when he had become the teacher of our forefathers of the Middle Ages in science and the arts, looked upon his many wives in the same light as his roaming brother in the desert had done before, and does now. I do not ask of all these races that they should assign to their women the same rank that we do. If intellectual progress and social development among them showed the slightest tendency to produce ultimately an alteration in woman's position towards her lord, I might be content to submit to the opinion of those who regard that position as the effect of such a progress and such a development. But I cannot, in the history of those races, perceive the slightest indication of such a result, and all my observations lead me to the conclusion that the relations between the sexes are a cause, and not an effect.

The character of the women of different races differs in essential points. What a vast difference, for instance, between the females of the rude crusaders who took possession of Constantinople, and the more civilized Byzantine Greeks whom they so easily conquered; between the heroic matron of barbarous Germany and the highly civilized Chinese lady! These differences cannot be entirely the effect of education, else we are forced to consider the female sex as mere automatons. They must be the result of diversity of character. And why not, in the investigation of the moral and intellectual diversity of races and the natural history of man, take into consideration the peculiarities that characterize the female portion of each race, a portion—I am forced to make this trite observation, because so many investigators seem to forget it—which comprises at least one-half of the individuals to be described?—H.
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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

Postby admin » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:57 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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Re: THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY OF RACES, WITH PART

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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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