[merged small][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


1. Lectures on the Races of Men. By Robert Knox, M.D., F.R.S.E. Medical

Times. 2. The Philosophy of the Human Hand. Translated from the French of M. Le

Caine. S. D'Arpentigny. Medical Times. 3. Modern Painters. By a Graduate of Oxford. London : Smith, Elder & Co.,


We have grouped these works together, whether king, kaisar, carle, or earl? The though apparently dissimilar, because they philosophical spirit does not deal in polemics, all bear upon the question of all others im- and abuse of individuals helps to perpetuate portant to man, viz., human progress, phys- abuses. But Dr. Knox seems to us rather ical and mental. The lectures of Dr. Knox to be an acute perceiver than a sound reahave excited considerable interest, and de- soner, and somewhat prone, like the actor servedly so; but we regard them as valua- Dennis, to cry out, “That's my thunder !" ble rather by inciting discussion than for the But we respect him for things which he has, soundness of their philosophy.

With a

not expecting those he has not; and very thorough appreciation for all earnest men, valuable is he in his day and generation. even when their faith is questionable, and If we understand Dr. Knox's theory, it is thoroughly recognizing the earnestness of that men were originally created of differing Dr. Knox, we cannot sympathize with the races, like the wild animals, and that howvituperative tone he uses toward the mental ever they may mingle in marriage, there is a inferiorities of the world, who, for their mis- constant tendency for the mixed race to die fortune and ours, may be put in high places. off, and the races to revert to their original We do not use terms of abuse to the sloth, types. More than this, he assumes that or the slug, or tiger, or hyæna, when dis- these original types are constantly disappearcussing their peculiarities; and why should ing, if we may judge from his words: “All we do so to man when he is unfortunate things seem to move in cycles ; races sucenough to be misfitted to his occupation, ceed races on the stage of the world.” VOL XIX. NO. I.



Regarding man simply as an animal, this Premising that we believe in the ultimate proposition may hold good ; but contempla- eradication of vicious qualities from man, in ting him as a highly intellectual being, pos- other words, in the fitting application of all sessing imagination and wisdom, the argu- man's qualities to uses beneficial to himself ment is utterly worthless. There can be no and his fellow-men, as intended from the bedoubt that our orchard apples, were England ginning, we will endeavor to set forth our dispeopled, would all revert to crabs, and we own views as to the processes he has passed have, moreover,

through, and has yet to pass through. We “Some tough old crab-trees here at home, that will may assume either of two theories,—that

man was created civilized and lapsed into a Be grafted to our relish.”

savage, or that he was created a savage ab

initio. In his savage state, he could only But "so long as England is England,” subsist on food of spontaneous growth-the that is, inhabited by a race of men, in the vegetables of the earth, or the animals feedlarger sense of the word, there is more ing on those vegetables. So long as he chance of a crab-tree becoming a curiosity could procure food in plenty he would not than of apples being extinct. The philoso- be ferocious, but pressed by hunger he would phy of Dr. Knox would form the whole races

be, like any of the carnivorous tribes, a fierce of men into castes—creatures of instinct, not savage. He would war on his fellow-man to of will. The world's history is yet but the appropriate the scarce food, and this is predawn of mankind, and the reasoning built cisely the practice that obtains amongst the thereon lacks sufficient data. The original red tribes of men in America. Gregarious types of man seem to us capable of infinite man first associated, as distinct herds of catvariety, and that we are in a state of con

tle do, for self-protection. His food was stant progress from lesser to greater—from wild animals. As they became scarce, hunplainness to beauty—from stupidity to high ger ensued, and to prevent this, a species of intellect--from loatnsome animality to high property-tribal property-was assumed unand divine morality.

Thus far we may

der the title of “ hunting-grounds,” the claim agree with Dr. Knox, that the inferior types being nearly of the same kind as a strong of man are disappearing and the superior in- | lion or tiger might assume. The numbers creasing, as the cycles roll on,

of the tribes increasing, they preyed on each

other's hunting-grounds, and thus induced " And the thoughts of men are widened with the

war, whereby the numbers of men being reprocess of the suns."

duced, the numbers of animals increased, and In both Dr. Knox and M. D’Arpentigny, the peace followed. This was the state of the love of theory seems to lead them to a Pro- red men at the advent of Columbus, and is crustean process of bending all things to their state still, save where the white men their own fancy. Doubtless each human have come in amongst them. It is the state being is born with a peculiar natural apti- of the Arab tribes in Africa also. It is the tude, as are dogs and horses, and each hu- state of all nations of men where the animal man being will prove valuable to the world faculties are in excess of the reasoning. It and to himself as this aptitude is developed ; has been more or less the state of Ireland up but we hold that, in order to be perfect, to the present time. The law of prey, reasoning man must be a compendium of all which is the original law of nature, can only that is desirable in man; and that, out of the be abrogated by the law of human reason, whole races of men upon the earth will arise, which, in its approach to perfection, will in some future day, the mixed, or rather, gradually disperse those imperfections we are perhaps, we should say, the restored race, accustomed to class under the name of that will realize the dream of man's perfect- “ evil.” ibility. Saxon industry, Celtic art, Arab The origin of race, therefore, is very easy passion, Negro hilarity, are all high qualities to understand. It is obvious that in à savof man; and when they shall be combined age state the term strongest applies to the in the same individuals, instead of existing man of the most perfect animal faculties. separately, a harmonious world will be the Good ears, sharp eyes, strong teeth, good result. Man, divided into distinct types, re- health, and nervous and muscular energy, sembles the lame man mounted on the would constitute the strong man; vice verså shoulders of the blind man, recorded in one the weak man.

A portion more or less of of Mrs. Barbauld's stories, producing a result cunning superadded to these qualities would by very imperfect processes.

constitute à chief of men, or king-König,

[ocr errors]

or able man. Animal faculties are the hunt- | in the United States. On the eastern slopes er's faculties, and it is easy to apprehend, of the Southern Andes, the cattle-breeders that men without these faculties would di- have a habit of attaching a bell to the neck rectly or indirectly be destroyed, and all of a mare. From three to four hundred those growing to manhood would be of one horses of one color follow this mare whereytype or race. How such a race could attain er she speeds, and one proprietor frequently to civilization it is difficult to understand. It has a troop of grays, another of blacks, and would be the leap from spontaneous food to another of duns. The internal lakes of artificial food, from the hunter to the hus- Chili are usually inhabited by swans with bandman, and that means individual prop- black necks. The captain of an Australian erty in the earth's surface. An individual trader presented a pair of the "rara aves in of powerful mind might spring up into pow. terris," the black swans, to the proprietors er and produce a change, but probably it of one of these lakes. No sooner were they would be

placed on the water than they were sur

rounded by the black-necked race, as a ne“ With Epaminondas and Pelopidas, the glory of Thebes rose—and fell."

gro might be surrounded by an European

mob, and ultimately the male negro swan In a mild or warm climate, where vegeta- was killed, and the female left to drag out ble food is spontaneous, and more natural to her widowhood as best she might. man, the transition would be more easy. Where circumstances are favorable to a Manco Capac in Peru, and the ancestry of type, that type will increase, though in miMontezuma, in Mexico, are cases in point; nority; but where the mass of the commuand from thence, probably, came what is nity is of one type, though surrounded by found of civilization amongst the red men of unfavorable circumstances, they will merely the North, whose traditions tell that their continue to degenerate till extinguished, withancestors came from the warm climates-out permitting a stronger race to grow up probably driven thence by the pressure of near them, unless laws and customs are fapopulation against the means of subsistence. vorable to the stronger race. Many of the In these climates the race of men would vary. ancient people of the earth have doubtless The vegetable food would induce a milder thus disappeared. Thus will the French type of men. At this day, the races of men population of Canada disappear; thus will vary in the eastern and western portions of the Celtic population of Ireland disappear, the American continent—in Chili and La unless they mingle with the Saxon and EngPlata. In Chili the people are fed chiefly | lish races. on dried beans, with a portion of bread. Dr. Knox argues that there is a tendency Their temperament is hilarious, their faces in mules and mulattoes to die out, in human round, their figures plump, and of a Sancho beings as well as in the animal races. That Panza tendency. In La Plata, on the con- is to say, there is a tendency in man to retrary, the everlasting food is animal-chief- turn to his original types, to his normal state ly beef—and the men are savage-looking and of wild man. Very probably; but so also lank-loined. Chili overflows with popula- is there a tendency to improve all breeds by tion ; La Plata is scant. The stomach of the crossing. The farmer understands this in Chilian is distended, like that of a potato- his cows, and sheep, and pigs, and also in eating Irishman. The stomach of the La his corn, and turnips, and potatoes. It is Plata rider is like that of a hungry tiger. sometimes regarded as an institution of Prov

The general circumstances which surroundidence, that different lands have been made a particular community are favorable to the to produce different commodities, in order to growth and increase of a particular type of induce alliances between their inhabitants. man, and less favorable to others.

Why may not man himself fall under the “Like follows like throughout this mortal same category? The strong and hardy white span :” thus, the horse in Flanders becomes races of the north cannot thrive in warm an unwieldy monster, and in Shetland a southern climates, neither can the inhabitant dwarf; and there is a tendency in animals to of the torrid zone thrive in the north ; and associate together from external resem- the mixed race, apparently fitted for neither, blances, and to persecute those who are dis- | may thrive but in the temperate climate. similar or strange. In the Falkland Islands Gradation is the general law of nature. there are cattle of four different colors, form- Violent changes produce hurricanes and ing separate herds in distant districts as ex- earthquakes. "Man is partly a creature and clusively as white men separate from negroes partly a creator of circumstances. In the far north he is white, and his skin gradually viz., the possibility of making grass produce darkens as he goes southward, till at the large seeds, as wheat, barley, oats, or rye, a equator he becomes black. In his highest larger population may be provided for; but civilized state he approaches the forms of property in land must first be established, classic beauty. In savage life his mouth be- and human industry or human drudgery comes a muzzle, and he degenerates nearly called into action. “In the sweat of thy to a monkey. It is all gradation, and we brow shalt thou eat bread.” But when thus see no reason why the elements in the savage far launched by nature on the ocean of proshould not grow up into the sage or saint, or gress, man is still but a savage clad in the why the color of the negro should not change skins of beasts. In his ever-teeming brain, to that of the white, or vice versánot in that hive of the whole world's


and our time, but in the lapse of ages, taking ad- by the aid of that wonder-working sceptre, vantage of favorable circumstances. It is his hand, nature has provided for his everwithin the bounds of possibility that English- returning wants; the spindle and distaff and men might once more become savages; but loom spring forth; animal and vegetable before that takes place, they must forget all yield their spoils, and lo! he is clad in purthe powers of nature they have pressed into ple and fine linen. He and his, but not ihey. their service to do nian's drudgery, and re- Men have become the drudges of their felturn to their ancient state of ignorance. low-men, who by the sweat of their brain

Race, then, we believe to be the result of have left the sweat of the brow to the mass, especial circumstances, acting for a long pe- while they become a leisure class, removed riod of time on an especial body of people, from bodily drudgery. Metals have been unfavorably in certain types, and favorably scantily wrought, palaces of stone have been in others, till they have all grown similar. built, groves have been planted, and Greece Such a race may remain in the same circum- has become possible with her heroes and stances unchanged forever; but if they poets, artists and philosophers. Yet all is change these circumstances, as for example, based on a hollow dream. There are two if they make a conquest of a new land where orders in the nation, freemen and slaves; the circumstances are unfavorable, they will and though the time has not come for Christ decline and disappear; and thus it is that a to proclaim men's universal equality, amongst race of conquerors usually disappears from a that crowd of slaves arise a fresh generation conquered nation by process of time, unless of heroes, poets, artists, and philosophers, the numbers be kept up by fresh importa- and it gets to be perceived that it is an imtions to replace those dying off. Man differs possible thing for any class of men to be not from the animals in these particulars. happy in luxury while other men are unhapThe same race of bees still flourishes in Hy- py in misery. Men must not “grind at the mettus; neither lion, nor tiger, nor elephant mill” forever, that other men may eat of has degenerated in their native regions, and white wheaten bread. they are never voluntary emigrants. Man In a very temperate climate, men may inalone, aided by his reason, tries new circum- crease in number up to the supply of food; stances, and sometimes blunders in misfitting but in the cold hyberborean regions, other himself to his climate.

things are required besides food, clothing, Physical man, in a warm climate, requires and lodging. 'An abundant supply of fuel food chiefly of a vegetable kind, with water is also essential, not merely for individuals, for drink; in short, his wants are as simple but for the mass. A cold climate, therefore, as those of the lower animals. In such a with only timber for fuel, can never be very climate there are commonly diseases enough densely populated. Where timber is not, to keep down the pressure of population; if savage people use oil lamps to warm their not, wars take place, for the torrid zone is dwellings, and their lives are shortened and favorable to the development of vicious pas- their numbers lessened, by breathing mephitsions. In cool or cold climates, physical man ic air. Those who cannot do this, gradually requires food, fuel, clothing, and lodging; burn up their timber and migrate. And and some of it must be strong food, as animal now man unfolds another page in his brain, food and flesh, to keep up heat and the waste and another of nature's secrets is laid open of the body. If he be a hunter, his food, to him. On the surface, and below the surand the skins of beasts for clothing are easy face of the earth, he finds a fuel stored up to get, provided population be sparse. If for him by nature before he was born, ready he has, moreover, discovered the secret of for his gradually developing faculties. It nature provided for his first step in progress, I would have been useless to him while in a



savage state, unacquainted with the use of too powerful to submit to work for task-mastools, and therefore timber was provided. ters. The wealth and power of England are The timber consumed, and the tools ready, sustained by the powers of nature without the coal is found; and now timber trees may cruelty inflicted on man, and therefore they be left to grow up in their beauty to gladden may be permanent. But England has not his eyes while they stand, or be cut down been working for herself alone. She has only to build his ships and dwellings. A been the workshop of the world, and all namighty boon to the earth was this of coal, tions have profited by her labors. She has wondrously enhanced by the iron lying by its spun and woven cotton, and flax, and silk, side, the Castor and Pollux of this our Eng- and wool, to clothe them, and she has given lish Argo, freighted with the world's deliver- them machines and taught them to do likeance from thraldom, and manned by such a wise. She has built them ships till her timcrew as the world never before beheld, ber has been consumed, and she has opened whose

memory shall never die while the firm yet again the inexhaustible book of man's earth shall endure, or the ocean tides rever- brain, to build ships of iron, moved by iron berate.

-incombustible, and like the axe of When coal, and iron, and lime, and artifi- Elisha, unsinkable; ships that will carry incial food in abundance, are thus combined to creased cargoes with less cost for materials gether, surrounded by a vigor-giving healthy and labor, materials inexhaustible, and labor climate, then may the races of men thicken, growing lighter, and capable of indefinite inand combine for progress. When, in addition, a watery highway is ready on all sides Suoty and begrimed nation-gnomes of to waft them and their wealth there congre- the north, artisans and not artists—thus we gated, even to the furthermost parts of the are called by the races whose leisure we have earth, there must be ever a fountain-bead of earned, and that, too, is to have an end. the world's power. Such is this our Eng - Again has the human brain been searched land-such has it ever been by its island that the sweat may be wiped from the brows form: such has not been the interior of Eu- of the cleansers of clothing and buildings, rope, and therefore has its progress been and those who walk in high places. It is slower. But when the coal and iron were still puzzling its way at smoke-consuming, found side by side in England, still was the forgetting that the true way is to abstain world far from their free use. The work of from making the smoke; that though nature the world was done by the drudgery of the made coal for man's uses, she did not make slave-like many, chiefly for the benefit of the it all fit for perfect combustion. It is the lordly few. Food might be plentiful, sur- work of the manufacturing chemist to do face coal might easily be had for them who this. lived near it; but alas ! for those at a dis- If we put ripe fruit into our stomachs we tance; and the skins of beasts were still the can digest it; but if we put therein raw poclothing of many, while houses and other tatoes or cabbage, we shall require some things were scarce;

kind of chemical solvent, called physic. To

obviate the necessity for this, we cook the “* In clouted iron shoes and sheepskin breeches:" vegetables before eating them. Now, the

food of fire is coal. Cannel coal is analoso wrote Daniel Defoe, of the English labor- gous to ripe fruit; it will digest or burn withers of his day. Clothing by day and by out smoke: Newcastle, Leicester, or other night were rags and straw. But another coal, is analogous to the raw potatoes ; it leaf of man's brain was unfolded, and again will not digest without smoke. Chemists was the sweat wiped from his brow. The well know that combustion is the exact mixwind and the wave were first set to grind his ing, in certain proportions, of certain gases. corn, and pump his water, and spin his If the proportions be incorrect, the surplus thread; and last came steam to proclaim the portions produce smoke and vapor. There"beginning of the end” of human drudgery, fore, to get rid of smoke from coal fires, we that the time should indeed come when men must mix our coals artificially—thus manumight be equal in circumstances to their facturing a fuel which will contain the several biri hright.

gases in due proportions. The wealth, and power, and philosophy, This accomplished, we may go on for some and artistic ease of Greece, came from her time in increased comfort; but with the slaves ; that of Rome, from conquered na-“ process of the suns” a new difficulty will tions. They fell because the slaves grew l arise. Wood is of limited extent, but it is

« VorigeDoorgaan »