Puslapio vaizdai

relations of this race, which seems once to have spread over the breadth of all Southern Africa.

The PAPUAN race is a third, of very marked character, but of very limited diffusion. They may seem to have been made for a continental life, as indeed their principal home (as far as hitherto known) is in the greater islands, New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland, New Caledonia, -to which Borneo and Van Dieman's Land were probably once to be added. They are very indisposed to migration. Eastward, they reach only as far as the Feejee islands, which, in many respects, form a meeting place between the Papuan and the Malay races. The Papuans are characterised by Dampier, as tall, bottle-nosed, mopheaded negroes. The hugeness of their forms, the enormous size of their periwigs, which are often three feet in circumference, and the deep blackness of their skin, make it impossible for voyagers to describe them inaccurately. Their hair is so wiry and massive, that they cannot sleep comfortably without a wooden neck-pillow. Every filament has a spiral twist like a corkscrew, and will grow, if not cut, to the length of a foot. Their beards are long and bushy.

In the Papuans of Borneo (who are not numerous there) Captain Brownrig ascertained, what is probably true of this whole race, that the hair grew in small tufts separated from each other; so that when it was cropped close, the head looked like an old shoe-brush. The same peculiarity is attested concerning the hair of the Hottentot, who is, in most respects, very unlike the Papuan. The great quantity of hair on the lower limbs of the Papuan are thought to assimilate him more to the European than to the Negro race.

It was only in the Feejee islands that the expedition fell in with the Papuans; and to these accordingly Dr. Pickering limits his account. The hugeness of size attributed to this race might be received without wonder, if details were not given; but when Dr. Pickering adds, that the measure of a Feejeean's leg was found "to encircle three united of three of our men," we are set questioning whether American crews have preternaturally spindle shanks, or how the heart, stomach and lungs of the Feejeeans can, without exhaustion, feed limbs so uselessly big.

We wish Dr. Pickering had given us the measure in inches, and aided our weak imagination by a drawing of such a pair of legs. The tallest Feejeean whom he saw, was, he says, 6 feet 6 inches high. D'Urville remarks that in this people there is "no obesity:" "they are tall, well made, active, and muscular." Our author describes the tinge of their skin as showing purple in the sun, their countenances as apparently vertical like ours, and highly impressive, notwithstanding something negro in its outlines. The painting which he exhibits of Kombeti, a Feejee native, unites indeed immense physical energy with something intellectual, majestic, and morally fearless and in spite of the slaughter of parents, cannibalism, and human sacrifices existing among them, their extreme ferocity, and the desperately bad opinion formed of them by the missionaries, yet the entire account seems to show that they are, after all, the noblest race of those parts.

The loyalty of Europe feebly represents the devotion of the Feejees to their king. At his simple word the bravest warrior resigns himself to death without resistance, or obeys the mandate to become the executioner of his friend. Yet a time generally arrives, when this loyalty is overstrained and suddenly snaps; so that the king ordinarily dies at length by assassination. Indeed, as no old people are allowed to live when their strength fails, but it is the duty or privilege of every son to kill his aged parents, the king, who ought to be their leader in battle, could hardly expect exemption from this common law. The wars of the different islands are often horrible in slaughter; but certainly not to be criticised by the European races. The skill of the Feejeeans in all the arts strikes every resident as far surpassing that of the Polynesians in general. "In architecture they have made no mean progress," says Dr. Pickering: they excel in domestic economy, (having an infinite number of ways of cooking human flesh!) cultivate a far greater variety of esculent plants, and are more skilful in navigation. They use the bow, and are dextrous with the javelin; but the club of Hercules is their favourite weapon. They play the panpipes and "nose-flute," and appear to have taste in all the fine arts. Indeed Dr. Pickering is persuaded that

they form the centre, from which the cultivation of Polynesia has spread. Every village has its temple, from which women are excluded; but in which strangers are entertained and lodged, and public feasts held, with “grace," toasts, and compliments. At Levuka is a highpointed building, containing an Oracle. They have a fixed system of mythology, and a regular series of priests. Circumcision is practised by them. Everything appears to indicate an older and more consolidated state of the whole national institutions, than is generally found through Polynesia. D'Urville first observed that the Feejeeans are "the common limit of the copper or Polynesian, and of the black Oceanic race." Since then, the conclusion has been independently reached, as well by the resident missionaries, as by the highly accomplished and acute Secretary of the London Asiatic Society, Mr. Edwin Norris, that the Feejee is properly a Polynesian language. Mr. Norris believes that Tonga blood is mixed in the Feejee islands; but the order in which the population was introduced, remains as a problem for future inquirers. That the Papuans are an eminently improvable people, capable also of originating a various civilization, seems to us clear from this account.

Next to the Papuans, Dr. Pickering ranges the Negrillo race, or "puny blacks" of Prichard. They dwell in the New Hebrides, New Guinea, Luzon, the Andaman and other islands, and are of all human races the most monkeylike. Mr. Drayton has given us an amusing countenance of an Aramanga lad, as a specimen of this race. The moral expression is decidedly pleasing, and he is described as active, intelligent and docile. To distinguish between this race and African negroes, appears to us a work of great superfluity: nor does it appear that any chasm can be established between Negroes and Ethiopians on the one hand, or, on the other, between Ethiopians and Western Indians.

Dr. Pickering proposes a scheme of eleven races, as a minimum: viz., a. (White) Arabian, Abyssinian; b. (Brown) Mongolian, Hottentot, Malay; c. (Blackish Brown) Papuan, Negrillo, Indian (or Telingan), Ethiopian; d. (Black) Australian, Negro. The objections to this, as a scientific scheme, appear to us most obvious and decisive: but we

gather, that by a race he barely means what we would rather call a form. He sees a man with striking peculiarities, among other very different men; and he pronounces at first sight, "This man is of such and such a race." Yet he does not mean that his peculiarities must all have come from distant ancestors, running back indefinitely; for, we have seen, he believes all the races to have been propagated out of one primitive stock. A person who admits this, ought, we think, to give more weight to climate and localities than Dr. Pickering does. For instance, when he finds black Ethiopians on the lowlands, and fair men with features half Indian, half European, on the very elevated table-land of Abyssinia, he ought to attribute something to their local position. If Papuans and Hottentots can have been once propagated out of Arabs or Persians, it seems irrational to confine ourselves to the idea that such changes happened once only, and once for all. Dr. Pickering seems tied fast by the difficulty that three hundred years have not altered the European races in America, although this space of time has altered the plants and some of the animals imported thither. This surely proves too much for him. If it proves anything, it shows that mankind is of many original breeds; and of how many, it is then impossible to guess; they are to be counted by hundreds. But it appears obvious to reply, that civilized man shields himself from the elements, artificially preserves his habits, and with them much of his native type for many centuries longer than in the savage state would happen. On the other hand, it is too obvious to insist, that we must, on any theory, claim not hundreds, but tens of thousands of years for a Persian or Arab race to grow into mop-headed Papuans and square-faced Chinese. Give us but a geologer to mete out the age of the human species, and physiologists will probably feel no further difficulty about the possible origin of man from a single stock.

At the same time, it seems to us there is extraordinary confusion of thought among our best writers on this whole subject. They assume that "unity of species" can mean nothing else but derivation from a single pair of human progenitors, and, therefore, derivation from a single spot in the earth's surface. But this is not at all what we mean

[ocr errors]

when we attribute unity of species to any of the inferior animals. Indeed, it seems unimaginable, in the case of those weak races on which the stronger feed, that the Creative Power should have originally produced a single pair only, so as to expose the species to inevitable destruction by the loss of one life. No one who speaks of rabbits or sparrows as all of one species," means to express any opinion concerning the past history and origination of the breed; he speaks of a present fact, unembarrassed by speculative difficulties. So, too, when we call mankind a single species, we mean to assert that this group of animals has certain intimate similarities, which associate it into one, and put a chasm between it and all others. These similarities of body and mind are such, that men and women, of any two races that can be picked out at random, are capable of entering into family relationships and common interests. They not only may have common offspring, but a common sense of Right, and Duty, and Religion—a common understanding and sympathy: so that there is neither physiological or mental impediment to any two races being fused into a single nation, possessed of all the attributes of humanity. This intimate congruity of body and mind is an undeniable fact, the moral importance of which is pre-eminent, and the moral influence of which ought not to be risked upon any theory or mythological opinion concerning the origin of Man. The unity of the species, and the moral rights of the individuals who possess its moral nature, remain unaffected, whether mankind have sprung from one or from a thousand pair of progenitors-whether these were brought suddenly into existence by a supreme fiat, or were gradually developed out of an inferior race, which had as yet no self-controlling moral faculties whatever. The fears of philanthropists on this matter have risen out of an ill-grounded and superstitious morality, according to which (it seems), if some antiquarian could prove that the most ancient Celts were a species of monkey, it would at once be legitimate for us to shoot the Welsh for winter sport, and pickle their little children as delicacies for the table.

The numerical estimate formed by Dr. Pickering of the eleven races is as follows, in millions :

« AnkstesnisTęsti »