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color, or a minute change in the hair, or the
eration throws much doubt upon the re-
No controversy of the day is so keenly
This is not a mere theory. It is the statement of a process which we see clearly, and in abundance of cases, going on among plants and animals, producing varieties far greater than any which are
And if to be found in the human race. the same process of change is less observable by us among the tribes of mankind, this is due to the fact that the organization of man is better fitted to meet changes of climate and condition, and
resources which civilization
"Suppose, in some very remote age of the past, long before the received commencement of human annals, an Asiatic tribe, of some intermediate type between all the present races of men, had emigrated to an entirely new country and climate-say to the east of Africa. All the external influences on the physique of this tribe are changed; the soil (for soil is found to have an important effect on human constitutions), the water, the temperature, the scenery, the miasmatic influence, the electrical, the moral influences, in their different pursuits and means of livelihood-all are different from what they have been. From these, or from some other cause with which we are unacquainted, a slight variety appears in the offspring; it may, possibly, be some change in internal structure, fitting the possessors to resist better the destructive influences of the new climate and soil; this change may be accompanied, as a correlating feature, with a slightly darker shade of
more to resist the influence of such
places at his disposal enable him still changes. Hence the changes of physical appearance in mankind take place, in general, very slowly. As an example of the permanence of type which is sometimes maintained by a people, in spite of a great but temporary mingling of blood into other races, we may refer to the Copts, and still more to the Fellahs, or Mohammedan portion of the peasantry of Egypt. Mr. Brace says:
"The physical history of the Egyptians-if the statements of Gliddon and Pulszky and others be correct-is an instance of the power of the principle of inheritance in a given race to During many preserve the type pure, despite certain mixtures with other races. centuries this [the Egyptian] type was constantly modified in the higher classes by crossings with other races; first with the Semitic, under the Phoenician and Canaanite immigrations and conquests; then with the Aryan, un
der Macedonian, Greek, and Roman invasions;, until at length the country fell under Mohammedan rule, and the Fellahs embraced the faith of the Prophet. Under this new religion they were forbidden to intermarry with strangers, so that since the seventh century the popula tion of Egypt-with the exception of some slight Arabic mixture-has recruited itself by intermarriage within its own limits; and the process has again gone on undisturbed of adapting the physique to its situation and circumstances, and of bringing back the original type. And now, after great variations of type during past centuries, we have restored the pure antique Egyptian type, closely corresponding to one prominent type represented in the oldest sculpture and painting, and characterizing a variety of men, which is the only human race out of the many that have temporarily occupied Egyptian soil, that has had time to perpetuate itself."-Pp. 190-1.
This is a good example of the way in which a mixture of foreign blood is ultimately eliminated from a people-the foreign type thus introduced being gradually overpowered, and giving place to the old type in consequence of the numerical preponderance of the latter. An equally good example of the opposite case-namely, of a complete fusion of different races-is presented in England, where Celts, Germans, and Scandinavians have become so completely amalgamated that the original lines of demarkation have disappeared, and a new nation has been originated. Sometimes, but rarely, the partial union of two different races has produced a tribe or nation of half-breeds, which, without intermarrying with either of its progenitors, has assumed a distinct and separate existence of its own: as, for example, the Griquas of South Africa, a cross between the Dutch and the Hottentots, and the tribe of half breeds, a cross between the European settlers and the Indians, which have established themselves as a separate community on the Red river, in the Hudson's Bay territory.
The careful investigations of Dr. Wilson, of Toronto, have satisfactorily demolished the theory, hitherto so resolutely maintained by the supporters of the doctrine of the original diversity of races, that no new variety of mankind can be established by the sexual union of different races, and that the offspring of such crossing speedily die out, or return to the type of one or other of their progenitors. But the strongest objection which this school of ethnologists urge
against the original unity of mankind relates to the other, and more extensive, of the two great influences productive of human varieties. They deny that any change of climate, country, or conditions of life can produce the varieties of mankind which we see in the world. A certain type of mankind, if transplanted to a different country and climate, they maintain, will die out, but can not change its type. They point to the ancient monuments of Egypt, whereon the different types of man in the Old World-the low Negro type, the Semitic, the brown Turanian, and the white Aryan-are pictured exactly as they exist at the present day. The Negro had then, as now, his black skin, his thick lips, protruding jaw, and curved legs; the Semite his bent nose; the Egyptian his bronze complexion and voluptuous lips; the Aryan his white skin and noble features; and they ask, Why is it to be thought that these diversities did not exist from the beginning? Who ever sees, they ask, a race-type changing? When did a European ever become a Negro, or when has the Ethiopian changed his skin? Where has a red Indian ever passed into a white; or who ever hears of an Englishman becoming black under the tropics? even has a Jew of pure blood acquired a Greek or English type of features? Where, in short, is the process going on which shall convert one race-type into another? That the power of race is strong, and that the effects of climate alone are not sufficient to account for the diversities of human appearance, must be admitted. Mr. Brace observes:
"Such is the power of race, or of the principle of inheritance, that we are not surprised at finding the probable descendants of the ancient Vandals in North Africa still blonde with blue eyes, and the North-American Negro as black as his Congo ancestor two hundred years ago. So, again, we find the Mexicans, in their com
paratively cool districts, darker than the native races of the hottest countries of South America; and the Guiacas, at the sources of the Orinoco, whiter than the Indians in precisely the same latitude and circumstances (Waitz, Anthropologie). Neither does height always necessarily cause a lighter complexion-as witness some tribes on the mountains around the Gulf of Guinea, and the inhabitants of the mountains of New-Guinea and the Philippines, as well as many other islands of Oceanica, who are as black as the blackest Negroes that dwell on the plains. The Malayan race has the same complexion, stature, and features on the equa
Arctic circle. 'At the same distance from the
equator,' says Crawfurd, we find fair Europeans, yellow Chinese, red Americans, and black Australians.'"-Pp. 390-1.
tor and twenty degrees away from it; in moun- agencies of civilization. In our own countainous highlands as in level islands. The try, a similar change is observable in the color of the Malays under the equator is nearly gradual darkening of the hair and eyes. the same with that of the Esquimaux of the Mr. Brace, who is an American, states that a change is taking place in the appearance of the English race in the New World, although he maintains that the change is not a deterioration. Anyhow there is a change: the men are spare in figure, with universally lank hair; and without going the length of not a few ethnologists, who imagine that they can. already discern an approximation of the Americans, both mentally and bodily, to the Red-Indian type, we can not help thinking that the type of Heenan (whose parents were fresh from the Emerald Isle) will gradually disappear, and give place to one more resembling that of Deerfoot, the spare, angular, agile Seneca Indian, who has borne off the palm from the best runners in this country.
The change in the appearance of the Kelts since the time of Cæsar can hardly be accounted less than an actual change of race-type, although some of it may be due to a mixture of alien blood. And that the other changes which we have alluded to, and which we actually see in progress, may continue, and ultimately produce a fundamental alteration of appearance, is extremely probable. Moreover, in early times, such changes doubtless took place much more readily than now. There is a youth of nations as well as of individuals. There is no doubt a limit to the amount of change, mental as well as bodily, which every man can undergo or develop; and, cæteris paribus, the more changes that have taken place on him, the less able will he be to develop or undergo others. We conceive that the same is true of peoples. Every change of country and climate, for example, causes at least a temporary weakening of the physical constitution, diminishes its natural range of variation, and renders a people less fitted to undergo other changes of a like kind. This principle, we believe, furnishes the best explanation of the curious fact, now generally admitted, that pure races like the Chinese, Jews, and Gipsies stand changes of country and climate better than any others. The physical constitution of early mankind must have been more pliable, more ready to receive external impressions and accommodate itself to external influences, than in later times, when a national type had
But if the effects of climate alone are inadequate to explain the diversities of appearance in mankind, it must be remembered that climate-that is, atmospheric influences-is only one of many agencies which affect the condition and appearance of nations. We are inclined to believe that the geological structure of each country greatly affects the type, and that metalliferous regions, which are always in part mountainous, are especially favorable to the development of the human organism. The kind, as well as the quantity, of food also is known to have an influence on man's appearance; and the kind and degree of civilization has a similar influence. Mental development and moral habits exert a notable effect upon the appearance of individual man, and they can not fail to affect nations in a similar manner. "We are of yesterday, and know nothing." Our scientific observation is limited to a very narrow range of time. But even within that period, and within our (until recently) narrow ken of humanity, some changes of human type have unquestionably taken place. In the time of the Romans, the Kelts were tall, large-boned and faircomplexioned, with red hair and blue eyes; whereas the type now is a small frame, with dark hair, comparatively swarthy complexion, with darkish or black eyes. Some clans of the Scottish Highlanders alone correspond to the ancient type. A change has also taken place during the same period in the appearance of the Germans. The yellow hair and blue eyes which marked them in the time of the Roman historians have now, says Niebuhr, "in most parts of Germany, become uncommon. I have seen a considerable number of persons assembled in a large room at Frankforton-the-Maine, and observed that, except one or two Englishmen, there was not an individual among them who had not dark hair." No doubt the climate of Germany has changed since it was cleared of its forests; and the condition of the people has likewise been greatly changed by the
become formed and fixed, and the whole organization of the people, both mental and physical, had for long centuries been cast in a certain mould. This much at least is certain, that there are but two factors in the production of a racial type -blood and circumstances. Blood is the influence of the past-circumstances, of But if the question of national mortalthe present. If we undervalue the influity is not conclusively determinable, we ence of race on the character and career need not be at a loss to discern the chief of a nation, the influence of circumstances, causes which produce that mortality. Unand of local peculiarities, is raised thereby questionably the great prophylactic against into greater importance, and vice versa. national death, the great support of naWhatever is taken from blood must be tional longevity, is a numerous population. given to circumstances; whatever is de- A people which at the outset has a wide nied to the power of circumstances must region to settle in-uninhabited save by a be ascribed to the influence of blood. few forest-tribes who withdraw before them, and isolated from the attack of any other organized nation-may so increase in numbers and in civilization, and so consolidate itself by social and political organization, that before the period of its isolation is at an end, its unity and its vastness render it virtually indestructible. Such has been the case of China. But when peoples number only a few millions, like the old nations who grew up in the valleys of the Nile and the Euphrates, and are open to attack from powerful rivals, the probability is that they will be gradually exhausted in the conflict. Greece exhausted herself by her very triumphs; the Romans disappeared by spreading themselves over a subject world. The fate of Egypt and of the old empires of Mesopotamia shows us national overthrow and decay in their completest form. The wars which accompanied their overthrow, and the ruthlessness or barbarism of the invaders, destroyed or allowed to fall into ruins the canals and other works of irrigation, upon which depended the fertility of the country; and the spirit of the people was too much broken to struggle against and repair the calamity. Conceive the case of a man advanced in years who suddenly finds his wealth gone, the labor and glory of his life destroyed, his freedom and self-respect exchanged for humiliation and subjection: what heart has he left to struggle with his misfortunes? Is he not most likely to sit down amid the ruins, like Job amid his ashes, and bow his head in the quiescence of despair as the billows of his overwhelming calamity break over him? Even such must have been the feeling of those old
The question has often presented itself to historians, Why do nations die? Is mortality a condition of their existence, or is it but an accident? Reasoning from analogy may be multiplied abundantly on both sides of the question. But, as regards the facts of history, there is one case, and one only, albeit a very weighty one, which can be quoted in opposition to the theory that nations, as well as individuals, must die. The case is that of China, where, from the earliest times of which we have any knowledge, a people has gone on increasing in numbers, and maintaining its national existence, down to the present day; and of which we may truly say, that although it is possible to imagine a time when that empire may be directed by Europeans, it surpasses any ordinary imagination to conceive of that vast population, numbering one third of the whole human race, becoming extinct or ceasing to be Chinese. So far as facts go, China furnishes a strong argument against the doctrine of national mortality. But, for this one old nation that has lived and still lives, there are half a dozen others which have perished. The Babylonians and the Assyrians are dead and gone: not a single living trace of them exists. The national existence of the ancient Egyptians passed away (we may say) sixteen hundred years ago. The Greek nation ceased to exist long ago; and its blood has become so mixed, and its country so changed, that if it should revive again, it will rather be as a new people than as a continuation of its former existence. The Romans were but a tribe-their empire was that of a polity rather than of a people; and both polity and people have dis-nations-Egyptians, Babylonians, Aztecs, appeared. In the New World, the mor- Peruvians-when they beheld their empire
tality of nations has been still more strikingly displayed. The Mayans of Central America, the old Peruvians, the Toltecs and Aztecs of Mexico, have ceased to exist; and even the barbarous nomades are melting away before the advance of the new-comers from Europe.
overthrown, their old glory gone, their | ed, and forms a barrier against the influx very means of subsistence failing them, of large hordes or hosts which, by comand a haughty, in their eyes barbarous, mixture, might deteriorate the national race jostling them in the streets, plunder- type. What the British race needs in oring their wealth, and treading them and der to attain longevity is-first, indepentheir children in the dust. "The effect dence, that our high spirits may be unon the spirits and temperament which the broken, and our wills and energies free; contrast of a different and more fortunate secondly, a steady but not excessive emipeople causes," observes Mr. Brace, " must gration, such as may relieve the labornot be understood to be a poetic or senti- market without depleting it: so that the mental statement. It is a scientific con- material comfort of the people may not sideration now, in explaining the diminu- retrograde, but continue advancing with tion of any barbarous or inferior race in the progress of science and civilization, presence of a more powerful one." In the and that we may escape that diminution case of the North-American Indian, he of marriages, and of births to marriages, adds, "melancholy is to be set down in which, whether due to necessity, selfishthe driest statistical list of the causes of ness, or corruption, usually marks that his decline." The moral depression caus- period of stagnation which forms the first ed by subjection to an alien race, the de- stage of national decay. As long as our struction of wealth and material prosperity population increases at its present rate, generally consequent upon conquest, the and emigration takes off the surplus, not change which takes place in the aspect of only will our internal condition remain the country-all tend to produce a diminu- sound and healthy, but every year we are tion of the population, and ultimately adding to the number of our race in other national death. Sometimes, as we have countries, and thereby multiplying the said, the decay is produced by the draft- number of our friends and customers. ing away of the flower of a race in for- What is to be the lot of the colonies thus eign conquests; but such decay may be sprung from our loins, and planted wide only temporary, unless (as in the case of apart in the most distant quarters of the Greece) it be accompanied by an influx of earth, we do not pretend to say. That inferior population, mingling its blood their career will be glorious we do not with that of the decaying lordly race. doubt; that the parent isles will in future ages lose their supremacy, and become but a member of the galaxy of AngloSaxon powers that will then bridge the seas and span the globe, we believe. But what of those offshoots ethnologically? Will the British race thrive as well in their new homes as in their old? We think not. They may indeed find elsewhere greater opportunities, and possibly may attain greater power; our offspring in America, for example, have a whole continent to expand in, while we have but two small islands. Nevertheless, whatever may be the future aggregate power of the Anglo-Americans, we see no reason to believe that, man for man, they will equal, either in physical or psychological qualities, the parent stock. Were we asked to name the two places in the world most favorable for the perpetuation of the pure British stock, we should say NewZealand and Japan, both of which countries are insular, metalliferous, and in nearly the same climate and latitude as the British Isles. Both of these countries also are remarkable for producing the finest type of the races to which their
Lord Russell once, objecting to Macaulay's picture of a New-Zealander one day meditating among the ruins of London, as Marius amid fallen Carthage, or Layard over buried Nineveh, said boldly: "No -if London Bridge be broken down, the Londoners will build it up again; if St. Paul's become dilapidated, they will renovate it." But it is the saying of a statesman, not of a philosopher; the confidence marks a man who is too absorbed in his own times to appreciate the wider lessons of history. It is the boast of one who, seeing with delight the manifold activities and ever-renewed energy of this goodly nation, is too proud of it to bear the thought that it too may die. By a possibility the boast may prove true; but it is far too confident for the philosophic historian, who sees that time writes its wrinkles on the brow of nations as of men, and that there is a law of death for societies as well as for the units who compose them. But in this much, certainly, our country is fortunate, inasmuch as its insular position constitutes a bulwark of independence such as no great nation ever before enjoy