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have now arranged them, must necessarily have originated from different sources; and that even the Mosaic account itself will afford countenance to such an hypothesis.
This opinion was first stated, in modern times, by the celebrated Isaac Peyrere librarian to the Prince of Condé; who, about the middle of last century, contended, in a book which was not long afterward condemned to the flames, though for other errors in conjunction with the present, that the narration of Moses speaks expressly of the creation of two distinct species of man;-an elder species which occupied a part of the sixth day's creation, and is related in the first chapter of Genesis; and a junior, confined to Adam and Eve, the immediate progenitors of the Hebrews to whom this account was addressed; and which is not referred to till the seventh verse of the second chapter, and even then without any notice of the exact period in which they were formed. After which transaction, observes this writer and those who think with him, the historian confines himself entirely to the annals of his own nation, or of those which were occasionally connected with it. Neither is it easy, they adjoin, to conceive upon any other explanation, how Cain in so early a period of the world as is usually laid down, could have been possessed of the implements of husbandry which belonged to him; or what is meant by the fear he expressed, upon leaving his father's family, after the murder of Abel, that every one who found him would slay him; or, again, his going forth into another country, marrying a wife there, and building a city soon after the birth of his eldest son.
Now, a cautious perusal of the Mosaic narrative will, I think, incontestably prove that the two accounts of the creation of man refer to one and the same fact, to which the historian merely returns, in the seventh verse of the second chapter, for the purpose of giving it a more detailed consideration; for it is expressly asserted in the fifth, or preceding verse but one, as the immediate reason for the creation of Adam and Eve, that at that "time there was not a man to till the ground;" while, as to the existence of artificers competent to the formation of the first rude instruments employed in husbandry, and a few patches of mankind scattered over the regions adjoining that in which Cain resided, at the period of his fratricide, it should be recollected that this first fall of man by the hand of man, did not take place till a hundred and twenty-nine years after the creation of Adam: for it was in his one hundred and thirtieth year that Seth was given to him in the place of Abel: an interval of time amply sufficient, especially if we take into consideration the peculiar fecundity of both animals and vegetables in their primeval state, for a multiplication of the race of man, to an extent of many thousand souls.
On such a view of the subject, therefore, it should seem that the only fair and explicit interpretation that can be given to the Mosaic history is, that the whole human race has proceeded from one single pair, or in the words of another part of the Sacred Writings, that God "hath made of ONE BLOOD all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth."* The book of nature is in this as in every other respect in union with that of Revelation: it tells us that one single pair must have been adequate to all the purposes on which this class of philosophers have grounded their objections: and it should be farther observed to them, that thus to multiply causes without necessity is not more inconsistent with the operations of nature than with the principles of genuine philosophy.
But the question still returns: whence, then, proceed those astonishing diversities among the different nations of mankind, upon which the arrangement now offered is founded?
The answer is, that they are the effect of a combination of causes; some of which are obvious, others of which must be conjectured, and a few of which are beyond the reach of human comprehension:-but all of which are common to other animals, as well as to man; for extraordinary as these
*Acts, xvii. 26.
diversities may appear, they are equally to be met with in the varieties of several other kinds of animals that can be proved to have been produced from a single species, and, in one or two instances, from a single pair.
The chief causes we are acquainted with are the four following: climate, food, manner of life, and hereditary diseases.
I. The influence which CLIMATE principally produces on the animal frame is on the colour of the skin and on the extent of the stature. All the deepest colours we are acquainted with are those of hot climates; and all the lightest those of cold ones. In our own country we perceive daily, that an exposure to the rays of the sun turns the skin from its natural whiteness to a deep brown or tan; and that a seclusion from the sun keeps it fair and unfreckled. In like manner the tree-frog (rana arborea) while living in the shade is of a light yellow, but of a dark green when he is obliged to shift from the shade into the sunshine. So the nereis lacustris, though whitish under the darkness of a projecting bank, is red when exposed to the sun's rays. And that the larves of most insects that burrow in the cavities of the earth, of plants, or of animals, are white, from the same cause, is clear, since being confined under glasses that admit the influence of solar light, they exchange their whiteness for a brownish hue.
The same remark will apply to plants as well as to animals; and hence nothing more is necessary to bleach or whiten them, than to exclude them from the light of day. Hence the birds, beasts, flowers, and even fishes of the equatorial regions are uniformly brighter or deeper tinctured in their spots, their feathers, their petals, and their scales, than we find them in any other part of the world. And hence, one reason at least for the deep jet which, for the most part, prevails among mankind under the equator; the dark-brown and copper colours found under the tropics; and the olive, shifting through every intermediate shade to the fair and sanguine complexion, as we proceed from the tropic of Cancer northwards. Hence, too, the reason why the Asiatic and African women, confined to the walls of their seraglios, are as white as Europeans; why Moorish children, of both sexes, are, at first, equally fair, and why the fairness continues among the girls, but is soon lost among the boys.
As we approach the poles, on the contrary, we find every thing progressively whiten; bears, foxes, hares, falcons, crows, and blackbirds, all assume the same common livery; while many of them change their colour with the change of the season itself. For the same reason, as also because they have a thinner mucous web, the Abyssinians are less deep in colour than the negro race; for though their geographical climate is nearly the same, their physical climate differs essentially: the country stands much higher, and its temperature is far lower.
The immediate matter of colour, as I had occasion to observe more fully in a preceding lecture, is the mucous pigment which forms the middle layer of the general integument of the skin; and upon this the sun, in hot climates, appears to act in a twofold manner; first, by the direct affinity of its colorific rays with the oxygen of the animal surface, in consequence of which the oxygen is detached and flies off; and the carbon and hydrogen being set at liberty, form a more or less perfect charcoal according to the nature of their union; and next, by the indirect influence which its calorific rays, like many other stimulants, produce upon the liver, by exciting it to a secretion of more abundant bile, and of a deeper hue. I have formerly remarked that this second or colouring layer of the general integument of the skin, differs (as indeed all the layers of the skin do) in its thickness, not only in different kinds of animals, but very frequently in different species, varieties, and even individuals. Thus in our own country we find it more abundant in some persons than in others; and wherever it is most abundant, we find the complexion also of a darker and coarser and greasier appearance, upon a common exposure to the solar light and heat: and we find also, that the hair is almost uniformly influenced by such increase of colour, and is proportionally coarser and darker.
It is of some consequence to attend to this observation; for it may serve to explain a physiological fact that has hitherto been supposed of difficult elucidation.
A certain degree of heat, though less than that of the tropics, appears favourable to increase of stature; and I have already observed, that the tallest tribes we are acquainted with are situated at the back of Cape Horn, and the Cape of Good Hope. On the contrary, the most diminutive we are acquainted with are those that inhabit the coldest regions or the highest mountains in the world: such are the Laplanders and Nova Zemblians in Europe, the Samoieds, Ostiacs, and Tungooses in Asia, and the Greenlanders and Esquimaux in America. Such, too, are the Kimos of Madagascar, if the account of these pigmy people may be depended upon, whose native region is stated to be the central and highest tracts of the island, forming, according to Commerson, an elevation of not less than sixteen or eighteen hundred fathoms above the level of the sea.
A multitude of distinct tribes have of late years been discovered in the interior of Africa, in the midst of the black tribes, exhibiting nothing more than a red or copper hue, with lank black hair. And, in like manner, around the banks of the lower Orinoco, in Mexico, where the climate is much hotter, there are many clans of a much lighter hue than those around the banks of the Rio Negro, where it is much cooler; and M. Humboldt has hence ventured to assert that we have here a full proof that climate produces no effect upon the colour of the skin. Such an assertion, however, is far too hasty; for he should first have shown that the thickness of the mucous web or colouring material is equally abundant in all these instances. For if it be more abundant (as it probably is) in the tribes that are swarthiest, we have reason to expect that a swarthier colour will be found where there is an equal or even a less exposure to solar light and heat; and we well know that the hair will vary in proportion.*
II. The effects of DIFFERENT KINDS OF FOOD upon the animal system are as extensive and as wonderful as those of different climates. The fineness and coarseness of the wool or hair, the firmness and flavour of the flesh, and in some degree the colour of the skin, and extent of the stature, are all influenced by the nature of the diet. Oils and spirits produce a peculiar excitement of the liver; and like the calorific rays of the sun, usually become the means of throwing an overcharge of bile into the circulation. Hence the sallow and olive hue of many who unduly addict themselves to vinous potation, and who at the same time make use of but little exercise. And hence also the dark and dingy colour of the pigmy people inhabiting high northern latitudes, to whom we have just adverted, and whose usual diet consists of fish and other oils, often rancid and offensive. Though it must be admitted that this colour is in most instances aided by the clouds of smoke in which they sit constantly involved in their wretched cabins, and the filth and grease with which they often besmear their skins. And hence, also, one cause of their diminutive stature; the food they feed on being unassimilating and innutritive. Swine and all other animals fed on madder-root, or that of gallium verum, or yellow-ladies-bed-straw, have the bones themselves tinged of a deep red, or yellow and M. Huber of Lausanne, who has of late years made so many valuable discoveries in the natural habits of the honey-bee, has proved himself able by a difference in the food alone, as indeed Debraw had done long before him, to convert what is commonly, but improperly, called a neuter into a queen bee.
III. It would be superfluous to dwell on the changes of body and perceptive powers produced in the animal system by a DIFFERENCE IN THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. We have the most striking proofs of this effect in all the domestic animals by which we are surrounded. Compare the wild horse with the disciplined; the bison with the ox, which last is usually regarded as
See Essai Politique sur la Nouvelle Espagne, par Alexandre de Humboldt, &c. p. 84, 85, 4to. Paris, 1808, 1809. 1 See Phil. Trans. for 1777, p. 15.
the bison in a state of tameness; and the Siberian argali with the sheep which is said to have sprung from it. Compare the modern Romans with the ancient; the low cunning and servile temper of too many of the Greek tribes of the present day, that still bend to and kiss the Ottoman rod, with the noble courage and patriotic enthusiasm of their forefathers, who drove back the tyrant of Persia, and his million of men across the Hellespont, and dashed to pieces the proud bridge with which he boasted of having conquered the billows.
It is in reality from long and deeply rooted habit alone that the black, red, and olive colour of the Ethiopian, American, and Moguls is continued in the future lineage for so many generations after their removal into other parts of the world; and that nothing will, in general, restore the skin to its original fairness but a long succession of intermixtures with the European variety. It is a singular circumstance that the black colour appears to form a less permanent habit than the red or olive; or, in other words, the colour chiefly produced by the action of the sun's colorific rays, than that produced by the action of its calorific rays: for the children of olive and copper-coloured parents exhibit the parental hue from the moment of birth; but in those of blacks it is usually six, eight, or ten months before the black pigment is fully secreted. We also sometimes find this not secreted at all, whence the anomaly of white negroes and sometimes only in interrupted lines or patches, whence the anomaly of spotted negroes; and we have even a few rare cases of negroes in America who, in consequence of very severe illness, have had the whole of the black pigment absorbed and carried off, and a white pigment diffused in its stead. In other words, we have instances of a black man being suddenly bleached into a white man. These instances are indeed of rare occurrence but they are sufficient to show the absurdity of the argument for a plurality of human stocks or species, from a mere difference in the colour of the skin; an argument thus proved to be altogether superficial, and which we may gravely assert to be not more than skin-deep.
It is in consequence of this power in the system, of secreting a dark-coloured pigment under particular circumstances, that we not unfrequently see the skin of a very fair woman, when in a state of pregnancy, changed to a deep tawny, and almost to a black; and it is hence that the black pigment of the eye is perpetually maintained and replenished.*
Dr. Wells gave a paper to the Royal Society, which was read April 1, 1813, containing an account of a woman (Harriet Tresh) "whose left shoulder, arm, and hand are as black as the blackest African's, while all the rest of the skin is very white. She is a native of Sussex, and the cause she assigns is, that her mother set her foot upon a lobster during her pregnancy." So that we have not only instances of blacks being suddenly bleached, but of whites being made more or less black. In like manner, confined birds sometimes become wholly black; and are said to become so occasionally in the course of a single night. So the male kestrel, from being barred on the tail feathers, becomes wholly ash-coloured except at the end; and the heron, gull, and others, whose tail is white when matured, are for the first two years mottled. IV. But it is probable that a very great part of the more striking distinctions we have noticed, and almost all the subordinate variations occasionally to be met with, are the result of a MORBID AND HEREDITARY AFFECTION. vast influence which this recondite but active cause possesses over both the body and the mind are known in some degree to every one from facts that are daily presenting themselves to us. We see gout, consumption, scrofula, leprosy, propagated on various occasions, and madness and fatuity and hypochondriacal affections as frequently. Hence the unhappy race of Albinoes, and whole pedigrees of white negroes; hence the pigmy stature of some families, and the gigantic size of others.
Even when accident, or a cause we cannot discover, has produced a preternatural conformation or defect in a particular organ, it is astonishing to
Camper's Lect. on Comy. Anat. in regard to the art of Drawing.
behold how readily it is often copied by the generative principle, and how tenaciously it adheres to the future lineage. A preternatural defect of the hand or foot has been propagated for many generations, and has in numerous instances laid a foundation for the family name. The names of Varus and Plautus among the ancient Romans afford familiar exemplifications. Hence, hornless sheep and hornless oxen produce an equally hornless offspring; the broadtailed Asiatic sheep yields a progeny with a tail equally monstrous, and often of not less than half a hundred pounds' weight; and dogs and cats with mutilated tails not unfrequently propagate the casual deficiency.
There is a very peculiar variety of the sheep kind given in the Philosophical Transactions for 1813, by Colonel Humphreys of America, and which the American naturalists have called from its bowed or elbowy legs, ovis Ancon : but the common people "the otter breed," from its resemblance to the general form of the otter, and a rumour that it was at first produced by an unnatural intercourse between individuals of the two distinct kinds. Its size is small; the full weight being about 45lb., with loose articulations, crooked fore-legs, and great feebleness of power; whence it walks with difficulty, and is therefore quiet, and not fond of rambling. Accident seems to have produced this kind first, but the form has been most correctly preserved in the progeny; and so tenaciously, that if a common sheep and ancon sheep of either sex unite, the young will be either a perfect ancon, or have no trace of it; and if two are lambed at the same time, and one be of one variety and the other of the other, each is found to be perfect in its way, without any amalgamation.
In like manner, in all probability, from some primary accident resulted the peculiar shape of the head and face in most nations as well as in most families; and hence, too, those enormous prominences on the hinder parts of one or two of the nations at the back of the Cape of Good Hope, of which an instance was not long since exhibited in this country with some degree of outrage on moral feeling.
Man, then, is not the only animal in which such variations of form and feature occur; nor the animal in which they occur either most frequently or in the most extraordinary and extravagant manner.
M. Blumenbach, who has pursued this interesting subject with a liveliness the most entertaining, and a chain of argument the most convincing, has selected the swine genus from among many other quadrupeds that would have answered as well, especially the dog and the sheep, in order to institute a comparison of this very kind; and he has completely succeeded in showing that the swine, even in countries where we have historical and undeniable proofs, as especially in America, of its being derived from one common and imported stock, exhibits, in its different varieties, distinctions not only as numerous and astonishing, but, so far as relates to the exterior frame, of the very same kind as are to be met with in the different varieties of the human species.
In regard to size the Cuba swine, well known, as he observes, to have been imported into that island from Europe, are at the present day double the height and magnitude of the stock from which they were bred. Whence we may well laugh at every argument in favour of more than one human stock or species drawn from the difference of stature in different nations of man. In regard to colour they display at least as great a diversity. In Piedmont the swine are black; in Bavaria, reddish-brown; in Normandy, white. Human hair, observes M. Blumenbach, is somewhat different from swine's bristles; yet in the present point of view they may be compared with each other. Fair hair is soft, and of a silky texture; black hair is coarser, and often woolly. In like manner, among the white swine in Normandy, the bristles on the body are longer and softer than among other swine; and even those on the back, which are usually stouter than the rest, are flaccid, and cannot be employed by the brush-makers.
The whole difference between the cranium of a negro and that of a European is in no respect greater than that which exists between the cranium of the wild boar and that of the domestic swine. Those who are in possession of Daubenton's drawings of the two, must be sensible of this the first mo