Page:Descent of Man 1875.djvu/183

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Chap. VII.
167
The Races of Man.

of the other inhabitants are specifically distinct, are themselves usually looked at as distinct; but in truth this affords no aid in distinguishing geographical races from so-called good or true species.

Now let us apply these generally-admitted principles to the races of man, viewing him in the same spirit as a naturalist would any other animal. In regard to the amount of difference between the races, we must make some allowance for our nice powers of discrimination gained by the long habit of observing ourselves. In India, as Elphinstone remarks, although a newly-arrived European cannot at first distinguish the various native races, yet they soon appear to him extremely dissimilar;[1] and the Hindoo cannot at first perceive any difference between the several, European nations. Even the most distinct races of man are much more like each other in form than would at first be supposed; certain negro tribes must be excepted, whilst others, as Dr. Rohlfs writes to me, and as I have myself seen, have Caucasian features. This general similarity is well shewn by the French photographs in the Collection Anthropologique du Muséum de Paris of the men belonging to various races, the greater number of which might pass for Europeans, as many persons to whom I have shewn them have remarked. Nevertheless, these men, if seen alive, would undoubtedly appear very distinct, so that we are clearly much influenced in our judgment by the mere colour of the skin and hair, by slight differences in the features, and by expression.

There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,—as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body,[2] the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even in the convolutions of the brain.[3] But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Everyone who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been

  1. 'History of India,' 1841, vol. i. p. 323. Father Ripa makes exactly the same remark with respect to the Chinese.
  2. A vast number of measurements of Whites, Blacks, and Indians, are given in the 'Investigations in the Military and Anthropolog. Statistics of American Soldiers,' by B. A. Gould, 1869, pp. 298-358; 'On the capacity of the lungs,' p. 471. See also the numerous and valuable tables, by Dr. Weisbach, from the observations of Dr. Scherzer and Dr. Schwarz, in the 'Reise der Novara: Anthropolog. Theil,' 1867.
  3. See, for instance, Mr. Marshall's account of the brain of a Bush-woman, in 'Phil. Transact.' 1864, p. 519.'