Page:Descent of Man 1875.djvu/184

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168
Part I.
The Descent of Man.

struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans,[1] who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea.

We will first consider the arguments which may be advanced in favour of classing the races of man as distinct species, and then the arguments on the other side. If a naturalist, who had never before seen a Negro, Hottentot, Australian, or Mongolian, were to compare them, he would at once perceive that they differed in a multitude of characters, some of slight and some of considerable importance. On enquiry he would find that they were adapted to live under widely different climates, and that they differed somewhat in bodily constitution and mental disposition. If he were then told that hundreds of similar specimens could be brought from the same countries, he would assuredly declare that they were as good species as many to which he had been in the habit of affixing specific names. This conclusion would be greatly strengthened as soon as he had ascertained that these forms had all retained the same character for many centuries; and that negroes, apparently identical with existing negroes, had lived at least 4000 years ago.[2] He would also hear, on the authority of an excellent observer, Dr. Lund,[3] that the human skulls 'found in the caves of Brazil, entombed with many extinct mammals, belonged to the same tyj)e as that now prevailing throughout the American Continent.

  1. Wallace, 'The Malay Archipelago,' vol. ii. 1869, p. 178.
  2. With respect to the figures in the famous Egyptian caves of Abou-Simbel, M. Pouchet says ('The Plurality of the Human Races,' Eng. translat. 1861:, p. 50), that he was far from finding recognisable representations of the dozen or more nations which some authors believe that they can recognise. Even some of the most strongly-marked races cannot be identified with that degree of unanimity which might have written on the subject. Thus Messrs. Nott and Gliddon ('Types of Mankind,' p. 148) state that Rameses II., or the Great, has features superbly European; whereas Knox, another firm believer in the specific distinctness of the races of man (' Races of Man,' 1850, p. 201), speaking of young Memnon (the same as Rameses II., as I am informed by Mr. Birch), insists in the strongest manner that he is identical in character with the Jews of Antwerp. Again, when I looked at the statue of Amunoph III., I agreed with two officers of the establishment, both competent judges, that he had a strongly marked negro type of features; but Messrs. Nott and Gliddon (ibid. p. 146, fig. 53) describe him as a hybrid, but not of been expected from what has been "negro intermixture."
  3. As quoted by Nott and Gliddon, 'Types of Mankind,' 1854, p. 439. They give also corroborative evidence; but C. Vogt thinks that the subject requires further investigation.