Page:Descent of Man 1875.djvu/186

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Part I.
The Descent of Man.

countries from the different races of man;[1] and he finds that they differ, not only in colour, but in the structure of their claws and limbs. In every case in which many specimens were obtained the differences were constant. The surgeon of a whaling ship in the Pacific assured me that when the Pediculi, with which some Sandwich Islanders on board swarmed, strayed on to the bodies of the English sailors, they died in the course of three or four days. These Pediculi were darker coloured, and appeared different from those proper to the natives of Chiloe in South America, of which he gave me Specimens. These, again, appeared larger and much softer than European lice. Mr. Murray procured four kinds from Africa, namely from the Negroes of the Eastern and Western coasts, from the Hottentots and Kaffirs; two kinds from the natives of Australia; two from North and two from South America. In these latter cases it may be presumed that the Pediculi came from natives inhabiting different districts. With insects slight structural differences, if constant, are generally esteemed of specific value: and the fact of the races of man being infested by parasites, which appear to be specifically distinct, might fairly be urged as an argument that the races themselves ought to be classed as distinct species.

Our supposed naturalist having proceeded thus far in his investigation, would next enquire whether the races of men, when crossed, were in any degree sterile. He might consult the work[2] of Professor Broca, a cautious and philosophical observer, and in this he would find good evidence that some races were quite fertile together, but evidence of an opposite nature in regard to other races. Thus it has been asserted that the native women of Australia and Tasmania rarely produce children to European men; the evidence, however, on this head has now been shewn to be almost valueless. The half-castes are killed by the pure blacks: and an account has lately been published of eleven half-caste youths murdered and burnt at the same time, whose remains were found by the police.[3] Again, it has often been said that when mulattoes intermarry they produce few children; on the other hand, Dr. Bachman of Charleston[4] positively

  1. 'Transact. R. Soc. of Edinburgh,' vol. xxii. 1861, p. 567.
  2. 'On the Phenomena of Hybridity in the Genus Homo,' Eng. translat. 1864.
  3. See the interesting letter by Mr. T. A. Murray, in the 'Anthropolog. Review,' April 1868, p. liii. In this letter Count Strzelecki's statement, that Australian women who have borne children to a white man are afterwards sterile with their own race, is disproved. M. A. de Quatrefages has also collected ('Revue des Cours Scientifiques,' March 1869, p. 239) much evidence that Australians and Europeans are not sterile when crossed.
  4. 'An Examination of Prof. Agassiz's Sketch of the Nat. Pro-