Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/565

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men, the world over, is about 5 feet 3 inches. But this mean, like that given above, results from very numerous and very diverse heights. If in thought we place all men in one line according to their height, it is easy to see that we should obtain a series in which the difference from one to the next will not be, perhaps, the 12500 of an inch.

But this is not all. In this graduated series, the men of the same race will be far from being placed together. There will be in this respect the strangest mixture. All the Patagonians are not nearly 6 feet 3 inches in height, nor all the Bushmen as short as 3 feet 10 inches. Among our cuirassiers and the hundred guards of the emperor many individuals would be found with the first; the Lapps of the north of Europe and the Mincopees of the isles of Andaman in the Gulf of Bengal would mix with the second.

Now, in no other kind of animal, with numerous species and of limited growth, is there any thing parallel. The domestic races alone present something like its analogue. So that, by themselves, these considerations drawn from the height furnish excellent proof of the unity of the human species.

The study of proportions would show us like facts and conduct to similar conclusions. But I leave considerations of this kind, to pass to other characters almost as striking as those of height. I wish to speak of those drawn from the complexion, and first of all from the color of the skin. The general coloration of the body is a well-defined character; but we need not exaggerate its value.

If you observe several portraits representing individuals of the white race, you may see that their tint is sometimes as dark as that of the Guinea negro. In the portrait of Rammohun-Roy, the celebrated Bramin reformer, the fineness and regularity of his profile attest that he is of the purest Aryan blood, and his color is that of a negro just a little blanched. Again, there are Abyssinians whose features recall the fine Semitic type, and yet few negroes surpass them in blackness. So all black men are not negroes. Reciprocally, Livingstone has found in the centre of Africa negroes of the color of café au lait.

The color of the human race varies from white, such as is seen in Dutch and Danish women, to violet or yellow, to yellow-citron or smoke, to copper-red or brick. By appealing to your recollections, you can establish a series passing from light to dark by insensible shades such as could scarcely be reproduced upon the palette of a painter.

Recollect that some of these extremes of color are frequent among domestic animals, and are sometimes much greater. With black hens, it is not the skin alone that is colored. All the great interior membranes, the sheaths of the muscles, the aponeuroses, as well as the flesh of the wings, present an aspect very little appetizing. So it is sought to weed them out of the poultry-yard; and still in certain parts of the globe they are constantly produced and would evidently soon become