Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/352

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
336
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of Diana of Ephesus; ancient monuments of Egypt and Assyria; the rude implements of our predecessors in England who were coeval with the hippopotamus and rhinoceros, the musk-ox, and the mammoth; and the most beautiful specimens of Greek and Roman art. In London we may unavoidably suffer, but no one has any excuse for being dull. And yet some people are dull. They talk of a better world to come, while whatever dullness there may be here is all their own. Sir Arthur Helps has well said: "What! dull, when you do not know what gives its loveliness of form to the lily, its depth of color to the violet, its fragrance to the rose; when you do not know in what consists the venom of the adder, any more than you can imitate the glad movements of the dove? What! dull, when earth, air and water are all alike mysteries to you, and when as you stretch out your hand you do not touch anything the properties of which you have mastered; while all the time Nature is inviting you to talk earnestly with her, to understand her, to subdue her, and to be blessed by her! Go away, man; learn something, do something, understand something, and let me hear no more of your dullness."

Not, of course, that happiness is the highest object of life, but if we endeavor to keep our bodies in health, our minds in use and in peace, and to promote the happiness of those around us, our own happiness will generally follow.—Fortnightly Review.

 

THE INTERMINGLING OF RACES.
By JOHN READE.

ABOUT a generation ago, before anthropology had been promoted to the rank of a distinct science, a good deal of noise was made by a school of writers who called themselves polygenists. By this school, which comprised a few men of recognized ability, it was rigidly maintained that no new race had been, or could be, formed by intercrossing. As the different human species had been created, so they had been found at the dawn of history, and so they would remain till the end of time. The theory of the polygenists, like a good many other subjects of controversy, was gravely affected by the revolution of which the publication of Darwin's great work marked the birth-time. Though it is still possible, even on the ground of development, that the main racial divisions of humanity may have come into being by separate evolutions, on portions of the earth's surface widely distant from each other, it is more in accordance with that doctrine to assume a slow and gradual differentiation from a single original type.

What that type may have been we have no means of ascertaining. Professor Grant Allen has, indeed, imagined "a tall and hairy creat-