Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/236

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before I dare express my real opinions concerning questions about which we older men had to fight, in the teeth of fierce public opposition and obloquy—of something which might almost justify even the grandiloquent epithet of a Reign of Terror—before our excellent successors had left school.

It would appear that the spirit of pseudo-science has impregnated even the imagination of the Duke of Argyll. The scientific imagination always restrains itself within the limits of probability.—Nineteenth Century.



ON a recent visit to the Canary Islands, one of the first things to attract my notice was the good development and fine personal appearance of the common people. I afterward found that travelers are generally impressed in the same manner on their first visit to the Canaries. If they have previously visited the Spanish Peninsula, they are apt to contrast the native Spaniards with their Canarian relatives, always in favor of the latter, whose greater height and better bodily forms are very evident. This superiority may be due, in a certain degree, to the admixture of the Spanish blood with that of the Guanche race, which was found in possession, when, in 1440, the Spanish undertook the conquest of the Canarian Archipelago. It required more than fifty years for the purpose, and not until, to the utmost efforts of Spain, then in the height of her power, the treachery of four native kings had been added, did all the seven islands come under Spanish rule. The old chroniclers are fond of describing the mild and sweet dispositions of the Guanches, their tall, manly figures, and noble bearing in time of peace, as well as their great strength and valor when fighting to preserve their ancient liberty.

Even the women took part against the invaders, and proved themselves, in daring and prowess, no mean antagonists. One woman is especially mentioned who rushed upon an advancing column, seized the foremost soldier and fled up the mountain, bearing her victim as if he had been a child, outstripping her pursuers, till, coming to a precipice, she leaped down and both were dashed to pieces.

The conquerors not only mingled their blood with the conquered, as happens with the Latin races, but they adopted many of their customs, some of which are preserved to the present time. Perhaps the most important of these is in relation to their food, the principal article of which is of Guanche origin.

I have alluded to the excellent bodily development and proportions of the modern Canarians, and to the testimony left by the old chroniclers to the still fine characteristics of the ancient Guanches, who are