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338
Lawrence's Lectures.

(June, unimportant and of no account, in the lowest are made the ground of specific and even of generic difference. The same, likewise, seems to be the case as we approach the other extremity of the scale, where nature has placed her most perfect productions. A difference in the number and form of the teeth, is made the most common criterion of generic distinction among

the mammiferous animals, while the species of the same genus among the fish and reptiles, vary indefinitely in this respect. This shows that no reasonable objection can be urged against the sufficiency of certain characteristics, or combinations of them, to constitute a specific difference in the human race, especially while the same are used without hesitation, to distinguish the species of animals which most nearly resemble us.

No distinctive characteristic is more frequently used by zoologists, in their descriptions of the mammiferous animals, than that drawn from colour; and we do not doubt that it is as permanent as any other part or property of their structure. We have the testimony of all past experience, that, in the human races, the colour, or to speak more definitely, the seat of colour, the rele mucosum, has suffered no change ; why not, therefore, give it the same distinctive importance which it has in other animals ? The same may be said of stature, form of the head, proportion of the limbs, &c. : and there is in zoology no reason why a human race, which differs from all the rest in these peculiarities, should not be considered specifically different from all the rest. A difference of a few shades of colour, a few inches in' stature and length of the hair, make up the specific differences of one half of the genera of mammiferous animals. Let any naturalist compare the distinctions between two well marked varieties of man, with those which he observes between some of the species of the felis genus, or monkey tribe, and then satisfy himself if he can, why one constitute a variety, and the other a species. If specific differences are to be made in our race, it must be from this general summary of differences, and not from any particular characteristics. We doubt, whether there be any particular characteristics, that are permanent, well marked, and peculiar to any one race, or number of races. Desmoulins* mentions the perforation of the olecranon fossa of the humerus as an organic peculiarity of the Hottentots, and Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary islands, and makes use of it in forming the distinctive characters of these races. Upon how many skeletons he has verified this fact, he does not inform us ; but the number must ne

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structure in the skeleton of the negro.

However easy it may be, to observe distinct, well marked differences between the particular specimens of the human race, we find the case very different, when we come to make the division, and reduce all the specimens to one or the other of them. Whatever number we may fix upon, and however well we may distinguish them, we see them, after all our attempts, constantly running into each other by every shade of gradation. The conclusion, then, to which our inquiry leads us, is, that though differences exist in the human race, which, in other tribes of animals, would be made the ground of specific distinction, yet so impossible is it to reduce them to any order or arrangement, that we are not justified in denying the unity of the species.

Before we quit this subject, we would give a passing notice to a source, from which evidence has been collected, for the purpose of determining the origin of particular races, since it appears to us, there is generally attached to it a degree of importance to which it has no legitimate claims. The most that can be proved by the strongest analogies that have ever been traced between the languages of people, of whose past history we are ignorant, is the fact of a communication simply, not of a common origin. And we are not perfectly sure of this fact even, unless the analogies be numerous and striking, and the words found to be analogous designate common and familiar objects, or ideas of a local and conventional nature. Thus, we do not hesitate to believe, that Madagascar has been visited by Malays, when we observe the striking similarity in the name of the days of the week, and of the numerals, which cannot be regarded as accidental. We say, visited by them ; for such are the traces that a superior and a more advanced people leave behind them, which, had they originally peopled the island, we should expect to find a similarity between words that express the most familiar and earliest objects of the senses. A few miscellaneous analogies do not prove a common de. scent; for, without noticing the fact, that many analogies arise from a natural disposition to make the sound resemble in some way or other the object designated, it is more probable that they are accidental, than that the conclusions are correct, to which they would conduct us. These analogies are often traced in the languages of people the most remote from each other, and between whom we find striking differences in physical conformation. The irreconcilable confusion of the results of philological researches, must effectually prevent us from making much use of them, in deciding upon the origin or connexions of different people. Thus, the origin of the aboriginal Americans, has been a famous hobby with philologists, divines, geographers, historians, &c., and it is curious to look back and observe ihe various and discordant results, to which their fancied analogies lead them, according as they received their bias from previous prejudices and turns of thinking. One saw in them the genuine descendants of the ten lost tribes ; another, the prolific progeny of a colony of Welshmen ; one traced them to the Phænicians or Tyrians of old ; another to the northern Asiatics; one derived them from the Chinese ; another from an obscure tribe in southern Africa ; while each and every one supported his theory by undoubted analogies of language. A circumstance which has been, and will long continue to be a serious obstacle to the certainty of philological researches, is the want of settled principles of orthography. The same sounds are expressed in writing very differently by different men, and when compared together by one ignorant of the fact, might be considered as very analogous to each other, but would hardly be supposed identical. It is difficult enough for the professed philologist, who has devoted labour and learning to the subject, to grope his way through the obscurity that hangs over all investigations of this nature ; and what shall we say of the picked up vocabularies” of travellers, who, perhaps, were men of very good common sense, and competent to record what they saw, but utterly ignorant of the principles of language. Let some system of orthography be agreed on, and rude language examined and written according to its dictates, and then we may expect some sure and useful results.

In the chapter on “Forms of the Skull,” Mr. Lawrence adverts to the physical character of the ancient Egyptians, and examines the opinion so often advanced, that this celebrated people were a race of negroes. The very different notions which are entertained on this subject, have undoubtedly arisen from the contradictory nature of the evidence, and the partial manner in which it has been examined—those who go only to the ancient historians and poets, and place implicit confidence in their testimony respecting their contemporaries, believing with them, that they were black skinned and woolly haired, while others, who are simple enough to prefer the testimony of their own senses to that of a few passages of doubtful meaning, recorded thousands of years ago, flatly deny them to have possessed any resemblance to the negro formation.

“The Caucasian races of Arabia, Syria, and the surrounding parts, must have found their way into this fertile and flourishing country : the Red Sea offers an easy medium of communication both with Arabia and India; while the freest access cxists on the south and west to the Negroes and Beolens of Africa. Hence, specimens of various races, may be naturally expected to occur among the mummies, and may have afforded models to the painter and sculptor. If, however, among the myriads of embalmed bodies, of the sculptured figures which cover the walls of temples and palaces, and of other works of art, we should meet with one or two of negro formation, are we thence to conclude that the original Egyptians were negroes ; or, that men of the latter race, pos: sessed those distinguished powers of knowledge and reflection, which the early history of this wonderful country compels us to assign to its ruling race? Ought we not rather to draw our conclusions from the most prevalent forms, those which are most numerous and abundant in the oldest specimens ? lf, among a profusion of mummies and figures, bearing the stamp of the Caucasian model, a few should occur with a little dash of the negro character, may we not suppose the individuals who furnished the pattern of the latter, to have been, in Egypt, as they have been every where, slaves to the race of nobler formation ?"

In the tomb of Psammis, discovered by Belzoni, there is a representation of a triumphal procession, which completely establishes Mr. Lawrence's opinion. The first in this group are four red men with white kirtles, followed by a hawkheaded divinity, and are Egyptians, returning home, it should seem, under the protection of their national deity. Next come three different sets of prisoners, Jews, Persians, and Ethiopians, whose national physiognomies and complexions are so accurately retained, that of the Jews, the Quarterly Review remarks, they might be taken for the “portraits of those who, at this day, walk the streets of London.”

Denon states, of the female mummies, that their hair was long, and that the character of the head was mostly in beautiful style ; the head of one woman was as beautiful as those of Michael Angelo's Sybylles.

The heads engraved in the great French work, “ Description de l’Egypte,” are in the finest European form.

The testimony of Cuvier on this point, quoted by our author, is worthy of all acceptation.

“ Now that we distinguish the several races by the bones of the head, and possess so many of the ancient Egyptian embalmed bodies, it is easy to prove, That whatever may have been the hue of their skin, they belonged to the same race with ourselves, that their cranium and brain were equally voluminous ; in a word, that they formed no exception to that cruel law, which seems to have doomed to eternal inferiority, all the tribes of our species which are unfortunate enough to have a depressed and compressed cranium.

"I present the head of a mummy, that the academy may compare it to those of Europeans, Negroes, and Hottentots. It is detached from an entire skeleton, which I did not bring with me on account of its brittleness ; but its comparison has furnished the same results. I have examined in Paris, and in the various collections of Europe, more than fifty heads of mummies, and not one amongst them presented the characters of the Negro or Hottentot.”

The literary merits of the present work, are highly respectable ; which those much conversant with the writings of anatomists, know to be no common praise. It ranks far above the compilations of White and Prichard, and may be considered as going far towards filling the void in the department of natural history, of which we complained in our prefatory remarks. The style, of which the following passage may serve as a specimen, is bold, nervous, and generally elegant, but disfigured by occasional vul garisms, which, though proper enough in the lecture room, are unfit for the public eye.

Mémoirrs du Museum d'Hist. Nat. t. 3. p. 173.

“ And here I take the opportunity of protesting in the strongest terms, in behalf of the interests of science, and of that free discussion, which is essential to its successful cultivation ; against the attempt to stifle impartial inquiry by an outcry of pernicious tendency; and against perverting science and literature, which naturally tend to bring mankind acquainted with each other, to the antisocial purpose of inflaming and prolonging national prejudice and animosity: Letters have been called the tongue of the world ; and science may be regarded in the same light. They supply common objects of interest, in which the selfish unsocial feelings are not called into action, and thus they promote new friend. ships among nations. Through them, distant people become capable of conversing ; and losing, by degrees, the awkwardness of strangers, and the morose. ness of suspicion, they learn to know and understand each other. Science, the partisan of no country, but the beneficent patroness of all, has liberally opened a temple where all may meet. She never inquires about the country or sect of those who seek admission ; she never allots a higher or a lower place from ex. aggerated national claims, or unfounded national antipathies. Her influence on the mind, like that of the sun on the chilled earth, has long been preparing it for higher cultivation, and further improvement. The philosopher of one coun. try should not see his enemy in the philosopher of another : he should take his seat in the temple of science, and ask not who sits beside him. The savage notion of a natural enemy, should be banished from this sanctuary, where all, from whatever quarter, shou be regarded as of one great family ; and, being en. gaged in pursuits calculated to increase the sum of human happiness, should never exercise intolerance towards each other, nor assume that right of arraigning the motives and designs of others, which belongs only to the Being who can penetrate the recesses of the human heart,"

pp. 406.

ART. III. - Private Journal of a voyage to the Pacific Ocean,

and residence at the Sandwich Islands, in the years 18221825. By C. S. STEWART, late Missionary at the Sandwich Islands. New-York : John P. Haven, 1828. The widely diffused interest which the missionary exertion of the present day has excited, the respectability of the names engaged in its support, and the magnitude of the object to which it is directed, ars, we think, sufficient reasons for devoting, occasionally, a portion of our pages to its passing occurrences. Every one of the numerous sects, into which Christendom is divided, is, in some form or other, committed to its accomplishment; the learned and the ignorant are combining in its aid ; the rich and the poor are replenishing its treasuries; the object which it has in view has been distinctly announced ; the friends of missions have jointly and severally pledged themselves not to desist from their work, until paganism and idolatry shall have been banished from the earth, and every nation shall be universally illuminated with the light of revelation. It is claiming but little to say, that to the mere philosopher, the records of the success or failure of such an undertaking, must be as interesting, and as valuable, as the tariff question, or the poor laws; the South American mining companies, or the last new novel.

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