Albion Journal Volume Two: The Resort (Cv/Social Studies Book 2)
There are mongrels also among men: the several kinds however continue distinct; and probably will so continue for ever. There remains an argument against the system of M. Buffon with respect Edition: current; Page: [ 20 ] to dogs, still more conclusive. Allowing to climate its utmost influence, it may possibly have an effect upon the size and figure; but surely M.
Buffon cannot seriously think, that the different instincts of dogs are owing to climate. A terrier, whose prey burrows under ground, is continually scraping the earth, and thrusting its nose into it.
A hound has always its nose on the surface, in order to trace a hare by smell. The same instinct is remarkable in spaniels. It is by nature that these creatures are directed to be continually going about, to catch the smell, and trace their prey. A greyhound, which has not Edition: ; Page: [ 18 ] the smelling-faculty, is constantly looking about for its prey. A house-dog makes its round every night to protect its master against strangers, without ever being trained to it. Waggoners employ dogs of that kind to watch during night the goods they carry. Is it conceivable, that such different instincts, constantly the same in the same species, can proceed from climate, from mixture of breed, or from other accidental cause?
The celebrated Linnaeus, instead of describing every animal according to its kind, as Adam our first parent did, has wandered far from nature in classing animals. He distributes them into six classes, viz. It resembles the classing books in a library by size, or by binding, without regard to the contents: it may serve as a sort of dictionary; but to no other purpose.
How whimsical is it to class together animals that nature hath widely separated, a man for example and a bat? What will a plain man Edition: current; Page: [ 21 ] think of a manner of classing, that denies a whale to be a fish? In classing animals, why does he confine himself to the nipples and the teeth, when there are many other distinguishing marks?
Albion Journal Volume Two: The Resort (Cv/Social Studies Book 2)
Yet, after all, if any solid instruction can be acquired from such classing, I shall listen, not only with attention, but with satisfaction. Edition: ; Page: [ 20 ]. Now more particularly of man, after discussing other animals. If the only rule afforded by nature for classing animals can be depended upon, there are different species of men as well as of dogs: a mastiff differs not more from a spaniel, than a white man from a negro, or a Laplander from a Dane.
And if we have any belief in Providence, it ought to be so. Plants were created of different kinds to fit them for different climates, and so were brute animals. Certain it is, that all men are not fitted equally for every climate. Is there not then reason to conclude, that as there are different climates, so there are different species of men fitted for these different climates?
The inhabitants of the frozen regions of the north, men, birds, beasts, fish, are all provided with a quantity of fat which guards them against cold. Even the trees are full of rosin. Thomas, under the line, is extremely foggy; and the natives are fitted for that sort of weather, by the rigidity of their fibres. The fog is dispelled in July and August by dry winds; which give vigour to Europeans, whose fibres are relaxed by a moist atmosphere as by a warm bath. Edition: ; Page: [ 21 ] The natives, on the contrary, who are not fitted for a dry air, have more diseases in July and August than during the other ten months.
On the other hand, instances are without number of men degenerating in a climate to which they are not fitted by nature; and I know not of a single instance where in such a climate people have retained their original vigour. Several European colonies have subsisted in the torrid zone of America more than two centuries; and yet even that length of time has not familiarised them to the climate: they cannot bear heat like the original inhabitants, nor like negroes transplanted from a country equally hot: they are far from equalling in vigour of mind or body Edition: current; Page: [ 22 ] the nations from which they sprung.
The Spanish inhabitants of Carthagena in South America lose their vigour and colour in a few months.
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Their motions are languid; and their words are pronounced in a low voice, and with long and frequent intervals. The offspring of Europeans born in Batavia, soon degenerate. Scarce one of them has talents sufficient to bear a part in the administration.
There is not an office of trust but must be filled with na- Edition: ; Page: [ 22 ] tive Europeans. Some Portuguese, who have been for ages settled on the sea-coast of Congo, retain scarce the appearance of men. South Carolina, especially about Charlestown, is extremely hot, having no sea-breeze to cool the air: Europeans there die so fast, that they have not time to degenerate.
Even in Jamaica, though more temperate by a regular succession of land and sea-breezes, recruits from Britain are necessary to keep up the numbers. What means are employed by Providence to qualify different races of men for different climates, is a subject to which little attention has been given. It lies too far out of sight to expect a complete discovery; but facts carefully collected might afford some glimmering of light.
In that view, I mention the following fact. The inhabitants of the kingdom of Senaar in Edition: ; Page: [ 23 ] Africa are true negroes, a jet black complexion, thick lips, flat nose, curled woolly hair. The country itself is the hottest in the world. From the report of a late traveller, they are admirably protected by nature against the violence of the heat.
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The young women there are highly prized by the Turks for that quality. Thus it appears, that there are different races of men fitted by nature for different climates. Upon examination, another fact will perhaps also appear, that the natural productions of each climate make the most wholesome food for the people who are fitted to live in it. Between the tropics, the Edition: current; Page: [ 23 ] natives live chiefly on fruits, seeds, and roots; and it is the opinion of the most knowing naturalists, that such food is of all the most wholesome for the torrid zone; comprehending the hot plants, which grow there to perfection, and tend greatly to fortify the stomach.
In a temperate climate, a mixture of animal and vegetable food is held to be the most wholesome; Edition: ; Page: [ 24 ] and there both animals and vegetables abound. In a cold climate, animals are in plenty, but few vegetables that can serve for food to man.
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What physicians pronounce upon that head, I know not; but, if we dare venture a conjecture from analogy, animal food will be found the most wholesome for such as are fitted by nature to live in a cold climate. Buffon, from the rule, That animals which can procreate together, and whose progeny can also procreate, are of one species, concludes, that all men are of one race or species; and endeavours to support that favourite opinion, by ascribing to the climate, to food, or to other accidental causes, all the varieties that are found among men.
But is he seriously of opinion, that any operation of climate, or of other accidental cause, can account for the copper colour and smooth chin universal among the Americans, the prominence of the pudenda universal among Hottentot women, or the black nipple no less universal among female Samoides? The thick fogs of the island St. Thomas may relax the fibres of the natives, but cannot make them more Edition: ; Page: [ 25 ] rigid than they are naturally. Whence, then, the difference with respect to rigidity of fibres between them and Europeans, but from original nature?
Lapland is indeed piercingly cold; but so is Finland, and the northern parts of Norway, the inhabitants of which are tall, comely, and well proportioned. The black colour of negroes, thick lips, flat nose, crisped woolly hair, and rank smell, distinguish them from every other race of men. The Abyssinians, on the contrary, are tall and well made, their complexion a brown olive, features well proportioned, eyes large, and of a Edition: current; Page: [ 24 ] sparkling black, lips thin, a nose rather high than flat. There is no such difference of climate between Abyssinia and Negroland as to produce these striking differences.
At Edition: ; Page: [ 26 ] any rate, there must be a considerable mixture both of soil and climate in these extensive regions; and yet not the least mixture is perceived in the people. If the climate have any commanding influence, it must be displayed upon the complexion chiefly; and in that article, accordingly, our author exults. But here he triumphs without a victory: he is forced to acknowledge, that the Samoides, Laplanders, and Greenlanders, are of a sallow complexion; for which he has the following salvo, that the extremities of heat and of cold produce nearly the same effects on the skin.
Edition: ; Page: [ 27 ] But he is totally silent upon a fact that alone overturns his whole system of colour, viz. The southern Chinese are white, though in the neighbourhood of the torrid zone; and women of fashion in the island Otaheite, who cover themselves from the sun, have the European complexion. The people of the desert of Zaara, commonly termed Lower Ethiopia, though exposed to the vertical rays of the sun in a burning sand yielding not in heat even to Guinea, are of a tawny colour, far from being jet-black like negroes.
The natives of Monomotapa are perfectly black, with crisped wooly hair, though the southern parts of that extensive kingdom are in a temperate climate.
And the Caffres, even those who live near the Cape of Good Hope, are the same sort of people. The heat of Abyssinia approacheth nearer to Edition: current; Page: [ 25 ] that of Guinea; and yet, as mentioned above, the inhabitants are not black. The Finlanders and northern Norwegians live in a climate no less cold that that of the people mentioned, and yet are fair beyond other Europeans.
I say more, there are many instances of races of people preserving their original colour in climates very different from their own; and not a single instance of the contrary, as far as I can learn. There have been four complete generations of negroes in Pennsylvania, without any visible change of colour: they continue jet-black as originally.
The Moors in Hindostan retain their natural colour, though transplanted there more than three centuries ago. And the Mogul family continue white, like their ancestors the Tartars, though they have reigned in Hindostan above four centuries. Shaw, in his travels through Barbary, mentions a people inhabiting the mountains of Auress, bordering upon Algiers on the south, who appeared to be of a different race from the Moors.
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Their complexion, far from swarthy, is fair and ruddy; and their hair a deep yellow, in- Edition: ; Page: [ 29 ] stead of being dark, as among the neighbouring Moors. He conjectures them to be a remnant of the Vandals, perhaps the tribe mentioned by Procopius in his first book of the Vandalic war.
If the European complexion be proof against a hot climate for a thousand years, I pronounce that it will never yield to climate.