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istics are transmitted, and that this might contribute to an explanation of the differences existing in the physical organization of mankind. The whole of this part of the book is very speculative, and the author can find but few facts to support his theory. It is chiefly reasoning on analogy as to what is effected in the lower mammalia; but at the same time he contends we do not require the analogy, as we have the hereditary transmission of peculiarities in the human subject proved in very many cases. The conclusion to which the author arrives on the influence of physical agents is given in the following words :
“The assertion that the physical type possessed by the respective races remains entirely permanent is erroneous; it is only as to the limits of certain changes that doubts exist. It is impossible to determine the exact influence of each individual agent, or to point out its limits. The theory which has most in its favour is, that mental culture possesses the greatest influence, climatic conditions alone have the least, diet and mode of life hold an intermediate place. Finally, the spontaneous origin and transmission of new qualities appear among the most influential agents in the production of differences among mankind.”
The chapter “on the anatomical and physiological differences which distinguish the various races" is not so good as the first section. He says that the assertion of Messrs. Nott and Gliddon, that the Bushmen as nearly approach the orang-utan as they do the Europeans “are shameless exaggerations.” After treating of the physical organization of the Negro, he concludes by saying, “it cannot be doubted that there is a certain resemblance between the Negro and the ape, although the distance between them is sufficiently great to discard any idea of their relationship.” We confess ourselves not to be able to understand the meaning which the author attaches to the word “relationship.” After dwelling on the physical characteristics of the Negro, a subject which we hope to hear fully and freely discussed at an early meeting of the Anthropological Society, he adds, “It cannot be our intention to deny by these remarks the greater resemblance of the Negro to the ape in comparison with the European, but simply to point out that the resemblance has been greatly exaggerated.” We merely point to this chapter that the reader may see the opinions of the different authorities which the author has quoted on this subject.
Here, for the present, we must conclude our notice. We feel that we shall be rendering more service to the science of Anthropology by dwelling on the different parts of this work than by hurriedly passing over some important matter. Whatever faults we may have to find with the work, we feel sure that its publication marks an epoch in the study of Anthropology in this country. No longer will anthropologists be obliged to confess that they have no text-book for their science; but they can now say to the inquirer, “read and study Waitz's Introduction to Anthropology, as you will learn all that science yet has to reveal.”
(To be continued.)
KINGSLEY'S WATER BABIES.*
olonged torpe the sedative of the actie
In these days, when Anthropology seems to be reviving from the prolonged torpor in which it has placidly rested since the time of the publication of the sedative works of Prichard, while the great doctrine of the subordination of the actions of each individual, his birth, his life, and his death, to the operation of uniform dynamical laws which govern the entirety of external nature, is now receiving universal acceptance, the publication of the above work marks the period of an epoch in our biological literature.
Great changes in the thoughts of mankind have often been distinguished by the publication of poetical or satirical effusions. Since the time when Aristophanes satirized the nascent biological truths which were then scarce yet cropping out amongst the thoughts of Hellenic inquirers, and ignorantly confused them with Socratic speculations; since the time when the painters of the Egyptian papyri, often, in the exercise of their sportive skill, depicted the various known animals in ridiculous or ludicrous positions; since the time when the beetle-hunter and butterfly-preserver of Pope's Dunciad were regarded as beings beneath the notice of the poet or the reciter of “smart things ;” down to the period when authors who profess to investigate the history of England sneer at the "most intense study of entomology' as something almost incompatible with the attainment of correct information, exalted ideas, or noble sentiments, great changes have taken place in the world's thoughts. We have to deal at the present time with the advocates of the inductive method, with the disciples of a philosophy founded on the observance of the constancy of the laws of nature, and consonant with, if it may not be directing, the cause of the state of European science at the present time. To those who may wish to emulate the reputation of some of those quasiscientific writers, who have no notion of any more lofty conception of the science of life than the inspection of a series of disconnected objects, each exhibiting “evidences of design," and nothing more, and who are characterized by the lines which have been applied or misapplied to the poet Göthe:
* The Water Babies ; a Fairy Tale for a Land Baby. By the Rev. Charles Kingsley, F.L S., F.G.S., Honorary Fellow of the Anthropological Society of London, and Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge. 8vo. London and Cambridge: Macmillan. 1863.
“ The lessons he taught mankind were few,
And none that could make them good or true," to those who regard the whole universe as subordinated to man, who creates the laws by which the inferior beings live or die; or to those who may, while they thoroughly comprehend the systematic and classificatory productions of zoology, be wholly ignorant of the great conclusions to which the conception of such system and classification leads us, Professor Kingsley's “Water Babies” will open a new vista of contemplation wholly at variance with the habitual and unrefreshing thoughts which may have left feeble impressions on their plastic minds.
The style of the work is throughout in pure English—such English as Kingsley always writes—clear, manly, and to the point. In this it may fairly bear comparison with any of Professor Kingsley's previous publications. The superficial reader will merely be struck with the flashes of wit and humour which are scattered throughout the book ; the “land babies,” for which it is ostensibly destined, must, however, attain a competent knowledge of biological controversy before they can hope to comprehend it, while the disciples of the false philosophies which it satirizes, will hardly relish the castigation administered. The description of such remedial agents as life-pills, homeopathy, mesmerism, pure bosh, the distilled liquor of addle eggs; "antipathy, or using the subject like a man and a brother; apathy, or doing nothing at all; with all other ipathies and opathies which Noodle has invented, and Foodle tried, since black fellows chipped flints at Abbeville, which is a considerable time ago, to judge by the Great Exhibition,” should be carefully read and studied by those medical practitioners who may feel disposed to commence a heterodox practice. The pure anthropologist has, however, more interesting matter afforded him. That destructive school of scientific thinkers who, like the giant in the great land of Hearsay, would smash in the temple of the land for the sake of three obscure species of Podurellæ and a Buddhist bat, the latter cognate with that which is said to be confined to the Buddhist temples of Little Thibet, meet with due notice in the work.
We regret that the exigencies of our space preclude us from the reproduction of the inimitable passage in which Professor Kingsley applies the Darwinian laws to the supposed “degradation" of the ape from the human species. The career of the Doasyoulike nation, whose neglect of the physical laws conditional on their existence reduced them ultimately to gorillas, is no doubt familiar to many of our readers, and upon the supposition, therefore, of their familiarity with the work, we feel bound to point out that the great flaw in the Darwinian theory, which Professor Kingsley, to a certain extent, we believe, advocates, is admirably illustrated in this passage. According to our interpretation, when the Doasyoulikes had once ascended the trees, and the weaker individuals had been all eaten up by the lions, the felines would have had nothing to eat. They would consequently have been hungry, and unless their structure was modified to catch something else—and Professor Kingsley telling us of no other carnivorous or herbivorous animal, upon which to prey—they must, in the long run, have died of inanition. Then, when the lions were all dead, the Doasyoulikes might have safely descended the trees, and the further transmutation of the scansorial man into the ape would have been rendered functionally unnecessary.
Or, we are as much at liberty to suppose plasticity in the organization of the lion as of the man. The organization of the lion being slightly plastic, those individuals with the most powerful claws, and in whom the scapular arch was most mobile, let the difference be ever so small, would be slightly favoured, and would tend to live longer, and to survive during the time of the year when the food was scarcest; they would also rear more young, which would tend to inherit these slight peculiarities. The less scansorial ones would be rigidly destroyed. The consequence would be, that the lions would be transformed into tigers, leopards, or other climbing cats, and would ascend the trees and eat up the men, unless from the homines the smaller and lighter individuals were selected, who might have descended along the flexible boughs, as Friday did, when the bear pursued him, and so reached the ground in safety. Then, if there were any terrestrial lions left, the men would stand an equal chance of being devoured; or the scansorial lions might come down at leisure, modify their organization, and commence the game afresh. The “selective process” would thus bring us precisely to the point whence we started.
Another great feature in Professor Kingsley's work is the extreme liberality with which his scientific opinions are characterized. The contempt which he bestows on the “ Cousin Cramchild's arguments” of the anti-scientific school of thinkers, is exemplified by his description of the land of Oldwifesfabledom, where the people were not so frightened as they wish to be; the narrative of Tom's journey to the other end of Nowhere, to attain which he was told to “go to Shiny Wall, and through the white gate that never was opened; and then you will come to Peacepool and Mother Carey's haven, where the good whales go when they die ;” and his delightfully minute account of the signification of many things “ which nobody will ever hear of, at least until the coming of the Cocqcigrues, when man shall be the measure of all things," contain ideas which we must recommend to the attention of every sincere thinker.
Superficial and limited knowledge is especially visited with Professor Kingsley's severe condemnation. The adventures of the old cock-grouse, who “ was always fancying that the end of the world was come when anything happened which was further off than the end of his own nose," and on finding an hour afterwards that the end of the world was not quite come, gravely announced that “it was coming the day after to-morrow,” justly parallels the words of the far-seeing writer who, a short time ago, regarded the formation of the Anthropological Society as a sign of the “ last days.”
The finest passage of the work, however, is the plea for possible degradation of mankind into a perennibranchiate amphibian, i.e., a water baby. We must commend the following argument to M. de Castelnau, who advocates the existence of men with tails in Equatorial America :-“No one has a right to say that no water babies exist, till they have seen no water babies existing, which is quite a different thing, mind, from not seeing water babies, and a thing which nobody ever did, or perhaps ever will do." The argument is certainly a fair specimen of reasoning, and would have been accepted in the middle ages, when men reasoned better and knew less than they do now. After Professor Kingsley has exhausted every argument in favour of the existence of water babies, he triumphantly clenches the matter by telling Cousin Cramchild, his adversary, “that if there are no water babies, at least there ought to be; and that at least he cannot answer.”