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tober, when the dry season returns with the opposite monsoon.

In Abyssinia, the rainy season begins about the first of May, and continues till the beginning of September.f According to the opinion of Bruce, the tropical rains extend over a zone of the African continent, including sixteen degrees on each side of the equator. This determination was probably, in part at least, conjectural; the northern limit, however, agrees very nearly with the recent ob servations of Denham and Clapperton. The periodical rains in Dar-Fur, are stated by Brown, as continuing from June to September, which nearly agrees with the experience of Mungo Park, in his last and fatal visit to the Gambia and Niger.

At Kouka, in Bornou, the rainy season continued in 1823, from the beginning of August to the former part of October. In the vicinity of the Red Sea, the mountains of Taranta, form the boundary between the opposite seasons. On the eastern side, towards the Red Sea, the rainy season continues from October to April ; but on the western or Abyssinian side, the rains are prevalent from May to October.ll These changes correspond to the periods of the monsoons in the contiguous seas. The north-eastern monsoon brings on the rains, which fall on the east of the mountains ; while the winds from the south west deposit their vapours among the ele. vated lands of Abyssinia and along the western side of the Tarantan mountains.

In some parts of the West Indies two rainy seasons are experienced in

The vernal rains generally set in about the middle of May. These, compared with the autumnal rains, may be said to be gentle showers. They come from the south and commonly fall every day about noon, and break up with thunder storms; creating a rapid and luxuriant vegetation. After these rains have continued about a fortnight, the weather becomes dry, settled, and salutary; and the tropi

cal summer reigns in full glory. This state of the weather commonly continues from the beginning of June until the middle of August, when the diurnal breeze, which had tempered the ardour of the climate, during several hours of the day, begins to intermit, and the air becomes sultry and suffocating. In the latter part of this month and most of September, we look about in vain for coolness and comfort. Large towering clouds are now seen in the morning, in the quarters of the south and south east-the tops of the mountains at the same time appear clear of clouds, and appear much nearer to the spectator than usual. The waters, however, with which the atmosphere is loaded, seldom fall with great and general force, until the beginning of October. It is then that the heavens pour down cataracts. An European who has not visited this climate, can form no just conception of the quantity of water which deluges the earth at this season; by an exact account which was kept of the perpendicular height of the water which fell in one year at Barbadoes, (and that no ways remarkable) it appeared to have been equal to sixty-seven inches.* These periodical rains are not restricted here as in Africa, to a belt extending but sixteen degrees beyond the equator, but are found in the neighbourhood of the tropic of Cancer, if not beyond it.

In the tropical regions of the American continent, phenomena, nearly similar are observed, though often modified by local causes. At Cumana, it very seldom rains, while at Cumanacoa, at the distance of only twentyone nautical miles, there are seven months of the year which are denominated wintry. Light showers are frequent there during the months of April, May, and June. A season of dry weather then succeeds, which continues from the summer solstice to the end of August. Then come the real winter rains, which cease only in the month of November, during which time the water descends in torrents. The sun passes the zenith of that place on the 16th of April and 27th of

the year.

* Payne. + Bruce. Vol. 4, page 363. Denham's Journal. Edinburgh Enc. Art. Abyssinia. Vol. 1.-7

• Edwards' Hist, of West Indies, Vol. I. page 7, &e.

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10sf and therefore that agerpe is! These ting, though enerzily conearly ochronong with the beginning

bious while hey continue, tre mostly of he tiny season.*

o short juration. In Puiestine, the Tino he paceage of the sun former r utumnai ruins, begin to rail hrringe the zenith innears one the about the end of October: when the perind aware thich he commence nhabitants piough their ground und ment of he siny season on he aime saw their wheat nd jartey. Tlie łatrican continent penerally innroll ter or spring rains, isuaily begin in mates, ret he continuanca 14 vell as the former part of April, and contime the muantity of viter Aischargert, is Intii near the end ot the month. As pridently attirencert jr he situation these rains ire ieemed essential to op he morntains and forests. In he the apport of vegetation, and their interior of "he fort, on he Coder failure à certain prelude to fainine, it Oronnen, and the Rio Veotn, he v is 10 wonder thev ure so ardenti deter phich Sils n iyon is estimatert sired, and that a reference to them is hy Humboldt tomonnt to 30 or 100 so třequently found in the prophetic inches, 36 or 106 English measure.) writings. Tie Hebrews were nostiy “Wien you have passeit "he latitude agriculturists; extensive commerce of 30 nowh, and approach the equa

was not compatible with their policv; tor, y's je, gron have seldom an and hence a failure of their usual har opportunity of Jeholding the mn or vest must jave been to them an overStars,

It ruins almost the whole year, whelming calamity. and the sky is constantly clondy. As the breeze is not feit in this immense forest of (ayang, and the refuent po.

OBSERV ATIONS ON THE CAUSES WHICH for corrents do not reach t; the co


DIVERSITIES bumn of air that reposes on this wood


-From ed zone is not renewed by drer stra

Prichard's Physical History of Mun. ta. Saturated with vapours, it con The first persons who begin to readenges them into equatorial rains. The son concerning the difference in the miccionary assured us, that it often colour and aspect of Europeans and puined here four or five months with Africans, or at least the oldest writers, ont ceeagtion, I merred the water whose remarks on this subject have that fell on the 1st of May in the space reached our times, attributed the dark of five hours, it was twenty-one lines, l, complexion of the latter people to (1.86 in. Eng.) in height. The third the burning of their skins by the inof May I even collected fourteen hines, tense heat of the sun ; and the tes. (1.25 in. Eng.) in three homes. These ture of their hair, to the dissipation of observations were marle during an or moisture produced by the same cause. dinary rain. It appears from observa We find this opinion delivered in time which I made mccessively at some verses of Theodectes, preserved the forent. of Chayaquil, on the shore of by Strabo. The other ancient writhe South Sea, and in the town of ters in general held the same notion, Contes, at 1492 toises, (9540 feet Eng.) with little variation; among whom we in height, that there fails ordinarily, reckon Herodotus, Posidonius and twth or three times less water on the Strabo. back of the Andes, than at the level of It was very natural for the Greeks, the ocean. It rains oftener on the who were accustomed to consider mountains, but there falls less water themselves as the most ancient of manat once in a given time."'+

kind, and the immediate offspring of Along the southern and eastern the gods, to take themselves as the shore of the Mediterranean, beyond model of the human species, and to the limits of the torrid zone, we find proceed to account for the peculiaritwo previoule of the year, conspicuous ties of any foreign people, from any ly market by the fall of rain. The circumstances connected with their sicurly need the lofter rains are frequent- || tuation. They had no knowledge of ly mentioned in scripture.

any black races of men, except such

• Shaw's Travels. Hurne's Study of the #in, to page 210


the negro.


as inhabited the hot countries of Ethi some of them, as black as the Afriopia and India.

cans.” This exception, however, he They entertained a very exaggerat made to agree with his hypothesis, by ed idea of the solar heat in the torrid assuming, that it is not the heat by itzone, and fancied it sufficient to burn self, but the aridity of the air, which up and destroy all animal and vegeta blackens the skin, and that the frozen ble productions. Moreover they ob- || atmosphere of Greenland is equally served that the effect of fire is to in dry with the torrid air of Guinea. To cinerate and blacken whatever sub explain the blackness of the negro, stances are touched by it. Hence, no unknown cause is assumed, albeing much addicted to loose analogi- | though a more than adequate effort cal reasonings on physical subjects, may be attributed to one that is known. they were inclined to believe that The acquired hue is supposed to inthe dark colour of the southern peo crease, in every generation, through a ple is produced by the scorching ef long course of time, till the shade of fect of a hot climate.

colour becomes such as we see it in But the moderns have, in general, adopted implicitly the sentiments of The fact, which is the basis of this the ancients on this matter, and a theory, is true : viz. that the skin of writer of the last age, of justly acquir the fairest European is very much ed celebrity, has laboured to systema darkened by exposure to the air and tize the facts which he considered as Our rustics, and especially our leading to the opinion above mention sea-faring people, acquire a hue very ed, and to deduce a similar conclusion different from the delicate complexin a logical and inductive manner. Af- ion of females who are constantly proter giving a general view of the con tected from the influence of the weadition of the human race, and of their ther; and this effect is much greater aspect in different countries, as far as in hotter countries. But the offspring the hitherto inaccurate descriptions of of individuals so imbrowned, are born travellers had enabled him to estimate with the original colour, not the ac. them, he draws the general inference, quired hue, of their parents. At least, that the heat of the climate is the chief it is certain, that there is no percepticause of the black complexion in the ble difference, in the descendants of human species.

« When the heat is persons who have sustained the effect excessive," says he, “as in Senegal of exposure to a hot climate during and Guinea, the men are perfectly several generations; and we very fairblack; when it is less violent the || ly infer, that the same observation blackness is not so deep; where it be would apply to any repeated succescomes temperate, as in Barbary, Mo. sion. gul, Arabia, &c. the men are only Among the examples adduced in brown; and lastly, where it is alto support of the theory of Buffon, that gether temperate, as in Europe and of the Jewish nation is one which has Asia, the men are white."*

been much insisted upon. These peoIf this description were universally ple are descended from one stock, and

even generally accurate, there are prevented, by their religious inwould be no doubt that the Count de stitutions, from intermarrying with Buffon was right in his grand conclu other nations; yet it is said, that they sion, although he might have erred in have acquired the complexion prevaexplaining the rationale of the effect. lent in every country into which they But, even in his time, some very wide have been dispersed, being “fair in deviations from this regular gradation Britain and Germany, brown in France were known, and several tribes, of very and Turkey, swarthy in Portugal and dark coloured people, had been found in Spain, olive in Syria and in Chaldea, to be aboriginal possessors of cold tawny or copper-coloured in Arabia countries, as the Greenlanders, Samoi

and Egypt." des, and Laplanders; the former of This is an inaccurate statement of whom, as the Count tells us, facts, for if the subject be examined,

* Dr.S.S. Smith on the causes of the varietica * Buffon's Hist. Nat. translated by Smellic. in complexion, &c. of the buman species.


" are,


it will be found that the Jews, where ally scorched by the sun, and almost they have not mixed their stock by always half naked, acquire from their intermarriages with the indigenous infancy a brown cast. people, have in no place varied con La Boullaye informs us that the siderably from their primitive com Arabian women of the desert are born plexion. It is not easy to ascertain fair, but that their complexions are precisely the physical characters of spoiled by being continually exposed ancient nations, but from some passa

to the sun. Mr. Bruce gives the same ges in the scriptures, it would appear account of the Southern Arabians. M. that the Jews in the time of their mo de la Roque, in his travels in Arabia, narchs of the house of David, resem gives testimony to the same fact. “The bled the inhabitants of the South of Arabian princesses and ladies," says Europe in their complexion.* They | he, “whom I have seen through the had black bushy hair and a white skin, corners of the tents, appeared to me with some variety probably as we see very beautiful and well made. It may in all races, and acquiring a darker be judged by these, and by the achue in consequence of exposure to counts which I have received, that heat and air. And this is the natural others are not less handsome. They complexion of the Arabs, whether in are white, because they are protected Syria or in the deserts of Arabia, and from the sun. The women of the of the inhabitants of the northern coast common people are extremely tawny." of Africa. The natural or hereditary Volney informs " that the complexion colour of any race of people is to be of the Druzes in Syria, and of the peodetermined by the complexion of the ple near Mount Lebanon, is not difwomen and children, who are not sub ferent from that of the French in the ject to be tanned or scorched by the middle provinces.

The women of That the complexion of the na Damascus and Tripoli," he adds,“ are tions above mentioned, is such as we greatly celebrated on account of their have stated it to be, is declared by all fair complexions.” travellers into the countries referred Now since the natural complexions to.

of all the nations above mentioned is Dr. Shaw and Mr. Bruce inform us,

white, it cannot be supposed that the that the children born on the Barbary

Jews, who reside among them, have coast, are in their infancy very white,

received an impression from the cliand that the girls remain so, but the

mate, of which the other inhabitants, boys, being early exposed to the sun,

of the same countries, are insusceptibecome brown. Bruce says, the wo

ble, and that they are brown in some men have a complexion so white, that

districts, and tawny or olive or copperit forms too strong a contrast with the

coloured in others. The complexion

of the ancient Hebrew race was simired of their lips and cheeks. Buffon has given other authorities for the

lar to that of the nations of Syria, same fact, and I have frequently heard

Arabia, and Barbary; and the Jews the account confirmed by judicious

who are scattered through these countravellers, who have had much inter

tries, are, equally with the other incourse with the natives of the African

habitants, born white, and remain so

until they sustain the influence of a coast.

hot climate, from which they acquire Poiret tells us that the Moors are a deeper hue. In England, the Jews not naturally black, but that they are commonly retain their black hair, and born white, and remain so all their the characters which are ascribed lives, when their labours do not cause to the choleric and melancholic temthem to be exposed to the heat of the peraments, so that they have, in genesun. In the cities, the women have ral, a shade of complexion somewhat a complexion, of so clear a white, that darker than that of the English peothey would eclipse the greater num ple, who are, for the most part, of the ber of our Europeans. But the Moor sanguine constitution. ish women of the mountains, continu It is therefore evident that Dr.

Smith's assertion concerning the Jews, " See Solomon's Song, chap. 5. v. 10, 11,

affords no support to his hypothesis,

since it refers to the complexion ac stance, to infer, that the colour of the quired by external causes, and not to latter does not depend upon climate. the natural or hereditary colour.

I have been assured by many na. The most curious facts we have con tives of the West Indies, that there is cerning the complexion of this nation, no perceptible difference in colour, are those related of the Jews settled between the inhabitants of them and at Cochin, on the Malabar coast. Dr. the English people, except what ariClaudius Buchanan informs us that ses from exposure to a hotter sun. there are two sorts of them, the white The women and children are equally or Jerusalem Jews, and the black fair with those born in Britain. Per. Jews. The former have kept their sons who are descended from ancesrace distinct. It appears by their re tors of sanguine temperament, have cords, which Dr. Buchanan considers still the blue eyes and light hair, as authentic, that they migrated to In- which characterize that constitution, dia soon after the destruction of their though their forefathers were among temple by Titus Vespasian, and that the earliest settlers in that country. afterwards they obtained grants of ter West Indians who have resided some ritory and privileges, of which they years in England, become as fair as have documents bearing date, A. M. any of the natives of our Island. Mr. 4250 or A. D. 490. They resemble White assures us, on good authority, the European Jews in complexion and that Spanish families, which have refeatures. But the Black Jews are a sided in South America, and have mixed race, and are looked upon as avoided intermarriages with the Inan inferior cast. Their ancestors hay dian or mixed race, remain as white as ing intermarried with the natives, they any Europeans. have acquired the Hindoo complex From these facts, and many others ion and features. Hence it appears, which might be adduced, we may asthat the instance of the Jews, might sert, in general terms, that the result be almost sufficient to show, that the of historical inquiry confirms the obwhite complexion will be permanent servation, that the colour acquired by during any length of time. For we the parent on exposure to heat, is not find it subsisting perfect in the midst imparted to his offspring, and has conof the blacks of Malabar, though ex sequently no share in producing naposed to the darkening effect of an tural varieties. Indian climate, during almost the It is not my intention to assert that whole christian era.

climates can only produce an effect on That the race of Anglo-Americans individuals, who removing from anhas, in any part of their settlements, other situation, come to abide under undergone, unequivocally, an approxi their influence. It cannot be denied mation to the characters of the Indians, that they have some power also of exis contrary to the testimony which Ihibiting certain changes in the progehave repeatedly received from unpre ny. But I am disposed to believe judiced and well informed natives of that the most important diversities of America, and from travellers in that mankind, the difference, for example, country. Where such approximation between the white European and the has been imagined, the mistake has Negro, depend upon another princiapparently arisen from want of discri ple; and that no change of climate, minating between the native complex however great, or for whatever length ion of the people, and the hue ac of time its influence might be continuquired by exposure to the sun, by ed, could transform a race of the formhard labour, and by the influence of er people into one of the latter, or local diseases. M. G. Heriot, a respec even make them approximate in any table writer, whose opinion on this considerable degree. It is very imsubject is of weight, since he had no probable that climates can influence favourite opinion to support, express the human species, more than the inly assures us that the Anglo-Ameri ferior tribes of animals, which are cans have not made the least approach placed by many circumstances so towards the complexion of the In much more under its control: yet dians. He is induced by this circum we no where find that the colours of

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