wearing garments that had never been | broad principles of law and morality, for washed? And yet even in Paris no street discovering the deep traces of order and was paved before 1185. In London Hol unity in nature, and for becoming conborn was first paved in 1417, and Smith scious of the presence of the Divine within field in 1614, while berlin was without and without, a life in the forests, on the paved streets far into the seventeenth mountains, ay, even in the desert, is far century. No houses had windows of glass more favorable than a lodging in Bond before the twelfth century, and as lat

as Stre the fourteenth century anything might be The latest attempt which has been made thrown out of window in Paris, after three at defining the true character of a savage times calling out “ Gare l'eau !Shirts restricts the distinctive characteristics of were an invention of the Crusades, and a savage to three - (1) that he murders the fine dresses which ladies and gentle. his children, (2) that he kills and eats bis men wore during the Middle Ages were fellow-inen, (3) that he disregards certain hardly ever washed, but only refreshed laws of nature. from time to time with precious scents. Now in that sense it seems quite clear In 1550 we are told that there existed in that the first man could not have been a Paris no more than three carriages – one savage, for if he had murdered his chil. belonging to the queen, the other to Diane dren we should not be alive ; if he had de Poitiers, and the third to René de eaten his fellow-men, supposing there Laval. In England coaches (so called were any to eat, again we should not be from the Hungarian kossi) date from 1580, alive; and if he had disregarded certain though whirlicotes go back to the four- laws of nature, in that case also, probably, teenth century. So far as we know, neither we should not be alive. Dante nor Beatrice used forks in eating, What, then, is to be done? Are we to and yet we should hardly class them as say that there never were any savages, or savages.

that it is impossible to distinguish beIt is easy to say that all these are mat. tween a savage and a non-savage ? Certers of small importance. No doubt they tainly not. All we have to do is to be on are, but we often see them treated as our guard against a very common trick of matters of great importance, when we language, or rather against a very comspeak of races with red skins or black mon mistake of philosophers, who imagine skins. With us civilization, whether con that the same name must always mean sisting of these small or great matters, has the same thing. All the difficulties bithoften become a burden, a check rather erto detailed which bave prevented anthan a help to the free development of all thropologists from agreeing on any real that is noble in human nature ; while many definition of savage have arisen from their conditions of life which we are inclined to having mixed up under the same name at call barbarous were almost essential for least two totally different classes of men, the growth of the human mind during its both called savages in ordinary parlance, earlier stages. Can we imagine a religion but each occupying its own place in the growing up in modern Paris ? Would a history of the world. How this should travelling bard, such as Homer, find an have happened is difficult to explain, but audience in the streets of London ? Would I think we can trace the first beginnings a Socrates be listened to by the professors in the works of some of the earlier an. of Berlin ? A Panini sitting almost naked thropologists, who were carried away by under a pippal-tree and composing the the idea that we can study in the illiterate rules of his marvellous graminar of San-races of the present day, such as we find skrit, a Bâdârâyana with dishevelled hair, in Africa, America, and Polynesia, the spinning out of his mind the subtle web true character of the primitive man, as he of Vedânta philosophy, would be shunned emerged new-born from the bowels of as wild creatures by a young English offi- nature. Scientific ethnologists have long cer, and yet, on the ladder that leads to since awaked from this fond dream, but the highest excellence of intellect, how the primitive savage has remained as a many steps would the former stand above troublesome legacy in otl quarters. the latter! For carrying out the chief Nothing can be more interesting ihan the objects of our life on earth, very little of study of races who have no literature, but what is now called civilization is really whose former history may be read in their wanted. Many things are pleasant, with languages and their tools, and whose pres. out being really essential to our fulfilling ent state of civilization or savagery may our mission on earth. For laying the certainly be used to throw collateral light foundations of society, for settling the on many phases in the history of more highly civilized nations. Only let us re. mens of really useful work that may be member that these races and their lan done in this line. But the loose and su. guages are as old as the most civilized perficial appeals to savages as the repre. races and their languages, while their his- sentatives of a brand-new humanity, fresh tory, if so we may call it, seldom carries us from the hands of the potter, the ignorant back beyond the mere surface of the day. attempts at explaining classical myths If we in England are old, the Fuegians are from Melanesian tattle, the wild comparinot a day younger. If the question as to sons of Hebrew customs with the outthe age of the European and American rages of modern cannibals, have at last races could be settled by geological evi- met with their well-merited reward, and dence, it would seem as if America is now the very name of savage is gradually disable to produce human skulls older than appearing from the best works on anthrothe Neanderthal skull.* No one, so far as pology and philosophy. I know, has ever succeeded in proving that And yet there are savages, only we after man had once been evolved or cre- must distinguish. There are, as I pointed ated, a new evolution or creation of map out long ago, two classes of savages, to took place, attested by contemporaneous say nothing of minor subdivisions witnesses. The Duke of Argyll goes so namely, progressive and retrogressive sav. far as to maintain † that those who hold ages. There is a hopeful and a hopeless the opinion that different races of men barbarism, there is a growing and a de. represent different species, or a species caying civilization. We owe a great deal' which spread from more than one place, to the Duke of Argyll, particularly in his stand outside the general current of scien- last great work, “The Unity of Nature,” tific thought.

for having laid so much stress on the fact But while scientific anthropologists that of all works of nature man is the one have long given up the idea that, if we most liable to two kinds of evolution, one want to know the condition of primitive ascending and the other descending. Like man, we must study it among the Fue. the individual, a whole family, tribe, or gians or Eskimos, the subject has lost race of men may, within a very short none of its charms. It is, no doubt, a time, rise to the highest pitch of virtue very amusing occupation to run through and culture, and in the next generation the books of modern and ancient travel sink to the lowest level of vice and bru. lers, traders, or missionaries, to mark tality. with pencil a strange legend here, and The first question, therefore, which we an odd custom there, to point out a simi. have to ask when we have to speak of larity between a shậman and an archbish- savages, is whether there is any indicaop, between a

Hottentot and Homer. tion of their having once reached a This kind of work can be done in the in- higher stage from which they have detervals of more serious studies, and if it scended, or whether they are only just is done with the facile pen of a journal.ascending from that low but healthy level ist or the epigrammatic eloquence of a which must precede every attempt at young lawyer, nothing can be more de. what we call civilization. We may call lightful. But it is dangerous work so both by the same name of savages, but, dangerous that the prejudice that has if we do so, we must always remember lately arisen among scientific anthropolo that, from an historical point of view, no gists against agriology seems justified, at two stages in civilized life can be more least to a certain extent. There are truly apart from each other than that of the scholarlike works on savages. I say retrogressive and that of the progressive scholarlike intentionally, because they are savage. based on a scholarlike study of the lan- But even after we have laid down this guages spoken by the races whose mental broad line of demarcation, we shall by no organization has to be analyzed. The means find it easy to catch either a proworks of Bishops Callaway and Caldwell, gressive or a retrogressive savage pur et of Brioton and Horatio Hale, of Gill, simple. If looking out for retrogressive Bleek, and Hahn, the more general com or decaying savages, most people would pilations of Waitz, Tiele, Lubbock, Tylor, naturally think of Fuegians, Tasmanians, and Reville, the clever contributions of Hottentots, Ashantis, Veddas, and Red A. Lang, John Fiske, and others, are but Indians, and one of the strongest proofs the first that occur to my mind as speci. of their decay would be derived from the

fact that they are dying out wherever they • See, however, Daniel Wilson, Pre-Aryan American Man, p. 47:

are brought in contact with European t Upity of Nature, p. 393.

civilization. Now it is true that the

[ocr errors]

Tasmanians have become extinct, and fore, to less direct proof. I believe there that several of the Red Indian tribes, too, is some distinct historical evidence in tbe have actually been destroyed by our civil. case of the Central and South American ization. But we must not generalize too races, that at the time of the arrival of quickly. Some of these very tribes, the Columbus and his successors civilization Red Indians,* seein to be recovering, had really been decaying for some time in seem to increase again, and to be able to America.* But in nearly all other cases hold their own against the baneful influ. we have to look out for other proofs in ences which threatened to destroy them. support of a higher antecedent civilization The negroes also are by no means dwin possessed by tribes who, as we koow them dling away. On the contrary, they are at present, have to be classed as savages. increasing both in Africa and in America. Such proofs, if they exist, must be sought We must therefore be careful before we for in language, religion, customs, tools, deny the recuperative powers even of re. and works of art. trogressive savages, and we must look for As I look upon language neither as a other evidence beyond mere statistics in ready-made gist of God nor as a natural support of their hopeless degeneracy. growth of the human mind, but as, in the

Historical evidence of such gradual true sense of the word, a work of human degeneracy is, from the nature of the case, art, I must confess that nothing has sur. almost impossible. We must trust, there- prised me so much as the high art dis.

played in the languages of so-called sav. * The Indians in the United States. - In an inter- ages. I do not wish to exaggerate; and esting paper read at a recent meeting of the Académie des Sciences, M. Paul Passy, who has recently returned | I know quite well that a great abundance from a visit to the North-Western States of America, of grammatical forms, such as we find in endeavored to show that the generally accepted theory these savage dialects, is by no ineans a of the eventual disappearance of the “red man erroneous, and that though certain tribes have been proof of high intellectual development. exterminated in war and others decimated by disease But if we consider how small is the numand firewater," the contact of civilization is not neces- ber of words and ideas in the ordinary sarily fatal to the Indians. M. Passy states that there are at present three hundred and seventy-six thousand vocabulary of an English peasant, † and Indians in the country, of whom sixty-seven thousand if then we find that one dialect of the have become United States citizens. The Indians in the reserve territories are in part maintained by the Fuegians, the Tagan, consists of about government, many of them, however

, earning their thirty thousand words, we certainly hesi. living by shooting and fishing, and also by agriculture. The progress which they have made in farming is shown tate before venturing to classify the pos. by the fact that they had under cultivation in 1882 more sessors of so vast an inherited wealth as than two hundred and five thousand acres of land, as the descendants of poor savages, more against one hundred and fifty-seven thousand in India. Moreover, the total Indian population, exclusive of the savage than themselves. Such facts canIndians who are citizens of the United States and of not be argued away. We cannot prevent those in Alaska, had increased during the same interval by more than five thousand. M. Passy says that the people from despising religious concepts Federal Government, though not doing nearly so much different from their own, or from laughing as it should for the education of Indian children, der at customs which they themselves could voted a sum of $365,515 to this purpose in 1882, and in the state of New York the six Iroquois "nations" set- never adopt. But such a treasure of con. tled there have excellent schools, which three-fourths ceptual thought as is implied in the pos. of their children regularly attend. The five "vations” in Indian Territory are also well cared for in this re- session of a vocabulary of thirty thousand spect, having ! schools for boarders, and 198 day entries cannot be ignored in our estimate schools attended by 6,183 children. In 1827, a Chero- of the antecedents of this Fuegian race. kee invented a syllabic alphabet of eighty-five letters, and this alphabet is now used for the publication of all select the Fuegians as a crucial test newspaper in the Cherokee language. In addition to simply because Darwin Ş selected them the tribes in cantonments, a great many children (about eight thousand) are disseminated among the schools in as the strongest proof of his own theory, the different States. There are also three normal and and placed them almost below the level industrial schools in whiclı, apart from elementary subo reached by the most intelligent animals. jects, the boys are taught "agriculture and different trades, and the girls sewing, cooking, and housekeep, I have always had a true regard for Daring. A journal in the Dakota tongue, called the Yapi win, and what I admired in bim more than Qaye, is published at Chicago for the benefit of the pupils in that region, aud it is said that the Indians of anything else was bis fearlessness, his the territories show themselves very anxious to learn, simple devotion to truth. I believe that so much so that the Ometras of Nebraska have sold

he had seen that his own theories were part of their territory so as to be able to keep up their schools. M. Passy adds that the Americans differ very wrong, he would have been the first to much in their estimate of the sum required for providing all the young Indians with a sound education, some of them putting it as high as $10,000,000, while the • See Hawley, 1.c., p. 31. lowest estimate is $3,000,000, or ten times as much as + Lectures on Science of Language, vol. i., 7. 308. is now being spent. His conclusion is that if the In- I See Giacomo Bove, Viaggio alla Patagonia ed alla dians are destined to disappear, it will be because they | Terra del Fuoco, in Nuova Antologia, Dec. 15, 1831. become fused with the other citizens of the United § Travels, Deutsch vou Dieffenbach Braunsche States. (Times, Sept. 8, 1884.)

weis, 1844, p. 229.


[ocr errors]

declare it, whatever his followers might | Central America tell us of architects bave said. But in spite of all that, no greater than any that country could proman can resist the influence of his own duce at present, the magnificent ruins in convictions. When Darwin looked at the the dialects, whether of Fuegians, MoFuegians, he no doubt saw what he tells hawks, or Hottentots, tell us of mental us, but then he saw it with Darwinian builders whom no one could match at eyes. According to bis account, the party present. Even in their religious beliefs of Fuegians whom he saw resembled the there are here and there rays of truth devils which come on the stage in such which could never have proceeded from plays as Der Freischütz.* “Viewing the dark night of their actual supersti. such men, one can hardly believe,” he tions. The Fuegians, according to Capsays, "that they are fellow-creatures, and tain FitzRoy, believe in a just God and a inhabitants of the same world” (p. 235). Great Spirit moving about in forests and ". Their language, according to our no- mountains. They may believe in a great tions, scarcely deserves to be called artic-deal more, but people who believe in a ulate. Captain Cook has compared it to Great Spirit in forests and mountains, and a man clearing bis throat, but certainly in a just God, are not on the lowest step of Do European ever cleared his throat with the ladder leading from earth to heaven. so many hoarse, guttural, and clicking The Duke of Argyll, in examining the sounds."

principal races that are commonly called Now, even with regard to their physical savage, has pointed out that degraded aspect, Darwin must have either been races generally inhabit the extreme ends very unlucky in the Fuegians whom he of continents or tracts of country almost met, or he cannot have kept himself quite unfit for human habitation, or again whole free from prejudice. Captain Parker islands difficult of access except under Snow, in his “Two Years' Cruise of exceptionally favorable conditions. He Tierra del Fuego” (London 1857), speaks naturally concludes that they did not go of them as without the least exaggeration there of their own free will, but that they really beautiful representatives of the represent conquered races, exiles, weakhuman race. Professor Virchow, when lings, cowards, criminals, who saved nothexhibiting a number of Fuegians at Ber. ing but their life in their fight before Jin, strongly protested against the suppo- more vigorous conquerors, or in their exsition of the Fuegians being by nature an ile from countries that had thrown them inferior race, so that they might be con. off like poison. Instead of looking on sidered as a connecting link between ape the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego as and man.

But what shall we say of Dar- children of the soil, autochthones, or the win's estimate of the Fuegian language ? immediate descendants of the mythical Here we can judge for ourselves, and I proanthropoi, the duke points out that it doubt whether, so far as its sound is con- is far more likely they may have come cerned, any one would consider Fuegian from the north; ibat their ancestors may as inferior to English. Giacomo Bove, have participated in the blessings of the when speaking of the Tagan dialect, says, soil and climate of Chili, Peru, Brazil, or "Le parole di quella sono dolci, piacevoli, Mexico, possibly in the early civilization piene di vocali.” And though he admits of that part of the world; and that the ihat some of the other dialects are harsh- wretchedness of the country into which er, yet that is very far as yet from the they were driven fully accounts for their sound of clearing the throat.

present degradation. Take away the And even if the sound of their language wretchedness of their present home, eduwas as guttural as some of the Swiss dia- cate a baby, as Captain FitzRoy did, unlects, how shall we account for the wealth der the beneficent influences of an Enof their vocabulary? Every concept em glish sky and of European civilization, bodied in their language is the result of and in one generation, as Mr. Darwin bard intellectual labor; and although here tells us, “ his intellect was good, and his again excessive wealth may be an embar- disposition nice.” rassment, yet there remains enough to It is quite fair that those who oppose prove a past that must have been very this theory should call upon the duke to different from the present.

establish his view by the evidence of lanThe workman must at least have been guage. If the Fuegians were the descendas great as his work; and if the ruins of ants of the same race which reached a

bigh pitch of civilization in Peru, Mexico, • Darwin, Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.'s Ships “ Adventure” and “ Beagle,” 1839, vol.

or Central America, their language ought iii., p. 226.

to show the irrefragable proof of such


descent. If it did, his position would be special Eskimo Adam, we have no choice impregnable. Unfortunately the materi. except to look upon him either as a with. als now at hand have not yet been suffi- ering offshoot of the American moundciently examined to enable us to say either builders, or as a weak desceodant of Sibeyes or no.

Nor must we forget that lan. rian nomads. guage, when it is not fixed by a popular In Africa, the most degraded races, the literature, is liable among nomadic tribes. Bushmen, are clearly a corruption of the 10 unlimited variation. The number of Hottentots, while it is well known that languages spoken * throughout the whole some eminent ethnologists look upon the of North and South America has been Hottentots as degraded emigrants from estimated to considerably exceed twelve Egypt. How much higher ihe civilization hundred; and on the northern continent of Africa stood in former ages, we know alone more than five hundred distinct lan from the monuments of Egypt and Nubia, guages are said to be spoken, which ad. from the histories of Phænicia, Carthage, mit of classification among seventy-five and Numidia. If among the ruins of ethnical groups, each with essential lin. these ancient centres of civilizawon we guistic distinctions, pointing to its own. now find tribes whom European travellers parent stock. Some of these languages would call savage, we see again that in are merely well-marked dialects, with the evolution of man retrogression is as fully developed vocabularies. Others important an element as progression. have more recently acquired a dialectic Even in Australasia, where we meet character in the breaking up and scatter with the most repulsive customs and the ing of dismembered tribes, and present a most hopeless barbarism, the Duke of very limited range of vocabulary, suited Argyll shows that, according to the printo the intellectual requirements of a small ciples of evolution, the separation of the tribe or band of nomads. The prevailing islands from the Asiatic continent would condition of life throughout the whole date from a period anterior to the age of North American continent was peculiarly man, and that here too man must be an favorable to the multiplication of such immigrant, a degraded offshoot from that dialects and their growth into new lan. branch of the human race which in China guages, owing to the constant breaking or India has risen to some kind of civilup and scattering of tribes, and the fre- ized life. For further details the pages in quent adoption into their numbers of the the last book of the Duke of Argyll, par. refugees from other fugitive broken tribes, ticularly Chapter X., on the “ Degradation leading to an intermingling of vocabula- of Man," should be consulted. It must ries and fresh modifications of speech. suffice here to quote his summing up: It is to be hoped that the study of native American languages may before long re.

Instead of assuming these (savage) tribes to ceive that attention which it so fully be the nearest living representatives of prime. deserves. It must be taken up in good val man, we should be more safe in assuming earnest, and with all the accuracy which that earliest condition of our race which, on

them to represent the widest departure from we are accustomed to in a comparative the theory of development, must of necessity study of Indo-European languages. All have been associated at first with the most ethnological questions must for the pres- highly favorable conditions of external nature. ent be kept in abeyance till the linguistic witness can be brought into court, and it We have thus seen that, wherever we would be extraordinary if the laurels that seem to lay hold of primeval savages who can here be gained should fail to stimu. are supposed to represent to us the unlate the ambition some young scholar changed image of the primeval man, the in America.

evidence of their having been autochthoAnd as the Fuegians at Cape Horn, so nous in the places where we now find them at the North Pole the Eskimos, however is very weak, the proofs that they have low their present state of civilization, have never changed are altogether wanting; been looked upon as immigrants from a while geographical, physical, and linguiscentre of civilization located in a more tic considerations make it probable, temperate zone. The Eskimo leads the though no more, that they originally came only life that is possible in his latitudes. from more favored countries, that they Why he should have migrated there, un were driven in the struggle for life into less driven by force majeure, is impossible in hospitable climates, and that in accomUnless we are willing to admit a modating themselves to the requiremeots

of their new homes they gradually de. * D. Wilson, Pre-Aryan American Man, p. 4. scended from a bigher level of civilization,

to say.

« ElőzőTovább »