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more prominent. The hair is black, straight, and strong, and the beard is removed, by plucking it out as fast as it appears. Most of the tribes, which belong to this variety, are in a savage or semibarbarous state, and are generally unwilling, when favorable opportunities are presented, to adopt the arts and comforts of civilised life, preferring their own hazardous and precarious modes of subsistence. The Mexicans and Peruvians, however, had made considerable progress in the arts, and seemed to enjoy some of the blessings of civilisation. This variety has some resemblance to the Mongolian; not enough, perhaps, to place them together; but Cuvier doubts whether its character is sufficiently defined and uniform to entitle it to rank as a peculiar race.

Fifth. The Malay variety embraces the natives of Borneo, Java, New Holland, Van Diemen's Land, New Guinea, and the numberless islands of the South Sea. It has no well marked common characters; the various tribes belonging to it differ extremely from each other. Some resemble the African, some the Mongolian, and some the Caucasian variety, and the propriety of ranking under one common denomination, individuals differing in so great a degree, is at least doubtful. Cuvier admits only the three first varieties, leaving it for further observation and research, to determine the claims of the other two.

The whole of this arrangement of Blumenbach must be considered rather as the result of convenience, than of any very obvious necessity, as there is an infinite number of shades of difference among the individuals composing these varieties, and the two extremes of the same variety differ more, perhaps, than some individuals belonging to two different varieties. He considers the Caucasian to be the original stock, which runs into two extremes, the Mongolian on one side, and the Ethiopian on the other; between the Caucasian and Mongolian he places the American, and between the Caucasian and Ethiopian the Malay.

The great diversity in the figure and complexion of the human race early attracted the attention of philosophers, and some doubts were suggested, by those who contented themselves with superficial and limited views of the subject, as to the possibility of such various tribes being the offspring of the same original parents. It was confidently asserted in fact,

that the whole of mankind could not have sprung from one pair, and that consequently the account in Scripture must either be incorrect or greatly misunderstood. On the other hand it was maintained, that this diversity was entirely the result of physical causes, which had been operating gradually, but uniformly, since the first dispersion of mankind, till they had produced the striking results that at present exist. It was in this discussion that our countryman, the late Dr Smith of New Jersey, distinguished himself by a very elaborate work, in which he endeavored to prove, that the variety was dependent on climate, and this opinion was maintained by those who thought the truth of the Mosaic account of the creation would be called in question on any other hypothesis. All naturalists of the present day, whatever may be the views they entertain of the authenticity of the Scriptures, believe in the common origin of the human race, and thus far at least corroborate the Mosaic account, by a collateral argument of some importance, inasmuch as the investigation has been pursued without any reference to the Bible. They do not, however, attribute the differences that are observable to the effects of climate, and a few considerations will perhaps satisfy most readers, that this cause would be inadequate to their production.*

The color of the negro, for example, must be the result of an original peculiarity of one variety of the human race. It is well known, that in warm climates those negroes, who are exposed to the violence of the sun in the labors of the field, are not as black as those who live in the house, protected from the heat, and who enjoy a more nutritious diet; a fact which is alone sufficient to show, that the color is the effect of a natural secretion, which is promoted by the health of the subject. It is also well known that the descendants of Africans in cold climates, whose ancestors for several generations have resided in latitudes wholly different from the native one of their variety, retain in perfection all the peculiarities of their race. Mr Lawrence, whose opinions have never been suspected of leaning in favor of the Scriptures, and who has acquired an undue share of notoriety for a supposed attack

*Those who wish to examine this subject at length would do well to consult the very valuable and learned work of Dr Prichard, on the Physical History of Man.

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upon them, has summed up the opinions now entertained on this subject, in the following extract, being the conclusion of a very interesting chapter on the Causes of the Varieties of the Human Species.

'The facts and observations adduced in this section, lead us manifestly to the following conclusions. First, That the differences of physical organisation, and of moral and intellectual qualities, which characterise the several races of our species, are analogous in kind and degree to those which distinguish the breeds of the domestic animals; and must, therefore, be accounted for on the same principles. Secondly, That they are first produced in both instances, as native or congenital varieties; and then transmitted to the offspring in hereditary succession. Thirdly, That of the circumstances, which favor this disposition to the production of varieties in the animal kingdom, the most powerful is the state of domestication. Fourthly, That external or adventitious causes, such as climate, situation, food, way of life, have considerable effect in altering the constitution of man and animals; but that this effect, as well as that of art or accident, is confined to the individual, not being transmitted by generation, and therefore not affecting the race. Fifthly, That the human species, therefore, like that of the cow, sheep, horse, and pig, and others, is single; and that all the differences, which it exhibits, are to be regarded merely as varieties.'

There is no subject more curious in Natural History than the instinct of animals, that faculty which enables them to provide for the continuance of their species. It teaches them the best mode of constructing their habitations, of securing them against attack, of preparing them for the reception of their offspring, and of providing food suitable for their nourishment. It differs from intelligence in not being susceptible of improvement; bees, for example, have always constructed their cells with as much ingenuity as at the present day, while man, by the exercise of his reasoning powers, has rapidly advanced in the comforts and conveniences of his habitation. It is impossible that the actions of animals, resulting from instinct, can be the effect of anything like foresight or calculation, because they are performed by every individual in precisely the same way, and it would moreover suppose a much greater degree of intelligence, than any of them possess. The view taken of this subject by Cuvier, in the following passage, has at least the merit of being novel and ingenious.

'On ne peut se faire d'idée claire de l'instinct, qu'en admettant que ces animaux ont dans leur sensorium des images ou sensations innées et constantes, qui les déterminent à agir comme les sensations ordinaires et accidentelles déterminent communément. C'est une sorte de rêve ou de vision, qui les poursuit toujours et dans tout ce qui a rapport à leur instinct; on peut les regarder comme des espèces de somnambules.'

Besides instinct, animals possess some degree of intelligence; they are capable of being taught, of acquiring respect for those placed over them, and of becoming grateful for kindness. But though much has been said to exalt the intellectual faculties of the brute creation, the least observation is sufficient to convince us, that those which they possess are of very humble and limited extent. The physical force of man is greatly inferior to that of many other animals, and if they enjoyed his mental faculties, even in a small degree, how easily might they counteract his designs, instead of being subjected to his will. Man is the only animal, who possesses to any extent the power of reasoning; he alone is capable of forming comparisons, and of arriving at conclusions from a knowledge of facts. Other animals have the organs of speech in as great perfection, but it is the want of the reasoning faculty that prevents them from constructing language.

Several other subjects have been suggested to us by the perusal of this volume, which we might notice to advantage; and we cannot conclude without expressing our thanks to Dr. Ware, for restoring to us a valuable work in an improved form, and one which had become, in a great measure, obsolete and of course useless. All those, who wish to be introduced in an agreeable way to the study of Natural History, will do well to begin with the present edition of Smellie; and we cordially recommend it to the instructers of youth, as a book which combines great accuracy in every point relating to the science of which it treats, written in a pure and perspicuous style, and so arranged, without impairing the value of the work, as to exclude everything not proper to be taught.

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Common Law

ART. VIII.-An Anniversary Discourse delivered before the Historical Society, on Saturday, December 6, 1823, showing the Origin, Progress, Antiquities, Curiosities, and Nature of the Common Law. By WILLIAM SAMPSON, Esq. Svo. pp. 68. E. Bliss and E. White. New York. 1824.

In this Discourse Mr Sampson has with ingenuity and learning accomplished the plan, which is indicated with so much precision in the titlepage. He sets out resolutely to ascend to the fountain heads of the common law, and explore the regions whence this immense stream derived its original impulse. He takes up the thread of history, and pursues it with diligence and fidelity through the dark places of Druidical, Saxon, and Norman antiquity, and collects in his range such facts as the dim light of those distant ages enabled him to discover. The whole result is not the most flattering to those, who would laud the wisdom of our ancestors, or look back with complacency on their principles of government, as the germs of our present political and civil institutions. And more especially will Mr Sampson's investigations discourage any one, who hopes to find in the twilight of our early history that period, to which Blackstone ascribes the 'pristine vigor' of the common law. The author proves very clearly that it never possessed any such vigor, that it was a feeble, tottering, unstable thing, till the reason, wisdom, humanity, and experience of more modern times gave it the character by which it has been marked in civilised and settled governments. To talk of the ancient common law is to give a false name to the bloody codes of barbarians, who were ferocious in their enterprise, savage in their manners, and cruel in the exercise of the power, which strength or crime might put into their hands.

It is the fanciful theory of Sir Edward Coke, borrowed from Geoffrey of Monmouth, that the first laws of the Britons were selected from the laws of the Trojans, and introduced into the island by king Brutus, the great grandson of Æneas. Geoffrey tells us how this Brutus, after having married the daughter of king Pandrossus in Greece, found his way to Bri. tannia, where he conquered the giants that inhabited there,

VOL. XIX.-NO. 45.


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