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have we settled in what sense the word unity is to be used ? Politically speaking, a nation is one thing-ethnically, it is another; and we are almost unavoidably prone to the vicious habit of confounding the two, without due regard to their radical distinction. It is the same with languages, which are by no means identical, in the sphere over which they prevail, with that of the race amidst whom they may have originated, and of whom alone, therefore, they can be profoundly characteristic. Philology is no doubt a most serviceable handmaid to Ethnology, but to be so must be kept in due subordination.”
We err when we talk of Irish and Scottish highlanders as Celts, in contradistinction to English and Scottish lowlanders. There are portions of the Scottish highlands much more Teutonic than some portions of the lowlands; several of the Hebrides, and a large part of the north-east and east of Ireland are more Teutonic than the west and south-west of England. The Scottish highlanders are an example of a people speaking a Celtic language, who have the same national sympathies, and very much of the same national character, with the Scottish lowlanders, who speak a Teutonic one. Though speaking a kindred language with the English, these cannot be called the same people, any more than they can be called the same nation ; since they have widely different traditions and superstitions, and a widely different popular poetry, which breathes antipathy, and strong national animosity to their kindred neighbouring people. The Scottish highlanders may be called the same people with the Gaelic speaking Irish, as both speak the same language, though differing somewhat in dialect, and have a common stock of tales, traditions, and superstitions. Both have the same common ancient poetry, about which Scotland and Ireland have waged such a furious pen-war; each country claiming those ancient ballads as its own exclusive property. The highlander is united to the Irishman by language and traditions ; to the lowlander by political institutions and historical associations. When a considerable portion of mankind speak the same language, and have common traditions, they may be considered the same people; when for a long period governed by the same institutions, they form one nation, but they may be composed of several
There is a distinct character belonging respectively to race, nation, and people. The English have a common national character, which is very conspicuous; but the racial character of the Cornishman differs widely from that of the people of Suffolk and
In the former, Celtic peculiarities predominate; in the latter, Teutonic ones. The following passage from that entertaining
and instructive book, Seaside Studies, by George Henry Lewes, will throw some light upon this point:
“ The Scillians are a remarkably healthy, good-looking race; the black eyes and long eyelashes of the children making one's parental fibres tingle with mysterious pleasure, as the ruddy rascals pause in their sport to look at the stranger. Their manners are gentle and dignified; civil, not servile. Not an approach to rudeness or coarseness have I seen anywhere."
This clear and vivid description of the Scilly islanders would equally apply to the highland inhabitants of Uist and Barra; and any one who has studied the features and manners of the peasantry of the east of England, knows it does not apply to them.
In his Universal History, Voltaire remarks that there are but three agents by which civilization is advanced; religion, commerce, and conquest. How the latter effects this purpose is beautifully explained by Mr. Jackson, in the following passage, by the theory of race :
“ Superior races must colonize inferior to give them nerve; and inferior races must occasionally conquer superior, to restore them the bone and muscle, the strength and stature wasted amidst the wearing excitement of a previous era of civilization and progress. The Gothic invasion of the decadent Roman empire was simply an ethnic pheno. menon in strictest accordance with the principles here enunciated.”
So the destruction of an effete civilization by robust and vigorous barbarians, is but a preparatory process for the attainment of one still greater and higher.
Mr. Jackson is somewhat inclined to doubt the metaphysical superiority of the Germans, of whom he speaks in the following terms :
“Perhaps our estimate of German ability in metaphysics is rather exaggerated. We have overrated them, and underrated ourselves. Kant was started by Hume, as the latter was but Locke in his ultimates; while even the last very orthodox philosopher was only a Christianized edition of Hobbes adapted for general circulation."
The doubt thrown out here modestly, may be pronounced a certainty. German metaphysicians are overrated, and very much so, because they make a great noise about the matter themselves. The Celts are as metaphysical, if not more so, than the Germans ; but, from their peculiar temperament, they are more desirous of being admired for other literary and scientific abilities. It is very remarkable that neither the French nor the Irish make any noise about their metaphysicians; yet, in this respect, they are not to be rivalled by any other nation. Descartes is at the head of modern philosophy; Malebranche and Pascal were among the most spiritual of thinkers. Berkeley's acumen is hardly yet properly appreciated, and was totally
misunderstood by those who pretended to refute him. In the middle ages, the Irish students attending the universities in Spain, and other countries on the continent, were alike celebrated for their physical and metaphysical combative powers. Hume belonged to Fifeshire, a district in which “the names of places are without exception Celtic”, and which was never conquered by the early Anglo-Saxons. “In Kirkaldy,” says Dr. Beddoe, “ I think the peculiarly Scotch features rather prevalent." This was the native town of the most distinguished of Scottish metaphysicians.
Scandinavia and Holland have hardly produced any metaphysicians. The German metaphysical talent seems to belong to the Central and Southern Germans; and it is remarkable that the Catti, who may be considered the true ancestors of the modern Germans, are pointed out by Tacitus from the rest for their forethought and reflection : “Multum (ut inter Germanos) rationis ac solertiæe”; while of the Chanci, the true Saxon, the modern Westphalian, who extends into Holland and Eastern Britain, he says: “Populus inter Germanos nobilissimus quisque magnitudinem malit justitia tueri : sine cupiditate, sine impotentia." Thus Tacitus distinguishes three Teutonic races, who probably owed their common language, manners, and physical resemblance to Scandinavian conquest which took place previous to the time that the Cimbrians poured down in such formidable hordes upon Italy and Gaul. The democratic principle is preeminently Saxon. It was the Saxon mind that created the Hanse Towns, and that established the republic of Holland. The Scandinavian, though haughty in character, is strongly disposed to monarchy and aristocracy; the feudal monarchies of the middle ages were of Celto-Scandinavian origin. These were in time properly checked and modified by the rise of the Saxon in towns and burghs. A love of the grand and the sublime, a strong imagination, and a very strong inductive faculty, with but moderate deductive power, particularly distinguish the Scandinavian. In perceptive power he far rivals the other Teutonic races, while in that faculty called locality by phrenologists no other race equals him; hence his preeminence as a seaman, and his travelling propensities. The English and American mania for travelling is of Scandinavian origin. As an infantry soldier he is not to be surpassed, any more than as a seaman; but, when mixed with the Celt, he is the perfection of humanity both on sea and land. One of his greatest faults is egotism, combined with bombastic magniloquence. The writer of these lines walked into Exeter Hall, when on an excursion to see the Great Exhibition in 1851, for the purpose of hearing some of the “humanitarian" speeches delivered there, and observed a gentleman of florid complexion and light sand coloured hair—in fact, of pure Scandinavian type-rising to deliver a speech on the evils of “law's delay" in chancery. The commencement of the speech was characteristic of the race:-“We, the most civilized people in the world.” A few years ago, the American president complimented his countrymen as a “nation of sovereigns."
The Scandinavian mind is properly represented by Tycho Brahë, Linnæus, Swedenborg, and Thorwaldsen. Malte Brün, the prince of geographers, is also of this race; but they have no metaphysicians worthy of the name. As an astronomical observer, Tycho Brahë never had an equal; but, in endeavouring to give a theory of the universe, he totally failed. The Scandinavian mind is strongly marked in Newton, Milton, Byron, Scott, and Campbell. It is strongly perceptible in the eloquence of Burke and Chalmers. Never, by ancient or modern, was sea-life and sea-heroism described with such vigour, clearness, enthusiasm, and elevation, as by Campbell, Byron, and Scott. The Corsair is but an ancient Viking in an eastern dress.
These, then, are the several Teutonic races, all distinguished by peculiar prominent qualities, by whom the British Celts have been crossed, through conquest at various successive periods, so as in process of time to produce the present British or Anglo-Saxon race, which Mr. Jackson pronounces “a thoroughly baptized Celt”, and which race he very clearly and correctly describes in the ensuing graphic terms :
“The Anglo-Saxon seems to have inherited the strength without the weakness of those from whom he descends. In him the activity and impulsiveness of the Celt are so controlled by Teutonic self-command, as to eventuate only in sustained and well-directed energy; while Roman decision and firmness of purpose are united with an expansion of intellect and versatility of faculty, to which the specially endowed dominos rerum never approached. He has the massiveness of the Goth without his phlegm, and the enterprize of the Norseman without his ferocity. And what is somewhat remarkable, although now subjected during several centuries to what are usually considered the exhausting influences of civilization, he has preserved the robuster qualities of his variously gifted predecessors, more effectually than their immediate and comparatively unmingled descendants in the older countries whence they emigrated into Britain.”
We forbear to quote further from a book which every person, interested in the science of Man, should read. One pleasing trait of the author is his hopefulness. He entertains brilliant anticipations of the future destiny of mankind; and, with prophetic scientific penetration into the future, points out the great, important, and beneficial results to which the proper interfusion of races tends. He sees the necessity of inferior races being ruled by superior ones, and looks out for a high civilization, even for the Negro in Africa, when he shall be mixed with races not too widely different from him in organization.
LYELL ON THE GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF THE
ANTIQUITY OF MAN.*
It has been long known that Sir Charles Lyell was engaged on a work treating of the antiquity of man. The name of Lyell has been deservedly held in great respect by geologists, and by the public at large, for the last thirty years. It was admitted on all sides that Sir Charles Lyell was the right man to undertake such a work. besides, generally felt that a name which coromanded influence with the public at large, ought to be put to the work which should collect and arrange the mass of facts that have gradually accumulated on this subject. In many quarters great expectations were roused that this work would be something original; but those who were acquainted with the literature on this subject knew that there was little more to be done than to give a fair summary of known facts. To find little original or new must be a great disappointment to very many. How far has the author succeeded in giving us, then, a fair compilation? In the first place, we must say that it is exceedingly creditable to Sir C. Lyell, that having written against the antiquity of man in his Principles of Geology, and having devoted a special chapter to the recent origin of man, that he should live to show the fallacy of his reasoning from 1832 to 1858. Sir C. Lyell is well acquainted with the art of compilation; but his present work is not equal to his former productions. Indeed, much of this work is not calculated to add to the reputation of the author; but the extreme caution which characterizes nearly every sentence will make it admired by all "sound geologists.” The work in its totality is something frightful. Sir Charles is not content with giving the facts relating to the antiquity
* The Geological Evidences on the Antiquity of Man, with Remarks on Theories of the Origin of Species and Variation. By Sir Charles Lyell, F.R.S. Murray, 1863.
VOL. I.NO, I.