Table of contents

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Publications of the
Anthropological Society of London.



[Seite VII]

The Works of Blumenbach edited in this volume are the first
and third or last edition of his famous Treatise On the Na-
tural Variety of Mankind;
which were published in 1775 and
1795 respectively: the Contributions to Natural History, in two
parts; and a slight notice of three skulls which appeared in
the Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen of Nov. 1833, only remark-
able for being the last printed utterance of the author. Two
Memoirs of Blumenbach have been prefixed, which contain
together almost everything of interest concerning the circum-
stances of his life. I have also added an account of his ones
famous anthropological collection, written by his successor, now
himself lately deceased, Professor Rudolph Wagner, one of
the original Honorary Fellows of the Anthropological Society,

Blumenbach has related in the little autobiographical frag-
ment, which has been incorporated by Marx in his memoir,
the causes which led to his selection of an anthropological
subject as the thesis for his doctoral dissertation. It was
delivered in 1775, and reprinted word for word in 1776. A
second edition, enlarged by as much as would make about
[Seite VIII] fifteen printed pages uniform with this translation, was issued
in 1781; and finally a third in 1795, which in arrangement
and matter was almost a new work. I hesitated some time
as to which of the two first editions it would be most satis-
factory to give to the public; for, on the one hand, the first
is obviously most interesting for the history of the science,
and the additional matter contained in the second has scarce
any intrinsic value in the present day; but, on the other hand,
in the first mankind is divided into four races only, and the
now famous division of the Caucasian, Asiatic, American,
Ethiopian, and Malay races, occurs for the first time in the
edition of 1781.

To give them both in their entirety would have perhaps
been less troublesome to myself, but certainly tedious to the
reader, for not only are the Plates the same, but much the
greater part of the second edition is a mere repetition. At
last I determined to use the first as my text, and appended in
a note the important pentagenist arrangement. Accordingly
the translation has been made from the reprint of 1776, which
differs in the title-page alone, and that I have taken from the
copy in the British Museum. The preface To the Reader has
been omitted as of no value. But this is not the case with
the Letter to Sir Joseph Banks, which forms the preface to
the third edition of 1795, and contains a system of natural
history, with appendices giving an account of Blumenbach's
Collection as it then was.

The Contributions to Natural History consists of two parts;
the first of which went through two editions. The first in
1790, and the second, from which the translation is made, in
1806. The second part appeared in 1811. That part in the ori-
ginal is composed of two sections; the first upon Peter, the Wild
Boy, and wild boys in general: and the second on Egyptian
[Seite IX] mummies. This latter essay, as may be supposed, is considerably
behind the knowledge of the present day, and though in it,
as well as in that written by Blumenbach in English and
printed in the Philosophical Transactions of 1794, he had
observed the varieties in the national character of the
Egyptian mummies and artistic representations, yet the whole
essay has been pronounced lately by a competent writer to
be ‘“in some sort not worthy of that great authority1).”’ The
fact that the incisors of the mummies resembled in shape the
molar teeth was thought by Blumenbach to be a discovery
of much greater importance than modern writers are willing
to allow. I have therefore come to the conclusion that it is
not worth while to edit this part of the Contributions, especi-
ally as it is quite distinct by itself, and has no immediate bear-
ing on general anthropology.

The treatise On the Natural Variety of Mankind cannot be
considered obsolete even at the present day. All subsequent
writers, including Lawrence, Prichard, Waitz, &c., have ac-
knowledged their obligations and proved them, especially Law-
rence, by borrowing largely from it. ‘“Blumenbach may still
be considered a chief authority,”’ says Waitz2). And his classi-
fication of mankind, though avowedly neither final nor rigidly
scientific, has survived a very considerable number of preten-
tious improvements, and still holds its ground in the latest
elementary text-books of ethnology3). ‘“The illustrious natu-
ralist, in whom, after Buffon, we ought to acknowledge the
father of anthropology, has made two important advances in
[Seite X] that science, in his views on the classification of races. Although
he continued to place at the head of all the characteristics that
derived from, colour, Blumenbach is the first who founded his
classification in great part on those presented by the general
conformation of the head, so different in different races, as to
the proportion of the skull to the face, and of the encephalon
to the organs of sense and the jaws. This progress led also
to a second. It is because Blumenbach attributed a great
importance to that order of characteristics; it is because he was
the first who devoted himself to determine exactly, by the
assistance of a great number of observations, the essential
elements which distinguished the types of man that he was
also the first who made a very clear distinction of several
races in which it is impossible to fail of recognizing so many
natural groups. Thus it has happened that these races, after
having been once introduced into science by Blumenbach,
have been retained there; and we may assert that they will
always be retained, with some rectifications in their charac-
teristics and in their several boundaries. But are the five
races of Blumenbach the only ones possible to distinguish in
mankind? And if all the five must be considered as natural
groups, is it proper to place them in the same rank, and allow
them all the same zoological value? Blumenbach himself did
not think this.’

‘“In the first place his five races are not the only ones whose
existence he is disposed to admit; but what is very different,
the five principal ones. Varietates quinæ principes, says Blu-
menbach in his treatise On the Varieties of Mankind. He uses
the same expression in his Representations. The unequal im-
portance of these races in a zoological point of view, is also, at
least by implication, admitted by Blumenbach. Of the five
races there are three which he considers above all as the princi-
[Seite XI] pal races; and therefore he deals with those first. These are
the Caucasian, which is not only for Blumenbach the most
beautiful, and that to which the pre-eminence belongs, but the
primitive race; then, the Mongolian and Ethiopian, in which
the author sees the extreme degenerations of the human species.
As to the other races, they are only for Blumenbach, transitional:
that is, the American is the passage from the Caucasian to
the Mongolian; and the Malay, from the Caucasian to the
Ethiopian. These two races are put off till the last, instead of
being treated of intermediately, as they ought to be, if they
were not considered as divisions of an inferior rank.’

‘“It is apparent that Blumenbach was more or less aware of
three truths whose importance no one can dispute in anthropo-
logical taxinomy, that is to say, The plurality of races of man;
the importance of the characteristics deduced from the confor-
mation of the head; and the necessity of not placing in the
same rank all the divisions of mankind, which bear the common
title of races, in spite of the unequal importance of their anato-
mical, physiological, and let us also add, psychological charac-

This criticism taken from one of the latest essays of a most
distinguished modern naturalist and anthropologist will relieve
me from the arduous task of passing this work of Blumenbach
in review. The Contributions as is pointed out by M. Flourens
is altogether a production of a lighter kind. It contains many
curious observations, and though its geological theories are long
since obsolete, the chapters on anthropological collections and
on the Negro may still be read with considerable interest.
Lawrence has largely borrowed from the last in his lectures on
[Seite XII] the Natural History of Man. The history of Peter the Wild Boy
has, so far as I know, never been translated into English in its
entirety, but all that has been said of him and the other wild
men there mentioned has been borrowed from Blumenbach.

I had at one time intended to edit the Decades Craniorum, a
book now become somewhat scarce. Inquiries were made by the
President and Publishing Committee of the Anthropological
Society as to the probable expense which would be incurred in
reproducing the 65 plates of which that work is composed. The
results showed that such an undertaking would be beyond the
present means of the Society; and an opinion was also expressed
by some who are worthy of all attention in such a matter that
more typical, characteristic, and hitherto undelineated skulls
scattered about in the different English Museums should have a
preference, in case such an outlay as the publication of so many
crania with their descriptions should at any time be seriously
contemplated. Whilst I do not for a moment doubt the wisdom
of the decision, or deny the expediency of preferring hitherto
inedited materials, I still think that if the present possessors
of the Blumenbachian Collection could be induced to join not
only in furnishing entirely fresh drawings of the skulls contained
in it, but also in publishing the very minute and accurate
descriptions, certificates, and documents relating to each particu-
lar one, which form by no means the least instructive portion of
the inedited remains of Blumenbach, the result would not only
be a great stimulus to those international exertions without
which the science of Anthropology cannot hope to make the
progress so much to be desired for it, but would also confer the
greatest credit on the Societies which might be principally con-
cerned in carrying out such an undertaking. With respect to
the last utterance of Blumenbach, which has been extracted
from the Göttingen Magazine, I am indebted to Professor
[Seite XIII] Marx for the following information. ‘“The Spicilegium was not
printed. It had been the intention of Blumenbach to work out
in greater detail the short lecture which was read at the session
of the 3rd August, 1833, but he did not fulfil it. Therefore the
short notice in the 177th number of the Göttingische Gelehrte
for 1S33, is the only communication on that point
that we have of his.”’

The Memoir of Prof. Marx has been previously translated
in the Edinburgh New Philosophical Magazine, but many in-
teresting details about the Life and habits of Blumenbach were
omitted. It was made great use of by M. Flourens, as he acknow-
ledges; but since his own memoir contains many original details
and remarks from an independent point of view, I have thought
it would be equally acceptable.

A singular mistake has however, been made by M. Flourens,
both in this memoir, and in his larger book5) on Buffon, which I
cannot help pointing out. The reader will probably observe
that he gives as the title of Blumenbach's book The Unity of
the Human Genus,
which is obviously wrong. This would be of
no importance; but in the work above referred to we have this
reflexion: ‘“Nothing promotes clearness of ideas so much as
precision in the use of words. Blumenbach wrote a book to
prove the unity of the human species6), and entitled it On the
Unity of the Human Genus;
now, a genus is made up of species,
a species only of varieties. Buffon writing on the same subject,
and putting before himself the same object, said excellently,
Varieties in the Human Species.”

Blumenbach never once gave as a title, The Unity, &c.; and
[Seite XIV] notwithstanding the elaborate ingenuity of M. Flourens as to the
word genus, I have preferred to translate the Latin words
humanum genus, by the ambiguous, and as I believe correct
expression, mankind.

I have thought the reader would prefer for many reasons to
find each of the several treatises in this volume with an exact
copy of its original title-page prefixed. Those which had no title-
page have still one made up of that of the periodical, and the
heading prefixed to each in its original form of publication.

M. Flourens had appended to his Memoir a list of some of
Blumenbach's works. A much more perfect one, with notices of
many of their translations, and of the different portraits and en-
gravings taken of Blumenbach at various periods of his life, is
to be found in Callisen (A. C. P. von), Medicinisches Schriftsteller-
B. II. pp. 346-356. 1830. Copenhagen, 12mo. As
will be observed it occupies ten pages, and therefore is far too
long for insertion here, yet is still neither quite complete nor
quite correct.

The treatise of John Hunter, delivered in. June 1775, has
been added. It will be interesting to compare it with the
contemporaneous effort of Blumenbach. But to enter into
the question why the study of anthropology never became
popular in Edinburgh, whilst it continued to be cultivated
in Göttingen, would carry us beyond the limits of a Preface.


[Seite XV]


[Seite XVI]

For Jesus Sirach, p. 35, read Jesus the son of Sirach.

... Mongoz Lemur, p. 90, read Lemur Mongoz.

[Seite 1]

Textabbildung, S. 1xxx

K. F. H. MARX.

[Seite 3]

Though a very vivid and uneffaceable recollection of the man,
who has lately departed from our circle, can never cease to
dwell in us, still I may be permitted to sketch with a few
strokes a picture of his occupations and his personality, and in
that way to strew a flower upon the grave of him who in life
was honoured by all of us, but was especially dear to myself.

It was his happy lot to fulfil the office of instructor far
beyond the limits of the ordinary age of man, and to direct
the affairs of our society for a longer time than any one of
those here present can remember. For more than half a cen-
tury the most important events of this University are bound up
with his memory and his name; and the development of one of
the greatest and most important branches of science is essen-
tially involved with his undertakings, his accomplishments, and
the efforts he made to advance it.

He stood at last like a solitary column from out the ranks
of those who had shared his struggles and his enterprises, and
had trodden in the same path, or as an old-world pyramid, a
stimulating example to us juniors, how nature will sometimes
stamp her crowning seal on high mental powers, by adding to
them the firmness and long continuance of the outer form.

John Frederick Blumenbach was born at Gotha on the 11th
May 1752. His father was a zealous admirer of geography and
natural history, and lost no time in arousing a love for them
in his son. It will be convenient to insert here a note in his
[Seite 4] own handwriting, which I owe to the kindness of the departed,
upon the earliest incidents which happened to him while still
under the paternal roof, and his earliest promotion on his first
entrance into the great world; for it will tell a clearer talc than
if I were to turn it into an historical form.

‘“My father was born at Leipsig, and died at Gotha in 1787,
proctor and professor of the gymnasium1). He owed his scientific
culture to two men especially, Menz and Christ, two Leipsig
professors of philosophy, and so, indirectly through him, they
contributed a great deal to my own. Amongst other things, he
owed to the first his love for the history of literature and for
the natural sciences, to the second his antiquarian and artistic
tastes. And so in this way I also acquired a taste and a love
for these branches of knowledge, which I never found to stand
in the way of my medical studies, to which in very early days
I had addicted myself from natural inclination, and sometimes
they were even in that way of great service.’

‘“I began my academical career at Jena, and there I derived
nourishment for literature and book-lore from Baldinger, whilst
my relation, J. E. I. Walch, the professor of rhetoric, performed
the same office for me as to natural history and the so-called
archæology. I went from there to Göttingen to fill up some
remaining gaps in my medical studies; and my old rector at
Gotha, the church-councillor Geisler, gave me a letter for Heyne.
As I was giving it to him, I showed him at the same time an
antique signet-ring, which I had bought when at school from
a goldsmith. Such a taste in a medical student attracted his
attention, and this little gem was the first step to the intimate
acquaintance which I subsequently enjoyed in so many ways
with that illustrious man.’

‘“There resided then at Göttingen professor Chr. W. Büttner,
[Seite 5] an extraordinary man, of singularly extensive learning. He
had at one time been famous for the great number of lan-
guages he was skilled in, but had for many years given up
delivering lectures, and was then quite unknown to the stu-
dents. Just, however, about the time I came, the eldest son of
his friend and great admirer, our orientalist, Michaelis, had
then begun to study medicine; and his father had enjoined him
to do his best and get Büttner to deliver a lecture upon natural
history, which in old days he could do very well, and for which
he had a celebrated collection. Immediately on my arrival I
also was invited to the course, and as the hour was one I had
at my disposal, I put my name down, and so came to know the
whimsical but remarkable Büttner. The so-called lecture
became a mere conversation, where for weeks together not a
word was said of natural history. Still he had appointed as a
text-book the twelfth edition of the System of Nature; though
in the whole six months we did not get beyond the mammalia,
because of the hundred-and-one foreign matters he used to

‘“He began with man, who had been passed over unnoticed
in his readings by Walch of Jena, and illustrated the subject
with a quantity of books of voyages and travels, and pictures
of foreign nations, out of his extensive library. It was thus I
was led to write as the dissertation for my doctorate, On the
natural variety of mankind;
and the further prosecution of this
interesting subject laid the foundation of my anthropological
collection, which has in process of time become everywhere
quite famous for its completeness in its way.’

‘“In that very first winter, through Heyne's arrangement,
the University undertook the purchase of Büttner's collection
of coins and natural history. But in consequence of the unex-
ampled disorder, in which the natural objects had been let lie
utterly undistinguished from each other by this most unhandy
of men, he was first of all in want of an assistant to arrange
and get them ready for delivery. So Heyne said to him,
‘‘Don't you give lectures on natural history? and haven't you
got any one among your pupils whom you can employ for that?’’
[Seite 6] ‘‘That I have,’’ said Büttner, and named me. ‘‘Ah, I know him
too;’’ so the office of assistant was offered to me; and I gladly
undertook it without any fee, and found it most instructive.’

‘“Sometime after, when everything had been handed over,
and the collection had found a temporary home in the former
medical lecture-room, the honourable minister and curator of
the University, von Lenthe, came to visit our institute, so these
things too had to be shown him, and as the worthy Büttner
did not seem quite fit to do it, I was hastily summoned, and
acquitted myself so well, that the minister directly he got
out took Heyne aside, and said, ‘‘We must not let this young
man go.’’ I took my degree in the autumn of '75, on the anni-
versary day of the University, and directly afterwards in the
ensuing winter I commenced, as private tutor, my first readings
on natural history, and during the same term, in February '76,
was nominated extraordinary, and afterwards in November '78,
ordinary professor of medicine.”’

Such was Blumenbach's very promising beginning. How he
progressed onwards in his scientific and municipal career, how
he became in 1784 member of this society, in 1788 aulic coun-
cillor, in 1812 perpetual secretary of the physical and mathe-
matical class of this society, in 1815 member of the library
committee, in 1816 knight of the Order of the Guelph, and in
the same year chief medical councillor, and in 1822 commander of
the Order, all that is so well known and so fresh, in everybody's
recollection, that I need make no further mention of any of those

Much more appropriate will it be to describe here the
direction he followed himself and also imparted to the sciences,
his activity as teacher, his relations to the exterior world, and,
in a few characteristic outlines, the principal features of his
personal appearance and character.

First of all it may fairly be asserted of Blumenbach, that he
it was especially, who in Germany drew the natural sciences
out of the narrow circle of books and museums, into the wide
cheerful stream of life. He made the results of his own per-
severing researches intelligible and agreeable to every educated
[Seite 7] person who was anxious for instruction, and understood very
well how to interest the upper classes of society in them, and
even to excite them. Taking a comprehensive view over the
whole domain of the exertions of natural science, he knew how
to select whatever could arouse or sharpen observation, to give
a clear prospect of what was in the distance, and to clothe the
practical necessities in a pleasing dress. This feeling and tact
for the common interest, this inclination for popular exposition
and easy comprehension was meantime no obstacle to his solid
progress. He laboured away on the most diverse departments
of his science with single and earnest application, and arrived at
results, which threw light on the darkest corners.

Equipped with classical knowledge, perpetually sharpening
and enriching his intellect with continuous reading, and kept in
lively intercourse with the first men of his day, he knew how
not only to look at the subjects of his attention from new points
of view, but also how to invest them with a worthy form of
expression and representation.

Besides, he looked upon every result either of his own
researches, or those of other people, as seed-corn for better
and greater disclosures. He busied himself unceasingly by
writing, conversation, and instruction in disseminating them,
and endeavouring to fix them in a productive soil. Thus it
came to pass, that he soon came to be regarded as the supporter
and representative of natural science, and collected crowds of
young men about him, and by words as well as deeds continued
to exercise an increasing influence upon the entire circle of
study for many decades of years.

Blumenbach soon became known to the Society of Sciences
as an industrious student of physic, and in the meeting of
the 15th January, 1774, he communicated1) the remarkable dis-
covery he had made (which had been already done by Braun in
1759 at St. Petersburg) of how to freeze quicksilver.

[Seite 8]

In 1784 he became member of this Society, and immediately
afterwards read his first paper On the eyes of the Leucœthiopians
and the movement of the iris

It was a happy chance, that his first literary work was con-
cerned with the races of men, and thus physical Anthropology
became the centre of the crystallization of his activity.

Few dissertations have passed through so many editions, or
procured their author such a wide recognition, as that On the
natural variety of mankind
2). It operated as an introduction to
the subsequent intermittent publication of the Decades3), on the
forms of the skull of different people and nations, as well as
the foundation of a private collection4). This was unique in its
way; and princes and the learned alike contributed to its forma-
tion by giving everything which could characterize the corporeal
formation and the shape of the skull in man. Blumenbach
used to call it his ‘“Golgotha,”’ and though they do not often go
to a place of skulls, still the curious and the inquisitive of both
sexes came there to wonder and reflect.

Perhaps it is worth while remarking that the theme of this
earliest work of his youth was likewise that of his last scientific
writing, for after the 3rd August, 1833, on the exhibition
of an Hippocratic Macrocephalus before the Society, when he
communicated his remarks5) thereon, he came no more before
the public except to read a memoir upon Stromeyer, and to
say a few never-to-be-forgotten words at the festival meeting of
the centenarian foundation feast.

One of Blumenbach's great endeavours was to illustrate the
difference between man and beast; and he insisted particularly
[Seite 9] upon the importance of the upright walk of man, and the
vertical line. He asserted the claims of human nature, as such,
to all the privileges and rights of humanity, for, without deny-
ing altogether the influence of climate, soil, and heredity, he
regarded them in their progressive development, as the imme-
diate consequences of civilization and cultivation. Man was to
him ‘“the most perfect of all domesticated animals.”’ What he
might become by himself in his natural condition, without the
assistance of society, and what would be the condition of his
innate conceptions, he showed in his unsurpassable description
of the wild or savage Peter von Hameln1). How the osseous
structure of the skull will approximate nearer and nearer to
the form of the beast, when unfortunate exterior circumstances
and inferior relations have stood in the way of the development
of the higher faculties, might be seen in his collection from the
cretin's skull, which, not without meaning, lay side by side
by that of the orang-utan; whilst, at a little distance off, the
surpassingly beautiful shape of that of a female Georgian
attracted every one's attention.

At the time when the negroes and the savages were still
considered as half animals, and no one had yet conceived the
idea of the emancipation of the slaves, Blumenbach raised his
voice, and showed that their psychical qualities were not inferior
to those of the European, that even amongst the latter them-
selves the greatest possible differences existed, and that oppor-
tunity alone was wanting for the development of their higher

Blumenbach had no objection to a joke, especially when it
injured no one, or when the subject in hand could be elucidated
thereby, and with this view he wrote a paper on Human and
Porcine Races

[Seite 10]

Man always was and continued to be his chief subject, not
from a transcendental point of view, which he gave up to the
philosophers and theologians, but man as he stands in the visible
world. Not only did he contribute essentially to his better
comprehension and treatment, but it was not very easy for any
one to surpass him in practical knowledge of men.

Natural history, not the description of nature, was the aim
he placed before him. With Bacon he considered that as the
first subject of philosophy. He understood how to indicate the
peculiarity of the subject with a few characteristic strokes; and
showed also how the inner1) properties, relations, and attributes
of the individual were connected with each other, and their
connexion and position to the whole. With this view he busied
himself actively on organic and also on animal nature. Nor
was he a stranger to the study of geology and mineralogy, as
is clear from De Luc's letters2) to Blumenbach, besides what he
himself communicated about Hutton's theory of the earth, and
his paper on the impressions in the bituminous marl-slates at

The name of Blumenbach must certainly be recorded
amongst those who have signally contributed through the
research and discovery of the traces of the old world to the
history of the condition of our earth and of its earliest inhabi-
tants. He, too, it was who, long before any others, prepared
a collection of fossils for the illustration and systematic know-
ledge of the remains of the preadamite times4).

[Seite 11]

In 1790 he wrote Contributions to the Natural History of the
Primitive World
1). He devoted two papers before the society
to the remains with which he was acquainted of that oldest
epoch, principally from the neighbouring country2). He also
expressed an opinion upon the connection of the knowledge of
petrifactions with that of geology, thinking by that means a
more accurate knowledge of the relative age of the different
strata of the earth's crust might be obtained3), and he was the
first who set this branch of study going. On the occasion of a
Swiss journey he drew particular attention to those fossils,
whose living representatives are still to be found in the same
country, to those whose representatives exist, but in very dis-
tant regions of the earth, and to those of which no true repre-
sentative has yet been found in the existing creation4). Later
on he elucidated the so-called fossil human bones in Guada-

His views on opinions of that kind, as also on more compre-
hensive considerations, such as On the gradation in nature6), or,
On the so-called proofs of design7), generally like to abide within
the limits of experience, and the conclusions which may fairly
[Seite 12] be deduced therefrom. Brilliant hypotheses, subtle and imagi-
nary combinations, phantastic analogies, were not to his taste.

If it can be said of any scientific work of modern times,
that its utility has been incalculable, such a sentence must be
pronounced on Blumenbach's Handbook of Natural History1).
Few cultivated circles or countries are ignorant of it. It con-
tains in a small space a marvellous quantity of well-arranged
material, and every fresh edition2) announced the progress of its
author. Still in spite of the effort after a certain grade of
perfection the skill is unmistakeable, with which only the actual
is set forth; and with which by a word, or a remark, attention
is directed to what is truly interesting, agreeable, and useful,
and an incentive given to further study.

Not only did Blumenbach well know how to set out the
whole domain of this study in a simple, easily comprehensible
and transparent way, so as to utilize it for instruction; but he
also, by bringing to its assistance allied occupations, obtained
new points of view, and enlarged its boundaries.

His Contributions to Natural History3), and his ten numbers
of Representations of Subjects of Natural History4), have by
interesting translations, prudent selection, and accuracy in hand-
ling the subjects, done profitable service in the extension and
foundation of this science. He took special pains to throw
light on doubtful questions, and to clear up overshadowing and
difficult undertakings in natural history from old monuments of
art5), and the traditions of the poets6). He looked on the migra-
[Seite 13] tions of animals and their appearance at different times, and
their wide dispersion in enormous numbers as a great, but not
necessarily insoluble riddle; and he contributed his mite also to
the future solution of this weighty question1).

Blumenbach was blamed somewhat here and there for fol-
lowing with little divergence the artificial classification of
Linnæus. But this conservatism was not the consequence either
of convenience, or want of knowledge, but from the conviction
that the time for a natural system was not yet come. That he
felt the want of such a system is plain, because as early as
1775 he sketched out2) an attempt at a natural arrangement of
the mammalia, according to which attention is paid not to
single, or a few, but to every outward mark of distinction, and
the whole organization of the animals.

His communications, On the Loves of Animals3), and On the
Natural History of Serpents
4), display not only the critical, but
the judicious observer. Manifold interest attaches to his re-
marks on the kangaroo5), which he kept for a long time alive in
his house, on the pipa6), and on the tape-worm7).

Blumenbach was thoroughly penetrated with the truth, that
we are only then in a proper position to understand the appear-
ances of the present, when we attempt to clear up as far as
possible their condition in the beginning, and from early times
down to the present. He considered archæology and history
not only as the foundations of true knowledge, but also as the
sources of the purest pleasures. He was not afraid of being
reproached with encroaching upon foreign ground8), for he knew
his own moderation: nor did he shrink from the trouble of
seeking and collecting, for he had too often had experience
[Seite 14] that though the roots of a solid undertaking may be bitter, the
fruit may be sweet. Besides he knew well how, by keeping
at a distance from useless distractions, and by internal collec-
tiveness and regulated arrangement of work, to bring together
in one much that lay widely separated.

Some years after he had written his paper On the Teeth of
the Old Egyptians, and on Mummies
1), he had an opportunity
during his stay in London on the 18th February, 1791, of
opening six mummies, and derived considerable reputation from
his communication2) to Banks on the results he obtained there-
from. He took his part also in the opinion3) pronounced by the
Society of Sciences of that day on Sickler's new method of
unfolding the Herculaneum manuscripts, which he had invented.

He showed that our granite answers to the syenite of Pliny4).
He possessed a collection of ancient kinds of stone to illustrate
the history of the art of antiquity, on which account his opinion
was often consulted on the determination of doubtful antiques,
for example, those given out as such made of soap-stone5).

He had himself, principally with a view to natural history
and the varieties of man, a collection of beautiful engravings
and pictures, and set great store besides on the woodcuts in old
works which give representations of animals6), for in that way
the proper position of observing the art of that time is easily
arrived at. And so also he endeavoured to become better
acquainted with ‘“the first anatomical wood-cuts,”’ and drew
attention to them, when otherwise they would have remained
quite unnoticed7).

After a careful comparison of the objects of ancient art, with
[Seite 15] which he was acquainted, his opinion1) was that we ought to be
chary in our praise of the anatomical knowledge of the artists
of antiquity, but that their accuracy in the representation of
characteristic expression had not been sufficiently appreciated.

In the history of literature Blumenbach emulated his origi-
nal and pattern, Albert Von Haller, whose acquaintance he had
made when studying at Göttingen, by sending to him at Berne
a book2), on the suggestion of Heyne, which Haller had men-
tioned in one of his works as unknown to him, and which he
had picked up at an auction3). Later in the day he often fur-
nished him with many additions and supplements to the already
published volumes of the Practical Medical Library4).

Among the bibliographical labours of that great writer Blu-
menbach esteemed most highly the Bibliotheca Anatomica. In
his own pocket copy he wrote down especially all the volumes
and editions of it which were at that time to be found in the
royal library, and to the first volume he added a supplement.

He wrote a preface5) to Haller's Journal of Medical Litera-
in which his services as critic received their due.

However little value the body of physicians generally attach
to literary performances, still there is no doubt that most of
them are acquainted with Blumenbach's Introduction to the
Literary History of Medicine
6). With a prudent selection, pre-
cision, and brevity the whole field of medicine, quite up to the
end of the preceding century, is there described in a compre-
hensive survey7).

[Seite 16]

On the occasion of the fifty-year Jubilee of our Univer-
sity he brought together all the literary performances of the
medical professors of Göttingen in a catalogue1), which had
equally the effect of serving as a memorial to them, and as
a cause of emulation to their successors.

He frequently celebrated the memorials of distinguished
men, especially in his Medical Library2), that almost insur-
passable journal, and then as secretary of our Society, in
which capacity ho worthily fulfilled this painful duty over his
departed colleagues, in the memorial orations over Richter
(1812), Crell (1816), Osiander (1822), Bouterwek (1828), Mayer
(1831), Mende (1832), and Stromeyer (1835).

His Honourable mention of Regimental-Surgeon Johann Ernst
3) is so far of importance for the history of the career of
medicine, as that long-forgotten surgeon was the first on the
continent, and that in Hanover, to introduce inoculation for
the small-pox.

The lover of literature should not pass unnoticed his Notice
of the Meibomian Collection of Medical MSS. preserved in the
Göttingen Library

What has already been done goes some way to place Blumen-
bach's merits and excellence in a right light. But the most
important of all have not been mentioned yet, and from their
exposition it will be clear how many things were united in one
man, of which each by itself would have gone far to confer
reputation upon the possessor.

The branches of learning in which the name of Blumenbach
shines forth without ceasing are physiology and comparative
anatomy. What he performed both by word of mouth and by
his writings in these departments, will all the less easily be
[Seite 17] forgotten by his fatherland, because foreign countries first took
a liking to these studies through him, and expressed their grati-
tude not only to him, but above all to German erudition.

The obscure learning of generation, nutrition, and repro-
duction received light and critical elucidation from him. If
after the lapse of sixty years since he first strenuously employed
his mind to sift the existing materials and make particular
investigations, more comprehensive results than he expected
have been obtained, still it is but just to observe, that his ideas
have certainly been expanded and here and there connected,
but have not in any way been controverted.

On the 9th of May, 1778, his observations upon green,
hydræ, then in the act of reproduction, first led him to the
comprehension, and afterwards to the further investigation of
the incredible activity of the powers of nature in the circle of
organized life. In 1780 appeared his essay On the Formative
Force and its Influence on Generation and Reproduction
1); and
the next year the monograph, On the Formative Force and on
the Operations of Generation
2). At the same time he expressed
himself On an uncommonly simple method of Propagation3), –
namely, on that of the conferva in wells, whose mode of propa-
gation he had discovered on the 18th of February, 1781.

He sent in on the 25th of May a short reply to the question
proposed by the Academy of St. Petersburg, On the Force of
4), which he wrote on the preceding day, and obtained
half the prize. He wrote some remarks on Troja's experi-
ments on the production of new bone5). On the occasion of
[Seite 18] The Generation of the Eye of a Water-Lizard, he communicated
in a sitting of this Society1) the fact that he had amputated
four-fifths of the apple of the eye, and a new eye had been

With clear insight and unusual experience he distinguished
the anomalous2) and morbid aberrations of the formative force,
and showed3) how The Artificial or Accidental Mutilations in
Animals degenerate in Process of Time into Hereditary Marks.

His studies upon the formative force were taken up by great
thinkers, and were made use of, though with alterations of
expression and manner of representation, as foundations for
further developments, by Kant4) in his Critique of the Under-
Fichte in the System of Morality, Schelling in the
Soul of the World, and Goethe in the Morphology. From this
he derived particular satisfaction, as it was a proof of their
solidity and productiveness.

His Elements of Physiology5) is remarkable not less for the
elegance of its language, than, like all his books, for a well-
selected display of reading, and the profusion of his own

He busied himself much6) with the investigation, whether
a peculiar vital energy ought to be attributed to the blood,
or not. And also with the origin of the black colour of the
negroes7). He confirmed the principal discovery of Galvani,
[Seite 19] reposing on his own observations1). With respect to the eyes of
the Leucæthiopians2) and the movement of the iris, he took
great pains to ascertain their probable reasons by collecting
and criticizing the experiences of others, and by personal
observation. On the 23rd Aug. 1782, he examined two Albinos
at Chamouni.

In 1784 he discovered3), during the dissection of the eye of
a seal, the remarkable property by means of which these
animals are enabled to shorten or lengthen the axis of the eye-
ball at pleasure, so that they can see clearly just as well under
the water as in the air, two mediums of very different density.
He was the first4) who accurately distinguished the nature and
destination of the frontal sinuses, as also their condition in
disease. He showed the intersection of the optic nerves to be
a settled fact5). He would not adopt the belief in a muscular
coat of the gall-bladder6). With regard to the protrusion of the
eyes in the case of persons beheaded, he drew attention to the
fact that the phenomenon was not, as in the case of those who
have been hanged, caused entirely by congestion7). On the
opportunity of a communication On a ram which gives milk8),
he expressed himself on the presence of milk in the breasts of
men, and attempted an explanation.

His History and Description of the Bones of the Human
9), in which this naturally dry subject is treated in the
most interesting way and from fresh points of view, will always
retain an enduring value.

His Handbook of Comparative Anatomy10)was the first of
its kind, not only in Germany but throughout the learned
[Seite 20] world. Before his time there was no book on the totality of
this branch of learning; he was the first to find a place for it in
the circle of subjects of instruction. One of his earliest com-
munications was upon Alcyonellæ in the Göttingen ponds1).
Then he furnished a running comparison between the warm
and cold-blooded animals2), and afterwards between the warm-
blooded viviparous and oviparous animals3). Nor can we pass
over in silence his remarks upon the structure of the Orni-
thorynchus4), on the bill5) of the duck and toucan, and on the
sack in the reindeer's neck6).

Inasmuch as Blumenbach regarded physiology as the true
foundation of the science of medicine, it is not difficult to per-
ceive from what point of view his contributions to practical
medicine are to be criticized: besides, he let slip no opportunity
of proving his sympathy in that particular direction. Thus he
gave his opinions on the frequency of ruptures in the Alps7); on
nostalgia8), on melancholy9) and suicide in Switzerland; on the
expulsion of a scolopendra electrica10) from the nose; and on
a case of water in the head of seventeen years' standing11). He
also contributed to the extension of the science of medicine
by experiments12) with gases on live animals, and by the commu-
nication13) of a new sort of dragon's blood from Botany Bay on
[Seite 21] the east coast of New Holland, and by a description of the
true Winter's bark.

Blumenbach's reputation as a learned man was so great,
that every hint of his was considered and followed up, as that
On the best methods of putting together collectanea and extracts1);
and his works, especially his handbooks, stood in such esteem,
that authors and booksellers2) alike considered a preface from
him as the best recommendation for their works. In this way
he introduced Cheselden's Anatomy3), Neergard's4) Comparative
Anatomy and Physiology of the Digestive Organs,
and Gilbert
Blane's5) Elements of Medical Logic.

I must take notice here of one branch of learning, in which
Blumenbach had scarce his like, I mean his familiarity with
voyages and travels. All the books of the sort in the library
of this place he had read through over and over again, and
made extracts of, and prepared a triple analysis, namely, one
arranged geographically, a chronological and an alphabetical
one. To this occupation, as ho frequently took occasion to
mention, he owed no small part of his knowledge; and for his
researches in natural history and ethnography it was a most
solid foundation.

He himself bad made but few long journeys6) in proportion,
only through a part of Switzerland7) and Holland to England,
or rather to London8), which afterwards he used to say was to
the sixth part of the world; and a diplomatical one to Paris,
in order, during the time of the kingdom of Westphalia, to
[Seite 22] propitiate the good will of Napoleon for the University, on
which occasion De Lacepede was his advocate and guide. He
kept a journal on his travels, in which he made short notes
of all that was worth noticing. Up to this time very few of
these very multifarious remarks have been made public1).

He published a translation of the medical observations in
the second part of Ives' Travels2); he wrote a Preface to the first
part of the Collection of Rare Travels3), and a Preface and
Remarks to Volkmann's translation of Bruce's Travels4)!

It is not perhaps too much to assert, what I may be allowed
to say here, that the desire which was aroused in many most
distinguished men to undertake great expeditions for the sake
of natural history, and the results, which have accrued in con-
sequence to the knowledge of the earth and of mankind, were
particularly prompted through the medium of Blumenbach.
Hornemann5), Alex. von Humboldt, Langsdorf, Seetzen, Rönt-
gen, Sibthorp, Prince Max von Neuwied, were and are his
grateful pupils.

Amongst the unknown, or, at all events, the insufficiently
appreciated services of Blumenbach to literature belong his
beyond measure numerous reviews, which he continued to write
for a long series of years, not only in the Bibliothek, which
he edited himself, but also particularly in the Göttingische
gelehrte Anzeige,
on all the books in his various provinces. His
first criticism was upon Xenocrates, On the Aliment in Aquatic
in 1773, in Walch's Philological Library6).

[Seite 23]

He himself had in the beginning to experience how unfairly
and carelessly reviews are often scribbled off1). He always
adhered to the rule of separating the man from the thing, and
tried to make his judgment as objective as possible, and not
to pervert the scientific judgment-seat with which he was
entrusted to gratifying his personal likes or dislikes. His
reviews may be known by their convincing brevity, their clear
exposition of the essential points, the witticisms scattered here
and there, and the instructive observations and remarks of
the writer.

One of his manuscript observations is worthy of notice,
which I found in a pocket-book that he once allowed me to
examine, because it explains to some extent how the facility
and power of finishing off work of this kind became in a
certain sense habitual to him. It is as follows: ‘‘In church,
which we continually attended, I was always obliged whilst at
school to write down an abstract of the sermon. This has been
since of the greatest utility to me in my reading, extracting,
reviewing, and in many matters of business, &c., for it has
enabled me to detect the essential point with rapidity, to
exhibit it, and briefly to express it again.’’

Although Blumenbach beyond all others was involved in few
literary feuds2), and it did not easily happen that any of his
reviews occasioned him any complaint3) or enmity, still he could
not help frequently calling things by their right names, and
displaying false celebrities in their nakedness4).

And now we must turn our attention from Blumenbach the
author, to the Göttingen professor, to whose lecture-rooms youth
[Seite 24] and age alike pressed, in order to receive words of lasting
instruction from the wit and humour which overflowed from
his mouth.

The undivided approval, which was paid to his discourses,
underwent no diminution in his extreme old age, and he gave
up teaching, not because either the wish or the power failed
him, or because he suffered any diminution of audience or sym-
pathy, but solely in accordance with the entreaties of his friends.
He knew well how in a very singular and inimitable way to
unite the valuable with the amusing, the relation of dry facts
and scientific deductions with wit and humour, and to season
them with keen well-pointed anecdotes. Every one enjoyed the
lecture. Grave or gay, every one went away stimulated and
the better for it.

As listeners came to him from all parts of the world and
went home full of his praises, his name was carried into coun-
tries where previously German literati had been little thought
of. With a letter of recommendation from Blumenbach, a man
might have travelled in all the zones of the earth.

He had the art of never giving too much, of confining him-
self to the principal points, and of deeply impressing what was
essential by well-varied repetitions. He assisted the compre-
hension by appealing to the senses in every way; by outlines
which he drew with chalk on a board, by the exhibition of
copies and preparations, by happy quotations of well-known
sayings. He laid stress on the fact, that from him might be
learnt the art of observing; but that it is necessary, according
to circumstances, to listen, smell, and taste.

He made it plain, that he held no propositions such as could
be written out prettily on law-paper; his subject was the entire
man, his whole inner activity in representation, comparison, and

The means he employed to obtain this result were indeed
manifold, but it is very difficult to give a satisfactory account of
them; they are too much bound up with his peculiar personal
appearance. One must have heard him speak himself, with the
expressive play of countenance, the remarkable tone of voice,
[Seite 25] which now fell upon the ear in sharp abrupt sentences, now.
carried your senses along with him in overwhelming cadences,
and with the imposing effect with which he knew how, to some
extent, to throw life into the natural objects before him and
bring them into unexpected relations.

I could give many examples1) of his numerous clever and
[Seite 26] humorous illustrations, but I should be afraid, that deprived of
the spirit of his pantomimic representation, and unsupported
by his cheerful but still highly imposing delivery, they might
easily appear in a false light.

It might sometimes have seemed that Blumenbach attached
too much value to the singular and the curious, but when any
one came to look into the matter more closely, he soon became
convinced, that though what was extraordinary attracted him
above all things, still, it was principally because it had remained
unnoticed by others, or because it served him as a means,
through which he could direct the attention to what was truly
worth knowing. His business was with knowledge and expla-
nation; yet he knew too well that the majority of men must
have miracles to make them believe.

In literature he sometimes mentioned long-forgotten and
obsolete works, and noticed with particular emphasis such as
were not to be found in the royal library; but all that was only
to excite the love of learning, and keep it at full stretch. Per-
haps no teacher understood so well as he how to instil by the
way a lasting interest in literature, and to accompany the ac-
quaintance with the best and most select with opportune

The extraordinary reputation which remained to the famous
teacher in full strength for more than half a century may
partly be attributed to the influence of authority, which was
then of more weight than it is now; partly perhaps to the
more comprehensive view that though the University was in
other ways crowded with teachers, he had no rival in his par-
ticular province; partly that he in all his outward circumstances
and through his continuous good health was in a position to
concentrate on his immediate objects all the materials which
stood in his power; still we cannot help always admiring the
greatness of his personality, and the wonderful insight and con-
sistency with which he knew how to keep all this together.
For a long period of time he continued to be the chief centre
of instruction at Göttingen.

Not only did fathers send their sons, but grandfathers their
[Seite 27] grandchildren, in order that these might hear Blumenbach as
they had done themselves, and so participate in that particular
kind of learning, which had remained so singularly indelible in
their recollection. Many first heard of Göttingen through its
connection with Blumenbach, and lighted by his star, journeyed
to the place of his operations.

In the summer of 1776 he arranged for the public vivisec-
tions and physiological experiments on living animals in the
great theatre. Also in 1777 he gave there public readings on
the natural history of mankind. In the same year he gave
lectures on the dissection of the domestic animals of the coun-
try. Though he began very early to treat upon comparative
osteology, it was not till after 1785 that he gave lessons on
comparative anatomy in general. For a long time he delivered
lectures on pathology, after Gaub, on the history of authorities
on medicine and physiology, and at last in the winter term of
1836-37 on natural history, which he read 118 times.

The three English princes, who had arrived here on the 6th
July 1785, attended the course on natural history in the winter
of 17861). Nor did the present king of Bavaria, then crown-
prince, disdain to take his seat on the allotted benches, and in
August, 1803, Blumenbach was his companion in the Harz as far
as Magdeburg. This same royal patron of the sciences never
forgot his student's time, or his teacher individually, as he
proved not only by sending him valuable presents, especially
the skull of an ancient Greek and his order of merit, but par-
ticularly by this, that he despatched in 1829 the present Crown-
prince to be the alumnus of the Georgia Augusta and of Blu-
menbach. When our king, on the occasion of the hundred-
year jubilee feast of the University, honoured us with his
illustrious presence, he did not omit to visit his old preceptor
in the house which he had so often entered as a student.

Blumenbach was a born professor; in this occupation he
sought and found his satisfaction and his pride. What he
[Seite 28] prompted and accomplished in that capacity is seen from the
history of the literati of later years; innumerable are those
who prize him as their teacher, benefactor, and friend. Who
can enumerate the dedications in great and small books which
were offered to him from far and near, partly out of gratitude,
partly as expressions of praise and recognition? Out of all the
great number of dissertations which have appeared here, the
best have been accomplished with and through him. Read
the words of affection and love in the elder Sömmerring's
inaugural dissertation on Blumenbach1), which has since become
so famous, and you will want nothing more.

When his pupil Rudolphi, in conjunction with Stieglitz and
Lodemann, who had equally been instructed by him in science,
canvassed the German physicians, in order to celebrate the doc-
tor's jubilee of their great teacher in a worthy manner, all to
whom he had been a leader either by speech or writing rose
like one man, and perpetuated the recollection of the event with
a medal2), and by the foundation of a travelling scholarship3).

The naturalists of his day endeavoured to recognize the ser-
vices of the Nestor of their science by naming after him plants,
animals, and stones. It was for him a particular pleasure, that
on the morning of the day of his doctor's jubilee (Sept. 18,
1825), his colleague Schrader showed him a drawing of the
new kind of plant, Blumenbachia insignis4).

[Seite 29]

Although the confidence of the world in the learning of the
aged veteran rested on firm foundations, still notwithstanding
that he never left off continually improving it, for he was
always putting fresh life into what he knew, and endeavouring
to add new matter to his acquisitions. In his pocket-book we
find the following remark made in later days. ‘“Although I
have been many years now delivering lectures, still up to this
time I have never once been into the lecture-room without
having prepared myself afresh, and specially for every particu-
lar hour, because I know from experience how much injury
many teachers have done to themselves, by considering as
unnecessary these perpetual preparations for lectures, which
they have read already twenty times and more.”’

Blumenbach never, above all, allowed himself to repose
upon his happy natural advantages, but was always endeavour-
ing without ceasing to procure for them the greatest possible
development. Only I may remark here, that his manner of
speaking and writing never grew old, but on the contrary
remained interesting and in many respects masterly, and was
such as to fix the attention of hearer and reader in a remark-
able way.

It is worth while to bring into notice the following extract
from his note-book, which is intimately connected with the
solidity and repose of his delivery. ‘“Amongst the rules on
which my father most strongly insisted in our education, was
one especially, that when we had once commenced a sentence
with a certain form of construction we must go on with it, and try
to carry it out completely, and we were never allowed to begin
over again, and join another construction on to the first. This was
afterwards of great assistance to me towards an easy delivery.”’

Blumenbach not only developed himself into a most superior
teacher by natural talent, reflection and experience, but he also
possessed both by practice and by natural advantages the gift,
in ordinary conversation, of bringing out the main points in his
[Seite 30] answers and stories, partly by short terse sentences, partly by
unexpected hints. He was always lucky enough to hit the nail
on the head, to bring the subject into a fresh position, and to
attack it in new and interesting ways. He would sometimes
describe reason as ‘“the desire of perfecting oneself, or the
determination to accommodate oneself to circumstances,”’ and
his manner both of address and of doing business was a standing
commentary on this definition.

Generally he preferred listening to speaking; frequently he
would only let fall isolated sentences, leaving people to guess
at the connection; he avoided direct contradiction, and was
pleased when his meaning was understood, without his having
been obliged to express himself in so many words. In this way
he spared the personal feelings of others, gladly recognized
assistance from without, and was tender to human weaknesses,
especially the vanity of authorship1).

Grammar had sometimes to give way in his cursory dis-
course for his immediate objects. In other respects his talk,
just like above all his style and delivery, was the result of con-
scious deliberation. In his note-book I find written down the
following remark: ‘“In the delivery of my lectures, as in my
writings, I have always endeavoured to follow Quintilian's
pattern! This is it. ‘I2) tried to throw in some brilliancy, not
for the sake of displaying my genius, but that in this way I
might more readily attract youth to the acquaintance of those
things which are considered necessary for study. For it seemed
probable that if the lecture had anything pleasant in it they
[Seite 31] would be more glad to learn; whereas a dry and barren mode
of teaching would probably turn their minds away, and grate
rudely against ears tender by nature.’’”’

After what has been said already about Blumenbach's rela-
tions to the outer world, it seems almost superfluous to go on
mentioning in detail how numerous and honourable his con-
nections with that world became.

It might be sufficient to mention, that 78 learned societies
elected him as a member. There was scarcely any scientific
body of reputation in the wide extent of cultivated nations
which did not send him its diploma by way of testifying their

One of the necessary consequences of this was a very exten-
sive correspondence, and though much of the correspondence
between him and distinguished persons has already been
printed1), there must still remain, on the other hand, a great
deal, which will one day be made public. Blumenbach himself
laid the greatest stress upon his correspondence with Haller,
Camper and Bonnet, and considered these as amongst the
fortunate incidents of his life2).

He was made Secretary to the Physical and Mathematical
branches of our Society in 1812, and in 1814 General Secretary.
In this capacity, it was his duty to keep up the connection
between it and allied institutions, as well as with the individuals
who belonged to it, both at home and abroad; to prepare the
memorials of deceased members, and to compose the intro-
ductions to the printed volumes of our Society. We are all
witnesses of the zeal and devotion with which he fulfilled these
[Seite 32] honourable duties. He had laid down himself the 84th year1)
as the natural termination of human life, and so it might be
regarded as one of his many peculiarities, that it was not till
his 88th year that he expressed a wish, in a higher quarter,
to be relieved of that office.

There are still some of his official relations to be noticed,
which brought him into manifold connection with others, and
into business transactions with colleagues and magistrates,
namely, his position towards the Faculty, the Library, and the
public Natural History Collections. In all those different
circles it may be said, that ho conducted himself to universal
satisfaction, and gave proofs in every detail of his knowledge,
his experience, his forbearance and good feeling.

As member of the Faculty of Honours2), he distinguished
himself throughout by conscientiousness in delivering the judg-
ments demanded of him, by giving out his individual state-
ments of the prizes, by mild and moderate examinations. He
did neither too little nor too much. During his decanate in
1818 he created 76 doctors, the greatest number since the
foundation of the University. He fulfilled that office with all
its obligations up to 1835. On the 20th Feb. 1826, his Pro-
fessor's jubilee was celebrated. Blumenbach himself considered
it a remarkable occurrence, that he in his 60th year3) should be
already not only the senior of the medical faculty, but also that
of the whole Senate. He showed that the case had now really
occurred which Michaelis4) had declared was scarcely possible.

As member of the Library Committee he was always ready
to give his advice and influence for the improvement of an
institution he held so dear. He arranged5), as its Director, the
[Seite 33] University Museum, and continued to overlook it to extreme
old age, when he could no more attend to it personally. To
his name also it was owing that many presents were sent to it
from far and near1).

Blumenbach never undertook the office of Proctor of the
University, although he knew as well as anybody else how to
deal properly with the students, and to remain in the best
understanding possible with older persons and with his supe-
riors. Very early in the day he had asked it as a favour of the
Curator, that he might never be chosen for that office. His
familiarity with the older conditions of discipline, and the then
unavoidable disturbances which agitated the University, and his
fear2) of being withdrawn from pure scientific activity by this
official business determined him to come to this conclusion.

But this refusal did not prevent him from doing all the
services in his power, both to the University and the town,
by deputations of all kinds. On the 10th June, 1802, he went
with Martens to Hanover, and on the 5th Nov. 1805, to
Cassel, in the same company, to visit Mortier. On the part of
the higher authorities such a value was set upon these two
organs of the University, that it was made its duty never to put
them aside on any important occasion3).

[Seite 34]

On the 28th Aug. 1806, Blumenbach and Martens set out
for Paris: on the 28th Sept. they had an audience of the Em-
peror. On the 30th Oct. 1812, Blumenbach went, as deputy of
the University, with Sartorius to Heiligenstadt, to the head-
quarters of Bernadotte, the subsequent King of Sweden.

In consequence of these important services, combined with
his other academical exertions, the town-magistrates resolved to
give him a most unusual proof of their recognition of them:
namely, on the 1st March, 1824, the magistracy of the town
decreed him a twenty years' exemption from the municipal
taxes imposed upon his house.

With respect to the outer appearance and personal effect
of the departed, they are undoubtedly still fresh in our me-
mory. Still perhaps some outlines may be of use to preserve
them fresh, especially since in his last years he lived very much
retired in his apartments, and so many had very little oppor-
tunity of coming in contact with him.

No one who had once seen or conversed with Blumenbach
could easily forget him; and he knew how to make himself
valuable to every one who lived with him. Even in extreme
old age, when the weight of years had bent even his resisting
back, there he stood and sat, as if cast in bronze, in every look
a man. Any one who heard the stout voice with which he
answered, ‘“Come in,”’ to a knock at his door; or saw the
wonderful play of muscles in his expressive face, and remarked
in any interview his undisturbed equanimity and collectedness,
and the freshness and cheerfulness of his spirit, soon knew with
whom he had to do.

No one left his presence without receiving either an in-
structive narrative, a cheerful story of old times, or some
weighty hint. He understood a joke, and knew how to return
one. If any one let slip in conversation an expression, or a
suggestion, which was wanting in due consideration or respect,
or if any one appeared as if he wanted to impose upon the old
man, he must have been wonderfully put down, when he
snatched at his cap, and bared his snow-white head, with the
[Seite 35] words, ‘“Old Blumenbach is obliged to you.”’ I cannot leave
untold how Astley Cooper, in 1839, said in a letter of recom-
mendation, that King George IV. had declared that he had
never seen so imposing a man as Blumenbach.

His health suffered on an average little disturbance. Blu-
menbach refused to be ill; he had no time for it. In his youth
he was delicate, and was liable to violent bleedings at the nose,
and even to spitting blood; but by taking the greatest care,
and by regularity in his mode of life, he arrived in the course
of years to a very sound state of health. He declared that the
occupying himself with natural history had done him this good
among others, that he could sleep like a marmot, and had
acquired the digestion of an ostrich. Every now and then he
suffered from dry coughs, inflammation of the eyes, or lumbago,
which he called the thorn in the flesh. If he found it impos-
sible to subdue or conceal the complaint, he went to a phy-
sician, and followed his prescriptions most punctually. Glad
indeed was he when he found himself relieved of the incon-
venience, and thankfully did he exclaim with Jesus the son of Sirach,
‘“A short madness is the best.”’

Extreme old age can scarcely avoid bringing with it some
unpleasant consequences, but altogether the still intellectual
old man enjoyed sound bodily health. After he had got over
the cold days in the middle of the past January pretty well, he
was seized at the commencement of the mild but stormy
weather with his cough, which however left him again. Only
the old annoyance, of not being able conveniently to void his
phlegm, drew from him the remark, that in the pathology which
he possessed, this chapter had not been satisfactorily accom-

On Saturday the 18th Jan. I was summoned between eight
and nine o'clock in the morning from the lecture to visit him.
He had chosen to get out of bed, but had been unable to walk or
to stand. On the first seizure they had placed him in his arm-
chair, close to the stove, and covered him with pillows. When
I came I saw what I had never before remarked in him, and
what immediately filled me with uneasiness; his body trembled
[Seite 36] all over, and was cold to the touch; his expression was altered;
his pulse was irregular in the highest degree; nothing could
enable him to throw off his dejection.

Still by good luck this threatening storm passed away.
The remedies which were applied might congratulate them-
selves on a happy result. When I saw him again two hours
afterwards, he gave me his hand, he had recovered his usual
expression, and the natural motions seemed to have suffered no
essential interference.

However tranquillizing this might appear, still there was the
apprehension that so lamentable and powerful an accident,
which had proceeded from the central organ of the nervous sys-
tem, in an organism which had hitherto gone on working with
such regularity, might only too easily occur again, and at last
bring to a standstill the machine which was kept going by habit
alone. When I saw him again at 5 o'clock in the evening, he
stretched out his arms towards me, and spoke aloud; still I
thought that he felt as if he must not consider the circumstances
as so trivial. About 8 o'clock I found him in a sound sleep,
which continued throughout the night.

Sunday and Monday passed off well enough, and he spent
them, with the exception of his siesta, in his arm-chair. When
I entered his room, he gave me so loud a ‘“good day,”’ that, ac-
cording to his own expression, the angels in heaven might have
heard him. When I asked him how he was, I received for
answer, ‘“Quite in the old way.”’ He had books brought to
him again, read them, had himself read to at intervals, and was
particularly cheerful. But I could only share this happy tone
of mind by constraint, for his pulse became more and more
irregular, and fainter, and when he spoke I missed the old tone
of voice.

On Tuesday one might still have been deceived as to his
condition on the first glance, because when I asked to feel his
pulse, he thrust out his arm with energy, in his usual way: and
he showed by all his other motions that the power of the will
over the body was yet entire. This was the first time that he
spent the whole day in bed. Still in the evening I conversed
[Seite 37] with him upon subjects of natural history, and recounted to him
some bygone passages of his life, at which the expression of his
face, his cheerful humour, and many a subtle remark showed
the clearness of his mind.

Wednesday morning, the 22nd, about 8 o'clock, contrary to
his previous custom, he did not extend his hand to me; still he
quickly recognized me, and was as friendly as usual. On my
repeated inquiry whether he felt anywhere any pain, any
oppression, or any anxiety, he answered straight and decided
with ‘“No, nowhere at all.”’ The only thing which annoyed him
was, that he could not expel the phlegm from the windpipe.
He began to doze, and spoke at intervals a few words to him-
self; but when a question was put to him he always gave an
answer. As I was going away he said, ‘“Adieu, dear friend.”’
These were the last words which I heard him speak plainly and
connectedly. The tone of his voice remained good till midday.
Dozing and feebleness increased; but his consciousness re-
mained undisturbed till evening, and when I asked him several
times if I should give him something stimulating, he opened
his eyes readily, and fixed them hard. At half-past 8 I could
feel no pulse, and the inspirations were numbered. I laid my
hand upon him and said, ‘“Adieu;”’ but the dear well-known
voice, which had so often heartily responded to the greeting,
was silent for ever. Five minutes afterwards he was in another

There still remain some isolated strokes to be given, which
may help to the better comprehension of this generous and
unusual character, who retained his innate harmony even in
the very hour of departure.

Blumenbach never shed tears1). After a heavy domestic
misfortune I found him collected, reading some travels of natu-
[Seite 38] ral history, and calling my attention to the pictures in them.
He suffered through his whole organization, yet he made no
complaint, and shed no tear, but tried to occupy himself as far
as he possibly could.

He never used spectacles, and in his 88th year read with ease
the smallest letters and type. His handwriting changed remark-
ably according to the different epochs of his existence. In his
youth and active manhood he wrote beautifully. Then he was
afflicted with a difficulty of using his writing finger, and after
he had tried hard to conquer it without success, he accustomed
himself to write with the left hand, guiding the pen with the
right. For this purpose he used a swan's quill, and the thickest
lead-pencil. In his 87th year however he again attempted to
write with the right hand, and the strokes by their firmness
and clearness recalled the best performances of his earlier years.
If you ever got him to talk on the chapter of writing, he took
care never to forget to recommend the art of writing handily in
your pocket, which had been of great service to him on diplo-
matic missions, through the agency of a short thick lead-pencil
and strong parchment paper.

Blumenbach was a man of the watch, which always lay
beside him. No one could be more punctual than he was. If
any one expected anything from him to no purpose, he might be
quite certain that it had not been forgotten, but that he had
let it go, because he considered that the proper thing to do.

Immediately after he had got up in the morning he was
frizzled and powdered, according to the old-fashioned style, and
then put on his boots and kept them on till he went to bed. It
took a great deal of trouble to get him at last to use slippers
and a footstool. Even his physician scarcely ever saw him in
his night-shirt. As he spent the whole day entirely in full
dress, so also he scarcely in other ways indulged himself in the
slightest relaxation. He had a sofa for visitors in his study,
[Seite 39] but he never made any use of it himself. Only on one single
occasion, when he was ill and obliged to lay up, did I find him
upon it. He pronounced against arm-chairs for a long time,
and said there ought to be pricks in the back of them; and
it was only by degrees that this position was made agreeable
to him.

It was one of his principles never to sleep in the day-time;
only in his very last years did he allow himself a siesta. It was
his opinion that a man ought always to be wakeful, active, and
cheerful, and on that account he was slow to understand how
he sometimes in his 88th year went off into a doze in the day-
time, in the absence of any outward excitements.

He kept himself free from every confining habit; after
allowing himself to smoke for some time, he gave it up again,
and did the same by snuff-taking too, which had occupied the
place of the other. After his 86th year I saw his snuff-box no

Moderation at table was his habit; he always took exactly
the same quantity. He used to tell of himself that he had
never been drunk1).

With respect to this unusual self-reliance which Blumen-
bach arrived at so early, and which he retained to the end, it
will be interesting to hear his own account, to what influence
he principally ascribed this important result. It stands written
in his journal. ‘“My parents, among other wise and serviceable
principles of education, as I consider, never allowed us children
to know that they bad any possessions. All we knew was this,
that everything which they had was entirely their own unen-
cumbered property. That fortunate ignorance was for me a
mainspring to more earnest exertion to help myself on alone,
and it is that principally which has made of me an useful man.
How many unhappy examples there are, on the other hand, of
young people, who have neglected to cultivate their natural
capacities solely for the reason, that their parents have too
[Seite 40] early let them become acquainted with the lucrative inherit-
ance which was awaiting them.”’

Blumenbach was economical, but he understood also how
to give. He knew how to appreciate the value of money, with-
out at the same time setting any higher consideration upon it.
There was once a passage in his note-hook which some time
later was written down: ‘“However singular it may appear to
many, still it is literally true, that up to the date at which I am
now writing, I have never once solicited any emolument,
salary, or addition, or anything else of the kind concerning
myself, but have received everything throughout from the
Hanoverian government, from my first appointment up to the
last addition allotted to me in the summer of 1813, entirely
from free gifts, that is, without any exertion of my own; and so
also under the kingdom of Westphalia.”’

As Blumenbach himself was beyond all things discreet,
both in public and in private affairs, so also he expected the
same from those he associated with. He had no objection to a
piece of news, especially when it was of a piquant nature, but
beyond that, he troubled himself little about the concerns
of other people. He used to say, ‘“De occultis non judicat

If any one complained to him of his position, and solicited
his intercession, he would encourage him with the saying,
‘“Lipsia vult expectari.”’ If it appeared to him that the peti-
tioner stepped beyond the proper bounds, he would exclaim,
‘“I shall remember you,”’ and with these words the negotiation
would be closed.

Blumenbach was always himself, never distracted, never pre-
occupied. Had he been woke up in the middle of the night
and questioned upon the most important subjects, he would
certainly have given the same distinct answer as at midday.
He acted according to definite inner determination. He acted
or declined to do so according to certain rules of the under-
standing, which became at last a sort of machinery of his

He was never wanting in attention to others, and he had
[Seite 41] the faculty of attaching to himself in a subtle way men of all
classes, but especially superior men. It was his plan to bring
up and, as it were, accidentally to allude to whatever must
necessarily have an agreeable effect, and to stir beforehand all
the strings in harmony; and in this way he won for himself
many well-wishers, and knew how to keep them when they
were won. Politeness he considered as a duty, and he knew
very well how to use it, both to attract people and to keep
them at a distance.

Not only did he closely adhere to what was demanded by
custom, and all the observances of society and official relations,
but his attention to these things put many younger men to
the blush.

Blumenbach was always anxious to learn, and was never
idle for a moment. He used to say, he only knew ennui by
reputation. As he was reckoned the great curiosity of Göttin-
gen, and scarcely any traveller omitted to visit him, he was
kept continually on the stretch through the quantity of fresh
information. To this also contributed his unceasing reading –
in the evenings he preferred to be read to – and his unexampled
memory, which he was always trying to strengthen by taking
memoranda. He often used to laugh at the perverted manners
of certain men who wanted to be taken for clever, and com-
plained about their bad memory, when that was the very thing
they could exercise a certain power over. One hears people
say, ‘“I have a most wretched memory,”’ but never ‘“What a
miserable judgment I have.”’

It will serve to show how attentive he still was in extreme
old age, that one Wednesday morning when the Literary
had been published, and in one of the Reviews, without
naming him, I had hinted at something which concerned him,
he greeted me with the words, ‘“To-day old Blumenbach has
been out-jockeyed.”’

He was not in the habit of speaking his opinion or his ideas
straight out, but he left them to be seen through a hint, or only
by a jest; any one who knew his way of speaking wanted no
further explanation.

[Seite 42]

He was not one of those who received everything imme-
diately as true and certain1); but he guarded himself and also
warned others against carrying their scepticism too far. He
said it would be a subject for a very acute head to decide,
whether too much credulity or hyper-scepticism had done the
most harm to science, and he inclined to the latter opinion.
He considered it as above all necessary, on every assertion to
keep in view the individual from whom it proceeded2).

He always found fault when any one lost himself in common
figures of speech, instead of seeing the way clearly to the
foundation of appearances from the immediately connected
facts. Thus he used to express himself: ‘“The lament, that
mankind is always growing weaker, is a miserable Jeremiad.
Lay upon one of our horses the horse-trappings of the middle
ages – it will be crushed under them as a pancake. Yet these
drink no tea or coffee, and do not suffer from the evil, which
has been given us by America. Habit does it all.”’

In his thought as in his action all was considerate, con-
nected and moderate.

In what has been done already, an attempt has been made
[Seite 43] to throw off a silhouette of Blumenbach's exertions and per-
sonal appearance; in conclusion, I may be allowed to give some
account of his nearest external connections.

His father, Henrich Blumenbach, was first of all private tutor
in Leipzig, and in 1737 became tutor to the chancellor of Oppel
in Gotha, and in the same year was made professor in the
school there. He had a very choice library, and many en-
gravings and maps. For Leipzig, the place of his birth, he had
such a preference, that when his son went, against his wishes,
to Göttingen, he alluded in a school prospectus to the new
University as the quasi modo genita; but however at last he
changed, and later in the day ceased to refuse it the well-
merited honour of being the optima modo genita.

His mother, Charlotte Elenore Hedwig, was the daughter
of Buddeus, the Vice-Chancellor of Gotha, grand-daughter of the
Jena theologian; she died in 1793, sixty-eight years old. The
departed left behind him, in his journal, this remark upon her.
‘“A woman full of great and at the same time domestic virtues,
and perfectly faultless.”’ He had a brother who died in the
prime of life, in an employment at Gotha, and his sister was the
wife of Professor Voigt, who afterwards came to Jena.

In 1759 Blumenbach went to the school of Michaelis. In
1768 he delivered an address on two occasions: on the Duke's
birth-day, and the marriage of the then Crown-prince.

Amongst the interesting men in Gotha, to whom he often
went, and who were glad to see him, was the Vice-President
Klüppel, who took a great share in the Gotha Literary Journal,
which began to appear in 1774.

On the 12th October, 1769, Blumenbach, then seventeen
years old, went from school to Jena, where Baldinger was then
Proctor, principally to attend the lectures of the then famous
Kaltschmidt; but on the very day when his lectures commenced,
he dropped down dead, from a stroke of apoplexy, at the wed-
ding dance of one of his friends. In his place at Easter, 1770,
Neubauer came to Jena, to whom Blumenbach took prodigi-
ously, and to whom he was very grateful.

[Seite 44]

After he had studied there for three years, he felt the
necessity of getting instruction from other teachers, and soon
made his choice, in consequence of the renown Göttingen then
enjoyed. On the 15th October, 1772, he arrived here; on the
18th September, 1775, a Sunday, he took his degree1); and on
the 31st October he began to read his first lecture.

For his learned career he considered it the greatest of good
luck that he came to Göttingen. He shared, as he often
remarked, with regard to a learned life the saying of Schlözer2):
‘“To live out of Göttingen is not to live at all.”’

Nor did he conceal from himself that the fact of his career
coinciding with the necessities of that day, and his personal
position to influential men, had had an important influence on
the recognition of his labours3).

By his marriage (on the 19th Oct. 1778) he became the
brother-in-law of Heyne, and as his father-in-law George
Brandes, and afterwards his brother-in-law Ernst Brandes,
managed the affairs of the University, we can see partly at
least how Blumenbach came to have so much influence in it.

[Seite 45]

What he was to this institution of learning in general,
and our society in particular, that the world knows well, and
history will not forget. In our tablets of memory his name
will always endure, and his recollection will always renew in
us the picture of a great and beautiful activity.

He who like him has satisfied the best of his time, he has
lived for all time.

[interleaf] [Seite 47]



[Seite 49]

Some years since died at Göttingen a member of our Academy,
whose great works have rendered him famous, and whose par-
ticular works, applied to the new study of man himself, have
rendered dear to humanity. It is to M. Blumenbach that our
age owes Anthropology. The history of mankind had been
disfigured by errors of every kind, physical, social and moral.
A sage appeared. He contended against the physical errors;
and, by so doing, destroyed in the surest manner the founda-
tion of all the others.

John Frederick Blumenbach was born at Gotha, in 1752.
From his very birth nature seemed to devote him to education.
His father was professor at Gotha; his mother belonged to a
family at Jena, which was attached to the universities.

It was in one of those German interiors, where the love
of retirement, the necessity of study, the habits of an honourable
independence reign with such a charm, that the little Blumen-
bach first saw the light. A brother, a sister, a father studious
and grave, a mother tender and enlightened, formed at first
all his world. It was soon observed that this child, surrounded
by such soft affections, was occupied by quite a dreamy
curiosity. It played but little, and began to observe very early.
It endeavoured, and sometimes with great ingenuity, to com-
prehend or to explain to itself the structure of a plant or an

Everything is taken seriously in Germany, even the earliest
education of the infant. The father of M. Blumenbach, who
[Seite 50] intended him for education, never permitted him, even from the
most tender age, to break short a sentence badly commenced
in order to put something else in its place. The sentence
badly commenced had to be finished. The child had to get
itself out of the little difficulty it had got into. In this way it
learnt naturally, without effort, or rather by scarcely appreciable
efforts, to think clearly and express itself with precision.

His mother, a woman of elevated spirit and noble heart,
inspired him with ideas of glory. The soul of the mother is the
destiny of her son. These first impressions have never ceased to
influence the whole life of M. Blumenbach. Of his numerous
writings there is only one which is foreign to the sciences, and
that is the panegyric of his mother. He ends it by saying,
‘“She had all, and knew how to cherish all the family virtues.”’

To return to the child. At ten years old he already took
up the subject of comparative osteology, and this was the way.
There was then but one solitary skeleton in the town of Gotha.
This skeleton belonged to a doctor, who was the friend of the
family of our little scholar, who often told afterwards the story
of the many visits he used to make, during which he took
no notice of the doctor, but a great deal of the skeleton. His
visits became, by little and little, more assiduous and more
frequent. He came, on purpose, when his old friend was out;
and, under pretence of waiting for him, spent whole hours in
looking at the skeleton. After having well fixed in his memory
the form of the different bones and their relations, he conceived
the bold idea of composing a copy. For this purpose he made
frequent journeys in the night to the cemeteries. But, as he
was determined to owe nothing except to chance, he soon found
out that he would have to content himself with the bones of
our domestic animals. In consequence, he directed his private
researches in such a way as to provide himself with all sorts of
that kind of bones. Then he carried them all to his bed-room,
concealed them as well as he could, and shut himself too up
there, in order to give himself up at his leisure, and with an
enthusiasm beyond his age, to the studies he had marked out
for himself.

[Seite 51]

Unfortunately, at last a servant discovered the child's
secret treasure; she saw that ingenious commencement of a
human skeleton, and cried out sacrilege and scandal. Young
Blumenbach, all in tears, ran to his mother; and she, under the
advice of the good doctor, prudently decided that the precious
collection should be removed into one of the lofts. Such was the
modest beginning of the famous collection whoso reputation
has become universal.

At seventeen, young Blumenbach quitted his family for the
University of Jena. There he found Sömmerring: the same
age, the same tastes, the same passion for study, which already
concealed another, that for fame. They soon became friends;
and for these two friends everything was in common, library
and laboratory. Blumenbach lent his books; Sömmerring lent
his anatomical preparations. In their confidential intimacies
they often allowed themselves to give way to their illusions,
predicting for one another the first rank in the sciences they
cultivated. Nor were they deceived; the one became the first
naturalist, the other the first anatomist of Germany.

After spending three years at Jena, Blumenbach went to
the university of Göttingen, then famous for the residence of
a great man, the great Haller, one of the grandest geniuses
science has ever had; a first-rate author, poet, profound ana-
tomist, a botanist equal to Linnæus in his way, a physiologist
without parallel, and of an erudition almost unlimited. Haller
indeed had left the place; but his reputation was everywhere.
At the sight of reputation the cry of genius is always the same;
and Blumenbach said with Correggio, ‘“I too am a painter.”’

There lived then, at Göttingen, an old professor, forgotten
by the students and very oblivious himself of delivering lec-
tures, but in other respects very learned, and, besides, the
possessor of an immense collection, remarkable for its books
of geography, philology, voyages, and pictures of distant nations.
Young Blumenbach, who was already dreaming of a history
of man, was delighted at finding materials of this kind, so labori-
ously and diligently brought together. He foresaw with a
singular clearness all the advantages that might be got from it.
[Seite 52] He listened to and admired the old professor; and let him go
on talking for a whole twelvemonth; then, rich with these
treasures of erudition, of history, and continuous studies of the
physiognomy of peoples, he wrote his doctor's dissertation on
The Unity of Mankind.

This was quite a new way of opening the science which he
was destined to found and to render attractive. He com-
menced from that time his anthropological collection. He did
more; he got the University to buy the collections of his old
master, he became their conservator, he arranged them; and
very soon brought them into notice by the great instruction
in natural history he added to them. His teaching in this way
marks quite an epoch in the studies of Germany.

The peculiar genius of that nation is well known; the
genius of thought governed by imagination; devoted at once
to truth and to systems; brilliant, and rejoicing in elevated
combinations, bold, surprising, and, if I may use the expression,
given up to the adventures of thought. M. Blumenbach was no
exception to this genius; but he developed, with a wonderful
good nature, all the wisest points of it.

The fifty years during which he was professor, and, if I may
say so, a kind of sovereign, was, for natural history in Germany,
the time of the most positive and the soundest study. The
day of systems did not re-appear till he was gone; and when
they did, although recalled to life by a man of astonishing
vigour of mind1), they never could regain the empire they had
lost. They had to deal with an entirely new power. The
experimental method had been established. The great revolu-
tion which has made the modern human intellect what it is
had been effected.

M. Blumenbach has published four works which give us
pretty well the whole of his great course of instruction: the
first, on The Human Species2); the second, on Natural History;
[Seite 53] the third, on Physiology; and the fourth, on Comparative

To form a proper opinion of these works, it is necessary
to consider the time when they appeared. About the middle
of the eighteenth century, Buffon, Linnæus and Haller had
founded modern natural history. Towards the end of the
century, at the very moment when science lost these three
great men, M. Blumenbach wrote his first work1).

The glory of M. Blumenbach is that he preceded Cuvier.
There was indeed between these two famous men more than
one relation; both introduced Comparative Anatomy into their
own country, both created a new science; the one, Anthropo-
logy; the other, the science of Fossil Anatomy: both con-
ceived the science of Animal Organization in its entirety; but
G. Guvier, impelled by a greater bias towards abstract combi-
nations, did more to display a method; whilst Blumenbach,
guided by a most delicate sensibility, did more to elucidate

Everything belonging to method was neglected by Blumen-
bach; he confined himself to following Linnæus; he adopted
from him almost all his divisions with whatever advantages they
had, and also with all their defects, their narrowness of study,
and their caprice.

In Germany, where they will not easily admit that M. Blu-
menbach was deficient in anything, this kind of forgetfulness
with which that great intellect treated method is explained
and excused by his deference for Linnæus, the master, in that
way, of a whole century. In France, where greater liberty of
speech is allowed, without going beyond the bounds of respect,
we say, plainly enough, that Blumenbach had not the genius
of method; a genius so rare, that Aristotle alone, of antiquity,
possessed it; and only three or four men in modern times have
[Seite 54] had it in so high a degree, Linnæus, the two Jussieu and
G. Cuvier.

All the writings of M. Blumenbach indicate the character
and, if I may say so, the stamp of the physiologist. In his
Comparative Anatomy he arranges his facts according to the
organs, which is pre-eminently the physiological order. In the
Physiology, properly so called, he first of all considers the
forces of life, which is the point of view at once the most
elevated and the most essentially peculiar to that science.
His works on the cold-blooded and hot-blooded animals, and on
the hot-blooded viviparous and oviparous animals are a true
Comparative Physiology, and that too at an epoch when the
very name of that science was unknown1). He has submitted
the great question of the formation of beings to the most pro-
found researches2), and always as a physiologist. Facts were his
study; and from facts he tried to mount up to the force which
produced them. Nothing is more famous than the formative
force of M. Blumenbach3).

Three principal ideas about the formation of beings have
been successively in vogue; the idea of spontaneous generation,
which was the idea, or rather the error, of all antiquity; the
idea of the pre-existence of germs, conceived by Leibnitz, and
popularized by Bonnet; and the idea of the formative force of
M. Blumenbach. No doubt the new idea does not clear up the
difficulty any more than the two others; but at least it does
not add to it. It does not contradict the facts, like the idea of
spontaneous generation; nor does it exact of the mind all that
mob of suppositions and concessions which is demanded by
the idea of the pre-existence of germs4).

The formative force of M. Blumenbach is only a mode of
expressing a fact, like instability or sensibility; and whatever
[Seite 55] may be said of it, is not more obscure. Every original force is
obscure for the very reason that it is original. ‘“The first
veil,”’ says Fontenelle, ‘“which covered the Isis of the Egyptians
has been lifted a long time; a second, if you please, has been so
in our time; a third never will be, if it is really the last1).”’

Great studies absorb those who pursue them. Blumenbach
travelled little. His labours were only interrupted by some
journeys in the interior of his country; and what was remark-
able, these very journeys were of just as much use to natural
history as his works. The old Germany, with its old chateaux,
seemed to pay no homage to science; still the lords of these
ancient and noble mansions had long since made it a business,
and almost a point of honour, to form with care what were
called Cabinets of Curiosities. Their successors, attracted by
the warlike tastes of the great Frederick, had forgotten these
collections. Blumenbach came and reclaimed these treasures
in the name of science, and everything was granted to him.
Natural history began everywhere to have its museums, and so
had civil history; and all this was due to what Blumenbach
used to call, laughingly, his Voyages of Discovery.

Of all these collections, the most peculiar to Blumenbach,
the most important, the most precious at least for its object,
was his collection of human skulls; an admirable monument of
sagacity, labour and patience, and the best established and
surest foundation of the new science, which interests us all
to-day, of Anthropology. Anthropology sprung from a great
thought of Buffon. Up to his time man had never been
studied, except as an individual; Buffon was the first who,
in man, studied the species2).

After Buffon came Camper. Buffon had only considered
the colour, the physiognomy, the exterior traits, the superficial
of peoples; Camper, more of an anatomist, con-
sidered the more real characteristics. With Camper began the
study of skulls. Camper had a quick apprehension, and was as
[Seite 56] ready at seizing a happy view as prompt to abandon it. He
compared the skull of the European with that of the negro;
the skull of the negro with that of the orang-utan; he struck
out the idea of his facial angle, and very soon greatly exagge-
rated its importance.

Blumenbach has pointed out what a very unsatisfactory
and incomplete characteristic the facial angle is; he has shown
that we must compare all the skull and all the face; he has
laid down rules for that learned and perfect comparison, and
was the first to deduce that division which is almost everywhere
now adopted, of the human species into five races; the
European, or white race; the Asiatic, or yellow; the African, or
black; the American, or red; and the Malay.

I confess at once, and without difficulty, that this division
of races is not perfect. The division of races is the real diffi-
culty of the clay, the obscure problem of Anthropology, and will
be so for a long time. The Malay race is not a simple or a
single race1). Precise characteristics have been sought, but not
yet found, by which to describe the American race. There are
three principal races, of which all the others are only varieties,
or sub-races; I mean the three races of Europe, Asia and
Africa. But the idea, the grand idea, which reigns and rules
and predominates throughout in the admirable studies of Blu-
menbach is the idea of the unity of the human species, or, as
it has also been expressed, of the human genus. Blumenbach
was the first who wrote a book under the express title of the
Unity of the Human Genus2).

The Unity of Mankind is the great result of the science of
Blumenbach, and the great result of all natural history. Anti-
quity never had any but the most confused ideas on the
physical constitution of man. Pliny talks seriously of peoples
with only one leg, of others whose eyes were on their shoulders,
[Seite 57] or who had no head, &c. In the sixteenth century, Rondelet,
an excellent naturalist, gravely describes sea-men, who live
in the water, and have scales and an oozy beard. In the
eighteenth century Maupertuis describes the Patagonians, as
giants whose ideas ought to correspond to their stature; but as
a compensation, for the credit of the century, Voltaire laughed
at Maupertuis. Finally, what speaks volumes, Linnæus, the
great Linnæus, puts into the same family man and the orang-
utan. The homo nocturnus, the homo troglodytes, the homo
of Linnæus is, in fact, the orang-utan.

To raise the science out of this chaos, Blumenbach laid
down first of all three rules. The first is, to draw a distinction
everywhere between what belongs to the brute and what
belongs to man. A profound interval, without connexion,
without passage, separates the human species from all others.
No other species comes near the human species; no genus even,
or family. The human species stands alone. Guided by his
facial angle, Camper approximated the orang-utan to the negro.
He saw the shape of the skull1), which gives an apparent
resemblance; he failed to see the capacity of the skull, which
makes the real difference. In form nearly, the skull of the
negro is as the skull of the European; the capacity of the two
skulls is the same. And what is much more essential, their
brain is absolutely the same. And, besides, what has the brain
to do with the matter? The human mind is one. The soul is
one. In spite of its misfortunes, the African race has had
heroes of all kinds. Blumenbach, who has collected everything
in its favour, reckons among it the most humane and the bravest
men; authors, learned men and poets. He had a library
entirely composed of books written by negroes. Our age will
doubtless witness the end of an odious traffic. Philanthropy,
science, politics, that is true politics, all join in attacking it;
humanity will not be without its crusades. The second rule of
Blumenbach is, not to admit any fact except when supported
[Seite 58] by trustworthy documents; and in this way, everything which
is puerile and exaggerated, everything which is legend, will be
excluded from science. The third rule is the very basis of
science. Once nothing but extremes were compared; Blumen-
bach laid down the rule not to pass from one extreme to the
other, except by all the intermediate terms and all the shades
possible. The extreme cases seem, to separate the human
species into decided races; the graduated shades, the continuous
intermediate terms make all men to form but one mankind.

There never was a scholar, author or philosopher, who
seemed more adapted to endow us with the admirable science
of Anthropology. Blumenbach joined to vast knowledge a
power of criticism still rarer than the most unbounded eru-
dition, and much more precious; he had that art which dis-
criminates and judges; he had a clear sweep of view, a sure
tact, and a good sense not easily deceived. He knew every-
thing, and had read everything; histories, chronicles, relations,
travels, &c.; and he took pleasure in saying, that it was from
travels that he had received the most instruction. The study of
man is founded on three sciences, besides anthropology properly
so called: geography, philology and history. Geography gives
us the relations of races to climates; history teaches us to
follow the migrations of peoples and their intermixtures; and
when once they have been mixed, it is philology which teaches
us how to separate them again. But whatever be the progress
which these three sciences have made in our days, none has yet
arrived at the original and certain unity of man; each foresees
it and prophesies it; all tend in that direction; thanks to
Blumenbach, that unity, which these sciences still are in search
of, has been demonstrated by natural history. And here let me
speak out, without being afraid of exaggeration. Voltaire says
of Montesquieu, that he restored its lost rights to the human
race. The human race had forgotten its original unity, and
Blumenbach restored it.

I have examined the principal works of Blumenbach; I
mean those works which have made him famous; but there is
another I cannot omit, a work very different from those, at
[Seite 59] least, in the form; a work full of ideas, and one of the most
intellectual, the most discriminating, or, to speak like Descartes,
the most sensible that have ever been written on the sciences.
That work is composed of two little volumes. The title is very
simple, that is, Contributions to Natural History1). The true
title should be, The Philosophy of Natural History. There
Blumenbach passes in review all the philosophical questions
of his science; the question of the original unity of man, the
question of the scale of beings, that of innate ideas, that of the
so-called man of nature, and. the others. The author's object
is to point out, in each instance, where the truth ends and
system commences. And to get to that point, there is no
apparatus of learning, no long ratiocination, no phrases; a word,
a witty sally, an anecdote are enough. As to the original unity
of man, he says it was an honest German doctor, who not
being able to reconcile the different colour of men with the fact
of their single origin, imagined, in order to settle the ques-
tion, that God had created two Adams, one white and the
other black. As to the scale of beings, it was the opinion of
an English naturalist, who proposed to establish two, in order
to place in the second everything that could find no place
in the first. As to innate ideas and the man of nature, the
following are the facts. Towards the middle of the year 1724,
there was found, in the north of Germany, near a village called
Hameln, a young boy quite naked, who could not speak, but
eagerly devoured all the fruits he could get hold of. At that
time the dispute about innate ideas was at its highest. Imme-
diately the imagination of the philosophers was excited. The
man that had been found was no doubt the wild man, the man
of nature; and the man of nature would finally resolve the
problem of innate ideas. The Count de Zinzendorf, who was
afterwards the founder of the Moravian brothers, hastened to
ask him of the Elector of Hanover. The Elector of Hanover
sent him to England. In England the curiosity was as great
as in Germany. Peter de Hameln, as the young savage was
[Seite 60] called, became famous. Dr Arbuthnot wrote his life. After
him Lord Monboddo wrote it again; and, with his usual en-
thusiasm, proclaimed the young savage as the most important
discovery of the age. At last, M. Blumenbach wished in his
turn to see what it all was; he undertook the examination of
the facts as a philosopher, but as a calm and judicious one; and
he found that the wild man, the so-called man of nature, the
most important discovery of the age, was only a poor child, born
dumb, and driven from the paternal roof by a step-mother.

It will be seen what sort of book it is I am speaking about.
The tone is that of learned and delicate raillery. The author
rallies, but so as to make you think. It is the ironical philo-
sophy of Socrates, or at least what Socrates is said to have had,
and what Voltaire really possessed. He who has read that
book has the whole key to Blumenbach's character. He will
understand the charm of his conversations, the success of his
lessons, and his vast renown, so dear to all those who ap-
proached him. Above all, he will have the secret of his soul,
born essentially for that general virtue defined by Montesquieu,
the love of all. Even in this book, where however raillery pre-
dominates, as soon as Blumenbach touches on the great question
of the unity of men, he, jokes no more; his language immedi-
ately alters, and takes naturally the tone of the truest sensibility.
He never speaks of men, or of any men, but with affection.
According indeed to his doctrine, all men. are born, or might
have been born, from the same man. He calls the negroes
our black brothers. It is an admirable thing that science seems
to add to Christian charity, or, at all events, to extend it, and
invent what may be called human charity. The word Hu-
manity has its whole effect in Blumenbach alone.

I have already said that Blumenbach, always wrapped up in
his great works, had seldom quitted Germany. Still he made
two journeys, one to England and one to France. In these two
journeys he observed everything, but all as a naturalist. This
man, who had passed so many years in meditating on the most
important questions, on the highest problems of natural history,
had at last only one idea, one object, one all-powerful pre-
[Seite 61] occupation; a pre-occupation so strong as to be sometimes
quite ludicrous, as we may judge from the two instances he
used to relate himself.

Being entertained in London by all the English professors,
they one evening took him to the theatre. The actor Kemble
played the part of the Moor of Venice. Some days after,
Kemble met Blumenbach at a party, and said, ‘“M. Blumen-
bach, how did you think I succeeded in representing the cha-
racter of a negro?”’ ‘“Well enough, as far as the moral character
goes,”’ said our naturalist, and then added, ‘“but all the illusion
was destroyed for me the moment you opened your hand; for
you had on black gloves, and the negroes have the inside of the
hand of a flesh-colour.”’ Every one laughed except Blumen-
bach; he had spoken quite in earnest.

After the peace of Tilsit, the town of Göttingen was included
in the kingdom of Westphalia, and the University thought
it necessary to solicit the protection of the great Emperor.
Blumenbach was chosen as a deputy. ‘“I found,”’ said he, ‘“all
the French men of letters as eager to support me as if the
question had been the preservation of a French institution;
I owed to that generous zeal the success of my mission.”’
Admitted, at last, to take leave in solemn audience, he attended
in an antechamber with many of the foreign ambassadors.
Napoleon appeared; all turned their attention to him except
Blumenbach; for how could he? ‘“I had,”’ said he, ‘“before me
the ambassadors of Persia and Marocco, of two nations whom
I had never yet seen.”’

To his passion for natural history Blumenbach joined a
passion for all the great studies. Erudition, philosophy, letters
had a share of his attention, but did not exhaust it. He was a
good man of business. He had, in a high degree, that delicate
and calm judgment which business demands. More than once,
when charged with important missions, he brought them to an
end with singular good fortune. In fact, the town of Göttingen
decreed, in consideration of his services, that his property
should be exempted from taxes. Göttingen indeed ought to
have been grateful to him in every way. During sixty years
[Seite 62] the celebrity of the man of learning and the professor was the
cause of its prosperity. His name alone brought there a crowd
of pupils; a population brilliant, moving, always being changed,
always young and always learned. Nothing could equal the
veneration all that population had for him. Almost all those
of his pupils who became famous dedicated their works to him;
and these dedications were not the mere homage of admiration.
A touching and higher sentiment is found in them, and what
indeed is better still, an affection almost filial. What more can
I say? M. de Humboldt was a pupil of his1), and the highest
intellects of Germany, the Fichtes, the Kants, the Schellings
have interpreted his ideas2).

In private life Blumenbach was a thorough German, good-
natured, frank, open and mild in manner. In him an honest
character shone throughout. Essentially a man of good sense,
after more than forty years spent in education, he wrote these
words: ‘“I never enter the amphitheatre without having par-
ticularly prepared each lesson, for I know that many professors
have lost reputation by thinking that they know well enough
a course they have delivered twenty times.”’ He worked up to
the end of his life. ‘“I only know satiety by reputation,”’ said
he. It is said also that he preferred listening to speaking. He
was prudent in everything. As La Fontaine says,

“The wise know how to manage time and words.”

He had a maxim which displays his character: ‘“One must
know how to attract and retain by indulgence.”’

All happiness was his; a great reputation, a quiet life,
a family tenderly beloved, illustrious pupils, a son worthy of
his name. His long and beautiful old age was surrounded
with the most touching homages. Every anniversary, which
still preserved him to science, was celebrated as a festival.
Seventy-eight learned societies elected him an associate. Me-
dals were struck in his honour. Prizes were instituted in his
[Seite 63] name; useful foundations still exist which perpetuate his me-
mory by benefactions1). This universal enthusiasm made no
difference in him; he remained always good, simple, even
familiar; everything in him was natural; no pretension, no
affectation; nothing by which he tried to distinguish himself
from others. ‘“When one has a great deal of merit,”’ says Fon-
tenelle, ‘“it is the crown of all to be like the rest of the world.”’

Blumenbach died on the 22nd Jan. 1840, being nearly a
century old; a man of a high intellect, an almost universal
scholar, philosopher and sage; a naturalist, who had the glory,
or rather the good fortune, of making natural history the means
of proclaiming the noblest and, without doubt, the highest
truth that natural history ever had proclaimed, The Physical
and through the physical unity the moral unity, of the
human race.

[interleaf] [Seite 65]

[Seite 66]



[Seite 67]

Introduction; generation; climate; mode of life and aliment; hybrid
generation; fertile hybrids; sterile hybrids; copulation of animals of
different species, barren; on Jumars; no human hybrids; difference
between man and other animals; mental endowments; instincts of
man very few and very simple; reason the property of man alone;
speech the same; properties of the human body; erect position; two
hands; the human body naked and defenceless; laughter and tears;
hymen; menstruation; other differences falsely supposed; internal
structure of the human body; the brain of the papio mandril; inter-
maxillary bone; membrana nictitans; the suspensory ligament of the
neck; orang-utan and other anthropomorphous apes; is there one or
more species of mankind? one species alone; the varieties very arbi-
trary; division of mankind into four varieties; [note from edition of
1781, containing the division into five]; observations on national
differences; variety of the human stature; causes of this variety,
climate, food, &c.; colour of man; causes of its variety; effect of
climate; examples from other organic bodies; effect of mode of life;
various colour of the reticulum in apes; black men become white;
white men black; mulattoes, &c.; spotted skin; different shape of
skulls; examples of the first variety; the second, third, and fourth;
conclusion; physiognomy; examples of the first, second, third, and
fourth variety; difference in hair, teeth, feet, breasts; singularities
of pronunciation; artificial varieties; circumcision; castration; beard-
less Americans; other mutilations; monstrous ears; other deformities;
paintings; conclusion; digression on albinism; white rabbits; white
mice; diseased whiteness in other animals; human albinism; symp-
toms of the disease; unhealthy whiteness; affection of the eyes; re-
maining conditions of body; mental condition; disease known to the
ancients; recent examples from the world at large; stories of the
ancients about men with tails; fictitious ventrale of the Hottentot


[Seite 68]

Plate I. Fig. 1. Base of the skull of a Papio mandril.

A. Posterior lobes of the brain. B. Anterior lobes of the
brain. C. Fossa Sylvii. D. Cerebellum. E. Commence-
ment of the spinal marrow. F. Region where in man the pyrami-
dal and olivary bodies are inserted. G. Place where in the human
brain the pons Varolii is divided by a fissure from the medulla
oblongata. H. Pona Varolii.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Pairs of the nerves of the brain. The
mammillary eminences, infundibulum, &c. cannot be seen in conse-
quence of the size of the junction of the optic nerves.

Plate II. Fig. 1. Vertebræ of the neck of the same Papio. The
bodies of the vertebræ descend by a kind of scaly processes in front
downwards, and stand upon each other like tiles.

Fig. 2. Fifth and sixth vertebræ, of the neck of an adult man.
In these the bodies are parallel, smooth, and disciform.

Fig. 3. Skin from the forehead of the Papio mandril. The
varieties and diminution of the blackness in the reticulum are here

Fig. 4. The clitoris of an Arabian girl, circumcised.

Fig. 5. A callitrix, or some other tailed ape copied from Breyden-
bach's Travels.
This has been made more and more human by succes-
sive copyings till at last it has come out [in Martini's Buffon] a tailed


[Seite 69]

As I am going to write about the natural variety of mankind, I
think it worth while to begin from the beginning, that is, with
the process of generation itself. I do not intend to put forth
a system, or frame hypotheses, or enter into the intricacies of a
labyrinth, out of which I should scarce find an exit; or, lastly,
stir up cud already chewed a thousand times. Nor am I one to
write the Iliad after Homer, that is to say, the universal history
of generation after the immortal labours of the great Haller; but
to spend only a few words upon a matter, which may be con-
sidered as demonstrated from the repeated observations and
profound judgment of the most learned men, and which will
throw some light on my subject.

The part which each sex takes in the generation of the
fetus, and which of the two has the greatest influence has occu-
pied the principal philosophers and physicians for many thou-
sand years. It was reserved at last for the profound sagacity of
Haller, to be the first who was bold enough to break open the
bars of nature's doors, and to unfold, from observing the incu-
bation of eggs, so often investigated before by eminent men,
that great mystery, which it was thought could be explained
by nature alone; and in the fewest possible words I must here
give his account of the matter1). A close dissection of impreg-
[Seite 70] nated eggs shows that the intestine of the chick is so of a piece
with the envelopes of the yolk that the first envelope forms the
skin of the fœtus; the second envelope forms the exterior lining
of the intestine jointly with the mesentery and the peritonæum
of the fœtus; the third is the covering of the interior intestine,
and is produced from the same membrane as the ventricle, the
œsophagus, the throat and the mouth, from what is in fact the
skin and the epidermis of the fœtus: that the yolk takes up
the arteries from the mesenteries of the chicken itself. It follows
from this, that the whole egg is part of the mother, in whom
the ovarium lies with all its eggs quite perfect, before any con-
tact with the male has taken place. Then, that the fœtus is
part of the egg, or at all events is joined to the egg by an in-
separable bond, for the yolk (and that alone) constitutes the
egg, together with its envelope, whilst it is in the mother, but
that yoke is so united with the fœtus by its duct, that it forms
but one continuous body. Hence it is proved, by direct demon-
stration, that the embryo is contained in the maternal egg, and
that the female supplies the true stamina of the future fœtus.
That primeval germ would lie buried as it were in eternal slum-
ber, were it not aroused by the access and stimulus of the fertil-
izing seed of the male, and particularly by the subtle odour of
his parts, which are particularly adapted for causing irritation;
and then it breaks forth from the Graafian follicle in which it
was shut up, runs through the canal, and in this way comes into
the womb; there again it is finally unfolded and developed, and
changed in some of its parts by the influence of the male, comes
out like its parents. It leaves a manifest trace of its former
habitation in the ovarium, in the shape of an opaque body,
which takes its place1). The offspring at last brought to light,
and in the process of time become adult, can produce like with
the other sex of its species, whose posterity ought to go on for
ever like their first parents. What then are the causes of the
[Seite 71] contrary event? What is it which changes the course of gene-
ration, and now produces a worse and now a better progeny, at
all events widely different from its original progenitors? This
it will be our business to answer in the course of this disserta-
tion. But in order not to break the thread of the discussion, it
will be better to mate a few preliminary observations.

First of all I will say a few words about the influence of
climate, whose effects seem so great that distinguished men
have thought that on this alone depended the different shapes,
colour, manners and institutions of men1). There are, however,
two ways, in which men may gather experience of a change of
climate, both of which are to our purpose. They may emigrate
and so change the climate, and also it may happen that the
climate of their native country may sensibly become more mild
or more severe, and so the inhabitants may degenerate. Several
examples of each kind will be given in the proper place. It
will be sufficient to say here that there is no diversity of habit,
which may not be produced by varieties of climate; which is
extremely apparent, even from the history of brute animals.
If European horses are transported towards the east, as to
Siberia, China, &c., in process of time they, as it were, dwindle,
and become much smaller in body, so that at last you would
scarcely recognize them as being of the same species. Cattle,
on the contrary, whether they are sent to the Yakutan penin-
sula, or Kamtshatka, or Archangel, turn out taller and more
robust, and the same thing has been experienced with English
sheep in Sweden.

The squirrels on the river Obi are larger by one third than
those which are found at Obdorsk2), &c., to say nothing of the
difference in colour, which observation shows to vary with still
greater facility. But that the climate of the same country may
[Seite 72] undergo a change, no one can doubt, who will only compare
this very Germany of to-day with ancient Germany, or our own
contemporaries with our ancestors1). There was a time when the
elk, now only an inhabitant of the extreme north, was common
on the banks of the Rhine, and when that very river was so
often frozen that the Gauls themselves used to offer sacrifices
to prevent its affording a passage to our ancestors, their neigh-
bours; when the most prodigious forest covered almost the
whole country, and when there were no vintages, and other
very good reasons of the same kind, which will account for our
being unable to find the huge bodies of our ancestors, powerful
only for attack, their firm limbs, threatening countenances, and
fierce eyes, in the Germans of our age.

Besides the climate there are other causes, which have indeed
an influence in altering bodies; many of these you might say
depended, however, upon the climate themselves, but there are
others which it is very clear have nothing to do with it.
Amongst these influences above all we must set down the
mode of life and of bringing up. The examples of domestic
animals are trite, which manifestly have diverged into astonish-
ing varieties, and almost put off their original nature. I have
mentioned the effect climate has upon horses, and we shall
now see how they are affected by mode of life. It is quite
astonishing how wild horses2) differ from our geldings by their
small stature, their large heads, their murrey colour, their
shaggy coats, and by a ferocity of disposition, which is almost
untameable, so that they seem to approach almost nearer to the
ass than to our domestic horses. Indeed, the famous Gmelin
had scarcely any hesitation in believing that the tame horse,
the wild horse, and the ass, were all of the same species, and
that the latter had by circumstances alone degenerated from
the tame horse; but this is going too far, because the ass has
[Seite 73] certain interior organs which are wanting in the horse1), and the
reverse also is true. However, among horses certainly wild,
and also among our own, we may perceive a great difference in
strength between those which feed upon natural pastures2), and
those which are kept in stables. For example, it is known that
a colt, if it is born in a feeding-ground of the former kind,
within half-an-hour after its birth will run after its dam
seeking food, but if it is born in a stable, it will frequently
lie for twenty-four hours and more on the ground, before it
dares to stand on its feet.

As yet I have touched on two causes which change the
form of animals, climate and mode of life. It remains to speak
of the third, namely, the conjunction of different species, and
the hybrid animals thence produced. It is a difficult subject,
although after the labours of recent authors3) I may treat it

There are three cases in the discussion about hybridity
which ought to be clearly distinguished. First, the mere
copulation of different animals; secondly, the birth of offspring
from such copulation; and, thirdly, the fertility of such off-
spring and their capacity for propagation.

The latter case, although rare, (and that by the providence
of the Supreme Being, lest new species should be multiplied
indefinitely,) I would admit of in beings closely allied. At all
events there are many testimonies to the fertility of mules4).
There is no reason for doubting that hybrids have sprung from
the union of the fox and the dog, and those too capable of
generation, as the Spartan dogs or alopekides of the ancients.
[Seite 74] There is still at Göttingen the daughter of a fox (from which
many children have been born) which was impregnated by a
domestic dog; and in it you may still recognize the smooth
forehead and other marks of the ancestral form. The experi-
ments of Sprenger1) prove the prolificacy of hybrid birds.

The number of infertile hybrids is so copious as to be tire-
some to count. Of all these, mules, so far as we know, are the
most ancient. For although we may doubt their being ante-
diluvian2), nor dare ascribe their discovery to Anah3), yet their
extreme antiquity appears even from profane authors4), and
almost the first monuments of art5). To these rarer hybrids may
be added the one Linnæus saw from the copulation of the
Capra reversa, with the Capra depressa6). But I do not quite
trust Hesychius, when he says that the jackal comes from
the union of the hyœna and the common wolf7). With respect to
the union of dogs and apes8), and the hybrids so born, I still
remain in doubt. The animals seem too different; still I have
known two instances, where bitches are said to have been im-
pregnated by male apes, to which I should think it wrong to
refuse credit. One took place in the territory of Schwartzburg;
and a picture of this hybrid, carefully drawn, is in the possession
of Büttner, who very kindly lent it to me. It represents a dog,
of smaller size than the domestic dog, and of a dirty yellow
colour; its eyes, ears, and hairy collar differed from the common
dog, but it is said were very like those parts in the father. The
other instance is related by an eye-witness, worthy of all belief,
to have occurred about three years ago at Frankfort-on-the-
Maine; that a bitch brought forth offspring by the Simia Diana
of Linnæus, in ferocity, disposition, and in its gibbous habit
[Seite 75] and long tail, exactly like its father. I leave this business to
be investigated by those who, perhaps, may have an opportunity
of more accurately observing it; for the difficulties are well
known which occur in experiments of this kind. It is very
hard to prevent the animals upon whom the experiment is to
be made from consorting with others, and at the same time not
to destroy the desire of copulation: moreover, if offspring have
anything peculiar by accident, it is instantly attributed to a
diversity of parentage. And what makes me suspicious about
these things is this especially, that I have seen many apes of
both sexes and different species constantly living for many
years in the midst of dogs, also of different sexes, and yet never
saw anything of the kind. On the other hand, instances of
false reports are very common, as that of a cat, born together
with two puppies, the report of which reached this neighbour-
hood a few years ago; but when it was properly examined, the
little creature which they called a cat, was easily recognised by
the more sagacious as a puppy slightly deformed, and the whole
prodigy became a joke. Nor can I otherwise interpret
Clauder's account1) of a cat being impregnated by a squirrel, of
whose litter one is said to have been like the father, and the
rest like the mother; and other stories of the same kind.

From all this we must carefully separate the plainly fruitless
unions of animals of different species. I will allow that male
brutes when burning with desire, and unable to obtain females
of their own species, may sometimes be so excited by others,
whom they come in contact with, as perchance to copulate with
them; but I think that with very few, and those only very
nearly allied, is this actually successful, and in most cases the
attempt is ineffectual. There are, however, good reasons for
refusing to believe that from any incongruous attempt of this
kind, offspring can be born or even conceived. Here let us
consider the unequal proportions of the genital organs in many2);
which parts are providently and carefully adapted for copulation
[Seite 76] in either sex of the same species; but in distant genera
render the whole thing impossible, or at all events very difficult,
and certainly unfit for the purposes of conception. Besides, I
do not see according to what laws the offspring of this kind,
coming front diverse parents, is to be formed in the womb,
since in each, species of animals there are certain and very
definite periods for the gestation and pregnancy of the mother,
the formation and progressive development of the fœtus. It
will, however, be worth while to relate some instances of con-
nexions of this kind which have been formed contrary to nature.

Of all these the most paradoxical seems to be the union of
a rabbit with a hen, so celebrated by Reaumur1); but on.
which doubt has been thrown by his own pupil Buffon2), Haller3),
and others; indeed, Buffon could not even succeed in raising a
progeny from the hare and the rabbit, animals so nearly allied,
although he suspected copulation took place. That illustrious
philosopher seems, therefore, correct in supposing that if the
rabbit of Reaumur ever did tread the hen, it must have been
done from extreme lasciviousness, and had there been no hen
the animal would have made use of something else for the same
purpose. Meanwhile there are other evidences to this remark-
able fact. Thus my revered tutor Büttner, himself, often saw
rabbits treading hens, and they afterwards laid empty eggs
(hyponemia or zephyrea as the ancients called them).

I have often seen a rabbit running about alone amongst
broods of fowls, and playing with and imitating them, but I
never could observe that it attempted anything more, or really
had connexion with them. I have been told the same story
about a house dog of Matthew Gesner, who they say also used
to tread hens. I am not much surprised at this, since it is well
known that dogs, when in heat, make use of inanimate things
sometimes in order to effect their purpose. It is said that the
Gallus calecuticus has been known to tread the duck, and in the
[Seite 77] same way that the drake treads the hen, and that chickens of
wonderful forms are the result1). They have often been observed
to copulate. There is still in the town a drake which treads
the hens, but they are barren. But I will pass over many in-
stances of this sort of monstrous and fruitless copulation, since
I wish to say a little about the jumars, those famous hybrids
from two clearly different species, the bovine and the equine.

I do not know whence Buffon2) took it, that Columella
had mentioned jumars, and that he had been quoted by Con-
rad Gesner. I cannot find either the mention in the one,
or the quotation in the other. On the contrary, I think Gesner
was the first to mention jumars3). For I cannot take notice
here of the filly born from a cow at Sinuessa in Livy4), since he
speaks of it as a most unheard-of prodigy. But Tigurinus
Polyhistor says ‘“that he once heard that a particular kind of
mule was to be found in Gaul, near Grenoble, which was sprung
from an ass and a bull, and called in the vulgar tongue Jumar.
And in the Swiss Alps near Coire, in the Splugen country, he
had heard on credible testimony, that a horse had been born
from a bull and a mare5).”’ Jerome Cardan, a contemporary of
Gesner, has also mentioned jumars, and says they have superior
teeth6), and are very strong and bold7). After him Joh. Baptist
Porta reports that he himself had seen at Ferrara an animal of
this kind, in shape like a mule, with a calf's head, two protu-
berances in the place of horns, black in colour, and with the
eyes of a bull8). Things of this kind are repeated down to the
time of John Leger, who discourses at great length9) about
them, and also gives a print of them10). He says ‘“that jumars
[Seite 78] are torn from the union either of a bull and a mare, or a bull
and an ass: the former are taller, and called Baf; the latter
smaller, and Bif; that the former have the upper jaw evidently
much shorter than the lower, like swine; that the upper teeth
are placed further back than the lower, to the distance of a
thumb, or two fingers. In the latter, the Bif, the lower jaw is
shorter than the upper, as is the case in hares, and the upper
teeth project beyond the lower. So that neither kind can graze
in the fields, unless the grass is so long, that they can crop it
with the tongue. These hybrids are exactly like an ox in the
head and tail, and the places for horns are marked by small
protuberances. As to the rest, they are exactly like an ass or
horse. Their strength is wonderful, especially compared with
their small body; they are smaller than common mules; they
eat little and are swift; that he himself went in one day 18
miles among the mountains with a jumar of this kind, and that
much more comfortably than he could have done with a horse.”’

After this account more recent1) authorities have received
others in good faith, and report that jumars are to be found
elsewhere besides in Piedmont; according to Shaw2) at Tunis
and Algiers, according to Merolla3) at Cape Verde, and by others
in Languedoc4).

Naturalists gradually became more sceptical of the fact and
were disposed to dissect this kind of hybrid. Reaumur5) met
with a disappointment and so did Albums, who had ordered
one from Africa, which perished on the way. Bourgelat, the
veterinary surgeon, was afterwards fortunate enough to be able
to dissect a jumar in the theatre of Lyons6), but the results
[Seite 79] of his labours are not satisfactory, because he seems to have
trusted too much to report. ‘“The ventricle was in shape like
that of the horse, but much larger. The jumar had altogether
much more of the mare than of the bull, both as to its external
form, and its interior constitution, especially as regards the
ventricle, whose singular structure in the bovine genus, on
account of their rumination, is well known. And thus the
observation of those physicians stands confirmed, who assert
that the mother has a larger share in the formation of the
fœtus than the father.”’ The consequence therefore of this
investigation was that the learned knew less what to think
than ever1). Afterwards Buffon had two jumars dissected; one
from the Pyrenees, the other from Dauphiné. In neither of
them was any trace of a bull to be found2).

All this however was not enough for inquirers into natural
history. And at last, at the request of some men of great note,
Bonnet, namely, and Spallanzani, Cardinal delle Lanze had two
jumars3) dissected by a skilful hand, and ordered anatomical
plates of them to be engraved. It is very clear from these
efforts that the pretended jumar is nothing more than a
mere hinny4) (bardeau). The larynx, glottis, ventricle, biliary
ducts, are all specifically equine and not bovine.

Thus was finally proved what was suspected from the first
by the great Haller5). I myself have lately seen at Cassel quite
closely two hinnies, which report asserted to be jumars. They
were of the size of a large ass, and very like one in shape,
[Seite 80] black in colour, with horses' teeth in each jaw1); no vestige of
rumination, &c.

But to return from this digression. What has already
been said serves partly to show the difficulty of dealing
with the accounts of hybrids of species very different from
each other, and partly as some sort of proof of development;
and will afterwards be of use to us when in varieties alone
it will help to show that the greater part of the form in
animals is derived from the mother, and very little from the

Let me say only a very few words about those human
hybrids which credulous antiquity so frequently declared to be
born or generated from brutes2), but to which not only physical
arguments but also moral ones of the greatest importance
forbid us to attach the slightest faith; so that it seems ex-
tremely likely that the Supreme Being foresaw these disgusting
kind of unions and took care to render them futile.

Those points which ought to be carefully attended to in any
discussion upon hybrids, and which I took notice of above3), must
not be neglected here.

That men have very wickedly had connexion with beasts
seems to be proved by several passages both in ancient4) and
modern writers5). That however such a monstrous connexion
[Seite 81] has any where ever been fruitful there is no well-established
instance to prove. Indeed those things which are related of
the intercourse of Indian women with the larger apes and of
their anthropomorphous offspring1) seem dubious and fabulous
even to James Bontius2), who is in other respects sufficiently cre-
dulous. And even if it be granted that the lascivious male apes
attack women, any Idea of progeny resulting cannot be enter-
tained for a moment, since those very travellers relate that
the women perish miserably in the brutal embraces of their

I now leave this disgusting theme, and all the more
willingly, because I must draw near our goal; but still a few
words must be said upon the actual ways in which man differs
from other animals, before we investigate the varieties of men
amongst themselves. The theme is indeed a most fruitful and
admirable one, but the narrow limits of this book do not
permit me to linger long over it, and it is necessary in this
place to dismiss it in a few words; although the slender matter
which I have got together on this interesting subject, I will
gladly promise to give elsewhere to the public.

I think I shall here perform my duty best, if I first say
a little about the endowments of the mind, and then about
the bodily structure. Not indeed that these two points have
apparently the slightest relation to each other. For it would
clearly be impossible to draw any inference from comparing
the organic structure of animals with the human body, as to
their respective mental faculties: which will easily appear to
any one who compares an elephant or a horse with an ape
(which Reines4) calls the copy of a man, or even a man as
[Seite 82] regards the structure of the face, the φοράν and the motions of
the limbs).

As to the discussions, which in this age particularly, have
stirred up so many barren disputes about the mind, the reason,
and the speech, &c. of brutes, they do not seem to me to be
really so difficult or confused, if a man have only a moderate
familiarity with the habits of animals, some knowledge of the
physiology of the human body, and be sufficiently free from

Man then alone is destitute of what are called instincts, that
is, certain congenital faculties for protecting himself from exter-
nal injury, and for seeking nutritious food, &c. All his instincts
are artificial (kunst-triebe), and of the others there are only the
smallest traces to be seen. Mankind therefore would be very
wretched were it not preserved by the use of reason, of which
other animals are plainly destitute. I am sure they are only
endowed with innate or common and truly material sense (which
is not wanting either to man), especially after comparing every-
thing which I have read1) upon the rational mind of animals with
their mode of life and actions, and what perhaps is the most
important speculation, and demands most attention, with the
phenomena of death, which are very much like both in animals
and men2). Instinct always remains the same, and is not advanc-
ed by cultivation, nor is it smaller or weaker in the young
animal than in the adult. Reason, on the contrary, may be
compared to a developing germ, which in the process of time,
and by the accession of a social life and other external circum-
stances, is as it were developed, formed, and cultivated. The
bullock feels its strength so much as to threaten, though its
weapons of offence do not yet exist;

Before his horns adorn the calf, they're there,
All weaponless he butts, and furious beats the air 3) ;
[Seite 83]

whence unless from some interior sensation? To man, on the
contrary, nothing of the kind happens. He is born naked and
weaponless, furnished with no instinct, entirely dependent on
society and education. This excites the flame of reason by de-
grees, which at last shows itself capable of happily supplying, by
itself, all the defects in which animals seem to have the advan-
tage over men. Man brought up amongst the beasts, destitute
of intercourse with man, comes out a beast. The contrary how-
ever never occurs to beasts which live with man. Neither the
beavers, nor the seals, who live in company, nor the domestic
animals who enjoy our familiar society, come out endowed with

From what has been said, the direct difference between the
voice and speech of animals is plain1), since we consider that man
alone ought to be held to possess speech2), or the voice of reason,
and beasts only the language of the affections. In process of
time, the mind becomes developed, and finds out how to express
its ideas with the tongue. Young children give names to those
they love, which is the case with no animal, although they can
distinguish their master and those familiar to them well enough.
Those stories are utterly undeserving of attention which the old
travellers related about the language of certain distant nations,
who they said were endowed with nothing but an inarticulate
and, as it were, brutish voice. It is indeed beyond all doubt
that the fiercest nations, the Californians, the inhabitants of the
Cape of Good Hope, &c. have a peculiar sort of speech, and
plenty of definite words, and that animals on the contrary,
whether they be like man in structure, as the famous orang-
utan is3), or approach man in intelligence, to use the words of
Pliny about the elephant, are destitute of speech, and can only
[Seite 84] emit a few and those equivocal sounds. That speech is the work
of reason alone, appears from this, that other animals, although
they have nearly the same organs of voice as man, are entirely
destitute of it1).

If now any one casts an eye on the human body, it would cer-
tainly be more easy to distinguish man from every other animal
at the very first glance, than to lay down any fixed criterion2) by
which he differs from the rest. It would seem as if the Supreme
Power had avoided giving any distinct and persistent characters
to the human body, just in exactly the same proportion as this
its highest master-piece far excels all other animals in its noblest
part, which is reason.

But it will be worth while to reckon up, one by one, a few of
those things which seem peculiar to our bodies. First of all I
would speak of the erect position of man, which I cannot leave
untouched because of the recent paradoxes of P. Moscati3);
although it is very tedious to serve up, and as it were to chew
over again a matter which has been most thoroughly investi-
gated, and is clearer than the noon-day sun. It is true, I can
believe that this elegant author, who is in other ways worthy of
all praise, composed this book as an attempt and not quite
seriously, partly because he has made use of arguments which
you would scarcely expect to find from a man not only acquaint-
ed with human and comparative anatomy, but from one who
constantly appeals to both; and partly because he leaves quite
unnoticed points of indisputably great importance as to the
bipedal structure of man, which have already been most dili-
gently handled by the great Galen4), and the immortal Barth.
Eustachius5). I could easily allow our author6) that there is little
[Seite 85] weight in those common arguments for the erect position of
man, deduced from the position of the great occipital foramen1),
the proportion of the feet to the hands, the mammae, the chest2),
and the shape of the shoulder-blade; although there remain the
greater difficulties of the parts which so wonderfully prove that
the walk should be bipedal. I say nothing of the apex of the
heart and its direction in the embryos of man and the brutes;
this indeed our author3) mentions, but yet explains in such a way
that he seems to give a handle to the opposite opinion. I say
nothing of that powerful argument deduced from the movement
of the head and its connexion with the first cervical vertebræ,
and I omit it the more readily, because of that elaborate work
of Eustachius on the point4), which I should have to transcribe
almost in its integrity. The pelvis alone, and the construction
of the feet would easily bring over to my view those in other
respects acquainted with anatomy, if they would compare even
cursorily the composition of the bones of the quadrupeds with
those of man. Let any one look at the broad flanks of the
human skeleton, ending below in a narrow hip, the short pelvis
largely dilated above but narrowed below so as to open an
escape for the fœtus, yet carefully provide for the prolapsus of
the womb, and then compare these things with the oblong right-
angled and almost cylindrical pelvis of quadrupeds with their
wide hip, and their outwardly curved ischiatic prominences;
lastly, let him observe the construction of the glutei muscles,
and the connexion of the muscles of the leg in man and the
brutes, and then let him say if he thinks it probable that they
can have the same mode of locomotion. Let any one make the
experiment on some fresh animal skeleton, or at least let him
look at Coiter's picture5) of the erect skeleton of a fox, going along
in the most ridiculous manner on its hind-feet, and then let him
imagine a human skeleton resting upon its arms and feet, and
[Seite 86] he will not but see that a bipedal brute and a quadrupedal man
would equally pass for prodigies. Inseparable also from the
general consideration of the pelvis is that other proof derived
from the acetabulum, and the head and neck of the thigh-bone.
And that this neck is oblong in man, and goes downwards with
a sensible obliquity, but is short in brutes, even in apes, and
nearly horizontal; and the head more obliquely articulated with
the hip; so the whole structure of the bones of the feet, the thick
calcaneum of man, the juncture of the ancle with the sole of the
foot, which in. man too is oblong and broader, and many other
things of the kind which point in this direction, disagreeably
trite and too well known to students of anatomy, but difficult to
be understood by those unacquainted with medicine. For which
reason I think it would be foolish to say much about them,
especially as I have indicated the sources to which those should
go who want still more proofs of so easy a matter.

Another property of man comes directly from the foregoing,
namely, his two hands, which I consider belong to mankind
alone; whereas apes, on the contrary, must either have four or
none at all, of which the great toe being separated from the other
fingers of the feet serves the same purposes which the thumbs
do in the hands. This is so certain, that on that account alone
the fœtus said by Robinet1) to be that of a pongo, must certainly
be considered a human embryo, even if no notice be taken of the
other proportions of the bodily parts, and the whole structure
which is entirely human. Hahn2) besides Galen3) has written
expressly on the admirable formation of the human hand.

All these things therefore being duly weighed, I am induced to
consider even that famous animal the orang-utan as a quadruped.
I know indeed that several authors of voyages have said a good
deal about him, and given him out as a biped. The reasons
which induce me to come to a different conclusion, besides the
tendency of many travellers to exaggerate a little what is extra-
[Seite 87] ordinary, are the following; in the first place, some who have
described these animals have said only that it frequently1) goes
on its hinder feet, which at least excites a suspicion, that they
do go on all fours like other animals: moreover, many are de-
picted in the plates as leaning upon a club, after the fashion of
dancing bears2). The palm of their hands is as deeply furrowed,
and marked with folds and slits as the soles of their feet3).
The depressed and receding heel-bones prevent their walking
firmly. If you examine them more closely, the elongated pelvis,
and especially the muscle called elevator claviculæ4), make it highly
probable that a quadrupedal gait is natural to this animal. The
instance of the long-armed ape is favourable to the same opinion5).
Man therefore is the only biped, unless any one likes to put for-
ward the manati, birds, (especially penguins,) or the lizard
Siren. The example of those unfortunate creatures who,
according to accounts, have been here and there brought up
amongst wild beasts, goes no way to show that the erect posi-
tion is not natural to man. Hard necessity, perhaps too imita-
tion, taught these wretches to go on their hands and feet at the
same time that they were obliged to creep through woods and
fruit-bearing copses, and even into the dens and receptacles of
wild beasts; nor is it quite certain that it was the case with all.
The Hessian boy6) found amongst the wolves sometimes only
walked as a quadruped; the girl of Zell7), and the girl of
Champagne8), and the boy of Hameln9) went upright. And the
argument deduced from the first crawlings of infants is much
weaker still, since it must be very well known to any one who
has observed them, that they scarcely ever crawl as quadru-
peds, but rather squat upon their buttocks, rest upon their
[Seite 88] hands1), and as it were row with their feet. Pliny2) therefore was
not quite correct when he said that the first promise of strength
and the first gift of life was to make a man like a quadruped.

As to those who make out the erect position to be the
fomenter of disorders, they must forget both veterinary practice
and the diseases3) which we find afflict both wretched men and
fierce quadrupeds.

Besides his erect position and his two hands there are some
other things to be considered which also seem peculiar to man.
Of all animals he alone seems to be placed on the earth alto-
gether naked and defenceless,
since he has neither powerful
teeth, nor horns, nor talons, nor a shaggy hide, nor any other
protection. It is no use objecting that there are other animals
equally unprovided; something will always be found which
keeps them protected to some extent4). He is usually without
hair, whereas the quadrupeds which expose their body to the
heavens and the seasons are provided either with a shaggy hide,
or a thick skin, or shells, or scales, or spikes. Few parts of a
man's body can be called hairy5), and his back is nearly bare,
which is certainly another argument for the erect position of
man. His teeth all on a level, round, smooth, and perfectly
regular, are in one word so constructed, that it is clear from the
first glance, they were given to man principally to chew his food
with, partly also for speech, and in no wise as weapons of
attack6). Even the teeth of apes differ greatly in form from
those of men. Their canines are longer, sharper, and more dis-
[Seite 89] tant from their neighbours: the molars deeply incisive, bristling
as it were with enormous tusks. Besides the teeth, man is
marked out as a gentle and unarmed being, by the small bone
which is covered by the lips, by which also he is distinguished
from the apes and the other beasts like him.

It has been disputed whether brutes have the same affec-
tions1) of the mind as man. This is a very difficult question, if
we examine the ways in which men express joy and sorrow, and
especially laughter and tears. That animals can cry is certain,
since they have organs2) exactly like those in man for weeping;
but we must go deeper and enquire whether they do so in con-
sequence of feeling sorrow. It is said to be so with some
animals, as the orang-utan3), the sloth4), seals5), the horse6), the
stag7), the turtle8), the tortoise9), &c. The narrative of Steller,
amongst others, deserves certainly great credit; so that it is
probable that weeping from sadness is common to animals and
man. About laughter as the effect of joy there seems more
doubt. Some animals have peculiar ways of expressing10) tran-
quillity or joy, but I do not think that a change in the muscles
of the face11), or the utterance of cacchination, has been observed
in any other animal but man. The croaking of apes, or the
cries of the sloth, have no more to do with this than the barking
of dogs, or the songs of birds, as the indications of joy.

Women have something peculiar, which seems to be denied
to all other animals, even if they remain untouched; I mean the
hymen, which has been granted to woman-kind perhaps much
more for moral reasons12), than because it has any physical uses.

[Seite 90]

I am inclined to allow the menstrual flux to the females of
human kind alone1). There are some who say that some other
animals of that sex have also their menstrual excretions2), and
Buffon3) has particularly asserted this of many apes. The whole
point depends upon the notion of a periodic flux, which, if pro-
perly considered, will scarcely be allowed to apes. I have care-
fully observed many female apes of more than one species, and
that for many years, in the menagerie of Büttner, yet I cannot
undertake to say that they have menstrual excretions. Mean-
while it is certain that they are afflicted with hœmorrhages of
the womb, which however do not occur at any fixed period, but
sometimes after one week, and sometimes after three or more,
return in the same ape, which otherwise is enjoying good health;
in some however it never appears at all.

These two things then, the hymen and periodical menstru-
ation, I consider as peculiar to mankind4). As to the clitoris and
the nymphæ5), there is no doubt that other animals also have
them too; and in some the clitoris appears very large and
almost enormous. The hymen, the guardian of chastity, is
adapted to man who is alone endowed with reason; but the
clitoris, the obscene organ of brute pleasure, is given to beasts
also. A few examples are enough: in the papio mandril (Simia
Linn.) which I dissected last winter, I observed the
clitoris of half-an-ounce in weight, swelling, wrapped in a loose
prepuce, and so prominent that it might easily have made an
incautious observer think the animal was an hermaphrodite, and
all the more because a little fold, which was visible in the apex
of the member and impervious, increased the general resem-
blance to the virile gland. The nymphæ seemed worn down, or
had coalesced with the callous and gaping lips of the pudendum.
And I have observed those as well as the clitoris distinctly in a
Lemur Mongoz , which I myself saw alive last summer at Göttin-
[Seite 91] gen. The Didactylus ignavus of the Royal Museum has a very
round clitoris between the swelling lips of the pudendum. But
the great Haller has collected many instances1). These therefore
are some of the points which, are peculiar to mankind and which
can be easily distinguished without any very delicate anatomy.
I leave out others, as the immobility of the ears2), or the hairs of
either eye-brow3), which were formerly attributed to man alone.

A very extensive and at the same time a very pleasant field
would be open to us, if we could now investigate the internal
structure of the human body, in so far as it differs plainly from
the structure of other animals. But the limits of this our book
do not allow us to wander so far. It is therefore the business
of those who want information on these points to go to the
authors of comparative anatomy, and, above all, to those who
have dissected carefully the animals which are most like man;
amongst whom it will be sufficient to mention Eustachius4),
Coiter5), Riolani6), and Tyson7). Let them study those who think
that perhaps the orang-utan and some other apes are not so
much unlike man, but that they may be considered as of the
same species, or, at all events, as animals very closely allied to
man. It is now my present intention to select a few points
from many, and reckon them up briefly.

As the brain, the most noble entrail of the animal body, for
numberless reasons which everybody knows, demands particular
attention beyond all other parts, men of the greatest reputation
have laboured8) on its comparative anatomy and have stirred up
others9), when there was an opportunity, to similar labours.

[Seite 92]

Recollecting this, as I have been fortunate enough to dissect
apes, last winter, of more than one kind, I have, above all,
investigated their brains, and I exhibit as a specimen the base
of one1). It is the brain of that very mandril I was just speak-
ing of. Cut off at the great occipital foramen, and taken out
of the skull, it weighed three ounces and one drachm, whilst
the rest of the body of the ape weighed eight common pounds
and a half. The principal points in which its base differs from
the human organ are these. The two anterior lobes of the
brain are almost entirely unified. The cerebellum is large in
proportion to the brain, more than is the case with the pygmy.
The pons varolii is separated from the medulla oblongata by no
apparent fissure, but is joined on, and down continuously with
it. Not a vestige of the pyramidal or olivary bodies, as is also
the case in the pygmy. The medulla oblongata much thicker
than in the man or the pygmy. The second pair of nerves
which were united in one great mass and then again divided
at the very entrance of the orbits, was cut off before the sepa-
ration. No rete mirabile. I omit other things of less import-
ance, which any one who is skilled in anatomy will easily
recognize; and I can assure such an one that the figure is
most accurately drawn2).

I have subjoined to the brain the skull of the same papio,
in which, besides the deeper orbits, the thickness of the zygomata,
the widely divergent teeth, the immense canines, and other
things of smaller importance, that peculiar bone in which the
incisors are set deserves particular attention. This man is with-
out, although all the apes and most of the other mammals3)
have it. I doubted whether it was to be found in the orang-utan;
since in the figures of Tyson4) and Daubenton5) the skulls were
not drawn in such a way that the sutures could be well distin-
[Seite 93] guished1): nor did the English author speak precisely about
it2): but Fr. Gabr. Sulzer has settled the point, for he kindly
writes me word that Camper, a great authority, has dissected
animals of this kind, and found this bone in them. Another
difference flows from this singular structure, namely, in the
bone of the nose, which is double in the human head, and
nearly of a rhomboidal figure, whereas it is seen to be single in
the apes, and also triangular, which however, like the other
things which may be observed in this figure, are very patent,
and will easily be seen by those who know anything of osteology,
and therefore do not want any further explanation.

Amongst other differences between the human body and
that of the beasts there are some which are better known,
and may be briefly touched upon. As, for example, the mem-
brana nictitans, periophthalmium,
or third eyelid, which Haller3)
says is in man a very slight imitation of the organ in animals,
although in animals also according to their class and order,
their mode of life, and their size, it differs much in position and

Besides this, the bulbous or suspensory muscle of the eye is
common to nearly all5) quadrupeds, and so is the suspensory liga-
ment of the neck, which is said to be wanting in man and the
apes alone6). This white and tendonous part which is known to
[Seite 94] everybody, and is called by my countrymen, haarwachs; by the
English1), packwax, taxwax, fixfax and whiteleather; by the
Belgians2), vast, &c. is inserted for the purpose of sustaining the
head and neck of quadrupeds3). But although man shares the
absence of this with the apes, yet it by no means follows that
apes are meant to walk upright, since in them the subtle
structure of the vertebræ of the neck, and in man the peculiar
bipedal walk, supply the defect of this ligament. The whole
point about the bodies of these vertebræ is best explained
by a comparison of these bones themselves, as they appear
in the skeleton of the man and the ape, and for this reason
I have had engraved the whole construction of the vertebræ of
the neck in the same papio4) (Pl. II. fig. 1), the base of whose
brain and whose skull we have just seen, because in that it
may be seen as clearly as possible why he scarcely ever goes
on two feet, I have subjoined the fifth and sixth vertebra
of the human neck (Pl. II. fig. 2). In these the bodies are
nearly parallel, and almost disciform, whereas in the ape they
descend by a sort of scaly process in front, and one is placed
upon and dove-tailed into the other. So it can easily be made
plain by experiment that the vertebræ in these animals sup-
port each other, and serve to sustain the head, which could not
be done with man if placed in a quadrupedal position, on ac-
count of the smooth surfaces of the body of the vertebræ, for so
it would be excessively difficult to sustain the mass of the very
heavy human head, which would more and more collapse and
subside by its own weight.

I have selected a few out of many points in which man differs
most clearly from the other animals. I have said that there are
many which go to demonstrate his natural position to be an erect
one, and to separate him fairly from the apes, especially from the
orang-utan. I have been induced to do this because of the
[Seite 95] opinions lately expressed by some famous men1), who however
are ill-instructed in natural history and anatomy, but who are
not ashamed to say that this ape is very nearly allied, and indeed
of the same species with themselves.

I do not think this opinion deserves any lengthened refuta-
tion for those who are adepts in the matter; but it will clearly
not be foreign to our purpose if I say a few words about the
orang-utan himself. After the labours of Buffon and others it is
not worth while to spend any time on his habits and mode of
life2). But it would be worth while if the species were a little
more accurately defined. For although this remarkable animal
has very seldom been seen in Europe, and few authentic repre-
sentations of it exist, still such as they are they differ so much
from each other that they can in no way be considered as belong-
ing to one and the same species. I shall pass by the delineations
which are manifestly fictitious, or carelessly drawn, such as those
of Bontius, Neuhof, Jürgen Andersen, Jo. Jac. Saar, and Franc.
Leguat; and examine more closely the authentic ones alone.
These are those of Tulp, Tyson, Edwards, Scotin3), Le Cat, and
Buffon, which when they are compared together manifestly
differ very much both in form and size. Recent authors have
deduced from this a variety of species, and have called one the
larger, and the other the smaller orang-utan. I do not however
place much trust in this distinction. Some of the specimens
which have been brought to Europe were very young, and there
were indications which, considering that they all died prema-
turely4), forbid us to come to any conclusion as to their size. Still
[Seite 96] the habit of their whole body and the conformation of its parts
seem to me much more justly to constitute them into species.
I may be allowed therefore to admit at least two species, and
in order that names may not be unnecessarily multiplied, I shall
give them some which occur in Linnæus, one which has been
improperly appended to man by that illustrious author, the other
to the first species of apes. Let there be then, –

1. Simia troglodytes or Chimpansi; represented by Tulp
and Scotin, macrocephalous, sinewy, hairy on the back of its
body alone; the front, except the shoulders, being bare.

2. Satyrus or Orang-utan of Tyson, Edwards, Le Cat, and
Buffon; rather slender, with small head, clothed with thick hair,
the hairs of the arm and fore-arm being in opposite directions.
Such was the male which I mentioned having seen alive at Jena.
It came very near to the figure of Tyson, and at the first glance
was most unmistakeably different from the Simia sylvanus, &c.
I made a drawing at that time of this rare animal, but I regret
that I neglected to measure its parts more accurately.

These are the observations made partly by myself, and partly
by my first preceptor in natural history, I. E. Im. Walch. The
stature was that of a boy about ten years old, colour brown,
face sufficiently human, the fingers of the hands and feet rather
long, the thumb widely separated, the calves more fleshy than
in other apes, the scrotum pendulous almost square, rather
white, the penis small like Tyson's figure. It was so much in
the habit of leaning on a stick, that though it could stand and
walk on two feet, most persons would attribute that way of
walking to the effect of education. The same might be said of
his way of drinking and eating, in which actions he used spoon
and cup. He showed a great desire for the other sex.

Linnæus doubted whether the animals which we have
divided into two species, but which in his opinion were only
varieties, differed in anything more than in sex. It is quite true
that those represented by Tulp and Scotin were females, and the
others males; but still the silence of travellers and eye-witnesses
like Bontius and Th. Bowrey, on any different form in the sexes,
convinces me that besides the difference of sex there must also
[Seite 97] be a variety of species. I cannot dismiss these animals without
mentioning two points, of which one is concerned with a singu-
lar character of them which has been generally neglected, and
the other regards their native country. I owe the knowledge of
the former character to my great friend Sulzer, who repeated to
me the words of Camper, who, I just mentioned, dissected these
Satyri himself, ‘“that in the front hands of these animals the
nails of the thumbs were wanting.”’ There are indeed nails in the
plates of Tyson, Edwards, and Le Cat; but that singular and
paradoxical character might very easily have been unnoticed; nor
did I pay any attention myself to the nails of the Jena satyr.
Was this a third species? that I cannot decide. The other
point that remains to be mentioned is as to the native country
of both species (chimpansi and orang-utan). By almost all zoo-
logical writers the torrid zone of the ancient world is given out
as their native country. Bancroft1) however relates a report of the
inhabitants, that the orang-utan may also be found in the thick
woods of Guiana. This account deserves further attention, but
there is this against it, that the author adds that the animal has
not yet been seen by Europeans resident there.

There is another animal nearly allied to the Troglodyte and
the Satyr, which is the Simia longimana (Homo Lar, Linn., Gib-
Buff.), an animal exactly like man, if you look at its face:
but differing from almost all other animals if you consider the
enormous length of its anterior feet. They are indeed represented
as somewhat shorter in the figure of the Bengalese ape, which
is inserted in the Philosophical Transactions2), and taken for the
S. longimana, which however is clearly drawn by the hand of
no artist, as is shown by the unequal length of either fore arm,
and by other particulars.

Enough then has been said about the Troglodyte and Satyr.
And now we must come more closely to the principal argument
of our dissertation, which is concerned with this question; Are
[Seite 98] men, and have the men of all times and of every race been of one
and the same, or clearly of more than one species?
A question
much discussed in these days, but so far as I know, seldom
expressly treated of.

Ill-feeling, negligence, and the love of novelty have induced
persons to take up the latter opinion. The idea of the plurality
of human species has found particular favour1) with those who
made it their business to throw doubt on the accuracy of Scrip-
ture. For on the first discovery of the Ethiopians, or the beard-
less inhabitants of America, it was much easier to pronounce
them different species2) than to inquire into the structure of the
human body, to consult the numerous anatomical authors and
travellers, and carefully to weigh their good faith or carelessness,
to compare parallel examples from the universal circuit of natural
history, and then at last to come to an opinion, and investigate
the causes of the variety. For such is the subtlety of the
human intellect, and such the rush for novelty, that many would
rather accept a new, though insufficiently considered opinion,
than subscribe to ancient truths which have been commonly
accepted for thousands of years.

I have endeavoured to keep free of all these mistakes; I
have written this book quite unprejudiced, and I have desired
nothing so much as that the arguments which I have brought
forward for the unity of the human species, and for its mere
varieties, may seem as satisfactory to my learned and candid
readers as they do to myself.

For although there seems to be so great a difference between
widely separate nations, that you might easily take the inhabi-
tants of the Cape of Good Hope, the Greenlanders, and the Cir-
cassians for so many different species of man, yet when the
matter is thoroughly considered, you see that all do so run into
one another, and that one variety of mankind does so sensibly
[Seite 99] pass into the other, that you cannot mark out the limits between

Very arbitrary indeed both in number and definition have
been the varieties of mankind accepted by eminent men. Lin-
næus1) allotted four classes of inhabitants to the four quarters of
the globe respectively. Oliver Goldsmith2) reckons six. I have
followed Linnæus in the number, but have defined my varieties
by other boundaries. The first and most important to us (which
is also the primitive one) is that of Europe, Asia this side of the
Ganges, and all the country situated to the north of the Amoor,
together with that part of North America, which is nearest both
in position3) and character of the inhabitants. Though the men of
these countries seem to differ very much amongst each other in
form and colour, still when they are looked at as a whole they
seem to agree in many things with ourselves. The second in-
cludes that part of Asia beyond the Ganges, and below the river
Amoor, which looks towards the south, together with the islands,
and the greater part of those countries which are now called
Australian. Men of dark colour, snub noses, with winking eye-
lids drawn outwards at the corners, scanty, and stiff hair. Africa
makes up the third. There remains finally, for the fourth, the
rest of America, except so much of the North as was included
in the first variety4).

It will easily appear from the progress of this dissertation in
[Seite 100] which of the four varieties most discrepancies are still to be
found, and on the contrary, that many in other varieties have
some points in common, or in some anomalous way differ from
the rest of their neighbours. Still it will be found serviceable
to the memory to have constituted certain classes into which, the
men of our planet may be divided; and this I hope I have not
altogether failed in doing, since for the reason I have given
before I have tried this and that, but found them less satisfac-
tory. Now I mean to go over, one by one the points in which
man seems to differ from man by the natural conformation of his
body and in appearance, and I will investigate as far as I can
the causes which tend to produce that variety.

First of all I shall speak of the whole bodily constitution,
stature, and colour, and then I shall go on to the particular
structure and proportion of individual parts. It will then be ne-
cessary carefully to distinguish those points which are due to art
alone, and finally, though with reluctance, I shall touch upon
[Seite 101] nosology and practical medicine, both which chapters recent
authors have tried to obtrude into natural history, but which
I shall endeavour to vindicate for and restore to pathology.

The first three things I mean to discuss, the whole bodily
constitution, the stature, and the colour, are owing almost en-
tirely to climate alone. I must be brief on the first of these
points, since I have had no opportunity of exercising my personal
observation on the matter, and but few and scanty traces are to
be gathered from authors. That in hot countries bodies become
drier and heavier; in cold and wet ones softer, more full of
juice and spongy, is easily noticed. It has long since been
noticed by W. Cavendish, Marquis of Newcastle, that the bones
of the wild horse have very small cavities, and those of the
Frisian horses much larger ones1), &c. This was confirmed by
the elegant experiments of Kersting, a physician of Cassel, and
a most skilled in the treatment of animals. He observed2),
amongst other things, that the bones of an Arab horse, of six
years old, when subjected to the same degree of heat, were dis-
solved with much more difficulty in the machine of Papinus than
those of a Frisian of the same age. It is very likely that similar
differences would be observed in the bones of men born in
different countries, although observations are wanting, and con-
clusions drawn from a few facts are unsatisfactory. Here and
there indeed we find bones of Ethiopians3) which are thick, com-
pact, and hard; but I should be unwilling to attribute these
properties to every skeleton coming from hot countries, since
other instances occur of skulls of Ethiopians, about which the
same remark has not been made4). The differences moreover are
very great between the skulls of Europeans of the same country
and the same age, which seem to depend, amongst other things,
[Seite 102] principally upon the mode of life1). Perhaps the same is the
case as to the sutures, which Arrian2) says the heads of the
Ethiopians are without, and Herodotus3) says the same of the
Persian skulls after the battle of Platæa. The observation
about the whole habit of the body, that the northern4) nations
are more sinewy and square, and the southern5) more elegant,
seems more reliable.

I go on to the human stature. It is an old opinion, that in
very ancient times men were much larger and taller, and that
they degenerate and diminish in size even now, that children
are now born smaller than their parents, and all the things of
this kind which the old poets6) and philosophers7) have said to
discredit their own times.

But although this may be going too far, still we must allow
something to climate, so far as that itself is altered by the lapse
of time. The soil itself becomes milder, so that it may at last
make its men less gigantic and less fierce. We have already
spoken of an example of this change in our own Germany.
But the idea that these differences of bodies in ancient and
modern times have been enormous, is refuted by the mummies
of Egypt, the fossil human skeletons8), the sarcophagi, and a
thousand other proofs.

Nor do a few skulls conspicuous for their age and size9), scat-
[Seite 103] tered about here and there, prove anything more than those solid
ones destitute of sutures, about which I was lately speaking.
Some, it is clear, are diseased1). But as to the bones which cre-
dulous antiquity showed as those of giants, they have long
since been restored to elephants and whales2). The investigation
of the causes which in our days make the men of one country
tall and another short is more subtle. The principal one seems
to be the degree of cold or heat. The latter obstructs the
increase of organic bodies, whilst the former adds to them
and promotes their growth. It would be tedious even to touch
upon a thing so well known and so much confirmed in both king-
doms, were it not that in our time men have come forward, and
with the greatest confidence have presumed to think otherwise3).
Experience teaches that both plants and animals are smaller in
northern countries than in southern; why should not the same
law hold good as to mankind? Linnæus long ago remarked in
his Flora Lapponica4), that alpine plants commonly reached
twice as great an altitude out of the Alps. And the same thing
may be observed frequently in those plants, some specimens of
which are kept in a conservatory, while others stand out in a
garden, of which the former come out much larger and taller
than the others.

I have before me the most splendid specimens in a collection
of plants from Labrador and Greenland, chosen by Brasen5),
which I owe to the liberality of my great friend, J. Sam. Lieber-
kühn, in which the common ones are almost all smaller than
those which are obtained in Germany; and in some, as the
[Seite 104] Rhodiola rosea, which are common to both those regions of
America, although their native soil is so near, yet the same
difference is observed that the specimens from Labrador are
somewhat larger than those from Greenland.

The same is the case with animals. The Greenland foxes
are smaller than those of the temperate zone1). The Swedish
and Scotch horses are low and small, and in the coldest part
of North Wales so little as scarcely to exceed dogs in size2). It is
however useless to bring a long string of examples about a thing
so evident, when the difference of a few degrees in so many
countries exhibits clearly the same difference. Thus, Henry
Ellis3) observed in Hudson's Strait, on its southern coasts, trees
and men of fair size; at 61° shrubs only, and that the men
became smaller by little and little, and at last at 67° that not a
vestige of either was to be seen. And likewise Murray, within
the limits of a few degrees, and in Gotha alone, declared he
could observe so well, that whilst he was travelling, although he
took no notice of the mile-stones, yet he could easily distinguish
the different provinces by the difference of the inhabitants and
of the animals. In Scania4) the men are tall of stature and bony,
the horses and cattle large, &c.: in Smaland they become sensi-
bly smaller, and the cattle are active but little, which at last
in Ostrogothia strikes the eye more and more.

The same thing may be observed in the opposite part of the
world, almost under the same degrees, towards the antarctic cir-
cle. One example will suffice, taken from the most southern
part of America, and compared with those European nations we
have just been speaking of. The bodies of the notorious Pata-
gonians answer to the lofty stature of the Scandinavians. A
credulous antiquity indeed invented fabulous stories of their
enormous size5). But in the progress of time, after Patagonia
[Seite 105] had often been visited by Europeans, the inhabitants, like that
famous dog of Gellert, became sensibly smaller, until at last in
our own days they retained indeed a sufficiently large stature,
but were happily deprived of their gigantic form. If you go
down from them towards the south, you will find much smaller
men in the cold land of Terra del Fuego1), who must be compared
to the Smalands and the Ostrogoths, and by that example you
will again see how nature is always like itself even in the most
widely separated regions.

But besides the climate, there are other causes which exercise
influence upon stature. Already, at first, I alluded to the mode
of life2), and it would be easy to bring here copious examples
taken from the vegetable and animal kingdoms, in which the
difference of nutrition may be detected by the greater or smaller
stature. But these things are too well known already, and so
many experiments of the kind have been made on Swiss cows,
Frisian horses, &c., that I may easily pass over any proofs of this
point. I omit also the causes of smaller importance which
change the stature of organic bodies, which have been already
most diligently handled by Haller3), and I hasten to the last of
those things which must be considered in the variety of mankind,
that is, colour.

There seems to be so great a difference between the Ethiop-
ian, the white, and the red American, that it is not wonderful,
if men even of great reputation have considered them as forming
different species of mankind. But although the discussion of
this subject seems particularly to belong to our business, still so
many important things have been said about the seat and the
causes of this diversity of colour, by eminent men, that a good-
sized volume would scarcely contain them; so that it is necessary
for me to be brief in this matter, and only to mention those
things which the industry of learned men has placed beyond
all doubt. The skin of man and of most animals consists of
[Seite 106] three parts; the external epidermis, or cuticle; the reticulum
called from its discoverer the Malphigian; and lastly,
the inner, or corium. The middle of these, which very much
resembles the external, so that by many it is considered as
another scale of it, is evidently more spongy, thick, and black
in the Ethiopians; and in them, as in the rest of men, is the
primary seat of the diversity of colour. For in all the corium is
white, excepting where, here and there, it is slightly coloured by
the adhering reticulum; but the epidermis seems to shade off into
the same colour as the reticulum, yet still so, that being diaphan-
ous1) like a plate of horn, it appears even in black men, if pro-
perly separated, to be scarcely grey; and therefore can have
little if any influence on the diversity of the colour of men.

The seat of colour is pretty clear, but for a very long time
back there have been many and great disputes about the causes
of it, especially in the Ethiopians. Some think it to be a sign of
the curse of Cain2) or Cham3), and their posterity; others4) have
brought forward other hypotheses, amongst which the bile played
the most prominent part, and this was particularly advocated by
Peter Barrere5), following D. Santorini6). Although this view
has been opposed by many7), I do not think it ought altogether
to be neglected. The instances of persons affected with jaundice,
or chlorosis, of the fish mullet8), and moreover the black bile9) of
the Ethiopians, are all the less open to doubt, since more recent
authors10) have observed the blood to be black, and the brain and
the spinal marrow to be of an ashy colour; and the phlegm of
[Seite 107] the northern nations and other things of this kind seem to add
weight to this opinion. Bat amongst all other causes of their
blackness, climate, and the influence of the soil, and the tempe-
rature, together with the mode of life, have the greatest influ-
ence. This is the old opinion of Aristotle, Alexander, Strabo,
and others1), and one which we will try and confirm by instances
and arguments brought forward separately.

In the first place, then, there is an almost insensible and in-
definable transition from the pure white skin of the German
lady through the yellow, the red, and the dark nations, to the
Ethiopian of the very deepest black, and we may observe this,
as we said just now in the case of stature, in the space of a few
degrees of latitude. Spain offers some trite examples; it is well
known that the Biscayan women are a shining white, the inha-
bitants of Granada on the contrary dark, to such an extent that
in this region the pictures of the Blessed Virgin and other saints
are painted of the same colour2). Those who live upon, the
northern bank of the river Senegal are of ashy colour and
small body; but those beyond are black, of tall stature and
robust, as if in that part of the world one district was green, and
the other burnt up3). And the same thing was observed by some
learned Frenchmen on the Cordilleras, that those who live im-
mediately under the mountains towards the west, and exposed
to the Pacific Ocean, seem almost as white as Europeans,
whereas on the contrary, the inhabitants of the opposite side,
who are exposed to constant burning winds, are like the rest of
the Americans, copper-coloured4).

It is an old observation of Vitruvius5) and Pliny6) that the
northern nations are white, and this is clearly enough shown by
many instances of other animals and plants. For partly the
[Seite 108] flowers1) of plants, like the animals of the northern regions, are
white, though they produce other colours in more southern lati-
tudes; and partly in the more temperate zones animals only be-
come white in winter, and in spring put on again their own natural
colour. Of the former we have instances in the wolves2), dogs3),
hares4), cattle5), crows6), the chaffinch7), &c., of the latter in the er-
mines8), the squirrels9), hares10), the ptarmigan11), the Corsican dog12).
All of us are born nearly red, and at last in progress of time the
skin of the Ethiopian infants turns to black13), and ours to white,
whereas in the American the primitive red colour remains, except-
ing so far as that by change of climate and the effects of their mode
of life those colours sensibly change, and as it were degenerate.

It is scarce worth while to notice the well-known difference
which occurs in the inhabitants of one and the same country,
whose skin varies wonderfully in colour, according to the kind of
life that they lead. The face of the working man or the artizan,
exposed to the force of the sun and the weather, differs as much
from the cheeks of a delicate female, as the man himself does
from the dark American, and he again from the Ethiopian.
Anatomists not unfrequently fall in with the corpses of the lowest
sort of men, whose reticulum comes much nearer to the black-
ness of the Ethiopians than to the brilliancy of the higher class
of European. Such an European, blacker than an Ethiop, was
dissected by Chr. Gottl. Ludwig14); a very dark reticulum has
been observed by Günz15), and very frequently by many others16);
[Seite 109] and I recollect that I myself dissected at Jena a man's corpse of
this kind, whose whole skin was brown, and in some parts, as in
the scrotum, almost black; for it is well known that some parts
of the human body become more black than others, as, for ex-
ample, the genitals of either sex, the tips of the breasts, and
other parts which easily verge towards a dark colour. Haller ob-
served in the groin of a woman the reticulum so black1) that it did
not seem to differ much from that of an Ethiopian; one as dark
in the groin of a man was in the possession of B. S. Albinus; and
it is so common an occurrence in a woman's breast, that I cannot
be enough astonished that eminent men have been found to
reckon the dark teats of the Samoyeds as prodigies2), and there-
fore to consider that nation as a particular species of man3).

Such a diversity of the reticulum is seen in other animals
also, and especially in the face of the Papio mandril, a part of
which I have therefore had engraved, (Pl. II. fig. 3.) There is
a region of the upper part of the eyelids, of the root of the nose,
and of the eye-brows, in which you may observe almost every
variety of reticulum; the nose is plainly black, and also the part
where the eye-brows are inserted; but that part which is lower
and more on the outside is sensibly brown, and at length
towards the outer comers of the eyes becomes pale. Not indeed
that I have found this blackness of the nose equally intense in
all the specimens of this ape which I have seen, since in apes, as
in man and in other animals, the greatest variety of colour
occurs in the reticulum. In two specimens of the Simia cyno-
the tint of the face was not very different from that of an
Ethiopian or a dark European; and this difference is so well
known and so common throughout the animal kingdom, espe-
cially in the domestic quadrupeds, but above all in the vegetable4)
[Seite 110] kingdom, that I can scarcely take notice of it, but prefer to re-
turn at once to man.

We see white men in a lower class rendered brown by a hard
life; and it is equally certain that men of southern regions
become whiter when they are less exposed to the effects of
the weather and the sun. We have the most copious accounts
by travellers of the inhabitants of Guzerat1), of the Malabar
coast2), of the Caffres3), of the Canadians4), and the Otaheitans5).
But besides their mode of life, old age and the change of country
have an influence in making the Ethiopians more white. For
when the Ethiopians begin to approach their seventieth year,
the reticulum sensibly loses its dark colour, so that at last the
bulbs come out yellow6), and the hair and beard are grey like
other nations; and if the young Ethiopian infants are brought
into colder climates, it is certain that they lose a sensible quan-
tity of their blackness7), and their colour begins to verge more
and more towards brown.

On the other hand, it is apparent that when white men re-
side a considerable time in the torrid zones they become brown,
and sensibly verge towards black with much greater facility.
[Seite 111] The Spaniards who dwell under the equator in the new world
have so much degenerated towards the native colour of the soil,
that it has seemed very probable to eminent men1), that had they
not taken care to preserve their paternal constitution by inter-
marrying with Europeans, but had chosen to follow the same
kind of life as the American nations, in a short time they would
have fallen into almost the same coloration, which we see in the
natives of South America. An Englishman who had spent only
three years with the Virginians, became exactly like them in
colour, and Smith2), his countryman, could only recognize him by
his language. A colony of Portuguese, who were carried to
Africa3) in the fifteenth century, can scarcely now be distinguished
from the aborigines. The French, whether they emigrate to
Africa or America, are invariably tinged with the brown colour
of those countries4). I do not adduce here the numerous exam-
ples of Europeans who have become unnaturally black in their
own country5), or have brought forth black children6), nor of
Ethiopians who have been, at all events in some parts of their
bodies, suddenly turned white7), since all these cases seem to in-
clude something diseased or morbid.

As by the climate so also by the mode of life the colours of
the body are seen to be changed. And this appears most clearly
in the unions of people of different tints, in which cases the
most distinct and contrary colours so degenerate, that white men.
may sensibly pass and be changed into black, and the contrary.
The hybrid offspring (if we may use that word) are distin-
guished by particular names; in using which, however, the
authors of travels vary so much, that it seemed to me worth
while to collect as many of these synonyms as I could, to reduce
them into grades of descending affinity, and exhibit them in
a synoptic form.

[Seite 112]

1. The offspring of a black man and a white woman, or
the reverse, is called Mulatto1) , Mollaka2) , Melatta; by the
Italians, Bertin, Creole and Criole3); by the inhabitans of Ma-
labar, Mestiço4). The offspring of an American man and an
European woman, Mameluck5), and Metif6).

2. The offspring of an European male with a Mulatto
female is called Terceron7) , Castiço8). The son of an European
female from a Metif is called a Quarteroon9). The offspring of
two Mulattoes is called Casque10); and of blacks and Mulattoes,

3. A Terceron female and an European produce quaterons12),
postiços13). But the American quarteroon (who is of the same
degree as the black Terceron) produces from an European

4. The offspring of a quateroon male and a white female,
a quinteroon15); the child of an European woman with an Ame-
rican octavoon is called by the Spaniards Puchuela16).

It is plain therefore that the traces of blackness are pro-
pagated to great-grandchildren; but they do not keep completely
[Seite 113] the degrees we have just noticed, for twins sometimes are born of
different colours; such as Fermin1) says came from an Ethiopian
woman, of which the male was a mulatto, but the female, like
the mother, an intense black. And from all these cases, this
is clearly proved, which I have been endeavouring by what has
been said to demonstrate, that colour, whatever be its cause, be
it bile, or the influence of the sun, the air, or the climate, is,
at all events, an adventitious and easily changeable thing, and
can never constitute a diversity of species.

A great deal of weight has attached to this opinion in con-
sequence of the well-known examples of those men, whose
reticulum has been conspicuously variegated and spotted with
different colours. Lamothe2) has described very carefully a boy
of this kind from the Antilles. Labat3) saw the wife of a
Grifole like this, a native of Cayenne, and in other respects
handsome. Chr. D. Schreber4) has collected many examples; and
I myself had lately an opportunity of seeing an instance of this
sort of variegated skin. One of my friends, a physician, has a
reticulum of almost a purple colour, and distinctly marked with
very white spots, of different sizes, but equal in other respects,
and similar to the most shining skin. And on the back of his
light hand there were five white spots of the same kind, of which
each was almost equal to a thumb's breadth in diameter, inter-
spersed with numerous smaller ones. This phenomenon very
seldom occurs in men; but is very common in animals, espe-
cially in the reticulum of quadrupeds. The throats of rams, for
example, are frequently so variegated, that yon may observe in
them the greatest similarity, both to the black skin of the
Ethiop and the white skin of the European. I have examined
many flocks of sheep in their pastures with this object, and
I think I have observed, that the greater or smaller number of
black spots in the jaws answer to the greater or smaller quan-
tity of black wool on the animals themselves.

[Seite 114]

I will say no more of colour; and now, having disposed of all
the general varieties of the whole human body, I will go on to
the diversity of the separate parts and members; and will make.
a beginning with the head and its conformation. In the same
way that it is always the case that there is the greatest possible
difference between the skeleton of the embryo and the adult,
so above all, the bones of the skull differ to such an extent
in both, that you would scarcely recognize them as parts of the
same body. For the bones which, in the adult, constitute a
very solid case, and the hardest possible receptacle of what
is at once the softest and noblest entrail, in the embryo appear
only as thin but broad scales, ‘“which,”’ to use the words of
Coiter1), ‘“are just fastened together by soft, broad, loose and
flaccid bonds, sutures and commissures.”’ Now the skull of the
infant is wet and soft clay, and fit to be moulded into many
forms before it is perfectly solidified, so that if you consider the
innumerable and simultaneous external and adventitious causes
in operation, you will no longer be able to wonder that the
forms of skulls in adults should be different. But since for
a considerable period of time singular shapes of the head have
belonged to particular nations, and peculiar skulls have been
shaped out, in some of them certainly by artificial means, it
will be our business to look at these things a little more care-
fully, and to consider how far they constitute different varieties
of the human race. For, although I only intend to reckon
up in a passing way those differences of the human body which
are due to art alone, still I intend to treat now a little more at
length upon that part of the argument which has to do with
skulls, since things very nearly allied may be conveniently
embraced and handled at the same time. Claudius Galen2), be-
sides the common and symmetrical skull3), had already described
other skulls, which in some of their parts manifestly differed
[Seite 115] from the common structure; and Andrew Vesalius1) and Barth.
Eustachius2) endeavoured to draw figures of them. But the forms
of these skulls seem to be so arbitrary and so monstrous, that
they are of little or no use to us at present, and seem rather
to belong to some morbid constitutions of the bones than to
any natural varieties of heads. Let us follow nature herself,
and we shall reckon up the various shapes of the head in the
various nations, according to the four varieties of mankind
which we constituted.

To begin with Germany itself, Vesalius3) says that its inhabit-
ants are generally remarkable for having the occiput compressed
and the head wide; and gives as a reason that infants in their
cradles generally sleep on their backs, and besides being wrapped
in swaddling-clothes, generally have their hands tied to their
sides. This author also saw in the cemeteries of Styria and
Carinthia wonderfully different skulls, which from their extraor-
dinary shape seemed to be sports of nature4). Lauremberg5) says
the female inhabitants of Hamburg of his day were long-
headed, because they by ligaments and a foolish practice were
accustomed to elongate the head from the birth. The Belgians
are said to have their skulls more oblong6) than other nations,
because the mothers permit their infants to sleep wrapped up in
swaddling-clothes very much on the side and the temples7); but
however the description of a Batavian skull by De Fischer does
not answer to this8), who praises in it the bones of the skull for
being but little depressed around the sides, and making there
almost an equal arch. Albinus9) declares that the skulls of the
[Seite 116] English, the Spanish, and French, are without any peculiarity of
structure at all; and he is in most respects a very accurate
observer of varieties of that kind. Christopher Pflug informed
Vesalius that the skulls of the inhabitants of the Styrian Alps
were of a singular shape. The same Vesalius is of opinion that
the heads of the Genoese, and still more of the Greeks and the
Turks, are nearly of the shape of a sphere, and that it is done
through the care of the midwives when they bring their assist-
ance, and sometimes through the great solicitude of the mothers1).

There is a passage in Hippocrates2) about the skulls of the
Scythians, which is most worthy of notice. He says that after
they had applied artificial means for a very long period in
shaping their heads, at last a kind of natural degeneration had
taken place, so that in his day there was no more necessity for
manual pressure to arrive at the end in view, but that the skulls
grew up to be elongated of their own accord. And this kind of
thing should be examined in other varieties of mankind, espe-
cially as to form and colour, and their various causes, climate,
&c., which in the progress of time become hereditary and con-
stant, although they may have owed their first origin to adven-
titious causes. The nations towards our north have generally
flatter faces3). Eber. Rosen is, so far as I know, the only writer
who says that the Lapps of Lulah can, for the most part by the
face being broad above4), attenuated below, with the cheeks
falling in, and terminated in a long chin, be distinguished from
the other Scandinavians5). J. B. de Fischer6) has published a
drawing of a Calmuck's skull, and it is ugly, and nearly ap-
[Seite 117] proaches a square in shape, and in many ways testifies to barba-
rism. But this single example shows how unfair it is to draw
conclusions as to the conformation of a whole race from one or
two specimens. For Pallas1) describes the Calmucks as men of a
symmetrical, beautiful, and even round appearance, so that he
says their girls would find admirers in cultivated Europe. Nor
do the said skulls answer to the two very accurate representa-
tions of that Calmuck, a boy of eleven years old, who lately
came from Russia with the court of Darmstadt, drawings of
whom I received from Carlsruhe. They represent a young man
of handsome shape, lofty forehead and eye-brows; and whose
face agrees in this respect with the description of Pallas, and
diverges from the skull in question, that the mouth makes nearly
an equilateral triangle with the eyes furthest from it, which brings
out the head round instead of square. Passing from the most
north-easterly part of Asia by the Anadirski Archipelago into
North America, we come to the tribes whose name is derived
from the singular form of their heads2). Either I am very much
mistaken, or it is a skull of this sort which has been described
by Winslow3), and engraved by him. With its very protracted
occiput, its somewhat flat forehead, the shape of the orbits, and
other aberrations of that sort from the common structure, it seems
to present some similarity to the skull of a dog. We know at
present too little of the history of that country and its inhabit-
ants to be able to add the cause of that singular conformation:
but whatever it be, it seems that it must rather be in the mode
of life, since the same peculiarity is observed sometimes in the
skulls of Europeans. I myself have in my possession a skull,
very ancient, dug out last summer from the city cemetery, which
is as like that American in the points I have mentioned4), and in
every thing else, as one egg is to another.

[Seite 118]

Finally, as to the inhabitants of Greenland, and of Labrador,
the former we are told by Cranz1), and the latter by Henry Ellis2),
are longheaded and have flat faces. But I am afraid that the
accounts of these most trustworthy men have been badly under-
stood by many, who have thence come to the conclusion that
these nations are badly formed and almost monstrous in shape3).
Cranz himself says that a great many Greenlanders are to be
found with faces so oblong that it is difficult to distinguish them
from Europeans4); but as to the Esquimaux, I am led to a contrary
opinion by some very accurate drawings of three inhabitants of
Labrador, which have lately come into my possession, and are
painted in colours with great care by that excellent artist J.
Swertner, from copies sent by the Hernnhut Brothers, who have
an establishment there. One is a male; and the two females,
according to the custom of their nation, are clad with immense
greaves, nearly reaching to their hips, and one of them carries a
child in her right sandal5); all however are of a reasonably sym-
metrical and well-proportioned form. The face of the male is
rather flat, and the nose but little prominent, though by no
means turned up, the body square, and the head large, so as to
be equal to the sixth part of his whole height; but the women
are taller, and are seven of their own heads in length6); and if
you except their colour7), which verges towards brown, are in
other respects of good appearance.

Let us turn to Asia, and look at our second variety, which
dwells beyond the Ganges, and on the Islands, &c. The first
[Seite 119] thing we see are the Aracani on the Ganges, who flatten the
foreheads of the newly-born with sheets of lead.

After these, going up to the Amur (Sahalien ula), the
northern termination of this variety, come the Chinese, who,
unless I am wrong, are less content than any other of the inha-
bitants of this world, with the natural conformation of their
body, and therefore use so many artificial means to distort it,
and squeeze it, that they differ from almost all other men in
most parts of their bodies. Their heads are usually oval, their
faces flat, their eyes narrow, drawn up towards the external
corners, their noses small, and all their other peculiarities of
this kind are well known from the numerous pictures of them,
and from their china and pottery figures. Those Chinese
whom Büttner saw at London, were exactly of this kind, and so
also was the great botanist Whang-at-tong (the yellow man of
the East),
whose acquaintance was made there by Lichtenberg.
But these artificial ways of moulding the head seem to have
more to do with the soft parts of the face than the bony struc-
ture, for Daubenton1) reckons up many skulls of the Chinese and
Tartars, and declares that they differ in no way from the ordi-
nary skulls of Europeans. The other nations of this variety
looked at as a whole answer to those characters which I laid
down above as belonging to them.

The New Hollanders make such a transition to the third
variety, that we perceive a sensible progress in going from the
New Zealanders through the Otaheitans to the fourth. The
inhabitants of the Island Mallicolo2), whom I was just speaking
of, differ from their neighbours by the strange form of head, in
which late travellers assure us they approach nearest to the
figure of apes3). I do not see anything remarkable in the skulls
[Seite 120] of the remaining inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean; and so we will
go on to the third variety of mankind, that is, the African
nations, about whom we may be brief, since what there is to be
said about their skulls is of small importance. Those skulls of
mummies which I have seen are of round and spherical, but still
of elegant and symmetrical form.

The head of an Ethiop from the southern part of Africa has
been carefully described by J. Beni de Fischer, as I quoted
above1). Broader in the upper region, suddenly narrowed, sharp-
ened from the front towards the middle of the frontal bone and
over the eyes, and widely stretched out below these, and very
globular behind, he says that in its whole periphery it comes to
be nearly of a triangular shape. And yet this description is
scarcely satisfactory when I compare it with the Ethiopians that
I have seen myself and carefully examined, or with that skull of
Peter Pauw2); for this latter, if you except the large occiput and
the narrow orbits, has very little resemblance to the description
and very accurate engraving of Fischer.

There remains the fourth variety of the human race belong-
ing to America3), except that part we have just been speaking of.
The same thing may be said of the inhabitants of this quarter,
which I have just observed about the Chinese, that they take
great pains, and employ artificial means, to distort the natural
form of their bodies into some other. This is especially the case
with the head; and the most numerous evidences of the wonder-
ful ways in which they compress it are to be found in the stories
of travellers; but still we are deficient in any accurate examina-
[Seite 121] tions of skulls of this kind, nor is it sufficiently clear in what
parts of the head the greatest change takes place. J. Cardan1)
said that the heads of the inhabitants of the old Portus Provin-
ciæ were square, and deficient in the occiput. Hunauld2) has
exhibited the skull of a Carib, but it has been either so care-
lessly engraved, or is so misshapen, that I should prefer to con-
sider it as a monstrosity, than to believe such to be the osseous
conformation of a whole nation. The enormous bones of the
nose, the little holes which give an exit to the nerves and
arteries of the same size as the external auditory canal, the
angular and large-lobed zygoma, the upper jaw deeply incised
for the matrices of the teeth, and other things of this sort, excite
a suspicion that this drawing was done in a hurry3). Finally, as
to North America, Charlevoix describes the heads of one of the
Canadian nations as globular, and the other as flat4).

So much then about the shape of skulls. From what has
been said I trust that it is more than sufficiently clear, that
almost all the diversity of the form of the head in different
nations is to be attributed to the mode of life and to art:
although I should very willingly admit the position of Hippocra-
tes, that with the progress of time art may degenerate into a
second nature, since it has a very considerable influence in all
the other variations of mankind.

The physiognomy and the peculiar lineaments of the whole
countenance in different nations opens up a very vast and agree-
able field. In many they are sufficiently settled, and are such
faithful exponents of the climate and the mode of life, that even
after many generations spent in a foreign climate they can still
be recognized. But, besides other reasons, the want of suffi-
ciently faithful and accurately delineated pictures forbids me to
wander in that direction. I took a great deal of pains to com-
pare pictures drawn from the life of more remote and, at pre-
sent, little known nations; but I have been able to obtain very
[Seite 122] few; and there are not many authors of travels whose pictures,
so far as regards the likenesses of nations, can be trusted. If
you except the vast work of the brothers De Bry, the first
editions of the travels of Cornelius Le Brun, the Tartary of Nic.
Witsen, the diary of Sydney Parkinson, and the voyages of Cook
himself, and except some genuine representations scattered about
here and there in various books, especially in the work of
S. R Lavater on physiognomy, there are many nations of whom
you can find no trustworthy pictures.

Meanwhile, it will be enough to bring forward a few ex-
amples, of which the Jewish race presents the most notorious
and least deceptive, which can easily be recognized everywhere
by their eyes alone, which breathe of the East. The Vallones,
though they have lived among the Swedes for many years, still
preserve the lineaments of the face, which are peculiar to them,
and by which they can be distinguished at the first glance from
the aborigines1). The clear and open countenance of the Swiss,
the cheerful one of the young Savoyards, the manly and serious
Turks2), the simple and guileless look of the nations of the
extreme north3), can easily be distinguished, even by those least
skilled in physiognomy.

The matter is a little more difficult in some nations of the
south, especially in the west of Europe, who, it has been ob-
served by some eminent men, from some reason or other, are
cheerful and sanguine in youth, but, as manhood advances, be-
come more morose, and inclined to be of a melancholy tem-
perament4). In our other varieties the lineaments of the face
are very much more persistent. To say nothing of the Chinese,
who I have mentioned make their heads so much out of shape
that it would be hazardous to say how much in them is to
[Seite 123] be referred to nature and how much to art, the inhabitants of
the Pacific Ocean retain evident examples of persistent physio-
gnomy. Every one, for instance, will recognize the fierce and
savage countenance of the New-Hollanders and New-Zealanders
by looking at the magnificent plates of Parkinson1), whereas the
Otaheitans, on the contrary, looked at as a whole, seem to be
of a milder disposition, as also the many pictures2) of them by
the same well-known author testify3).

Although almost all the nations of Africa are sufficiently dis-
tinguished by persistent and peculiar lineaments of face, still the
ancient Egyptians, and the inhabitants of the south of Africa,
differ very much by their singular physiognomy from the rest,
both of the Africans and of mankind. All the monuments of the
old art of the ancient Egyptians, from the statue of Memnon down
to the pottery seals which are found with the mummies, show
likenesses very similar, and all closely resembling each other.
The face is somewhat long, but by no means emaciated, the nose
prominent, broad towards the nostrils, and ending in a sharpish
lobe, and finally the mouth small, girdled with swelling lips, all of
which are most positive and unmistakeable signs of the Egyp-
tian head. The appearance of the Ethiopians is so well known
that it would be superfluous to say much on that point. Their
depressed nose, which has been attributed by some to art4), most
recent authors, and those eye-witnesses, have shown to be due
to nature5), and the two Ethiopian fœtuses preserved in the
Royal Museum are exactly like the figures of Ruysch6) and
Seba7), and answer to this description. For although the nose
in almost all human embryos is depressed, still the Ethiopians
[Seite 124] of whom we are speaking have their noses, or interstices (to
use the expression of Isidore) so expanded, that even setting
aside the swelling lips, any one could tell the nation from them

A few variations of the human body remain besides those
which I think should be attributed to art alone, and which
have to do with the peculiar formation of members and parts.
The hair varies very much amongst most men, both in colour
and form, but in some nations is of a constant character. And
as it is said to be universal that white colours obtain more in
the north, and brown in the south, so black hair and black eyes
seem to be usual in the torrid zones, and light hair with blue
eyes in the colder regions1). But, beyond all, the hair of the
Ethiopians is conspicuous for its intense black and its singular
woolliness, which however is no more congenital with them than
the colour of their skin, but both have been contracted, as
we have seen, by the progress of time and the heat of the sun2).
For the Ethiopian fœtus, I mentioned, is covered with light
brown straight hairs, which scarcely differ from the down of the
European embryo; so that it is probable that the tint of the
skin and the hair are changed sensibly at the same time. I
have already observed that the Ethiopians get paler in old age,
and that their hair also grows white; and it is a well-known
thing, that in other men, in proportion as their skin is brown,
so are the genitals covered with curly hair. We are also told
in his last work, by D. Antonius de Ulloa3), that the Ethiopians
of Darien have hair, though black, still straight. Others too
have declared, and I myself have often observed, that the struc-
ture of the Ethiopian hair is the same as that of other men,
and the bulb of it as white.

Many authors tell us that the feet of the Ethiopians are
badly formed, in more than one way. The author of the
[Seite 125] Moretum (said to be Virgil) reckons up their many defects as

With legs so thin, and feet so widely splayed,
The wrinkled heels perpetual slits betrayed.

And Hier. Mercurialis agrees with him, for he says that these
slits in the feet are endemic to the Ethiopians2). Another
passage worthy of notice is to be found in Petronius3), which, as
Heyne4) tells us, refers to the Ethiopian slaves, like those we
call negroes. Cæl. Rhodiginus5) says that the Egyptians and
Ethiopians have splay feet, &c, which, however, do not seem
to be by any means common to entire nations; for Albert
Durer6), after speaking of these deformities in the feet of the
Ethiopians, adds that he has seen many well and symmetri-
cally formed; nor was I able to observe anything of this kind
in the Ethiopians I have seen myself.

That the breasts of the Ethiopian7) and other8) southern
women are pendulous and contracted, from their mode of life
and habits of lactation, wants scarcely any testimony adduced.
To those mutations of the human body which are occasioned
by the mode of life, we may also add those which owe their
origin to the difference of languages, and which are sometimes
to be found in the very organs of speech. To attribute this
difference, with J. Senebier9), to the influence of beat or cold,
is forbidden by a slight comparison of neighbouring languages.
Who could possibly attribute to the climate the fact that the
Ephraimites said Sibolet instead of Schibolet; that the Chinese
cannot pronounce the letters R and D; or the Spaniards the final
M, or the inhabitants of the Marquesas and the Greenlanders
of Kamtschadale Tsch and ks. But the prodigious labours of
[Seite 126] Büttner on this point forbid me to be more prolix on the matter,
for he has collected with incredible labour all that relates to
the subject, and will very soon give it to the press.

I pass on to those things which, besides the shape of the
head, are apt to be changed by the aid of art in the other parts
of the body amongst various nations. And first of all I mean to
speak of mutilations, where members and parts of the body are
cut or torn out, &c. The Scriptures, and the stories of Hero-
dotus1) about the Colchians, the Egyptians and the Ethiopians,
and the wide extent of the practice2), all prove that circumcision
is exceedingly ancient. Nor is it confined entirely to the
stronger sex, for amongst many oriental people it is applied to
the weaker sex, and that part of their pudenda which answers3)
to the prepuce of the virile member is cut off; of which cere-
mony copious testimony both from ancient and modern writers
has been collected by Mart. Schurigius4) and Theod. Tronchin5).
It will be enough for us at present to give our readers a draw-
ing (Pl. II. fig. 4) of the genitals of a circumcised girl of
eighteen years old, which I owe to the kindness of Niebuhr,
who has also allowed me to give it to the public. When that
famous company went to travel in Asia, one of the questions
proposed to them was about this circumcision of both sexes6);
and this illustrious man7), who was the sole survivor of the ex-
pedition, settled this, as well as almost all the others; so much
so as to bring back this drawing I am speaking of, which the
great artist, G. W. Baurenfeind, had taken from the life. In it
you can see the body itself of the clitoris, bare and deprived of
its prepuce, hanging from the upper commissure of the labia,
[Seite 127] under the pubis, which is abraded, and below it lie the orifices
of the urethra, and the vagina: if perchance some may think
these things are not particularly well done, they must excuse
the haste of the draughtsman1).

Eunuchs have not so much to do with the matter in hand, as
monorchides, one of whose testicles is extracted during infancy.
First, this custom prevails amongst the Hottentots, who gene-
rally in the eighth, and sometimes, if we can trust Kolben2), in
the eighteenth year, are made monorchides. They suppose it
makes them run quicker; but travellers remark that at the
same time it affects their fertility3). The Swiss peasants not
unfrequently undergo the like loss of a testicle, that being the
way in which the neighbours used to cure ruptures4).

To mutilations I refer the custom of eradicating the hair in
different parts of the body practised by some nations. Thus
the Burats keep only the hair below the chin, and pluck out
the rest5): the Turks destroy6) by various unguents the hair in
every part of the body except on the head and the beard: the
Otaheitans eradicate7) the hairs under the armpit; and almost
all the people of America extirpate the beard, which gave rise
to the old idea8), that the Americans were naturally beardless.
But this story scarcely needs refutation. Lionel Wafer9) ex-
pressly says about the inhabitants of Darien, that they would
have beards if they did not pluck them out: and there is still
a little beard in our picture of the male Esquimaux, though
the rest of his face is smooth10). I say nothing of the artificial
sharpening of the teeth11) amongst others, and other mutilations
[Seite 128] of equally little importance. First of all, I refer to deformities
those enormous and pendulous ears, which from a very long
time have been so much in favour among many nations, so as
to give a foundation to the old story about the Scythian popu-
lations in Pontus, that they have such large ears that they can
cover their whole bodies with them1). We have certain in-
formation about the inhabitants of Malabar, of C. Comorin2),
Benares, the Moluccas3), and Mallicolo4), that they use various
artifices to make their ears as large as possible, and truly mon-
strous. The picture of a man of the south in Corn. Le Brun
represents them as disfigured in a wonderful way5). We are
told by some English travellers in southern countries how the
New Zealanders studiously prolong the prepuce of the penis6).
The immense nails of the Chinese7) are well known. The
custom of making women thin by a particular diet is very
ancient, and has prevailed amongst the most refined nations8),
so politeness and respect forbid us to class it, with Linnæus9)
amongst deformities. Though the use of pigments and dif-
ferent kinds of paint does not change the shapes of the mem-
bers themselves, yet it is so constant in some nations, that
it would clearly be wrong to leave it untouched. Some merely
smear their skin with pigments, whilst others first of all prick
it with a needle, and then rub the colours in, which in this
way adhere most tenaciously. Both customs have prevailed
amongst the most remote and different nations. The Kana-
gystæ10), the Californians11), the Turks12), the inhabitants of the
island of Santa Croce13), and Mallicolo, of New Holland14), and
[Seite 129] Cape Verde1), paint themselves2). We know that the Tungus3),
the Tschuktschi4), the Arabians5), the Esquimaux6), the New-Zea-
landers7), the Otaheitans8), and many nations over all America9)
draw designs in the skin with a needle, or what we call tattoo

And this is pretty well all that I have to tell about the
variations of the human body and its members, whether oc-
casioned by climate, or mode of life, or diverse unions, or finally,
by artificial means. Any one will easily see that our discussion
has been about the varieties of whole nations, and that we have
nothing to do with those peculiarities which happen acciden-
tally to one or two individuals; and therefore I am quite justi-
fied in making no mention here of those unfortunate children,
who have been now and then found amongst wild beasts; and
all the more because everything which is known of those in-
stances has been diligently collected and dealt with in a regular
way by the industry of some famous men10). Their more im-
portant, and more noble part, that is reason, remains unculti-
vated; but hard necessity has so perverted their human nature,
that I should be inclined to refer these anthropomorphous
creatures, who are so like beasts, to the homines monstrosi of

[Seite 130]

The diseases to which the human body is subject would
appear to be much less to our purpose than even the wild state
of these children; and yet I am unwillingly compelled to in-
trude here upon pathology, because of the recent mistakes of
some famous men, who have not hesitated to consider the af-
flicted persons about whom I am going to speak, not only as a
peculiar species of the human race, but even as the same with
the apes. There is a disorder affecting both the skin and the
eyes at the same time1), which sometimes occurs amongst men
of the most different nations, and amongst some kinds of quad-
rupeds, and birds. As we saw above that the whiteness of
organized bodies was due to cold, so now we have to consider
another kind of diseased whiteness which does not depend upon
cold. It seems to be found in plants2) also, but is more fre-
quently observed, and appears with stronger and more remark-
able symptoms in animals, whose skin and hair, or whose
feathers and quills, become of an unnaturally chalky, or milky
hair, and their eyes grey, or reddish. In some few genera this
singular condition seems to become a second nature, so that
they produce offspring like themselves, and the same colour is
preserved to all generations; in most however instances of this
sort seem scattered and anomalous; they spring from parents of
the usual colour, and very often have offspring like them again,
or at all events the case is confined within the limits of a few

Of the first sort the best known examples are white rabbits,
which are called, not inaptly, by Nic. le Cat3), the leucœthiops of
their kind. Their fur is always a constant snowy white, whilst
their eyes are rosy or red, but in other rabbits grey or black.
They are deficient in that black pigment which lines internally
[Seite 131] the eyes of all the mammalia, the birds, the amphibious animals,
many of the fishes, and even insects, and whose seat is to be
found in the cellular web which lines the choroidal membrane, and
the uvea, &c. That this blackness is of the greatest consequence
towards sound and good vision is proved, besides other ways, by
the weak eye-sight of those animals in whom, as in the white
rabbit, that pigment is entirely wanting, or even in some consider-
able proportion1). For even those animals in whom the tapetum
is blue or green are less able to bear a clear and noonday light,
in proportion as they have that part larger or more conspicuous;
as may be observed in the cat and other animals whose habits
are nocturnal. But yet in them the external side of the
choroid, and whatever internal part there is besides the tape-
turn, is covered with the usual blackness, of which however not
a vestige appears in the rabbits we are speaking of. Hence an
immense quantity of vessels, if they are turgid with blood, seem
to be transparent with a sort of rosy or auburn colour through
the pupil and in the iris; but this beautiful rosy hue perishes
if the bulb of the eye is taken away from the orbit and the
blood flows out; and it remains, if you first of all replenish the
same vessels with dull-red suet. The pupil is, as in all the
animals of which we shall speak, very large, even after death;
the iris, if cut off from the vessels, white, and barely fibrous;
which, if it is the case with the his of other animals, clearly
shows that the absence of circular fibres is connected with this
deficiency of extraneous pigment: its vessels are beautifully
curved; so also the folds of the ciliary processes, if the injection
has been properly performed, &c. As this defect of the eyes
is so common to this kind of rabbits, that their females, when
embraced by black or grey males, produce offspring with white
and red eyes, it is not to be wondered at if they become easily
accustomed to the light, and able to endure the glare of day.

The nature of white mice is otherwise compounded, for
although they preserve for many generations the snowy colour
of their fur, and the red colour of their eyes, so far, like rabbits,
[Seite 132] they still remain to an extreme degree avoiders of the light1).
There is here at Göttingen a bakehouse, in which white mice
are not unfrequently caught, many of which I have seen alive;
and, if a light was brought to the hole, they would instantly hide
themselves in the cotton which was put for them, but in the
twilight, or when the season was cloudy, they used to run freely

Besides rabbits and mice there are other animals in which
this variety of hair and feathers and eyes is sometimes, though
rarely, to be seen. Amongst horses2) such sometimes occur;
which however must not be confounded with the breed peculiar
to Denmark; for although these have white hair, yet their
hoofs and eyes are black, and, according to the observations
of Kersting, they have also the rete Malpighianum brown.

I myself have seen white dogs with red eyes; a hamster of
the same sort I owe to the liberality of Sulz; and such a
squirrel was kept living by J. J. Wagner3).

Amongst birds, white varieties are known to occur in
Canary-birds, parrots and cocks, and very seldom, but occa-
sionally, in crows.

Finally, as to men who suffer from this defect, the accounts
of them have been by some recent authors so deformed, and so
mixed up with fables, that we may easily pardon those who
have allowed themselves to be deceived, and have not hesitated
to make out of them a particular species of mankind. It will
therefore be our business to separate the stories from the truth,
to show that the disease, so far from forming a species, does not
even form a peculiar variety of mankind; to narrate its
symptoms in detail; and to show that it was known to the
ancients, and has spread over almost all the world.

The other immense merits of Linnæus, and my own respect
for so great a man, forbid me to say much about his great
mistake, repeated in so many editions4) of his magnificent work,
and which other learned men declare was put forth in all good
[Seite 133] faith, especially after the severe censures of Buffon1) and Pauw2).
It will be sufficient to sum it up in a few words: that the
attributes of apes are there mixed up with those of men – for
a body less than ours by half, eyes deep in their orbit, joined
to the membrana nictitans, and a lateral vision at the same time
on both sides
3) , the fingers of the hand touching the knees when
in an erect position, the wrinkled skin of the pubis
4), and finally,
the whispering tongue and those arrogant conceits, the hope
of future dominion, &c.
have nothing to do with the highest
work of the Supreme Being, but must be relegated to the
region of fable.

There is a disease of the human body, for the most part
congenital, exactly like that which I have shown to attack
certain animals; it is, however, different in this, that it plays
with the symptoms, and now attacks man lightly, and now
severely; in some countries it is rare, in others more frequent
and endemic; here it is propagated in families, there it seizes
people capriciously and individually. It affects the skin and
the eyes at the same time, and therefore seems referable either
to tetter or to luscitio5) : that it is related to both, will be plain
from an enumeration of the symptoms. As to the skin, or
rather the cuticle, which is the principal seat of disease, in
this disease it is affected in more than one way; it is indeed
always of a diseased whiteness, and the hair6) or groin are co-
loured in the same way; but the nature of the epiderm itself
undergoes all sorts of mutations, though it is not always entirely
[Seite 134] affected, but, in rare cases, the places are scattered over the
surface of the body. Those, however, who are ill in this way
must be carefully separated from those men who have the rete
parti-coloured, and of whom I have spoken above1). In the
disease of which I am now speaking, it has been observed in
the East Indies, by Rudolph2), that the spots are rough and can
be distinguished by the touch from the rest of the skin.
Strahlenberg3) and John Bell4) report that parti-coloured persons
of this kind are found amongst the Tartars; and the accounts
of Hall5) describe the Malabars as marked by large spots of
the same kind, of a yellowish white, and make the disorder
something like leprosy. Closely allied to this sort of disease is
that in which the skin of the body becomes white, with spots of
another colour, as yellow6), scattered over it7), or where the colour
is a mixture of red and white8), or where the face at least
retains its natural redness9).

In most cases however, the whole skin, though not in the
same way, becomes white. For in many, little or nothing at
all in the epidermis is changed, except the colour, so that in
other respects there is no symptom of any disease at all. Such
are many of the inhabitants of the isthmus of Darien, most
carefully described by Lionel Wafer10), who are said to be covered
with a copious, though thin and snowy down. Like this also
was a beautiful woman from the neighbouring island of Ternata,
whom Le Brun11) says was a concubine of the king of Bantam;
and also a boy of five years old, shown to the Academy of Paris12).
The English poet13) speaks of another, lately shown in London,
[Seite 135] with a skin like that of an European. In many, however, the
epidermis too is scabby. I read the same about a Tamul
schoolmaster, whose skin as it were came off in scales, and be-
came almost of a red colour1). The disease is called the white
leprosy, in Malabar Wonkuschtam or Wenkuschtam2). Allied to
this also is the crusted leprosy of some inhabitants of Paraguay,
recalling the scales of fish, painless, and in no ways affecting
the general health3). The white Ethiopians too are made
lepers by Ludolph4), and so are the inhabitants of Guinea by
Isaac Voss5). I myself have been acquainted for many years
with a Saxon youth, whose whole skin, not excepting even his
face and the palms of the hands, was rough with white, and
as it were calcareous scales, which appeared red through the
numerous interstices, and as it were fissures, of the crust.
Sometimes these scales peeled off, and then the limbs looked
redder; but new ones instantly grew up. The groin was white;
the hair and the eye-brows, if I recollect right, of a mouse
colour. For those hairs do not, like that on the groin, keep
the same colour in this disease, but vary in the most capricious
way. Most have white6), soft hair, exactly like goats' wool7).
Nor in these is the colour constant, but as they grow older
is often changed into rosy8). Voss9) attributes red and yellow
hair to his Leucœthiopians: the hair was yellow in the Malabar
family10), golden in the Manilla girl of G. Jos. Camelli11).

So much about one phase of our disorder, which occurs
with tetter: the other phase, as I have said, affects the eyes,
and belongs to luscitio, yet it is wonderful how the symptoms
of it differ. In many the eyelids become turgid, winking12); the
[Seite 136] eyes of the inhabitants of Darien open in a crescent shape1);
all blink during the day, which is also sometimes the case with
people in good health, and even with the fœtus, according to
the observation of Wrisperg2), when the light is too strong. It
was also observed in that youth whose epidermis I lately de-
scribed, that this inconvenience was with him at its height during
winter, when he could not endure the brightness of the snow,
so that he stood in fear even of ice. In some the iris is in
perpetual motion, and the pupils so unquiet that they can
never distinguish minute objects, as letters3). The colours of
the iris and choroid are various, but all rather pale, so that
less light is absorbed, and the retina all the more affected.

In some the eyes are rosy, as in the animals we mentioned.
I have myself known such, two sons and the daughter of a
French peasant4). Maupertuis and Voltaire differ in their de-
scription of the eyes of 1744 Leucœthiopians who were seen at
Paris; for one calls them rosy, the other sky-coloured. They
may however be reconciled if we follow Fontenelle5), who says
that the iris, &c. appears red in a certain position of the eyes only.
The man that Goldsmith saw had red eyes. Sky-coloured eyes
are not however uncommon in this disease. For as this colour
always denotes weak vision, according to Avicenna and Averroes,
as quoted by Hermann Conring6), so especially it often occurs
in our nuctalopes. The young man I knew had sky-coloured
eyes. And those Malabars who suffer from white leprosy com-
bined with luscitio, have eyes of a similar colour7); and so also
those who are said to exist in the kingdom of Loango8). Dap-
per says they have grey eyes. I am not quite sure whether
this is the disease under which the family of Jerome Cardan
[Seite 137] laboured. For he says, in his own life1), ‘“my father was red,
and had white eyes, and saw by night;”’ and again, ‘“my eldest
son had eyes exactly like him;”’ and again, about the same
child2), ‘“like my father, with small, white eyes, which were
never at rest;”’ and elsewhere about himself3): ‘“In my early
youth, immediately I awoke, though in extreme darkness, I
saw everything exactly as if it had been bright day-light: but
in a short time I lost this power. Even now I can see a little,
but not so as to discern anything.”’

Let so much suffice about external condition of the skin
and eyes in those suffering under this disorder. There is still
a little to be said about the rest of the constitution of their
body. In the first place, it does not follow that they all are
either foul or dirty. We are told that many of them belong to
the court of the king of Loango4). Certainly another was the
mistress of the king of Bantam5), and such a woman of Malabar6)
married an European soldier. She is described as of square body
and round cheeks. And they seem at all events strong enough
to do their business by night. In fact, it is said that they make
hostile incursions into the neighbouring countries by night7), and
that the Portuguese have carried off others from Guinea to
Brazil, to make them work in the gold mines: this certainly
would be a kind of life in which nuctalopia, would be of some use.

Others seem to be of weak and feeble constitution. So
Wafer speaks of the inhabitants of Darien8). The French of the
parish of Champniers can scarcely stand being in the open air.
The Malabars certainly cannot endure long journeys9), and are
speedily fatigued10) with the wind and the heat11). The brightness
of the sun makes their eyes water12), but they see pretty well in
cloudy weather13).

[Seite 138]

Examples prove that the mind and the intellectual faculties
are in no respect affected by this disorder, but may remain
perfectly sound. The young man I have so often spoken of,
was well instructed in more than one of what they call the
polite sciences. I have mentioned the schoolmaster of Malabar,
who was clever at writing poetry. And if you like, you may
consider Cardan a great luminary of art.

These then are the phenomena and symptoms of the dis-
ease. It still remains to be proved that it attacks nations at
all times and in all places, and that it partly belongs to the
endemic, and partly to the sporadic diseases. In both ways it
was long since known to the ancients. A sporadic instance of
it gave a handle to the Roman story which, under the title of
Ethiopics, has been handed down to us by Heliodorus. King
Hydaspes, it appears, hesitates to acknowledge his daughter
Charicles as his own, when she suddenly laid claim to him, be-
cause he and his wife were Ethiopians, whilst her skin was
white. But Sisimithres, the advocate of Charicles, who had
brought her up from infancy, explains the whole matter to the
father: ‘“she too was white,”’ says he, ‘“whom I brought up;
besides, the lapse of time agrees with the present age of the
girl, since she is seventeen years old, which is just the time
the child was exposed. Moreover, the appearance of the eyes
bears me out; and I recognize that the whole aspect of the
countenance, and the beautiful figure which I now see, agrees
with that which I then saw1).”’ Perhaps also the story of the
female child Aristotle2) speaks of may be thus explained,
which was born of the adulterous connexion of a Sicilian woman
with an Æthiop, and did not have the colour of her father,
but in process of time gave birth to a son, who was entirely
black, like his grandfather. The ancients knew this disorder
also as endemic, so that they gave names to whole nations and
regions in consequence. It seems probable that Albania, on
the confines of the Caucasian mountains and Armenia3), had
[Seite 139] its name from this, about which Isigonus of Nice1) speaks thus:
‘“Some are born there with grey eyes, white from early child-
hood, who see better by night than by day’2). Another nation
of this kind acquired the name of Leucœthiopes, hence trans-
ferred to all who suffer from this disease. They are mentioned
by Pomponius Mela3), Pliny4), Ptolemy5), and Agathemerus6), but
are not noticed by Strabo, Julius Honorius7), Ister Æthicus8),
the anonymous writer of Ravenna, &c. They do not however
agree as to the country which the Leucœthiopes are said to
inhabit. Mela and Pliny place them with the Libyco-Egyptians,
near the Libyan sea. Joh. Reinhold, in the plates to his edition
of Mela, about long. 50° N. lat. 15°9). But Ptolemy says the
Leucœthiopes live under Mount Ryssa, which, according to
D'Anville, is the name for Cape Verde. However that may be,
it is enough for our purpose, that this disease was not unknown
to the ancients.

We have seen that there are modern instances in the most
different and widely separated parts of the earth; and it will
be worth our while to add a few more, and in a few words
to reckon them up in the order of our four varieties. I have
carefully described a youth of our own Germany. Edm. Chap-
man relates that instances have been known in Spain and
France. Nic. Le Cat saw some children born at Ratisbon.
I have already noticed the case of those in the parish of Champ-
niers, and what Cardan says of his Italian family. G. Agricola
and Olaus Magnus found men of this kind in Scandinavia.
The accounts from Tranquebar tell us of many Malabars. They
are contemptuously called there kakerlacken10), from their resem-
blance to the eastern moth, which is a parti-coloured and noc-
turnal insect. And this disorder occurs in Labrador, if indeed
[Seite 140] the Champagne girl, Le Blanc, belonged to the Esquimaux, as
is most likely1).

Leucœthiopians (if we may apply the old term to them
also) of the second variety of mankind have been known in
the islands of Java2), Borneo3), Manila4), and others near
Ternata, and in New Guinea5) and Otaheite6). Of the third
variety, are found instances to the south beyond the foun-
tains of the Nile7), and towards the river Senegal8), whose
mouth lies under the Ryssadian promontory, and still further
south in Guinea9), and its kingdom of Loango, and, finally, in the
interior of Kaffraria10) and the island of Madagascar11). The fourth
variety can produce its Blafards on the isthmus of Darien, in
the kingdom of Mexico12), in Tucuman, and Paraguay.

But our digression from the subject of natural history and
the varieties of mankind to pathology and diseases has been
already too long. Those must bear the blame who have con-
founded men suffering under disease with the beasts, which the
dignity of mankind demanded should be separated, and each
referred to their own place.

It would be an immense and irrelevant labour, if I were
to give an account of all the disorders which, according to the
authors of medical observations, journals, &c., have occurred
in the human body, in every quarter, contrary to nature. The
transition from hence to monsters would be easy, and so on to
general nosology; and thus the divine study of natural history
would run up into a confused and formless mass. Let us leave
therefore unnoticed, for physiologists and pathologists, the black
and horny epidermis of the Italian boy13), or the Englishman14),
and others, and similar peculiar aberrations from the natural
condition. Nor have we anything to do with the dire disorder
[Seite 141] of cretinism, which is by no means peculiar to the inhabitants
of the Vallais, but has been noticed elsewhere1), though dis-
torted here and there by wonderful stories2).

It seems almost too much even to name in this place the
centaurs, sirens, cynocephali, satyrs, pigmies3), giants, herma-
phrodites, and other idle creatures of that kind. Still, I con-
sider it necessary to spend a little time upon the men with
tails, since they have fallen in with some modern patrons.
There is an old story about the islands of the Satyrs in Pliny4),
Ptolemy5), and Pausanias6), and often repeated afterwards by
Marco Polo, Munster and others, that men exist there with
shaggy tails, like the pictures of the satyrs, who are of incre-
dible swiftness, &c. When the passages in these writers have
been compared, it seems most likely that these islands of the
Satyrs answer to our Borneo, Celebes7), &c., and that the tailed
apes have been taken for men. But a new story about men
with tails to be found here and there has made much more
to do. For partly, it is said, that men having tails are found
about the city of Turkestan8), in the island of Formosa9), Borneo10),
Nicobar11), &c.; partly the very pictures of tailed men of this kind
have been exhibited12). But upon a full consideration of the
matter, there is much which loads to the belief that the whole
story is founded upon the fictions I have spoken of. For, as to
the accounts about them, many of them manifestly depend upon
the narrations of others; and they who say they have themselves
seen tailed men of this kind bear no very good reputation.

[Seite 142]

The figure I have alluded to is of considerable antiquity,
and having been altered in the progress of time, first by one
and then by another, has by slow degrees become more and
more like the human figure. Martini took his figure from the
Amœnitates of Linnæus, who took it from Aldrovandus, and
he from Gesner, and, finally, this Swiss polyhistor says that he
took his from some description of the Holy Land1). Although he
does not name the author of the description, yet I could easily
see that it was Bernhard Von Breydenbach, and I have thought
it worth while to have the genuine figure reproduced from the
very rare first edition2) of his work (Tab. II. fig. 5), which has
passed with recent authors for a man with a tail. For on the
reverse of the geographical chart on which Palestine is set out
he has delineated the figures of six animals with the epigraph;
‘“These animals are faithfully represented as we saw them in the
Holy Land”
’ The figure which I have repeated is the last of
all, as he adds, ‘“of some nameless animal,”’ but I think I should
readily conclude it was of some tailed ape, a Callitrichus, for
example (silenus, L.). Certainly the wide separation of the
great toe from the others, &c. show it to be a true ape. This in
progress of time, and through the carelessness of artists, has
been at last transmuted into a figure sufficiently like that
of a man, with human feet, &c. The very extraordinary in-
stances of a prolonged coccygis, or of an appendage with a tail,
in Trimethius3), Bauhin4), Blanchard5), König6), and Elsholz7),
relate to monstrous productions, and are out of place here. It
is well known to anatomists that variation often occurs in the
os sacrum8) and the number of the coccygeal vertebræ9).

[Seite 143]

As to the cutaneous ventrale which has been asserted by
old travellers to belong to the Hottentot women, the most
recent testimonies1) compel us to class it with the men's tails,
and to consider it, like them, a fable.

[interleaf] [Seite 145]



[Seite 146]
Non hic Centauros, non Gorgonas, Harpyasque
hominem pagina nostra sapit.
(MARTIAL, Lib. x. Epigr. 4.)


[Seite 147]

Letter to Sir Joseph Banks.

Index of the anthropological collection of the author, which he
used in illustrating this new edition, viz.


Explanation of the plates.


on the difference between man and other animals.

Difficulty of the question; order of discussion; external conform-
ation; erect position; proved natural to man; broad and flat pelvis;
relation of the soft parts to the human pelvis; the hymen, nymphæ,
and clitoris; man a bimanous animal; apes and kindred animals
quadrumanous; properties of the human teeth; other peculiarities of
man; internal peculiarities; internal parts which man has not;
intermaxillary bone; difference of internal parts; functional pecu-
liarities of man; mental peculiarities, laughter and tears; diseases
peculiar to man; recapitulation of differences falsely ascribed to man.


on the causes and ways by which animals degenerate

Object of this undertaking; what is species; application to the
question of human species, or varieties; how the primitive species
degenerates into varieties; phenomena of degeneration in animals;
[Seite 148] colour, hair; stature; proportion; form of the skull; causes of de-
generation; formative force; climate; aliment; mode of life;
hybridity; diseased hereditary dispositions; mutilations; are they
propagated? cautions to be observed in investigating degeneration.


on the causes and ways in which mankind have degenerated
in particular

Order of discussion; seat of colour; varieties of racial colour;
causes of this variety; further illustration of causes; creoles; mulat-
toes; dark skin with white spots; singular mutations of colour;
other properties of racial skin; agreement of hair and skin; varieties
of racial hair; agreement of the iris with the hair; colours of the
eye; racial face; varieties of racial face; causes thereof; racial form
of skulls; facial line of Camper; remarks; norma verticalis; racial
varieties of skulls; causes of the same; racial varieties of teeth, and
causes; other racial varieties; ears; breasts; genitals; legs; feet and
hands; varieties of stature; Patagonians; Quimos; causes of racial
stature; fabulous varieties of mankind; story of tailed nations;
diseased variety; epilogue.


five principal varieties of mankind, one species.

Varieties of mankind run into one another; five principal varie-
ties; characteristics and limits; Caucasian; Mongolian; Ethiopian;
American; Malay; divisions of other authors; remarks on the Cau-
casian, &c.; conclusion.


[Seite 149]

There are many reasons, illustrious Sir, why I ought to
offer and dedicate to you this book, whatever it may be worth.

For besides my wish to express some time or other my
sense of gratitude for the innumerable favours you have con-
ferred upon me, from the time I came to have a nearer ac-
quaintance with you; this very edition of my book, which now
comes out with fresh care bestowed upon it, owes in great part
to your liberality the splendid additions and the very remark-
able ornaments in which it excels the former ones. For many
years past you have spared neither pains nor expense to
enrich my collection of the skulls of different nations with those
specimens I was so anxious above all to obtain, I mean of
Americans, and the inhabitants of the islands of the Southern
Ocean. And besides, when I visited London about three years
ago, with the same generous liberality with which you extended
the use of your nursery to our Gaertner, and other riches of your
museum to others, you gave me in my turn the unrestricted
use of all the collections of treasures relating to the study of
Anthropology, in which your library abounds; I mean the pic-
tures, and the drawings, &c. taken by the best artists from the
life itself. So I have been able to get copies of them and to
describe whatever I liked, and at last, assisted by so many new
and important additions, to proceed to the recasting of my
book, and am bold enough to say, now it has been amplified in
[Seite 150] so many ways, without incurring any suspicion of boasting, that
it has been polished and perfected as far as its nature permits.

Accept then graciously this little work, which is so much in
fact your own; and I hope that in this way it will not be dis-
pleasing to you because it treats of a part of natural history,
which though second to no other in importance, still has most
surprisingly been above all others the longest neglected and

It is one of the merits of the immortal Linnæus, that more
than sixty years ago, in the first edition of his Systema Naturæ,
he was the first, as far as I know, of writers on natural history,
who attempted to arrange mankind in certain varieties according
to their external characters; and that with sufficient accuracy,
considering that then only four parts of the terraqueous globe
and its inhabitants were known.

But after your three-years' voyage round the world, illustri-
ous Sir, when a more accurate knowledge of the nations who
are dispersed far and wide over the islands of the Southern
Ocean had been obtained by the cultivators of natural history
and anthropology, it became very clear that the Linnæan di-
vision of mankind could no longer be adhered to; for which
reason I, in this little work, ceased like others to follow that
illustrious man, and had no hesitation in arranging the varieties
of man according to the truth of nature, the knowledge of
which we owe principally to your industry and most careful

Indeed though the general method of Linnæus, of arranging
the mammalia according to their mode of dentition, was very
convenient at the time he founded it, yet now after so many
and such important species of this class have been discovered,
I think that it will be useful and profitable to the students of
zoology, to give it up as very imperfect and liable to vast
exceptions, and to substitute for that artificial system one more
natural, deduced from the universal characteristics of the mam-

I am indeed very much opposed to the opinions of those,
who, especially of late, have amused their ingenuity so much
[Seite 151] with what they call the continuity or gradation of nature; and
have sought for a proof of the wisdom of the Creator, and the
perfection of the creation in the idea, as they say, that nature
takes no leaps, and that the natural productions of the three
kingdoms of nature, as far as regards their external conforma-
tion, follow one upon another like the steps in a scale, or like
points and joinings in a chain. But those who examine the
matter without prejudice, and seriously, see clearly that even
in the animal kingdom there are whole classes on the one hand,
as that of birds, or genera, as that of cuttle-fish, which can only
be joined on to the neighbouring divisions in those kinds of
plans of the gradation of natural productions but indifferently
and by a kind of violence. And on the other hand, that there
are genera of animals, as silkworms, in which there is so great
a difference in the appearance of either sex, that if you wanted
to refer them to a scale of that kind, it would be necessary to
separate the males as far as possible from their females, and to
place the different sexes of the same species in the most diffe-
rent places possible.

And in this kind of systems, so far from their being filled
up, there are large gaps where the natural kingdoms are very
plainly separated one from another. There are other things
of this kind; and so although after due consideration of these
things, I cannot altogether recognize so much weight and im-
portance in this doctrine of the gradation of nature, as is com-
monly ascribed to it by the physico-theologians, still I will
allow this to belong to both these metaphorical and allegorical
amusements, that they do not throw any obstacle in facilitating
the method of the study of natural history.

For they make as it were the basis of every natural system,
the way in which things rank according to their universal con-
dition, and the greatest number of external qualities in which
they coincide with each other, whereas the artificial systems, on
the contrary, recognize single characters only as the foundation
of their arrangement.

And when I found it was beyond all doubt that a natural
system of that kind was preferable to an artificial one, because
[Seite 152] it is of such use in sharpening the judgment and assisting the
memory, I applied myself all the more to bring the class of
mammalia into the scope of a natural system of that kind,
especially as that artificial one of Linnæus, deduced from com-
parison of the teeth, in consequence of the accession of so many
recently detected species in these times, came every day to be
encumbered with more troublesome anomalies and exceptions.
So that, for example, just to say a few words on this point,
we now are acquainted with two species of rhinoceros, in
their habit as like as possible to each other, but so different
in their dentition, that if we were now obliged to follow the
Linnæn system, we should have to refer one species to the
Belluce, and the other to the Glires. And in like manner it
would be necessary to remove the Ethiopian boar, which is
destitute of the primary teeth, from the other Belluce and place
it among the Bruta of Linnæus. I say nothing of that African
Myrmecophaga dentata which, according to the idea of Linnæus,
would have to be separated from the genus edentata, or of some
of the Lemures (the indri and laniger) which, on account
of the anomalies of their dentition, would have to be sepa-
rated from the Linnæan genus of Lemures. No one will deny
that this confusion threw the greatest possible obstacles in
the way of the study of zoology, and I have tried to remedy it
by constructing the following ten natural orders of mammalia,
a statement of which I may here subjoin, because I shall fre-
quently make mention of them in the present work.

I. Bimanus. III. Bradypoda.
1. Homo. 6. Bradypus.
II. Quadrumana. 7. Myrmecophaga.
2. Simia. 8. Manis.
3. Papio. 9. Tatu1).
4. Cercopithecus. IV. Chiroptera.
5. Lemur. 10. Vespertilio.
[Seite 153]
V. Glires. VII. Solidungula.
11. Sciurus. 32. Equus.
12. Glis. VIII. Pecora.
13. Mus. 33. Camelus.
14. Marmota. 34. Capra.
15. Cavia. 35. Antilope.
16. Lepus. 36. Bos.
17. Jaculus. 37. Giraffa.
18. Castor. 38. Cervus.
19. Hystrix. 39. Moschus.
VI. Feræ. IX. Belluæ.
20. Erinaceus. 40. Sus.
21. Sorex. 41. Tapir.
22. Talpa. 42. Elephas.
23. Didelphis. 43. Rhinoceros.
24. Vivera. 44. Hippopotamus.
25. Mustela. 45. Trichecus.
26. Lutra. X. Cetacea.
27. Phoca. 46. Monodon.
28. Meles. 47. Balæna.
29. Ursus. 48. Physeter.
30. Canis. 49. Delphinus.
31. Felis.
[Seite 154]

These with everything else, where in the work of which
this is the preface, I have on many points departed, in opinion
from others, I submit to your judgment, illustrious Sir, with
equal respect and confidence, to you under whose most dignified
and worthy presidency the Royal Society of Science rejoices to
be, whose golden motto from its infancy has been, ‘‘Nullius in

Farewell, illustrious Sir, and be gracious to your most
devoted servant.

Dated from the University of the Georgia Augusta, April
11, 1795.


[Seite 155]

There are three special reasons why I have thought it worth
while to insert here this index.

First, that my learned and candid readers may know the quan-
tity and the quality of the assistance taken from nature itself, with
which I have succeeded at last in publishing this book.

Secondly, that a testimony of my gratitude may remain for the
noble munificence which my patrons and friends have thus far shown
in enriching my materials for the extension of anthropological

Lastly, that what I am still in want of may be known, which
those same friends may further enrich me with, if they have a good
opportunity and are still so disposed.


Of this collection, which in number and Variety is, so far as I
know, unique in its kind, since the similar collections of Camper and
John Hunter cannot in these respects be compared to it, I have pub-
lished a selection, which I have described most fully in three decades,
and illustrated with the most accurate engravings, and there I have
given an account of the time and the way in which each skull came
into my possession. And I always keep together with these trea-
sures a collection of autograph letters, by which documentary evi-
dence the genuine history of each is preserved. Those which seem to
be in any way doubtful or ambiguous, I put in a separate place.

[Seite 159]



Caucasian variety. German twins of either sex, remarkable for
their extreme beauty, four months old.

Mongolian. Calmuck of Orenburg, female, third month. Prom
D. Kosegarten.

Ethiopian. Male Ethiopian, fifth month. Meyer, chief physician,



Although at first sight these things may seem too minute, still
it cannot be denied that a collection of this kind, when very varied,
is of considerable use for accurate anthropological studies, I have
here specimens of all the five principal varieties of mankind; some
of them are sufficiently remarkable, about which I shall speak
below; as the piebald hair of the negress, variegated with white
spots, whom I saw at London, &c.



The greater part of these belong to the natural history of the
Ethiopians. I have made copious mention of them in various parts
of the book.



It is clear that a collection of this kind, especially whenever it
is invariably compared with such a collection of skulls as I have
been giving an account of, is one of the first, principal, and authen-
tic sources of anthropological studies; and so for the last twenty
years I have taken an immense deal of trouble to collect a quantity
of such drawings, taken from life, and what is very important, by
good artists. There is indeed a large quantity of similar drawings
in the books of travels and voyages; but when they are critically
[Seite 160] examined, very few are found which you can trust1). When we leave
the representations of Corn, de Bruin in his Persian and Indian tra-
vels, and the second voyage of the immortal Cook, illustrated by his
own descriptions, and plates drawn lay Hodges, we shall soon find
that in almost all the others the plates, however splendid they may
be, when we examine them closely, and compare them with genuine
representations, or with nature, are scarcely of any use for the natu-
ral history of mankind. It is necessary, therefore, for this object
to bring together all the extant representations of foreign races, and
the engravings, as well those edited separately as those scattered up
and down in books, and also the very drawings made by the artist's
own hand. I have collected a considerable quantity of them, amongst
which are particularly conspicuous the figures of Wenc. Hollar, a
great artist in this line, which are drawn in aqua fortis, and also
the splendid plates of some modern English engravers; to mention
them singly would transgress the limits of an index. I will only
give a list of some of the most remarkable of those which are done
by the hand.

Caucasian variety.

1. Turkish woman; drawn with red chalk from the life at Ber-
lin, by Dan. Chodowiecki, who gave it me with his autograph.

2. Hindostan woman; drawn by an Indian painter with won-
derful refinement and accuracy: given to me at London by Sam.

Mongolian variety.

3. Cossim Ali Khan, formerly nawab of Bengal, who after-
wards became a Mohammedan faquir at Delhi. Drawn in colours
by a Mohammedan painter, a Moor. It was given to me with the
following one by Braun, now deceased, formerly British resident at
Berne, and once a colonel in India.

4. The wife of the last Mogul Emperor, Shah Allum, who
died 1790; also drawn by an artistic hand2).

5. Portrait of Feodor Irvanowitsch, a Calmuck, by himself;
drawn in black chalk by his own hand, with incomparable skill and
[Seite 161] taste, and a most exact likeness. Done at Rome, where he studied
painting with the greatest success. This handsome present was sent
me from Rome by Tatter, of the private British embassy.

6. Two Chinese sailors. Painted at Vienna. A gift from Nic.
Jos. de Jacquin, councillor of the imperial mint.

7. Ettuiack, an Esquimaux magician; brought to London in
1773 from the coast of Labrador. This, as well as the following
picture, according to the autograph of Nathan. Dance in Banks'
museum, was most carefully painted by the famous London painter,
G. Hunnemann.

8. Esquimaux woman, by name Caubvic (which in the language
of those barbarians means a blind bear); she was brought with
Ettuiack to London by Cartwright.


9. Hottentot female of Amaqui. This, with the following one,
comes from the collection of Banks.

10. Boschman, with wife and child.

11. Hottentot female. This portrait and the four-succeeding
ones were drawn from the life at the Cape of Good Hope, and sent to
the Emperor Joseph II. at Vienna. Most careful copies given, me
by de Jacquin.

12. Karmup, Hottentot female of Namaqui.

13. Kosjo, Hottentot female of Gonaga, on the borders of

14. Koba, Caffir chief.

15. Puseka, his daughter.


16. An inhabitant of Tierra del Fuego, from Magellan's straits.

17. Female of the same tribe.


18. Two New Zealanders.

19. New Zealand chief.

20. Two youths of the same nation.

All these, as well as the Fuegians, are taken from the collection
made by Sir Joseph Banks in his voyage.


[Seite 162]


A synoptic arrangement to illustrate the norma verticalis.

Fig. 1 answers to fig. 1 of Pl. IV.

Fig. 2 ............... fig. 3 ........

Fig. 3 ............... fig. 5 ........


Five very select skulls of my collection, to demonstrate the diver-
sity of the five principal human races.

Fig. 1. A Tungus, one of those commonly called the Reindeer
Tungus. His name was Tschewin Amureew, of the family of Gilge-
girsk. He lived about 350 versts from the city Bargus; and cut his
own throat in 1791. Schilling, the head army-surgeon, was sent thence
by Werchnelldinski, to make a legal inquiry as to the cause of his
death; he brought back the skull with his own hand, and gave it to
Baron de Asch.

Fig. 2. The head of a Carib chief, who died at St. Vincent eight
years ago, and whose bones, at the request of Banks, were dug up
there by Anderson, the head of the royal garden in that island.

Fig. 3. A young Georgian female, made captive in the last
Turkish war by the Russians, and brought to Muscovy. There she
died suddenly, and an examination was made of the cause of death
by Hiltebrandt, the most learned anatomical professor in Russia.
He carefully preserved the skull for the extreme elegance of its
shape, and sent it to St Petersburg to de Asch.

Fig. 4. The skull of a Tahitian female, brought at the request
of Banks by the brave and energetic Captain Bligh, on his return
from his famous voyage, during which he transported with the greatest
success stocks of the bread-fruit tree from the Society Islands to the
East Indies.

Fig. 5. An Ethiopian female of Guinea; the concubine of a
Dutchman, who died at Amsterdam in her 28th year. She was dis-
sected by Steph. Jo. Van Geuns, the learned professor at Utrecht.


[Seite 163]

1. Difficulty of the subject. He who means to write about
the variety of mankind, and to describe the points in which the
races of men differ from each other in bodily constitution, must
first of all investigate those differences which separate man him-
self from the rest of the animals. The same thing occurs here
which we often see happen in the study of natural history, and
especially of zoology, that it is much easier to distinguish any
species from its congeners at the first glance by a sort of divina-
tion of the senses, than to give an account of, or express in
words those distinctive characters themselves. Thus we find it
very easy to distinguish the rat from the domestic mouse, or
the rabbit from the hare, but difficult to lay down the charac-
teristic marks on which that diversity, which we all feel, de-
pends. This difficulty of our present subject has been candidly
and publicly confessed by the great authorities of the science;
so much so that the immortal Linnæus, a man quite created
for investigating the characteristics of the works of nature, and
arranging them in systematic order, says, in the preface of his
Fauna Suecica, ‘“that it is a matter for the most arduous in-
vestigation to enunciate in what the peculiar and specific dif-
ference of man consists;”’ nay more, he confesses ‘“that up to
the present he has been unable to discover any character, by
which man can be distinguished from the ape;”’ and in his
Systema Naturæ, he gives it as his opinion, ‘“that it is won-
derful how little the most foolish ape differs from the wisest
[Seite 164] man, so that we have still to seek for that measurer of nature,
who is to define their boundaries;”’ finally, he did not attribute
to man any generic or specific character, but, on the contrary,
ranked the long-handed ape as his congener.

2. Order of treatment. Meanwhile I may be allowed to
enumerate the points, in which, if I have any powers of obser-
vation, man differs from other animals, and I mean to treat the
subject thus:

First, I shall enumerate those things which affect the ex-
ternal conformation of the human body.

Secondly, those which affect the internal conformation.

Thirdly, the functions of the animal economy.

Fourthly, the endowments of the mind.

Fifthly, I mean to add a few words about the disorders
peculiar to man.

And sixthly, I shall reckon up those points, in which
man is commonly, but wrongly, thought to differ from the

3. External conformation. Under this head I place some
characters, which, although they are closely connected with the
structure of the skeleton, yet are shown by the external habit
of body, which depends upon it; and then the subsequent cha-
racters, especially if they are looked at collectively, seem to
suffice for a definition of mankind:

(A) The erect position;

(B) The broad, flat pelvis;

(C) The two hands;

(D) The regular and close set rows of teeth.

To these heads all the other peculiarities which the human
body exhibits, may be easily referred; and now let us examine
them one by one.

4. The erect position. Here it is necessary for us to prove
two points: first, whether the erect position is natural to man;
secondly, whether it is peculiar to man (of which below, s. 10).

[Seite 165]

The former is evident à priori, as they say, from the very
structure of the human body; and à posteriori from the unani-
mous concurrence of all the nations of all time that we are
acquainted with. It is no more necessary to spend any time on
this, than on the argument to the contrary, which some are in
the habit of bringing from the instances of infants who have
been brought up among wild beasts, and found to go on all-
fours. Those who look carefully at the matter will easily see
that no condition can be conceived more different to that which
nature has designed for man, than that of those wretched chil-
dren alluded to; for we might just as well take some monstrous
birth as the normal idea of human conformation, as take ad-
vantage of those wild children to demonstrate the natural
method of man's gait and life. Indeed, if we look a little more
closely into these stories of wild children, it is more likely to
turn out in the instances which are the most authentic, and
placed beyond all doubt, as that of our famous Peter of Hameln1)
(Peter the wild boy, Juvenis Hannoveranus Linn.), of the girl of
Champagne2), the Pyrenæan wild man3), and of others, that these
wretches used to walk upright; but in the stories of the others
who are commonly said to go on all-fours, as the Juvenis ovinus
Linn., there are many things which make the story
very doubtful, and of but indifferent credit4); so that the Homo
sapiens ferus
of Linnæus (Syst. Nat. ed. 12, Tom. I. p. 28)
seems no more entitled to the epithet of four-footed than that
of shaggy.

[Seite 166]

5. Man's structure proves that he was made upright by
It is irksome and tedious to go a long way about to
demonstrate a thing so manifest and evident of itself; but that
pair of learned men, P. Moscati the Italian, and A. Schrage1)
the Belgian, who have patronized the opposite paradox, prevent
my leaving it quite alone. Still it will be enough to touch on
a few, points out of many.

The length of his legs, in proportion to his trunk and his
arms, show, at the first glance, that man was intended to be
upright by nature. For, although I cannot agree with Dau-
benton, who thinks2) that no animal besides man has such
large hind feet, which are equal in length to the breadth of
his trunk and head; for this is negatived by the examples of
several mammals, as the Simia lar and the Jerboa Capensis;
still it is plain to every one, that man is so made that he can
in no wise go on all-fours; for even infants crawl by resting
on their knees, although at that tender age the legs are smaller
in the proportion we spoke of than in adults.

It is not however the length only, but the remarkable
[Seite 167] strength of the legs compared with the more delicate arms,
which clearly shows that the former are intended by nature for
the sole purpose of supporting the body. This is particularly
made manifest by a fact derived from osteogeny, namely, that
in the new-born infant the tarsal bones, and especially the
heel-bone, ossify much quicker, and become perfect much
sooner than the carpal. This is a natural provision, because
the little hands have no necessity for exercising any force in
the first years of life, whereas the feet have to be ready to sup-
port the body, and provide for the erect gait towards the end
of the first year. I say nothing of the powerful muscles of the
calf of the leg, especially of the gastroenemii intend, though
these are made so strong and so prominent by nature to keep
man upright, that, on that account, Aristotle, with the old
anthropologists, thought that true calves should be ascribed to
man alone.

The whole construction of the chest shows that man cannot
in any way walk like the quadrupeds. For in the long-legged
beasts the chest adheres to the sides as if squeezed forwards in
a keel-like shape, and they have no collar-bone, so that the feet
can more easily converge towards one another from each side,
and in that way sustain the weight of the body more easily and
more firmly. Besides, quadrupeds are provided either with
a longer breast-bone, or with a larger number of ribs, descending
nearer to the cristæ ilei, in order to sustain the viscera in the
horizontal line of the trunk. But all these things are different
in man, the biped. His chest is more flattened throughout,
his shoulders are widely divaricated by the insertions of the
shoulder-blades, his sternum is short, his abdomen more desti-
tute of bony supports than is the case with those animals we
were speaking of; and there are things of the same kind which
cannot escape any one who compares with the human skeleton
even a few of the quadrupeds, especially the long-legged ones.
All these considerations show how ill adapted the human
frame is to a quadrupedal walk, and that it cannot be any-
thing else to him but unsteady, trembling, and very irksome
and fatiguing.

[Seite 168]

6. The broad and flat human pelvis. What has been said
gains particularly additional weight from the consideration of
the human pelvis, whose clearly peculiar conformation again
affords a diagnostic character by which man is made wonder-
fully to differ from the anthropomorphous apes, and most
manifestly and most decidedly from all and singular the other

Although it may seem an affected paradox, yet the assertion,
that a genuine pelvis is only to be found in the human skeleton
might be defended. I mean that peculiar conjunction of the
os innominatum with the sacrum and coccyx, which gives the
appearance of a pelvis, or basin; for it is surprising how far the
elongated ribs of the rest of the mammals differ from this
basin-shaped formation. The termination of the ribs in the
Simia satyrus and the elephant seem to come a little nearer
the shape of the human pelvis than in other mammals whose
skeletons I have examined. Still, in front the length is greater
than the breadth, and behind they exhibit a very greatly
elongated synchondrosis of the groin; and in both that resem-
blance to a basin which we spoke of is very much wanting,
which is so conspicuous in man alone, in the expansion of the
bones of the ilium over the linea innominata, and in the
delicacy of the synchrondrosis, and also in the curvature of the
os sacrum from the promontory and in the direction of the
vertebrae of the coccyx towards the front.

7. The relation of the adjoining soft parts to the form of
the human pelvis.
The hinder face of the pelvis gives the
foundation to the glutæi muscles, of which the outermost or
larger exceed in thickness all other muscles of the body, and
being concealed by a remarkable stratum of fat from the
buttocks. Their fleshy, useful, and semicircular amplitude, in
which the podex is hidden, form, not only in the opinion of the
classical authors of natural history, such as Aristotle1) and Buffon2),
[Seite 169] but also of the best physiologists, as Galen1) and Haller2), the
principal character in which man especially differs from the
apes, who are manifestly destitute of fundament.

Moreover, in consequence of that curvature of the os sacrum
and the coccyx we mentioned, depends particularly the never-
to-be-forgotten direction of the interior genital members of the
female, and of the vagina also, the axis of which declines much
more in front than in other female mammals from what is
commonly called the axis of the pelvis. This makes, it is true,
parturition more difficult, but, on the other hand, admirably
guards against many other inconveniences, to which, especially
during pregnancy, the woman, from her erect position, would
be exposed.

It is in consequence of this same direction of the vagina,
that in mankind the weaker sex is not, like the females of
brutes, retromingent. And also because in animals (as far as
we know at present) the opening of the urethra does not
terminate as in woman, between the exact lips of the puden-
dum, but opens backwards into the vagina itself, as I have
observed in these same anthropomorphous animals, the Papio
and the Simia cynomolgus, which I have anatomically

And, according to this same direction of the female vagina,
that question must be settled which has been often discussed
from the time of Lucretius, what position is most convenient
to man for copulation?

“How best to prolongate the soft delight?”

For although man may perform this ceremony in more ways
than one, and this variety of worship has been considered by
the low Latinists as one of the things in which he differs
[Seite 170] from brutes, still physical causes sometimes interfere to in-
duce him to copulate1)

“Like beasts or quadrupeds are used to do.”

Still the proportion of the virile member to the vagina seems
better adapted for the usual mode of venery2)3).

8. Remarks on the hymen, nymphæ, and clitoris. In order
to finish at one and the same time all those delicate matters
which belong to the female part of mankind, I must here throw
in something about the hymen, which little membrane, so far as I
know, has hitherto been found in no other animal. Though I
have examined the females of apes and papios with that view, I
have never been able to find any vestige of it, or any remains
changed into the carunculæ myrtiformes; nor was I more
successful with the female elephant which was led about Ger-
many many years ago, whose genitals I particularly examined,
because I had been told that Trendelnburg, a famous physician
of that day at Lubeck, had observed some kind of hymen in
that beast. This little appendage to the female body is all
the more remarkable, because I cannot imagine that any physi-
cal utility attaches to it. At the same time I am not much
satisfied with the conjectures the physiologists offer as to the
purpose of the hymen; and least of all with what Haller rather
weakly suggests, ‘“since it is found in mankind alone, it must
be admitted that this sign of virginity was given for moral

[Seite 171]

Linnæus seems to have been in doubt whether the females
of other kinds besides women are endowed with the nymphæ
and the clitoris. But I have proved myself that neither of
those parts is peculiar to mankind. I have, following many
other most competent witnesses, clearly observed the clitoris
in many sorts of mammals of different orders, and frequently
have found it very large as in the Papio maimon and the
Lemur tardigradus; but most prodigious of all, about the
size of a fish, in a specimen of the Balæna boops about
fifty-two feet in length, which I carefully examined when it
was thrown on the shore in Dec. 1791, near Sandfurt in
Holland. As to the nymphæ, I have found them exactly
like human ones in a Lemur Mongoz, which I kept alive
myself for many years.

9. Man a bimanous animal. From what has been so far
said about the erect stature of man follows that highest pre-
rogative of his external conformation, namely, the freest use of
two most perfect hands.
By this conformation he so much ex-
cels the rest of the animals, as to have given rise to that old
saying of Anaxagoras, which has been cooked up again in our
time by Helvetius, ‘“that he thought man was the wisest ani-
mal, because he was furnished with hands.”’ This is rather too
paradoxical: the assertion of Aristotle seems nearer the real
truth, ‘“that man alone has hands, which are real hands.”’
For in the anthropomorphous apes themselves, the principal
feature of the hands, I mean the thumb, is short in pro-
portion, and almost nailless, and to use the expression of
the famous Eustachius, quite ridiculous: so that it is true
that no other hand, except the human hand, deserves the
appellation of the organ of organs, with which the same
Stagyrite glorifies it.

10. Apes and the allied animals are quadrumanous. Apes
and the other animals, which are commonly called anthropo-
morphous, of the genera of Papiones, Cercopitheci and Lemures,
ought not in reality to be called either bipeds or quadrupeds,
but Quadrumana. For their hind feet are furnished with a
second genuine thumb, not with the great toe, which is given
[Seite 172] to the biped, man, alone1); indeed their feet deserve the name
of hands more than their anterior extremities, since it is plain
that they are adapted for purposes of prehension; and one kind
of cercopithecus (C. paniscus) is endowed with a thumb, which
is wanting in the anterior hands; but it has never been ob-
served of any quadrumanous animal, that it is destitute of the
thumb of the hind-hands.

Hence too it will be easy to settle the dispute which has
been raised about the Simia satyrus and other anthropomor-
phous apes, namely, whether it is natural for them in their
own woods to go as bipeds, or as quadrupeds. Neither one
nor the other. For since the hands are not meant for walking
upon, but for prehension, it is at once plain, that nature has
designed these animals to spend their lives principally in trees.
These they climb, on these they seek for their food, and so
they want one pair of hands to support them, and the other
pair to pluck fruits with, and other things of the kind; and
for the same end nature has provided many of the cercopitheci,
who are furnished with but imperfect hands, with a prehensile
tail, in order that they may have a more secure hold upon

It is scarcely necessary to point out that it is the result of
art and discipline if any apes are ever seen to walk erect, and is
plain from any drawings of the Simia satyrus2), which have been
taken carefully from the life, how inconvenient and unnatural
that affected position of theirs is, in which they are made to
lean with their fore-hands on a stick, their hind-hands meanwhile
being collected in an unmeaning way into a fist3). Nor have
I ever come across any example of an ape, or any other mam-
mal except man, who can, like him, preserve an equilibrium
[Seite 173] when standing erect on one leg at a time. Hence it is clear
that the erect posture, as we find it to be naturally convenient
to man, so also is it peculiar to him. Thus

“Mankind alone can lift the head on high
And stand with trunk erect.”

11. Properties of the human teeth. The teeth of man are
more regular than those of any other mammals. The lower
incisors are more erect, which I reckon amongst the distinctive
characters of the human body. The laniarii are neither too
prominent, nor set too far back, but joined in the same line
with their neighbours. The molars have singularly round ob-
tuse crowns, by which they most clearly differ from the molar
teeth of the Simia satyrus and the S. longimana, and all the
other species of this genus whose skulls I have examined
Finally, the mandibles of man are distinguished by three cha-
racters: by their excessive shortness; the prominence of the
chin, which corresponds with the erect incisors; but, above all,
by the singular shape, direction, and junction of the condyles
with the temporal bones, which certainly differ from the jaws
of all other animals I am acquainted with, and which clearly
prove that man is destined by nature for all kinds of food, or is
an animal truly omnivorous.

12. Other things which seem peculiar to the exterior of man,
as his hairless body,
&c. I shall say nothing about some points
of less importance which are frequently classed among the dis-
tinctive characters of man, such as the lobe of the ear, the
swelling of the lips, especially the under one, and other things
of that kind. But I must dispose in a few words of the glassy
smoothness of the human body, and inquire how far it can be
included among the diagnostic signs by which man differs from
other mammals, who are in some way like him. Linnæus in-
deed asserts, ‘“that there are some regions where there are apes
less hairy than man;”’ but I candidly confess that I have
hitherto made fruitless inquiries as to whereabouts these apes
may be. On the contrary, it is proved by the unanimous con-
sent of all travellers who are worthy of credit, and by the spe-
cimens of those animals which have been seen frequently im
[Seite 174] Europe, that those anthropomorphous apes which are usually
included under the common Malay name of Orang-utan, and
which are indigenous to Angola as well as to Borneo, and also
the S. longimana, are naturally much more shaggy than man:
insomuch that those which are not even adult, and have deli-
cate health, still are more hairy than man. Though this po-
sition is beyond all doubt, yet it is the fact that men have been
observed everywhere, and especially in some of the islands of
the Pacific ocean, remarkable for their shaggy bodies; but accu-
rate descriptions of them are still wanting.

The first mention of them occurs in the nautical expeditions
of the famous Spangberg1), who, on his return to Kamschatka
from the coast of Japan, relates that he found a nation of this
kind on the most southern of the Kurile islands2) (lat. 43° 50').
Anomalous individuals of the same kind were observed, but
only here and there, among the inhabitants of the islands of
Tanna, Mallicollo, and New Caledonia, by J. R. Forster3). There
is a report of a similar race in Sumatra4), which is said to in-
habit the interior of the island, and is called Orang-gugu. As,
however, man is in general conspicuous for his smooth and even
skin, so, on the other hand, some particular parts of the human
body seem to be more hairy than in brute animals, as the groin
and the arm-pit, which characteristic has accordingly been
ranked among those peculiar to man.

13. Remarkable properties of the human body as to its in-
ternal fabric.
Having mentioned what was necessary about the
absolute properties of the external human body, we are now
brought to another point of the discussion, that is, his internal
about which however our narrow limits compel us to
follow Neoptolemus, and philosophize in a very few words. It
will be necessary to divide this discussion into two heads; first,
[Seite 175] by investigating those things which man alone, or only a few
other animals with him, has not got; secondly, those things
which are peculiar to him.

14. Internal parts which man is without. Those parts
which are found in mammals, and especially in the domestic
ones, were once, when the opportunities of dissecting human
corpses were rare or were entirely neglected with the taste
for dissection, generally almost all attributed to man. Thus,
for example, the panniculus carnosus or subcutaneous muscle,
which was wrongly ascribed to him by Galen and his followers,
and even by the restorer of human anatomy himself, I mean
Vesalius, who was an acute critic of the mistakes of Galen, was
properly denied to him by Nicolas of Steno, and ascribed to
brute animals alone.

The rete mirabile arteriosum, which was also reckoned by
Galen amongst the parts of the human body, was demonstrated
to be wanting in man by Vesalius, following Berengarius of Carpi.

The musculus oculi suspensorius s. bulbosus s. septimus, with
which the four-footed mammals are furnished, was first shown
to be wanting in man according to the plan of nature by
Fallopius. It has lately been found out that the human fœtus
has no allantoid membrane, which is common to almost every
other mammal.

I say nothing of other parts which though found in but few
genera of brute animals, nevertheless have been sometimes
falsely attributed to man, as the so-called pancreas aselli, ductus
hepaticystici, corpus Highmorianum,
&c. or those which are be-
stowed on some orders of mammals alone, but are so manifestly
denied to man, that no one would readily attribute them to him;
among which I mean the membrana nictitans (which for the
sake of the order of discussion I thought it better to mention
here, although it rather belongs to the external parts) and the
ligamentum suspensorium colli, and all other things of that kind.
Man shares the foramen incisivum behind the upper primary
teeth with the quadrupeds, but it is smaller in proportion and
simple, whereas in most of the other mammals it is double, and
in many of vast size.

[Seite 176]

15. The intermaxillary bone. An account of this remark-
able bone is given separately for more reasons than one. The
bones of the upper jaw which in man are contiguous to each
other, and keep all and each of the upper teeth fixed in their
place, in brutes are separated from one another by a singular
third bone shaped like a wedge inserted between them. This
bone is called by Haller the os incisivum, because the upper
incisors (where there are any) are fitted in it. As however it is
also found in those mammals who are destitute of such teeth,
as cattle, the elephant, the two-horned African rhinoceros, or
those which belong to the Edentata, as the anteaters and the
Balænæ, I think it had better be called the os intermaxillare1).
In some this bone is one and indivisible, but in many bipartite,
and in all distinguished by its own sutures from the neighbour-
ing bones of the skull; one, the facial, generally extending in
both directions along the nose to the extreme sockets of the
incisors, the other, the palatine, running in a curved direction
from those sockets to the foramina palatina.

When, therefore, Camper brings forward the want of this
bone as one of the principal characters by which man differs
from other mammals, a double question arises; First, Is man
really without it? secondly, Are all the rest of the mammals
provided with it? It was about two centuries and a half ago
when this question first gave scope to a most bitter dispute
between anatomists. Galen indeed has reckoned the sutures
of what we have called the intermaxillary bone among the
others of the skull, but Vesalius made use of this argument
besides many others, to show that Galen had composed his
osteological hand-book, which had so long been accepted as law,
not from the skeleton of a man, but from that of an ape. It
was thought after the vain attempts of Jac. Sylvius to vindi-
cate2) his Galen by the most wretched excuses, that this whole
[Seite 177] question was completely put an end to, when beyond all
expectation even in our own time, Vicq d'Azyr has attempted
to demonstrate an analogy between the human and animal
constitution as far as the os intermaxillare goes, as if it were
quite a new thing1). The only vestige of similitude on which
that analogy rests, namely, the semilunar fissure, which may
be seen in the maxillary bones of the human, fœtus, and of
infants, in a transverse direction behind the sockets of the
incisors, and which sometimes remains even in adults, has long
been very well known2). It was, however, well pointed out more
than two hundred years ago according to natural truth by the
sagacious Fallopius3), that the fissure in question was ill desig-
nated by the term suture. It is not necessary to mention that
the facial side of the maxillary bones in the human skull is
marked by no fissure, or even suture, of this kind, though it
is conspicuously so in apes4).

As to the other question, whether man is the only mammal
who is destitute of the intermaxillary bone, I must equally
confess, that I have in vain sought for it in many skulls of the
Quadrumana. The sutures which would indicate this bone are
wanting in the skeleton of the dead female Cercopithecus which
is preserved in the museum of the University, whose skull
in other ways shows the remaining sutures well enough. Nor
did I find them either in another skeleton of the same species,
belonging to Billmann, the clever surgeon of Cassel, which how-
ever was old at the time of death and has many of the sutures
obliterated, so that from this single specimen it would have
been impossible to come to any conclusion.

[Seite 178]

But I am acquainted with a third specimen of the same
Cercophithecus, for the knowledge of which I am indebted to my
friend Schacht, the worthy Professor of Harderovich, and in this
too that bone is absent. So that it seems scarcely worth while
to inquire about the presence or absence of this bone in any
other specimens of this animal. In the ugly skeleton of that
truly vast anthropomorphous ape from the island of Borneo,
which I have examined carefully over and over again in the
collection of Natural History belonging to the Prince of Orange
at the Hague, I did not see the smallest vestige of those
sutures; but that this ape was full grown is proved not only by
the general condition of the skeleton, but also by the coalition
of most of the sutures of the skull1).

Such, however, is not the case with the skull of a younger
anthropomorphous animal of the same kind, the remains of
whose skeleton I dissected at London in the British Museum.
An old label yet attached to it informs us that it belongs to the
ape they call orang-utan, and was brought from the island of
Sumatra, by the captain of the ship ‘‘Aprice.’’ In this skull not
a shadow of the sutures of the intermaxillary bone was to
be found, although the remains of all the others are without
exception still apparent. Neither did Tyson find them in his
Angolese Satyr, nor does the figure in Daubenton of the skull
of a similar animal, from the same locality, exhibit them. How-
ever then this may be, it is certain, what may also be held a
character of man, that in the skulls of the apes I have been
speaking of, the jaws are very prominent and projected forward
as in the other mammals.

16. Differences between some internal parts of man and
those of other animals.
It must be seen at once that we can
only speak here of a few of these differences, and those the most
remarkable. To begin with the head, besides some things of
less moment, man has, as it seems, the smallest crystalline lens
[Seite 179] (the cetacea excepted) in proportion, and it is less convex in the
adult than in other animals; the large occipital foramen is placed
more forward than in quadrupeds1), and there are other things of
the same kind. The mass of the brain is the largest of all,
not indeed (according to the opinion which has prevailed from
the time of Aristotle) in proportion to the whole body, but,
according to the able observation of Sömmerring, when account
is taken of the slenderness of the nerves which issue from it2).
For if the whole nervous system was divided from a physiolo-
gical point of view into two parts, one, the nervous part properly
so called, which embraces the nerves themselves and that por-
tion both of the brain and the spinal marrow which lies close to
their commencement; and the other, or sensorial part, which
lies nearer the knot where the functions begin to coincide with
the faculties of the mind, we should find that man has much
the largest share of that nobler sensorial part.

That too is equally remarkable, the knowledge of which we
also owe to the sagacity and acuteness of Sommerring, that the
arenulæ of the pineal gland so often already observed by others,
are so constantly and perpetually found in human brains, from
the fourteenth year of age upwards, that they also deserve to
be reckoned amongst the peculiarities of man3). Once only, in
the pineal gland of a stag, did he find similar arenulæ. And if
they are ever really absent in the encephalon of an adult man,
it certainly must be considered a very rare anomaly. One in-
stance of this absence I owe to the famous physiologist of
Padua, L. M. A. Caldani, who writes me word, that out of four
human brains which he examined in 1786 with that object,
there was only one, and that of an old man, in which no vestige
of a pineal arenula was to be found.

The position of the heart is peculiar to man, and is said to
be in the chest, because that entrail does not rest as in quadru-
[Seite 180] peds upon the sternum, but in accordance with the erect posi-
tion, on the diaphragm. Its base too is not as in them at right
angles to the head, but to the vertebræ of the chest, like the
tip of the left breast, and hence in them the heart lies right and
left, whereas in man it rather has a front and back. Scarcely
any other mammals beside man have the pericardium adhering
to the diaphragm. The alimentary canal is just as perfect as
it ought to be in an omnivorous animal. You might say man
resembled the carnivores in the structure of the ventricle, and
the shortness of the blind intestine; on the other hand, he is
different from the herbivores in the length of the thin intestine,
and its great diversity from the thick one; in the bulbous
colon; in the absence of the sebaceous glands which secrete
smell behind the anus. The muliebria too are different in
man besides what has been already mentioned, in the singular
parenchyma of the womb; and the early fœtus is remarkable
for the texture of the placentum, the length of the umbilical
funnel and the singular umbilical vein. So far as I know, the
hitherto enigmatical vesicula umbilicalis is peculiar to the young
human embryo; and I have mentioned elsewhere1), that it is
common and natural to every human fœtus about the fourth
month after conception, where I also have said something about
the analogy it bears to the yolk-like bag of the chicken during

17. Peculiarities of man, in respect of the functions of
animal economy.
Here especial mention must be made of the
peculiar tenderness and delicate softness of the human tela
or cellulosa, as it is commonly called. It is well known
that there is a most remarkable difference in the different
genera and species of animals as regards the substance of this
tissue; that of eels being very tenacious, that of the herring
being very tender: and so it was long since observed by our
Zinn, a most eagle-eyed anatomist, that man, other things being
equal, had beyond all other mammals the most delicate and
subtle cellular substance.

[Seite 181]

I am either very much mistaken, or the softness of that
envelope is to be counted amongst the chief prerogatives by
which man excels the rest of the animals. For as this mem-
brane is on the one side diffused over all parts of the body
from the corium to its inmost marrow, and is interwoven like a
chain with all and every part of the whole machine, and on the
other is the seat of that most universal of all vital forces, con-
tractility, next to which the dynamic power called after Stahl
seems to come, I am thoroughly persuaded that to the flexible
softness of this mucous membrane in man is owing his power
of accustoming himself more than every other mammal to every
climate, and being able to live in every region under the sun.
As then nature has made man omnivorous in the matter of
food as we have seen, so in respect of habitation it has intended
him to dwell in every country and climate (παντοδαπόν): and so
his body has been composed of a most delicate mucous compo-
sition, that he may adapt and accommodate himself more
easily to the multifarious effects of different climates.

To this aptitude for accommodation admirably answers that
other physiological property of man, namely, his slow growth,
long infancy
and late puberty. In no other mammal does the
skull unite or the teeth appear so late; no other animal is
so long learning to stand upon its feet, or in arriving at its full
stature, or so late in coming to the exercise of the sexual
functions. In another point of view no other animal, consider-
ing the moderate size of his body, has allotted him by nature
so protracted a term of life1). This incidental mention of his
stature recalls to my mind that other singular property which,
as far as I know, has been observed in no other animal, and
which depends upon his erect position, namely, that his height
[Seite 182] in the morning exceeds by somewhat more than a finger's
breadth his height in the evening1).

There are also some particulars to be mentioned about the
sexual functions. Man has everywhere no particular time of
year, as the brutes, in which he desires to copulate2). To men
alone is conceded the prerogative of nocturnal pollutions, which
I am inclined to consider as natural excretions of the healthy
man, to the intent that he may be thereby freed from the
annoyance and stimulus of superfluous semen when it is suitable
to him on account of his temperament or constitution. The
menstrual flux, on the other hand, is not less peculiar to women,
and is more universal and common to all, so that I think Pliny
was right in calling woman the only menstruating animal. I
am indeed aware that a flux of the same kind has been fre-
quently attributed by authors to other female animals, especially
those of the quadrumanous order; thus, for example, the Simia
is said to menstruate from the tip of its tail, &c. But
for twenty years I have had opportunities of seeing female apes
and papios, &c. in menageries, or in travelling caravans, and
have made inquiries about this subject. I often found that one
or other of them sometimes suffered from uterine hæmorrhages,
but that they occurred at no regular period. Such was the
assertion of the more honest keepers, who looked on it as a kind
of diseased affection contrary to nature, and most of them can-
didly confessed, that they generally gave it out for a menstruous
flux, in order to excite the astonishment of the mob. As to the
fabulous stories of credulous antiquity about whole nations
whose women are destitute of the menstruous flux, I shall
briefly speak of them in another place.

18. Faculties of the mind which are peculiar to man. All
with one voice declare that here is the highest and best pre-
[Seite 183] rogative of man, the use of reason. But when any one inquires
more particularly what these words mean, we must needs
wonder how many different reasons about the meaning of reason
are entertained by the most reasonable philosophers. Some
think it is altogether a quite unique and peculiar faculty of
man, others but the elevated and very superior grade of a
faculty, of which only slight vestiges are to be found in the soul
of brutes. Some look upon it as the union of all and singular
the highest faculties of man; others a particular direction of
the faculties of the human mind, &c.

‘It is not ours to settle such disputes.’

I trust to resolve the question more briefly and safely, à pos-
as they say, by considering it as that prerogative of man
which makes him lord and master of the rest of the animals1).
That he has this kind of dominion is obvious. It is also equally
plain that the cause of this dominion does not reside in his
bodily strength. It must therefore be referred exclusively to
the gifts of the mind and their superiority. And these gifts
in which man so far surpasses the rest of the animals, of what-
ever disposition and nature they may be, we will call reason.
Nature, as we have seen, has made man so as to be omnivorous
and an inhabitant of the whole world. But this unlimited
liberty of diet and locality, according to the almost infinite
variety of climate, soil and other circumstances, brings with it
also multifarious wants which cannot be met or remedied in
one way alone. His Creator has therefore fortified him with
the power of reason and invention, in order that he may accom-
modate himself to those conditions. Hence, even from the
most ancient times, by the wisest nations, this chief power of
man, that is, the genius of invention, has been celebrated with
divine honours. Thoth, for example, by the Egyptians, Hermes
by the Greeks. Thus, to compress a good deal in a few words,
[Seite 184] man has made tools for himself, and so Franklin has acutely
defined him as a tool-making animal; thus he has prepared for
himself arms and weapons; thus he has found out ways of
eliciting fire; and thus, in order that one man may use the
advantages and assistance of another, he has invented language,
which again must be considered as one of the things peculiar to
man1), since it is not like the sounds of animals, conventional,
but, as the arbitrary variety of languages proves, has been
invented and turned to use by him2).

19. Something about laughter and tears. Besides that other
manifestation of the mind I have just spoken of, I mean lan-
guage, two others must be mentioned, about which there has
hitherto been less doubt, whether, like speech, they are the
property of man alone, since they have not been invented by,
but are as it were congenital to him, and do not so much be-
long to the use of reason, as to the passions of the mind; I
mean, laughter, the companion of cheerfulness, and tears,

‘The better part of all our senses.’

It is well known that many animals secrete tears, besides
man. But it is a question whether they weep from sorrow.
Competent witnesses assert it of some; as Steller3) of the Phoca
and Pallas4) of camels. It seems however more doubtful
whether brute animals display pleasure by laughter, although
many instances are given in authors. Le Cat, for example,
asserts that he had seen the Satyrus Angolensis both weeping
and laughing5).

[Seite 185]

20. The most note-worthy diseases peculiar to man. Al-
though these pathological affections seem at first sight to have
very little to do with the natural history of man, still I may
be allowed to spend a few words in borrowing a summary of
the principal diseases, which are also peculiar to man, especially
as these phenomena, which are against nature and peculiar to
him, depend on the temperament and constitution of his body,
and his animal economy; and may with the same justice be
noticed here, as the diseases of some animals peculiar to them
are recounted in their natural history, as the Lues bovilla, the
Coryza maligna of horses, or the voluntary madness which seems
so frequent in dogs, &c. It will be understood that we shall
only speak here of the most remarkable disorders, and that
even those few, chosen out of many others, are not yet placed
beyond all doubt, since the nosology of brutes, if we once leave
aside our few domestic animals, is almost entirely uncultivated
on account of its grave and partly insuperable difficulties. Still
we may enumerate the following diseases as being with great
probability some of those peculiar to mankind: –

Very nearly all the eruptive fevers; or at all events par-
ticularly among them,

         Variola1),          Miliaria,
Morbilli, Petechiæ,
Scarlatina, Pestis.

Amongst the haemorrhages;

Epistaxis (?),



Amongst the nervous affections;



[Seite 186]

Disorders of the mind, properly so called, as Melancholia,
&c. and perhaps Satyriasis and Nymphomania.


Of the cachectic disorders;

Rhachitis (?),

Scrofula (?),

Lues Venerea,


Lepra and Elephantiasis.

Of the local disorders;


Cancer (?),


Hernia congenita (?).

The various sorts of Prolapsus, as that of the vesica urinaria
of which we owe a very accurate notice to the sagacity
of the famous Bonn1).

Herpes (?),

Tinea capitis.

I am doubtful whether I ought to include here the intes-
tinal worms of man and two species of the genus pedicula, ob-
served in no other mammal, as far as I know, but him. I say
nothing of those disorders which, though not peculiar to man,
are far more frequent in him than in other animals; such as
tooth-ache, miscarriage, abortions, difficult parturition, &c.

21. Short list of those things, in which it is commonly,
though wrongly thought, that man differs from the brutes.
of these points have been referred to above as opportunities
occurred. Those which are left shall be briefly recounted.
Such, for example, is the proximity of the eyes, whereas, in
[Seite 187] the apes, the eyes are much closer together than in man. The
lashes in either eye-lid, which have been furnished not only to
man, but to many other quadrumanous animals, and even to
the elephant. The Simia rostrata has a more prominent nose
than man1). The ears are not immoveable in all men, nor are
they moveable in all the rest of the mammals. For example,
the Myrmecophagœ must be excepted. The organ of touch is
common to most of the quadrumana with man; and so is the
uvula. I am ashamed to mention some things which are too
worthless, as eructation, which has been reckoned one of the
prerogatives of man2); and that man cannot, like brutes, be
fattened3), and other stuff of the same kind.


[Seite 188]

22. Subject proposed. Hitherto we have investigated those
things in which man differs from the rest of the animals. Now
we come nearer to the primary object of the whole treatise, for
we are to inquire of what kind and how great is the natural
diversity which separates the races and the multifarious nations
of men; and to consider whether the origin of this diversity
can be traced to degeneration, or whether it is not so great as
to compel us rather to conclude that there is more than one
original species of man. Before this can be done, there are
two questions which must be considered: First, what is species
in zoology? Secondly, how in general a primordial species may
degenerate into varieties? and now of each separately.

23. What is species? We say that animals belong to one
and the same species, if they agree so well in form and consti-
tution, that those things in which they do differ may have
arisen from degeneration. We say that those, on the other
hand, are of different species, whose essential difference is such
as cannot be explained by the known sources of degeneration,
if I may be allowed to use such a word. So far well in the
abstract, as they say. Now we come to the real difficulty,
which is to set forth the characters by which, in the natural
we may distinguish mere varieties from genuine species.

The immortal Ray, in the last century, long before Buffon,
thought those animals should be referred to the same species,
[Seite 189] which copulate together, and have a fertile progeny. But, as
in the domestic animals which man has subdued, this character
seemed ambiguous and uncertain, on account of the enslaved
life they lead; in the beginning of this century, the sagacious
Frisch restricted it to wild animals alone, and declared that
those were of the same species, who copulate in a natural state1).

But it must be confessed that, even with this limitation, we
make but little progress. For, in the first place, what very
little chance is there of bringing so many wild animals, espe-
cially the exotic ones, about which it is of the greatest possible
interest for us to know whether they are to be considered as
mere varieties, or as different species, to that test of copulation?
especially if their native countries are widely apart; as is the
case with the Satyrus Angolensis (Chimpanzee) and that of the
island of Borneo (Orang-utan).

Then it is universally the case that the obscurity and doubt
is much smaller, and of much less importance, in the case of
wild animals on the point in question, than of those very ani-
mals which are excluded by this argument, that is, the domestic.
Here, in truth, is the great difficulty. Hence the wonderful
differences of opinion about, for example, the common dog,
whose races you see are by some referred to many primitive
species; by others are considered as mere degenerated varieties
from that stock which is called the domestic dog (Chien de
again, there are others who think that all these varie-
ties are derived from the jackal; and, finally, others contend
that the latter, together with all the domestic dogs and their
varieties, are descended from the wolf, and so forth.

As then the principle sought to be deduced from copulation
is not sufficient to define the idea of species and its difference
[Seite 190] from variety, so neither are the other things which are adduced
with this object, for example, the constancy of any character.
Thus the snowy colour and the red pupils of the white variety
of rabbit are as constant as any specific character could pos-
sibly be. So that I almost despair of being able to deduce any
notion of species in the study of zoology, except from analogy
and resemblance. I see, for example, that the molar teeth of
the African elephant differ most wonderfully in their conforma-
tion from those of the Asiatic. I do not know whether these
elephants, which come from such different parts of the world,
have ever copulated together; nor do I know any more how
constant this conformation of the teeth may be in each. But
since, so far in all the specimens which I have seen, I have ob-
served the same difference; and since I have never known any
example of molar teeth so changed by mere degeneration, I
conjecture from analogy that those elephants are not to be
considered as mere varieties, but must be held to be different

The ferret, on the contrary, does not seem to me a separate
species, but must be considered as a mere variety of the pole-
cat, not so much because I have known them copulate together,
as because the former has red pupils, and from all analogy I
consider that those mammals in whom the internal eye is desti-
tute of the dark pigment, must be held to be mere varieties
which have degenerated from their original stocks.

24. Application of what has been said to the question
whether we should divide mankind into varieties or species.

It is easily manifest whither what we have hitherto said has
been tending. We have no other way, but that of analogy, by
which we are likely to arrive at a solution of the problem above
proposed. But as we enter upon this path, we ought always to
have before our eyes the two golden rules which the great
Newton has laid down for philosophizing. First, That the same
causes should be assigned to account for natural effects of the
same kind.
We must therefore assign the same causes for the
bodily diversity of the races of mankind to which we assign
a similar diversity of body in the other domestic animals which
[Seite 191] are widely scattered over the world. Secondly, That we ought
not to admit more causes of natural things than what are
sufficient to explain the phenomena.
If therefore it shall appear
that the causes of degeneration are sufficient to explain the
phenomena of the corporeal diversity of mankind, we ought not
to admit anything else deduced from the idea of the plurality
of human species.

25. How does the primitive species degenerate into varieties?
As we are now about to treat of the modes of degeneration, I
hope best to consult perspicuity in dealing with the subject if
I arrange it again under two heads; of which the first will
briefly relate the principal phenomena of the degeneration of
brute animals; and the second will inquire into the causes of
this degeneration. This being done, it will be easier in the
following section to compare the phenomena of variety in man-
kind as well with those phenomena of degeneration in brute
animals as with the causes of them.

26. Principal phenomena of the degeneration of brute ani-
A few instances, and those taken from the warm-blooded
animals alone, and also as far as possible from the mammals
which are most like man in their corporeal economy, will be
enough to show that there is no native variety in mankind
which may not be observed to arise amongst other animals
as a mere variety and by degeneration. But it is better to go
over these things in separate chapters.

27. Colour. Thus in the way of colour, the pigs in Nor-
mandy are all white; in Savoy, black; in Bavaria1), chesnut.
The Pecus bubulum in Hungary generally varies from white to
grey; in Franconia they are red, &c. In Corsica the dogs and
horses are beautifully spotted. In Normandy, the peacocks are
black; ours, on the other hand, are generally white. On the
Guinea coast the birds, especially of the hen tribe2), and the
dogs, are black like the aborigines; and, what is particularly
remarkable, the Guinea dog (which Linnaeus calls C. Ægyptius,
[Seite 192] I do not know why) is, like the men of that climate, distin-
guished for the velvety softness of his smooth skin, and the
great and nearly specific cutaneous perspiration1).

28. Texture of the hair. As to the texture of hair, what
a difference is there not, I ask, in the wool alone of the sheep
of different climates, from the tender Tibetan up to the thick
and almost stiff Ethiopian? Or in the bristles of the sow,
which are so soft in those of Normandy, that they are not
fit for scouring-brushes? And what a difference there is, in this
respect, between the boar and the domestic sow, especially as to
the short wool which grows between the bristles1). How remark-
able too is the effect of every region of the globe upon the hair
of more than one kind of the domestic mammals, as the effect
of the climate of Galatia on the bearded cattle of Angora, and
on the rabbits and cats, who are so conspicuous for their woolly
softness and the extraordinary length and generally snowy
whiteness of their coats.

29. Stature. As to stature the difference between the
Patagonian and the Laplander is much smaller than what is
observed everywhere in other domestic animals of different
parts of the world. Thus pigs, when transported to Cuba from
Europe, grow to double their natural size2). So also do cows
when transported to Paraguay3).

30. Figure and proportion of parts. As to the proportion of
parts, what a great difference there is between the horses of
Arabia or Syria and of northern Germany; between the thick-
footed cows of the Cape of Good Hope and the thin-footed ones
of England! The hinder legs of the sows of Normandy are
much higher than the front legs, &c. The cows in some parts
of England and Ireland have no horns at all4); in Sicily, on the
other hand, they have very large ones; but I must not say
anything of the vast horns of the Abyssinian oxen, which Sir
Joseph Banks showed me, for they, if we are to trust Bruce,
[Seite 193] ought rather to be referred to some morbific disposition. We
may however mention here the Ovis polycerata; and as to the
variety of hoofs, there are whole races of sows with solid and
with three-cloven hoofs1). As to some other parts, we have
sheep with broad tails; the fringes of the crested canary (what
our people call kapp. vögell) and other things of this kind.

31. Above all, the shape of the skull. The shape has been
observed to differ everywhere in the varieties of mankind; but
all this difference is not a whit greater, if indeed it can be
compared to that which may be observed amongst the different
races of other domestic animals. The skull of the Ethiopian
does not differ more from that of the European than that of the
domestic sow from the osseous head of the boar; or than the
head of the Neapolitan horse, which is called from its shape
ram-headed, from that of the Hungarian horse, which the
learned know well is conspicuous for its singular lowness and
the size of its inferior jaw. In the urus, the progenitor of our
domestic race of bulls, according to the observations of Camper,
very large foveæ lacrymales are visible; which, on the contrary,
are entirely obsolete in our country cattle. I say nothing of
that manifestly monstrous degeneration of skull in the variety
of hen they call the Paduan2).

32. Causes of degeneration. Animal life supposes two facul-
ties, depending upon the vital forces as primary conditions and
principles of all and singular its functions; the one, namely, of so
receiving the force of the stimuli which act upon the body that
the parts are affected by it; the other of so reacting from this
affection that the living motions of the body are in this way set
in action and perfected. So there is no motion in the animal
machine without a preliminary stimulus and a consequent re-
action. These are the hinges on which all the physiology of
the animal economy turns. And these are the fountains from
which, just as the business itself of generation, so also the causes
[Seite 194] of degeneration flow; but in order to make this clear to those
even who know but little of physiology, it will be as well to
premise with a few words from that science.

33. Formative force. I have in another place professedly,
and in a separate book devoted to this subject, endeavoured to
show that the vulgar system of evolution, as it is called
(according to which it is taught that no animal or plant is
generated, but that all individual organic bodies were at the
very earliest dawn of creation already formed in the shape of
undeveloped germs and are now being only successively evolved),
answers neither to the phenomena themselves of nature, nor to
sound philosophic reasoning. But on the contrary, by properly
joining together the two principles which explain the nature
of organic bodies, that is the physico-mechanical with the
teleological, we are conducted both by the phenomena of gene-
ration, and by sound reasoning, to lay down this proposition:
That the genital liquid is only the shapeless material of organic
bodies, composed of the innate matter of the inorganic king-
dom, but differing in the force it shows, according to the phe-
nomena; by which its first business is under certain circum-
stances of maturation, mixture, place, &c. to put on the form
destined and determined by them; and afterwards through the
perpetual function of nutrition to preserve it, and if by chance
it should be mutilated, as far as lies in its power to restore
it by reproduction.

Let me be allowed to distinguish this energy, so as to pre-
vent its being confused with, the other kinds of vital force,
or with the vague and undefined words of the ancients, the
plastic force, &c. by the name of the formative force (nisus
; by which name I wish to designate not so much
the cause as some kind of perpetual and invariably consistent
effect, deduced à posteriori, as they say, from the very constancy
and universality of phenomena. Just in the same way as we
use the name of attraction or gravity to denote certain forces,
the causes of which however still remain hid, as they say, in
Cimmerian darkness.

As then other vital forces, when they are excited by their
[Seite 195] appointed and proper stimuli, become active and ready for re-
action, so also the formative force is excited by the stimuli
which belong to it, that is, by the kindling of heat in the egg
during the process of incubation. But as other vital forces, as
contractility, irritability, &c. put themselves out only by the
mode of motion, this, on the other hand, of which we are talk-
ing, manifests itself by increase, and by giving a determinate
form to matter; by which it happens that every plant and
every animal propagates its species in its offspring (either im-
mediately, or gradually by the successive access and change of
other stimuli, through metamorphosis).

Now the way in which the formative force may sometimes
turn aside from its determined direction and plan is principally
in three forms. First, by the production of monsters; then by
hybrid generation through the mixture of the genital liquid of
different species; finally, by degeneration into varieties, pro-
perly so called. The production of monsters, by which, whether
through some disturbance and as it were mistake of the forma-
tive force, or even through accidental or adventitious circum-
stances, as by external pressure, &c. a structure manifestly
faulty and unnaturally deformed is intruded upon organic
bodies, has nothing to do with our present purpose. Nor is
this the place to consider hybrids sprung from the commingling
of the generation of different species, since by a most wise law
of nature (by which the infinite confusion of specific forms is
guarded against) hybrids of this kind, especially in the animal
kingdom, scarcely ever occur except through the interference of
man: and then they are almost invariably sterile, so as to be
unable to propagate any further their new ambiguous shape
sprung from anomalous venery.

Still, meanwhile, this subject we are now discussing may
be illustrated by the history of hybrids sprung from different
species; partly on account of their analogy with those hybrids
which spring from different varieties, of which we shall speak
by and by; partly, because, like everything else, they go as
proofs to refute that theory about the evolution of pre-formed
germs, and to display clearly the power and efficacy of the for-
[Seite 196] mative force; a consideration, which will escape no one who
rightly appreciates those well-known and very remarkable ex-
periments, in which, in the very rare instances of prolific hy-
brids, when their fecundation has been frequently repeated for
many generations by the aid of the male seed of the same spe-
cies, that new appearance of hybrid posterity has so sensibly
deflected from the maternal form as more and more to pass
into the paternal form of the other species, and so, finally, the
former seems to become quite transmuted into the latter, by a
sort of arbitrary metamorphosis1).

But the mixture of specifically different generation, al-
though it cannot overturn, or as it were suffocate, all the
excitability of the formative force, still can impart to it a
singular and anomalous direction. And so it happens that the
continuous action, carried on for several series of generations
of some peculiar stimuli in organic bodies, again has great in-
fluence in sensibly diverting the formative force from its accus-
tomed path, which deflection is the most bountiful source of
degeneration, and the mother of varieties properly so called.
So now let us go to work and examine one by one the chief of
these stimuli.

34. Climate. That the power of climate must be almost
infinite, as on. all organic bodies, so especially on warm-blooded
animals, will quickly appear to any one who considers first, by
how intimate and how constant a bond these animals are
bound while alive to the action of the atmospheric air in which
they dwell. Besides, how wonderfully this air (which was once
held to be a simple element of itself) is made up of what they
call multifarious elements, such as gasiform constituents, the
accessories of light, heat, electricity, &c. Then of what differ-
ent proportions of these matters does it not consist, and in
consequence of this variety how different must be the atmo-
spheric action on those we call animals! Especially when we
[Seite 197] throw in the consideration of so many other things, hy whose
accession climates differ so much, as the position of countries
in respect of the zones of the globe, the elevation of the soil,
mountains, the vicinity of the sea or lakes and rivers, the cus-
tomary winds, and innumerable other things of this kind.

This air, then, which those we call animals suck in by
breathing from the time of birth, modified so greatly by the
variety of climates, is decomposed in their lungs as it were in a
living laboratory. Part of what they inhale is distributed with
the arterial blood over the whole body; but as a balance to
another portion of this point, elements are liberated, which are
partly deposited on the peripheral integuments of the body, and
partly are carried back by the flow of venous blood to the re-
spiratory organs; hence arise the various modifications of the
blood itself, and the remarkable influxes of these humours, es-
pecially of fat, bile, &c. into the secretions. Hence finally the
action of all these things as so many stimuli on a living solid,
and hence the resulting reaction as well of this thus affected
solid, as what especially belongs to our discussion, the direction
and determination of the formative force. This great and per-
petual influence of climate on the animal economy and the
habit and conformation of the body, although there has been no
time when it has not attracted the attention of good observers,
has in our own time above all been illustrated and confirmed by
the great advance that has been made in chemistry, and by a
deeper study of physiology. Still it is always a difficult and
arduous thing, in the discussion of these varieties, to settle
what is to be attributed exclusively to climate, what rather
to other causes of degeneration, and finally to the joint action
of both. Meanwhile I will bring forward one or two instances
of degeneration which seem most clearly to be derived from the
effects of climate. For example, the white colour of many
animals in northern regions, which have other colours in the
temperate zones. Instances are, those of wolves, hares, cattle,
falcons, crows, blackbirds, thrushes, chaffinches, &c. That this
whiteness must be attributed to cold, we learn from the analogy
of animals of the same kind who, under the same climate
[Seite 198] during winter, change their summer colour into white or
grey; as weasels and ermines, hares, squirrels, reindeer, the
ptarmigan, snow-bunting, and others1). So also I am more
inclined to attribute to climate that snowy fleece so con-
spicuous for its silky softness of some of the animals of Angora
than to the kind of diet, because that is shared by those who
feed on all sorts of different things, by the carnivorous, as the
cat for example, equally with the herbivorous ruminants, as
goats, &c.

Such too seems to be the explanation of the coally blackness
which under some districts of the torrid zone, as on the coasts
of Guinea, animals of different orders, mammalia as well as
birds, are seen to put on with the colour of the Ethiopians
(s. 27). And it is above all worthy of remark that this Ethiopia
blackness, just like that Syrian whiteness, although the animals
may be transported into regions of a very different climate, is
still preserved permanently for many series of generations. Nor
is the power and influence of climate on the stature of organic
bodies at all inferior; since cold obstructs their increase, which,
on the contrary is manifestly augmented and promoted by heat.
Thus the horses of Scotland, or cold North Wales, are small; in
Scandinavia the horses and the cattle, like the indigenous races,
are of tall and stalwart stature; in Smaland they are sensibly
smaller, and in the north of East Gothland are in proportion
smallest of all.

35. Diet. It seems extremely probable, what has been
demonstrated principally by the sagacity of G. Fordyce, that
the primary elements, as they are called, of every kind of
alimentary substance, whether it be taken from the animal or
the vegetable kingdom, are the same. Hence the same sort of
chyle, and universally the same kind of blood, is elaborated by
all the multifarious warm-blooded animals, carnivorous as well
as herbivorous, out of the most different kinds of nourishment,
if only it has been properly submitted to the organs of diges-
[Seite 199] tion. Still, however much this may appear to be true, it cannot
be denied that the innumerable adventitious qualities of different
matters of food, have had great power in changing the natures
and properties of animals; to prove which a few instances will
be enough.

Singing birds show that there is some specific power in some
kinds of food to change the colour of animals; especially some
sorts of larks and finches, which it has been proved, if they
are fed upon hemp seed alone, sensibly grow black. The
African sheep when transported to England is a proof how
wonderfully, when the diet is changed, the texture of the hairs
will change also; for its wool which is common by nature, and
stiff like the hair of a camel, after it has been fed one year upon
English pastures becomes of a most magnificent delicacy1). The
influence food has towards changing the stature and the pro-
portions, is plain from the comparison of domestic animals.
Horses which in marshy countries (called in the vernacular
Maschländer) live upon rich food, as the Frisian especially, grow
large; whereas, on the contrary, in rocky and stony countries,
such as those of Œland, or on dry heathy soils, they remain
stunted. Thus it is surprising how fat and bellied horses be-
come on a fat soil, though their legs become shorter in propor-
tion. But when they are fed upon drier grass, as, for example,
the Cape grass, they secrete less fat, but are remarkable for
their strong and fleshy legs; to say nothing of the multifarious
diversities of the taste and weight of flesh, which again depend
upon the variety of diet.

36. Mode of life. When I speak of the kind of life as
a cause of degeneration, I include under that head all those
points besides climate and diet which so far have to do with the
natural economy of animals, that when they act long and con-
tinuously upon the same condition of body they are at length
strong enough to change it to some extent. The principal of
these are cultivation and the force of custom, whose power and
[Seite 200] influence are again so manifestly conspicuous in our domestic

Consider, for instance, the vast difference which separates
the conformation and the proportions of the parts of the
generous horse trained in the school, and the wild horse, which
they call a wild beast. The latter, when it fights with others
bites rather than kicks; the former, on the other hand, when
bridled and armed with iron feet, prefers to attack his enemy
with them, and almost unlearns to bite. Many kinds of mam-
mals when subdued by man show by the hanging of their
tails and the lapping of their ears a spirit tamed and subdued
by slavery. In many the very corporeal functions of secretion,
generation, &c. are changed in a wonderful way. In the do-
mestic pig, for example, the adipose membrane appears in a
vast mass, which is quite wanting in the boar, whose tender and
as it were woolly hairs, on the contrary, inserted between the
bristles, sensibly disappear in that domestic variety. These
domestic animals are much more liable to monstrous births than
their wild aborigines; and also to troops of new diseases, and
especially to new kinds of worms of which no vestige is to be
found in their wild and original variety; the truth of which
assertion, though paradoxical, is not to be invalidated, as may
be proved by the instance of the Hydas intercutis, called, in the
vernacular, Finnen, Ital. Lazaroli1). I place under this head
also stunted stature from premature and unseasonable venery,
and everything of that kind.

37. Hybrid generation. So much for the triple sources of
degeneration which only by long and daily action, continued
through many series of generations, are sufficiently strong,
slowly, and by little and little, to change the primeval character
of animals and produce varieties. But the case is different, and
a new character is imparted to the immediate offspring, when
different varieties of this kind, sprung at length from those
[Seite 201] causes, come to copulate together, for thus they give rise to
a hybrid offspring, like neither parent altogether, but partici-
pating in the form of each, and being as it were a mean be-
tween the two. Hybrid is the name commonly given to the
offspring of parents of manifestly different species, as mules
sprung from the horse and ass, or birds from the union of the
crested canary with the linnet. But this is not the place for
us to speak of these, for there is no account to be taken of them
in varieties of the human race. Not indeed that horrid stories
are wanting of the union of men with brutes, when either men
have had to do with the females of beasts (whether carried
away by unbridled lust1), or from some mad idea of continence2),
or because they expected some medicinal aid from this sort of
crime3)), or when we are told that women have been made use
of by male brutes (whether that has happened through any
violent rape4), or because women have solicited them in the
madness of lust5), or have prostituted themselves from religious
superstition6)), still we have never known any instance related
on good authority of any such connexion being fruitful, or that
[Seite 202] any hybrid has ever been produced from the horrid union of
beast and man. But we have only to do with those hybrids
which spring from the intercourse of different varieties of one
and the same species, as when, for example, the green canary
bird is paired with the white variety, &c., which connexion has a
wonderful effect in changing the colour and conformation of the
new progeny which results therefrom; so that this is often
applied with the greatest advantage in the impregnation of
domestic animals for the purpose of improving and ennobling
the offspring, especially in the case of horses and sheep.

38. Hereditary peculiarities of animals from, diseased tem-
An hereditary disposition to disease would seem at
first sight rather to belong to the pathology than to the natural
history of animals. But when the matter is more carefully
looked into, it is plain that in more ways than one it has some-
thing to do with those causes of degeneration we are concerned
with. For, in the first place, some external qualities of animals,
although according to common ideas they are never referred
to a truly diseased constitution, still seem to come very nearly
to that, since they are for the most part found in conjunction
with an unnaturally weak affection. I include among these, for
example, that peculiar whiteness of some animals, which the
wise Verulam long ago called the colour of defect. We learn
by the example of the Hungarian oxen, whose woolly skin only
comes after castration, that we may frequently recognize as
a cause the vicious constitution and defect of the corporeal
economy. On the other hand, it is proved by the instances of
the Angora cats and dogs, that morbid symptoms follow extra-
ordinary whiteness of that kind, for it is a common observation
that those animals are almost always hard of hearing.

It is also the case that some genuine diseases when the
animal nature has been as it were used to them for a long
series of generations seem to get sensibly milder and milder
and less inconvenient, so that at last they can scarcely be con-
sidered more than a diseased affection. An example is afforded
by that vicious species of whiteness which, when united to a
deficiency of the black pigment which lines the internal eye of
[Seite 203] hot-blooded animals, is known by the name of leucæthiopia.
This when it seizes sporadically one or other of a family (for
it is always a congenital affection) exhibits plainly the symp-
toms of cachexia, which everywhere comes very near to a
leprous constitution. But in other cases when it has been esta-
blished by a sort of hereditary right for many generations, it
becomes a second nature, so that in the white variety of rab-
bits not a vestige remains of the original morbific affection,
the existence of which however is determined by the analogy
of other animals which have anomalously white pupils and red
eyes. The ferret has been considered by some zoologists as a
peculiar species of the genus Mustela, whereas, unless I am
altogether deceived, it is as I have said above (s. 23) a mere
variety of the pole-cat, and that of diseased origin through

39. Problem proposed. Can mutilations and other artifices
give a commencement to native varieties of animals?
It is dis-
puted whether deformities or mutilations, effected upon animals
either by accident or advisedly, especially in those cases where
they have been repeated for many series of generations, can at
length in progress of time terminate in a sort of second nature,
so that what before was done by art now degenerates into a
congenital conformation. Some1) have asserted this, whilst
others2) on the contrary have denied it. Those who are for the
affirmative point to the examples of the young of different
kinds of animals, dogs and cats for example, which are born
without tails or ears after those parts have been cut off from
their parents, as is proved by credible witnesses. And of boys
among circumcised nations who are frequently born naturally
apellæ3); and of scars which parents bear from wounds, whose
marks afterwards are congenital in the infants. Buffon, indeed,
went so far as to derive from the same source the peculiar
characters of some animals, as the callosities on the breast and
[Seite 204] legs of camels, or the bald scurfy forehead of the rook (Corvus
Those who do not allow these last instances will
not unwisely reject this opinion of Buffon, as what is called a
petitio principii; but the other instances we spoke of they
will think should rather be attributed to chance.

I have not at present adopted as my own either the affirma-
tive or the negative of these opinions; I would willingly give
my suffrage with those on the negative side, if they could ex-
plain why peculiarities of the same sort of conformation,
which are first made intentionally or accidentally, cannot in
any way be handed down to descendants, when we see that
other marks of race which have come into existence from
other causes which up to the present time are unknown, especi-
ally in the face, as noses, lips, and eye-brows are universally
propagated in families for few or many generations with less or
greater constancy, just in the same way as organic1) disorders,
as deficiencies of speech and pronunciation, and such like;
unless perhaps they prefer saying that all these occur also by

40. Some considerations to be observed in the examination
of the causes of degeneration.
Many of the causes of degene-
ration we have already spoken of are so very clear, and so placed
beyond all possibility of doubt, that most phenomena of dege-
neration above enumerated may by an easy process be undoubt-
edly referred to them, as effects to their causes. But on the
other hand even in that very way there is frequently such a
concurrence or such a conflicting opposition of many of them;
such a diverse and multifarious proneness of organic bodies to
degeneration, or reaction from it; and besides, these causes
have such effects upon these bodies according as they act im-
mediately (so to speak) or otherwise; and finally, such is the
difference of these effects by which they are preserved unim-
paired by a sort of tenacious constancy through long series of
generations, or by some power of change withdraw themselves
[Seite 205] again in a short space of time, that in consequence of this diver-
sified and various relation there is need of the greatest caution
in the examination of varieties.

Let me then, if only for the benefit of the student, at the
end of this discourse, before we pass to the varieties of men
themselves, lay down some maxims of caution, at least, as corol-
laries to be carefully borne in mind in the discussion we are
entering upon:

1. The more causes of degeneration which act in conjunc-
tion, and the longer they act upon the same species of animals,
the more palpably that species may fall off from its primeval
conformation. Now no animal can be compared to man in this
respect, for he is omnivorous, and dwells in every climate, and
is far more domesticated and far more advanced from his first
beginnings than any other animal; and so on him the united
force of climate, diet, and mode of life must have acted for a
very long time.

2. On the other hand an otherwise sufficiently powerful
cause of degeneration may be changed and debilitated by the
accession of other conditions, especially if they are as it were
opposed to it. Hence everywhere in various regions of the
terraqueous globe, even those which lie in the same geographi-
cal latitude, still a very different temperature of the air and
an equally different and generally a contrary effect on the con-
dition of animals may be observed, according as they differ in
the circumstances of a higher or lower position, proximity to
the sea, or marshes, or mountains, or woods, or of a cloudy or
serene sky, or some peculiar character of soil, or other circum-
stances of that kind.

3. Sometimes a remarkable phenomenon of degeneration
ought to be referred not so much to the immediate, as to the
mediate, more remote, and at the first glance concealed influ-
ence of some cause. Hence the darker colour of peoples is
not to be derived solely from the direct action of the sun upon
the skin, but also from its more remote, as its powerful influ-
ence upon the functions of the liver.

4. Mutations which spring from the mediate influence of
[Seite 206] causes of this sort seem to strike root all the deeper, and so to
be all the more tenaciously propagated to following generations.
Hence, if I mistake not, we are to look for the reason why the
brown colour of skin contracted in the torrid zone will last
longer in another climate than the white colour of northern
animals if they are transported towards the south.

5. Finally, the mediate influences of those sort of causes
may lie hid and be at such a distance, that it may be impossible
even to conjecture what they are, and hence we shall have to
refer the enigmatical phenomena of degeneration to them, as to
their fountains. Thus, without doubt, we must refer to mediate
causes of this kind, which still escape our observation, the
racial and constant forms of skulls, the racial colour of eyes,


[Seite 207]

41. Order of proceeding. Now let us come to the matter in
hand, and let us apply what we have hitherto been demonstrat-
ing about the ways in and the causes hy which animals in
general degenerate, to the native variety of mankind, so as to
enumerate one by one the modes of degenerating, and allot to
each the particular cause to which it is to be referred. We
must begin with the colour of the skin, which although it
sometimes deceives, still is a much more constant character, and
more generally transmitted than the others1), and which most
clearly appears in hybrid progeny sprung from the union of
varieties of different colour composed of the tint of either pa-
rent. Besides, it has a great connection with the colour of the
hair and the iris, and a great relation to the temperament of
men: and, moreover, it especially strikes everywhere the eyes
even of the most ignorant.

42. Seat of the colour of the skin. The mucous, commonly
called the cellular membrane, about whose most important
function in the economy of the human body we have spoken
above, affords as it were a foundation to the whole machine. It
is interwoven with almost all parts alike, even to the marrow of
the bones, and is collected on the outermost surface of the body
[Seite 208] into a thick white universal integument, called the corium. By
this the rest of the body is surrounded and included; and
above all it is penetrated by a most enormous apparatus of
cutaneous nerves, lymphatic veins, and finally with a most close
and subtle net of sanguiferous vessels.

The nerves communicate sensation to the corium, so as to
make it the organ of touch, and as it were the sentinel of the
whole body. The lymphatic veins make this same corium the
instrument of absorption and inhalation. But the sanguiferous
vessels have most to do with the subject under discussion, as
being the constituent parts of the common integuments of the
body, and equally with the lungs and the alimentary canal make
up the great purifier and chemical laboratory of the human
machine; whose surfaces, as will soon be seen, have a good deal
to do with giving its colour to the skin. The corium is lined
with a very tender mucus, which from the erroneous description
of its discoverer, is called the reticulum Malpighii: this affords
a sort of glutinous bond, by which the most external stratum of
the integuments, the epidermis, or cuticle, stretching over and
protecting the surface of the body, and which in the born man.
is exposed immediately to the atmospheric air, adheres to the
corium. The reticulum, just like the epidermis, is a most
simple structure, entirely destitute of nerves and vessels, differ-
ing both of them as much as possible from the nature of the
corium. They agree themselves in more than one way, so that
it seems most probable that these similar parts are allied, or
that the exterior cuticle draws its origin in some way from its
substratum, the reticulum. Besides, each of these allied strata
of integuments so make up the seat of colour, that in clear-com-
plexioned men, where they are stained with no pigment, they
permit the natural roseate whiteness of the corium to be seen
through: and in brown or coloured men, although the principal
cutaneous pigment may adhere to the Malpighian reticulum,
although the epidermis may be paler, still it will manifestly
partake of its tint. The darker the reticulum the thicker it is,
and the more it approaches the appearance of a membrane
peculiar to itself; the more transparent it is on the contrary
[Seite 209] the more tender it becomes, and only appears to have the con-
stitution of a diffused mucus.

43. Racial varieties of colour. Although the colour of the
human skin seems to play in numberless ways between the
snowy whiteness of the European girl and the deepest black of
the Ethiopian woman of Senegambia1); and though not one of
these phases is common either to all men of the same nation,
or so peculiar to any nation, but what it sometimes occurs in
others, though greatly different in other respects; still, in gene-
ral, all the varieties of national colour seem to be most referable
to the five following classes.

1. The white colour holds the first place, such as is that of
most European peoples. The redness of the cheeks in this
variety is almost peculiar to it: at all events it is but seldom to
be seen in the rest.

2. The second is the yellow, olive-tinge, a sort of colour
half-way between grains of wheat and cooked oranges, or the
dry and exsiccated rind of lemons: very usual in the Mongolian

3. The copper colour (Fr. bronzé) or dark orange, or a sort
of iron, not unlike the bruised bark of cinnamon or tanner's
bark: peculiar almost to the Americans.

4. Tawny (Fr. basané), midway between the colour of fresh
mahogany and dried pinks or chesnuts: common to the Malay
race and the men of the Southern Archipelago.

5. Lastly, the tawny-black, up to almost a pitchy blackness
(jet-black), principally seen in some Ethiopian nations. Though
this tawny blackness is by no means peculiar to the Ethiopians,
but is to be found added to the principal colour of the skin in
others of the most different and the most widely-separated
[Seite 210] varieties of mankind: as in the Brazilians, the Californians1),
the Indians, and the islanders of the Southern Ocean, where,
for instance, the New Caledonians in this respect make an
insensible transition from the tawny colour of the Otaheitans,
through the chesnut-coloured inhabitants of the island of
Tongatabu, to the tawny-black of the New Hollanders.

44. Causes of this variety. The seat of the colour of the
skin has now been placed beyond all doubt. The division of
the varieties of colour, and their distribution, seem sufficiently
plain and perspicuous. But to dig out the causes of this variety
is the task and the trouble. Authors have laboured most in
endeavouring to explain the colour of the Ethiopians, which
above all other national colours from the most remote period
has struck the eyes of Europeans, and excited their minds to
inquire. Nor is it surprising that with that object all sorts of
hypotheses should be elaborated, which, however, I pass by
unnoticed, as being sufficiently known2), and already explained
all together by others3), and shall go into the details of that
opinion alone, which, unless I am much mistaken, seems to
come nearest the truth. I think, myself, the proximate cause
[Seite 211] of the adust or tawny colour of the external integuments of the
skin, is to be looked for in the abundance of the carbon in the
human body, which, when it is excreted with the hydrogen
through the corium, and precipitated by the contact of the
atmospheric oxygen, becomes imbedded in the Malpighian
mucus. Hence it is well known that the national colour of
their skin is not congenital even to the Ethiopians themselves,
but is acquired by the access of the external air after birth
and after the intercourse with the mother, by which the fœtus
was nourished, has been taken away.

Besides this, the action of the sanguineous vessels of the
corium seems necessary as well for secreting as for storing up
the carbon. For if this is disturbed or comes to a stop, an
unnatural and diseased colour is everywhere brought upon the
skin in dark men just as much as in Ethiopians. But on
the other hand, although in a white skin that action of the
corium may be stimulated, ephelides and spots of tawny colour
occur, and sometimes it is found that it puts on an Ethiopic

Generally carbon seems to be in greater quantity in the
atrabilious; for the connexion of the manufactory of the bile with
the common integuments, and those which belong to them, as the
hair, is plain: indeed both organs, that is, the liver and the
skin, must be considered as by far the principal and mutually
co-operating purifiers of the mass of the blood.

Then there is the vast influence of climate upon the action
of the liver, which in tropical countries is wonderfully excited
and increased by the solar heat. Hence the various kinds of
bilious and endemic disorders in the tropics. Hence also the
temperament of most inhabitants of tropical countries is cho-
leric and prone to anger. Hence also, what was first observed
by physicians1), the bilious constitution and habit of Europeans
who dwell in India, and especially in the children which are
born there. But there is no other climate, in the vehemence
and duration of the heat, or in the peculiar chemical constitu-
[Seite 212] ents that make up the atmosphere there, such as particular
winds, and rains, which can be compared to that burning and
scorching climate which is to be found on the wet and marshy
regions both of eastern and western Africa under the torrid zone.
Now the aboriginal Ethiopians have been for a long time and
for many series of generations exposed to the action of that
climate, since they must without doubt be ranked amongst the
most ancient nations of the world1). So we must not be sur-
prised if they propagate unadulterated, even under another
climate to succeeding generations, the same disposition which
has spread such deep and perennial roots in their ancestors
from the most distant antiquity. But, on the other hand, from
this tenacity and constancy of the constitution of the Ethio-
pians, this comes out all the clearer, that such a power can
only be contracted after a long series of generations, and so it
must be considered as a miracle, and against all natural law, if
it be true, what we find frequently related that the present
descendants of some Portuguese colonists who emigrated to
Guinea in the 15th century, have in so short an interval of
time, only through the influence of the climate2), been able to
contract the Ethiopian habit of body.

45. Final exposition of the causes of the colour of the skin.
What I have summarily and succinctly already laid down about
the causes of the colour of the skin is strongly corroborated,
on more accurate inquiry, by all sorts of arguments answering
most accurately to each other, and taken from actual observa-
tion of human nature.

We have discovered from the antiphlogistic chemistry of
the French3) that carbon belongs to the radical elements of the
[Seite 213] animal body, and is also the cause of dark colour, whether it be
yellow, tawny, or blackish. In order that the animal economy
may not be disturbed and endangered by a redundancy of this
substance various emunctories have been provided, in which
the liver and the skin occupy by no means the lowest place.
Pathology, here as elsewhere so often the instructor of phy-
siology, shows together with the phenomena just mentioned,
the co-operation of the functions of the bile with the common
integuments. For although I do not wish to insist too much
on the analogy of jaundice with national tints of the skin, still
there are various peculiar phenomena which deserve attention,
common to those suffering under the regius morbus, and the
nations of colour (so to speak) to which I refer, the fact of the
albuminous part of the eye being tinged with yellow, a thing
common to tawny nations and specially to the Indians1), the
Americans2), and the Ethiopians3). Besides it not unfrequently
happens with jaundiced persons, according to the varieties of the
disease, that the skin, even after the disorder has been re-
moved, remains always tinged with a different shade, very Like
the skin of coloured nations4). Nor are examples wanting of a
genuine sooty blackness being sometimes deposited in atra-
bilious disorders by a sort of true metamorphosis of the skin5).
And from the affinity of the bile with fat6) it is clear that this
sort of cherry tint has been observed in tawny peoples7). Hence,
unless I am mistaken, we must look for the reason why nations
[Seite 214] who feed copiously on animal oil not only smell of it, but also
contract a dark colour of skin1); while the more elegant Ota-
heitans on the contrary, who try to be of a pale colour, live
every year for some months on the bread-fruit alone, to the use
of which they attribute great virtue in whitening the skin2);
although part of that effect must be attributed to the fact that
during the same period they remain at home, covered with
clothes, and never go out. How great an influence abstinence
from the free and open air has in giving whiteness to the skin,
our own experience teaches us every year, when in spring very
elegant and delicate women show a most brilliant whiteness of
skin, contracted by the indoor life of winter. Whilst those who
are less careful in this way, after they have exposed themselves
freely to the summer sun and air, lose that vernal beauty
before the arrival of the next autumn, and become sensibly

If then under one and the same climate the mere difference
of the annual seasons has such influence in changing the colour
of the skin4), is there anything surprising in the fact that climates,
in the sense defined above (s. 34), according to their diversity
[Seite 215] should have the greatest and most permanent influence over
national colour: everywhere within the limits of a few degrees
of geographical latitude, and still more when a multifarious
concourse of the causes1) above-mentioned has occurred even
under the same latitude, a manifest difference in the colour of
the inhabitants may be observed2).

46. Creoles. The same power of affecting colour, about
which we are speaking, is shown very clearly in Creoles, under
which name (so frequently improperly confounded even by good
authors3) with the word Mulattos) in a narrower sense4) we un-
derstand those men born indeed either in the East or the West5)
Indies, but of European parents. In these the face and colour are
so constant and impossible to be mistaken, breathing as it were
of the south, and particularly besides the hair and the almost
burning eyes, that the most brilliant in other respects and most
beautiful women may easily be distinguished by those peculiar
characters from others, even their relatives, if these are born in
Europe6). Nor does this appear only in Europeans, but also in
[Seite 216] Asiatics who are born in the East Indies from Persian or Mon-
golian parents who have emigrated there1).

47. Mulattos, &c. Remarkable too is the constancy with
which offspring born from parents of different colours present a
middle tint made up as it were from that of either parent. For
although we read everywhere of single specimens of hybrid in-
fants horn from the union (s. 37) of different varieties of this sort,
who have been of the colour of one or other parent alone2); still,
generally speaking, the course of this mixture is so consistently
hereditary, that we may suspect the accuracy of James Bruce
about the Ethiopians of some countries in the kingdom of
Tigre, who keep their black colour unadulterated, although
some of the parents were of one colour and some of another;
or about the Arabians, who beget white children with the female
Ethiopians like the father alone3). But as the hybrids of
this sort of origin from parents of various colours are distin-
guished by particular names, it will be worth while to exhibit
them here arranged in synoptical order.

A. The first generation. The offspring of Europeans and
Ethiopians are called Mulattos4). Of Europeans and Indians,
Mestizos5). Of Europeans and Americans also Mestizos6) or
Mestinde7), or Metifs8), or Mamlucks9). Of Ethiopians and
Americans Zambos10); by those called also Mulattos11) , Lobos12),
Curibocas and Kabuglos13). All these present an appearance and
colour compounded of either parent, and that more or less
[Seite 217] brownish or muddy, with scarcely any redness visible in the
cheeks. The hair of Mulattos is generally curly, that of the
rest straight, of almost all black; the iris of the eye is brown.

B. The second generation. Mulattos forming unions with
each other produce Casquas1); Europeans and Mulattos Ter-
2), which others call Quarterons3), others Moriscos4) and
Mestizos5). The countenance and hair of all is that of Europeans,
the skin very lightly stained with a brownish tint, and the
cheeks ruddy. The lips of the female mouth and pudenda
violet coloured; the scrotum of the male blackish. The Ethi-
opians with the Mulattos produce Griffs6), called by others
Zambo Mulattos7), and by others Cabros8). The Europeans with
the Indian Mestizos, Castissi9). Those born of Europeans and
American Mestizos are called Quarterons10) or Quatralvi11), and by
the Spaniards also Castissi12) Those born of the Americans
themselves and their Mestizos are called Tresalvi13). Those of
the Americans and the Mulattos are also called Mestizos14).
Those of Europeans and Zambos or Lobos of the first generation
are called indifferently Mulattos15). Those of the Americans and
these same Zambos or Lobos Zambaigi16). The progeny of the
Zambos or Lobos themselves are called contemptuously by the
Spaniards Cholos17).

C. The third generation. Some call those who are born of
Europeans and Tercerons Quaterons18), others Ochavons19), or
Octavons, and the Spaniards Alvinos20). In these it is asserted
[Seite 218] by the most acute observers that no trace of their Ethiopian
origin can be found1). Those of Mulattos and Tercerons Salta-
2). Of Europeans and Castissi, Postissi3). Of Europeans and
American Quarterons of the second generation Octavons4). Of
Quarterons and American Mestizos of the first generation,
Coyotas5). Of Griffs and Zambo Mulattos with Zambos of the
first generation Giveros6). Of Zambaigis and Mulattos Cam-
7). There are those who extend even into the fourth gene-
ration this kind of pedigree, and say that those born from
Europeans from Quarterons of the third generation are called
Quinterons8), in Spanish Puchuelas9), but this name is also
applied to those who are born of Europeans and American
Octavons10). But that the slightest permanent vestige of their
mixed origin11) is to be found in productions like these, after what
we have been told by most credible eye-witnesses about the
men of the third generation, that as to colour and constitution
they are exactly like the aboriginal Europeans, is a thing that
seems almost incredible.

48. Brown skin variegated with white spots. What I said
above (s. 44) about the action of the sanguiferous vessels of
the corium in excreting the carbon, which is afterwards pre-
cipitated by the addition of oxygen, is singularly confirmed by
the instances of dark-coloured men, especially Ethiopians,
whose skin, and that too not always from their first tender
infancy12), is distinguished by spots of a snowy whiteness (Fr. nè-
Eng. piebald negroes).

I saw an Ethiopian of this kind at London, by name John
Richardson, a servant of T. Clarke, who exhibited there (in
Exeter Change), live exotic animals as shows and also for sale.

[Seite 219]

The young man was perfectly black except in the umbilical and
epigastric region of the abdomen, and in the middle part of
either leg, that is the knees, with the adjoining regions of the
thigh and the tibia, which were remarkable for a most brilliant
and snowy whiteness, and were themselves again distinguished
by black scattered spots, like those of a panther. His hair was
also parti-coloured. For the middle part of his sinciput de-
scending in an acute angle from the vertex towards the fore-
head was white, not however like the regions of the skin we have
been speaking of, but a little snowy with a tinge of yellow.
The rest of the hair was, as is usually the case with Ethiopians,
curly; and this curliness still continues unaltered up to this
time, in a specimen of each kind of hair which I obtained from
the man himself more than two years ago. I had also a picture
taken of the man, which on comparison with three others
equally of Ethiopians, which I have by me, a boy and two girls,
shows that in all, the regions of the abdomen and legs were
more or less white, but that the hands and feet, that is, those
parts which with the groin are the first to grow black in new-
born Ethiopians, were perfectly tawny, and that in all the
disposition of the white regions was thoroughly symmetrical.
The gums, to go on to that also, in the man I saw, the tongue
and all the jaws, were of an equable and beautiful red.

Both the parents of the man I am speaking of, as of all the
other spotted Ethiopians1) of whom I have found descriptions, were
perfectly black, so that the conjecture of Buffon seems badly
founded when he attributes such offspring to the union of Ethio-
pians and Leucæthiopian women, when suffering under a dis-
eased affection of the skin and the eyes, about which I shall
take an opportunity of speaking more particularly below.

Care must always be taken that the spots we are speaking
about, and which can only be distinguished by a snowy white-
[Seite 220] ness from the rest of the skin, the epidermis being in other
respects unaffected, be not improperly confounded with those
by which the whole integument is covered, which are to be
recognized not so much by a different colour as by a degrada-
tion of the texture of the corium itself, which becomes rough,
and as it were scaly or scurvy. Writers have observed this
kind of cutaneous disorder particularly amongst the Malabars1),
and the Tschulymik Tartars2). But these snowy, equable and
smooth spots which only occur in a disordered action of the
smallest vessels of the corium, are by no means confined to
the Ethiopians, but sometimes occur amongst our own peo-
ple. I have myself had the opportunity of observing two in-
stances of this kind in German men, one a young man, the
other more than sixty years old. The skin of each was brown-
ish, studded here and there with very white spots of different
sizes. In neither were these congenital, but had appeared sud-
denly and spontaneously in one during infancy, in the other in

49. Similar remarkable mutations of the colour of the skin.
As these instances I have just been mentioning seem to demon-
strate the power of the smaller vessels of the corium in modi-
fying the colour of the skin; so there are other phenomena
which often occur, and point in this direction, by which, unless
I am much mistaken, those conjectures I made above (s. 44, 45)
about the abundance of carbon, and the impressions of the Mal-
pighian mucus being as it were the proximate cause of that
colour, are well illustrated.

Above all others I shall consider in this place the singular
change of colour so often observed in European women3), in some
[Seite 221] of whom, and those in other respects particularly white, at the
time of pregnancy a larger or smaller number of the parts of
the body are darkened with a coaly blackness, which however
gradually disappears again after child-birth, when the original
clearness is restored to the body. The solution of this puz-
zling problem is to be found in the application of modern che-
mistry to the physiology of pregnancy. When the woman is not
pregnant the moderate portion of carbon of her own body is
easily excreted by superfluous cutaneous perspiration; but in a
pregnant woman, besides her own share, another quantity
accrues from the fœtus, which immersed in ammonial liquid
does not as yet breathe. Thus the blood of the mother be-
comes too much laden with the carbon arising from two human
bodies joined as it were in one, so that all of it cannot as
usual be excreted with the perspiration of the mother: so part
of it is precipitated in the Malpighian mucus, and there re-
mains, tinging the skin, until the child being delivered, the
original equilibrium between the carbon of her own body and
the perspiring vessels of the skin is restored; and the epider-
mis, which with the mucus lying under it is constantly de-
stroyed by degrees and again renewed at last, recovers its
natural whiteness.

In different circumstances the same reason seems to hold
good in so many instances of Europeans, in whom the differ-
ent parts of the body are unnaturally affected by a smoky
blackness; since here also it may be referred to a congestion of
carbon. Thus, for instance, a similar blackness is observable in
women who never menstruate1). So also in other atrabilious
[Seite 222] men1), especially of the lowest sort, and those who suffer from
cachexia caused by want and dirt. This is often the case too in
scurvy2), &c. On the other hand we know by experience that
the blackness of the Ethiopians is not so constant but what it
sometimes is rendered paler, or even changed quite into a white
colour. It has been recorded that Ethiopians, when they have
changed their climate in early infancy, and from that time
forward have inhabited a temperate zone, have gone on getting
paler by degrees3). The same thing happens also somewhat
quicker to the same negroes when they suffer under severe
disorders4). Many instances also are to be found where, apart
from any particular state of health, the natural blackness of
the Ethiopian skin has sensibly and spontaneously been changed
into a whiteness, such as that of Europeans5).

50. Some other national properties of skin. Besides colour,
other singular qualities are often attributed to the skin of
some nations, about which I must say a few words at all
events. Amongst these there is that smoothness and softness
of skin which has been compared to silk, and has been noticed
[Seite 223] by writers in many nations, as the Caribs1), the Ethiopian2), the
Otaheitans3) and even the Turks4). It is clear that in all these
it depends either upon a more tender epidermis, or a thicker
stratum of the Malpighian mucus. The cause of the coldness
to the touch which has been observed in the skin of various
nations of Africa5) and the East Indies6) seems different, and
must be referred rather to the chemical affinities of the body
and the atmospheric elements. Here also is to be considered
that insensible perspiration of Sanctorius, which is accompa-
nied in some nations with a peculiar smell, as in the Caribs7),
Ethiopians8), and others; in the same way that in some varieties
of domestic animals, as among dogs, the Egyptian, among horses,
those of a reddish-white are well known to have a specific and
peculiar perspiration9).

51. Consensus of the hair and skin. As the hair, especially
that of the head, is generated and nourished by the common
integuments, so it has invariably a great and multifarious
agreement with them. Hence, those variegated Ethiopians we
spoke of have also hair of different colour. Men whose white
skin is marked with ephelitic spots have red hair10). Besides,
[Seite 224] there is a remarkable correspondence of the hair with the
whole constitution and temperament of the body. This, too,
we learn from pathological phenomena, such for example as
that those who have yellow hair (blondins), in consequence of
the tenderer and more impressible cellular texture, break out
more easily in rashes and similar eruptions; whilst those who
have black hair are almost always of a costive and atrabilious
temperament, so much so that it has long since been observed
that far the greater number of men in mad hospitals and jails
have black hair.

52. Principal national varieties of hair. In general, the
national diversity of hair seems capable of being reduced to
four principal varieties:

1. The first of a brownish or nutty colour (cendré), shading
off on the one side into yellow, on the other into black: soft,
long, and undulating. Common in the nations of temperate
Europe; formerly particularly famous among the inhabitants
of ancient Germany1).

2. The second, black, stiff, straight, and scanty; such as is
common to the Mongolian and American nations.

3. The third, black, soft, in locks, thick and exuberant;
such as the inhabitants of most of the islands of the Pacific
Ocean exhibit.

4. The fourth, black and curly, which is generally compared
to the wool of sheep; common to the Ethiopians.

Thus, a general division of this kind may be made, which
is not without its use. That it is no more a purely natural
division than other divisions of the national varieties of human
races, is not necessary to dwell upon here. This I will show,
though it is quite unnecessary, by one or two arguments,
namely, that curliness is not peculiar to the Ethiopians, nor
blackness to the three varieties I put in the last place. Some
[Seite 225] races of Ethiopians are found with long hair1); other copper-
coloured nations again have curly hair2), like that of the Ethio-
pians. There are others, the New Hollanders, whose hair, as I
see from the specimens I have in hand, holds so perfectly the
middle place between the curliness of the Ethiopians and the
locks of the inhabitants of the islands in the Pacific Ocean, that
a wonderful difference of opinion is to be found in the ac-
counts of expeditions from the first Dutch ones of the last
century to the very latest of the English, as to which variety of
hair it should be considered to belong. As to the various
colour of hairs, occurring amongst those nations also, who gene-
rally have black hair, it is sufficient to cite good witnesses, who
say that red hair is frequently found in the three other varieties
I reckoned besides the first.

53. The iris of the eye conforms to the colour of the hair.
We have seen that the hair coincides with the common integu-
ments of the body. Aristotle3) had, however, long ago taught
that the colour of the eyes followed that of the skin. Those
whose colour was white had grey eyes; black, black eyes.
Thus very often amongst ourselves new-born infants have grey
eyes and light hair, which afterwards in those who become dark
(brunet), is slowly and as it were simultaneously darkened also.
In old men as the hair grows white the pigment of the internal
eye loses much of its usual dark colour. In the Leucœthiopians,
about whom I shall speak more particularly below, as the hair
passes from a yellowish tinge to white, so the pigment of the
eye is clearly nothing, and hence a pale rosy kind of iris.

It is remarkable that in no case at all is there any variation
in the eyes of animals, except in those who vary in. the colour
of their skin and hair, as we know to be the case not only in
men and horses, which was the opinion of the ancients, but also
[Seite 226] in other principally domestic animals. Very often also the iris
is variegated with more than one colour in those animals whose
skin is variegated. This was first observed in parti-coloured
dogs1). I have noticed something like it in sheep and horses,
but in no animal so plainly as in rabbits. Grey rabbits who
have kept their natural wild colour have the iris quite black,
whereas the parti-coloured ones, whose skin is spotted with
black and white, have the iris manifestly spotted in the same
way. Those which are quite white, and like Leuæthiopians,
have, as is well known, the iris of a pale red.

54. Principal colours of eyes. Aristotle, whom I just quoted,
divided well the primary colours of the iris of the human eye
into three; first, blue; second, dark orange, called goats' eyes
(yeux de chèvres2) ); third, dark brown. All these three as they
occur everywhere in individuals of one and the same nation, so
also are they to be noticed as more constant and as it were
racial in different families of the same continent within the
limits of a few degrees of geographical latitude. Hence Linnæus3)
attributes those among the Swedish population to the Gothic
race, who have white hair, with the iris of the eye of a dark-
blue colour; to the Finnic, those with yellow hair and dark iris;
to the Lapp, finally, those with black hair and blackish iris. Blue
eyes equally with yellow hair were formerly considered as natu-
ral characteristics of the ancient Germans. But they are found
everywhere amongst the most widely separated nations4). The
very black irides of the Ethiopians are such that, especially in liv-
ing subjects, they cannot be distinguished, excepting when very
close, from the pupil itself5).

55. National face. I now turn naturally enough from the
[Seite 227] eyes to the rest of the face, the diversities of which are all over
the world so great and so remarkable in individuals that it is
little short of a miracle to find even two who cannot be distin-
guished from each other, and are, as they say, cast in the same
mould. Besides it is certain that this difference of faces may be
observed not only in Europeans but also among barbarous na-
tions1). Yet, however true all this may be, it is not the less
undoubtedly a fact that every different variety of mankind (and
everywhere, even in the inhabitants of single provinces2)) all over
the world has a racial face peculiar to each of them by which it
may be easily distinguished from the remaining varieties.

56. Racial varieties of the face. I have made an attempt,
after assiduously comparing a quantity of prints of foreigners
made for me from the life by skilled artists, and after seeing
myself a great number of men in the markets which are prin-
cipally frequented by foreigners, to reduce these racial varieties
of the face into certain classes. And unless I am much mis-
taken, although open to particular exceptions, still they will
come close to natural truth if they are reduced in the following
way to five, as models and principal forms of the other diversi-
ties of small moment:

1st. Face oval, straight, the parts moderately marked.
The forehead smooth. Nose narrow, slightly hooked, or at all
events somewhat high. The jugal bones in no way prominent.
Mouth small, lips (especially the lower) gently pronounced.
Chin full, round. In general that kind of face, which, accord-
[Seite 228] ing to our opinion of symmetry, we think becoming and beauti-
ful. This same kind of face constitutes, as it were, a medium
which may fall off by degeneration into two exactly opposite
extremes, of which the one displays a wide and the other an
elongated face. Each of these two includes again two different
varieties, which can. best be distinguished from each other when
seen in profile. For then one of these varieties shows the nose
and the remaining parts somewhat indistinct, and, as it were,
running into one another. In the other they appear deeper, so
to say, cut out, and, as it were, projecting angularly. Thus we
come to form the four remaining varieties besides that first
mean type.

A. One pair with the face developed in width: –

2nd. Face wide, at the same time flat and depressed; the
parts, therefore, indistinct and running into one another. In-
terspace between the eyes, or glabella, smooth, very wide.
Nose flattened. Cheeks usually rounded, projecting outwards.
Opening of the eyelids narrow, linear (yeux bridès). Chin,
somewhat prominent. This is the countenance common to the
Mongolian nations (the Tartar face from the common figure of
speech which we shall touch on below, confounding the Tartars
with the Mongolians).

3rd. Face also wide and cheeks prominent, though not flat
or depressed, but the parts when seen in profile more worked
and, as it were, deeply cut out. Forehead low. Eyes deeply
set. Nose somewhat turned up, but prominent. This is the
face of most Americans.

B. Pair of varieties of the face elongated below: –

4th. Narrow face, prominent below. Forehead short, wrinkled.
Eyes very prominent (à fleur-de-tête). Nose thick and half
confused with the extended cheeks (le nez épaté). Lips (espe-
cially the upper) full and swelling. Jaws stretched out. Chin
falling back. This is the Guinea face.

5th. Face less narrow, somewhat prominent below, when
seen in profile the parts more projecting and distinct from each
other. Nose full, somewhat broad, as it were diffuse, end thick
[Seite 229] (bottled). Mouth large. This is the face of the Malay, especi-
ally of the inhabitants of the islands of the Southern Ocean.

57. Causes of the racial face. First of all notice must be
taken that I am not going to speak here of the countenance,
taken in a physiognomical sense, (look, expression,) as an index
of the temperament, which is however itself sometimes racial,
and peculiar to some nations, and may be derived from a
common source. In that way it is probable that to their diet
you may attribute the placid countenance of the abstemious
Brahmins and Banyans of India, and the atrocious aspect, on the
other hand, of the man-eating Botocudos1) of Brazil; or you may
instance religion by the examples of the pious and devoted
countenance by which especially the softer sex is distinguished
in some countries of southern Europe (in the vernacular Ma-
donna faces);
or cultivation and luxury, in which the soft and
effeminate Otaheitans so much excel the manly and powerful
New Zealanders.

But our business is with the causes of the racial face, that
is, of the countenance itself and the proportion and direction of
its parts, all of which we see to be peculiar and characteristic to
the different varieties of mankind. The mere discussion, how-
ever, of these causes is overwhelmed with such difficulties that
we can only follow probable conjectures. I am persuaded,
myself, that climate is the principal cause of the racial face, on
three grounds especially; 1st, we see the racial face so univer-
sal in some populations under a particular climate, and always
exactly the same in men of different classes and modes of life,
that it can scarcely be referred to any other cause. There are
the Chinese, for example, amongst whom a sort of flattened face
is just as characteristic as a symmetrical and particular beauty
is common amongst us Europeans to the English and inhabit-
ants of Majorca2).

2nd. Unless I am mistaken there are instances of peoples
who after they have changed their localities and have migrated
[Seite 230] elsewhere, in process of time have changed also their original
form of countenance for a new one, peculiar to the new climate.
Thus the Yakutes have been referred to a Tartar origin by most
authors on northern antiquities. Careful eye-witnesses assert
that now their face is Mongolian, and I myself see it plainly in
the skull of a Yakute, with which the munificence of Baron von
Asch has enriched my anthropological collection1). Something
of the same kind will be observed below about the Americans of
either coldest zone (s. 88). I have already shown that the Creoles
sprung from English, parents and ancestors in the Antilles, have
finally exchanged to some extent the native British countenance
for one more like the aborigines of America, and have acquired
their deep-set eyes and their more prominent cheeks2).

Egypt, however, and India this side the Ganges afford us
the clearest examples of all. For as this peninsula has been
frequently subdued by the most different nations, because the
first conquerors becoming effeminated by living in such a soft
climate were at last conquered by other and stronger northern
nations who came after them, so also their appearance seems as
it were to have accommodated itself to the new climate. In
fact, we only know the racial aspect of the old possessors of
India and their manifest characteristics from the most ancient
works of Indian art, I mean those stupendous statues, which
are carved out in a wonderful way in the subterranean temples
of the islands of Salsette and Elephanta, wonderful copies of
which I saw at London, both in the British Museum, as amongst
the antiquarian treasures of the polished C. Townley3). The
more modern conquerors of India, that is, the Mongolians, have
lost much of their original features under a new climate, and
approached nearer the Indian type, of which I have had ocular
experience from the Indian pictures shown me by John Walsh,
a most learned man on Indian antiquity.

As to the racial face of the ancient Egyptians, I am much
surprised that some famous archaeologists, and those most learned
[Seite 231] in Egyptian art, have been able to attribute one and the same
common countenance to all alike1); when a careful contempla-
tion and comparison of these monuments has easily taught me
to distinguish three sorts of face amongst them. The first like
the Ethiopian; the second the Indian; and the third, into which
both of the others have by the progress of time and the effect of
the specific and peculiar climate of Egypt degenerated, spongy
and flaccid in appearance, with short chin, and somewhat pro-
minent eyes2).

3rd. We see nations which are reputed to be but colonies of
one and the same stock have contracted in different climates
different racial faces. Thus the Hungarians are considered to
be of the same primitive stock as the Lapps3). The latter living
in the furthest North have acquired the face so peculiar to the
most northern nations, whereas the former living in the tempe-
rate zone, in the neighbourhood of Greece and Turkey, have
gained a more elegant form of face.

Every one knows that much in all these cases must be attri-
buted to the marriages between different nations, and I myself
intend soon to say something about their influence in changing
the racial face. Still it seems most probable that the influence
of climate alone is very great on this point, especially when we
add what was noticed above about the causes and ways in which
brute animals degenerate.

To find out the reason why one climate turns out this and
another that kind of racial face seems extremely difficult; yet
most sagacious men have made the attempt when endeavouring
to explain the face of different nations; as Kant upon the Mon-
golian4) and Volney upon the Ethiopian5). That accessory
[Seite 232] causes sometimes endemical to peculiar climates, such as con-
stant clouds of gnats, may do something towards contracting the
natural face of the inhabitants, may be gathered from the
observation of Dampier about the inhabitants of the south of
New Holland1).

I am not sure whether the opinion of our Leibnitz about the
similitude of nations to the indigenous animals of the country
is to be interpreted as referring to the influence of climate on
the conformation of man and brute animals alike; as it seems
that the Lapps recall the face of the bear, the Negroes of the
ape, of which also the people of the extreme East likewise

Besides the climate we find it stated that the kind of life
sometimes contributes to the racial form of face, as in the
instance of the Ethiopians, whose thick nose and swelling lips
are always attributed to the way in which, whilst in their
infancy, they are generally carried on the backs of their mothers,
who give them suck whilst they pound millet, or during their
hard and heavy tasks3).

[Seite 233]

In various barbarous nations also, such as the Ethiopians1),
the Brazilians2), Caribs3), the Sumatrans4), and the inhabitants of
the Society Islands in the Southern Ocean5), it is placed beyond
all doubt by the testimony of eye-witnesses most worthy of
credit that considerable force is used to depress and, as it were,
subdue into shape the noses of the new-born infants; although
perhaps it is going too far in what they say about the bones of
the nose being broken or dislocated in this way6).

It is however scarcely necessary to recollect that the natural
conformation of the nose can only be exaggerated by this
violent and long continued compression of the nose when soft,
but can in no wise be made thus originally, since it is well
known that the racial face may be recognized even in abor-

Finally, these kinds of racial face just like the colour of the
skin, become mingled, and as it were run together in the off-
spring from the unions of different varieties of mankind, so that
the children present a countenance which is a mean between
either parent. Hence the mixed appearance of the Mulattos;
hence the progeny of the Cossacks7) and the Kirghis8) becomes
sensibly deformed by marriages with the Calmucks, whereas
the offspring of the Nogay Tartars is rendered more beautiful
through unions with the Georgians9).

The ancient Germans10) gave formerly instances of the un-
adulterated countenance of nations unaffected by any union with
any other nation, and to-day the genuine Zingari, inhabitants
[Seite 234] of Transylvania1) do the same; and above all the nation of the
Jews, who, under every climate, remain the same as far as the
fundamental configuration of face goes2), remarkable for a racial
character almost universal, which can be distinguished at the
first glance even by those little skilled in physiognomy, although
it is difficult to limit and express by words3).

58. Racial form of skulls. That there is an intimate rela-
tion between the external face and its osseous substratum is so
manifest4), that even a blind man, if he has any idea of the vast
difference by which the Mongolian face differs from the Ethio-
pian, can undoubtedly, by the mere touch, at once distinguish
the skull of the Calmuck from that of the Negro. Nor would
you persuade even the most ignorant person to bend over the
head of one or other of them as he might over those after whose
models the divine works of ancient Greece were sculptured.
This, I say, is clear and evident so far as the general habit goes.

But it might have been expected that a more careful anato-
mical investigation of genuine skulls5) of different nations would
throw a good deal of light upon the study of the variety of man-
kind; because when stripped of the soft and changeable parts
they exhibit the firm and stable foundation of the head, and can
be conveniently handled and examined, and considered under
different aspects and compared together. It is clear from a
comparison of this kind that the forms of skulls take all sorts of
[Seite 235] license in individuals, just as the colour of skins and other
varieties of the same kind, one running as it were into the other
by all sorts of shades, gradually and insensibly: but that still, in
general, there is in them a constancy of characteristics which
cannot be denied, and is indeed remarkable, which has a great
deal to do with the racial habit, and which answers most accu-
rately to the nations and their peculiar physiognomy. That
constancy has induced some eminent anatomists from the time
of Andr. Spigel1) to set up a certain rule of dimensions to which
as to a scale the varieties of skulls might be referred and
ranked; amongst which, above all others, the facial line of the
ingenious Camper deserves special mention2).

59. Facial line of Camper. He imagined, on placing a
skull in profile, two right lines intersecting each other. The
first was to be a horizontal line drawn through the external
auditory meatus and the bottom of the nostrils. The second
was to touch that part of the frontal bone above the nose, and
then to be produced to the extreme alveolar limbus of the upper
jaw. By the angle which the intersection of these two lines
would make, this distinguished man thought that he could
determine the difference of skulls as well in brute animals as in
the different nations of mankind.

60. Remarks upon it. But, if I am correct, this rule con-
tains more than one error. First: what indeed is plain from
those varieties of the racial face I was speaking of (s. 56), this
universal facial line at the best can only be adapted to those
varieties of mankind which differ from each other in the direc-
tion of the jaws, but by no means to those who, in exactly the
contrary way, are more remarkable for their lateral differences.

Secondly: it very often happens that the skulls of the most
different nations, who are separated as they say by the whole
heaven from one another, have still one and the same direction
of the facial line: and on the other hand many skulls of one and
the same race, agreeing entirely with a common disposition, have
[Seite 236] a facial line as different as possible. We can form but a poor
opinion of skulls when seen in profile alone, unless at the same
time account be taken of their breadth. Thus as I now write I
have before me a pair of skulls, viz.: an Ethiopian of Congo1),
and a Lithuanian of Sarmatia2). Both have almost exactly the
same facial line; yet their construction is as different as possible
if you compare the narrow and, as it were, keeled head of the
Ethiopian with the square head of the Sarmatian. On the
other hand, I have two Ethiopian skulls in my possession, differ-
ing in the most astonishing manner from each other as to their
facial line3), yet in both, if looked at in front, the narrow and,
as it were, squeezed-up skulls, the compressed forehead, &c.
sufficiently testify to their Ethiopian origin.

Thirdly, and finally, Camper himself, in the plates appended
to his work, has made such an arbitrary and uncertain use of
his two normal lines, has so often varied the points of contact
according to which he has drawn them, and upon which all
their value and trustworthiness depends, as to make a tacit con-
fession that he himself is uncertain, and hesitates in the applica-
tion of them.

61. Vertical scale for defining the racial characters of skulls.
The more my daily experience and, as it were, my familiarity
with my collection of skulls of different nations increases, so
much the more impossible do I find it to reduce these racial
varieties – when such differences occur in the proportion and
direction of the parts of the truly many-formed skull, all hav-
ing more or less to do with the racial character – to the mea-
surements and angles of any single scale. That view of the
skull however seems to be preferable for the diagnosis which is
our business that presents together at one glance the most and
the principal parts best adapted for a comparison of racial
characters. With this object I have found after many experi-
ments that position answer best in which skulls are seen from
above and from behind, placed in a row on the same plane, with
[Seite 237] the malar bones directed towards the same horizontal line
jointly with the inferior maxillaries. Then all that most con-
duces to the racial character of skulls, whether it be the direc-
tion of the jaws, or the cheekbones, the breadth or narrowness
of the skull, the advancing or receding outline of the forehead,
&c. strikes the eye so distinctly at one glance, that it is not out
of the way to call that view the vertical scale (norma verticalis).
The meaning and use of this will easily be seen by an exami-
nation of Plate III., which represents, by way of specimen, three
skulls disposed in the order mentioned. The middle one (fig. 2)
is a very symmetrical and beautiful one of a Georgian female;
on either side are two skulls differing from it in the most
opposite way. The one (fig. 3) elongated in front, and as it
were keeled, is that of an Ethiopian female of Guinea; the
other (fig. 4) dilated outwardly toward the sides, and as it were
flattened, is that of a Reindeer Tungus.

In the first, the margin of the orbits, the beautifully nar-
rowed malar bones, and the mandibles themselves under the
bones, are concealed by the periphery of the moderately ex-
panded forehead; in the second, the maxillary bones are com-
pressed laterally, and project; and in the third, the malar bones,
placed in nearly the same horizontal plane with the little bones
of the nose and the glabella, project enormously, and rise on
each side.

62. Racial varieties of skulls. All the diversities in the
skulls of different nations, just like those of the racial face we
enumerated above, seem capable of reduction also to five prin-
cipal varieties; of which specimens selected out of many are
exhibited in Plate IV.

1. That in the middle is beautifully symmetrical, some-
what globular; the forehead moderately expanded, the malar
bones somewhat narrow, nowhere projecting, sloping down
behind from the malar process of the frontal bone; the alveolar
ridge somewhat round; the primary teeth of each jaw perpen-
dicular. As a specimen (Plate IV. fig. 3) I have given a most
beautiful skull of a Georgian female. This beautiful form of
skull comes between two extremes; of which one has.

[Seite 238]

2. The head almost square, the malar bones projecting out-
wards; the glabella and the little bones of the flattened nose
lying in almost the same horizontal plane with the malar
bones: scarcely any supraciliary ridge; narrow nostrils; the
fossa malaris only gently curved; the alveolar ridge obtusely
arched in front; the chin slightly prominent. This form of
skull is peculiar to the Mongolian nations. Pl. IV. fig. 1, gives
one of this kind, of a Reindeer Tungus.

The other extreme

3. Has the head narrow; laterally compressed; the fore-
head knotty and uneven; the malar bones projecting forwards;
nostrils ample; the fossa malaris deeply winding behind the
infraorbital foramen; the jaws projecting; the alveolar margin
narrow, elongated, and very elliptical; the primary upper teeth
slanting; the lower jaw large and strong; the head generally
thick and heavy, common to the Negro, such as (Plate IV. fig. 5)
of an Ethiopian female of Guinea. Finally, the two following
varieties are intermediate between the first and those two ex-
tremes, for example:

4. That with broader cheeks but more arched and rounded
than in the Mongolian variety, not as in this stretched out on
each side and angular; the orbits generally deep; the form of
the forehead and vertex frequently artificially distorted; the
skull usually light. This is the American variety. Pl. IV. fig. 2
is the head of a Carib chief from the island of St Vincent.

5. The calvaria moderately narrowed; forehead slightly
swelling; cheek bones by no means prominent; upper jawbone
somewhat prominent; the parietal bones extending laterally.
Common to the Malay race throughout the Southern Ocean.
A specimen in Pl. IV. fig. 4, the skull of an Otaheitan. This
racial form of the skull is so universally constant that it may
be observed even in the skulls of young infants. Thus I pos-
sess the skull of a Burat infant1) with very manifest Mongolian
characters; and another of a newly-born Negro2) as manifestly

[Seite 239]

63. Causes of the racial variety of skulls. The bones of
all parts of the human body alike are very solid, and particu-
larly firm, so that they may adhere together as foundations and
props to the other solid parts; still it is clear from pathological
phenomena and physiological experiments that they are not less
liable to perpetual mutations than the soft parts of the body. The
elements of the bones, although imperceptibly so, are in a conti-
nual sort of flux and reflux; and fresh secretions from the red
stream of the blood are deposited in their place, and at last
solidify and repair the loss. By this continual permutation of
the osseous material, which is perpetually going on from the first
formation of the bones, it results that these accommodate them-
selves to the neighbouring parts, and are to some extent formed
and modelled by their action.

This is most particularly evident from the configuration of
the skull in advanced age. For then the internal basis of the
skull gives, as it were, a sort of cast of the lobes and convolu-
tions of the brain to which it was fitted. The exterior osseous
face gives unmistakeable marks as well of the action of the
muscles as of the whole countenance, whose general appearance
and character may very easily be divined from the skull when
stripped of flesh. So, if it is true, and it seems very true indeed,
that the influence of climate on the racial face is great, it is
at once clear that the same cause must have a great though an
indirect share in forming the racial character of the skull,
especially as regards the bones of the face itself.

Besides this principal cause, it seems to me very probable
that others also are accessory, as the violent and long-continued
pressure, in having an effect upon these facial bones. My col-
lection rejoices, owing to the liberality of the illustrious Banks,
in the very rare skull of a New Hollander1) from the neighbour-
hood of Botany Bay, conspicuous beyond all others for the
singular smoothness of the upper jaw, where the upper teeth
and the canines are inserted. But it is now known that those
barbarians have a paradoxical custom of perforating the septum
[Seite 240] of the nose with, a piece of wood inserted crosswise, and of so
stopping up their nostrils with a sort of peg that they cannot
breathe except through the open mouth. It seems credible, there-
fore, that this smoothness may have been gradually effected by
the perpetual pressure of this transverse insertion. It is, however,
much more often the case that the smooth bones of the calvaria
suffer through constant pressure a peculiar and everywhere the
same sort of change towards the racial conformation, whether
it be induced by the common method which obtains in some
nations of treating infants in the cradle, or by some more violent
manual application, long and carefully continued. Hence
Vesalius said, that in his day the Germans were generally re-
markable for having the occiput compressed and the head broad,
because the children were always placed on their backs in the
cradle. But he attributed more oblong heads to the Belgians,
because their mothers wrapped up the male infants in swaddling-
clothes, and made them sleep as much as possible on their
sides and temples.

Hence also the wild Americans from South Carolina as far
as New Mexico are remarkable for having depressed calvaria,
which the infants contract from their low position in the cradle,
in which their head and the weight of their whole body
reposes immovably in a small bag filled with sand1). As to
other artifices, such as the pressure of the hands, and the reduc-
tion of the head of newly-born infants by bands or other in-
struments into some racial form, they, it is well known, have
been in use equally amongst the most ancient races as those of
to-day, amongst ourselves as in the most remote nations2).

[Seite 241]

Indeed we find it stated that solemn rites of this kind take
place even now, or at all events did recently among the inha-
bitants of some provinces of Germany1), as well as amongst the
Belgians2), the Gauls3), some of the Italians4), the islanders of the
Grecian archipelago5), the Turks6), the ancient Sigynnes7), and the
Macrocephali on the Euxine sea8), the Sumatrans9) of to-day,
and the Nicobars10), but especially amongst different people of
America, such as the inhabitants of Nootka Sound11), the Shac-
tas12), an indigenous race of Georgia, the Waxsaws of Carolina13),
the Caribs14), the Peruvians15), and the free Ethiopians of the
Antilles16). Strange to say there have been Lately some authors
who have dared to throw doubts upon the whole of this arti-
ficial habit of moulding the heads of infants17). Yet it is a
thing proved by the unanimous testimony of many eye-wit-
nesses; from which a name has been given to several nations
[Seite 242] both of North1) and South2) America. Two hundred years ago
we know it was forbidden to the barbarians of the new world
by the councils of the Spanish clergy3). We have the particular
points of each method most accurately described, and the
machines and bands4) by which they impress upon the flexible
infant calvaria a form they like through a daily continuous
and uniform pressure kept up for many years. And finally, the
heads of these very barbarians, which have been brought to
Europe and long since represented in prints5), exactly and in
every point answer to all these things. Although however the
fact itself is beyond all doubt, still there is some question about
what we read has often been, asserted from the times of Hip-
pocrates, that peculiar forms of the skull of this sort, though
formed first on purpose and by artifice, when they have been kept
up and repeated for a long series of generations, become at last
in process of time to be a sort of hereditary prerogative and
congenital, and finally a second nature. There is to be found
in that golden little treatise of Hippocrates On Air, Water, and
a celebrated passage about the Macrocephali, a nation
living near the Euxine sea, about whom he speaks first and.
almost chiefly, because no other nation at all was known to
have heads like theirs. He says, that in the beginning custom
was the reason of their having such long heads, but that
[Seite 243] afterwards nature had acted in concert with custom. It was
thought the most honourable thing among the Macrocephali
to have the head as long as possible. This was the beginning
of the custom; when an infant of theirs was just born, its
head being like wax, or wet and soft clay, they pinched it
as soon as possible with their hands, and modulated it so as to
compel it to increase in length, and besides, confined it with
bands, and tied it round with proper contrivances, so as to
prevent the head becoming round and make it increase in
length. This custom had at length effected the production of
heads of this kind, and in process of time they had been pro-
duced naturally, so that it was no longer necessary to use this
custom for that purpose. The old man of Cos endeavours to ex-
plain the cause of this singular phenomenon by his celebrated
hypothesis of generation, which is not very different from that
of Buffon: his idea was that the genital liquid proceeded and was
as it were elaborated from all the members of the body; and so
the forms of the parts, of which moulds, so to speak, were thus
taken, conduced to the formation of the fœtus. Hence it hap-
pened that bald men produced bald children; grey men, grey;
and macrocephali, long-headed. Something of the same kind
has been lately reported of other nations, the Peruvians1) and
Genoese2) for example. I leave this matter however in the
abstract just as it is, and shall only refer to what I said above
(s. 39) on the occasion of other similar phenomena.

64. Some racial varieties of dentition, and their causes.
Some varieties of teeth generally closely accompany the forms
of skulls, as has been observed in some nations. Thus, as long
ago as 1779, I observed a singular anomaly of the primary
teeth both in the fragment of a mummified Egyptian, as in the
entire skull of a mummy3); for the coronas are not shaped for
incision, or furnished with a delicate edge, but are thick and like
truncated cones, and the coronæ of the canines cannot be dis-
[Seite 244] tinguished from their neighbours excepting by position. This
same singular conformation has been noticed also in other
mummies; as in a mummy at Cambridge1)! and Cassel2); some-
thing of the same kind also at Stuttgard3): and I myself, when
I was in London two years ago, found exactly the same sort of
incisors in a young mummy, which its possessor, J. Symmons,
very kindly allowed me to unrol4). Although it is scarcely neces-
sary to observe that during such a series of ages as the custom
of preserving corpses prevailed in Egypt, and under the vicis-
situdes of the lords of its soil and its inhabitants, a very great
diversity must necessarily be found between mummies and
their skulls, and that no sane person could ever expect to find
in all mummies the same extraordinary form of teeth I was
speaking of. The variety is however remarkable and perhaps
may sometimes be of utility as a distinctive character, by which
the mummies of one age or race may be distinguished from
those of another. It would be difficult to discover the causes of
this peculiar conformation: but it seems very likely that it is in
great part to be attributed to the kind of diet, which we are
expressly told by Diodorus Siculus, was of a rustic sort amongst
the ancient Egyptians, and consisted of cabbages and roots.
Hence the teeth became much worn; and when teeth are
worn or flattened purposely it has been observed that they
increase in thickness, in the case both of men5) and brutes6).
Considerable weight is added to this conjecture from the obser-
vation of Winslow7), who noticed a similar remarkable thickness
of the incisors, and the like similarity to the molars, in the skull
of a Greenlander taken from the Island of Dogs8), and attributed
[Seite 245] it to the fact that those barbarians live on raw flesh1). This
observation is also supported by the thick and wonderfully
worn teeth in two Esquimaux skulls which have lately come to
me from the colony of Nain in Labrador2). It is well known
that the Esquimaux and the Greenlanders belong to one and
the same stock, and their racial name is commonly derived from
their habit of eating raw flesh. What several authors have
related about the teeth of the Calmucks3), that they are very
long and separated by large interstices, I find at last has been
taken originally, and then not quite accurately, from the ac-
count of Yvo, a priest of Narbonne, originally written in 1243,
and afterwards garbled by many, nor does it agree with the
modern Mongolian skulls which I now have in my collection.
Finally, other racial peculiarities of the teeth are due exclu-
sively to artifice, as in some groups of negroes who by filing their
teeth sharpen them like saws4); or, as in some Malay nations, who
remove a great part of the enamel of the teeth5), or cut furrows
[Seite 246] in it1), &c. I have seen something of the same kind myself in
some Chinese from Java, who had carefully and regularly
destroyed with a whetstone the same substance from the ex-
tremity of the primary teeth.

65. Some other racial varieties in respect to particular parts
of the body.
Thus far we have investigated the chief varieties
of different nations, which are observable either in their colour
(as that of their skin, hair, or eyes) or in their countenance and
form of the skull. Some few things still remain to be observed
respecting other parts of the body, which although certainly of
less importance can by no means be passed over unnoticed, and
so I may say a little of each of them in a few words. And
although it would be impossible to explain with equal clearness
the causes and reasons of them all, still there is nothing so sin-
gular or so enigmatical but what may be rendered more easy of
comprehension by comparing with analogous phenomena such
observations as we have compiled in the section above on the
brute animals.

66. Ears. It is known to antiquarians that many of the idols
of ancient Egypt, both of bronze and pottery, or those cut out
of different kinds of stones or sycamore wood, and finally those
painted on the sarcophagi, are remarkable for having the ears
too high up. A recent author2) has summarily been pleased to
attribute this to the fault of the artists, unskilled in the art of
drawing. But I cannot quite give my adhesion to this view,
because of the elaborate art and taste with which I see many of
them are executed, and also because I have observed it particu-
larly in those which have an Indian cast of countenance3); and a
similar collocation is to be found in genuine pictures of Indians,
which have been executed with the greatest care. Altogether
however this diversity is no greater than what we see every-
where in varieties of domestic animals, especially in horses and
pigs, in the position and collocation of the ears, especially inas-
much as, if we take into consideration in these same Egyptians
[Seite 247] and Indians the inclination of the aperture of the eyelids, from
the root of the nose towards the ears, we shall find that the
elevation of the ears depends upon the way in which the head
is carried, the occiput being elevated, and the chin depressed.
We find also, not only from passages in the ancient authors, but
also from ancient representations, that the ears of the aboriginal
Batavians were remarkable for their form and position1). So
also the ears of the Biscayans were remarkable for their size2).

It is well known that in barbarous nations the ears often
stand out a good deal from the head, and are moveable; and in
many races, especially of the East Indies and the Pacific Ocean,
the lobe of the ear is enlarged and prodigiously elongated by
various artifices. This absurd custom has no doubt given rise
to the exaggerated stories of ancient writers about the enormous
ears of certain races.

67. Breasts. There is a cloud of witnesses to prove that the
breasts of the females in some nations, especially of Africa3) and
some Islands of the Pacific Ocean4), are very long and pendulous.
Meanwhile I must observe first, that their proportions have
been exaggerated beyond the truth; and also that this conform-
ation is not common to all the women of the same race. Even
in the Islands of the Southern Ocean5) many women, and also
many Ethiopians6) every day in the European markets, are to be
[Seite 248] seen, who are remarkable for the extreme beauty of their
breasts. Besides, this excessive size is by no means peculiar to
barbarous nations alone, but has been observed frequently in
Europeans, as amongst the Irish1), and up to this day amongst
the Morlachians2). It seems the principal reason is to be looked
for in the way the mother gives suck to the infant attached to
its back, and partly because lactation is kept up long, sometimes
for years. And we read too that the breasts are often artifi-
cially elongated amongst nations, who reckon that feature a

Other nations are conspicuous for the size and turgescence of
the breasts, like the Egyptians, Juvenal long ago said,

“Or breasts at Meroe big as good-sized babes,”

as if speaking of a thing common and well known to all. And not
only the women, but also the men in Egypt, are said to be very
large-breasted4). Amongst European nations the Portuguese
women have very large breasts5), whilst those of the Spanish on
the contrary are thin and small; and in the last century especi-
ally they took pains to compress them and obstruct their
growth6). That by taking pains the circumference of the breasts
can be increased is indubitable. How far, moreover, precocious
venery may operate in that direction is shown by the remark-
able instances amongst the immature and girlish prostitutes who
flock to London, especially from the neighbouring suburbs, and
offering themselves for hire, wander about the streets by night
in great numbers.

[Seite 249]

68. Genitals. Linnæus says in the prolegomena of his Sys-
tema Naturæ,
‘“that a too minute inspection of the genitals is
abominable and disagreeable.”’ It is evident however by the
terminology of his conchylia that in process of time he came to
think otherwise, and above all we find it so from the Venus
depicted by him in a sufficiently licentious meta-
phorical style. The shade therefore of this illustrious man
will no doubt pardon me if I enumerate here shortly what
seem to me worthy of mention about some racial varieties of
the genitals.

It is generally said that the penis in the Negro is very large.
And this assertion is so far borne out by the remarkable geni-
tory apparatus of an Æthiopian which I have in my anatomical
collection. Whether this prerogative be constant and peculiar
to the nation I do not know1). It is said that women when
eager for venery prefer the embraces of Negroes to those of
other men2). On the other hand, that Ethiopian3) and Mulatto4)
women are particularly sought out by Europeans. The cause of
this preference may be various, but I do not know what it is.
Perhaps they resemble the Mongolian5) women and those of
some American tribes6), about whom we are told that the muli-
ebria remain small, not only after marriage but even after child-
bearing. Steller7) attributes the contrary character to the
pudenda of the Kamtschadales. He also says that many of them
are remarkable for long and protruding nymphæ; which some
say in Hottentot women come to be appendages like fingers8).
But this sinus pudoris, as Linnæus called it, seems rather to
[Seite 250] consist in the elongation of the labia themselves1), which is said
to be due to artifice2); and has given a handle for that story
about the skinny ventrale, which credulous authors have thought
hung down from the abdomen3) and concealed the pudenda of
these women4).

69. Legs. Some difference in the proportion and appear-
ance of the legs is known to exist in certain nations. Thus the
Indians are remarkable for the length of their legs5), the Mongo-
lians on the other hand for their shortness6). The Irish women
are said to have very large thighs7). The legs of the New Zea-
landers are so thick as to appear cedematous8). Others tell us that
these antipodes of ours have those same legs crooked and de-
formed, and that such evils are contracted from the position in
which they usually sit9). Bandy legs however are very common
amongst the Calmucks, and are ascribed as well to the kind of
cradles their children have, as to the fact that they are accus-
tomed to be on horseback from tender youth10). The feet of the
Tierra del Fuegians11), who are called by De Bougainville12) Pes-
cheras, are described as being remarkably deformed.

That the populations of Africa, however, are those in which
deformities of the legs and feet are racial, has been noticed by
the ancients, especially in the case of the Egyptians13), the Ethi-
[Seite 251] opians1), and the negro slaves2). In the legs of black slaves of
our day three defects are to be seen, attributed to three differ-
ent causes; bandy legs3) (fr. jambes cambrées); disagreeable thick-
ness4); and the chinks and fissures in which they are said fre-
quently to open5). The crookedness appears to be due principally
from the posture in which the infants whilst sucking are
obliged to hold tight by the knees to the mother's back6). Some
deformities of this kind may also be traced to morbific causes7).
The thickness of the feet (unless this too is to be referred to
pathological causes) is most probably brought about by severe
and continuous labour. Finally, there is scarcely any reason to
doubt but what the fissures into which the thick epidermis of
the Ethiopians is liable to break out, especially in the sole of the
foot, are due to their sandy soil8).

70. Feet and hands. Lastly, good observers have remarked
that the hands and feet of some nations are of singularly small
proportions. This is said of the Indians9), the Chinese10), the
Kamtschadales11), the Esquimaux12), the Peruvians13), New Hol-
landers14) and Hottentots15). That artifice has a good deal to do
[Seite 252] with this we know from the ostrich feet of the Chinese women.
But it seems very likely that the mode of life1) and poor sort
of diet2) may also be to blame.

71. Racial varieties in respect of stature. Having now
despatched what seems most worthy of remark about the rela-
tive proportion and conformation of particular parts, it seems
proper to investigate briefly the varieties of the entire stature.
This chapter of anthropological discussion has been handed
down to us deformed almost entirely by fables, hyperbolical
over-layers, and misinterpretation. These have, however, in
our day been in a great part so refuted and explained, and re-
duced to their genuine sources, that it is scarcely necessary to
mention them further, much leas discuss them over again with
fresh attention.

Thus it has been shown that under the Ethiopian pigmies
of the ancients nothing else was intended but a symbolical
signification of the degrees in the Nilometer. Thus the enor-
mous bones dug up everywhere in our own country, which pre-
judiced opinion formerly attributed to giants, have been restored
to the beasts by a more careful osteological study3). On the
contrary, all the relics which have survived to our day, and the
ancient furniture from which we may estimate the stature of
ancient races, as mummies, bones, and especially the human
[Seite 253] teeth found in urns and sepulchres1), armour, &c., tend to the
conviction that those nations by no means surpassed men of the
present day in stature. Amongst these also there is an indis-
putable racial diversity. Amongst European races the Scandi-
navians and some of the Swiss, as the Suitens, are tall: the
Lapps short. In the new world the Abipones are large in size,
the Esquimaux shorter: but neither more than moderately so.
Altogether there is no variety in respect of stature so great
amongst nations of the present day, but what may be easily
explained by the common modes of degeneration, and the
analogous phenomena which may be observed in other mam-
mals. There are, however, two varieties of this kind which
must be treated separately, of which it is said that even in
these present times one differs greatly in excess, and the other
by defect, from the common stature of mankind.

72. Patagonians. There is at the extremity of the conti-
nent of South America, towards the north-east, a nation, which
from the time of Magellan's voyage has been known to
Europeans, who invented for them the composite name of
Patagonians, because they thought them related to their neigh-
bours the Choni, and that their feet, which they used to wrap
in the skins of the guanaco, were like the shaggy feet of brutes,
called in Spanish patas. Their proper and indigenous name,
however, is Tehueletæ. These people, then commonly called
Patagonians, Anton. Pigafetta, the companion of Magellan in
his voyage, was the first in his account to pretend were giants
double the size of Europeans2). From that time on for two
centuries and a half the stories about the expeditions under-
taken by the Europeans in that part of the new world are so
repugnant to each other, and so contradictory and so wonder-
fully inconsistent as far as their notices of the Patagonians,
that, once for all, they may serve as a warning to us to be
[Seite 254] cautious and diffident in trusting the accounts of travellers. I
give in a note a decade of authors1), for the benefit of those who
are interested in examining and comparing these different
accounts, and the opinions of anthropologists about them. It
will be sufficient for us at present to put forth those results
which seem most like the truth, after weighing and duly criticis-
ing everything.

It is then a race of men by no means of gigantic height, but
conspicuous for tall bodies and a very muscular and knotty
habit2). To define their exact stature amidst such a quantity of
ambiguous stories would be impossible. From the evidence of
the best witnesses, however, it seems scarcely to exceed six feet
and a half of English measure; and this is the less to be
thought prodigious, since it has long been known that other
indigenous races of America (especially in the South) are very
tall. It is very probably the case with them what Tacitus tells
us about the ancient Germans, that they never mix with any
other nation in marriage, and preserve their race peculiar,
unadulterated, and always like itself. They are Nomads, like
the people of Tierra del Fuego, and the other wandering nations
of South America; and thence it is not surprising if they have not
always appeared to be men of the same lofty stature to the
Europeans who have approached the same coasts indeed of that
country, but at different times.

It is not difficult, on the other hand, to understand how the
story of the Patagonian giants arose. First, that old tradition
about the giants of the old world preoccupied all minds, and so
those travellers in the new world who were on the look out for
[Seite 255] prodigies, reverted to that when they found men who were in
reality tall and muscular, and tombs of wonderful length1), and
every where in them bones of a large size2). The Spaniards too
might also have had the design of deterring the other nations
of Europe from navigating the Straits of Magellan by stories of
this kind3). And in others blind fear, and the desire of boasting,
such as even in the present century has induced the author of a
Dutch account of the voyage of Roggewein, to give out the
inhabitants of Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean as giants of
twelve feet high4).

73. Quimos. There was an old story which even in the last
century was exposed by the classical writer Stephen Flacourt as
a fictitious invention that there existed in the inner mountains
of the Island of Madagascar a nation, pigmy in stature, but of a
very warlike spirit, and which afflicted the other inhabitants by
its sudden invasions. They were called Quimos or Kimos.

This story has lately found defenders in our time, in the
pilot Modave, and the famous botanist Commerson. But if you
take away all that is mere hearsay in their accounts, and their
discrepancies, which are not few, all that remains will be that the
pilot bought a certain small servant maid, who was sold to him
[Seite 256] for a Quimo, pale in colour, with pendulous breasts, and remark-
able for the length of her arms, which reached nearly to the
knees. Baron de Clugny, moreover, who spent nearly one
whole month in the same ship with this identical pigmy, clearly
showed that she was only a dwarf of had conformation and
diseased constitution, macrocephalous, stupid, and an utterer of
confused sounds; from all which circumstances I am persuaded
that her malady should be referred to Cretinism, since these
symptoms occur in Cretins; and the length of the arms has been
noticed in many of them, and particularly in those of Salzburg,
in express words, by observers. On the other hand Sonnerat
has ingeniously explained the whole tradition as if it was to be
understood about the Zaphe-Racquimusi, that is, the six chiefs
of the race who inhabit Manatana, a province of that Island,
which chiefs are descended from an ancestor who was very
small; a fact expressed by that barbarous word1).

74. Causes of Racial Stature. We must allow then that
there is no entire nation of giants or pigmies. But the racial
variety of stature which we touched upon above (s. 71) seems to
be confined within smaller limits in proportion than those which
have been everywhere observed in the case of other domestic
animals (s. 29); and this will easily be understood by a consi-
deration of what has been said about the causes of degeneration.
That climate has something to do with it, besides many other
proofs, is seen from a comparison of the Laplanders with the
Hungarians, who are two colonies from one race, but have
reached a very different stature under a different climate.
Physiology also clearly shows the great influence of diet in
augmenting or diminishing the stature. Hence the tall bodies
of the nobles of Otaheite is ascribed to the more generous diet
they indulge in2).

[Seite 257]

On the other hand we are told that the stature of some bar-
barous nations has diminished sensibly for a series of generations
after they have accustomed themselves to the abuse of aqua-
vitae and ardent spirits1).

Here also mention ought to be made of the period of puberty,
which differs in different nations, and has a good deal to do with
the racial stature, since those who remain longest before arriving
at puberty, by this constancy (as Cæsar long since observed of
the ancient Germans) increase their stature: whereas the best
authors have with one voice observed that under every sort of
climate and place premature venery is injurious to procerity of
body2). Nations preserve their peculiar stature when they
mingle least with the immigrants and strangers of other races:
as on the other hand racial stature is altered after a series of
generations when they have been mingled in union with other
nations of a different size3). Lastly, we learn from indisputable
instances of families remarkable for height or shortness that the
influence of the ancestral constitution is great as to the stature
of the offspring.

75. Fabulous varieties of mankind. Infinite in number
are the stories we have received from the time of Herodotus
downwards, from all sorts of sources, principally from Aristeus,
Ctesias, and Megasthenes, and which the Cosmographists have
told us about nations of monstrous appearance, such as the
Arimaspi, with only one eye; the Cynamolgi, with dogs' heads;
the Monosceles, with only one leg; the wild men of the Imaus,
with their feet fronting the back part of the legs, &c.4) It is not
my business to spend any time upon these things here; though
the investigation of these matters brings both pleasure and
profit; for that is equally true of anthropology which prevails in
[Seite 258] every other department of natural history, that scarcely any
story, however absurd and foolish, has ever been told in it,
which does not contain some foundation of truth, but perverted
by hyperbolical exaggeration or misinterpretation1). I mean to
touch here upon only one instance out of this crowd of prodigies,
that is, the often repeated story of nations with tails, as being
one which we have been told of again and again by all sorts of
authors of all sorts of times2).

76. Reports of nations with tails. First Pliny, then Pausa-
nias, make mention of the tailed men of India: then in the
middle ages their existence was asserted by the Nubian Geogra-
pher, the Venetian Marco Polo, and others; lastly, in more
recent times many writers of travels have brought back similar
reports about the various tailed islanders of the Indian Archipe-
lago3); others about people of the same kind in some province of
Russia4); and others other stories5).

Proper consideration however will easily show that very little
weight is to be attached to these assertions. Many authors
have derived their information entirely from hearsay. Then
again it cannot be denied that many of their witnesses who
boast of having seen the thing themselves are undoubtedly of
very dubious repute6). Moreover the stories themselves on this
point differ very suspiciously from each other7). On the other
[Seite 259] hand the boldest and most careful explorers of those countries
are either silent about that monstrous prodigy; or relying on
the authority of the inhabitants plainly declare it a lying fiction1).
And finally, some expressly tell us what it is that has given rise
to this erroneous report; viz.: either a pendulous addition to the
clothes of the back2); or some tailed anthropomorphous apes3).
So that not one single instance of a tailed race can be proved by
the consent of any number of trustworthy eye-witnesses, nay,
not even of a single family remarkable for such a monstrous
anomaly; whilst instances of monstrosities in families, in which,
for example, six fingers have been hereditary for generations, are
very well known. As to individuals, who are here and there to
be seen amongst Europeans, remarkable for a monstrous excres-
cence of the os coccygis, it is at once understood that we do not
mean to say anything of them here, any more than of number-
less other monstrous productions.

77. Racial variety from morbific affection. I have spoken
above on the subject of the morbific disorders which so change
the appearance and even the colour of animals, that when that is
propagated by hereditary causes for a long series of generations it
shades sensibly away into a sort of second nature, and in some
species of animals gives rise to peculiar and constant varieties.
We have cited the well-known examples of the white variety of
the domestic mouse and the rabbit, whose snowy fur and rosy
pupils are most certainly due to a morbific affection, in fact to
leucœthiopia. The same kind of affection is frequently seen in
mankind. Still only sporadically, certainly nowhere is it so
frequent and so constant as in the brute animals just spoken
of; for in them it degenerates into a particular and copious
variety. Still, even human leucœthiopia must be spoken of,
[Seite 260] though briefly. Briefly, I say, both because in man it can
scarcely be said to constitute a particular variety, and also
because it would be tedious to repeat those things which I have
in another place said about this remarkable disorder1).

78. Human leucœthiopia. The affection must be considered
cachectic, which is plain from two pathological and constant
symptoms. One of these consists in a singular colour of the
skin, a sickly white partly shading into an unnatural redness,
very often presenting the appearance of a slight leprosy2); and
also in an anomalous whiteness of the hair and groin, not silver
white as in old men, nor nicely yellowish, verging to cinericial,
as may be seen in many of our own countrymen, who are there-
fore called yellow (fr. blondins), but rather straw-coloured, or
cream-coloured. The other affects the organs of sight, and
deprives them of their dark pigment which in sound eyes lines
some of the internal membranes, and is destined for the absorp-
tion of the excess of light, a thing of the utmost importance for
good and clear vision. Hence the iris of the eye of a leucœthiop
is of a pale rose, and half transparent: the pupil is bright and
of a more intense red, like a sardonyx or carbuncle of a pale

These two symptoms occur united with a singular con-
stancy, so that, as far as I know, that peculiar redness of the
eye is never seen alone, or without that false whiteness of the
hair on the head and elsewhere. It is not, however, to be
wondered at if the redness of the pupils has not always been
noticed by observers, since the other symptoms we have spoken
of strike the eye more, and the leucœthiopians not being able to
endure the light have a habit of constantly winking the eye-

The disease is always congenital; never, so far as I know,
being contracted after birth. Always incurable; for there is
no single known instance of the black pigment being ever
added to the eyes after birth. It is very often hereditary; for
[Seite 261] it is false what has been said by some that leucœthiopians are
sterile or incapable of generating or conceiving. Generally, all
the accounts we have of this remarkable disorder are wonder-
fully deformed with errors of all sorts. Thus some have doubted
whether leucœthiopia ought to be considered as a true morbific
affection; others hare foolishly confounded it with cretinism,
others with the history of the Simia satyrus; others have
rashly asserted that this affection is only to be seen within the
tropics. For although it was no doubt first observed amongst
the Ethiopians, for the reason that in a black nation this white-
ness of the skin and hair would necessarily strike most every
one's eye, and hence the name of leucœthiopians (fr. négres blancs)
was given to those suffering under that malady (who are called
in the East Indies contemptuously by the Batavians Kackerl-
after a light-shunning insect, by the Spaniards Albinos,
the French Blafards, &c.); it is so far from being the case that
it occurs only amongst the negroes, or even only in the torrid
zone, that on the contrary nothing is more certain than that
there is no variety of mankind, no part of the world which is
unfit for the manifestation of that disease.

Sixteen examples of leucœthiopians have already come under
my notice born in different provinces of Germany1). Then in
the rest of Europe some among the Danes2), the English3), the
Irish4), the French5), the Swiss6), the Italians7), the islanders of the
Archipelago8), the Hungarians9). Then out of Europe amongst
[Seite 262] the Arabians1), the Malabars2), Madagascans3), Caffres4), Negroes5)
(as well those born in Africa itself as amongst the Ethiopian
Creoles of the new world). Them amongst the Americans of the
Isthmus of Darien6), and Brazil7). Finally, amongst the bar-
barous islanders of the Indian and Pacific Oceans; as in Su-
matra8), Bali9), Amboyna10), Manilla11), New Guinea12), the
Friendly13) and Society Islands14).

Moreover, this affection of which we are speaking is by no
means peculiar to mankind, but has been observed in many
other warm-blooded animals of both classes. Of the mammals,
besides the common instances of the rabbits, the mice, the
weasels and horses (in which four kinds of animals this affection
in process of time seems to have become a sort of second nature),
instances of apes15) have been reported to me, squirrels16), rats17),
hamsters18), guinea-pigs19), moles20) opossums21), martins22), wea-
sels23), and goats24). Amongst birds, crows25), thrushes26), canary-
birds, partridges27), hens and peacocks. It is remarkable that
[Seite 263] not a single example, so far as I know, of this affection has
been observed in any cold-blooded animal.

79. Epilogue to this section. Let so much suffice about the
causes and ways in which mankind degenerates into varieties
in respect of colour, structure, proportion, and stature. In this
enumeration I have left untouched no point that I know of
which can in any way help to unravel the famous question about
the unity or plurality of the species of man. We shall see in
the following section, after this general discussion, how that
species is in reality composed according to nature.


[Seite 264]

80. Innumerable varieties of mankind run into one another
hy insensible degrees.
We have now completed a universal sur-
vey of the genuine varieties of mankind. And as, on the one
hand, we have not found a single one which does not (as is
shown in the last section but one) even among other warm-
blooded animals, especially the domestic ones, very plainly, and
in a very remarkable way, take place as it were under our eyes,
and deduce its origin from manifest causes of degeneration;
so, on the other hand (as is shown in the last section), no
variety exists, whether of colour, countenance, or stature, &c., so
singular as not to be connected with others of the same kind
hy such an imperceptible transition, that it is very clear they
are all related, or only differ from each other in degree.

81. Five principal varieties of mankind may be reckoned.
As, however, even among these arbitrary kinds of divisions, one
is said to be better and preferable to another; after a long and
attentive consideration, all mankind, as far as it is at present
known to us, seems to me as if it may best, according to natural
truth, be divided into the five following varieties; which may
be designated and distinguished from each other hy the Dames
Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay. I have
allotted the first place to the Caucasian, for the reasons given
below, which make me esteem it the primeval one. This diverges
in both directions into two, most remote and very different from
each other; on the one side, namely, into the Ethiopian, and on
the other into the Mongolian. The remaining two occupy the
intermediate positions between that primeval one and these
[Seite 265] two extreme varieties; that is, the American between the Cau-
casian and Mongolian; the Malay between the same Caucasian
and Ethiopian.

82. Characters and limits of these varieties. In the follow-
ing notes and descriptions these five varieties must be generally-
defined. To this enumeration, however, I must prefix a double
warning; first, that on account of the multifarious diversity
of the characters, according to their degrees, one or two alone
are not sufficient, but we must take several joined together;
and then that this union of characters is not so constant but
what it is liable to innumerable exceptions in all and singular
of these varieties. Still this enumeration is so conceived as to
give a sufficiently plain and perspicuous notion of them in

Caucasian variety. Colour white, cheeks rosy (s. 43); hair
brown or chestnut-coloured (s. 52); head subglobular (s. 62); face
oval, straight, its parts moderately defined, forehead smooth,
nose narrow, slightly hooked, mouth small (s. 56). The primary
teeth placed perpendicularly to each jaw (s. 62); the lips (espe-
cially the lower one) moderately open, the chin full and
rounded (s. 56). In general, that kind of appearance which,
according to our opinion of symmetry, we consider most handsome
and becoming. To this first variety belong the inhabitants of
Europe (except the Lapps and the remaining descendants of
the Finns) and those of Eastern Asia, as far as the river Obi,
the Caspian Sea and the Ganges; and lastly, those of Northern

Mongolian variety. Colour yellow (s. 43); hair black, stiff,
straight and scanty (s. 52); head almost square (s. 62); face
broad, at the same time flat and depressed, the parts therefore
less distinct, as it were running into one another; glabella flat,
very broad; nose small, apish; cheeks usually globular, promi-
nent outwardly; the opening of the eyelids narrow, linear; chin
slightly prominent (s. 56). This variety comprehends the re-
maining inhabitants of Asia (except the Malays on the extre-
mity of the trans-Gangetic peninsula) and the Finnish popula-
tions of the cold part of Europe, the Lapps, &c. and the race of
[Seite 266] Esquimaux, so widely diffused over North America, from Beh-
ring's straits to the inhabited extremity of Greenland.

Ethiopian variety. Colour black (s. 43); hair black and
curly (s. 52); head narrow, compressed at the sides (s. 62);
forehead knotty, uneven; malar bones protruding outwards;
eyes very prominent; nose thick, mixed up as it were with the
wide jaws (s. 56); alveolar edge narrow, elongated in front; the
upper primaries obliquely prominent (s. 62); the lips (espe-
cially the upper) very puffy; chin retreating (s. 56). Many are
bandy-legged (s. 69). To this variety belong all the Africans,
except those of the north.

American variety. Copper-coloured (s. 43); hair black, stiff,
straight and scanty (s. 52); forehead short; eyes set very deep;
nose somewhat apish, but prominent; the face invariably broad,
with cheeks prominent, but not flat or depressed; its parts, if
seen in profile, very distinct, and as it were deeply chiselled
(s. 56); the shape of the forehead and head in many artificially
distorted. This variety comprehends the inhabitants of Ame-
rica except the Esquimaux.

Malay variety. Tawny-coloured (s. 43); hair black, soft,
curly, thick and plentiful (s. 52); head moderately narrowed;
forehead slightly swelling (s. 62); nose full, rather wide, as it
were diffuse, end thick; mouth large (s. 56), upper jaw some-
what prominent with the parts of the face when seen in profile,
sufficiently prominent and distinct from each other (s. 56).
This last variety, includes the islanders of the Pacific Ocean,
together with the inhabitants of the Marianne, the Philippine,
the Molucca and the Sunda Islands, and of the Malayan pen-

83. Divisions of the varieties of mankind by other authors.
It seems but fair to give briefly the opinions of other authors
also, who have divided mankind into varieties, so that the
reader may compare them more easily together, and weigh
them, and choose which of them he likes best. The first per-
son, as far as I know, who made an attempt of this kind was a
certain anonymous writer who towards the end of the last
century divided mankind into four races; that is, first, one
[Seite 267] of all Europe, Lapland alone excepted, and Southern Asia,
Northern Africa, and the whole of America; secondly, that
of the rest of Africa; thirdly, that of the rest of Asia with, the
islands towards the east; fourthly, the Lapps1). Leibnitz di-
vided the men of our continent into four classes. Two extremes,
the Laplanders and the Ethiopians; and as many intermediates,
one eastern (Mongolian), one western (as the European)2).

Linnæus, following common geography, divided men into
(1) the red American, (2) the white European, (3) the dark
Asiatic, and (4) the black Negro3). Buffon distinguished six varie-
ties of man: (1) Lapp or polar, (2) Tartar (by which name ac-
cording to ordinary language he meant the Mongolian), (3) south
Asian, (4) European, (5) Ethiopian, (6) American4).

Amongst those who reckoned three primitive nations of
mankind answering to the number of the sons of Noah, Governor
Pownall is first entitled to praise, who, as far as I know, was also
the first to pay attention to the racial form of skull as connected
with this subject. He divided these stocks into white, red and
black. In the middle one he comprised both the Mongolians
and Americans, as agreeing, besides other characters, in the con-
figuration of their skulls and the appearance of their hair5).
Abbé de la Croix divides man into white and black. The
former again into white, properly so called, brown (bruns),
yellow (jaunêtres), and olive-coloured6).

Kant derives four varieties from dark-brown Autochthones:
the white one of northern Europe, the copper-coloured Ame-
rican, the black one of Senegambia, the olive-coloured Indian7).
John Hunter reckons seven varieties: (1) of black men, that is,
[Seite 268] Ethiopians, Papuans, &c.; (2) the blackish inhabitants of Mauri-
tania and the Cape of Good Hope; (3) the copper-coloured of
eastern India; (4) the red Americans; (5) the tawny, as Tartars,
Arabs, Persians, Chinese, &c.; (6) brownish, as the southern
Europeans, Spaniards, &c., Turks, Abyssinians, Samoiedes and
Lapps; (7) white, as the remaining Europeans, the Georgians,
Mingrelians and Kabardinski1).

Zimmermann is amongst those who place the aborigines of
mankind in the elevated Scythico-Asiatic plain, near the sources
of the Indus, Ganges and Obi rivers; and thence deduces the
varieties of Europe (1), northern Asia, and the great part of
North America (2), Arabia, India, and the Indian Archipe-
lago (3), Asia to the north-east, China, Corea, &c. (4). He is
of opinion that the Ethiopians deduce their origin from either
the first or the third of these varieties2).

Meiners refers all nations to two stocks: (1) handsome,
(2) ugly; the first white, the latter dark. He includes in the
handsome stock the Celts, Sarmatians, and oriental nations.
The ugly stock embraces all the rest of mankind3). Klügel
distinguishes four stocks: (1) the primitive, autochthones of that
elevated Asiatic plain we were speaking of, from which he
derives the inhabitants of all the rest of Asia, the whole of
Europe, the extreme north of America, and northern Africa;
(2) the Negroes; (3) the Americans, except those of the extreme
north; (4) the Islanders of the southern ocean4). Metzger makes
two principal varieties as extremes: (1) the white man native
of Europe, of the northern parts of Asia, America and Africa;
(2) the black, or Ethiopian, of the rest of Africa. The transition
between the two is made by the rest of the Asiatics, the in-
habitants of South America, and the Islanders of the southern

84. Notes on the five varieties of Mankind. But we must
[Seite 269] return to our pentad of the varieties of mankind. I have indi-
cated separately all and each of the characters which I attribute
to them in the sections above. Now, I will strung together, at
the end of my little work, as a finish, some scattered notes which
belong to each of them in general.

85. Caucasian variety. I have taken the name of this variety
from Mount Caucasus, both because its neighbourhood, and es-
pecially its southern slope, produces the most beautiful race of
men, I mean the Georgian1); and because all physiological rea-
sons converge to this, that in that region, if anywhere, it seems
we ought with the greatest probability to place the autochthones
of mankind. For in the first place, that stock displays, as we
have seen (s. 62), the most beautiful form of the skull, from which,
as from a mean and primeval type, the others diverge by most
easy gradations on both sides to the two ultimate extremes (that
is, on the one side the Mongolian, on the other the Ethiopian).
Besides, it is white in colour, which we may fairly assume to
have been the primitive colour of mankind, since, as we have
shown above (s. 45), it is very easy for that to degenerate into
brown, but very much more difficult for dark to become white,
when the secretion and precipitation of this carbonaceous pig-
ment (s. 44) has once deeply struck root.

86. Mongolian variety. This is the same as what was for-
merly called, though in a vague and ambiguous way, the Tartar
variety2); which denomination has given rise to wonderful mis-
takes in the study of the varieties of mankind which we are now
busy about, So that Buffon and his followers, seduced by that
title, have erroneously transferred to the genuine Tartars, who
[Seite 270] beyond a doubt belong to our first variety, the racial characters
of the Mongols, borrowed from ancient authors1), who described
them under the name of Tartars.

But the Tartars shade away through the Kirghis and the
neighbouring races into the Mongols, in the same way as these
may be said to pass through the Tibetans2) to the Indians,
through the Esquimaux to the Americans, and also in a sort of
way through the Philippine Islanders3) to the men of the Malay

87. Ethiopian variety. This variety, principally because it
is so different in colour from our own, has induced many to con-
sider it, with the witty, but badly instructed in physiology, Vol-
taire, as a peculiar species of mankind. But it is not necessary
for me to spend any time here upon refuting this opinion, when
it has so clearly been shown above that there is no single
character so peculiar and so universal among the Ethiopians,
but what it may be observed on the one hand everywhere in other
varieties of men4); and on the other that many Negroes are seen
[Seite 271] to be without each. And besides there is no character which
does not shade away by insensible gradation from this variety of
mankind to its neighbours, which is clear to every one who has
carefully considered the difference between a few stocks of this
variety, such as the Foulahs, the Wolufs, and Mandingos, and
how by these shades of difference they pass away into the
Moors and Arabs.

The assertion that is made about the Ethiopians, that they
come nearer the apes than other men, I willingly allow so far as
this, that it is in the same way that the solid-hoofed (s. 30)
variety of the domestic sow may be said to come nearer to the
horse than other sows. But how little weight is for the most
part to be attached to this sort of comparison is clear from this,
that there is scarcely any other out of the principal varieties of
mankind, of which one nation or other, and that too by careful
observers, has not been compared, as far as the face goes, with
the apes; as we find said in express words of the Lapps1), the
Esquimaux2), the Caaiguas of South America3), and the inhabit-
ants of the Island Mallicollo4).

88. American variety. It is astonishing and humiliating
what quantities of fables were formerly spread about the racial
characters of this variety. Some have denied beards to the men5),
others menstruation to the women6). Some have attributed
[Seite 272] one and the same colour1) to each and all the Americans;
others a perfectly similar countenance to all of them2). It has
been so clearly demonstrated now by the unanimous consent of
accurate and truthful observers, that the Americans are not
naturally beardless, that I am almost ashamed of the unneces-
sary trouble I formerly took to get together a heap of testi-
mony3), by which it is proved that not only throughout the
whole of America, from the Esquimaux downwards to the inha-
bitants of Tierra del Fuego, are there groups of inhabitants who
cherish a beard; but also it is quite undeniable as to the other
beardless ones that they eradicate and pluck oat their own by
artifice and on purpose, in the same way as has been customary
among so many other nations, the Mongolians4) for example, and
the Malays5). We all know that the beard of the Americans is
thin and scanty, as is also the case with so many Mongolian
nations. They ought therefore no more to be called beardless,
than men with scanty hair to be called bald. Those therefore
who thought the Americans were naturally beardless fell into
the same error as that which induced the ancients to suppose
and persuade others, that, the birds of paradise, from whose
corpses the feet are often cut off, were naturally destitute of

The fabulous report that the American women have no men-
struation, seems to have had its origin in this, that the Euro-
peans when they discovered the new world, although they saw
numbers of the female inhabitants almost entirely naked, never
seem to have observed in them the stains of that excretion6).
For this it seems likely that there were two reasons; first, that
[Seite 273] amongst those nations of America, the women during menstru-
ation are, by a fortunate prejudice, considered as poisonous, and
are prohibited from social intercourse, and for so long enjoy a
beneficial repose in the more secluded huts far from the view
of men1); secondly, because, as has been noticed2), they are so
commendably clean in their bodies, and the commissure of their
legs so conduces to modesty, that no vestiges of the catamenia
ever strike the eye.

As to the colour of the skin of this variety, on the one hand
it has been observed above, that it is by no means so constant as
not in many cases to shade away into black (s. 43); and on the
other, that it is easily seen, from the nature of the American cli-
mate3), and the laws of degeneration when applied to the ex-
tremely probable origin of the Americans from northern Asia4),
why they are not liable to such great diversities of colour, as the
other descendants of Asiatic autochthones, who peopled the
ancient world. The same reason holds good as to the appear-
ance of the Americans. Careful eye-witnesses long ago laughed
at the foolish, or possibly facetious hyperbole of some, who
asserted that the inhabitants of the new world were so exactly
alike, that when a man had seen one, he could say that he had
seen all5), &c. It is, on the contrary, proved by the finished
drawings of Americans by the best artists, and by the testimony
of the most trustworthy eye-witnesses, that in this variety of
mankind, as in others, countenances of all sorts occur6); although
[Seite 274] in general that sort of racial conformation may be considered as
properly belonging to them which we attributed to them above
(s. 56). It was justly observed by the first Europeans1) who
visited the new continent, that the Americans came very near to
the Mongolians, which adds fresh weight to the very probable
opinion that the Americans came from northern Asia, and
derived their origin from the Mongolian nation. It is probable
that migrations of that kind took place at different times, after
considerable intervals, according as various physical, geological,
or political catastrophes gave occasion to them; and hence, if
any place is allowed for conjecture in these investigations, the
reason may probably be derived, why the Esquimaux have still
much more of the Mongolian appearance2) about them than the
rest of the Americans: partly, because the catastrophe which
drove them from northern Asia must be much more recent, and
so they are a much later arrival3); and partly because the climate
of the new country, which they now inhabit, is much more homo-
geneous with that of their original country. In fact, unless I am
much mistaken, we must attribute to the same influence I men-
tioned above (s. 57), which the climate has in preserving or
restoring the racial appearance, the fact that the inhabitants of
the cold southern extremity of South America, as the barbarous
inhabitants of the Straits of Magellan, seem to come nearer,
and as it were fall back, to the original Mongolian countenance4).

[Seite 275]

89. The Malay variety. As the Americans in respect of
racial appearance hold as it were a place between the medial
variety of mankind, which we called the Caucasian, and one of
the two extremes, that is the Mongolian; so the Malay variety
makes the transition from that medial variety to the other ex-
treme, namely, the Ethiopian. I wish to call it the Malay,
because the majority of the men of this variety, especially those
who inhabit the Indian islands close to the Malacca peninsula,
as well as the Sandwich, the Society, and the Friendly Islanders,
and also the Malambi of Madagascar down to the inhabitants of
Easter Island, use the Malay idiom1).

Meanwhile even these differ so much between themselves
through various degrees of beauty and other corporeal attributes,
that there are some who divide the Otaheitans themselves into
two distinct races2); the first paler in colour, of lofty stature,
with face which can scarcely be distinguished from that of the
European; the second, on the other hand, of moderate stature,
colour and face little different from that of Mulattos, curly
hair, &c.3) This last race then comes very near those men who
inhabit the islands more to the south in the Pacific Ocean, of
whom the inhabitants of the New Hebrides in particular come
sensibly near the Papuans and New Hollanders, who finally on
their part graduate away so insensibly towards the Ethiopian
variety, that, if it was thought convenient, they might not
unfairly be classed with them, in that distribution of the varie-
ties we were talking about.

90. Conclusion. Thus too there is with this that insensible
transition by which as we saw the other varieties also run toge-
ther, and which, compared with what was discussed in the earlier
[Seite 276] sections of the book, about the causes and ways of degeneration,
and the analogous phenomena of degeneration in the other
domestic animals, brings us to that conclusion, which seems to
flow spontaneously from physiological principles applied by the
aid of critical zoology to the natural history of mankind; which
is, That no doubt can any longer remain but that we are with
great probability right in referring all and singular as many
varieties of man as are at present known to one and the same

[Seite 277]




[Seite 279]



[interleaf] [Seite 281]


On Mutability in the Creation.

‘“Yes, that's the way of the world,”’ says Voltaire; ‘“we can't get
any more purple, for the Murex has long since been extermi-
nated. The poor little shell must have been eaten up by some
other larger animals.”’ ‘“God forbid,”’ answer the physico-theolo-
gians; ‘“it is impossible that Providence can allow of the extinc-
tion of a species1).”’ Thus says the noble village pastor of Savoy
in Emilie, ‘“There is no creature in the universe that may not
equally be looked upon as the common centre of all the rest.”’
And, says another in addition, ‘“There is no one, so to say, which
is not that for all the rest of the creation, which the head of
Phidias was for the shield of his artificial Minerva, which could
not be removed without the whole of the great work falling to

‘“Rather than that,”’ says Linnæus, ‘“let nature create new
sorts. Thus not far from Upsala, on the island Södra-Gaesskiaeret,
[Seite 282] a new plant has appeared, the Peloria, that is undoubtedly a
sort of new creation.”’ ‘“Ah,”’ they answer, ‘“nature is an old
hen, which will certainly lay nothing more fresh at this time of
day.”’ ‘“Certainly not,”’ decides Haller; ‘“and such errors should
be denounced, because they will be eagerly snapped up by the
atheists, who will be only too glad to demonstrate the instability
of nature as well by the appearance of new species, as by the
pretended extermination of old kinds. And this must not
be; for if order in the physical world comes to an end, so also
will order in the moral world, and at last it is all over with all

If I may presume to put in a word here myself, my opinion
is that on all sides too much has been made of the matter. The
murex exists up to the present day just as much as in the time
of the old Phœnicians and Greeks; – the peloria is a monstrous
freak of nature, and no new particular independent species.
Nature is made common, but is not exactly an old hen, – and the
creation is something more solid than that statue of Minerva,
– and it will not go to pieces even if one species of creatures
dies out, or another is newly created, – and it is more than merely
probable, that both cases have happened before now, – and all
this without the slightest danger to order, either in the physical
or in the moral world, or for religion in general. For my own
part it is exactly in these things that I find the guidance of
a higher hand most unmistakeable; so that in spite of this
recognized instability of nature, the creation continues going on
its quiet way; and on that very account it is my opinion that it
is well worth the trouble, after such an immense deal has been
written upon the pretended unchangeableness of the creation,
just once to recollect on the other hand the proofs of the great
alterations in it. To do this I shall be obliged to go some way

A Peep into the Primitive World.

[Seite 283]

Every paving-stone in Göttingen is a proof that species, or
rather whole genera, of creatures must have disappeared. Our
limestone swarms likewise with numerous kinds of lapidified
marine creatures, among which, as far as I know, there is only
one single species that so much resembles any one of the pre-
sent kinds, that it may be considered as the original of it;
and this is that particular kind of the Terebratulæ in the Medi-
terranean and Atlantic waters, which from their appearance
have received the name of the cock and hen1). For one of
the two delicate bellied shells rises behind over the other at the
junction, and so when it is seen in profile it has some resem-
blance to a cock which is treading a hen.

Amongst the quite countless host of other lapidified marine
creatures, who have found their grave in our soils, there are no
doubt many (as amongst the Mytilites, Chamites, Pectinites,
&c.) to which most naturalists attribute as many distinct origi-
nals, but I have very often compared, in these instances, the
petrifaction2) with the pretended original, and it is not my fault
if I have come to the conclusion that both are unmistakeably
specifically distinct from each other3).

In a very great number of the remaining lapidifications of
this country the forms differ so very surprisingly from all
creatures now known, that I hope no one will in future really
[Seite 284] try to reckon them amongst these last1). I will mention two
genera only out of all, the Belemnites2) and the Ammonites,
of both of which I have before me all sorts of different species
from most of the countries of Europe, and even from Asia, and
which will also most likely be found in the other parts of the
world, the islands of the fifth part excepted3). At present they
reckon about 200 different species of the Ammonite genus;
and I do not think this is an exaggeration4), although I have
never considered it worth while to count them up advisedly.
No true representative of any one of these 200 species has
yet been found in the existing creation. It is plain also from
observing well-preserved Ammonites, that notwithstanding some
are of quite colossal size, they must have been very slender-
shelled, light, and unattached conchylia, and could not have
lived, as was at first suggested as an evasion, sunk in the depths
of our seas. And as we now, by the great voyages through
which the king5) has caused the larger portion of the fifth part
of the world to be discovered, and the boundaries of our earth
to be ascertained, are coming to be better acquainted with the
[Seite 285] ocean than the firm land of our planet, we must consequently
give up the hope that the representatives of these widely scat-
tered animals, like thousands of other fossils, are still living,
sunk in our oceans.

An old Preadamite Creation has already lived out its existence.

Putting all these things together, in my opinion it becomes
more than merely probable that not only one or more species, but
a whole organized preadamite creation has disappeared from the
face of our planet. Out of all existing theories of the earth
with which I am acquainted, there is no single one by which the
instantly apparent peculiarities of the petrifactions in our cal-
careous strata can be brought into any order. But they will be
at once easily explained, as soon as it is understood, as I have
said, that our earth has already suffered a complete revolution,
and experienced one last day. It is plain that other so-called
cosmogonical phenomena, as, for instance, the quantity of fossil
bones of the elephant, rhinoceros, and other animals of the
present earth, which have been dug up in this country, and
more of the same kind, must unfortunately be accurately sepa-
rated and divided from that complete revolution. This it is, if
I mistake not, which has till now always been the rock on which
even the most sagacious theories of the earth have foundered,
so soon as they have endeavoured to refer all these phenomena,
which are so different from one another, to one single common
revolution, and to explain all by one and the same catastrophe1).
A naturalist, who is as sagacious as amiable, has recently
attempted to connect the origin of those fossil bones found in
[Seite 286] this country belonging to foreign land-animals and the actual
lapidifications of the marine creatures in our calcareous strata
in this way with each other, by supposing that the present
position of those land-animals is not their original home, but
that after their death they fell into rivers, and so by degrees
were huddled together by the currents on the existing floor of
the sea. But those localities, at all events where I myself have
examined the position of the large exotic bones, are very diffi-
cult to reconcile with that hypothesis. Thus, for instance, I have
myself examined at Burgtonna, in Gotha, the bed of both the
elephants which were dug up there in 1693 and 1799, and found
that it was so completely made up of strong layers of marl,
which were so full of small, delicate, and for the most part
uninjured land and river shells and the like, that I consider it
is quite impossible this bed could ever have been the floor of
the sea; but that most likely the elephants, rhinoceroses, and
tortoises, of all of which I have got together1) instructive speci-
mens for my collection from the Tonna marl-strata, must have
been naturalized at one time in that country, no one knows how
long after the supposed general revolution. This general revo-
lution, from which may be dated the countless extinct organized
creatures in the calcareous strata, is again quite different from
the subsequent later one, which must have occurred when the
earth was remodelled2).

Remodelling of the Primitive World.

[Seite 287]

After therefore that organic creation in the Preadamite
primitive epoch of our planet had fulfilled its purpose, it was
destroyed by a general catastrophe of its surface or shell, which
probably lay in ruins some time, until it was put together again,
enlivened with a fresh vegetation, and vivified with a new
animal creation. In order that it might provide such a harvest,
the Creator took care to allow in general powers of nature to
bring forth the new organic kingdoms, similar to those which
had fulfilled that object in the primitive world. Only the for-
mative force having to deal with materials, which must of course
have been much changed by such a general revolution, was com-
pelled to take a direction differing more or less from the old one
in the production of new species1).

So that we naturally find very few creatures in the present
creation which are exactly like the lapidifications of the primi-
tive world, as, for instance, the shell-fish of the Atlantic and the
Terebratula mentioned above of our calcareous rocks of the pre-
sent day. On the other hand, there are quantities of such petri-
factions which appear like the present organic bodies, and
therefore, as I have said already, on a mere hasty comparison
are often taken to be identical with them, but which upon
closer inspection present most unmistakeable differences in their
formation, and may serve as an example how the formative
force in these two creations has acted in a similar, but not
exactly in the same way. As to the possible objection, that this
difference might also have been occasioned solely by degenera-
acting for a long series of thousands of years, it can be very
[Seite 288] easily refuted by those examples in which the difference between
fossil and recent shells, which are sufficiently like each other
in general, is still of that quality that it unfortunately cannot
be considered either as a consequence of degeneration, or as an
accidental monstrosity, but can hardly be considered as anything
else than an. altered direction of the formative force. To give
one example out of many. In the North Sea there is a shell,
whose pretty house is generally known under the name of
Murex despectus; and at Harwich on the coast of Essex there is
found a fossil shell, which in its general habit has so strong a
resemblance to that Murex, that at the first glance one might be
mistaken for the other. But, in the recent species, as usually
happens, the twistings are to the right; whereas, on the contrary,
in the fossil species the twists are exactly the other way, to the
left1); and it is just as contrary to experience to find the fossil
Murex marked to the right as the recent Murex to the left.
Such a thing is not a consequence of degeneration, but a
remodelling through an altered direction of the formative force.

Mutations in the Existing Creation.

According to all probability therefore a whole creation of
organized bodies has already become extinct, and has been suc-
ceeded by a new one. So much variation is however to be
observed, or, as Haller called it, but falsely, instability of nature,
even in this new one, that a person might easily, à priori as they
say, embrace the idea in this too of the extinction of whole spe-
cies, and the fresh appearance of others, even if both these
observations were not made more than merely probable by
actual data.

[Seite 289]

Thus there was still to be found in the time of our fathers,
on the Isle of France and on some of the small neighbouring
islands, but in no other place in the world, so far as is known, a
species of large, plump, lazy land-birds, whose flesh is repulsive,
the Dodos1); whose locality was circumscribed, because they
could fly no better than the Cassowary. But according to the
account of M. Morel, who instituted a search with that view
at the very place itself, this bird has ceased now to exist. It
has been exterminated out and out. This is no more incompre-
hensible or improbable than that the last wolf in Scotland, as is
known to have been the case, should have been shot in 1680,
although a hundred years before great wolf-hunts used to be
held. Just in the same way, but somewhat earlier in England,
and thirty years later in Ireland, these beasts of prey were
destroyed also. Thus plainly neither the fauna nor the flora
(as these lists of indigenous beasts and plants are called) of a
country remain always the same. Creatures enough die away
in a locality, and fresh ones again become naturalized and spread
themselves. It may be by design, as the carp which has now
been artificially naturalized in many northern countries; or
accidentally, as the rats of the old world have managed to
engraft themselves on the new. So there is nothing contradic-
tory in the idea that also once in the universal flora or fauna of
the creation (but especially in the latter), as we have said, a
species may have become extinct; and on the other hand a
fresh one may likewise be sometimes very easily created sub-

The pimple-worm2) in pigs, which Malpighi was the first to
discover, is quite as real and perfect an animal in its kind as man
and the elephant in theirs. But, as is well known, this animal is
only found in tame swine, and never in any way in the wild pig,
from which however the former is descended. It would seem
therefore that this worm was no more created at the same time
[Seite 290] as the original stock of the hog than, according to probability,
the allied species of the bladder worms, which have been lately
discovered, just like those hydatids, in the flesh and among the
entrails in human bodies, which must needs have been created
after the original parents of mankind. How indeed this subse-
quent creation took place, that I can no more say than how in
early times the first spermatic animalcule came into being; that
however they were subsequently created seems to me undeniable,
and I lay that to the account of the great mutability in nature,
and this great mutability itself to the active and wise determi-
nation of the Creator.

How very limited would be even the sphere of man's opera-
tions without this capacity for variation in nature through the
labour he may himself bestow upon it. Is it not precisely
through this attribute that he becomes really the lord and
master of the rest of the creation? To see how much may be
done in this way let a man only consider the astonishing altera-
tions which since the discovery of the New World have recipro-
cally been caused and been experienced by it and the Old.

The degeneration of organized bodies.

The degeneration of animals and plants from their original
stocks into varieties also belongs to the astonishing experiences
of variability in creation. In the middle of the 16th century
the only tulip known in Europe was the common yellow one.
Two hundred years later no kind of flower had a more pas-
sionate admirer than these, of which the then Margrave of
Baden-Durlach collected no less than three thousand specimens
of different varieties1). It is not much longer since the first
wild green canary bird was brought from its home to Europe,
yet these creatures have long since branched out into every sort
of variety, not only of colour but also of appearance itself.

[Seite 291]

The origin of this degeneration has been sought principally
in the influence of climate, aliment, and mode of life; and cer-
tainly many effects of these three things in degeneration appear
unmistakeable. Thus, taken altogether, growth is retarded by
cold, and the particular climate of this or that part of the world
will have certain manifest operations on the organized bodies
which are indigenous to it. As in Syria, many kinds of
mammals have astonishingly long and silken hair. Of course
very often some of the principal effects which are ascribed to
degeneration cither run into and destroy one another, or one may
equally counteract the other and take away its effect; so that
no decided opinion can be arrived at on many of the phenomena
of degeneration. Enough that the phenomena themselves must
be held as unmistakeable consequences of the variability of

In domestic animals especially.

The effects of degeneration must naturally have operated in
the most profound and various way on those domestic animals
which man has for so many generations kept in subjection to
himself, to such an extent that they propagate in that con-
dition, and with whom it is not, as in the case of elephants,
necessary to catch every individual in the wilderness; and
which also can inhabit foreign climates, and are not, like the
reindeer, confined within a narrow fatherland.

The common domestic hog is the best example of all, and I
select it the more readily because the pedigree of this animal
is far less dubious than that of many others. The dog dege-
nerates in many ways, even under our very eyes, but it is not
completely made out, and would be very difficult completely to
make out, whether all dogs are only varieties of one and the
same species or not. Many great naturalists have avowedly
considered the shepherd's dog as the common original stock
of ail the others. Others have put the wolf, the jackal, and the
[Seite 292] dog together. Others, again, think it not improbable that we
ought to assume more than one original stock amongst dogs
themselves. In my opinion there is a great deal to be said for
the last idea. Not only have we a great difference of appear-
ance in dogs in and of themselves; but they must be very much
changed during the long thousands of years since man brought
up this animal more than any other in closer intimacy with
himself, and partly transplanted it along with him into foreign
climates, so that perhaps the original wild1) dog can no more
be found. And this seems to me a ground for assuming that
there is more than one original race of dogs, because many,
as the badger-dog, have a build so marked, and so appropriate
for particular purposes, that I should find it very difficult to
persuade myself that this astonishing figure was an accidental
consequence of degeneration, and must not rather be considered
as an original purposed construction to meet a deliberate object
of design2).

In the hog, again, the power of mere degeneration is much
more clearly visible. So far as I know, no naturalist has carried
his scepticism so far as to doubt that our domestic hog is
descended from the wild boar, and besides this is one of the
beasts which was utterly unknown in America before the
arrival of the Spaniards, and was first transplanted there from
Europe. Meanwhile, notwithstanding the short space of time
which is incontrovertibly proved by documents, some of these
swine which have been transplanted into that part of the world
have degenerated in the most astonishing way into the most
extraordinary varieties. Those which were brought from Spain
in 1509 to the West India island Cubagua, which was then
[Seite 293] famous everywhere for its pearl fisheries, degenerated into an
extraordinary race, with toes which were half a span long1).
Those in Cuba became more than twice as large again as their
European progenitors2).

This was not the way in which in the old world the tame
hog degenerated from the wild hog; but rather in its covering,
especially with respect to the woolly hair between the bristles;
in the strikingly different form of the skull; in the whole
growth, &c. How endless again is the difference in. the varie-
ties of the domestic hog itself; that of Piedmont being almost
without exception black; that of Bavaria reddish brown; that
of Normandy white, &c. How different is the breed of the
English hog, with its curved back and pendent belly, from that
of the north of France, which is easily distinguished from the
former by its elevated croup and its down-hanging head, and
both again from the German hog. Hogs with undivided hoofs
are to be found gregarious both in Hungary and Sweden, and
were known long ago to Aristotle, to say nothing of other more
remarkable varieties.

Degeneration of Man, the most perfect of all domestic Animals.

But what is the reason that the hog degenerates so particu-
larly? why so much more than any other domestic animal?
The solution of this problem flows directly from what has been
said above. For the very reason that it is just this animal which
is more exposed than any other to the causes of degeneration.
No other of our commonly called domestic animals has experi-
enced such a manifold influence of climate as the hog; for no
other has been so widely scattered as this over the five parts of
the world. None has been subjected so much to the operation
[Seite 294] of variety of aliment; for no animal is so omnivorous as the
hog, &c. There is only one domestic animal besides (domestic
in the true sense, if not in the ordinary acceptation of this
word1)) that also surpasses all others in these respects, and that
is man. The difference between him and other domestic ani-
mals is only this, that they are not so completely born to
domestication as he is, having been created by nature immedi-
ately a domestic animal. The exact original wild condition of
most of the domestic animals is known. But no one knows
the exact original wild condition of man2). There is none, for
nature has limited him in no wise, but has created him for every
mode of life, for every climate, and every sort of aliment, and
has set before him the whole world as his own and given him
both organic kingdoms for his aliment. But the consequence
of this is that there is no second animal besides him in the
creation upon whose solidum vivum so endless a quantity of
various stimuli3), and therefore so endless a quantity of concur-
ring causes of degeneration, must needs operate.

A very peculiar physiological singularity of the human body.

In order to receive those stimuli the solidum vivum has been
prepared by the forces of life which reside within it, whose
diverse although still concurring kinds I have in another place
endeavoured to set out and distinguish more precisely4). Amongst
[Seite 295] these, by far the most common, and which predominates in both
kingdoms of organized creatures, is contractility, which is very
nearly the same thing that Stahl, one of the most profound
physiologists, spoke of under the not sufficiently distinct name
of tone, or, after the Leiden school, actuosity.

The locality of this commonest of vital forces is the mucous
membrane, (commonly, but improperly called the cellular tissue,)
which constitutes the foundation of almost the whole of an
organized body. Thus in a human body, except the enamel of
the teeth and some of the outermost coverings of the skin, all
the remaining parts consist principally of the mucous mem-
brane, saturated, so to say, and incorporated with other sub-
stances. Besides, the mucous membrane is the first organic
substance which nature forms out of inorganic saps. Thus the
plastic lymph which is squeezed out by inflammations of the
lungs is first turned into loose mucous membrane, and this
again into the so-called pseudo-membranes with true blood-
vessels, &c. The greater or smaller compactness of the mucous
membrane however itself differs exceedingly in the different
periods of life, and also according to the specific diversity of the
species of organized bodies. In the eel, for instance, it is infinitely
finer than in the trout. It has been observed, and that long
ago, by sagacious zootomists, for instance, our own Zinn, that
man, in comparison with other creatures, which are most nearly
allied to him in respect of bodily economy, namely the rest of
the mammals, has, ceteris paribus, the finest and most com-
pact mucous membrane. Let it be well understood ceteris
for we must not compare an old gipsy with an unborn

This exceptional compactness of the mucous membrane and
the consequent superior quality of the commonest vital force is,
as it seems to me, one of the most distinctive and greatest pri-
vileges of man. It is exactly this privilege by which he is
enabled to arrive at his greatest object, the habitation of the
whole earth, just in the same way as the various kinds of corn,
through their delicate and compact cellular texture, are better
enabled to thrive in the most different climates than the stronger
[Seite 296] cedars and oaks. In proportion as this exceptionally compact
membrane is in man, as I have said, the first and most impor-
tant factory of the formative force, it will be easily understood
from all these things taken together, how in consequence man
is exposed in the formation of his body and its parts to all sorts
of degeneration into varieties. It is not improbable moreover
that this is the reason why the hog exactly like man can live in
the most different climates, and also exactly like him degene-
rates in manifold ways. At all events there are many remarkable
singularities in both creatures with respect to their mucous
membrane, as appears most strikingly in the peculiar skin
(corium), which at bottom is nothing else than the mucous mem-
brane of the outer surface of the body indurated and penetrated
with nerves and vessels. Perhaps here too may be found the
reason of the similarity which has so often been asserted since
the time of Galen between the taste of man's and hog's flesh.
As to the reason why, on the other hand, both creatures differ
so much from one another in a thousand other ways besides
their bodily structure, no one will ask, who knows anything from
physiology of the strikingly peculiar privileges by which man,
especially with respect to the other noble kind of vital powers,
the reaction of the sensorium, &c., is elevated above all the rest
of the animal creation.

Something tranquillizing on a common family concern.

There have been persons who have most earnestly protested
against their own noble selves being placed in a natural system
in one common species with Negroes and Hottentots. And
again, there have been other people who have had no compunc-
tion in declaring themselves and the orang-utan to be creatures
of one and the same species. Thus the renowned philosopher
and downright caprice-monger Lord Monboddo says in blunt
words, ‘“the orang-utans are proved to be of our species by
marks of humanity that I think are incontestable.”’

[Seite 297]

On the other hand, another, but not quite so straightforward
a caprice-monger, the world-renowned fire-philosopher Theo-
phrastus Paracelsus Bombastus, cannot comprehend how all men
can belong to one and the same original stock, and contrived on
paper for the solution of this difficulty his two Adams.

Perhaps, however, it will contribute something to the tran-
quillization of many upon this common family affair, if I name
three philosophers of quite a different kind, who however much
they may have differed otherwise in many of their ideas, still
were completely of accord with each other on this point; possi-
bly because it is a question which belongs to natural history,
and all three were the greatest naturalists whom the world has
lately lost – Haller, Linnæus, and Buffon – all these three consi-
dered man different by a whole world from the orang-utan, and
on the other hand all true men, Europeans, Negroes, &c., as
mere varieties of one and the same original species. It will
however be very likely of much more service to most of my
readers, if instead of these three names I give the three principal
rules which I have always followed, as I have reason to think,
with the greatest advantage in my investigations on this subject,
and through which I have fortunately escaped many an other-
wise sufficiently common, but false conclusion.

I. In these investigations we must have principally before
our eyes the physiology of organized bodies. We must not
remain attentive merely to man, and act as if he was the only
organized body in nature; and must expect to find some differ-
ences in his species which are strange and puzzling, without for-
getting that all these differences are not a whit more surprising
or unusual than those by which so many other species of organ-
ized bodies, equally degenerate under our eyes.

II. Neither must we take merely one pair of the races of
man which stand strikingly in opposition to each other, and put
these one against the other, omitting all the intermediate races,
which make up the connection between them. We must never
forget that there is not a single one of the bodily differences in
any one variety of man, which does not run into some of the
others by such endless shades of all sorts, that the naturalist or
[Seite 298] physiologist has yet to be born, who can with any grounds of
certainty attempt to lay down any fixed bounds between these
shades, and consequently between their two extremes.

III. Inasmuch as no firm steps can be taken in the deter-
mination of the varieties in mankind, any more than in the rest
of natural history, without actual knowledge, I have laid down
for myself as the third principal rule for a considerable number
of years, since I busied myself with these investigations, to make
use of everything, so as to provide myself always more and more
supports in this behalf out of nature itself. For all the accounts
on that point which one adopts, even with the most critical
judgment possible, from others, are in reality, for the truth-
seeking investigator of nature, nothing more and nothing fur-
ther than a kind of symbolical writing, which he can only so far
subscribe to with a good conscience, as they actually coincide
with the open book of nature. And in order to pass an opinion
upon that, he must make himself as well read and through that
gather as much experience as possible in this book; and this is
what I have always endeavoured to do to the best of my ability
in my studies on the natural history of mankind. The result of
this earnest labour has surpassed all my original expectations,
so that I now find myself in possession of a collection for the
natural history of mankind, which was the first regular and
instructive, and complete one, and so far as I know remains still
the only one of its kind.

On Anthropological Collections.

It seems above everything else hard to understand how it is
that considering the zeal with which natural history has been
cultivated at all times amongst all scientifically civilized nations,
the naturalist was so very late in finding out that man also is a
natural product, and consequently ought at least as much as
any other to be handled from the point of natural history
according to the difference of race, bodily and national peculiar-
[Seite 299] ities, &c. Already in the last century the great collectors of
writings on natural history, – Gesner, Aldrovandus, Jonston, and
Ray, – in their numerous, and also voluminous, and always clas-
sical works, embraced the history of all the three natural king-
doms; everything in fact, with the single and solitary exception
of the natural history of man himself. And, if I am not mis-
taken, it was no naturalist by profession, but a mathematician
in Upsala, Harald Waller, who was the first that finally in the
beginning of the last century attempted to fill up this void
which had for such a wonderful length of time remained open in
a writing1), which was a large one for those days, and which
forms quite an epoch in the history of natural history.

It is not, however, less astonishing that still for many decades
of years after this, the natural history collectors, though in
other matters their boundless acquisitiveness not only degene-
rated into luxury, but very often into folly, still, in order to fill
their cabinets, preferred making incursions all over the creation,
rather than into that department which could assist the natural
history of mankind and his varieties2). It is of course easily seen
that the construction of such a regular and instructive appara-
tus for this department is implicated with incomparably greater
difficulties than in most other departments of natural collections.
That, however, these are not insuperable when the collector
shows zeal and perseverance, and can obtain the active co-ope-
ration of men who have opportunities of helping him in his
object, is shown by the most remarkable portion of my anthro-
pological collection, I mean the skulls of foreign nations.

[Seite 300]

There are two questions which have often been put to me
on the sight of these skulls, namely, what utility can be made of
this collection? and then how can any one be certain of the
genuineness of the foreign skulls? These questions are so
natural and so reasonable, that the answers to them may pro-
perly find a place here.

1. This collection has amongst other things been useful to
me in determining the principal corporeal characteristics of
humanity, which it is my opinion I have found to consist in the
prominent chin and the consequently resulting upright position
of the under front teeth. In the animals there is scarcely a par-
ticular chin which can be considered as comparable to that of
man: and in those men who, as is often said, seem to have
something apish in their countenance, this generally resides in
a deeply-retreating chin. The upper front teeth have indeed in
many nations of different races a more or less oblique direction,
whereas, on the other hand, the under ones in all that are known
to me stand up vertically.

2. Also for the determination of the really most beautiful
form of skull, which in my beautiful typical head of a young
Georgian female always of itself attracts every eye, however
little observant.

3. As a leading argument for the identity of mankind in
general, since here also the boundless passages between the two
extremes in the physical scale of nations, from the Calmuck to
the Negro, join unobservedly into each other.

4. Then also as an evidence of the natural division of the
whole species into the five principal races of which I shall speak
in the next section.

5. Of the mixture of these races with each other, which is
as clearly expressed in the skulls of the Cossacks, Kirghis, &c.,
as anywhere in the Mulattos.

6. For the refutation of many erroneous conclusions as to
the pretended similarity of structure, and consequently of rela-
tionship between distant nations, as between the old Egyptians
and the Chinese, or between these and the Hottentots, &c.

7. On the other hand, for a nearer conclusion on the pro-
[Seite 301] bable parentage of puzzling populations, as of the old Guanches
of the Fortunate Islands from the Libyan stock of the old

8. For this is learnt from a comparison of the mummy
skulls with the Egyptian works of art, that they distinguish
three sorts of national characters, which differ very decidedly
from one another, of which one is most like the Abyssinians,
another the Hindoos, and the third the Berbers, or ancient

9. This collection also helps to explain many physiologi-
cal and national peculiarities, as the extremely wide passages in
the nostrils of the keen-scented Negroes and North American

10. And also, as an example of what has been lately dis-
puted in some quarters, of the constantly enduring shapeless-
ness which many savage tribes, as, for instance, the Caribs and
the Choctaws artificially infix upon the heads of their chil-
dren by continual pressing and binding. Of the various other
interesting ideas which the inspection of this collection of skulls
calls up, I can only think of the truly melancholy one – that it
contains so many relics of former respectable tribes, who have
been from time to time, and now are, almost entirely destroyed
by their conquerors, just as the Caribs of the West India
Islands, the Guanches of the Canary Islands, &c. who have suf-
fered the same fate as some useful varieties of domestic
animals, such as the great Irish hound, and the St Bernard's
dog, which seem now to be exterminated from the creation.

As to the other of the two questions mentioned above, it will
be most easily answered by this fact, that every skull is num-
bered, and has its own particular description in a special col-
lection of the incidents belonging thereto, which contains all the
certificates of them, and the original letters, notices, and a
comparison with copies, like portraits1), of which I myself have
[Seite 302] collected a rare apparatus, and also with the characteristic de-
scriptions of the most exact writers of natural history, and of
travellers: in short everything that makes up complete war-
ranties, as they have been used in the Decades which have
been composed from this collection. Besides this, care has
been taken in the mode of arrangement, that where it was
possible to obtain more than one skull of any savage nations,
these, at all events, should stand side by side together, in order
to show at the first glance the persistent resemblance with which
the heads of each one of those peoples who have mingled only
with each other, so far as concerns their national character,
seem to be all cast in one mould. They are in this way so
easy and so securely distinguished and recognized, that it is
to be hoped no one at the sight of this collection will be in the
condition of the Cynic Menippus1) after his suicide, who, on
his arrival in the nether world, said of the skulls which were
collected, that forsooth they all looked exactly alike, and who
was too obtuse to pick out even that of the beautiful Helena
from the others.

Division of Mankind into Five principal Races.

To return again to the three rules laid down above, which
have given rise to this digression. After many a year's indus-
trious observance of them I have arrived at no new striking
[Seite 303] discovery, but what must be just as satisfactory a conclusion to
me, the conviction of an old truth in natural history, on which
doubt has been recently cast in some quarters. I have en-
deavoured particularly to depend upon sensible experience, and
where I could not avail myself of this, on the accounts of active
and trustworthy witnesses, and after all that I have thus learnt
about the bodily differences in mankind, and all the com-
parisons thus made with the bodily differences in other species
of organized beings, especially in the case of the domestic animals,
I have found no single difference in the former which may not
also be observed in many of the latter, and that too as an un-
mistakeable consequence of degeneration. Consequently I do
not see the slightest shadow of reason why I, looking at the
matter from a physiological and scientific point of view, should
have any doubt whatever that all nations, under all known
climates, belong to one and exactly the same common species.

Still, in the same way as we classify races and degenerations
of horses and poultry, of pinks and tulips, so also, in addition,
must we class the varieties of mankind which exist within their
common original stock. Only this, that as all the differences in
mankind, however surprising they may be at the first glance,
seem, upon a nearer inspection, to run into one another by
unnoticed passages and intermediate shades; no other very
definite boundaries can be drawn between these varieties,
especially if, as is but fair, respect is had not only to one or the
other, but also to the peculiarities of a natural system, de-
pendent upon all bodily indications alike. Meanwhile, so far
as I have made myself acquainted with the nations of the
earth, according to my opinion, they may be most naturally
divided into these five principal races:

1. The Caucasian1) race. The Europeans, with the excep-
tion of the Lapps, and the rest of the true Finns, and the
western Asiatics this side the Obi, the Caspian Sea, and the
Ganges along with the people of North Africa. In one word,
[Seite 304] the inhabitants nearly of the world known to the ancient
Greeks and Romans. They are more or less white in colour,
with red cheeks, and, according to the European, conception of
beauty in the countenance and shape of the skull, the most
handsome of men.

2. The Mongolian. The remaining Asiatics, except the
Malays, with the Lapps in Europe, and the Esquimaux in the
north of America, from Behring's Straits to Labrador and Green-
land, They are for the most part of a wheaten yellow, with
scanty, straight, black hair, and have flat faces with laterally
projecting cheek-bones, and narrowly slit eyelids.

3. The Ethiopian. The rest of the Africans, more or less
black, generally with curly hair, jaw-bones projecting forwards,
puffy lips, and snub noses.

4. The American. The rest of the Americans; generally
tan-coloured, or like molten copper, with long straight hair,
and broad, but not withal flat face, but with strongly distinc-
tive marks.

5. The Malay. The South-sea islanders, or the inhabit-
ants of the fifth part of the world, back again to the East
Indies, including the Malays, properly so called. They are
generally of brownish colour (from clear mahogany to the very
deepest chestnut), with thick black ringleted hair, broad nose,
and large mouth.

Each of these five principal races contains besides one or
more nations which are distinguished by their more or less
striking structure from the rest of those of the same division.
Thus the Hindoos might be separated as particular sub-varieties
from the Caucasian; the Chinese and Japanese from the Mon-
golian; the Hottentots from the Ethiopian; so also the North
American Indians from those in the southern half of the new
world; and the black Papuans in New Holland, &c. from the
brown Otaheitans and other islanders of the Pacific Ocean.

Of the Negro in particular.

[Seite 305]

‘“God's image he too,”’ as Fuller says, ‘“although made out
of ebony.”’ This has been doubted sometimes, and, on the
contrary, it has been asserted that the negroes are specifically
different in their bodily structure from other men, and must
also be placed considerably in the rear, from the condition of
their obtuse mental capacities. Personal observation, com-
bined with the accounts of trustworthy and unprejudiced wit-
nesses, has, however, long since convinced me of the want of
foundation in both these assertions. But I need not repeat
everything which I have elsewhere publicly expressed in oppo-
sition to those views; though there are one or two points I
cannot leave quite untouched1). I am acquainted with no single
distinctive bodily character which is at once peculiar to the
negro, and which cannot be found to exist in many other and
distant nations; none which is in like way common to the
negro, and in which they do not again come into contact with
other nations through imperceptible passages, just as every
other variety of man runs into the neighbouring populations.

The colour of the skin they share more or less with the inha-
bitants of Madagascar, New Guinea, and New Holland. And
there are imperceptible shades, up from the blackest negroes in
North Guinea to the Moors: amongst whom many, especially the
women, according to the assurance of Shaw, have the very whit-
est skin that it is possible to imagine. The curly woolly
hair is well known not to be common to all the negroes, for
Barbot says, even of those in Nigritia itself, that some have
curly and some have straight hair; and Ulloa says just the
same of the negroes in Spanish America, Secondly, this so-
[Seite 306] called woolly hair is very far from being peculiar to the negroes,
for it is found in many people of the fifth race, as in the
Ygolotes in the Philippines, in the inhabitants of Charlotte
Island and Van Diemen's Land, and also in many of the third
variety, who, however, are not reckoned as negroes. Many
Abyssinians have it, as the famous Abba Gregorius, whose
handsome likeness, which Heiss engraved in 1691, after Von
Sand, I have before me1). Sparrmann also says of the Hotten-
tots, that their hair is more like wool than that of the negroes
themselves; and this I find confirmed by the pictures of Hot-
tentots and Kaffirs, which many years ago were forwarded with
some transplanted plants from the Cape to Joseph II., and of
which I have obtained exact copies, through the kindness of
Counsellor von Jacquin. As to the physiognomy of the negro,
the difference no doubt is astonishing if you put an ugly negro
(and there are ugly negroes as well as ugly Europeans)
exactly opposite the Greek ideal. But this is precisely to
offend against one of the rules given above. If, on the con-
trary, one investigates the transitional forms in this case also,
the striking contrast between the two very different extremes
vanishes away; and, of course, there must be extremes here
as well as in the case of other creatures which degenerate into
all sorts of races and varieties.

I can, on the contrary, declare that amongst the negroes and
negresses whom I have been able to observe attentively, and
I have seen no small number of them, as in the portrait-like
drawings and profiles of others, and in the seven skulls of adult
negroes which are in my collection, and in the others which
have come under my notice, or of which I have drawings and
engravings before me, it is with difficulty that two can be found
who are completely like each other in form; but all are more
or less different from one another, and through all sorts of
gradations run imperceptibly into the appearance of men. of
other kinds up to the most pleasing conformation. Of this sort
[Seite 307] was a female creole, with whom I conversed in Yverdun, at the
house of the Chevalier Treytorrens, who had brought her from
St Domingo, and both whose parents were of Congo. Such
a countenance – even in the nose and the somewhat thick lips –
was so far from being surprising, that if one could have set aside
the disagreeable skin, the same features with a white skin must
have universally pleased, just as Le Maire says in his travels
through Senegal and Gambia, that there are negresses, who,
abstraction being made of the colour, are as well formed as our
European ladies. So also Adanson, that accurate naturalist,
asserts the same of the Senegambia negresses; ‘“they have
beautiful eyes, small mouth and lips, and well-proportioned fea-
tures: some, too, are found of perfect beauty1); they are full of
vivacity, and have especially an easy, free and agreeable pre-
sence.”’ Now this was exactly the case with the negress of
Yverdun, and with several other negresses and negroes, whose
closer acquaintance I have since that had the opportunity of
making, and who have equally convinced me of the truth of
what so many unsuspected witnesses have assured me about
the good disposition and faculties of these our black brethren;
namely, that in those respects as well as in natural tenderness of
heart2), they can scarcely be considered inferior to any other race
of mankind taken altogether3). I say quite deliberately, taken
altogether, and natural tenderness of heart, which has never
been benumbed or extirpated on board the transport vessels or
on the West India sugar plantations by the brutality of their
white executioners. For these last must be nearly as much
without head as without heart, if after such treatment they still
[Seite 308] expect to find true attachment and love from these poor mis-
managed slaves. That excellent observer of nature, Aublet, in
his true and masterly description of the natural goodness of
the negro's character, rests upon the confessions of the Europeans
who have been in captivity amongst the Algerines, and have
openly admitted that in that position they felt just as ill dis-
posed and just as hostile to their then masters, as a negro in
like case could possibly feel towards his master in the colonies.
On the other hand, I have daily for a long time had an honest
negress before my eyes, of whom I often said in my mind, what
Wieland's Democritus says of his good, soft-hearted, curly-locked
black, and what has also been so frequently asserted by other
unprejudiced observers of uncorrupted blacks, and amongst
others very recently with true and warm gratitude by the stout
Mungo Park, that it is not worth while to scrape together here
the proofs of these facts1).

At the same time it will not be at all superfluous to point
out here some not so well known though remarkable examples
of the perfectibility of the mental faculties and the talents of
the negro, which of course will not come unexpectedly upon
any one who has perused the accounts of the most credible
travellers about the natural disposition of the negro. Thus the
classical Barbot, in his great work on Guinea, expresses himself
as follows: ‘“The blacks have for the most part head and under-
standing enough: they comprehend easily and correctly, and
their memory is of a tenacity almost incomprehensible; for even
when they can neither read nor write, they still remain in their
place amidst the greatest bustle of business and traffic, and
seldom go wrong.”’-‘“Since they have been so often deceived by
Europeans, they now stand carefully on their guard in traffic
and exchange with them, carefully examine all our wares, piece
[Seite 309] by piece, whether they are of the samples bargained for in
quality and quantity; whether the cloths and stuffs are lasting,
whether they were dyed in Haarlem or Leyden, &c.”’... ‘“in short,
they try everything with as much prudence and cunning as any
European man of business whatever can do.”’ Their aptitude
for learning all sorts of fine handy-work is well known. It is
estimated that nine-tenths of the ordinary craftsmen in the
West Indies are negroes1).

With respect to their talents for music, there is no necessity
for me to call attention to the instances in which negroes have
earned so much by them in America, that they have been able
to purchase their freedom for large sums, since there is no want
of examples in Europe itself of blacks, who have shown them-
selves true virtuosos. The negro Freidig was well known in
Vienna as a masterly concertist on the viol and the violin, and
also as a capital draughtsman, who had educated himself at the
academy there under Schmutzer. As examples of the capacity
of the negro for mathematical and physical sciences, I need only
mention the Russian colonel of artillery, Hannibal, and the
negro Lislet, of the Isle of France, who on account of his su-
perior meteorological observations and trigonometrical measure-
ments, was appointed their correspondent by the Paris Academy
of Sciences.

Dr Hush of Philadelphia is at work upon a history of the
negro, Fuller, in Maryland, who has lately become so famous
through his extraordinary capacity for calculation. In order to
test him on this point, he was asked in company how many
seconds a man would have lived who was seventy years and so
many months, &c. old. In a minute and a half Fuller gave
the number. Others then calculated it, but the result was not
the same. ‘“Have you not forgotten,”’ said the negro, ‘“to bring
into account the days of the leap-years?”’ These were then
[Seite 310] added, and the two calculations coincided exactly. I possess
some annuals of a Philadelphian calendar, which a negro there,
Benj. Bannaker, had calculated, who had acquired his astro-
nomical knowledge without oral instruction, entirely through
private study of Ferguson's works and our Tob. Mayer's tables1),
&c. Boerhaave, de Haen, and Dr Rush2) have given the most
decided proofs of the uncommon insight which negroes have into
practical medicine. Negroes have also been known to make
very excellent surgeons. And the beautiful negress of Yverdun,
whom I mentioned, is known far and wide in French Switzer-
land as an excellent midwife, of sound skill, and of a delicate
and well-experienced hand. I omit the Wesleyan Methodist
preacher, Madox, and also the two negroes who lately died
in London, Ignatius Sancho and Gustavus Vasa, of whom the
former, a great favourite both of Garrick and Sterne, was known
to me by correspondence3); and the latter, whom I knew per-
sonally, has made himself a name by his interesting autobio-
graphy4); and also many other negroes and negresses who have
distinguished themselves by their talents for poetry. I possess
English, Dutch, and Latin poems by several of these latter,
amongst which however above all, those of Phillis Wheatley
of Boston, who is justly famous for them, deserve mention

[Seite 311]

There are still two negroes who hare got some reputation
as authors, and whose works I possess, whom I may mention.
Our Hollmann, when he was still professor at Wittenberg,
created in 1734 the negro, Ant. Wilh. Amo, Doctor of Philosophy.
He had shown great merit both in writing and teaching; and I
have two treatises by him, of which one especially shows a most
unexpected and well-digested course of reading in the best
physiological works of that day1). In an account of Amo's life,
which on that occasion was printed in the name of the University
Senate, great praise is allotted to his exceptional uprightness,
his capacity, his industry, and his learning. It says of his
philosophical lectures: ‘“he studied the opinions both of the
ancients and moderns; he selected the best, and explained his
selections clearly and at full length.”’ It was in his fortieth
year that the negro Jac. Elisa Joh. Capitein studied theology
at Leyden; he had been kidnapped when a boy of eight years
old, and was bought by a slave-dealer at St Andrew's river, and
got to Holland in this way at third-hand. I have several ser-
mons2) and poems by him, which I will leave to their own
merits; but more interesting and more famous is his Dissertatio
politico-theologica de servitute libertati Christianæ non contraria,

which he read publicly on the 10th March, 1742, in Leyden,
and of which I have a translation in Dutch3), of which again
four editions were struck off, one immediately after the other.
Upon this he was ordained preacher at Amsterdam in the church
d'Elmina, whither he soon afterwards departed. Professor Brug-
mans of Leyden, who procured for me the writings of this
[Seite 312] ordained negro, sends me word also that according to the cir-
cumstances there are two stories about his fate there; either
namely that he was murdered, or that he went back to his own
savage countrymen, and exchanged their superstitions and mode
of life for what he had learnt in Europe. In this last case, his
history forms a pendent to that of the Hottentot who was
brought up in Europe and civilized, whose similar and thorough
patriotism has been immortalized by Rousseau1). Nor is this
irresistible attraction to the ancestral penates at all events a bit
more strange than the fact, that, as is known, Europeans enough,
who have been made prisoners of war by the North American
Indians, or even by the Caribs of the West Indies, when these
still constituted a respectable and warlike nation, and have
lived a long time with them and become used to them, have
found such a great delight in this wild state of nature as to lose
all desire of changing it, and coming back to their own country-
men; nor are there wanting instances, especially among the
French Canadians, who of their own free-will have gone over
to the savages there, and taken up the same kind of life as

Finally, I am of opinion that after all these numerous in-
stances I have brought together of negroes of capacity, it would
not be difficult to mention entire well-known provinces of Eu-
rope, from out of which you would not easily expect to obtain
off-hand such good authors, poets, philosophers, and correspond-
ents of the Paris Academy; and on the other hand, there is no
so-called savage nation known under the sun which has so much
distinguished itself by such examples of perfectibility and origi-
nal capacity for scientific culture, and thereby attached itself
so closely to the most civilized nations of the earth, as the Negro,

The Kakerlacken.

[Seite 313]

These poor sufferers have come off in the history of man
not a bit better than the honest negroes. There have been
sceptics who were as unwilling to recognize the Kakerlacken for
men of the same species with ourselves as the Moors. The lat-
ter were too black for them, and the former too white. In
reality the examination of the Kakerlacken has nothing what-
ever to attach it to the domain of natural history, for it belongs
to pathology. Meanwhile, as it has once been dragged into the
former, and so has given handle to many wonderful mistakes, I
think I may go so far as to say a few words about them; and
they join on all the more easily to the former section, because
their history was originally confounded with that of the negroes.

For at the very first of all a sort of men was remarked
amongst these last, who were distinguished by an unusual
whiteness or even redness of skin, and by hair of a yellowish
white and pale red eyes; and of course these singularities would
strike people more in negroes than in white men; and for that
reason the Kakerlacken were first of all known by the name of
Leucœthiopians. But just about the end of the last century
they were found amongst the Americans also, and very shortly
afterwards, besides these, amongst the East Indian populations.
Still later Cook saw some on Otaheite and the Friendly Islands;
and now at last it is clear that they are also to be found in
Europe itself, and that too in greater numbers than we can alto-
gether desire. Since I laid before the Royal Society of Sciences
my observations on those two well-known Savoyards, whom I had
the opportunity of examining in 1783, on an excursion which I
made in company with the younger De Luc, from Geneva to
Faucigny, and who afterwards went for some years to London,
where they were described by the directors of the circus, I have
received accounts of a round dozen of other Kakerlacken who
have been found up and down in Germany alone, and have from
most of them specimens of their own quite peculiar hair. It
[Seite 314] seems to have been the case with the Kakerlaacken as with many
other wonders of nature, that they have been for a long time
overlooked in many countries, because they were considered too
great rarities to be expected. In one word, the Kakerlacken
occur in all the five races of mankind.

Besides, this singularity is not peculiar to mankind alone,
but shows itself also just as much in other warm-blooded
animals, as in mammals and in birds. Amongst the former, we
have notoriously the white rabbits and the white mice, and
amongst the latter the white canary birds. On the other hand,
in spite of all the researches I have made in that direction, I
have not been able to find any single example of Kakerlacken
among the animals with red cold blood, either amongst the am-
phibia or fish. That above all I consider the Kakerlacken as
diseased, and consequently white canaries, &c. the same, will be
strange to no one who is acquainted with their constitution.
Their chief symptom consists in the singular colour of their
eyes, the iris of which is a pale pink colour, and the pupils of the
colour of a dark carnation, or very much like blackberry juice,
whereas in a sound eye these last, whatever the colour of the
iris may be, whether blue or brown, must always be entirely
black. The reason of that redness lies in a total want of that
part which is indispensable to clear sight, namely, the dark brown
mucus which is spread over a great part of the inner apple of
the eye, in order to absorb the superfluous rays of light. Conse-
quently, the Kakerlacken through this deficiency are generally
more or less shy of light. But this deficiency of the black pig-
ment seems always to be only a symptom of an universal
cachexia, which in human Kakerlacken finds its particular ex-
pression through the peculiar aspect of the skin and the yellow-
ish-white colour of the hair; at least so far as I know, no one has
ever observed that disease of the eyes without this quality of
skin and hair.

The disorder is invariably congenital, and frequently heredi-
tary in families. It seems to be incurable; at least I know of
no case in which the symptoms related have ever been got rid of
by any single Kakerlack, On the causes of this remarkable
[Seite 315] disease I do not know how at this moment to say anything satis-
factory; for as to the remark that an otherwise quick-seeing
traveller, Foucher d'Obsonville, has made, that Leucœthiopians
are begotten when the parents are taking mercury or cinna-
bar at the time, it is impossible to imagine it correct in many of
the cases of the nations mentioned, and in many of the animals
among whom Kakerlacken are found, even if the whole idea
were not to the last extent extremely improbable. So also the
old assertion, that no Leucœthiopian of either sex was capable
of procreation, is completely untrue. De Brue has already
found an instance in which a Leucœthiopian became pregnant
by a negro, and a perfect young negro was born, and the well-
known negro Vasa, in his above-mentioned interesting work,
has given a remarkable account of a Leucœthiopian female, who
was lately married in England to an European, and has borne
him three genuine Mulattos with light hair.

APPENDIX I. To p. 284 n.

On the gradation in nature.

Two scientific societies, the one at Rouen and the other at
Haarlem, have lately given out as the subject for a prize, Whe-
ther the asserted gradation in nature has any real foundation or
I am acquainted with only one essay in answer to this
question which was sent in to the last-mentioned learned society,
whose renowned author, our worthy Professor De Luc, has
handled the whole subject only from a metaphysical à priori
point of view, and even in this way comes to the conclusion that
there is neither continuity nor imperceptible gradation in the
creation, and that the harmony of the creation is rather sup-
ported by marked differences, having sharply defined boundaries
between them. On the other hand, I long ago1) pointed out
considerations against the reality of the structural conceptions
of the gradation of creatures according to their mere exterior
[Seite 316] form, and against the very well-meant, but at the bottom very
presumptuous tendency towards this idea, which is found in
many physico-theologians; and these are entirely empirical,
taken from natural history itself, and from the visible constraint
which, in all the various essays on such gradations, is done to
nature. Who does not feel how constrained he is when Bradley
carries up his scale from the simplest fossils through the vegeta-
ble and animal kingdom up to man, but has to put off what he
cannot readily make fit into this scale into a second, by which he
descends on the other side again from that elevation? or, when in
order to stand fast by particular passages and connecting links,
Vallisneri brings forward the analogy of grasshoppers with birds,
Oehme the analogy of birds with house-flies and other Dipterœ,
and when Bonnet chooses the shield-lice as creatures of the
transition from other insects to the tape-worm, &e. We should
find it much easier to excuse the older describers of nature,
when, deceived by the great resemblance of the exterior, they lo-
cated the armadilloes of the genus Manis with the lizards, or the
sertularia, and above all the corals, with the cryptogamic plants;
since with certainly quite as much reason, in consequence of an
extremely superficial view of an outward structure very nearly
resembling them, many even phanogeramic species of plants out
of the genera Saxifraga, Andromedæ, Aretiæ, &c. in spite of all
their remaining heterogeneity, have had a place found for them
on the ladder close to the large-leaved moss.

When that extraordinary wonder-animal of the fifth part of
the world, the Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, was discovered, many
partisans of gradation looked upon it as a fresh support of that
theory, whereas, it seems to me much rather to be a new evi-
dence against its reality. It seems to me so very isolated a
creature of its sort, that it can be no more brought into the
natural arrangement of the animal kingdom without visible con-
straint, than the tortoises, cuttle-fish, &c., or than many genera
of plants, as the Vitis, Cissus, &c. in that of the vegetable king-
dom. Besides this, in the scale of Bonnet, and simple ones of
that kind, the transition department from the birds to the quad-
rupeds has been long since filled up by the bat; and yet it would
[Seite 317] be difficult to imagine two forms of mammals, which differ more
surprisingly from each other, and which must therefore in any
gradation stand further apart from each other, than those of the
bat and the ornithorhynchus.

It must be understood that all that has been said here, as well
as what was suggested above (p. 283), by the expressions quoted
from an otherwise meritorious writer on the use of petrifactions,
is only to be regarded as a warning against the misuse of the
common conception of gradation, according to the outward form
of creatures under the favourite images of ladders and links:
since, on the other hand, the very greatest use may be made of
this very metaphorical image not only towards the exercise of
observation, but also with the greatest advantage towards the
regular use of a natural system in the description of nature, and
also for the most advantageous arrangement of natural collec-
tions. Only instead of the partisans of this gradation acknow-
ledging its value in dividing the productions of nature into
kingdoms, classes, &c, and as a means of methodizing study and
an assistance to the memory, but allowing that it has no real
existence in nature itself; exactly the opposite seems to have come
of those structural conceptions, whose unmistakeable value for
the science of method cannot be denied, but which are so very
far from having any real ground in nature itself, that it has often
happened to well-meaning physico-theologians that ‘“they have
attributed it to the Creator in the plan of His creation, and
have made its completeness and connexion to be sought for in
the fact that nature, as the expression goes, makes no leap,
creatures with respect to their outward habit can be
arranged so closely in gradation one with another.”’

APPENDIX II. To p. 285.

On the Succession of the different Earth-catastrophes.

If petrifactions can be made of regular use for the archæ-
ology and the physical geography of the earth, as the surest
[Seite 318] documents in the archives of nature for the fruitful history of
the catastrophes which have been connected with our planet
since its creation, the study of them, and its tendency, demands
as well a thorough critical comparison of them with the organized
bodies of the present creation, as also an accurate investigation
of their different localities, and their geognostical relations.
The first important and instructive result which is immediately
derived from this two-fold consideration is, that the lapidifica-
tions are of extremely unequal antiquity; many, as the still fresh
Salmo arcticus of the west coast of Greenland, which is, so to
speak, merely mummified in the thin clayish-marl beds, is only
of yesterday or the day before, in comparison with the thoroughly
strange and puzzling impressions of unknown plants which are
found in the grau-wacke strata of the Harz on the borders of
the Gangberg in the depths of the earth, and which belong to
the very oldest evidences of an organized creation on our planet.
A wider examination of these differently made fossils, and of
their equally various sort of condition, brings us to a closer
conclusion as to the oldest history of the body of this earth, and
upon the sort and consequences of the numerous catastrophes
it has gone through, and through which its crust has acquired
its present appearance, which has been built out of such great
convulsions. It is therefore my opinion, that the petrifactions
may be arranged off-hand, according to their different antiquity,
most easily in three principal divisions. First, those whose
complete similarity with still existing representatives, as well
as the positions they are found in, prove that they must be com-
paratively the most recent; secondly, those far older, which
have not indeed similar but still more or less allied analogues to
them in the present creation, although in climates very distant
from those which contain such fossil remains; finally, in the
third place, the very oldest of all, consisting for the most part of
creatures completely unknown, the records of a perfectly strange
creation which has been completely destroyed. These three
divisions may to a certain extent be compared to the three
epochs in the oldest profane writings of an historical, heroic, and
mythical period.

[Seite 319]

The first of these divisions comprises, therefore, the rela-
tively most modern lapidifications, those namely which seem to
have been occasioned by partial local revolutions since the last
general catastrophe which our planet suffered; and conse-
quently, nothing but those whose representatives are still in
existence, and which are closely allied to the fossil remains in
the same country. Amongst them I reckon the uncommonly
clear casts and remains from all six classes of the animal king-
dom, and the numerous kinds of plants which are to be found
in, and have made famous, the stinking slate-quarries at Oen-
ingen on the Bodensee. When I travelled in that country I
made a collection of them, and I have seen still more in other
collections; but amongst all, which I have myself been able
to examine accurately, I have unfortunately found nothing ex-
otic, nothing which might not be referred either unmistakeably,
or at all events with the greatest probability, to the fauna and
flora of that present country and its waters.

To the second of these principal divisions belong fossils of
quite another sort and far higher origin; namely, the now innu-
merable elephants, rhinoceroses, and other now tropical crea-
tures found in this country, which most probably must have
been once naturalized here, as is particularly demonstrated by
the enormously large dens of huge species of bears in the
famous summits of the Harz, the Fichtelberg, in the Thuringian
forest and on the Carpathians. Everything goes to show that
those bears came alive into those caves, and found their graves
there. But there are also found in these caves with them
bones and teeth of beasts of prey, like the lions and hyænas
of the present earth, of which I have specimens, from most of
the dens mentioned, in my collection. Consequently, according
to all probability that species of bears was also a tropical one,
just as bears still live in many of the tropical zones of the
old world; and as those bears and lions are found in positions
where it would be difficult for them to have been floated in by
any current after death, so this seems very unlikely to have
happened either to the elephants or rhinoceroses. Especially
when it is considered that quite little flocks of many of these
[Seite 320] have been found together, as the five individual hippopotami
on the hither Harz, whose fossil remains have been determined
and described with a master's hand by our meritorious Holl-
mann; and that of others, as of the two elephants from Tonna,
mentioned above, the complete skeletons have been dug out, &c.
And finally, all this derives a new importance from another
geological phenomenon, which according to my conviction be-
longs to a similar division, and must be joined in close connec-
tion with it; I mean the remains of tropical animals in certain
limestones. Thus in the calcareous strata of Pappenheim there
have been found amongst so many other tropical creatures a kind
of Molluscan1) water-flea, and the still articulated arm bones of a
species of bat, very much like the flying-dog, and all these so well
preserved, even up to the most delicate Indian star-fishes, so
clear and in such perfection, that no notion can remain of any
transport of them through a general flood from the southern
hemisphere here. On the contrary, it is quite clear that those
elephants, rhinoceroses, and hyæna-like animals must once have
been just as these water-fleas, star-fishes, &c., domesticated in
our latitudes, until through some cause which we cannot now
determine with any certainty, a total alteration of the climate
took place, which occasioned the destruction of the then living
generation of those tropical creatures, as of many other genera
and species of organized bodies which existed along with them,
of which in the present creation no exactly similar, to say
nothing of specifically like, representatives are to be found: as
the unknown of Ohio among great land-animals, and amongst
the marine-animals in the Pappenheim slate-quarries, so many
altogether strange species of crabs, the singular hard-armed
medusa head, and many others.

This revolution, which seems to have been merely climatic,
must be distinguished from those earlier and much more forci-
ble ones, from which we must date the petrifactions of the third
[Seite 321] division, the oldest of all. In those the firm crust of the earth
itself suffered such powerful shocks, that the floors of the pre-
vious seas of the primeval world began to cover high mountains
with their still uninjured shells; and on the other hand, the pre-
vious vegetation of the land was buried deep under the present
surface of the sea. It is at once observed that these destructive
catastrophes themselves were again of more than one sort, and
were very far from happening all at the same time; although it
is scarcely possible at present to determine with any certainty
the chronological arrangement of the successive periods in which
they happened, to say nothing of the causes of them.

APPENDIX III. To p. 292.

On the so-called Objects of Design.

Few scientific theories have been supported and opposed
with such incredible prejudices on the one side and on the other,
as those about the objects of design of the Creator. With many
indeed, who contested this point, it was merely a question of
words, whether one ought to speak of design or utility. Others
considered the whole question of final causes as entirely useless;
and Bacon's bon-mot is well known, who compared it to a
prudent virgin, who weds heaven, and consequently produces
nothing for the world. The great thinker would however have
come to a different conclusion if he had been reminded out of
the literature of physiology and natural history, what complete-
ness in these important sciences and what useful results to man-
kind the search into the final purposes of nature has produced.
But certainly the teleologists have laid themselves wonderfully
open by anxiously catching at those things, and have also used
great force to them, because they have thought themselves
obliged to demonstrate clearly the aim and object of every dis-
position of nature, especially in the organic creation. Thus the
otherwise praiseworthy anatomist Spigel declares that the reason
why in man that part on which he sits has been so visibly more
[Seite 322] developed than in any other animal is, that people may have a
more convenient position in which to apply themselves to higher
thoughts1). So the physico-theologians thought they had found
a perforated disk in a bee-like insect on the front feet of the
males, and were not behindhand in demonstrating the use and
object of this structure. Wise nature had done this, they said,
in order that the pollen of the flower might percolate through
the creature, and in that way the fructification of plants be
provided for; and from that hour it was immediately called the
sieve-bee (Sphex cribraria). It is very creditable to a clergy-
man, Göze of Quedlinburg, who has in every way won great
renown in natural history, that he has refuted this mistake out
of nature herself, and has shown that the disks on the feet of
these insects are not penetrated; and consequently this wise
object which was with good intentions attributed to the
Creator will not stand.

Others, sometimes, on the contrary, have doubted the reality
of any arrangement in nature for the very reason that they can-
not find in it any design of the Creator. When I pointed out to
my never-to-be-forgotten friend Camper, that, in nature, contrary
to every common opinion, the tadpoles of the pipa of Surinam were
regularly tailed, he was disposed at first to consider2) the instance
I showed him as an unnatural monstrosity, because he could not
understand of what use this fin-tail could be to these little crea-
tures who sit nestled on the back of their mothers. Others,
again, have swept the whole road quite clean, and completely
denied all design in the creation. Not many years ago a distin-
guished member of the then Academy of Sciences of Paris
[Seite 323] declared that it was as ridiculous to suppose that the eye was
made to see with1), as to assert that stones were appointed for the
purpose of breaking a man's head. This however, please God,
will scarcely be satisfactory to any one who has ever had the
opportunity of comparing the interior structure of any animal
which is remarkable for striking singularities in its mode of life
and functions, and can in this way persuade himself from nature
itself most incontrovertibly of this pre-established harmony, as it
may easily be called, between the purposed structure of crea-
tures and their mode of life. It would be difficult for anyone
who is well acquainted with the natural history of the mole or
the seal, and will consider with some little reflection the skele-
ton and muscular system of the former, and the peculiarities of
the circulation and the organs of sense of the latter, to allow
himself seriously to utter such an expression as the one men-
tioned above. The hundredfold proofs which may be deduced
from comparative anatomy deprive the weak superficialities of
some ancient sophists, who supposed that the animal structure
was not ordained for its functions, but that the occupations of
animals were only the mere consequence of their organization,
of the last shadow of speciousness. Thus the production of so
many mere temporary organs which only exist in the animal
economy for transitory and extremely limited purposes, and
which all the same are as good as those which are most durable
in all the rest of the structure of those animals in which they
are found, are wonderfully adapted to their mode of life. Thus,
to produce only one instance of the kind, in the hedgehog, which
rolls itself up in defence with such great muscular power, even
the unborn fœtuses are completely furnished with one of these
powerful springs, most accurately arranged, but which is after-
wards in its way an after-birth2) quite anomalously deformed,
thick, and solid, under which the tender immature creature rests
[Seite 324] as under a shield, in order to be as completely as possible pro-
tected, on any powerful constriction of the pregnant mother,
against the dangerous consequences of that strong grasp from
which its abdomen and entrails might thereby suffer.

[Seite 325]




[Seite 327]


On the Homo Sapiens Ferus Linn.: and particularly of Wild
Peter of Hameln.

How Wild Peter was found and brought prisoner to Hameln;
what happened to Wild Peter in Hameln; Peter arrives in England,
and now becomes famous; Peter's origin; Peter's life and conduct
in England; mistaken accounts by the biographers of Peter; genuine
sources for Peter's history; Peter compared with other so-called wild
children; neither Peter, nor any other Homo sapiens ferus of Linnæus,
can serve as a specimen of the original man of nature: no originally
wild condition of nature is to be attributed to Man, who is born
a domestic animal.


On Egyptian Mummies.

[Inedited, see Pref.]


[interleaf] [Seite 329]


How Wild Peter was found, and brought prisoner to Hameln.

On Friday, July 27th, 1724, at the time of hay-harvest, Jürgen
Meyer, a townsman of Hameln, met, by a stile in his field,
not far from Helpensen, with a naked, brownish, black-haired
creature, who was running up and down, and was about the size
of a boy of twelve years old. It uttered no human sound, but
was happily enticed, by its astonished discoverer showing it two
apples in his hand, into the town, and entrapped within the
Bridge-gate. There it was at first received by a mob of street
boys, but was very soon afterwards placed for safe custody in
the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, by order of the Burgomaster

What happened to Wild Peter in Hameln.

Peter – that was the name given him on his first ap-
pearance in Hameln by the street-boys, and he retained it up
to quite old age – Peter showed himself rather brutish in the
first weeks of his captivity; seeking to get out at doors and
[Seite 330] windows, resting now and then upon his knees and elbows, and
rolling himself from side to side on his straw bed until he fell
asleep. He did not like bread at first, but he eagerly peeled
green sticks, and chewed the peel for the juice, as he also did
vegetables, grass, and bean-shells. By degrees he grew tamer
and cleaner, so he was allowed to go about the town and pay
visits. When anything was offered him to eat, he first smelt
it, and then either put it in his mouth, or laid it aside with a
shake of the head. In the same way he would smell people's
hands, and then strike his breast if pleased, or if otherwise
shake his head. When he particularly liked anything, as
green beans, peas, turnips, mulberries, fruit, and particularly
onions and hazel-nuts, he indicated his satisfaction by striking
repeatedly on his chest. Just when he was found by Jürgen
Meyer he had caught some birds, and eagerly dismembered

When his first shoes were put on him he was unable to
walk in them, but appeared glad when he could go about again
bare-footed. He was just as little pleased with any covering
on his head, and extremely enjoyed throwing his hat or cap into
the water and seeing it swim. He first of all became used
to go with clothes on, after they had tried him with a linen
kilt. In other respects he appeared of quite a sanguine tem-
perament, and liked hearing music; and his hearing and smell
were particularly acute. Whenever he wanted to get any-
thing he kissed his hands, or even the ground.

After some time Peter was put out to board with a cloth-
maker. He adhered to this man with true attachment, and
was accompanied by him when he went from thence, in
Oct. 1725, to Zell, into the hospital there, situated by the House
of Correction; but about Advent in the same year King
George I. sent for him to Hanover.

Peter arrives in England, and now becomes famous.

[Seite 331]

In Feb. 1726, Peter, under the safeguard of a royal servant,
by name Rautenberg, was brought from Hanover to London;
and with his arrival there began his since so widely-spread
celebrity. This was the very time when the controversy about
the existence of innate ideas was being carried on with the
greatest vivacity and warmth on both sides. Peter seemed the
much-wished-for subject for determining the question, A genial
fellow, Count Zinzendorf, who afterwards became so famous
as the restorer and Ordinary of the Evangelical Brotherhood, as
early as the beginning of 1726, made an application in London,
to the Countess of Schaumburg-Lippe, for her interest, that
Peter might be entrusted to his charge, in order that he might
watch the developement of his innate ideas; but he received
for answer that the king had made a present of him to the
then Princess of Wales, afterwards Queen Caroline, well known
as one of the most enlightened princesses of any age; and that
she had confided him in trust to Dr Arbuthnot, the intimate
friend of Pope and Swift, and the famous collaborator of Gul-
liver's Travels,
still for the purpose of investigating the innate
of Wild Peter.

Swift himself has immortalized him, in his humorous pro-
duction, It cannot rain, but it pours1). Linnæus gave him a
niche in the Systema Naturæ, under the title of Juvenis Han-
and Buffon, de Pauw, and J. J. Rousseau, have
extolled him as a specimen of the true natural man. Still
more recently he has found an enthusiastic biographer in the
famous Monboddo, who declares his appearance to be more
remarkable than the discovery of Uranus, or than if astrono-
mers, to the catalogue of stars already known, had added thirty
thousand new ones2).

Peter's Origin.

[Seite 332]

It is a pity, after all the importance which the great people
attached to Wild Peter, that two little circumstances in the
history of his discovery should be left out of sight, or neglected;
which I will here repeat, as far as possible, from the earliest
original documents, which I have before me. First, when Peter
was, as I said, met with by the townsman of Hameln, the small
fragment of a torn shirt was still fastened with string about
his neck. Secondly, the singularly superior whiteness of his
thighs compared to his legs, at his first entry into the town,
occasioned and confirmed the remark of a townswoman, that
the child must have worn breeches, but no stockings. Thirdly,
upon closer examination, the tongue was found unusually thick,
and little capable of motion, so that an army surgeon at Ha-
meln thought of attempting an operation to set it free, but
did not perform it. Fourthly, some boatmen related, that as
they were descending in their boat from Poll, in the summer,
they had seen at different times a poor naked child on the
banks of the Weser, and had given him a piece of bread.
Fifthly, it was soon ascertained, that Krüger, a widower of
Lüchtringen, between Holzminden and Höxter, in Paderborn,
had had a dumb child which had run away into the woods, in
1723, and had been found again in the following year, quite in
a different place; but meanwhile his father had married a
second time, and so he was shortly afterwards thrust out again
by his new step-mother.

Peter's Life and Conduct in London.

Dr Arbuthnot soon found out that no instructive discoveries
in psychology or anthropology were to be expected from this
imbecile boy; and so, after two months, at the request of the
[Seite 333] philosophic physician, a sufficient pension was settled upon him,
and he was placed first with a chamber-woman of the Queen,
and then with a farmer in Hertfordshire, where at last he
ended his vegetatory existence as a kind of very old child,
in Feb. 1785.

Peter was of middle size, but when grown up of fresh
robust appearance, and strong muscular developement; his
physiognomy was by no means so stupid; he had a respectable
beard, and soon accustomed himself to a mixed diet of flesh,
&c., but retained all his life his early love for onions. As
he grew older he became more moderate in his eating, since in
the first year of his captivity he took enough for two men.
He relished a glass of brandy, he liked the fire, but he showed
all his life the most perfect indifference for money, and what
proves, above all, the more than brutish and invincible stupidity
of Peter, just as complete an indifference for the other sex.

Whenever bad weather came on, he was always ill-tempered
and sad. He was never able to speak properly. Peter, ki
and qui ca (by the two last words meaning to express
the names of his two benefactors, King George and Queen Caro-
were the plainest of the few articulate sounds he was
ever known to produce. He seemed to have a taste for music,
and would hum over with satisfaction tunes of all kinds which
he had often heard: and when an instrument was played, he
would hop about with great delight until he was quite tired.
No one, however, ever saw him laugh – that cheerful prero-
gative of mankind. In other respects he conducted himself as
a good-natured, harmless, and obedient creature, so that he
could be employed in all sorts of little domestic offices in the
kitchen, or in the field. But they could not leave him alone to
his own devices in these matters; for once when he was left
alone by a cart of dung, which he had just been helping to
load, he immediately on the same spot began diligently to un-
load it again.

He probably lost himself several times in the neighbour-
hood during the first ten years of his residence in England;
but at all events one day, in 1746, he unwittingly strayed a
[Seite 334] long way, and at last got as far as Norfolk, where he was
brought before a justice of the peace as the suspicious Unknown
– this was at the time when there was a look-out for the
supposed emissaries of the Pretender. As he did not speak, he
was committed for the moment to the great prison-house in
Norwich for safe custody. A great fire broke out there on
that very night, so that the prison was opened as soon
as possible, and the detained were let out. When after
the first fright the prisoners were counted up, the most im-
portant of them all was missing, the dumb Unknown. A
warder rushed through the flames of the wide prison, and found
Peter sitting quietly at the back in his corner; he was enjoy-
ing the illumination and the agreeable warmth, and it was not
without difficulty that he could be dragged forth: and soon
afterwards, from the advertisements for lost things, he was re-
cognized as the innocent Peter, and forwarded to his farmer
again. Briefly, as an end to the tale, this pretended ideal of
pure human nature, to which later sophists have elevated the
wild Peter, was altogether nothing more than a dumb imbecile

Mistaken accounts by the biographers of Peter.

Meanwhile the history of this idiot is always remarkable, as
a striking example of the uncertainty of human testimony and
historical credibility. For it is surprising how divergent and
partly contradictory are even the first contemporary accounts of
the circumstances of his appearance in Hameln. No two
stories agree in the year, season, or place where and when he
was found by the townsman of Hameln, and brought into the city.
The later printed stories are utterly wrong; how he was found
by King George I. when hunting at Herrenhausen, or, accord-
ing to others, on the Harz; how it was necessary to cut down
the tree, on the top of which he had taken refuge, in order to
get at him; how his body was covered with hair, and that he
ran upon all-fours; how he jumped about trees like a squirrel;
[Seite 335] how he was very clever in getting the baits out of wolves'
traps; how he was carried over to England in an iron cage;
how he learnt to speak in nine months at the Queen's court;
how he was baptized by Dr Arbuthnot, and soon after died, &c.

Genuine sources for Peter's History.

I have critically examined everything that there is in print1)
about Wild Peter, and collected besides other accounts of the
history of his discovery. The chief of these is a particular
manuscript account by Severin, the Burgomaster of Hameln
already mentioned, which he despatched in Feb. 1726 to the
minister at Hanover, and for which I am indebted to the
kindness of the most worthy master of the head school in
Hameln, Avenarius. There are, besides, numerous national
chronicles, and the unprinted collections of the chamberlain
Redeker in the town-house of Hanover. With respect to his
later mode of life in England, besides what I found out there
myself, many of my friends there, such as the ambassadors of
Hanover, Dr Dornford and M. Craufurd, have communicated to
me accurate accounts, which they themselves got together in
Hertfordshire itself, and which I have made use of.

As to the likenesses of Peter which are in existence, I possess
two masterly engravings, which, I am assured, bear a close
resemblance to him. The one is a great sheet, in a dark style,
[Seite 336] by Val. Green, from the picture by P. Falconet; it represents
him as sitting, a full-length figure, in about his fiftieth year,
and was painted at London in 1767, when he was presented to
the king. The other is by Bartolozzi, after the three-quarter
figure painted by J. Alefounder three years before Peter's death,
quite a well-looking old man, whom any one who knew no
better, might suppose to be more cunning than he looked.

Peter compared with other so-called wild children.

It seems, perhaps, well worth the pains once for all to exa-
mine and settle critically the accounts of poor Peter, who has
been considered of so much importance by so many of our
greatest naturalists, sophists, &c.; principally, because this is the
first story which can be set forth according to the real facts:
for all the other instances of so-called wild children, almost
without exception, are mixed up with so many beyond mea-
sure extraordinary and astonishing untruths or contradictions,
that their credibility has become in consequence highly pro-
blematical altogether.

Taking those instances only, which Linnæus has set out in
his rubric on the Homo sapiens Ferus, and with which he has
introduced his Systema Naturæ; his Juvenis ovinus Hibernus, who
when sixteen years old was carried about as a show in Holland,
where he was described by the elder Tulp1), even entirely accord-
ing to that account was an imbecile, dumb, and also outwardly
deformed creature, but which could hardly have grown up from
the cradle among wild sheep in Ireland, because they exist no
more there than anywhere else. That he eat grass and hay
at Amsterdam in the presence of astonished beholders, is, I
think, just as credible, as that the pretended South-sea Islander
from Tanna, who some years ago was carried round at harvest-
[Seite 337] time and fairs, used to munch stones. Besides the extraordi-
nary description, which that otherwise so worthy Burgomaster
of Amsterdam gives us of this boy, and also the fact, that so far
as I know, no contemporary or even more recent author upon
the natural history of Ireland, alludes to him even by a single
word, makes me extremely suspicious on the matter; and at all
events, I do not think it worth the attention which has been
bestowed upon it by our own Schlözer and Herder.

As to the Juvenis bovinus Bambergensis of Linnæus, so far
as I know, we have no other testimony, except what we are told
by the worthy Ph. Camerarius, who says1), that this Bamberg
savage, who at that time had entered into the condition of holy
matrimony, informed him that he had been brought up on the
neighbouring hills by the cows.

More precise, but still more suspicious, is the account of the
eight years old Juvenis lupinus Hessensis of 1344 (not 1554, as
Linnæus2) and all his copyists give out), who celebrated the good
reception which he had met with from the wolves when they
had carried him off about five years before. They had made him
a soft nest of leaves, laid all round him, and kept him warm,
brought him a share of their spoil3), &c.

Much also must, at all events, be subtracted from the
Juvenis ursinus Lithuanus; as, for instance, what we are
assured by the authority, the imaginative Connor, in his Medi-
cina Mystica seu de Miraculis
4), that it is nothing uncommon
in Poland for a bear giving suck, if it happens to find a child,
to take it to its lair, and bring it up from its own breast.
Many instances indeed are given by the elder Joh. Dan. Geyer,
in his monograph On the Lithuanian Bear-men; one Polack
bear-man in particular of about eight or nine years old, whom
[Seite 338] King John III. met with, and had baptized; and who was
made fife-player to the militia, notwithstanding that he pre-
ferred going on four feet instead of two1).

It is said of the Puella Transisilana2) that she was about
eighteen years old, when, in the winter of 1717, she was caught
in a net on a search-hunt organized for that purpose by one
thousand Krauenburg peasants. She was quite naked except
for a scanty straw apron, her skin had become hard and black,
but in a little time after her capture it fell off, and upon that
a beautiful fresh skin came to light, &c. (I have kept quite
close to the account of the witnesses.)

In other respects this wild girl was very friendly, and of
good cheerful temper, and was stolen from her parents when
a little child in May, 1700.

The Puella Campanica, as she was called by Linnæus, or
Madlle le Blanc, according to her French biographers3), who
considered her as an Esquimaux girl sent to France, was first
of all observed in the water, where two girls about the size
of children of ten years old, and armed with clubs, swam about
and ducked in and out like water-hens. They soon quarrelled
about a chaplet of roses, which they found; one of them was
struck on the head by the other, but she immediately bound
up the wound with a plaster made out of a frog's skin tied
with a strip of bark. Since then, however, she was seen no
more, but Madlle le Blanc, the victress, covered only with rags
and skins, and with a gourd-bottle instead of a bonnet on her
head, was entrapped into a neighbouring &c.

Johannes-Leodicensis was, according to the account of the
credulous Digby4) a peasant youth of Liege, who ran away for
[Seite 339] fear when the soldiers plundered his village into the forest of
Ardennes, and lodged there for many years, and lived upon
roots, wild pears, and acorns.

There still remain, what are called by Linnæus, Pueri
of 1719, on whose traces however I have not yet
been able to come again1). Meanwhile, what I have here set
down about the others will, I hope, tend to give the proper
value to those wonderful and various stories about these pre-
tended men of nature in a philosophic natural history of

Neither Peter nor any other Homo sapiens ferus of Linnæus can
serve as a Specimen of the original Man of Nature.

If we make a fair deduction from the really too tasteless
fictions in those stories, and let the rest pass muster ever so
indulgently, still it will be at once seen, that these were alto-
gether unnatural deformed creatures, and yet, what also goes
very much to show how abnormal they were, no two of them
were at all like each other, according to any critical com-
parison of the accounts we have of them. Taken altogether,
they were very unmanlike, but each in his own way, according
to the standard of his own individual wants, imperfections, and
unnatural properties. Only in this were they like each other,
that contrary to the instinct of nature, they lived alone, sepa-
rated from the society of men, wandering about here and
there; a condition, whose opposition to what is natural has
been already compared by Voltaire to that of a lost solitary

Above all no originally Wild Condition of Nature is to be
attributed to Man, who is born a domestic animal.

[Seite 340]

Man is a domestic animal1). But in order that other
animals might be made domestic about him, individuals of
their species were first of all torn from their wild condition,
and made to live under cover, and become tame; whereas he
on the contrary was born and appointed by nature the most
completely domesticated animal. Other domestic animals were
first brought to that state of perfection through him. He is
the only one who brought himself to perfection.

But whilst so many other domestic animals, as cats,
goats, &c. when they by accident return to the wilderness,
very soon degenerate into the natural condition of the wild
species; so on the other hand, as I have said, all those so-
called wild children in their other behaviour, and nature, &c.,
strikingly differed one from another, for the very reason that
they had no originally wild species to degenerate into, for
such a race of mankind, which is the most perfect of all
sorts of domestic animals that have been created, no where
exists, nor is there any position, any mode of life, or even
climate which would be suitable for it.

[Seite 341]

177 STÜCK.



[Seite 343]

The lecture delivered by the Chief Physician-Royal, Blumen-
bach, in the sitting of the Royal Society, of the 3rd August,
consisted of a Spicilegium observationum de generis humani va-
rietate nativa,
a subject, that since his inaugural dissertation
which appeared under this title nearly sixty years ago, the author
has always taken pleasure in working at. It was only some-
thing on the national characteristics of the three chief races
among the five, into which he had thought it most according
to nature to divide mankind. Therefore, first of the Caucasian
stem, or middle race; and of its two extremes, which are
secondly, the Ethiopian, and thirdly, the Mongolian.

Of the first race we have but one skull, but that of the very
greatest interest. An old Hippocratic macrocephalus from the
Black Sea, exactly answering to the description given by the
father of medicine in his golden treatise On air, water, and soil.
Blumenbach owed this present for his rich collection of national
skulls to the kindness of the excellent and much travelled
physician of Augsburg, Dr Stephan, who, at the very time when
the Russian Government had the ancient funeral mounds of the
kings of the Bosphorus opened, which exist on the water-shed
of the steppe hills in the vicinity of Kertch (the Panticapæum
of the ancients) happened to be there, and obtained the skull in
[Seite 344] question. This exactly resembles in shape the others which
were found there with it. On account of the great age of the
burial place it was very rotten and fragile. This was also the
case with the other skulls, which were laid by him previously
before the Royal Society, of old Greeks, Germans, Cimbrians,
Tschudis, &c. which have been described in their Transactions.
The striking characteristic of the Tauric Macrocephalus, of
which we are now speaking, displays itself in a high, but not
much vaulted forehead: the parietal bones on the other hand
being exceedingly high, quite macrocephalic. The sagittal
suture, as well as the other two principal sutures of the occiput
were quite obliterated.

Secondly, of the Ethiopian race, which indeed at the first
glance contrasts so forcibly with the others that one can easily
understand the exclamation of the naturalist Pliny: ‘“Who
would have believed in an Ethiopian before he had seen him?”’
Almost exactly at the same time as that ancient long-headed
skull Blumenbach received from his old friend and pupil, Kauf-
mann, the court physician of Hanover, something of just as
great importance to him for his collection, although of quite
another kind. It was the fresh clean head of a negro boy from
Congo, who had died unfortunately in his fifteenth year, and
who might be considered as the most perfect ideal of this race
of man. This gave the author of the lecture an opportunity
of passing a critical review upon many of the to a great extent
groundless assertions on the bodily peculiarities of the negro,
which he refuted by the exhibition of preparations. Amongst
these were some embryos, and this gave him an opportunity
of saying something also on the third principal race.

The Mongolian: not, indeed, upon the character of their skulls,
of which Blumenbach, through the kindness of the never-to-be-
forgotten Baron von Asch, possesses a most instructive series;
but only to contrast with those unborn negroes the fœtus of a
female Calmuck three months old, already possessed of the ex-
pressive national physiognomy, displaying, namely, that striking
oblique direction of the bifurcation of the eyelids towards the
root of the nose.

[Seite 345]

OCTOBER 6. NO. 14. 1856.




[Seite 347]

When after the death of the respected Blumenbach (Jan. 22,
1840) the undersigned received his summons to this University,
and entered upon his present post in the autumn of 1840, the
collection of the venerable naturalist had previously by the care of
the Curatorium been purchased from the heirs, and the greater
part of it had already been incorporated in the Academical
Institute. The most valuable part of it was undeniably the
collection of skulls, which Blumenbach, supported by pupils
of his scattered over all parts of the world, and other numerous
donors, had been collecting zealously for his whole life, and
which it is well known had served him as the principal founda-
tion for his investigations on the natural history of mankind.
Together with the Craniological Collection there was ranked a
more extensive body of materials for completing the knowledge
of the different accompanying conditions of form and structure
in respect of Ethnology, and for illustrating the Lectures on the
General Natural History of Mankind.

Already, in 1795, Blumenbach had given a sketch of this, as
well of the Craniological Collection, which he incorporated with
the third edition of his famous treatise De generis humani varie-
tate nativa,
under the title Index suppellectilis anthropologicæ
[Seite 348] auctoris, qua in adornanda nova hacce editione maxime usus est.
He divided the apparatus into five parts. The first division
comprised the eighty-two race-skulls then existing in his Col-
lection, separately detailed, and of which he had already
represented thirty in the three first Decades of his Decades
Blumenbach here remarked that his craniological
collection, was unique of its kind, and that the richest museums
of that sort then in Europe, namely, the anatomical collections
of John Hunter and Peter Camper could not be compared with
it. The other divisions of the so-called anthropological collection
consisted of anatomical preparations, specimens of the skin and
hair of different nations, and some embryos; then, very good
drawings, especially some by the hand, paintings, also engrav-
ings, and besides excellent portraits of distinguished individuals
of different nations of our planet, executed in water-colours, oil,
and crayons.

All this material was handed over by the heirs to the Uni-
versity, and likewise most of the original manuscripts of Blu-
menbach's works on general natural history, and upon the races
of man: they were first of all deposited in the rooms of the
academical museum allotted to me, until the erection of the
physiological institute in which the whole collection was ar-
ranged in the year 1842; where it remains in its entirety under
the name of the Blumenbachian Anthropological Museum,
in lasting remembrance of that highly deserving man. At
present it fills two rooms. In the first room are the skulls, ar-
ranged in cabinets on the walls; outside which in like manner
stand a collection of plaster casts; and in the middle are some
mummies: whilst the other room contains the remaining objects,
especially the portraits. From what Blumenbach himself left
we have 245 whole skulls and fragments, and an Egyptian and
Guanche mummy.

So far as my means and the great difficulty of making acqui-
sitions in an inland country, have permitted, I have endeavoured to
make the Collection still more complete. But up to the present
time I have been only moderately successful. By purchase we
have obtained some interesting mummies and skulls from Peru,
[Seite 349] which Dr von Tschudi had collected; and I have lately received
as a legacy from Professor de Fremery in Utrecht some skulls
and the skeleton of a negro. H. M. King Louis of Bavaria,
liberal as he had already shown himself in donations to Blu-
menbach, sent us some years ago seven in part very well pre-
served skulls from an old cemetery at Nordendorf on the Lech
(probably of the second and third century), which were found
on the occasion of making the railroad. His Highness the Graf
von Görtz Schlitz, who as a pupil of our high school had always
kept up a friendly recollection of it, sent us five old Peruvian
skulls, which he had dug up himself on the spot, and in the
place, on his voyage round the world. Professor Carl Schmidt
of Dorpat, likewise a pupil of the Georgia Augusta, presented us
with two Lett skulls; Professor Bidder, of Dorpat, added to them
an Esthonian skull. To my brother, Dr Moritz Wagner, we
owe two skulls from the Crimea and a Greek skull. In this
way, and by some recently prepared skulls, some of them mur-
derers for example, the number of skulls and fragments of skulls
has reached 310.

The want of skeletons has always been very great; the few
left behind by Blumenbach were very defective and useless.
Now the Collection possesses several Europeans of different ages,
and a well-prepared negro skeleton.

Besides the Egyptian and Guanche mummies we have three
Peruvian mummies. Some mummified heads, for example one
of a New Zealander, some negro heads in spirits of wine, &c.

As for the Craniological Collection, it can no longer pass
for the richest existing. That of Morton, which is now in
Philadelphia, is already much richer. Still it has much that
is interesting, as will be seen from the following summary,
in which, for the most part, I follow the old arrangement of

[Seite 350]

A. Peoples of the Old World.

I. Caucasian Races (Indo-Atlantic peoples).

2 Indian. 1 Icelander.
1 Persian. 1 Norwegian.
3 Georgian. 8 Hollander.
1 Lesghi. 1 Wend.
1 Armenian. 1 Bohemian.
4 Gipsy. 3 Hungarian.
5 Greek. 1 Pole.
6 Turk. 4 Lithuanian.
7 Italian. 1 Esthonian.
1 Old Etruscan. 2 Slavonian.
5 Old Roman. 2 Galician.
6 French. 22 Russian.
1 Lotharingian. 5 Cossack.
1 Burgundian. 3 Finns.
1 Spaniard. 4 Lapps.
3 English. 2 Old Tschudi.
1 Irish. 1 Bulgarian.
5 Scot. 4 Jew.
1 Hebridean. 4 Egyptian mummy skulls.
1 Dane. The remainder German.

II. Mongolian Races (Asiatic nations).

10 Tartar. 1 Korak.
7 Calmuck. 2 Tungus.
2 Baschkir. 1 Yakute.
1 Samoiede. 1 Burat.
1 Kamtschatdale. 2 Burman.
1 Tschuvasch. 9 Chinese.
[Seite 351]

III. Woolly-haired African Nations (Ethiopian race).

16 Negro skulls. 1 Hottentot.
1 Mulatto. 1 Bushman.
1 Kafir.

B. Peoples of the New World.

IV. Americans.

3 Esquimaux. 1 Mexican.
4 Greenlanders. 3 Schitgaganen.
1 Kornager from Kadjäk. 2 Algonquin.
1 Illinois. 1 Iroquois.
4 From Missouri. 1 Modern Peruvian.
2 From Columbia River (ar-
tificially flattened).
8 Chincha-Peruvian (some
artif. deformed).
2 Carib (one artificially flat-
1 Ature.
1 Botocudo.
1 Huanca (Peru, artif. de-
6 Brazilian.
1 From Guiana.

V. Malays and South-Sea Islanders.

6 Javanese. 1 From Otaheite.
3 From Bali. 2 Nukuhiva.
2 From Celebes. 2 From New Holland.
1 Mestizo from Celebes. 1 Papuan.
2 From Madeira.

The remaining skulls have reference to congenital depar-
tures from the ordinary form, or pathological alterations, as
microcephaly, hydrocephalus, &c.

In the original collection the plastic representation of the
outward forms of races was limited to one bust of a negro and
one of a Botocudo, both moreover of indifferent workmanship.

[Seite 352]

Much credit is due to Professor von Launitz of Frankfort for
his exertions in promoting this above all important, but very
much neglected means of forwarding the knowledge of the
natural history of mankind by the aid of plaster-casts. He
has executed a new though even now unfortunately small
series of race-busts with great fidelity to nature and artistic
handling, from individuals who came in his way at Frankfort.

I have obtained some beautiful casts for our collection of
busts executed by Herr von Launitz. They are as follows:

Benjamin Gattegna, Constantinopolitan Jew.

Grossman, Jew.

Muhamed, Bedouin.

Hassan, Nubian.

Abdallah, Negro.

Zeno Orego, bearded negro from Guadeloupe.

Native North-American.


Cast from the head of a Chinese.

A Gipsy Girl.

Model of the face of an Hungarian, by Fr. Küsthardt,
done by a young sculptor of Göttingen.

A Phrenological Collection, based upon genuine busts after
the life, is now for the first time in process of being made.
The above-named young artist, Fr. Küsthardt, has already
got some materials together for it. There is no department
so much in want of critically selected materials as this, which
has been so seldom treated scientifically.

Another kind of collection, which is now equally for the
first time projected, would be that of the form of the fore-
heads in different individuals. A number of foreheads with
the form preserved as much as possible is ready collected,
and it seems that a careful comparison of the foreheads of
different individuals might really lead to very interesting
results, on which perhaps I may say more at another oppor-
tunity. Unfortunately no one in Europe appears as yet to
have thought of making a collection of race-foreheads of any
[Seite 353] size, though this must be an important business for the

I have also endeavoured to promote the collection of repre-
sentations of different nations and tried to complete it, and
consequently have had the necessity of instruction or education
especially before my eyes.

With the interest, which very lately the natural history
of Ethnography has excited, in consequence of the noto-
rious disputes about the origin of mankind, I became par-
ticularly alive to the necessity of anthropological collections
of that sort. Much lies scattered in private collections in
Holland and England, and a fresh youthful vigour which would
give itself up with zeal and a spirit of investigation to this
task, and study the museums in Europe and North America
with this object, might bring interesting results to light. I
had in earlier years proposed to myself the task at some time
or other of editing an anatomy of the races and nations of
man, and looked upon my natural history of mankind, pub-
lished twenty-six years ago, as a juvenile prelude. But the
difficulties, first of getting together sufficient materials and
then of inspecting with that object all the public and private
collections in Europe were so great, that I have long since been
obliged to give up this plan, especially since my health has
for some years past begun to fail me. The preservation and
enlarging of the Blumenbachian Museum, and the utilization
of the same partly for the purposes of instruction and partly
for foreign inquirers, I have considered incumbent on me as
a positive duty. In general, however, the furtherance of anato-
mical, physiological and zoological investigation in the last
ten years has been turned so much in other directions, that the
Collection has been used less than I could have wished both by
native and foreign students, and in fact has only been honoured
with an ordinary inspection. I have, however, pleasure in men-
tioning these gentlemen: Henle, Huschke, Van der Hoeven,
Retzius, Tourtual, Von Tschudi, and Andr. Wagner, who, some-
times in my company, and sometimes alone, have gone through
[Seite 354] our Collection, and in part have made public use of it for their
own inquiries.

The notice given of it now is perhaps sufficient to attract
anew the attention of foreign inquirers to our little museum.
It seems scarcely necessary to remark that our material is much
too scanty for any extended questions upon the individuality
and affinity of the nations of our planet. We must have not
single, but hundreds of skulls of one and the same nation, to
settle certain questions. Blumenbach, with the eye of genius,
though from very slender materials, early drew the ground
lines, and accurately recognized the typical differences. We
have only got beyond Blumenbach's investigations and results
in some particulars, and on the whole not much and not essen-
tially. The longer we busy ourselves about the subject, the
more again and again we shall have to come back to the
ground-plan and the divisions of Blumenbach. Still here I
must mention above all as to the present time the works of
the famous Retzius1) in Stockholm, who has himself got toge-
ther a great apparatus, and must be considered at present
as by far the greatest proficient in scientific ethnology.

With respect to our Collection I may remark, that its
greatest wealth and value consists in the skulls of Asiatic
(Mongolian) nations, which – perhaps with the exception of
that of St Petersburgh – are still probably very uncommon
in all collections. Nearly all these skulls came from a grateful
pupil of Blumenbach, whom he often mentions, the imperial
physician, Dr von Asch, in St Petersburgh. Notwithstanding
my narrow means and small opportunity for acquisition, I have
especially laboured to enlarge the series of particular nations.
From this point of view the Negro, the Peruvian, and the
Chinese skulls present a particular interest. With a special
view to that object, viz. the bringing together large numbers
of skulls of one and the same people, I am anxious for assistance
[Seite 355] from foreign inquirers as well as from naturalists, and grateful
should I be in this respect for such support as has lately been
given me by Herr Professor Schröder van der Kolk, of Utrecht.
Especially, however, should I be thankful for the acquisition
of information about well-formed foreheads of known individuals
amongst the nations of Europe, or the foreign races of man.


[interleaf] [Seite 357]
‘“The spacious West,’
‘And all the teeming regions of the South,’
‘Hold not a quarry, to the curious flight’
‘Of knowledge, half so tempting or so fair’
‘As man to man.”’
( Akenside. )
prid. id. junii; hora locoque solitis.


[Seite 359]

It is not necessary for me when going to write about the
varieties of man, and the causes of them, to try and prove the
importance of the subject. Much has been written by many
about animated beings, nature, and the gods; and there are
and have been those, who have attempted to gauge the strength
and faculties of the human mind. But nothing has yet been
written clearly by any writer upon the matters which regard the
[Seite 360] external appearance of man, his countenance, his colour, the
dimensions of his body, and other similar topics. Yet it cannot
be denied for a moment that many diversities and anomalies
do exist among men. Do not those who spring from the same
race, and are horn of the same parents, differ from each other
in temperament, health, strength, stature, colour, form, and
above all, in disposition and power of mind? And a greater
difference is found between those who live in different climates,
and inhabit widely-separated regions of the earth, very diverse
from each other. Others differ also by being of a white or
black colour, of a handsome or ugly body, by softness of dis-
position or the reverse, and by polished or rude manners. Such
important discrepancies, so well known to all, supply a mass of
materials quite sufficient for philosophers, and those who inves-
tigate nature, to employ themselves upon. Many1) who have
considered these questions, and endeavoured to ascertain their
causes, have thought them too great to be ascribed to natural
causes, but that they should be referred to the will of the
Governor of all things, the supreme Law of nature, as if He had
in the beginning marked out men by so many diverse distinc-
tions. Now if we take up this mode of philosophizing, and
attribute everything for which we can give no reason to the
Divine interference, we shut the door and stop up all the sources
from which all those things spring which adorn life, promote
the arts, and finally increase the force and the faculties of the
human mind. And therefore it is worth while first of all to
inquire what amount of proof there may be for the opinion of
those who impute all diversities to the Deity, and therefore
imagine man to consist of different species.

Those who believe in the diversity of species contend that
the diversities are such that they cannot be explained in any
other way, whether by climate or other external causes. What,
they ask, is the cause of the copper colour and the beardless
chin of the Americans? or of the black teats of the Samoide
[Seite 361] women? of the black colour and thick lips of the Africans? of
the swelling pudenda of the female inhabitants of the Cape of
Good Hope? What man has ever explained these and similar
things? So they affirm these things cannot be explained, but
must be attributed to God1).

How much this superstition, which refers everything that
seems to us inexplicable, to the Divine hand and the will of
God, stands in the way of science, has been said above.

Besides these diversities which it is true we cannot explain,
there occur others equally inexplicable, where the notion of
a diversity of species cannot be entertained. Who has ever
explained the high cheek-bones of the Scotch? No one; but is
that a reason for considering them a different species? Nor
has any explanation ever yet been given for the blue eyes of
the Goths2). And are they then of a different species? By this
mode of reasoning, it would follow that there are different
species in the same family.

In order to prove diversity of species, writers have had
recourse even to the mental faculties3). This one is brave; that
man timid. How then can they be of the same species? This
man receives strangers with pleasure; that one keeps them
off as much as ever he can. Are they therefore of the same

If this were so, and discrepancies of this kind were accepted
for signs and certain proofs of diversities of species, would not
different species be produced in almost every single family?
Could it not be said of the same man at different times that he
in like way was of a different species from himself?

Those who defend this opinion of the diversity of species,
not content with these arguments, seek out others from the
Final Cause. For inasmuch as the regions inhabited by man-
are excessively different in climate, soil, heat, and innumerable
other points, therefore they believe that different species of
[Seite 362] men were necessarily accommodated to different regions1).
But who can say that it is not more agreeable to perfect wis-
dom to have given to different animals that kind of nature,
by which they could easily accommodate themselves to what-
ever might happen, than to have created a fresh species adapted
to each change of external circumstances?

This question has with justice been most fiercely agitated,
for it is by no means one of mere curiosity. For if it be
allowed that men are of different species, then they must be
so considered in medical, natural, civil, and theological dis-
quisitions, and lastly, in all works which treat of man; and
whatever might be said of one species, might possibly be most
erroneously predicated of another.

For if it were so, it would be incredible that the Wisdom
which framed the universe should have created different species,
distinguished only by colour, or thick lips, or a depressed nose,
and not of a different nature, and intended for some particular
end. So, whatever learned men have written about one species,
which has been applied to another, falls to the ground; and
the sources of reasoning, from which it has often been thought
that truth is derived, that is the comparisons made between
various nations, are altogether sealed up. But what are we
to think of those, who, although they consider men to vary
in species, nevertheless persist in discoursing of man, as if he
were always in all regions and in every place the same?

There is another error which must be noticed here. Whilst
authors dispute in this way with each other about species, they
do not explain what sense they attach to that word. The defi-
nition given by Ray, and adopted by Buffon, they reject as
refuted, but they give no other in its place. And yet, without
in any way defining species, they go on to pronounce the
species of men to be different. But this is surely quite un-
justifiable, unless the meaning of the word species is first of all

As this is the case, in order that others may not make the
[Seite 363] same objection to us, pray accept our definition of the word
species, and our idea of the way in which these notions are con-
ceived in the mind.

As all our ideas of everything arise from nature, and its
contemplation, so from the same source, and not from the
dogmas of the schools, or the disquisitions of logic, is the mean-
ing of the word species to be deduced. Whoever looks round
the earth, will find it full of animals, everywhere offering them-
selves to his eyes, and will find amongst some of them an
almost perfect resemblance, and a very strong affinity, but
amongst more, the greatest possible difference. He who ex-
amines this diversity or congruity, will quickly come to distri-
bute animals into various classes, according to their various
likenesses or unlikenesses. And since nature, as they say,
makes no leaps, it frequently happens, that animals are at the
same time so like and so unlike each other, that it is sometimes
doubtful to which class any particular one should be referred.

What is to be the rule, or criterion for deciding this? If
any two animals, whose likeness to each other is not quite per-
fect enough to compel one to assign them to the same species,
produce an offspring which is either at once like, or afterwards
becomes like either parent; then however they may differ from
each other in many points, yet they must be considered to be
of the same species. And with these preliminary observations,
this is the way in which I think species should be defined.

A class of animals, of which the members procreate with
each other, and the offspring of which also procreate other
animals, which are either like their class, or afterwards be-
come so.

This definition of species may be conveniently illustrated by
taking an instance from man, about whom our business now is.
Take, of all who bear the name of man, a man and a woman
most widely different from each other; let the one be a most beau-
tiful Circassian woman and the other an African born in Guinea,
as black and ugly as possible. Take, moreover, as you certainly
may, the males and females sprung from this pair, and join
the children of the latter in marriage with their maternal race,
[Seite 364] and the children of the former with the paternal, and then,
if after several generations the offspring of the female becomes
in all things to resemble the mother, and the offspring of the
male the father, we may come to the definite conclusion that
the parents were of the same species. That this is a fact, is
proved every day by the unions of the black and the white.
And if any one denies the truth of this definition, what order,
what certainty does he leave in the animal kingdom? One
species may change into another. The ox may become a horse,
the ape a man. And if reason and common sense did not
revolt from such absurd and monstrous positions, some would
eagerly declare that such things might take place. Let a man
look round the world, and contemplate nature. What does he
find? Does the varied appearance of things supply any proofs
by which such a notion can be confirmed? Have not the
classes of animals always remained distinct up to this time?
and why should they not remain so for ever? A lawless and
Hind wish has often desired the existence of such mutations,
and even of new genera, if it were possible. And many have tried
very hard to bring about something of the kind, but no one has
yet succeeded in making a new species, or turning one into
another. From all which we may conclude that each and
every species of animals has been circumscribed within fixed
boundaries from the beginning by Divine Wisdom; and no
desire, like those which are contrary to the laws of nature, is
strong enough to cause nature's divisions, that is, her animals
to be commingled, or disordered. And in truth, about most
animals there is no doubt, because they are distinguished at
the first glance, by external appearance, and manifest tokens;
and the sole contention is about man, and a few other species,
principally of the domestic animals. As to these there are two
reasons, why writers have had doubts about them. First, be-
cause every variety and aberration from the general order takes
place before our eyes, and is most easily observed. The
second and more powerful reason is, because animals, placed
under our care, entirely contrary to their instincts, and sub-
jected to duties and modes of life which do not at all suit
[Seite 365] them, for this reason especially, and all the more, the more
care we take of them, become altered1).

The varieties of dogg seem almost infinite; for they pass
their lives with men, suffer like them, and share their sports
and their hearths. If any one should say that the varieties
of dogs indicate a diversity of species, would it not be the
same thing as to affirm that the dog can carry different species
at the same time in its womb? For it is common enough
for a bitch to bring forth in the same litter varieties of
whelps, which varieties such persons would call species. And to
those who think what they call the different and permanent
orders of dogs are of great weight in proving them to be of
different species, we may answer that no such orders are per-
manent and constant without the careful interference of man.
Who does not know how difficult it is to produce the Canis
Gallicus (Graius
Linn.) or the Canis Odorus (Sagax Linn1))?

For these reasons, my opinion is that men must be held to
be of the same species. And as in the vegetable kingdom, the
same species sometimes comprehends many varieties, which all
depend upon the climate, the soil, and cultivation, so to use the
language of botanists, the diversities of men are to be con-
sidered as varieties of the same species, and, in the same way,
to be deduced from natural causes.

No one can be ignorant how much influence events have in
affecting and changing men. On these depend almost all dis-
orders, and the numerous changes in the human body. To ex-
plain properly their effects and the varieties of the human spe-
cies, and to show clearly how they take place, not only is an
intimate knowledge of human nature required, as far as regards
its motions and mutations, and its increase and decrease, but
also a deep knowledge is necessary of all things which can affect
man, so far as regards their qualities, and mode of action. For
to give an explanation of how two bodies act upon each other,
the nature of each must be understood. Who possesses this
science? Who has explained the nature of the human body?
[Seite 366] Who has investigated the powers of nature? No one. Many
things are obscure, which can only be brought to light by great
labour, and the united powers of many men in a long space of
time. Thus it will easily be understood how difficult is the task
I have imposed upon myself. I approach it, however, not from
any love of writing, but from a sort of necessity. And so far
from being sorry, I shall be glad, if, as I may hope, these my
endeavours will call away able men, especially at this time,
when natural history is so flourishing, from shells and butter-
flies, to studies worthy of man.

In order that I may conduct my work on some plan, I have
thought it best to divide it into four parts; in the first of which
I shall treat of the colour of men; in the second, of stature and
form; in the third, of the excess or defect of parts, or other dif-
ferences; and in the fourth, of the mental faculties. These
chapters will comprise almost everything which all the curious
investigators of this planet have seen and told.

Chapter I.
Of Colour.

The varieties of colour are wonderful. Thus in men we meet
with white, black, brown, copper-colour; lastly, all shades be-
tween white and black, some having one, and others another.
And in order to show this more clearly, I have subjoined a table
of the colours of man, as they differ according to race, which I
put forward, not as an absolutely correct history of colours, but
only as an example and specimen of varieties.

Table of Colours.

Black. Africans under the direct rays of the Sun.
Inhabitants of New Guinea, and of New
[Seite 367]
Sub-black. The Moors of Northern Africa.
The Hottentots, dwelling towards the south
of the Continent.
Copper-coloured. The East-Indians1).
Red. Americans2).
Brown. Tartars.
Africans dwelling on the Mediterranean Sea.
Light brown. Southern Europeans.
Turks and others.
Samoeides and Laplanders.
White. Almost all the remaining Europeans, as
Poles and others.

What is the cause of such different colours? To this the
answer is difficult. Yet many philosophers have attempted to
discover it. Those who borrow their philosophy from Scripture,
[Seite 368] and explain by it all the works of nature, consider Cain as the
father of the blacks, and deduce all the middle grades of colour
from the various mixtures of white and black with each, other1).
And yet about this point some stand out very stoutly for Ham2),
while even Ishmael3) has his supporters. Some take refuge in
other causes, as the heat of the sun, thick vapours4), and the
vicinity of scorching sands. It is not my intention either to
support or refute these opinions, but rather to deduce my con-
clusion from matters of fact.

The seat of colour is without controversy in the skin, though
it is not diffused throughout that organ, but only occupies5)
that part which is called the cuticle, which is made up of the
epidermis and the reticulum; and of these two, resides princi-
pally in the latter. In the blacks the cuticle is thicker and
harder than in the whites to this extent, that in the latter the
reticulum is a sort of thin mucus, and in the latter a thick
membrane6). The transparent epidermis of the whites has the
appearance of a very thin slice of horn: their reticulum is not
very different from coagulated mucus, and the epidermis seems
to consist of the same, hardened. And some teach7) that this is
its real form and material. But although anatomists are by no
means agreed on this point, and it is not for me to settle the
matter, I am obliged, from the nature of my subject, to say a
few words about it.

In the whites, the parts under the skin, or rather the cuti-
cle, which change colour, cause the colour of the body to be
changed, on account of the transparency of the cuticle. In
jaundice the skin becomes yellow, because the blood is tinged
with bile; and the rush of more blood than usual into the ves-
sels of the face causes blushing. And a kind of typhus, nearly
peculiar to the West Indies, is called the yellow fever, because
from the congestion of yellow serum in the vessels of the skin
[Seite 369] this becomes yellow. Moreover, if pigments are applied inside
the epidermis, they stamp on it so permanent a colour, that it
remains to the end of life. If gunpowder is burnt into the
skin, who does not know how long it remains there? And in
some such fashion many barbarous nations1), like our ancestors2),
used to paint and mark their skin with various figures, for the
sake of ornament.

Hence we may draw these conclusions. First, the cuticle
must have no vessels, or at all events extremely few. For, if
it were furnished with only a few more vessels, it would admit
bile mixed with blood to its innermost parts and furthest re-
cesses, and then what would stand is the way of yellowness
remaining in it a long time, like any other colour caused by
pigments? Moreover, the fact of the condition of the pig-
ment when coloured being fixed, shows that it consists of parts
which are very permanent, and therefore are furnished with
very few, if any, vessels. Writers do not attribute bones to
those parts of the body which abound in vessels; yet these
parts, when stained with any colour, do not cease to change all
their particles, until they have recovered their original tint.
Hence we may conclude for certain that the cuticle is furnished
with very few, if any, vessels, and that its component parts
scarcely ever change.

So much being premised about colour, and the structure of
its seat, we must investigate the causes of it, and, first of all, of
blackness. And perhaps it will be worth while to begin by in-
quiring into the causes of the change of colour in the regions of
the epidermis and the reticulum; and this all the more, because
nature, in its simplicity, generally uses the same means to effect
the same ends.

Air, dirt, and the heat of the sun, the transparency of the
cuticle being destroyed, give it a brown colour, and at the same
time make it harder.

He who wishes to have his hands shining and white will
not find it enough to protect them from the sun and the heat,
[Seite 370] but must also keep them from the air, as is well known to–
women, who use gloves at all times. Besides, the colour of
the face is never so fair as in other parts of the body which
are always covered, although it be never exposed to the sun.

Those who have to work hard at manual labour, never have
white hands. Gunpowder, as has been said, when introduced
below the epidermis, makes the colour black. Dirt and pig-
ments can do the same thing, though in a minor degree. And
this seems to be confirmed by the use of washes, with which
the blacks besmear themselves, so as to make themselves

The heat of the sun is the most powerful cause. Its force
is shown if you expose to it the whitest possible face, for it will
lose all its whiteness in one day, and come out brown or red.
It is particularly efficacious in the summer on red-haired per-
sons with light skin; and can affect the whole skin with brown
spots, but especially the hands and face, because they are most
exposed to it, which Linnaeus1) makes a disorder, and calls
Ephelides. Nor is there any doubt, that if the heat were kept
up long enough, the whole skin would become of the same
brown colour.

If then these causes, the air, namely, and the heat of the
sun, can cause such changes in these regions where, by means of
houses and clothes, we are so much protected from them, at all
events we need not be surprised that greater blackness is
thereby effected in much hotter regions where men are exposed
naked to a burning sun at almost all times.

But besides the heat of the sun, and the effects of the air,
where any one is exposed to it, other causes bring on greater
blackness like that of the Africans.

The parts of the cuticle are very rarely changed, as was said
before, and all the more rarely the thicker it is. And, there-
fore, when the same particles are exposed for a long time to
great heat, the effect is great, that is, much blackness is neces-
sarily sub-introduced. And, moreover, it is certain that pig-
[Seite 371] ments can do much to increase this, by which, as has been
said, their bodies are rendered blacker, or, as they think, more

The cuticle of the blacks is said to be thicker and less
transparent than that of the whites, and therefore, when the
causes of blackness are induced, will also be blacker; if indeed
that want of transparency has the effect of putting more par-
ticles in the way of the influences which produce blackness.
For all, who are skilled in optics, know well, that transparent
and coloured plates make colour more vivid and more intense,
the more of them there are which are put one above the other:
because the rays of light transmitted by the one are reflected
by the other, and the brightness of colour is always in propor-
tion to the number of reflected rays. But when the colour of
the plates is that of blackness, which consists of the absence of
light, the rays which are not suffocated by one are effaced by
the other, and so, the light being neither transmitted nor
reflected, black colour is produced. If, indeed, it be asked how-
it is that the cuticle of the blacks is less transparent than that
of the whites, although I cannot perfectly explain it, I will
and illustrate it in a few words.

The action of the sun and the air is a sort of stimulus to
our bodies, and therefore acts according to those laws which
regulate stimulants. The effect of this stimulant, burning and
irritating the skin, is to render it harder and thicker, as is the
case with the hands of labourers, and with the use of all parts
of the body which are affected by stimulants. In the same
way the air and the rays of the sun, by their stimulating action,
render the skin less transparent. The efficient cause, why the
skin becomes thicker, is clear, and the way in which it is made
thick, whether by the sun or by other irritating subjects, is
pretty much the same. The irritation of the parts brings with
it a larger influx of humours, and increases the action of the
vessels, which are used in their increment or reparation. And
as the continuous action of the sun, and other influences which
stimulate the skin, display a great resemblance of action, so
the progress of the acting power is the same in either case.
[Seite 372] Stimulants and irritants, when first applied to a yet tender skin,
cause the appearance of many pimples; but after a certain
lapse of time, it becomes harder, thicker, and at last callous,
and can never afterwards be inflated into pimples by the same
causes. And in like manner, although the rays of a southern
sun burn our bodies, and cause many pimples to rise on the
skin, still bodies accustomed to those regions, or those who
have always been in the way of it, are not affected in the same

The fact therefore of the skin being made thicker by the
intemperance of the climate and the heat of the sun, and
blacker by the direct rays of the sun and by pigments, proves
our whole theory of colour.

We must next inquire how far the explanation we have
given is supported by facts, and how far it goes towards ex-
plaining facts.

Since all blacks are born white, and remain so for some
little time, it is clear from this that the sun and the air are
necessary agents in turning the skin to a black colour. And
this is proved besides by the fact, that when blisterings and
burnings are applied to the bodies of the blacks, they change
such parts so into white, that the black colour is not brought
back to the body for some days1). Those parts of the body too
which are most protected, and defended from the sun and the
air, do not lose their original white colour, as is observed in
those blacks who have the gland covered with the prepuce2).
All the nations which dwell within the torrid zone have their
colour more and more verging towards black. This almost
universal fact doubtless tends to support the opinion given
above. But that such is not the fact is objected by some,
because there are no small number of white people in the
torrid zone3). And although I cannot deny this, still it is quite
plain that the inhabitants of the torrid zone are blacker than
[Seite 373] any others, and that almost all are of a dark colour approaching
to black.

However, since the cause of blackness, as we give it, is by no
means simple, and does not entirely depend upon a nearer
or greater distance from the Equator, and since when one or
other of the efficient causes is absent, the whole effect ceases,
it will not be foreign to our purpose, if we inquire whether the
fact of the whiter populations of the torrid zone goes to refute
or confirm what we have advanced.

To render our labours lighter, some general observations
may be premised.

The heat is not always found less or greater in exact
proportion to the distance of the respective regions from the

Islands are not so hot as continents, on account of the
vapours which rise from the sea, and of the winds which are
constantly blowing from it, both of which tend to refrigerate
the soil.

Mountainous countries, or countries in the neighbourhood of
mountains, greatly temper the heat. The reason of this will be
given immediately.

Besides, the wind, sometimes by increasing, sometimes by
diminishing them, variously affects heat and cold: coming from
hot countries burnt up by the sun it brings heat; blowing from
snowy and cold mountains, cold.

Finally, in places where the heat is the same, the same
colour is not always the result; for the different mode of life
has a great influence in changing it.

I will illustrate these observations by a few examples. As
to the first point: many islands enjoy a very temperate climate,
and particularly those which are situate furthest from conti-
nents1). How far their inhabitants preserve their whiteness
may be learnt from the instance of those who inhabit the
islands of the Southern, or great Pacific ocean2). Almost all the
East Indies, as they verge towards the south, split up into
[Seite 374] islands or peninsulas; which partly explains why the colour
found there is copper or brown, and not black.

As to the other observation: the Abyssinians, although
placed under the Equator, still are white. In that country
the mercury never stands above twenty finger-breadths high in
the barometer; whence it appears that Abyssinia is perhaps
the highest part of the world inhabited by man, at least two
miles above the level of the sea. No one, who has ever been
up a mountain, is unaware how much such an altitude will
lessen the heat. Thus some mountains of America, though
placed exactly under the Equator, are covered the whole year
with deep snow and ice. Even the highest point of Etna is
covered with perpetual snow1). That altitude therefore mo-
derates heat is a fact, and is proved by these examples, nor
is the explanation difficult. And although I cannot go into the
matter at full length, yet I will say a few words about it.

Heat is caused by the rays of the sun, when they fall either
directly or by refraction upon anything. But it is not found
to be the same in every substance, on which the rays happen
to fall: as when they fall on a transparent body, they do not
cause the same heat as when they fall on an opaque one.
This is most clearly shown by the fact, that when the focus
of a concave metal mirror, opposed to the sun's rays, is thrown
upon water, it does not boil, or show any sense of heat;
although if copper, or any other metal, is opposed to the mirror,
it liquefies, or evaporates, in a moment. And since in the
passage of light through a transparent body, a smaller quantity
of heat is thrown out, in proportion to the thinness or trans-
parency of the body, but the air is more rarefied as it is higher
above the earth; so it on that account transmits light more
easily, and almost without any obstacle. For light seems to
cause the more heat in proportion to the obstacles to its pro-
gress. But enough has been said on this point.

How much influence the wind has in altering heat, may be
seen from the instance of America, where, when the north wind
[Seite 375] blows, the cold becomes so great that in one night the rivers
become frozen and unnavigable. The same thing is shown in
Africa, where the winds, sweeping over and rolling about burn-
ing sands for many miles, stir up an almost intolerable heat.

I will now point out the effects of the mode of life. Those
who are always clothed, and generally live in-doors, are seldom
exposed to the causes which produce a change of colour, and so
retain their whiteness. This happens to Europeans who in-
habit hot countries, who retain their original mode of life, and
continue to wear their clothes; whereas the aborigines1) are
always naked, and exposed to the force of the sun and the
winds. But if any of them never do expose themselves to the
air and the sun, as often happens to the women2), they come off
better in the way of colour than the rest.

As to the objection, that white men are to be found in
hot regions, where the observations above collected do not
explain their whiteness in any way, and that it is a fact,
that in Abyssinia, and in the islands of Java and Madagascar3),
white and black men are found together, that must be
explained otherwise. For it must be observed that these black
and white men are of different origin, and differ not only in
colour but in mode of living, and in many other external
circumstances. For it is certain, and has been discovered, that
those differences have not crept in among those who have
always inhabited those countries from the beginning, but have
come from elsewhere out of countries whose temperature was
more favourable to whiteness or blackness, with the original
inhabitants of such regions. And let no one suppose this can
be contradicted. For so far their similarity is of importance,
because you can easily in consequence of it trace the origin
of individuals to some neighbouring nation; and thus you may
gather that the black inhabitants of Abyssinia came thither
from other neighbouring parts of Africa. And in the same way
[Seite 376] people as black as the Africans and as white as the Europeans
inhabit the islands of the great Pacific ocean1): of whom the
former have without doubt emigrated from the countries called
New Guinea; and the latter, as is likely, from those tracts
of Asia which trend more towards the north.

It may still be objected to my view, that two nations,
differing at the outset, when they come to inhabit the same
regions, although they are exposed to the same external causes,
still remain different. But on this point two things are to be
considered, namely, that different nations by no means live
in the same, but, on the contrary, in very different ways. And
it is by no means necessary to have causes so strong, or influ-
ences so energetic, to preserve an effect when it is once done,
as to produce the same originally. In this way, although in
the islands of the Pacific ocean above mentioned, the heat
of the sun cannot change the colour from white to black; yet
when that is once done, it can keep it so.

Brown colour, diverging from white, is by no means con-
fined to the torrid zone; for the men of northern Europe
and Asia, where cold and frost and snow reign in perpetual
junction, are of a brown colour2). They lead a most wretched
life; their food consists of fish and wild beasts. For bread, they
dig up roots out of the earth. In winter they hide in hovels,
except when compelled to go out by hunger. They construct
their hovels under the earth, which is necessary, on account of
the intolerable cold. This mode of life is no doubt very unfavour-
able towards causing or preserving whiteness. And whilst they
are catching fish, or hunting wild beasts, they must needs be
a great deal exposed to the intemperance of the air. And this
inclemency of the air and constant fish-diet have the greatest
possible influence in making the skin harder and thicker; and
living in dwellings always filled with smoke is certainly no
remedy. This is an example of how far the severity of a
climate may of itself go to change the colour.

[Seite 377]

So much then. I have to say about colour, in general terms,
it is true, because the limits of this little treatise did not
permit me to speak more fully or copiously: still, I hope there
is enough to tend somewhat towards the explanation of colour
in all instances.

Chap. II.
Of Stature and Form.

The differences of human stature are far from being small.
The inhabitants of some part of South America grow to a height
of seven feet1); whilst the inhabitants of the frigid zone scarcely
attain the height of four or five feet2). The islands called
Huaheine and Marianne produce men of six or even seven feet
high3); on the other hand, the inhabitants of the promontory
of South America, called Cape Horn, are of small stature4).
But why should I say more, when one sees almost always
one and the same country producing men of all kinds of
heights? What is the reason of this?

The way in which aliment is taken up into our bodies
has scarcely yet been thoroughly investigated, nor are the laws
found out by which they grow. But although such is the case,
still, until some greater light is thrown on the matter, I may be
allowed to say what I think is true, or at least probable.

Growth seems to be due to the action of the heart, by whose
renewed pulsations our fibres are rendered longer, and are am-
plified, and directed to all parts. This is illustrated by the un-
folding of the whole human body, and especially of the womb.
But the action of the heart is not a cause of itself; nor do men
and plants share the same nature. The latter have no power
of locomotion, and merely increase and grow to a certain height;
[Seite 378] but it is different with man, who can scarcely come to perfec-
tion without movement and action. The action and movement
of the body must therefore be conjoined with the reiterated
pulsations of the heart, which increase, by a sort of distention,
all our parts, both in length and size. How extremely impor-
tant this cause is will be clear to every one, who has observed
the singular increase of every part when much exercised, the
very unnatural size which comes, as in many tumours, from
distracting causes, and that well-known increase of the ears,
which is caused by earrings of great weight1); increase, therefore,
will be in proportion to the actions of the heart and the mo-
tions of the body. But though these may be perpetually con-
tinued, the body does not go on for ever increasing, because
the great rigidity which is the effect of the action of the mus-
cular fibres puts an end sometimes not only to increase, but to
life itself. That this rigidity depends upon the amount of
action is proved by this, that if any one, when young, uses
immoderate exercise, he scarcely ever attains the full size of a
man; and those who are obliged always to labour, and to lead
a hard life, do not arrive at old age, or even the confines of it,
but perish before their time; and though early in years, still
with the appearance and constitution of old men. In this way
the causes of growth come at last to neutralize themselves.

This, then, being the immediate cause of man's growth, that
is to say, the action of the heart and the movement of the
body, and the rigidity of the parts the cause of the stoppage of
that effect, we must now find out what are the remote external
causes which affect the proximate one, and explain the varieties
of human stature.

Of these the principal are climate, food, exercise, and labour.

Climate acts either by heat or cold.

Heat, which is almost the origin of many animals, is neces-
sary to all growing bodies; and in ourselves, if it is not the
cause of motion and sense, at all events these faculties to some
extent, and our other actions, cannot be deprived of it for a
[Seite 379] moment without injury. By stimulating the heart, it greatly
increases the sharpness of all our senses, and the mobility of the
human body. Hence the inhabitants of warm regions very
soon reach their full size, and those who are unrestrained in
every way arrive at maturity much later than those who live in
warm regions. In the eighth, ninth, or tenth year, women be-
come menstruous, in the twelfth the men are fit for venery1);
whereas in cold regions, the menses do not appear before the
fourteenth, sixteenth, and sometimes the twentieth year: nor
are they fit for marriage before the eighteenth or sometimes the
twentieth year. Heat too does not seem able to increase the
human body, or diminish it much; for both in hot and in tem-
perate countries, small and large men are equally produced.
And if it has anything to do with growth, it would seem as if it
would be more likely to diminish it, because that violent action
of the heart, and great movement of the body, an one side
make the increase rapid, and on the other, at the same time,
accelerate the rigidity, or rather the firmness of the fibres. And
in fact, the inhabitants of hot countries generally yield in sta-
ture to those of the temperate zone.

Cold, the exact opposite of heat, or to speak more accurate-
ly, the absence of heat2), the force in which it consists abating,
by diminishing all motions and all irritability, and blunting
every stimulus, tends to lessen the size of the body. In all
very cold regions, torpor is induced; the action of the body,
especially in infants, is small: and therefore little adapted to
extend or increase it. So that almost all the increase of the
body is carried on by the action of the heart. For which reason,
since the effect of action and exercise is to make the body beau-
tiful and elegant, it is not to be wondered at, if the men in very
cold countries are neither tall nor elegant. And this is con-
firmed by the observations of writers about the inhabitants of
Greenland, and other parts of Northern Europe and Asia3).
Cold, as it confines all other things in nature, so it does our
[Seite 380] bodies, but not in the same way, that is, not by taking away
the heat. For its principal action is on the fibres which serve
for sense and motion, which are in consequence compelled to
contract themselves more; for the heat of the human body is
almost exactly the same in all countries, however different the
climate may be: that constriction, therefore, will stand in the
way of every force which tends to increase the parts of our
bodies in length or breadth. The contrary relaxation, which
comes from heat, and about which I meant to speak, when I
was speaking about heat as a cause of rapid growth, produces
also this effect, by acting on the fibres of motion.

Exercise and labour must both be treated of under the title
of corporeal motion; for they both consist in the action of the
body, and only differ in this, that volition can command the
former, but the latter demands the use of reason.

Bodily motion may be violent, moderate, or slight.

Violent action, by the stiffness which follows too frequent
exertion, and the exhaustion of the vital force, retards and im-
pedes the growth. Slight motion, or rest, does not impart suf-
ficient strength to the organs to enable them to fulfil their
functions; nor can it endow the body with that firmness, or the
limbs with that solidity, which action alone can produce. But
it is worthy of remark, that those results of motion and rest
take place most in tender years before use and custom have
formed the body, which is then still unchanged by the powers
of nature. For labour is a good thing for adult bodies, or rarely
does them harm, and in them rest may create or increase plethora.

The condition of artisans as far as their stature is concerned,
confirms, unless I am mistaken, what I have just said. They
being obliged to exercise their respective occupations from in-
fancy, pass their lives in work-shops. Bowed down to the
ground, and crushed with toil, they turn out deformed, almost
dwarfs, hunchbacked, and never arrive at the full stature or
size of a man; so that those lines of Martial may well be ap-
plied to them:

Judged by his head, the man a Hector is,
But an Astyanax judged by his phiz; –
[Seite 381]

and in fact they generally have large heads. Those who inhabit
countries very much to the north or to the south1), are like
them, and partly from the same cause, because, in tender years,
both have too much repose.

Between these extremes a mean, or moderate exercise,
which is the principal means of increasing the body, should
without doubt be chosen. But what is moderate, is difficult to
define: its latitude, to use the words of those who lay down
rules of health, may be so great.

I now pass on to that cause which has the greatest influence
in augmenting or diminishing the stature and magnitude of
man, I mean diet. Food, although the first necessary for
human life, still varies much in the quantity which is con-
venient for sound health, being one amount for one, another
for another. When it is scanty, it is clear small stature will be
the result; for the body cannot grow and be enlarged, if part
of the material necessary for supporting it be taken away.
On the other hand, the first effect of frequent and ample diet
is to increase the body. Every herdsman knows of how much
importance food is towards improving cattle and other beasts.
Oxen brought forth on the barren mountains and plains of
Scotland, and afterwards brought up in the more fertile fields
of England, grow to double the size.

But there are diversities not only in the quantity, but the
quality of food. Thus flesh and vegetables are by no means of
the same importance in nourishing the human body. Some-
times when spices are added to some aliments, as flesh, wine,
fish, there is more stimulus in them. This makes the increase
more rapid, but, in such a way, that the body much sooner
decays, worn out as it were by continual stimulus. Food pre-
pared partly from flesh, partly from farinaceous matters, as it
can be digested more easily than any other, so does it accelerate
the growth more than any other.

So much for the causes of growth treated separately; now
it would seem that I ought to speak about them in conjunction,
[Seite 382] and that all the more, because in almost every case they act in
conjunction. But since the limits of my paper forbid me to
speak of that subject, and to app]y the conclusions to the
various nations of men, therefore I omit them, and go on to the
next point.

I must now speak of the varieties of form. They are in fact
as numerous as men. For who has not a face, form, and aspect
of countenance peculiar to himself, and which can be distin-
guished from all others? And besides these which every one
has of his own, signs and marks peculiar to each race and
nation are not wanting; thus a depressed nose, thick lips,
small or large eyes, and other marks common to thousands of
individuals, distinguish one race from another. What are the
causes of this? That these diversities have nothing to do with
diversity of species is clear from this, that this same depres-
sion of the nose, or thickness of the lips is frequently to be seen
amongst ourselves. Many1) attribute the depressed nose of the
Negroes not to nature, but to art; and, allow it to be the work
of art, difficulties, not easy to be overcome, still remain. At
least, as far as I am concerned, I confess that I cannot under-
stand how the forms of men and the lineaments of the face
come to be so diverse from each other as they are. But when
such effects have once been produced, I shall have an occasion
of showing, when I come to treat of generation, how they may
be retained.

Chap. III.
On the defect or excess of parts of the Human Body.

If any one is ready to trust the reports of writers, he would
find ample material on this subject to deal with. Thus we read
[Seite 383] of the Arimaspi, who are remarkable for having but one eye,
and that in the forehead; of the Androgyni, who are male and
female joined in one; of men with dogs' heads, and men who
have no neck and carry their heads on their shoulders1). The
stature of the Patagonians, which a few years ago, as we used to
hear, was scarcely set so low as twelve feet, has now been
reduced to seven. But everybody will easily see that all these
things are beyond all belief.

And even those who tell more probable stories differ in
their testimony so from one another, one denying that which
another says he has seen, ever was or could be seen, that it
becomes quite uncertain which we ought to believe most, and
which not at all. And since I found it at first so very difficult
to decide which were true or the contrary, I selected some
of the more reliable and better examined varieties to deal with
for my present purpose. I am not therefore going to inquire
whether there are any men furnished with legs much thicker
than others, or with one leg much thicker than the other2), or
tails as some still believe3); because these stories are not con-
firmed by any facts or observations worthy of credit, by which
we might find a way to explain, or propose some theory about

So the defects or excesses about which our business is, axe
of this kind; namely, the beardless chin, hanging breasts, or
prominent pudenda.

The beard among ourselves, though sometimes more scanty
and sometimes thicker, is scarcely ever wanting altogether. So,
as to those nations, to whom almost all the writers had de-
clared that no beard was given by nature, in most cases more
recent testimonies show that the beard had not been denied by
nature, but was plucked out by the people themselves4). This
[Seite 384] therefore is no more a defect, than the long beard of other
nations is an excess, and each is only a matter of custom.

Nor have I any doubt as to the mammæ, but what their
length and pendulosity1) among some nations is due to the
peculiar way in which the women offer milk to their infants.
For if a part becomes bigger than all others by distension or
distraction, as has been observed above, is it wonderful that the
mammæ, which we are now talking about, when flung over the
shoulders, and very eagerly drawn away by infants desirous of
milk should become longer?

There has been much angry discussion about the pudenda of
the women of the extreme south of Africa; some declare that
they are furnished with a ligament stretched under the natu-
ralia, whilst others contend that they have nothing beyond the
ordinary nature of women. These miracles, or rather mon-
strosities, if they exist at all, seem by the most recent testi-
monies to be reduced to this, that in that country the nymphæ
are a little more turgid and prominent, a defect the less to be
astonished at in that country, because it is certain that it some-
times occurs in this2).

Differences of the hair. Hair differs, especially in colour:
between which too and the skin there seems to be some con-
nexion. In all countries black hair always accompanies a dark
colour of skin, or one which diverges from white. And, on the
other hand, red or white hair is joined with white skin. And
the colour of both, that is of the skin and the hair, seems to
depend upon the same causes, that is, the exposure to air and
heat. A proof of which is that the more or less hair is exposed
to these causes, the more or less black its colour is. Thus the
hair which is not exposed is always less dark than what is.

As to the texture of hair, there seems to be a great differ-
ence, for that of some is soft and curly like wool, and that of
others harsh and dense. What the cause of this may be, since
physiologists are as yet by no means agreed as to the nature
[Seite 385] of hair, I dare not give any decided opinion, and must be con-
tent with one or two conjectures.

Since the hairs are situated on the surface of the body,
therefore whatever affects the body, affects them; besides per-
haps other influences, so especially does the conflux thither of
humours; and in this way, in proportion as the conflux is
greater or smaller, so is their increase greater or less. Hence,
as is known to all hair-cutters, the hairs grow more in summer
than in winter. And this may be observed more frequently in
the case of the beard. Therefore the hair grows more luxu-
riously in hot countries than in cold, and on that account will
be thicker and stronger; which, in fact, happens in almost all
countries, as in the West and East Indies.

Still, exceptions to this are not wanting. Thus in Africa,
the hottest of all countries, and where therefore the hair ought
to be thickest, on the contrary, it is scanty, and something like
wool. This, although I cannot explain, still I may illustrate
by a comparison. In many cutaneous disorders, little ulcers
throw out a great deal of matter, which shows that there is a
rush of humours to some of the vessels of the skin. And these
sorts of disorders are often cured by remedies which cause per-
spiration. How is this? When a quantity of humour is ex-
creted in the shape of sweat through healthy vessels, thus the
excess is averted from the diseased vessels. And thus the little
ulcers, which before were moist, become dried up, and crusts
are formed, which afterwards fall off, and then show the sound
skin underneath. In this way, a rush towards the skin being
made in the first instance, the hairs increase in growth; and
when this becomes greater and greater, and the humours are
more easily eliminated through the vessels of perspiration from
the body, the quantity which serves to make the hair increase
is diminished, and the attenuated hairs come out like wool.
What seems to confirm this opinion is, that in the negroes,
whose hair is like wool, the bulbs or roots of the hair are at-
tenuated and small1), as if through deficiency of nourishment:
[Seite 386] and it is only in the case of those who inhabit the hottest re-
gions, or who are born elsewhere from the natives of such, that
the hair becomes almost a kind of wool.

Chap. IV.
On Generation.

Thus the causes are explained which change the colour, in-
duce a large or small stature, and affect the hair and other
parts. It may be objected that they are in no respect efficient
causes, and that men are to be distinguished by the marks and
varieties just mentioned, as soon as they are born, or at all
events that such appear, long before they can be attributed to
external causes. And this also, no doubt, is true. And how
then is it to be explained? For either our explanations are
idle and futile, or many properties which have been acquired by
the parent are transferred to the offspring. Are they then so
transferred? It would certainly seem so. Thus the father be-
gets a son like himself in every way in form of body, expression
of countenance, colour of hair, and sound of voice. The tem-
perament too descends from the father to the son. So also
peculiar marks long continue to distinguish the same family of
men. But this is particularly shown by the history of disor-
ders; of which there are instances known to all in the cases of
gout, scrofula, and madness. Again, diarrhœa and unnatural
dilatations of the arch of the aorta long infest the same
family. These diseased conditions must be looked on in the
same light as other mutations of the corporeal condition. And
to speak of both from the same point of view, surely that
change which is the origin of the production of black skin may
just as easily be communicated by the parent to its offspring,
and is no more difficult to explain, than that by which gout is
handed down in the same way. Nor is it at all more difficult
[Seite 387] to understand, why the skin begins to grow black a certain
time after birth, than why some years afterwards the offspring
of scrofulous parents is infested with ulcers.

Still all the same it is a fact which we cannot explain; and
yet there is no manner of doubt that peculiarities acquired by
men do descend to their posterity.

Thus the fact being once established, it will be no longer
obscure why men undergo, from the causes induced, such great
changes of colour, stature, and the other matters we have men-
tioned. The black colour of the parent may become blacker in
the son, if he is exposed to the same external influences, and
so in the course of ages may approach more and more to actual
blackness; and in that way at last great effects may flow from
causes so small as to escape our notice, if each generation con-
tributes something to increase them.

Why one form of appearance and countenance becomes per-
manent in one nation, and one in another, is explained by this,
that parents always produce offspring like themselves.

It would however be difficult to say, how many centuries it
takes to change the skin from white to black, or in any other
way. But if we may conjecture at all from the sudden effect of
the sun and the air in changing the skin, a long time is not
necessary. But that Europeans who inhabit hot regions do not
acquire even after a very long time a brown or black colour,
and that negroes after being a long time in Europe do not grow
white, may be for this reason; that the former never try those
modes and ways of life, and other external circumstances, which
we have said are so powerful in effecting change; and if they
do suffer from necessity or adverse fortune, then they do change
colour1); and that the latter wretched mortals never are able to
enjoy that easy kind of life, by which whiteness is so greatly
brought about.

Moreover, the way in which the remote causes of whiteness
and blackness act is somewhat different; and dark colour is
much more easily impressed, and much longer retained, than
[Seite 388] clear colour. Thus the fierceness of one day of sun will inflict
a greater amount of brownness than can be effaced by fit pre-
cautions taken for a long time to get rid of its effects. And this
observation, in the way that those who after having acquired
peculiar marks in any region retain them, when removed to
another, may be applied so as to make it easy to understand
how blackness may still remain in permanence even when its
causes are taken away.

Thus then the question, how those marks which distinguish
individuals may be transferred by parents to their children,
is answered. And now recurs the other, how those marks
differ from the ones which are not so transferred, and what
is the reason why some marks peculiar to the parent are
transferred, and others are not. I must confess this is one
I cannot answer. For the Creator has hidden the business
of generation in the deepest recesses of nature, and has kept
all its processes sunk and overwhelmed in the deepest dark-
ness, never perhaps to be brought to light. And therefore
to explain things depending upon such a cause would be a
vain and idle undertaking.

But, although this may be so, still I cannot help making
mention of some things relating to generation, which, though
wonderful, are nevertheless true.

White men are sometimes born amongst the negroes1), and
I have no doubt that other whites are propagated from them.

We only know of one instance of a black being born
amongst the whites2); and according to the account of James
Lind, a clever man, a physician, and an investigator of facts,
who says he saw it with his own eyes, this man begot a son
like himself.

I indeed am unwilling to appear to compel all nature to
my opinion; but these observations, as they show that diver-
sity of species is not necessary for causing blackness of colour,
[Seite 389] and that this property, like others, may be acquired through
external circumstances, and so descend from father to son,
so also do they in some way confirm the doctrine about colour
I have laid down.

The skin of those white men amongst the negroes is, as
it were, scurfy1); that is, the cuticle peels off in scales, and does
not remain long enough to become quite black. The skin
of the black man among the whites, as also that of his son,
was thick and hard2), which fact shows that thickness has a
great deal to do with causing colour, and is in favour of my

Chap. V.
On the Varieties of Mind.

The mental varieties seem equal to and sometimes greater
than the bodily varieties of man. And on this point I meant
to say little, as it seems to be part of our subject.

This chapter seems as if it ought properly to be divided
into two parts: in one of which reason and prudence, and in
the other manners, should be dealt with. And, in order that
my notion may be more easily understood, I will illustrate
both by an example before I begin to deal with either. If
one man is sharp, and of an acute and docile genius, and
another heavy, stupid, and averse to all discipline, that must
be referred to the difference of reason and prudence. But if
one is sanguine, vivacious, alert and happy, and his opposite
is sad, sorrowful and wretched, we call that an affair of man-

In the former division, the question instantly occurs to
the mind, What is the cause of difference? Is it to be referred
to God? and is it credible that a Deity who is just and equi-
[Seite 390] table to all should have formed men so different in mind, as
to create one foolish, another wise; one brave, another cow-
ardly? Certainly not, in my opinion; and it is more true and
more equitable to attribute to natural causes the differences
of mind which we see.

To investigate the matter briefly: men's minds do not
seem to me to differ so much by the fortune of birth as by
the use and exercise of reason and the faculties of the mind
come out smaller or greater by use, almost in the same way
as those of the body. And as there are several reasons for
this exercise, I will consider them under three heads; position,
education, and affections of the mind.

As to the first; If one be in a place where insuperable
impediments, or none at all, are placed in the way of action,
in the first case he gives himself up to despair, in the other
to idleness, and equally in either case does nothing. And, in
fact, the Samoeides and the negroes seem placed in similar
circumstances. If, on the contrary, all the necessaries of life
are uncertain to any one on account of the climate, the soil,
or some other reason, what does he do? Instantly he struggles
to make them more secure by art and industry. He looks out
for cattle. Hence plenty, and with that offspring increase.
Fields have to be cultivated to provide food, and now abund-
ance ensues. And as you will say the desires of the human
mind are not satisfied with this, he adds comfort to necessaries;
then seeks elegance, and lastly luxury. With an increasing
cultivation of life, arts always, and often sciences, increase.
Observe the man, first wild, and then carried to the highest
pitch of cultivation and polish, how much the same man differs
from himself? Look back upon the steps by which he has
progressed. In no two successive steps can a greater exercise
of reason and prudence be observed than in the Samoeide
constructing his hut below the earth against the cold, or in
the negro fabricating an umbrella to protect himself from
the heat.

Besides, sometimes a great difference is seen between men
placed under the same circumstances. What an interval be-
[Seite 391] tween Isaac Newton and Bacon, and almost all their contem-
poraries! And yet they never considered that they were pos-
sessed of any particular faculty, which others had not, by which
they could comprehend science. They observed nature more
accurately, and reasoned better on their observations than
others. That was not a natural power, but acquired only by
use and custom. What however contributed to form that fortu-
nate habit, no one but themselves could easily say, nor is it
necessary to do so; and the matter is so subtle a one, that it
might easily escape themselves; since we see every day that
many small things create a habit, without those being con-
scious who are affected by it. In fact, many who have happily
promoted the sciences by their labour, confess that they were
led by mere accident to give their minds up to it. Since then
the force of circumstances is so powerful to excite and amplify
the reason, so also the affections of the mind, and especially the
desires, are of great influence towards the same end.

What has not been done for science and knowledge, espe-
cially in the government and administration of public affairs,
through benevolence, or emulation, or envy, ambition, and glory?

No one doubts the important part that education and dis-
cipline play in forming and stimulating the mind. But that
discipline is by far the best, which not only delivers precepts,
but also exercises the faculties of the mind, and compels it as it
were to anticipate commands1). So also the teachers of youth
stimulate the mind to learn by emulation, curiosity, blandish-
ments, and very often by fear. Which influence is the more
powerful, let others decide.

Has conformation any thing to do with the increase or dimi-
nution of the mental faculties? If the operations of the mind
do not altogether depend upon the nervous system, especially
the brain, as those think who deny that the mind is any-
thing without matter, still there is no doubt they are most
intimately connected with it, and vary with its variations.
This is proved by the variations of the mind of the same man,
[Seite 392] according as he is in health, or sickness; sanguine, or depressed.
When the skull is broken, or the brain suffers compression, he
who previously gave utterance to the most shrewd observa-
tions, now seems almost destitute of reason and sense. And
who ever doubted, from these instances, that when the condi-
tion of the brain is changed, the mind changes also?

It is a question also whether any peculiar condition of this
brain, affecting the mind, can be handed down from parent to
son? It has been said above that temperament at all events
is so communicated. But different temperaments are so con-
nected with different tones and conditions of mind, that, in
common parlance, they are referred to mind alone. Therefore,
if certain conditions of the brain, from which some operations
of the mind proceed, are transmitted by the accident of birth,
what is to prevent the peculiar condition of that part of the
brain, which is appropriated to reason, being transmitted in a
similar way? And this will appear much, more probable to one
who considers that a diseased condition, like that of madness,
is propagated from father to son in the same family for gene-

What has been said goes then to show that something must
be attributed to congenital conformation and stamina, but
more to exertion, so far as calls are made for it by position,
mental affections, and education, in the matter of reason and

Travellers have exaggerated the mental varieties far beyond
the truth, who have denied good qualities to the inhabitants of
other countries, because their mode of life, manners, and cus-
toms have been excessively different from their own. For they
have never considered, that when the Tartar tames his horse,
and the Indian erects his wig-wam, he exhibits the same inge-
nuity which an European general does in manoeuvring his
army, or Inigo Jones in building a palace.

There is nothing in which men differ so much as in their
customs. They are of innumerable origins. Climate1), soil2),
[Seite 393] diet1), occupations, laws, religion, individual men, government,
the institution of monarchy, or a republic2), with a thousand
other things, create and alter their customs in a marvellous

As for climate, let me quote the words of a distinguished
man. ‘“Under the extremes of heat or of cold, the active range
of the human soul appears to be limited, and men are of
inferior importance, either as friends or as enemies. In the
one extreme, they are dull and slow, moderate in their desires,
regular and pacific in their manner of life; in the other, they
are feverish in their passions, weak in their judgments, and
addicted by temperament to animal pleasure3).”’

Many instances of the effects which come from the causes
mentioned are palpable, but my time does not allow me to
mention all. And therefore I shall be content with one or
two examples, which clearly show how much influence one man
may have. The laws and customs of Lycurgus, the former
being taken into exile along with him, which were not insti-
tuted for pleasure, but for the sake of public and private
utility, and to produce an austere virtue, lasted for the space
of seven hundred years. So also Peter, justly called the Great,
Emperor of the Russians, who bestowed politeness and culti-
vation on a nation barbarous, rude, and unheard of, or neg-
lected, and, in the teeth of their most deep-seated prejudices,
adorned them with customs, amended their laws, and handed
down to posterity an empire which is an object of fear to
one nation long very powerful, and of suspicion to other
peoples and nations, is another splendid instance of the same

However various the causes may be, which create and alter
the customs of men, there is but one which can make them
lasting, stable and, as it were, eternal This is imitation, the
most powerful principle in man. Ey this we acquire customs,
manners, and almost everything. Sometimes indeed its power
[Seite 394] is such that against our will we are compelled to imitate others.
From this source depends the resemblance of customs in the
family, the city, or in the whole nation. This was well known
to the poet, who had seen through the whole range of the
human mind. ‘ “Falstaff. It is a wonderful thing to see the
semblable coherence of his men's spirits and his: they, by
observing of him, do bear themselves like foolish justices: he,
by conversing with them, is turned into a justice-like serving
man. Their spirits are so married in conjunction, with the
participation of society, that they flock together in consent,
like so many wild geese. It is certain, that either wise bearing
or ignorant carriage is caught, as men take diseases, one of
another.”’ Shakespeare, K. Henry IV.

They are truly few, who judge for themselves what customs
are right or wrong, and they are still fewer who, whilst they
think for themselves, and differ from the mob, go on to ac-
commodate and alter their customs according to their own


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