Page images
PDF
EPUB

ther * observations, no maxim is The natives of many of the king. more true in physiology, than that doms and ifles of Alia are found to on the mucojum corpus depends the have their corpus mucofum black ; colour of the human body ; or, in o- those of Africa, situated near the ther words, that the mucosum corpus line, of the fame colour ; those of being of a different colour in diffe: the maritime parts of the same conrent inhabitants of the globe, and tinent, of a dullsy brown, nearly apappearing through the cuticle or up- proaching to it ; and the colour beper surface of the skin, gives them comes fighter or darker in proporthat various appearance which ftrikes tion as the distance from the equaus so forcibly in contemplating the tor is either greater or less. The human race.

Europeans are the fairelt inhabitants As this can be incontrovertibly of the world. Those fituated in the ascei taineri, it is evident, that what most southern regions of Europe, ever caufes cu-operate in producing have in their corpus mucosum a tinge this different appearance; they proe of the dark huc of their African duce it by acting upon the mucofum neighbours : hence the epidemic corpus; which, from the almost in complexion, prevalent among them, credible manner in which the † cuticle is nearly of the colour of ihe pickled is perforated; is as accessible as the Spanifh olive; while in this country, cuticle itself. These caufes are pro. and those situated nearer the north bably those various qualities of things, pole, it appears to be nearly, if not which, combined with the influence absolutely; white. of the sun, contribute to form what These are g facts which anatomy we call climate. For when any per- has eltablished ; and we acknowledge fon confiders, that the mucous sub- them to be such, that we cannot dia itance beforementioned is found to veit ourselves of the idea, that clie vary in its colour, as the climates mate has a confiderable tinare in pro• vary from the equator to the poles, ducing a difference of colour. O. his mind must be initantly #truck thers; we know, have invented on with the hypothesis, and he must ther hypotheses, but all of them have adopt it, without any hesitation, as been instantly refuted, as unable to the genuine cause of the phenoine. explain the difficulties for which they

were advanced, and as absolutely I his faet I, of the variation of the contrary to fa&t: and the inventors mucous /ulfiance, according to the fitheinselves have been obliged, aliuution of the place, has been clearly most as soon as they have proposed atcertained in the numerous anato- them, to acknowledge them dciinical experiments that have been cient. made ; in which subjects of all na- The only objection of any conse: lions have come under confideration. quence that has ever been made to

the

10n.

Diseases have a great effect upon the mucosum corpus, but particularly the jaundice, which turns it ye.dow. Hence, being traniinitted through the cuticle, the yellow apo pearance of the whole body. But this, even as a matter of ocular demonftration, is not confined folely to white people; negroes themselves, while affected with these or vihcı" disorders, changing their black colour for that which the disease has conveyed to the inucous fubítance.

† The cutaneous pores are so excessively small, that one grain of sand (according to Do Lewenhoeck's calculation) would cover many hundreds of them. · † We do d'e m'an to infinuate that the fame people have the corpus mucojum fenfibly vary as often as they go into another latitude, but that the fact is true only of different people, who have been long established in different latitudes.

$* We beg leave to return our thanks here to a gentleman eminent in the medical line who furnitiied us with the above-metilionid facis.

On the difference of Colour in the Inhabitants of different Climates. 209 the hypothesis of climate, is this, up the whole-Suppose we were that people under the same parallels to take a common globe ; to begin are not exactly of the same colour, at the equator ; to paint every counBut this is no objection in fact ; for try along the meridian line in fuco it does not follow that those coun. cesfion from thence to the poles ; tries which are at an equal distance and to paint them with the same

cofrom the equator, mould have their lour which prevails in the respective climates the same. Indeed nothing inhabitants of each, we should see is more contrary to experience than the black, with which we had been this

. Climate depends upon a va. obliged to begin, insensibly chanriety of accidents. High mountains ging to an olive, and the olive, in the neighbourhood of a place through as many intermediate comake it cooler, by chilling the air lours, to a white : and if, on the that is carried over them by the other hand, we should complete any winds. Large spreading fucculent one of the parallels according to the plants, if among the productions of same plan, we hould see a diffethe foil, have the same effect ; they rence perhaps in the appearance of afford agreeable cooling Thades, and some of the countries through which a moist atmosphere from their conti. it ran, though the difference would nual exhalations, by which the are confiit wholly in shades of the same dour of the sun is considerably aba- colour. ted. While the foil, on the other The argument, therefore, which hand, if of a sandy nature, retains is brought against the hypothelis, is the heat in an uncommon degree, lo far from being an objection, that and makes the summers considerably we shall consider it as one of the firit hotter than those which are found to arguments in its favour : for if clie exist in the same latitude where the mate has really an influence on the foil is ditforent. To this proximity mucous fubfiance of the body, it is of what may be termed burning evident, that we must not only expect Jands, and to the fulphureous and to see a gradation of colour in the inha. metallic particles, which are conti. bitants from the equator to the poles, nually exhaling from the bowels of but also * different shades of the lame the earth, is ascribed the different colour in the inhabitants of the fame degree of blackness by which some parallel. African nations are distinguishable To this argument, we shall add from each other, though under the one that is incontrovertible, which same parallels. To theie observations is, that when the black inhabitants we may add, that though the inha- of Africa are transplanted to cold:r, bitants of the same parallel are not or the wbite inhabicants of Europe exactly of the same hue, yet they to hotter climates, their children, differ only by shades of the same co- horn there, are of a different colour Tour ; or, to fpeak with more preci- from themselves; that is, lighter ia cifion, that there are no two people, the first, and darker in the fecond in. in such a situation, one of whom is ftance. white and the other black. To sum As a proof of the first, we shall

give Suppose tre were to see two nations, contiguous to each other, of black and white inhabitants in the same parallel, even this would be no objection, for many circumstances are to be confidered. A black people may have wandered into a white, and a white people into a black latitule, and they may not have been settled there a fufficient length of time for such a change to have been accomplished in their complexion, as that they Kould be like the old eltablished inhabitants of the parallel into which they have lateix

P p 2

fome.

give the words of the Abbé Raynal, is an event which must be reasonably in his admired publication. The expected: for being born white, and children,' says he, ' which they not having equally powerful causes to (the Africans) procreate in Ameri- act upon them in colder, as their paca, are not so black as their parents rents had in the hotter climates were, After each generation the which they left, it must neceffarily difference becomes more palpable. It follow, that the same effect cannot is poffible, that after a numerous poflibly be produced. succelliou of generations, the men Hence also, if the hypothesis be come from Africa would not be di- admitted, may be deduced the reastinguished from those of the coun- son why even those children who try into which they may have been have been brought from their countransplanted

try at an early age into colder re, This circumtance we have had gions, have been observed to be of the pleasure of hearing confirmed by a lighter colour than those who have a variety of persons who have been remained at home till they arrived at witneiles of the fact ; but particu- a state of manhood. For having Jarly by many + intelligent Afri- undergone some of the changes cans, who have been parents them. which we mentioned to have attendfelves in America, and who have de. ed their countrymen from infancy to clared, that the difference is fo pal- a certain age, and having been ta. pable in the northern provinces, that ken away before the rest could be not only they themselves bave con- completed, these farther changes, ftantly observed it, but that they which would have taken place had have heard it observed by others. they remained at home, seem either

Neither is this yariation in the to have been checked in their pro: children from the colour of their pa- gress, or, weakened in their degree, rents improbable. The children of by a colder climate, the blackest Africans are born white I. We come now to the second and In this ftate they continue for about a opposite case ; for a proof of which month, when they change to a pale we shall appeal to the words of Dr yellow. In process of time they be. Mitchell in the Philosophical Trancome bruwn. Their skin still conti. factions. “The Spaniards who have

to increase in darkness with inhabited America under the torrid their age, till it becomes of a dirty zone for any time, are become as fallow black; and at length, after a dark coloured as our native Indians çertain period of years, glofly and of Virginia, of which I myself have fhining. Now, if climate has any been a witness; and were they not influşnce on the mycous substance of to intermarry with the Europeans, the body, this variation in the chil. but lead the same rude and barba, dren from the colour of their parents sous lives with the Indians, it is

very Juftamond's Abbé Raynal, v. 5. P: 193. + The author of this Essay made it his bufinefs to inquire of the most intelligent of those whom he could inect with in London as to the authenticity of the fact. All those fom America assured him :hat it was strictly trie; those from the West-Indies, that they had neve: cbserved it there; but that they had found a sensible difference in themselves tince they come to England,

† This circumstance, which always happens, shows that they are descended from the fame parents as ourlelves; for had they been a distinct species of men, and the blackness entirely ingrafted in their conti'ution and frame, there is great reason to presume, that their children w uld have been born blick.

$ This observation was communicated to us by the gentleman in the medical line, to whoin we returned our thanks for certain anatonzical facts,

nues

[ocr errors]

guage I.'

with any

On the difference of Colour in the Inhabitants of different Climates. 301 Sery probable, that, in a fucceffion

But though these facts feem suffiof many generations, they would cient of themselves to confirm our become as dark in complexion *.' opinion, they are not the only facts

To this inftance we shall add one, which can be adduced in its support. which is mentioned by a late writer, It can be shown, that the members who, describing the African coast of the very fame family, when diand the European settlements there, vided from each other, and removed has the following paflage. • There into different countries, have not onare feveral other small Portuguese ly changed their family complexion, settlements, and one of some note at but that they have changed it to as Mitomba, a river in Sierra Leon. many different colours as they have The people here called Portugucje, gone into different regions of the are principally persons bred from a world. We cannot have, perhaps, a mixture of the first Portuguese disco- more striking instance of this than perers with the natives, and now in the Jews. These people are scat: become, . in their complexion and tered over the face of the whole wcolly quality of their hair, per- earth; they have preserved them. fect negroes, retaining however a felves distinct from the rett of the Imattering of the Porțuguese lan. world by their religion ; and as they

never intermarry

but those These facts, with respect to the of their own fect, so they have no colonists of the Europeans, are of mixture of blood in their veins the highest importance in the pre- that they should differ from each ofent case, and deserve a serious atten- ther: and yet nothing is moretrue, than tion. For when we know to a cer. that the # English Jew is white, the tainty from whom they are descend- Portuguese swarthy, the Armenian ed; when we knew that they were, olive, and the Arabian copper ; in at the time of their transplantation, short, that there appear to be as of the same colour as those from many different species of Jews as whom they severally sprung; and there are countries in which they when, on the other hand, we are refide. credibly informed that they have To these faas we shall add the changed it for the native colour of following observation, that if we can the place, which they now inhabit ; give credit to the ancient historians the evidence in support of these in general, a change from the darkfacts is as great as if a person, on eft black to the purett white must the removal of two or three families have actually been accomplished. into another climate, had determined One instance, perhaps, may be to ascertain the circumstance; as if thought fufficient. Herodotus s rehe had gone with them and watch. lates, that the Colchi were black, ed their children; as if he had com. and that they had crisped hair. municated his observations at his These people were a detachment of death to a fucceffor; as if his fuc- the Æthiopian army under Sefoftris, ceffor had prosecuted the plan; and who followed him in his expedition, thus an uninterrupted chain of evi- and settled in that part of the world dence had been kept up from their where Colchis is usually represented first removal to any determined pe- to have been situated. Had not the riod of succeeding time.

same author informed us of this cir

cumstance, • Philof. Tranf. No 476. fect 4. + Treatise upon the Trade from Great Britain to Africa, by an African merchant.

We mean such only as are natives of the countries which we mention, and whose anFeftors have been settled there for a certain period of time.

$ Herodotus. Euterpe. p. 80. Editio Stephani, prin:ed 15704

cumstance, we should have thought ting Auid. This accumulating fluids it * ftrange, that a people of this de- or perspirable matter, is at first coa scription should have been found in lourless; but being exposed to viosuch a lattitude. Now, as they were lent heat, or dried, becomes brown. undoubtedly settled there, and as Hence the mucofum corpus being tin. they were neither so totally destroy. ged in various parts by this brown ed, nor made any such rapid con- coagulated Auid, and the parts fo quests, as that history should notice ting ed appearing through the cuticle, the event, there is great reason to or upper surface of the kin, arises presume, that their descendants con. that spotted appearance observable iinued in the same, or settled in the in the case recited. adjacent country; from whence it Now, if we were to conceive a will follow, that they mutt have black skin to be an universal freckle, changed their complexion to that or the rays of the sun to act so uniwhich is observable in the inhabitants versally on the mucous substance of a of this particular region at the pre- person's face, as to produce these sent day; or, in other words, that spots so contiguous to each other that the black inhabitant of Colchis mult they should unite, we should then have been changed into the † fair fee, in imagination, a face fimilar to Circasian.

those which are daily to be seen a. As we bave now fhown it to be mong black people : and if we were highly probable, from the facts to conceive his body to be exposed which have been advanced, that cli- or acted upon in the same manner, mate is the cause of the difference of we should then see his body assuming colour which prevails in the different fimilar

appearance ;

and thus we inhabitants of the globe, we shall should see the whole man of a per. now show its probabiliiy from so fi. fe& black, or resembling one of the milar an effect produced on the mu- naked inhabitants of the torrid zone. cous fubfiance before-mentioned by so Nowy as the seat of freckles and of similar a canse, that though the fact blackness is the same ; as their apdoes not absolutely prove our con. pearance is fimilar; and as the cause je&ture to be right, yet it will give of the first is the ardour of the sun us a very lively conception of the it is therefore probable that the cause manner in which the phenomenon of the second is the same : hence, if

we fubftitute for the word fun what This probability may be sown in is analogous to it, the word climate, the case of freckles, which are to be the same effect may be supposed to seen in the face of children, but of be prodụced, and the conje&ure ta such only as have the thinnest and receive a fancion. moft transparent skins, and are occa. Nor is it unlikely, that the hypofioved by the rays of the fun striking thesis which considers the cause of forcibly on the mucous fubftance of freckles and of blackness as the same the face, and drying the accumula. may be right. For if blackness in

a

may be caused.

осса»

* This circumstance confirms what we said in a former note, that even if ewo nations were to be found in the fame parallel, one of whom was black and the other white, it would form ro objection against the hypothesis of climate, as one of themn might have been new settlers from a diftant country.

7. Suppose, without the knowledge of any historian, they had made fuch considerable conquests, as to have settled themselves at the distance of 1000 miles in any one direction from Colchis, still they must have changed their colour : For had they gone in an eastern or weltern direction, they muit have been of the fame colour as the Circallians; if to the north, whiter; if to the south, of a copper. There are 20 people within that distance of Colchis who are black,

« PreviousContinue »