had offered to marry her. The scene is unquestionably very powerful, but it loses much of its power by the mode in which it is presented. Had it been narrated in the due course of the story, as in any other writer's hands it would have been, it would have been, perhaps, the most striking scene in the book. Such as it is, we give it, as another specimen of the peculiar character and ability displayed in it :

the way that she only does, and no other woman, and ejaculated, 'God bless me!'

"Yorke, I stood on the hearth, backed by the mantelpiece; against it I leaned, and prepared for anything everything. I then knew my doom, and I knew myself. There was no misunderstanding her aspect and voice. She stopped and looked as me. God bless me!' she pitilessly repeated, in that shocked, indignant, yet saddened accent; have made a strange proposal-strange from you; and if you knew how strangely you worded it, and looked it, you would be startled at yourself. You spoke like a brigand who demanded my purse, rather than like a lover who asked my heart!"


"I looked at her, Yorke; I saw in her youth, and a species of beauty. I saw power in her. Her wealth offered me the redemption of my honor and my standing. I owed her gratitude. She had "A queer sentence, was it not, Yorke? And I aided me substantially and effectually by a loan of knew, as she uttered it, it was as true as queer. five thousand pounds. Could I remember these Her words were a mirror, in which I saw myself. things? Could I believe she loved me? Could I I looked at her, dumb and wolfish; she at once hear wisdom urge me to marry her, and yet disre- enraged and ashamed me. She then said, Gérard gard every dear advantage, disbelieve every flatter- Moore, you know you don't love Shirley Keeldar! ing suggestion, disdain every well-weighed coun-I might have broken out into false swearingsel, turn and leave her? Young, graceful, gra- vowed that I did love her; but I could not lie in cious-my benefactress-attached to me, enamored her pure face-I could not perjure myself in her of me-I used to say so to myself dwell on the truthful presence. Besides, such hollow oaths word-mouth it over and over again-swell over it would have been vain as void; she would no more with a pleasant, pompous complacency, with an have believed me than she would have believed the admiration dedicated entirely to myself, and unim-ghost of Judas, had he broken from the night and paired even by esteem for her; indeed, I smiled in deep secrecy at her naïveté and simplicity, in being the first to love, and to show it! That whip of yours seems to have a good heavy handle, Yorke; you can swing it about you head and knock me out of the saddle, if you choose. At this moment I should rather relish a loundering whack!"

"Take patience, Robert, till the moon rises, and I can see you. Speak plain out-did you love her, or not? I should like to know; I feel curious."

"Sir-sir, I say—she is very pretty in her own style, and very attractive. She has a look, at times, of a thing made out of fire and air, at which I stand and marvel; but without a thought of clasping or kissing it. I felt in her a powerful magnet to my interest and vanity; but I never felt as if nature meant her to be my other and better self. When a question on that head rushed upon me I flung it off, saying, brutally, I should be rich with her, and ruined without her; vowing I would be practical, and not romantic."'

"A very sensible resolve. What mischief came of it, Bob?"

"With this sensible resolve I walked up to Fieldhead one night last August; it was the very eve of my departure for Birmingham-for, you see, I wanted to secure Fortune's splendid prize; I had previously despatched a note, requesting a private interview. I found her at home, and alone.

"She received me without embarrassment, for she thought I came on business. I was embarrassed enough, but determined. I hardly know how I got the operation over; but I went to work in a hard, firm fashion-frightful enough, I dare say. I sternly offered myself-my fine personwith my debts, of course, as a settlement !

"It vexed me; it kindled my ire to find that she neither blushed, trembled, nor looked down. She responded 'I doubt whether I have understood you, Mr. Moore.'

stood before her! Her female heart had finer perceptions than to be cheated into mistaking my half coarse, half-cold admiration, for true throbbing manly love.

"What next happened? you will say, Mr. Yorke. Why, she sat down in the window-seatand cried! She cried passionately; her eyes not only rained, but lightened. They flashed-open, large, dark, haughty-upon me; they said, You have pained me-you have outraged me-you have deceived me!'

"She added words soon to looks. 'I did respect, I did admire, I did like you,' she said; yes, as much as if you were my brother; and you-you want to make a speculation of me. You would immolate me to that mill-your Moloch!' "I had the common sense to abstain from any word of excuse-any attempt at palliation; I stood to be scorned. Sold to the devil for the time being, I was certainly infatuated; for when I did speak, what do you think I said? Whatever my own feelings were, I was persuaded you loved me, Miss Keeldar.' Beautiful!-was it not? She sat quite confounded.


"Is it Robert Moore that speaks?' I heard her mutter; is it a man-or something lower?' 'Do you mean,' she asked aloud, do you mean you thought I loved you as we love those we wish to marry? "It was my meaning, and I said so.'

"You conceived an idea, then, obnoxious to a woman's feelings,' was her answer; you have announced it in a fashion revolting to a woman's soul! You insinuate that all the frank kindness I have shown you has been a complicated, a bold, and an immodest manœuvre to ensnare a husband! You imply that at last you come here out of pity. to offer me your hand, because I have courted you! Let me say this:-Your sight is jaundiced-you have seen wrong. Your mind is warped-you have judged wrong. Your tongue betrays you-you now speak wrong. I never loved you. Be at rest there. My heart is as pure of passion for you, as yours is barren of affection for me.' I hope I was answered, Yorke ?

"And I had to go over the whole proposal twice, and word it as plainly as A B C, before she would fully take it in. And then what did she do? Instead of faltering a sweet' Yes,' or maintaining a soft, confused silence, which would have been as good, she "I seem to be a blind, besotted sort of per started up, walked twice fast through the room, inson,' was my remark.

[ocr errors]

"Loved you!' she cried; why, I have been so frank with you as a sister-never shunned you -never feared you. You cannot,' she affirmed, triumphantly, you cannot make me tremble with your coming, nor accelerate my pulse by your influence.'

"I alleged, that often when she spoke to me she blushed, and that the sound of my name moved her. Not for your sake,' she declared, briefly. I urged explanation, but could get none.


she wiped them away. I am sorry for what has happened-deeply sorry,'-she sobbed. So was I, God knows! And thus were we severed."

Did space permit, we would gladly quote the avayragions of Mother and Daughter-in its simple, humble, thrilling naturalness, one of the most touching and feminine scenes in our literature; or that wild, imaginative, and original picture of the "When I sat beside you at the school-feast, Mermaid, which shows the writer to have the true you think I loved you then? When I stopped poetic power-the power, namely, of creating you in Maythorn Lane, did you think I loved you new life out of old materials. Surely, at the then? When I called on you in the counting-present day, one would think there was nothing house-when I walked with you on the pavement -did you think I loved you then?" So she questioned me; and I said, I did. By the Lord! Yorke, she rose-she grew tall-she expanded and refined almost to a flame-there was a trembling cold through her, as in live coal, when its vivid vermilion is hottest.

more to be said about mermaids; yet we venture to say that mermaids never were so beautiful, so ghastly, so living, as in this description—which, after all, we must squeeze in :—

"I suppose you expect to see mermaids, Shir

"One, certainly, at all events. I am to be walking by myself on deck, rather late of an August evening, watching and being watched by a full har

vest moon.

"That is to say, that you have the worst opin-ley?" said Caroline. ion of me that you deny me the possession of all I value most. That is to say, that I am a traitor to all my sisters-that I have acted as no woman can act, without degrading herself and her sexthat I have sought where the incorrupt of my kind naturally scorn and abhor to seek.' She and I were silent for many a minute. Lucifer, star of the morning!' she went on, thou art fallen! You once high in my esteem are hurled down; you once intimate in my friendship-are cast out. Go!'

"I went not. I had heard her voice tremble seen her lip quiver. I knew another storm of tears would fall; and then I believed some calm and some sunshine must come, and I would wait for it. "As fast, but more quietly than before, the warm rain streamed down. There was another sound in her weeping a softer, more regretful sound. While I watched, her eyes lifted to me a gaze more reproachful than haughty-more mournful than


"Oh, Moore!' said she,' it was worse than Et tu, Brute!' I relieved myself by what should have been a sigh-but it became a groan. A sense of Cain-like desolation made my breast ache. There has been error in what I have done,' I said; and it has won me bitter wages-which I will go and spend far from her who gave them.'

Something is to rise white on the sur face of the sea, over which that moon mounts silent, and hangs glorious. The object glitters for an instant, and sinks. It rises again. I think I hear it cry with an articulate voice. I call you up from the baster, emerging from the dim wave. We both see cabin-I show you an image, fair and smooth as ala

the long hair-the lifted and foam-white arm-
the oval mirror, brilliant as a star. It glides
nearer; a human face is plainly visible-a face in
the style of yours-whose straight, pure (excuse
the word, it is appropriate) lineaments paleness
does not disfigure. It looks at us. but not with
your eyes. I see a preternatural lure in the wily
Were we men we should
glance. It beckons.
spring at the sign, and the cold billows would be
dared for the sake of the colder enchantress; but
being women we stand safe-though not dreadless.
She comprehends our unmoved gaze; she feels
herself powerless; anger crosses her front. She
cannot charm, but she will appal us! She rises
high, and glides all revealed on the dark wave
ridge. Temptress-terror! monstrous likeness of
ourselves! Are you not glad, Caroline, when at
last, with a wild shriek, she dives?"

"I took my hat. All the time I could not have Our closing word shall be one of exhortation. borne to depart so; and I believed she would not let me. Nor would she, but for the mortal pang I Schiller, writing to Goethe about Madame de had given her pride. That choked her compassion, Stael's "Corinne," says, "This person wants and kept her silent. I was obliged to turn back of everything that is graceful in a woman; and, nev my own accord, when I reached the door-to ap-ertheless, the faults of her book are altogether proach her, and to say, ' Forgive me.'

"I could, if there was not myself to forgive, too,' was her reply; for to mislead a sagacious man so far, I must have done wrong.' I broke out suddenly with some declamation I do not remember; I know that it was sincere, and that my wish and aim were to absolve her to herself; in fact, in her case, self-accusation was a chimera.

"At last, she extended her hand. For the first time I wished to take her in my arms and kiss her. I did kiss her hand many times. Some day we shall be friends again,' she said, 'when you have had time to read my actions and motives in a true light, and not so horribly to misinterpret them. Time may give you the right key to all; then, perhaps, you will comprehend me, and then we shall

be reconciled.'

"Farewell! drops rolled slow down her cheeks

womanly faults. She steps out of her sexwithout elevating herself above it."* This brief and pregnant criticism is quite as applicable to Currer Bell; for she, too, has genius enough to create a great name for herself; and if we seem to have insisted too gravely on her faults, it is only because we are ourselves sufficiently her admirers to be most desirous to see her remove these blemishes from her writings, and take the rank within her reach. She has extraordinary power

-but let her remember that" on tombe du côté où l'on penche!"

keit, dagegen sind die Fehler des Buchs volkommen * "Es fehlt dieser Person an jeder schönen Weiblichweibliche Fehler. Sie tritt aus ihrem Geschlecht ohne sich darüber zu erheben."-Briefwechsel, iv., p. 243.


From the Quarterly Review. boundary of what can be effected by human effort

1. Researches into the Physical History of Mankind. is still obscure. By JAMES C. PRICHARD, M. D., F. R. S., Cor- In this very circumstance we find further excuse responding Member of the National Institute for taking up the subject thus late. Better defined of France. Third Edition. 5 vols. 8vo. as a department of science, and its importance more fully appreciated, the study of the physical history of mankind, in all its varieties of race and distribution, has, like other branches of knowledge, been continually enlarged by the accession of new facts and new methods of research. It has become more copious in its details, more exact in all its conclusions. Aided and emboldened by its growing connection with other sciences, and by the number of eminent men who have given their labors this direction, it has of late years especially made rapid progress; embracing, together with the kindred subject of ethnology, some of the most curious questions which come within the range of human inquiry.

2. The Natural History of Man; comprising In-
quiries into the Modifying Influences of Physical
and Moral Agencies in different Tribes of the
Human Family. By the same. 1843.
3. The Natural History of the Human Species, its
Typical Forms, Primeval Distribution, Filia-
tions, and Migrations. By Lieutenant-Colonel
C. HAMILTON SMITH, K. H., F. R. S. Edin-
burgh, 1848.
4. On the Results of recent Egyptian Researches, in
reference to Asiatic and African Ethnology and
the Classification of Languages. A Discourse
read before the Ethnological Section of the
British Association at Oxford. By C. C. J.
BUNSEN, D. C. L., Ph. D.


5. Sir C. Lyell's Elements of Geology. Chaps. xxxiv. to xl.


What we have said thus generally is well illustrated by the course of Dr. Prichard's own reWE are liable, we fear, to some reproach for searches. A Latin thesis, De Humani Generis not having earlier noticed the works which are Varietate, written and printed at Edinburgh in placed first in the above list; and we feel this the 1809, when he took his degree there, forms the more because a year has now elapsed since Dr. basis of all that he has since so elaborately perPrichard was lost by premature death to the sci-formed. It is a bold and able treatise, considerence of his country. His various writings, di- ing the materials he then had in his hands. rected to topics of the deepest interest to all man- theme, pursued with unremitting zeal, grew into kind, are characterized by an industry, ability, and a large volume published in 1821, entitled Recandor of research, well meriting the reputation searches into the Physical History of Mankind; they have obtained both at home and abroad. In regard to those more directly before us, by conjoining the physiological part of the inquiry with its historical and philological relations, they form the most ample and complete text we yet possess on the subject, and one to which all future investigation must be more or less referred.

and it is the third edition of this work, enlarged gradually to five volumes by a perseverance in the same diligent inquiry, which we now have before us. The volume entitled The Natural History of Man is a sort of summary of it, suggested probably by the need of comprising the new materials

which had accrued while the other volumes suc

cessively appeared.*

While acknowledging and seeking thus late to repair the omission, we may fairly allege, as to the We are further justified in presenting this subsubject itself, that it can never be out of season or ject to our readers, from the conviction that the date as long as man has his place on the earth. great questions it involves are still only partially For what inquiry of higher import, or more last-appreciated by those familiar with other branches ing interest, than that which regards the physical of science. The history of Man, as a denizen condition of the human species as first created and of the earth, has indeed been conceived and purappearing on the surface of the globe? What sued in many different ways, according to the investigation in all science more vast and curious objects, genius, or opportunity of those engaged than that which, from observation of the numerous in the study; but these portraitures which have races and physical varieties of man, and from the severally presented him as equally numerous forms and diversities of human language, deduces conclusions as to the more simple and elementary states from which these wonderful results have been developed, and the manner and course of their development ? Questions like these, even if already settled to our reason and knowledge, would yet have a constant hold on the minds of all thinking men, in their simple relation to that greatest of all phenomena -the existence of human life upon the earth. But, in truth, they are far from being thus settled. A spacious field is open to research, in which certain paths are laid down, and certain landmarks fixed in guidance and preparation for further culture; but where no harvest of complete edge has yet been reaped, and where even the to one great object.

The glory, jest, and riddle of the world, the purport of the larger title before us. are partial and subordinate, and in nowise fulfil The philosopher, living in the comparative seclusion

* Dr. Prichard's other writings, whether philological or medical, warrant further what we have said of his merits as a philosophical inquirer. His character was one of great simplicity, zealous in the pursuit of everything true and useful in science. His death may well be termed premature, inasmuch as the peculiar subject of his successful research was before him to the last. We are memoir on his life and writings, and find every cause to indebted to Dr. Symonds, of Bristol, for a very interesting wish it had extended to greater length. The events inknowl-deed are few, but it is always agreeable and useful to trace the workings of an ingenuous mind steadily devoted

The physical history of mankind, derived from these sources, has now assumed its place as one of the most eminent branches of natural scienceassuredly one of the most interesting, in expounding to man his natural relations to the rest of creation on the globe, and those progressive causes of change which have unceasingly modified his condition here, and may continue to affect and alter it in ages yet to come.

of one community, may indeed, like Blumenbach | ties of mankind. The names of Adelung, Schleand Prichard, construct a science from the labors gel, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Remusat, Grimm, of those cosmopolite travellers who have studied Klaproth, Rask, Bunsen, Meyer, &c., indicate the mankind on a bold and broad scale, under every more conspicuous of those who have advanced this diversity of region and race. But, generally science abroad. In our own country we may cite speaking, the tendency of common life and habit- Harris, Horne Tooke, Sir W. Jones, Wilkins, ual pursuits in the most civilized communities is Marsden, Young, Prichard, Latham, &c., as to narrow, by division and refinement, all great worthy associates in the same learned career. views of the human race. The social pictures of man, found in poetry, history, essay, or romance, will explain our meaning. They are for the most part individualities of character or custom, which tend rather to curtail than enlarge the outline of inquiry, and in truth have little relation to the Natural History of Man as a part of creation at large. Even the moral and religious feelings are concerned in giving their tone and temper to such investigations, differently defining the objects and pursuing them by separate routes. And, further, these objects are in themselves so numerous, and their natural aspects of such endless variety, that we can scarcely wonder at the vague understanding of the questions which lie at the bottom of the whole-questions well worthy, nevertheless, of all the learning and ingenuity given to their solution.


For what are we fitly to understand as comprised in the titles of the works before us? In stating it to be the natural history of man, as a branch of that larger science which includes the physical history of all organized life on the globe, we give but a meagre conception of the subject. Vegetable life, individually fixed to one spot-generically distributed into different regions so as to form an especial science of botanWhatever may be the causes, certain it is that ical geography-limited by climate, soil, and the physical history of man has only recently other circumstances, though capable of vast taken its place as a definite branch of science. changes by culture-all this, while furnishing The ancient philosophers dealt with it loosely, much of curious illustration and analogy, can imperfectly, and erroneously. Their limited only slightly represent to us what pertains to knowledge of the surface of the earth, their entire the physical history of the human race. When ignorance of whole existing races of mankind-the we rise in the scale of creation through the prejudices of their mythology—and their general innumerable forms and gradations of animal life, want of appreciation of scientific evidence, the and reach those wonderful instincts, and yet preference of the doğa to the nonun-these higher functions of intelligence and feeling in difficulties which, in their totality, even the genius certain animals, which Aristotle well calls of Aristotle could not surmount, may readily be uara τns avOgwairns (wñs, though finding some admitted in explanation of the fact we have stated. of the analogies to approach more closely, still Passing over the earlier but ambiguous researches are we far below the level of those great quesof Camper, we may affirm that the true foundation tions which regard the human species-the origin, of the science was that laid by Professor Blumen- dispersion, and mutual relation of the various bach of Göttingen, whose long life of honorable races of mankind. To mere physical evidence labor closed not many years ago. His celebrated are here added other and higher methods of proof, collection of skulls, (which we have ourselves connected with the exercise of those mental facexamined under his guidance,) obtained by un-ulties which mark man as the head of the aniwearied perseverance from every part of the globe, mal creation. suggested new relations and more extended and exact inquiries in prosecution of one branch of the subject. The researches and writings of Cuvier, Humboldt, Lawrence, Owen, Tiedeman, Rudolfi, and other physiologists, while differing in certain conclusions, have continually enlarged the scope of the science and concentrated the results obtained by travellers and naturalists-thus augmenting the means upon which the removal of these differences and the certainty of all conclusions must eventually depend. Philology, mean- It will be the principal object of the following while, has come largely in aid of the inquiry, and work to collect data for elucidating the inquiry, the study and classification of languages, indicated whether all the races of men scattered over the surmore remotely by Scaliger, Bacon, and Leibnitz, each other in structure of body, in features, and in face of the earth, distinguished as they are from has grown into a vast body of authentic knowl-color, and differing in languages and manners, are edge, ministering through new and unexpected the offspring of a single stock, or have descended relations to the history of the races and communi- respectively from several original families? This

The peculiarity, the grandeur, and, we may add, the difficulty of the theme, depend mainly on his condition as an intellectual being, whereby his whole existence on earth is defined, and the relations of races and communities of men created and maintained.

And here we touch upon the question which may be said to govern the whole subject, and which we cannot better or more briefly define than in Dr. Prichard's own words :

problem is so extensive in its bearings, and in many | The difference of the subject does in no wise affect particulars so intricate and complex, that I can the argument, which applies alike and with equal scarcely hope to discover evidence conclusive in force to both cases. respect to every part of the investigation. I shall endeavor to collect and throw upon it all the light that can be obtained from different sources.

We might further cite what Dr. Prichard himself, in his Introduction, has clearly and forcibly written in vindication of the research he is about to commence. Take indeed We have said that this question, as to the what course we may, these questions, from their unity and single origin of the human race, gov- very nature, must needs infix themselves deeply in erns the whole subject; and it does so in the the minds of thinking men, and become in one obvious sense, that if the fact be admitted or way or other the matter of earnest inquiry. That proved, (as far as proof is attainable,) certain the cause of truth will assuredly gain in the end, other collateral questions at once disappear. If, we can affirm with the greater satisfaction in this for instance, it can be rendered certain to our case, because it is our conviction, in common with belief that all mankind, throughout all ages of Dr. Prichard, that the conclusions of reason and human existence on the globe-in all their innu- science, unaided by Scripture, concur mainly with merable varieties of form, color, customs, and lan- those derived from the latter source. We think guage-have been derived from one single pair, there are sufficient grounds, without reference to nothing remains but to investigate the causes, the sacred writings, for arriving at the conclusion physical and moral, which have produced from that all races and diversities of mankind are really this unity of origin the wonderful diversities derived from a single pair; placed on the earth everywhere visible. A subject wide enough in for the peopling of its surface, both in the times truth to satisfy the most eager speculator! yet before us, and during the ages which it may please well defined in its limits, and even in many of the the Creator yet to assign to the present order of lines through which research must be pursued. existence here. The arguments for such belief But this simpler form of the question is not per- we shall now state; and they will be found to mitted to us the point is one upon which natu- comprise, directly or indirectly, every part of this ralists of eminence have held very different opin- great subject. ions. It has been contended not only that there In doing this we shall not bind ourselves closeis no proof of the derivation of mankind from a ly to Dr. Prichard's arrangement, but seek in the single pair, but that the probability is against it. shorter space at our disposal to put forward those Some have adventured to suppose an absolute dif-points which bear most cogently on the conclusion ference of species in the beings thus placed by the Creator on the earth. Many have adopted the idea of detached acts of creation, through which certain of the more prominent races had their separate origin in different localities-interblending afterwards, so as to give rise to those subordinate varieties which we see so numerously around us. Others again, putting aside the notion of the immutability of species, have boldly hazarded the belief that inferior animal organizations, either for-at, or approximate to, the solution of this inquiry? tuitously or by necessities or latent laws of nature, may have risen into the human form; and this under conditions so far unlike, as to give origin to the more remarkable diversities which have perplexed our ideas of unity, and puzzled both philosopher and physiologist to explain.


just denoted. On some of these points we think that neither he, nor other writers, have been explicit enough, or given them their full weight in the argument. We shall endeavor to place the evidence in as clear a form as possible, and to aid those unacquainted with the subject in comprehending its relative value and effect.

What, then, are the sources of knowledge, what the methods of research, through which to arrive

They may best, we believe, be classed under three heads-First, the Physiological, including all that relates to the physical conformation of Manhis mental endowments-the question of the unity or plurality of species-and the laws which license or limit the deviations from a common standard. Secondly, the Philological, including all that relates to human languages-their connections, diver

Before going further, we may briefly advert to a point which must already have occurred to every reader. Has not this question been long ago set-sities, the theory of the changes they undergo, tled on the authority of Scripture so as to preclude all further discussion upon it? Are we entitled to go beyond, and to risk any portion of our faith, upon statements or inductions derived from other sources, if contradicting the interpretations commonly given to this higher authority?

and the history of such actual changes, as far as we can follow it. Thirdly, the Historical-taking the term in its largest sense, as including all written history, inscriptions, traditions, mythology, and even the more common usages which designate and distinguish the different communities of mankind.

The question is one not new to modern science. In reply to it, and to vindicate that right of reason This too seems the natural course and order of and inquiry which Man has received as one of the the inquiry. Man is first to be considered as a greatest gifts from his Creator, it might be enough part of the animal creation at large, and under the for us to cite passages from the writings of sev-many points of close and unalterable likeness to eral distinguished geologists, who have weighed other forms of animal life, in all that relates to this point with all the seriousness and candor be- his procreation, nutriment, growth, decay, and fitting their reputation as men of piety and truth. death, as well as in regard to the modifications

« VorigeDoorgaan »