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that of being an “improved ape.” We must accept the epithet improved with reserve, for the learned Professor, in his last and greatest work on the subject, “The Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature," has shown, by a rigid mode of analysis, and by a felicity of reasoning which must surely carry conviction to every unprejudiced mind, that the Ape, whether under the form of the Gibbon, the Orang, the Chimpanzee, or the Gorilla, has been recognized as “nothing but a very hairy woman of rather comely aspect, and with proportions and feet wholly human,” p. 8; “ as an animal of a peculiar species, which is proved in the clearest manner by the organs of voice," p. 15; that voice, according to the testimony of “Mr. Waterhouse, an accomplished musician, being more powerful than that of any singer (such as Jenny Lind or Adelina Patti) ever heard,” p. 27,—though at times their vocal powers degenerate into tones less dulcet than those of our great operatic singers, being described as resembling
a loud pumping grunt,” p. 38. A lady Ape, who lately visited this country, has proved herself an acrobat of the highest order, equal to either Blondin or Leotard.
“ It is impossible," observes Mr. Martin, “to convey in words an idea of the quickness and graceful address of her movements : they may be termed aerial (like those of Mlle. Taglioni), as she seems merely to touch in her progress the branches among which she exhibits her evolutions,” p. 29. An anecdote related at p. 31, proves their fine reasoning powers, and their capability of attaining high honours amongst the most distinguished thieves of this or any other nation, should the Government in its wisdom think fit to throw our prison doors open to competitive examination, as being in accordance with one of the requirements
of the age.
In their matrimonial arrangements
"the man-like Apes” adopt the customs of the Mormons in America, as indeed one species of the Simian tribe is so named. They are great
Idolaters” as well as Polygamists, and when travelling they resemble a Turkish Pasha accompanied by his Harëem, i.e. the happy possessor of many tails. A worthy Missionary, who rejoices in the appropriate name of the Rev. Dr. Savage, was so captivated by the domestic habits of his natural cousins, that he could not resist attempting a picture of a family group, which he has drawn as follows:-“ It is not unusual to see the old folks sitting under a tree regaling themselves with fruit and friendly chat, while their children are leaping around them, and swinging from tree to tree with boisterous merriment."
43. Such is the account which Professor Huxley gives in Chapter 1—“On the Natural History of the Man-like Apes.” And it is to this all-absorbing subject, “the question of questions for mankind—the problem which underlies all others, and is more deeply
interesting than any other, according to the Huxleyan dogma—that we now invite the attention of our readers in the work which we have the honour of setting before them under the title of “MAN; OR THE OLD AND NEW PHILOSOPHY.”
Having discussed at some length the ample evidence of Man's very ancient lineage, and the far distant root from which he originally sprung, according to the theory of our Western Magi, we have endeavoured to view him under various titles, such as a Pyrrhonist, a Necromancer, an Allegorist, an Orator, and as Homo Barbatus, in preference to the term which the great Naturalist Linnæus uses when describing one of his ancestors as Homo Caudatus.
* Professor Huxley omits to notice the chronological bearing of this “question of questions,” viz. the exact time when “the Man-like Apes" parted with their tails. We shall have occasion to notice in our work the popular opinion in Ireland respecting the retention of the caudal appendage down to a very recent period, and the illustrious author of “Waverley, or 'Tis Sixty Years Since,” implies that a similar opinion was entertained in Scotland as late as that interesting episode in her history commonly known as “the affair of '45; ” for he represents a Highlander, on seeing his chief without his accustomed appendage, exclaiming in sorrow, "Why, he has come without his tail.