Зображення сторінки


engaged by the colonial government, during | abonds from various quarters, is a thing likely to his long residence in South Africa, to un have occurred in other parts of the world besides dertake a journey of investigation into the South Africa ; and the supposition of its existence interior of Hottentot-land and Kafiristan, may tend to explain many phenomena in history

or ethnology. In India, for example, it cannot be not to be strictly true. The numbers of the doubted that many a tribe of obscure origin living Bushmen will have been augmented from beyond the limits, or on the outskirts of civilized time to time by various conquered and re communities, owes its existence, in a great part at duced tribes of Hottentots resorting to the least, to the shelter which woods and fastnesses wandering hordes of their vicinity; yet the and mountainous tracts afford, from time to time, first separation of the two races took place such as to unfit them for the observation of laws,

to persons whose character and habits of life are at a remote period, probably long antece

and for submission to regal and priestly ordident to the arrival of the first colonists at

(Appendix to Natural History of Manthe Cape. According to Dr. Smith, almost kind, p. 598.) all the South African tribes who have made any advances in civilization, are surrounded There are many instances in ancient hisby more barbarous hordes, whose abodes | tory of tribes who were probably of kindred are in the wilderness and in the fastnesses of origin with their masters, being reduced and mountains and forests, and who constantly kept in a state of vassalage for many generecruit their numbers by such fugitives as rations, and treated with the greatest crucrime and destitution may have driven from elty. The enslavement of the Helots by their own more honest and thriving commu the Spartans will occur to every one.

In nities. Thus the Kafirs have their Bush- / like manner the ancient Slavonian race was men, as well as the Hottentots ; although long held in servile subjection to the Sarit is only the outcasts of the latter who are matæ ; but having been armed for the deknown to the Cape colonists.

fence of their common country against the Notwithstanding what has been just stated Goths, they finally turned their arms against of the fundamental affinities between the their domestic tyrants and expelled them. Bushman and Hottentot languages, there is Among the ancient Egyptians, as Dr. Prichso great a difference in their vocabularies as ard observes, there was probably a large to have given an apparent sanction to the population of mixed races, besides the pure idea of their complete dissociation. Of this castes of the Egyptian stock ;-a supposidifference, however, Dr. Smith has been tion which will enable us to account for able to give a satisfactory account. He many varieties of statement in ancient destates that many of the Bushman hordes scriptions of the Egyptians, and in the physvary their speech designedly, by affecting a ical traits of mummies,—while the national singular mode of utterance, and even adopt type, as represented by paintings and sculpnew words in order to render their meaning tures, is strikingly uniform. Dr. Prichard unintelligible to all but the members of their finds another analogy in the case of the own community. This modified dialect is Lappes of Northern Europe, who may have more or less understood by the population originally borne the same relation to the belonging to each Bushman tribe; but not Finns in their vicinity as the Bushmen bear by the Hottentots, or by persons who know to the present Hottentots. A similar or only the common language of the race.


even greater difference, at least in bulk and clapping noise occasioned by the various stature, is pointed out between the small motions of the tongue, which is characteris- and meagre Bedouins who lead a predatory tic of the Hottentot language, occurs still life in the African desert, and the industrimore frequently among the Bushmen; they, ous Fellahs who live by the cultivation of indeed, often use it so incessantly, as to seem the soil, and who, though of the same race, to be giving utterance to a jargon consisting are comparatively stout and athletic men. of an uninterrupted succession of claps. So, again, with regard to the history of

It is justly remarked by Dr. Prichard that languages, the fact that a savage race is these curious facts are valuable as bearing known to modify its speech for the purpose on other ethnological questions.

of becoming unintelligible to its neighbors,

is by no means unimportant. It is impossi“ The fact of a tribe of people in a better con ble to say how many of the apparently dition, and looking upon themselves as of higher caste and dignity, having in its vicinity hordes of original diversities of human speech have a lower state, a mlechas, or mixed multitude;' had their commencement in a similar cause, descended probably from refugees and outcasts, and in the voluntary adoption of a new jarand more or less mingled with foreigners and vag- I gon by some small separated community.

The clapping articulation of the Hottentots we find that they were originally a numethemselves may have originated wholly from rous people, divided into many tribes, under this habit; particularly if, as hinted by the patriarchal government of chiefs or Bunsen, the Hottentot language is a degrad- elders; who wandered about with flocks ed dialect of the Kafir. We have specially and herds, associating in communes of noticed their case, however, for the sake of three or four hundred persons, living in observing that the moral disparities, by kraals, or movable villages of huts, which which it has been sought to exclude the were constructed of poles or boughs covered Bushmen from a fellowship with the higher with rush mats, and taken down and carried races, constitute on the contrary an affinity about on pack-oxen. They were bold and between them; since such surely is the active in the chase, and courageous in warcase, when Dr. Prichard, in his most recent fare; their general disposition was distinpublication on the subject, mentions a total guished by humanity and good nature ; and want of forethought, and a wild desire of re they are particularly extolled as the most venge, among their most striking character- faithful servants in the world. Though existics.

cessively fond of wine, brandy, and tobacco, Would we could say that recklessness they might safely be intrusted with themor ferocity were confined to the rude dwellers neither themselves taking, nor suffering in the remote deserts of South Africa! Un others to take, any such articles when comfortunately there is scarcely a civilized na mitted to their charge. Their chastity was tion, in the very bosom of which there remarkable-adultery being punished with does not exist an outcast population, neither death. Their besetting sin appears to have less reckless nor less prone to the fearful been indolence; which prevented them indulgence of their worst passions than from troubling themselves much about perthese miserable Bushmen, and only re- sonal cleanliness, or about the cultivation of strained from breaking loose by external their minds. Nevertheless, when they could coercion. Their want of forethought is be induced to apply, they made no mean matter of daily lamentation ; and as often as progress. Kolben, a voyager and writer of the arm of the law is paralyzed, the savage that date, declares that he has known many inhabitants of the unknown deserts of our of them who were tolerable masters of great towns issue from their dens, and rival, Duteh, French, and Portuguese; one particin their excesses of wanton cruelty, the most ularly, who learned English and Portuguese terrible exhibitions of barbarian inhumanity. in a very short time; and who having conNow, on the one hand, if we admit the in- quered the vicious pronunciation contracted fluence of want, ignorance, and neglect, from his native speech, was said by good in accounting for the debasement of the judges to understand and speak his new savages of our own great towns, and yet languages with surprising readiness and cherish the belief that, so far from being propriety. They were even employed by irreclaimable, they may at least be brought Europeans in affairs that require judgup to the standard from which they have ment and capacity. A Hottentot named degenerated; on the other hand, we cannot Cloos was intrusted by Van der Stel, one of well doubt the operation of the same causes the early governors of the Cape, with carryon the outcasts of the Hottentot races, or ing on a large trade in cattle with tribes at refuse to believe that even the wretched a great distance, and generally executed his Bushmen might be brought back to the con commission with great success. dition of the people from among whom they And yet these are the beings whom it is have been driven forth.

the fashion with certain classes of writers to Of the Hottentots themselves, however, represent as little better than improved apes, we are accustomed to entertain a very low and as having no sufficient claim to the brothestimate; our ideas of them have been erhood of humanity! We wish that all the chiefly derived from the intercourse of the members of the Caucasian race manifested an Cape' settlers with the tribes which have equal degree of improveability with some been their nearest neighbors, and which of these despised Hottentots. have unfortunately undergone that deterio It has been frequently said that the Hotration which is so often found to be the first tentots differ from the higher races in their result of the contact of civilized with com- incapacity to form or to receive religious paratively savage nations. From the Dutch ideas. This, however, is by no means true. writers, however, who described the Hot- The authorities to which we have just refertentots at the time of the first settlement, / red assure us that the Hottentots of their

time had a firm belief in supreme powers

the tame Hottentots at Gnadenthal. History," both of good and evil, and endeavored to says the historian of the mission, “ probably furconciliate them_(especially the latter) by

nishes few parallel examples of a savage people, in religious rites. They believed also in the im

treaty with a Christian power, making it one of mortality of the soul; but whether they had be sent to instruct them in Christianity.'” (Nat

the conditions of peace, that missionaries should any distinct idea of future rewards and pun

ural History of Man, p. 524.) ishments could not be clearly ascertained. The early endeavors to introduce Christianity among them met with the same obstinate re The records of the same devoted order of sistance as has been the case in almost every missionaries have furnished Dr. Prichard similar instance; and one writer has given as with similar materials for a psychological acthe summing up of his observations, that count of the Greenlanders and Negroes; the “the Hottentots seem born with a natural | former being a branch of the great American antipathy to all customs, and to every relig- family of nations, which has been represented ion, but their own.". But it is a memorable by many writers as entirely differing in fact, that when the attempt was perseveringly psychical character from the inhabitants of made and rightly directed, the Hottentot the Old World ; and the latter being popnation lent a more willing ear than any other ularly regarded even in this country, and still uncivilized race had done, to the preaching more in the United States, as a race utterly of Christianity ; and no people has been incapable of elevation to our own level. We more strikingly and speedily improved by its find, however, in these as in other races, unereception,—not only in moral character and quivocal indications of the same moral and conduct, but also in outward condition and intellectual nature as that which the most prosperity. Gladly would we follow Dr. civilized races of men exhibit; these indicaPrichard" through the interesting account tions becoming more obvious, the more comwhich he has given of the labors of the plete our knowledge of their habits not merely United Brethren, and of their settlements at of action but of thought. We can trace, Gnadenthal and other spots on which they in short, among all the tribes who are endowhave been located. We are sure that no un ed with articulate speech, the same rational, prejudiced person can peruse them, without human nature ; superior to that of the highcoming to the conclusion that in aptitude for est brutes, not merely in the complexity of the reception of religious impressions, they the processes which it is capable of performare far superior to the young heathens of our ing, but in that capacity for generating abown land, who, when first induced to attend stract ideas, and thus arriving at general a ragged school, are recorded to have min- principles, which, so far as we have the gled “Jim Crow” with the strains of adora means of judgment, appears to be the distion in which they were invited to join ; and tinguishing attribute of Man. So again, we who did their best, by grimaces and gestures, discover in all of them the same elements to distract the attention of those who were of moral feeling ; the same sympathies and fixing their thoughts on the solemn offering susceptibilities of affection; the same conof prayer. With the following extract we science or internal conviction of accountablemust conclude our notice of this part of the ness, more or less obscurely developed; the subject :

same sentiments of guilt and self-condemna

tion, and the same desire of expiation. “ Perhaps nothing in this account is more re These principles take very different forms of markable ihan the fact that so strong a sensation expression, even in civilized life; much more, was produced among the whole Hottentot nation, therefore, ought we to be prepared for finding and even among the neighboring tribes of differ- nothing more, even among the best specimens ent people, by the improved and happy condition of uncivilized barbarism, than the mere rudiof the Christian Hottentots, as to excite a desire for similar advantages. Whole families of Hot- ments of a higher understanding and of a tentots, and even of Bushimen, set out for the nobler moral nature, than that which they borders of Kafirland, and even performed jour- have at present reached. But the rudiments neys of many weeks, in order to settle at Gnaden are there; though not always in the same thal. It is a singular fact in the history of these degree of forwardness for being moulded to barbarous races of men, that the savage Bushmen, the institutions of a more regular society ; of their own accord, solicited from the colonial for the development of the intellectual powgovernment, when negotiations were opened with them with the view of putting an end to a long

ers under a rational education ; and for that and bloody contest, that teachers might be sent growth of the moral and religious sentiments, among them, such as those who had dwelt among which Christianity is pre-eminently fitted to

promote in every

mind that


itself to its has been made in the case of the Australians, benign influence.

the Hottentots, and others; who neverthele:3 It is true that different nations manifest a have often been condemned, in the same offdifferent capacity for intellectual, moral, and hand way, that Cæsar and his countrymen social improvement; but this difference is would have unquestionably disposed of the not greater than that which exists between carly Britons. It is evidently a work of such individuals of the most favored races. If the immense difficulty to raise man out of his Negro, generally, is at present far behind, animal condition, that the wonder rather is, yet under favorable circumstances, the intel- how it has ever been done at all. lect and moral character of individual Negroes have been elevated to the European The contributions which Ethnology has standard ; while, on the other hand, we have received from Philological investigation have too frequent proof that the intellect and rapidly increased in importance, as the true moral character of the European are capable, principles of the latter science have been unnot merely in individuals, but in families and derstood and applied. We almost despair of groups of people, of sinking even below the communicating to our readers, within any average standard of the Negro. An enlarged reasonable limits, an idea of the present acquaintance with the African character, has aspect of this department of the inquiry. We led many persons to the belief that our will

, however, make the attempt with the boasted superiority is, after all, more intelassistance of the able Report recently prelectual than moral ; and that in purity and sented to the British Association by the Chev. disinterestedness of the affections, in childlike Bunsen. simplicity and gentleness of demoanor, in fact, It is to the speculations, discoveries, and in all the milder graces of the Christian divinations of Leibnitz, that we owe the temper, we may even have much to learn of origin of that investigation into the history the despised Negro. “I should expect,”. of languages, their analysis, comparison, and said Channing, “from the African race, if classification, which is termed by the Gercivilized, less energy, less courage, less intel

less intel- mans “Sprachenkunde ;” and to represent lectual originality, than in ours; but more which, our own tongue has been lately amiableness, tranquillity, gentleness, and con enriched by the word “Glottology,”-suftitent." They might not rise to an equality in ciently apposite and significant, but unfortuoutward condition, but would probably be a nately not very harmonious. The science much happier race.

We have ourselves had has as yet been little pursued except in considerable opportunity of comparing the Germany; where the labors of the Adelungs, capacity of Negro children with that of the Vater, Klaproth, Fred. Schlegel, Bopp, Jacob lower class of our youthful town population; | Grimm, William von Humboldt, Bunsen, and and we have no hesitation in saying that it is in others scarcely less eminent, attest that the every respect equal, and that there is, if any- seed has been cast into no unfruitful soil. It thing, a superior docility on the part of the has been the peculiar characteristic of these Negro. Basil Hall gives the same testimony, philologisis, that they have rejected the on the authority of the schoolmasters even etymological dreams and conjectures, the loose of the United States. That this mental de comparisons of single words made without velopment is generally checked at an early principle or analogy, and generally without age, and that the Negroes too frequently re any sufficient or critical knowledge of the main through life in the condition of "chil- idioms, in short, all that unscientific comparidren of a larger growth,” may be freely son of languages or rather of words caught conceded; but this need not be wondered at, up at random from among them, which have as long as every encouragement to advance- made the etymologies of the seventeenth ment is with held, and the doctrine that the century the laughing-stock of the eighteenth. Negro never can be admitted within the pale of white civilization, is sedulously maintained

“ By its very principle, the critical school adand acted on. Wherever, on the contrary, mits of no claiin to historical affinity between difsufficient opportunities have existed, and sufii- ferent languages, unless this aftinity be shown to cient inducement has been offered, the result rest upon definite laws, upon substantial analogy has been as satisfactory as the most enthusi- established by a complete examination of the ma

terials. But that school demands the strictest astic philanthropist could expect. We may add that the same remark respecting the proof that those aftinities are neither accidental,

nor merely ideal, but essential ; that they are not absence of any inferiority in the capacity of the work of extraneous intrusion, but indigenous, the children of races reputed to be inferior, as running throngh the whole original texture of

[ocr errors]

the languages compared, according to a traceable | languages, the nature of their relations to each general rule of analogy. The very method of other, the fact that their original roots are for the this critical school excludes the possibility of ac most part common, and that in the great system cidental or mere ideal analogies being taken for of grammatical inflexion pervading these languaproofs of a common historical descent of different ges there is nothing else than the varied developiribes or nations." (Bansen's Report, p. 255.) ment of common principles, must be convinced

that the differences between them are but the reBy this method of study, the languages sult of the gradual deviation of one common lanof the great bulk of the existing population guage into a multitude of diverging dialects; and of the Old Continent may be reduced to five the ultimate conclusion that is forced upon us is, great families or dynasties. These are:-1.

that the Indo-Enropean nations are the descendThe Indo-European, sometimes termed Indo- that the varieties of complexion, form, stature, and

ants of one original people, and, consequently, German, frequently Japetic, and by late wri- other physical qualities which exist among them,

ers Arian or Iranian languages. 2. The are the results of deviation from an original type."
Syro-Arabian, often termed Semitic. 3. The (Dr. Prichard's Report on Ethnology, p. 244.)
languages of High Asia and of certain parts
of Northern Europe, to which the name

The end of all language is the construc-
Turanian has been given, and which is tion of a sentence, of which the several parts
termed by Dr. Prichard Ugro-Tartarian. 4. are mutually connected and dependent one
The Chinese and Indo-Chinese, or the mono-

on another; so as to be capable of expressing syllabic and uninflected languages. 5. The a logical proposition, by a subject, predicate, African languages, spoken by the woolly and copula, with all their dependencies

. Alhaired nations of Africa, who inhabit the most every language has a distinct form for countries within a few degrees to the north the chief parts of the sentence, as a noun for of the equator, and all south of that line.

the subject, and the verb for the predicate ; We have already alluded to the vast ex

and has also words used solely for the purtent of the first of these families of languages, pose of indicating the mutual relations of and to the variety in the physical characters these component parts, which may either of the nations who speak'them. No scien- stand as separate particles, or may be united tific philologist, we believe, any longer re

to the principal words as affixes; the same tains a doubt that all these languages have end being also served by intiexions of these been derived from one primitive stock, devi- words. In the completeness of its system ating from their original identity by varia- of inflexions, and in the close knitting totions at first merely dialectic, but gradually gether of all the components of the sentence, increased. Of course, the natural inference so that every shade of thought may be exis, that the nations which now speak them pressed with the greatest simplicity and prehave diverged from a common centre. The cision, the Indo-European languages, of only alternative capable of meeting the facts which the Sanskrit may be taken as the seems to be the hypothesis, that some sin- type, stand pre-eminent; certain of these (esgle nation, to which the Indo-European lan- pecially the Hellenic) presenting the highguage originally belonged, conquered the in- est development that language has yet atdigenous races of Europe, and imposed upon tained, and of which indeed it seems capathem all its own language. But, as Dr. ble ; and containing, also, the power of modPrichard justly remarks :

ification to meet the exigencies of advancing

knowledge and of new habits of thought. “ If we suppose an Asiatic tribe, for example, At the opposite extremity of the series we speaking any one idiom belonging to this dynasty find the Chinese, or monosyllabic language ; of languages, to have made conquests ever so ex in which there is the least possible connectensive in Europe and Asia, without leaving traces tion between the elements of the sentence. in history, which is almost incredible, we shall In fact, every word (or syllable) might alstill be far from a solution of the problem. How could one nation introduce German languages most be said to be a sentence in itself; for it among the German nations; Celtic dialects, various may for the most part be interpreted either as they are, among the Celts; the Sclavonic lan as a verb, a substantive, an adjective, or as a guage among the widely spread nations of Sarma- grammatical particle, an empty word, as the lia ; Greek ajnong the Greeks; the old Italic dia- Chinese grammarians say ; its import being lects among the nations of Italy? The supposition is absurd. Moreover, there is internal evidence in partly determined by its place in the senthe Indo-European languages themselves sufficient tence, and partly, when spoken, by the tones to prove that they grew by gradual dialectic devel.

or accents with which the word is proopment ont of one common matrix. Any person nounced, each word having three, and some who considers, with competent knowledge of these four of these accents. Even with these

« НазадПродовжити »