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SKETCHES

OF THE

IIISTORY OF MAN.

THE
HE Human Species is in every view an inte-

resting subject, and has been in every age the chief inquiry of philosophers. The faculties of the mind have been explored, and the affections of the heart; but there is still wanting a history of the species, in its progress from the savage state to its highest civilization and improvement. Above thirty years ago, the author began to collect materials for that history ; and, in the vigour of youth, did not think the undertaking too bold even for a single hand: but, in the progress of the work, he found his abilities no more than sulficient for prosecuting a few imperfect Sketches. These are brought under the following heads. 1. Progress of Men independent of Society. 2. Progress of Men in So. VOL. I. A

ciety,

ciety. 3. Progress of the Sciences.

To explain these heads, a preliminary discourse is necessary; which is, to examine, Whether all men be of one lineage, descended from a single pair, or whether there be different races originally distinct.

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PRELIMINARY DiscouRSE, concerning the Origin of

Men and of LANGUAGES.

W

or

HETHER there are different races of men

whether all men are of one race without any difference but what proceeds from climate or other external cause, is a question which philosophers differ widely about. As the question is of moment in tracing the history of man, I purpose to contribute my mite. And, in order to admit all the light possible, a view of brute animals as divided into different races or kinds, will make a proper introduction. As many

animals contribute to our well-being and as many are noxious, man would be a being not a little imperfect, were he provided with no means but experience for distinguishing the one sort from the other. Did every animal make a species by itself (indulging the expression) differing from all others, a man would finish his course without acquiring as much knowledge of animals as is necessary even for self-preservation : he would be absolutely at a loss with respect to unknown individuals. The Deity has left none of his works imperfect. Animals are formed of different kinds ; resemblance prevailing among animals of the same kind, dissimilitude among animals of different kinds. And, to prevent confuA 2

sion,

sion, kinds are distinguished externally by figure, air, manner, so clearly as not to escape even a child *. Nor does Divine Wisdom stop here: to complete the system, we are endued with an innate conviction, that each kind has properties peculiar to itself; and that these properties belong to every individual of the kind †. Our road to the knowledge of animals is thus wonderfully shortened: the experience we have of the disposition and properties of any animal, is applied without hesitation to every one of the kind. By that conviction, a child, familiar with one dog, is fond of others that resemble it : An European, upon the first sight of a cow in Africa, strokes it as gentle and innocent: and an African avoids à tiger in Hindostan as at home.

If the foregoing theory be well founded, neither experience nor argument is required to prove, that a horse is not an ass, or that a monkey is not a man [. In some individuals indeed, there is such a mixture of resemblance and dissimilitude, as to render it uncertain to what species they belong. But such instances are rare, and impinge not on the general law. Such questions may be curious, but they are of little use.

Whether *“ And out of the ground the Lord God formed every " beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought so them unto Adam to see what he would call them. And " Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air " and to every beast of the field.” Gen. ii. 19. + See Elements of Criticism, vol. ii.

p. 490.

edit. 5. See M. Buffon's Natural History,

Whether man be provided by nature with a faculty to distinguish innocent animals from what are noxious, seems not a clear point: such a faculty may be thought unnecessary to man, being supplied by reason and experience. But as reason and experience have little influence on brute animals, they undoubtedly possess that faculty *. A beast of prey would be ill fitted for its station, if nature did not teach it what creatures to attack, what to avoid. A rabbit is the prey of the ferret. Present a rabbit, even dead, to a young ferret that never had seen a rabbit: it throws itself upon the body, and bites it with fury. A hound has the same faculty with respect to a hare; and most dogs have it. Unless directed by nature, innocent animals would not know their enemy till they were in its clutches. A hare flies with precipitation from the first dog it ever saw; and a chicken. upon the sight of a kite, cowers under its die Social animals, without scruple, connect with to own kind, and as readily avoid others f. Kit

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* Brute animals have many instincts that are denied to man, because the want of them can be supplied by education. An infant must be taught to walk; and it is long before it 3cquires the art in perfection. Brutes have no teacher but 14ture. A foal, the moment it sees the light, walks no less perfectly than its parents. And so does a partridge, lapwing, &c.

Dente lupus, cornu taurus petit ; unde nisi intus
Monstratum.-

HORACE. | The populace about Smyrna have a cruel amusement. They lay the eggs of a hen in a stork's nest. Upon s erg the

chickens,

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