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necessary link in the chain.—MILLER'S FOOTPRINTS OF THE CREATOR.
COMPARISON BETWEEN GEOLOGICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN
As I passed, in the geologic apartment, from the older silurian to the newer tertiary, and then on from the newer tertiary to the votive tablets, sacrificial altars, and sepulchral memorials of the Anglo-Roman Gallery, I could not help comparing them as all belonging to one department. The antiquities piece on in natural sequence to the geology; and it seems but rational to indulge in the same sort of reasonings regarding them. They are the fossils of an extinct order of things, newer than the tertiary-of an extinct race, of an extinct religion, of a state of society and a class of enterprises which the world saw once, but which it will never see again. And with but little assistance from the direct testimony of history, one has to grope one's way along this comparatively modern formation, guided chiefly, as in the more ancient deposits, by the clue of circumstantial evidence. In at least its leading features, however, the story embodied is remarkably clear. First, we have evidence that in those remote times, when the northern half of the island had just become a home of men, the land was forest-covered, like the woody regions of North America, and that its inhabitants were rude savages, unacquainted with the metals, but possessed of a few curious arts which an after age forgot—not devoid of a religion which at least indicated the immortality of the soul, and much given to war. The extensive morass, in which huge trunks lie thick and frequent—the stone battle-axe -the flint arrow-head—the Druidic circle—the vitrified fort -the Picts' house—the canoe hollowed out of a single log, are all fossils of this early period. Then come the memorials of an after formation. This wild country is invaded by a much more civilized race than the one by which it is inhabited. We find distinct marks of their lines of march--of the forests which they cut down-of the encampments in which they entrenched themselves—of the battle-fields in which they were met in fight by the natives. And they too had their religion. More than half the remains which testify to their progress consist of sacrificial altars and votive tablets dedicated to the gods. The narrative goes on : another class of remains show us that a portion of the country was conquered by the civilized race. We find the remains of tessellated pavements, baths, public roads, the foundations of houses and temples, accumulations of broken pottery, and hoards of coin. Then comes another important clause in the story: we ascertain that the civilized people failed to conquer the whole of the northern country; and that in order to preserve what they had conquered, they were content to construct, at an immense expense of labour, a long chain of forts, connected by a strong wall flanked with towers. Had it been easier to conquer the rest of the country than to build the wall, the wall would not have been built. We learn further, however, that the laboriously built wall served its purpose but for a time : the wild people beyond at length broke over it; and the civilized invader, wearied out by their persevering assaults, which, though repelled to-day, had again to be repelled to-morrow, at length left their country to them entire, and, retreating beyond its farthest limits, built for his protection a second wall. Such is the history of this bygone series of occurrences, as written, if one may so speak, in the various fossils of the formation. The antiquities of a museum should always piece on to its geologic collection.MILLER'S FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND AND ITS PEOPLE.
1 Suggested in the Newcastle Museum.
THOUGHTS ON SUCCESSIVE NATIONAL ARTS AND CIVILISATIONS.1
Of these portions of the Museum which illustrate the history of the human mind in that of arts, I was most impressed with the Egyptian Section. The utensils which it exhibits that associate with the old domesticities of the Egyptiansthe little household implements which had ministered to the lesser comforts of the subjects of the Pharaohs—seem really more curious—at any rate more strange in their familiarity --than those exquisite productions of genius, the Laocoons, and Apollo Belvideres, and Venus de Medicis, and Phidian Jupiters, and Elgin marbles, which the Greek and Roman Sections exhibit. We have served ourselves heir to what the genius of the ancient nations has produced-to their architecture, their sculpture, their literature; our conceptions piece on to theirs with so visible a dependency, that we can scarce imagine what they would have been without them. We have been running new metal into our castings, artistic and intellectual; but it is the ancients who, in most cases, have furnished the moulds. And so, though the human mind walks in an often-returning circle of thought and invention, and we might very possibly have struck out for ourselves not a few of the Grecian ideas, even had they all perished during the middle ages-just as Shakspeare struck out for himself not a little of the classical thinking and imagery -We are at least in doubt regarding the extent to which this would have taken place. We know not whether our chance reproduction of Grecian idea would have been such a one as the reproduction of Egyptian statuary exhibited in the Aboriginal Mexican sculptures, or the reproduction of Runic tracery, palpable in the Polynesian carvings, or whether our inventions might not have expatiated, without obvious reproduction at all, in types indigenously Gothic. As heirs of the intellectual wealth of the ancients, and inheritors of the treasures which their efforts accumulated, we know not what sort of fortunes we would have carved out for ourselves had we been left to our own unassisted exertions. But we surely did not fall heir to the domestic inventions of the Egyptians. Their cooks did not teach ours how to truss fowls ; nor did their bakers show ours how to ferment their dough or mould their loaves ; nor could we have learned from them a hundred other household arts, of which we find both the existence and the mode of existence indicated by the antiquities of this Section ; and yet the same faculty of invention which they possessed-tied down in our as in their case by the wants of a common nature to expatiate in the same narrow circle of necessity—has reproduced them all. Invention in this case has been but restoration; and we find that, in the broad sense of the preacher, it has given us nothing new. What most impressed me, however, were the Egyptians themselves—the men of three thousand years ago still existing entire in their frame-work of bone, muscle, and sinew. It struck me as a very wonderful truth, in the way in which truths great in themselves, but commonplaced in their familiarity, do sometimes strike, that the living souls should still exist which had once animated these withered and desiccated bodies; and that in their separate state they had an interest in the bodies still. This much, amid all their darkness, even the old Egyptians knew; and this we-save where the vitalities of revelation influence—seem to be fast unlearning. It does appear strange, that men ingenious enough to philosophize on the phenomena of the parental relation on the mysterious connexion of parent and child—its palpable adaptation to the feelings of the human heart, and its vast influence on the destinies of the species-should yet find, in the doctrine of the resurrection, but a mere target against which to shoot their puny materialisms. It does not seem unworthy of the All Wise, by whom the human heart was moulded and the parental relation designed, that the immature “boy” of the present state of existence should be “father to the man” in the next; and that, as spirit shall be identical with spirit-the responsible agent with the panel at the bar —so body shall be derived from body, and the old oneness of the individual be thus rendered complete. “ Bound each to each by natural piety."
1 Suggested in the Rritish Museum.
Dependent, although in a lesser degree than plants and animals, on the soil, and on the meteorological processes of the atmosphere with which he is surrounded-escaping more rapidly from the control of natural forces, by activity of mind and the advance of intellectual cultivation, no less than by his wonderful capacity of adapting himself to all climates -man everywhere becomes most essentially associated with terrestrial life. The origin of the race, and the mode of its distribution over the earth's surface, become thus interesting questions in a general physical cosmography.1
The vast domain of language, in whose varied structure we see mysteriously reflected the destinies of nations, is most intimately associated with the affinity of races. The most important questions in the civilisation of mankind are connected with the ideas of races, community of language, and adherence to one original direction of the intellectual and moral faculties.
1 In this extract the origin of mankind is alluded to as a question of zoological science, considered apart from the informations of Scripture. “It still remains a question," says Colonel C. H. Smith, (Nat. Hist. of the Human Species, p. 113,) “whether mankind is wholly derived from a single species, divided by strongly marked varieties, or sprung successively or simultaneously from a genus, having no less than three distinct species, synchronizing in their creation, or produced by the hand of nature at different epochs, each adapted to the peculiar conditions of its period, and all endowed with the power of intermixing and reproducing filiations, up to a certain extent, in harmony with the intermediate locations, which circumstances, soil, climate, and food necessitate. Of these questions, the first is assuined to be answered in the affirmative."
As long as attention was directed solely to the extremes in varieties of colour and of form, and to the vividness of the first impression of the senses, the observer was naturally disposed to regard races rather as originally different species than as mere varieties. The permanence of certain types in the midst of the most hostile influences, especially of climate, appeared to favour such a view, notwithstanding the shortness of the interval of time from which the historical evidence was derived.
Geographical investigations regarding the ancient seat, the so-called cradle of the human race, are not devoid of a mythical character. “ We do not know,” says Wilhelm von Humboldt, in an unpublished work, On the varieties of Languages and Nations, “either from history or from authentic tradition, any period of time in which the human race has not been divided into social groups. Whether the gregarious condition was original, or of subsequent occurrence, we have no historic evidence to shew. The separate mythical relations found to exist independently of one another in different parts of the earth, appear to refute the first hypothesis, and concur in ascribing the generation of the whole human race to the union of one pair. The general prevalence of this myth has caused it to be regarded as a traditionary record transmitted from the primitive man to his descendants.”
The distribution of mankind is therefore only a distribution into varieties, which are commonly designated by the somewhat indefinite term races. As in the vegetable kingdom, and in the natural history of birds and fishes, a classification into many small families is based on a surer foundation than where large sections are separated into a few but large divisions ; so it also appears to me, that in the determination of races, a preference should be given to the establishment of small families of nations. Whether we adopt the old classification of my master, Blumenbach, and admit five races, (the Caucasian, Mongolian, American, Ethiopian, and Malayan,) or that of Pritchard, into seven races, (the Iranian, Turanian, American, Hottentots and Bushmen, Negroes, Papuas, and Alfonions,) we fail to recognise any typical sharpness of definition, or any general or well established principle in the division of these groups. The extremes of form and colour