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phibious mole, the frightful wombat, the wild dog that looked and howled a wolf, squirrels which flew, swans that were black, and various other specimens of helpless deformity and monstrous vitality, proper only to the spells of witchcraft--the poetry of disgusting terror.
Nor was man himself an exception: the lord of a soil, which seemed thus created by another power than that which moulded the elegant form of the antelope, and brightened the eye of the gazel, he was not formed to resemble those godlike creatures, whose high aspirations banished them their Eden, to people a scarcely less paradisaical earth with races of angelic form and glorious mind ;* he seemed of another creation, a specimen apart from man.
In his person he was all deformity and disproportion; in his intellectual frame he was all density and insensibility. His head was immense and misshapen, his
eyes dim and sunk, his brows bushy, and his mouth, (frightful as that of a crocodile) opened extravagantly wide to show enormous teeth above a prominent lower jaw. His nose was flat, his nostrils wide, his colour swarthy, his hair long and straight, his limbs dwindled, his trunk swollen, and his whole aspect horrible and disgusting. Thus framed by nature, his appearance was still further degraded by the symbols of brutal taste, and of fierce cruelty, with which he adorned his unsightly person. The teeth of men or of kangaroos were fastened in his gum-clotted hair; the bones of fish were stuck through his nostrils! and incisions made in his arms and breasts marked his callous insensibility to pain.
“ Naked and unaccommodated," he was indifferent to the inclemencies of clime and season, and inapprehensive of decency: humanity has in vain interfered to improve his native condition; and civilisation has failed to draw him within her lines. As huntsman, he still made the hollow of a tree his den ; as fisherman, a hole in the rock his dwelling. He slept, like the wild beast of the forest, the deep sleep of fatigue and surfeit; and he awakened, with. out forethought or fear of the coming day, to destroy, or to be destroyed, with equal indifference.
* Blumenbach is inclined to believe that the primitive form of the human race was that which belongs to the Caucasian variety : from the finely formed head of this race, as from a primitive configuration, the other forms descend by an easy and simple gradation, on the one hand to the Mongolian, on the other to the Ethiopian variety.
Human nature could go no lower: yet this defective and ill-conditioned creature, this unideal and unawakened animal, had one strong moral conviction—that of his own superiority over the female of his own species !
He believed that woman was of another nature from himself, and that he was born her master-she his servant by the divine right of the strongest. He marked her at the hour of her birth for his slave, by breaking the joints of her fore-fingers; he renewed the covenant of his supremacy in her first youth by knocking out her front teeth ; and when he elected this bond-slave as the object of his passions, he intimated his preference by spitting in her face, and forcing her to his den. Thus affianced through contempt and suffering, the servant submitted, and the master assumed, uncontrolled, a power of life, death, and property over her.* He loaded her shoulders (wounded by his stripes) with weights which his own indolence refused to bear, and speared her to the earth, if she resisted the imposition.
It is curious to inquire into the nature of the creature thus subjugated and ill-treated. * In the women of New Holland,” (says a modern voyager) “ that feminine delicacy, which is to be found among white people, was to be traced in their dusky cheeks; and though the female, like the male, may be seen in the streets of Sydney and Paramatta scarcely more draped by the hand of modesty than the first mother in Paradise, yet the habit of their savage state has not extinguished all instinct and moral feelingfor they blush."
These victims of violence, then, have a moral feeling ; they have, too, as all writers on their nation declare, a devotedness, the general characteristic of their sex of all races; and amidst all the sufferings they endure, and all the wrongs to which they submit, they are the depositaries of what little virtue distinguishes their tribe from the brutes of the field. Such is the relation of the sexes in the last discovered specimens of humanity, the unclassed race of an unknown creation, the “ woman and her master” of the southern regions.
*" Their remorseless cruelty, their unfeeling barbarity to their women and children, their immoderate revenge for the most trivial affronts, their want of natural affection, are hardly redeemed by the slightest trait of goodness. They are insensible to all distinctions, and without any idea of a supreme being and a future state."
Lawrence on the Natural History of Man. Peron also observes " that the natives of Van Diemen's Land are the most wretched examples of the rudest barbarism."
Passing to the further extremity of the globe, across the world of waters of the great Pacific, to the vast tracts in the northern regions of America, tribes are still found living in their primitive savagery, as when they were first discovered by Columbus. Centuries of suspicious intercourse have passed between the Europeans and the Red Man of North America ; yet there he is, as he was first discovered (probably as he was first formed) roaming for subsistence among those mighty mountains which “unchain the winds,” and threading those gloomy forests which embosom inland seas, to share with the beasts of prey the gentler races of frugivorous animals.
Inacessible to the improvements of civilisation, though passionately addicted to its vices, sensual, selfish, slothful, sullen, and saturnine, the Red Man is only to be roused from his lair to wage a fierce warfare for food, or for security; and, in those beautiful tracts where intelligent in. dustry would have created abundance, he escapes famine by carnage only. His dwindling tribes are rapidly disappearing, through the havoc of their own untameable passions and wasteful violence. Where to-day he stood ferocious and powerful, to-morrow not a trace of his savage existence is to be found ; where his warriors were lately congregated in fierce array, the rank grass of the prairie now flourishes spontaneously; and the trophy of scalps so proudly and recently erected by the hero of “the bloody mouth,” is not more perishable and ephemeral, than he whose prowess and triumphs it was destined to commemorate.
The brief and the bloody story of the Red Man of the northern hemisphere, the destroyer and the destroyed, is thus soon told." Yet he, too, all savage as he is, has a seeming consciousness of some divine law, authorizing him to assume a despotic supremacy over the female of his
species. Wallowing in indolence, when not wallowing in blood, he leaves to the woman, his servant, all the labour, forethought, and ingenuity, necessary for the wants of his savage interior; and he lies basking before his proud “ standard of the pheasant, or shaded by his broad shield of the buffalo, while his woman performs the drudgery of a beast of burthen, in the consciousness of her inability to resist the violence and tyranny of her master.
Still the suffering servant of the Red Man of the North, like the slave of the dark man of Australia, is described by all writers, and recently by one of the most distinguished, as a creature eminently endowed with moral sensibility.* She distinguishes the brave from the craven, and loves and imitates the only virtue which adorns her master; for she is an admirer of glory, and has a rude appreciation of renown. She has a moral courage, too,t that supports her under the most arduous enterprises. She is moved by a deep, devoted tenderness for the child of her bosom; exercising in its rearing and education, a providence, a forecast, and a self-denial, sometimes wanting in the mothers of a more policized society. Among the numerous nomadic tribes which
оссиру central and northern Asia, woman ranges on a still lower degree in the scale of consideration. Regarded as a necessary evil, as a creature inferior to man, and odious to the gods, her fine maternal organization, the cause of her intellectual excellence, renders her only the object of pro
* The female of the Esquimaux (who belongs to the American variety) appears to have, in common with the woman of the South Sea Islands, a more delicate fabric than the male ; and “ her eloquent blood” is often seen bearing testimony to her more sentient nature. • The complexion of the male Esquimaux” (says Chappell) " is of a dusky yellow, but some young women have a little colour bursting through this dark iint. The smallness of their hands and feet is also remarkable."--Narralive of a Voyage to Hudson's Bay.
f A Sioux squaw is described in the Astoria of Washington Irving as possessing the highest qualities of resignation and devotedness. “Her fortitude, patience, and resignation shone out conspicuously, even among the robust and well-seasoned fellows who composed the band. On her journey she brought forth a child; the following day she joined the party to which her husband was attached, and proceeded on the journey. Her fortitude never deserted her, though exposed to the brutal violence of her savage husband ; and her courage, which was continually put to trying tests, bore her through every calamity unflinching."
found contempt; and the delicate and complicated arrangements, which, in the estimate of superior natures, rank
“ Heaven's last best work,” mark her out to her lord as the predestined agent of his lowest appetites, the victim of his capricious violence and wanton cruelty. The wretched condition of the Siberian women, more especially, is attested by all writers who have made the inferior nature of the Mongol man the subject of their inquiry; and the story of this portion of the human species is one uninterrupted series of hardship and humiliation, in which every evil and mortification that can embitter and degrade is accumulated.
By a strange inconsistency, however, these victims of injustice, these patient bond-slaves, who as wives are repudiated, as slaves are sold, who are debased, tortured, and put to death at the caprice of their task-masters, are not the less objects of superstitious fear, as presumed possessors of a mysterious power, arising in some undefined intellectual superiority, some sorceress-like enchantment, which holds in awe and apprehension their tyrants and oppressors. Whatever accident befalls their master, whatever evil overshadows his path, which his dense dulness cannot otherwise account for, he never-failingly assigns to the spell of some over-wise woman of his tribe : and unable, as he believes, to cope with her intellectual superiority, he flies for refuge to superior brute force; putting to death, without trial or accusation, the magician he suspects, and the victim he fears.
But how fares it with woman in that burning region, whose children bask in eternal sunshine, where the blood flows through the throbbing veins in volcanic torrents, where no iceberg chills, no snow-storm freezes, where the coasts are sanded with gold, and the bosorn of the earth is studded with diamonds ! What is woman in Africa, what the daughters of the African aborigines, the Negroes -the darkest illustrations of the Ethiopian variety !*
The Negro, with his low, narrow, and slanting fore-)
According to Blumenbach, there are five varieties of the human species ;~the Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay. The Caucasian (from Mount Caucasus) includes all the European nations, ancient and modern; the former and present inhabitants of Western