Popular Science Monthly/Volume 53/September 1898/The Evolution of Colonies: Immigrants and Indigenes III
|THE EVOLUTION OF COLONIES.|
FROM the simplest plant to the heart and brain of the world's-L chief denizen the organic kingdoms are the prey of a myriad parasites. These are outsiders and insiders, living in or upon the skin of their host, or burying themselves in its cavities and tissues, bones and vital organs. They are strongest and most numerous in the lower species, which can offer least resistance. If the Epizoa are sometimes accidentally useful, the class as a whole is injurious. But they are not less destructive to themselves. They sink in the scale of being through atrophy of their parts till they are no longer recognizable. What is the sociological significance of this strange blot on the face of Nature? It has been ingeniously suggested that parasitism is the insurrection of the vanquished lowest species against the higher species that have supplanted them in the possession of the earth; and the view may be found as philosophical as it is picturesque.
Commensalism arises when, besides living by their means, if no longer at their cost, the inferior species render a service to the superior. Certain crustaceans eat the excrement of fishes, and thus purify the water. One species of birds hunts parasites in the crocodile's throat, another clears the elephant's back of them. The scavenger vulture and hyena banquet on the remains of the carnivore's feast. The struggle for existence between two species, direct in parasitism, is indirect in commensalism.
Rivalry gives place to coalition. Different species of birds ally for safety. The sentinel ostrich warns troops of gazelles, zebras, and quaggas. Conversely, the Abyssinian damon unconsciously protects the lizard and ichneumon. Mutualism is a prophecy of the coexistence of alien peoples.
These three types of relationship among animals—parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism—exhaust the possible forms of relationship between the immigrants who land in a new country and the indigenes whom they find there.
I. Desert islands or other unoccupied portions of the earth's surface having been at all times scarce, outside the books of Rousseau and Defoe, the would-be settlers in a promised or desired land have usually found themselves face to face with a native people in prior occupation of the soil. Like the penguins on the Auckland Islands, or the birds in the Australian forest, these peoples have no instinctive fear of the white man. They are not shy nor without provocation hostile. They are eager to trade, willing to sell their land, glad to have the foreigner in their midst. Things do not run smoothly very long. The natives, being still imperfectly initiated in the distinction between meum and tuum, "convey" the white man's coveted possessions. Harsh reprisals convert the black or the red man's passions into mere powder magazines. Or the rape of some red or black Helen fires another Troy. Realizing at last that it is pro focis they have to fight, they unite against the Yenghese or the Pakeha as they have never united against one another. The warfare has different fortunes in different ages. It was impossible before the invention of arms of precision, so that America could not have been colonized had there been an earlier Columbus. It was at its hardest in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the weapons of civilization were but little superior to those of barbarism. It is at its easiest now, when the breechloader has first made man the undisputed lord of creation, alike over wild beasts and wilder men. The issue grows daily more assured with every new invention, and Marconi's discovery hastens the advent of the era of omnipotent science imagined by Renan, when, like the mere gaze of the Brahman, the very approach or the most distant action of a scientifically equipped community will insure its victory over a barbaric race.
The resulting peace is sometimes enduring. The Massachusetts treaty with Massasoit was loyally observed for over half a century; the pacification of the Maoris lasted for twelve or fourteen years—an almost equal space of time in our swifter age. But it gets always broken sooner or later, and usually by one grand peace-breaker. When Chief-Justice Marshall ruled that the declaration of sovereignty over a territory carried with it, subject to the rights of prior occupancy, the paramount ownership of all land within that territory, he laid down a principle that has proved the fruitful mother of native wars in every quarter of the globe. Not that it has ever been universally accepted. Roger Williams disavowed it beforehand. The British Government has ostensibly acted on a very different canon. And there has been in every colony a strong minority, at times converting itself into a majority, to which the landed rights of the natives were sacred. None the less has Marshall's decision been the nerve of every colonizing advance. In the spirit of it the colonial legislatures pass laws and the courts make rules for the acquisition of native lands; doubtful sales are made by unauthorized members of tribes; not overscrupulous governments and altogether unscrupulous private individuals acquire wide tracts; the natives see their land slipping away from them; if they are not to become landless fugitives, they must make a final stand. Hence there is, almost always, in the relations with savage peoples, a second war; this time pro aris—for their right to keep the land which is, as it were, an extension of their tribal selves; to take which is to wound, dismember, or destroy them. Such was the cause of the native insurrections in North America in the first half of the eighteenth century, of the Maori war of the sixties, of the Matabele rising the other day, of a dozen different savage rebellions. The colonists summon up their power for a decisive struggle, and the natives are again beaten. On the colonial side there has been a profuse sacrifice of life, villages burned and towns destroyed; on the native side, a ruin still more terrible. Two thirds of the population may have been killed, as in Hispaniola; tribes have been broken up; the soul of a people has been slain.
The mother country has all this while not looked on at the spectacle with listless eyes or folded hands. In general it may be said that the degree of compassion felt for the natives is in exact proportion to the distance of the sympathizers from the objects of their sympathy. The colonists of the North Island of New Zealand, everywhere in peril from the Maoris and eager for their lands, have always been strongly anti-Maori; those of the South Island, perfectly disinterested and out of danger, are nobly philo-Maori; while the home Government, thirteen thousand miles away, has been from first to last the strenuous defender of the Maori. It is an "undoubted maxim," said Mr. Gladstone in 1846, "that the crown should stand in all matters between the colonists and the natives." Nine years earlier a committee of the House of Commons declared, possibly by the same eloquent voice, that England "will tolerate no scheme which implies violence or fraud in taking possession of. . . territory, will no longer subject itself to the guilt of conniving at oppression, and will take upon itself the task of defending those who are too weak and too ignorant to defend themselves." To this honorable line of action the British Government, outside of India, has, until lately, steadfastly adhered. It reluctantly annexed the islands of New Zealand, to save the natives from the settlers. It resisted the interested clamors of a powerful and avaricious company to annul the treaty of Waitangi, which secured the Maoris in possession of their lands. It appointed successive protectors of the aborigines—incorruptible officials like the late Walter Mantell. It sent out governors whose first duty was to the natives and only their second to the colonists; and the reality of the guardianship is shown by the facts that it led to the recall of one Governor, made a second resign, and got a third so constantly into hot water with his ministers that he too was recalled. Other governments have acted similarly. The wrongs of the Mexicans reached the tender heart of Isabella, who did the little that she could to modify the ferocity of her subjects; Las Casas was appointed protector of the Indians. Certain others have a more dubious record. M. de Varigny claims that merciless suppression and brutal repression are alike repugnant to the French character. Neither was always repugnant. It is barely half a century since Pelissier smoked the Arabs in Algerian caves. "The welfare of my service requires," commanded Louis XIV, "that the number of the Iroquois should be diminished as much as possible"; they were to be shipped for galley slaves. In 1736 the welfare of Louisiana required that the Chickasaws should be reduced, and two years were unsuccessfully given to that end. Severity is still less alien to the German character. In 1892 and 1897 two governors of German East Africa were recalled for applying too literally the avowed maxim of one of them that the lower races were to be governed by "the stick"; and a few months ago a third German administrator was called to account for cruelty to the Africans.
Public opinion in the mother country is usually divided; a single cross-section will show in what ways. "The agnostics don't send missionaries to Cochin China," cries the pulpit; North America was not colonized by the sensualistic school of philosophy, dogmatizes Bancroft. Yet the leaders of these very schools champion the cause of the oppressed. When Governor Eyre and his subordinates were prosecuted in 1866 for having suppressed a negro rebellion in Jamaica with needless cruelty, it was Mill, then at the height of his fame, who instituted the prosecution, and he was backed by Spencer, not yet at the meridian of a career that was to eclipse Mill's, and by Huxley, coiner of the word agnostic. Is it that there is a close connection between a belief in evolution and a fellow-feeling for the lower races from which we sprang? On the same side were the radicals, advocates of political freedom, the philanthropists, the "nonconformist conscience," and the evangelicals, who believe that negroes have souls. The opposite side was led by Carlyle, fresh from Frederick and his peculiar methods; Ruskin, with lance in rest against a new windmill; idolized Tennyson; Kingsley a Froude at heart, if not in act—England's best and greatest on the spiritualistic side; men to whom the distance between the white and the colored races was infinite, investing the former with absolute rights. With them were the military and official classes, high churchmen and conservatives generally. '
Sometimes there is a humanitarian sentiment in the air, as in that same year when a chief justice could charge violently against the Jamaica authorities, and the Tory leader (then Lord Robert Cecil) was so far carried away as to lament that white men held the lives of others cheap because they had a black skin. It is far otherwise now. High-handed modes of building up an empire enlist many defenders. "You can not make an omelette without breaking the eggs," cynically quotes M. Cherbuliez. Clive would find few calumniators in our days. Hastings would run no risk of impeachment. Dupleix would not be sacrificed. Frere would not be recalled. The protests of the Aborigines Protection Society against Stanley's "wading through slaughter to" Emin raise no echo. The humianitarian wave of the last generation is spent.
The devil's advocate has always plenty to say for himself. The savages practiced sanguinary rites, like the Ashantis and the Dahomans. They were the allies of our enemies, like the Hurons (say the English), like the Iroquois (say the Erench). They were already exterminating themselves, like the red Indians and Maoris, when we interposed and saved the remnant. They were being destroyed by strong drink and swindled by landsharks, like these same Maoris. They were a disturbing element on our frontier, like the Afridis. They were naked and bestial and a gang of murderers, like all the East Africans. They were a hindrance to the occupation of the soil—in short, they kept the land we wanted to take. "The starving white man must be satisfied," frankly confesses Mr. Stanley, "or he will grow ugly."
The would-be saint's advocate has some difficulty in replying. He condemns, even now, the fraud, injustice, and oppression that are the foundation stones of British India. At a far greater distance of time he still condemns the ruthless exterminating war against man and beast which the Hebrew's waged in Canaan. He listens with sympathy to Emerson's manly protest against the deportation of the Cherokees, and to Richard Howitt's and William Howitt's diatribes against colonization as giving the lie to Christianity. He reads (with an effort) the earnest plaidoyer in behalf of the Maoris which Mr. Rusden calls a History of New Zealand. He acknowledges it to be the glory of the sex that the three most powerful appeals ever made for justice to a native race have been made by women—in world-famous Uncle Tom's Cabin, Mrs. Helen Hunt Jackson's pathetic Ramona, and Olive Schreiner's thrilling story, Peter Halket. He notes with respect the attitude of the honest official who resigns his office because of unfulfilled promises to the natives of a whole island, or that of the private citizen who refuses to subscribe to the Imperial Institute because of unrepaired injustice to a single tribe. He is, nevertheless, obliged to admit, with the sage of Concord, that these things "look very differently to the centuries and to the years." The whole religious future of the world was bound up with the Hebrew conquest of Canaan, of which the ruthless barbarity may have been a necessary incident. The British occupation of India is a shining fact in history. The colonization of the savage-ridden spaces of the globe has swamped the inevitable accompanying crimes with a flood of benefits. A territory belongs by right divine to the race that can most profitably occupy it. But even in Nature's Jesuitism the end does not justify the means. Every step toward it must be just. All treaties must be honestly contracted and loyally observed, all promises kept, all rights respected. There shall be no personal injustice or oppression. Where the balance seems equally poised, the native scale shall be weighted. Pre-eminently, the surrender or confiscation of land shall correspond rather to the decline of the indigenes than to the increase of the colonists.
It would be easier to prove the converse and show that the decline of the natives has followed the loss of their lands. Yet history reveals a surprising amount of equity in transactions where the colonists were under no compulsion. In New England every acre was long scrupulously paid for; and this was the case in other States, as Parkman has shown. In New Zealand millions of acres have been purchased by the Government at a reasonable price. Laws were passed and courts set up in both countries to protect the natives. Where purchase was impracticable, as with the nomadic Australian blacks, the colonial Government has assumed a benevolent trusteeship. It has provided food and clothing, houses, implements and land, hospitals, doctors and medicine, schools and churches. The southern Maoris have been treated with less tardy and more compulsory benevolence. All such are parasites at the table of their invaders—interlopers on the lands they once freely roamed over or rudely cultivated. The more savage indigenes who live on the frontier of settlements, like many red Indian tribes so long, like the last integral fragment of the Maoris in the wild Uriwera country, like the blacks of the Australian north and northwest, have but rare relations with the colonists. They may swoop down from their fastnesses or crowd in from the forest, and threaten or imperil or destroy a colony, thus resembling epidemics of typhus and cholera, which are literally invasions of bacteria; but these descents become ever fewer as the natives grow weaker and the colonists are better able to cope with them. In a peaceful state they resemble the Epizoa and may even, like that class of animal parasites, render accidental services by teaching the colonists certain kinds of cultivation, as the Indians taught the New-Englanders to grow maize and the Maoris taught the New-Zealanders to grow sweet potatoes.
Some of these colonial parasites, having received a start, become self-supporting by tilling the lands that have been graciously left them. These become almost alien elements in the young society, slightly connected with it through government superintendence or missionary labor, as the Maoris or Blackfellows, or altogether unconnected with it, as the Arabs and Kabyles of Algeria. Their nomadic and more dependent kinsmen are true commensals in that they live, as in Australia, on the offal of animals newly killed by settlers, some milk given them, and the use of their dogs for hunting; or, as in South America, they receive from the Government used-up horses for food. They render services in return. The South American rastreador, the black police of Queensland, and the hundreds of black trackers who have followed criminals into the bush with extraordinary skill and no little courage, are the human parallels of many species of birds.
We rise to mutualism when the lower races are employed as troops, and this has its degrees. They are used as combatants in their own ways, like the red Indians during the wars between the French and English in North America in the last century, the tame South American Indians in the war against the wild Indians in 1832, and the Hottentots in South Africa in 1859. There is more organization in the Houssas and other African troops now enlisted on the Gold Coast. The Bengal Lancers and the once dangerous Sikh infantry are the pride of British India; and the ferocious Apaches have lately been trained into obedient and disciplined soldiers. All colored peoples are employed as carriers, and many as guides, boatmen, divers, and what not. The reciprocity or the rivalry of play is perhaps higher than that of work or fighting. The Australian blacks have defeated a white team at cricket, and the Maori footballer ranks high in a footballing colony.
11. The immediate effect of the contact with white immigrants is invariably disastrous and in certain cases fatal to the indigenes. The law has been correctly stated by Mr. Benjamin Kidd. Wherever the climate is so temperate that white men can not only reside and work but also multiply, the native race in occupation must inevitably disappear. An addendum is, however, needed. The limit of such residence is no hard-and-fast line, but a vanishing point, which is being driven ever nearer the equator and nearer the poles. French settlers accustom themselves to Lower Canada and to Algeria, American to Alaska and Texas, English to Nova Scotia and Guiana. Australian farmers are not deterred by 120° in New South Wales. Queensland sugar planters are multiplying in the tropics. Gold diggers rush equally to torrid Coolgardie and frozen Klondike. Within these wide limits the indigenous races are everywhere melting away. They are merely the last of the vanquished. The softer native grasses have been eaten out by the sturdy European grasses. Native plants have been exterminated by imported plants or driven to the hills. The Norway rat has expelled the native rat. The moa is to be found only in museums; the emu, the kangaroo, and the wallaby are in full retreat. None of them can make a living in competition with stronger species. It is not otherwise with man. The white man destroys the black man's game or cultivates the red man's land, and both are driven into the sterile interior. By some undiscovered correlation the birth rate adjusts itself to the food supply, and few children are born. Other causes are assigned, but they might be shown to be a continuation of causes in operation before the white immigration. The chief cause is the effect on the reproductive system. To it mainly is due the decline of the Hawaiians, Maoris, and Australian blacks during the present century, of which statistics have been kept. Even where food is supplied, the decline continues. Like the ancient Hebrews and other Eastern nationalities, like the inhabitants of mediæval villages, like Circassians and Cherokees—forcible dislocations which but continued their own involuntary migrations—the surviving Tasmanian aboriginals were transported to an island in Bass's Strait, the change apparently precipitating the decline, for children ceased to be born; the remnant was brought back to their native island, which, twelve years ago, witnessed the total extinction of a once vigorous race.
A people may disappear by absorption, aiding extinction. There was a time in the history of French Canada when it was on the point of realizing the Jesuit ideal of a continent inhabited by a mixed race of reds and whites. The missionaries Samuel Marsden and Lawry, the eminent governor, Sir George Grey, and a well-informed writer in the Edinburgh Review, believed that a blended race of Maoris and English would dwell in the islands of the Southern Cross. How far the colony is now from so undesirable a consummation will appear from the fact that fewer than five thousand half-castes are sown through a population of seven hundred and twenty thousand. There is, however, a steady advance in their numbers. While the pure-blooded Maoris have in five years declined by one eleventh, the number of half-castes has in the same period increased by nearly one sixth. The figures relating to the blacks of New South Wales are still more striking. There has been a continuous decrease of the full-bloods and a steady increase of the half-breeds, so that in the present year the latter have at length overtaken the former. The miscegenation has its picturesque incidents. The regal dignity of Montezuma clothes with barbaric grandeur two noble Spanish houses; the blood of Pocahontas flows proudly in Virginian veins; beauty visibly descends from the valor of Eauparaha, and prestige has not deserted the offspring of Te Heu Heu. It may be looked upon as the undesigned atonement which the immigrant makes to the aboriginal for robbing him of his country; and the amount of mixed blood is at length the aboriginal's sole share in the population of the land he once monopolized.
The agencies accelerating or retarding the inevitable progression toward the two termini have an interest melancholy or cheering, but superficial. The white man's drink, diseases, vices, and crimes are partly offset by the benefits of imperial trusteeship, missionary labor, and the contagion of white settlement. The first is real but distant; the value of the second is chiefly initial, and the action of the last is powerful but unconscious. The home government is beneficent when it protects the natives from the avarice of the settlers, and often maleficent in the guise of beneficence, as in the "insensate negrophilism" of the English at Sierra Leone, or in the sad comedy of conferring French citizenship on the blacks of Senegal and the Antilles. The utility of missionary work is much contested in the colonies, where it can not be denied that the missionaries have done well for themselves and their families. Even clergymen, from Sydney Smith to Canon Isaac Taylor, have exulted over "the great missionary failure." Whatever may be the case in India or Africa, throughout one wide colonizing region—that of the South Seas—this great failure has been an unquestionable success. A whole race, in a variety of families—Hawaiians, Tahitans, Tongans, Samoans, and Maoris—has been raised several degrees in the scale of civilization. Missionaries, and they alone, have done this great thing. Yet, as with the mocking finale to Heine's finest songs, one has to qualify this high eulogy by asking whether they have not smoothed the path of these people to the grave. They have paved the way for colonization by breaking down the resistance of the natives, and they have insured that a warlike race shall die ingloriously in its bed. The influence of the surrounding settlers begins where that of the missionaries leaves off. Governed by imitation, the natives procure seeds, implements, and cattle, and farm like whites. This stage lasts as long as they keep their land; when from misfortune it goes, the tribe is gone. At this stage there may be much mimicry of civilization: the younger members may distinguish themselves at colonial schools and colleges, the elder as legislators and bishops; there may be land works and water mills, printing presses and newspapers; they may even increase in numbers. When it passes, they sink into parasites. Like other parasites, they lose their original characteristics. The Talleyrands and Metternichs whom Bishop Hadfield was acquainted with in New Zealand, and the chiefs whom Maning found as great in their own world as Pompeius and Cæsar in theirs, have disappeared like those ancient worthies. The Maori can no longer wield the merè nor the Australian the boomerang.
III. The destructive effect of the parasite on its host has its parallel in the reaction on the individuals of higher races who come in contact with the indigenes. The residence of some of these precedes systematic colonization. Of one hundred and fifty pakehas scattered over the North Island of New Zealand before it was annexed—runaway sailors, escaped convicts, and other loose characters—the best known was one Rutherford, an English sailor, whom the Maoris forced to stay with them, tattooed, gave two daughters of a chief to wife, and kept among them for years, living in all outward respects like a savage, till at last he made his escape. That he did not quite sink spiritually to the level of his captors is shown by the interesting account of their habits and customs which he dictated to Prof. G. L. Craik, afterward incorporated by him in his valuable New-Zealanders of 1830. In every way the most remarkable was the famous Frederick Edward Maning. What motive—whim, disappointment, disgust with civilization, or latent savagery in himself—induced an educated man of superior abilities to cast in his lot with a race of cannibals has not transpired. A son of Anak, and possessing rare force of character, he was able for many years to hold his own in a community whose laws were more terrible than lawlessness. Such a man can never have been other than an alien at heart, but with his Maori wives, and conforming to Maori usages (cannibalism, it is to be hoped, excepted), he was outwardly a barbarian. he too broke away at last, and when colonization advanced, his knowledge and experience amply fitted him for the difficult post of a native land court judge. It fitted him still better for writing the most vivid account of a native race that has ever been thrown into literature. A more pathetic case is that of a professor of classics in Columbia College, New York, who, from disgust with the world, led a life of savage isolation in Queensland, where fifteen years ago he was speared by the blacks. The North American continent has seen crowds of such men. Daniel Boone was a type of the trapper who was half Indian. General Sam Houston, who had been adopted by the Cherokees as a boy, returned to his adopted father's tribe after he had made himself unpopular in Congress, assumed its dress, and lived with it for three years. Lewis Morgan naturalized himself as an Iroquois in order to study the social structure of that people. Parkman qualified himself to be the historian of the same dying race by the rough initiation of actual residence, and the story of miscegenation that he tells seems to borrow some of its fascination from observation at close quarters. There were remains of it when he wrote (in 1851), but its flourishing days belong to a full century earlier. Then the French immigrants gave prophetic confirmation of Bismarck's mot, "Scratch a Frenchman, and you come upon the red Indian." Red Indians they became. "The manners of savages" wrote one of them, are perfectly agreeable to my palate." They were adopted members of Indian tribes, had squaws and reared a dusky brood, decorated and painted, danced, hunted, and took scalps; even Count Frontenac, Governor of Canada, plumed and painted, danced and yelled. Naturally, they sank to the moral level of their associates, caught their habits, imbibed their prejudices, drank in their superstitions. Frontenac burned Iroquois prisoners; Lovigny tortured Iroquois ambassadors to death. More tragical still, the fugitives from civilization, or those who had been captured by Indians, when found and brought back, sat sullen and angry, and escaped when they could to the free forest life. Women who had been carried off from New England villages in childhood were recovered and fêted, but soon fled to their warriors and Indian children. When we condemn the savages who have reverted to their old life after being inured to civilized ways we forget the hundreds of whites who have made a far greater drop. The deterioration resembles that of horses, cattle, and other domesticated animals that have been turned adrift or broken loose in a wild country. Its degree differs in different races. The instinctive repugnance which makes it so hard for an Englishman to govern sympathetically any race but his own is here his safeguard. He intermarries or worse, but does not so greatly sink. He either disentangles himself or raises his partner to his own level. His household then becomes a normal English home.
As the savage eats the heart of his slain enemy to acquire his courage, have we miscegenated the lower races unto ourselves to gain something of the unique qualities they possess? It is impossible that the infiltration of their blood into that of a colony, weeded out as it soon is, should not proportionately affect the sentiments, beliefs, and actions of the young community. There are even writers who maintain that there can be no real interracial influence without inter-mixture. What part has the alien element played in deeply Indianized Lower Canada? How much of his genius does the naturalist, psychologist, and novelist with whom Canada dowered England owe to the strain of Indian blood in him? The Spanish-American, Garcilasso de la Vega, is a unique example of a blend yielding a historian of the races blended.
Whether due to interbreeding or to mere coexistence, the part of the primitive races in contemporary civilization is being daily aggrandized. The so-called Aryan peoples are shown to be a mere prolongation of the neolithic races. A number of specialists adduce evidence from laws of succession, folklore, archaic customs, and archæological remains to prove that existing British institutions strike their roots down through Teutonic invaders and their Celtic forerunners to races that occupied the soil ages before.
The reactions of the lower indigenous peoples on their conquerors have been of a more spiritual sort. They have been phonographed in the vast literature bequeathed by the navigators and travelers, missionaries, military and naval officers, civil officers, and settlers who have visited or been resident among them. How extensive that literature is will appear from the fact that the bibliography of a single colony with less than sixty years of existence, and less than eight hundred thousand of a population, contains over twelve hundred articles. This great quarry is of incommensurable but unequal value: 1. It is often uncritical. The facts have not been accurately reported, as has been shown in detail of the Tasmanians; or they have been misinterpreted, as when a group of obscene songs have been published as Maori myths; or (as Mr. Taylor has proved) missionaries have imported their own theological beliefs into their accounts of the beliefs of savages. 2. Much of it is unsympathetic. Observers have not imported enough. They have failed to see in these peoples men with feelings and thoughts akin to their own. The savage's fetich worship and the barbarian's Nature worship are far from being the wild absurdities they are sometimes represented to be, but are as rational as the Calvinism and Wordsworthism which are their offspring. The more we know of the lower races, as of the lower animals, the more we discover that all organic Nature was made (as Newton put it) "at one cast" 3. It is not always scientific. There are few travelers like Humboldt or Darwin, few missionaries like Taylor or Callaway, few officials like Schoolcraft, nor in the absence of special researches do even these know what to look for or what questions to ask. Hence races perish or institutions disappear before their secret has been wrung from them. Perverse science is as mischievous as none. A foregone conclusion made of Lewis Morgan's ponderous volume on the classificatory system of Indian relationships a monument of misapplied ingenuity. Led astray by the same Will-o'-the-wisp, two instructed inquirers discovered among the Australian blacks the existence of polygamy on a scale that out-Solomons Solomon. Future researches will be better guided. Twenty years ago the British Association issued a list of queries, and students of special subjects have catechised missionaries and other residents abroad.
On these foundations has been reared what Max Müller disdainfully names agriology, what the late Mr. Freeman, the historian, invidiously styled "Mr. Taylor's science" and what is, in fact, the science of sociology. In its pre-scientific stage it consisted of premature generalizations on an insufficient basis of facts, such as are to be found in the still interesting works of Goguet and De Brosses, Monboddo and Kaimes. Sometimes it gave rise to a great idea in other sciences. Observing the poverty-stricken flora and fauna of Australia, Cook mused on the agencies which kept the Australians within the limits of subsistence. His speculations dropped in Malthus's pregnant mind the seed of the law of population. As is better known, that law put into Darwin's hands the key to organic evolution. Cook begat Malthus and Malthus begat Darwin—that is the genealogy of natural selection. Special researches began. Prof. John Millar's Origin of Ranks, of which the third edition was published so long ago as 1781, shows how near a man may be to a discovery without making it. Only after eighty years did his inchoate speculation issue in the most finished piece of inductive research that sociology has to show—McLennan's Primitive Marriage. Mr. Tylor, the best-equipped and most judicious of contemporary sociographers, has skillfully tracked social phenomena on a dozen different lines all round the globe. And these pioneers have been followed by a host of explorers, from Florence to Stockholm and from Moscow to San Francisco. Systematic science at last arrives. Comte named and rightly placed sociology in the circle, or the tree, of the sciences, and his prior treatise is enriched with a wealth of thought unequaled since Montesquieu. But his construction is vitiated by the mechanical conception of society that bore such Dead Sea fruit in the Politique; and without the indispensable foundations supplied by a study of primitive peoples it is a mere "Spanish castle" a structure in the air. A vital conception of society and the tracing of existing institutions, rites, and ideas to their roots in these peoples made Herbert Spencer the true founder of sociology. The carving out of the social subsciences—a task that baffled the keen intellect of Mill—was struck off by this great thinker at a heat. The classification which forms the skeleton of his Descriptive Sociology is an analytical masterpiece that evoked the enthusiasm of Taine. As it has already been made by two able assistants (Dr. Duncan and Dr. Scheppig) the framework of exhaustive descriptions of the savage and semi-civilized races, so will it be the schema of all future sociological research.
Art as well as science has been born of the contact with indigenes. A contemporary artist has happily the "idea" of the Indian maiden—so mysterious, 60 near to Nature, so remote from ourselves. Chateaubriand has embalmed in Atala the sentiment of the primitive forest; Longfellow, in Hiawatha, has distilled the romance of Indian life; and in Ranolf and Amohia Domett has transported to the Hot Lakes the loves of Juan and Haidee. A legion of novelists, from Saint-Pierre to Pierre Loti and Louis Becke, has described one side or other of the relationship. Governments and manners have been revolutionized by the contact. From travelers' tales, embellished at the start and further idealized by his own imagination, Rousseau drew "those oracles which set the world in flame." It is not unchristian to hope that the overlordship of the whole earth now first arrogated by the whites, with the high beneficent trusteeship in favor of its indigenes which that involves, will react on the sensibilities of the overlord and issue in a humaner evolution. Is it anti-Darwinism to expect that the mad rivalry and savage warfare of every man against his fellows—with its hecatombs of wrecked lives and broken hearts deadlier far than that elder warfare of spear and tomahawk—will at length give place to a co-operation that will be more zealous for the rights of others than solicitous for its own?
- By M. Alfred Espinas. Sociétés animales, first edition, pp. 21, 22.