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This mental travelling, this review of the minds and manners, is highly useful. It divests us of that unsocial pride, which raises our own imaginary rank; for virtues and vices are nearly the same in all countries; benevolence is always amiable, and a narrow felfishness despicable, from the hovels of the Hottentot to the caverns of Lapland. It expands the mind, since it shows that happiness and misery are more equal. ly diffused than we Mould suspect, from a first and transient view; and it teaches us to respect the errors of others, when they are found not to be more gross and numerous than our

own.

The first question, which necessarily occurs to the mental traveller, is the origin of the different nations, and the varieties of the human race. These questions are involved with each other; for, if the whole world did not proceed from one pair, no origin is necessary, or at least none can be determined. This is a subject which has not yet been decided, and the road to investigation is shut up, till some liberal theologian fhall clearly mow, that the Mosaic account of the creation is not to be understood in a literal or an universal senfe. The first men for piety and learning, whom we have conversed with, have agreed that it is not fo; and indeed, the account of the early ages seems to have been chiefly designed to preserve the Jewish genealogies. It is difficult to find one precept, either of morality or religion, except the punishment inflicted on the murderer, necessary to the conduct of our lives, not to add, that the whole is related in the uncertain mode of tradition. We chiefly mean to refer to the ages before the flood ; and should not have hazarded this opinion, if we had not known that it was supported by the best authorities. Our author' dwells chiefly on the different races of men, and on those tribes, in appearance, most remote from them, viz. the white men on the ifthmus of Darien, and the Albinoes of Africa. But, in fact, there are no two species of the fame genus, in the whole range of animated nature, more distinct than the wooly-headed African, and the copper-coloured American. To talk of the effects of climate is absurd : it

may

in. fuence the height, the strength, and from thence the manners; but it would never enlarge the lip, flatten the nose, or bend the knees. Besides, we know of no effect of climate beyond what may be produced by the degree and duration of heat and cold, by the effects of moisture more or less combined with them. Yet in America there are parts as swampy as the banks of the Gambia, and deserts aš dry and torrid as those of Ethiopia. Akbur does not decide ; but he acts a little un

fairly;

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faitly; he leads his reader to determine, without seeming to biass him.

Those who have examined the different races of mankind, the great families which have contributed to people the earth, must have been struck with the extensive settlements of the Tartars. Perhaps they are the most numerous family that we are yet acquainted with; for it is not easy to limit their appearance. They are said to be the descendents of Japhet; but that is little to the present purpose. Akbur, with justice, examines them at the beginning of his travels, and sets out from the North. He is soon attracted by the Grand Lama, and the Dâla Lama, and gives an entertaining account of that religion ; but this was in general well known. The valt hordes with which Scythia has peopled Europe and Asia excites the following just and natural reflections.

• From the prodigious number of people which the regions of Scythia have sent forth, one would imagine that polygamy was beneficial to a community; and that no connection of the sexes could be more favourable to population. The fact, however, has been doubted, and apparently with good reason ; for al. though, a plurality of wives has been much more universally allowed than the simple state of monogamy, as will more fully appear hereafter, there yet seem to be natural as well a political considerations which speak forcibly against it. An equal proportion of the sexes is generally allowed to be the consequence of a man's being confined to a single wife; whereas, a great majority on the female fide is observable in those countries where his appetites are unrestrained. Of this, both India and China, together with the nations of which 'we are now treating, afford sufficient proof. Among these people, the women far outnumber the men; nor is the reason alligned, a bad one. It is observed by naturalifts, that the offspring of every animal partakes in general of the fex of that parent which has the Itrongest and most vigorous conftitution; and that the women in India and China have less exhausted constitutions than the men, must readily be admitted. A variety of attraction must enervate even the most robuft man. The seraglio, therefore, cannot but be hurtful to the male propagation. In support of this opinion, we find, that in Europe, where polygamy is exploded, the proportion of males and females is nearly equal. I do not exactly recollect the calculation ; but I believe it is as 106 to 108. "Europe, then, can boast of being in the truest and most eligible ftate of nature ; for woman being formed for man, and nature not allowing of those adventitious claims of riches and distinction which first introduced a plurality of wives, the division, by her rules, thould be as equal as poslible; each should possess his máte, the poor as well as the wealthy. More. over the monopoly of beauty is a monopoly of the most injuri. Boz

Qus

view;

This mental travelling, this review of the minds and manners, is highly useful. It divests us of that unsocial pride, which raises our own imaginary rank; for virtues and vices are nearly the same in all countries; benevolence is always amiable, and a narrow selfishness despicable, from the hovels of the Hottentot to the caverns of Lapland. It expands the mind, since it Mhows that happiness and misery are more equally diffused than we should suspect, from a first and transient

and it teaches us to respect the errors of others, when they are found not to be more gross and numerous than our own.

The first question, which necessarily occurs to the mental traveller, is the origin of the different nations, and the varieties of the human race. These questions are involved with each other; for, if the whole world did not proceed from one pair, no origin is necessary, or at leall none can be determined. This is a subject which has not yet been decided, and the road to investigation is shut up, till some liberal theologian shall clearly show, that the Mosaic account of the creation is not to be understood in a literal or an universal sense. The first men for piety and learning, whom we have conversed with, have agreed that it is not so; and indeed, the account of the early ages seems to have been chiefly designed to preserve the Jewish genealogies. It is difficult to find one precept, either of morality or religion, except the punishment inflicted on the murderer, necessary to the conduct of our lives, not to add, that the whole is related in the uncertain mode of tradition. We chiefly mean to refer to the ages before the flood ; and should not have hazarded this opinion, if we had not known that it was supported by the best authorities. Our author dwells chiefly on the different races of men,

and on those tribes, in appearance, most remote from them, viz. the white men on the isthmus of Darien, and the Albinoes of Africa. But, in fact, there are no two ipecies of the same genus, in the whole range of animated nature, more distinct than the wooly-headed African, and the copper-coloured American. To talk of the effects of climate is absurd: it may infuence the height, the strength, and from thence the manners; but it would never enlarge the lip, flatten the nose, or

bend the knees. Besides, we know of no effect of climate beyond what may be produced by the degree and duration of heat and cold, by the effects of moisture more or less combined with them. Yet in America there are parts as swampy as the banks of the Gambia, and deserts aš dry and torrid as those of Ethiopia. Akbur does not decide; but he acts a little un

fairly;

4

failly; he leads his reader to determine, without seeming to biass him.

Those who have examined the different races of mankind, the great

families which have contributed to people the earth, must have been struck with the extensive settlements of the Tartars. Perhaps they are the most numerous family that we are yet acquainted with; for it is not easy to limit their appear. ance. They are said to be the descendents of Japhet; but that is little to the present purpose. Akbur, with justice, examines them at the beginning of his travels, and sets out from the North. He is soon attracted by the Grand Lama, and the Dâla Lama, and gives an entertaining account of that religion ; but this was in general well known. The vast hordes with which Scythia has peopled Europe and Asia excites the following just and natural reflections.

From the prodigious number of people which the regions of Scythia have sent forth, one would imagine that polygamy was beneficial to a community; and that no connection of the sexes could be more favourable to population. The fact, however, has been doubted, and apparently with good reason; for although. a plurality of wives has been much more universally allowed than the simple state of monogamy, as will more tully appear hereafter, there yet seem to be natural as well a politi. cal confiderations which speak forcibly against it. An equal proportion of the sexes is generally allowed to be the consequence of a man's being confined to a single wife ; whereas, a great majority on the female fide is observable in those countries where his appetites are unrestrained. Of this, both India and China, together with the nations of which we are now treat. ing, afford sufficient proof. Among these people, the women far outnumber the men; nor is the reason assigned, a bad one. It is obferved by naturalists, that the offspring of every animal partakes in general of the sex of that parent which has the Itrongest and most vigorous conftitution, and that the women in India and China have less exhausted constitutions than the men, muft readily be admitted. A variety of attraction must enervate even the most robuft man. The seraglio, therefore, cannot but be hurtful to the male propagation. In support of this opinion, we find, that in Europe, where polygamy is exploded, the proportion of males and females is nearly equal. I do not exactly recollect the calculation ; but I believe it is as "106 to ro8. Europe, then, can boast of being in the trueft and most eligible ftate of nature ; for woman being formed for man, and nature not allowing of those adventitious claims of riches and distinction which first introduced a plurality of wives, the division, by her rules, should be as equal as poffible; each should possess his máte, the poor as well as the wealthy. More. over the monopoly of beauty is a monopoly of the most injuri. ous kind; it is a robbery; it is a fraudulent selection of the loveliest and most valuable treasure that is given to man. Peace, happiness, and population, can only go hand in hand, while freedom reigns, and while there is a natural commixture of the sexes.

Polygamy, however, unfair and illiberal as it may be call. ed, has yet the advantage, in every respect, of polyandry, or a. plurality of husbands; that is assuredly, not only a most unnatural, but a most abominable custom. Something may be said for a variety of wives, but that one woman should cohabit with a variety of men, is too grofs to be dwelt upon. Happily for the preservation of our species, this custom at present is feldom found to prevail. Thibet, and the mountains of Affghanistan, are the only places that I know of where it continues to exift; formerly, indeed, it was common. Media was so celebrated for it, that a woman was looked upon

with contempt. who had fewer husbands than five. Even Britain, the honeft foil of Britain, some hundred years ago, produced females who would, without a blush, betroth their faith to a dozen boitrous fellows at a time.'

Akbur then passes to China, and gives a favourable account of this peculiar people; an account the more valuable, as he frequently mentions what he has himself seen. · But there'is also other evidence.

The miffionaries, who from their knowledge in science, and their holy calling, and the ministers of foreign courts with their suites, who have been admitted freely into Chioa, have represented the Chinese, in exactly the same light in which they have appeared to me; but that which most firmly riveted me in the opinion, was the account which I received from ara tive of Calhimere, who, in the garb and style of an itinerant merchant of China, had, for ten years, uninterruptedly, been travelling from one extremity of the empire to the other. His voice was loud in their praise: he had never been defrauded, he said, of the most inconsiderable fum. As to oppression, he had been a itranger to it; wherever his fancy led him he went; thieves and assassins never infested his way; his road he had always found a road of safety, and the people, good humoured and obliging on every occafion, had given him caufe to be thankful, that he had found a residence among them. The Chinefe have unquestionably been misrepresented"; at the same time, that they have possibly been too glaringly extolled: their true character

may

lie between the two extremes.' The striking feature in the manners of the Chinese, not generally known, is the little reverence paid to the clergy.

The Tartars, in this country, have laid aside the veneration for the Lama; and, perhaps, influenced by the customs of the aborigines, if there were ever any other inhabitants, per

haps

2

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