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Spice and Slave Trade.

the coast. Africa, hardly less than Australia, has also been looked upon as hardly civilized. Karl Ritter accounted for the inferior grade of its inhabitants by the absence of indentations of its shores in proportion to its circumference. It is indeed very boldly formed; it is destitute of peninsulas, and its bays, such as the Gulfs of Sidra and Khabs, are but slight indentations, or are merely formed by some angle of the coast, as is the Gulf of Guinea or the shores of the Red Sea and the Somali coast; but even the Red Sea is so difficult of navigation that, in comparison with other coast indentations, it offers very slight advantages for communication. Had great rivers, like the Mississippi, the Amazon, or the La Plata, in America, rendered Africa accessible, civilization could have made its way more rapidly into the interior, as is shown by the fact that the shores of the Nile were the site of a very mature, and probably the earliest, civilization. But in addition to the impediments to the spread of civilization which we have already mentioned, the land was almost entirely destitute of treasures such as might tempt foreign colonists. Gold is only found near the sources of the Senegal and Niger, and in a few streams on the Guinea coast, formerly also at Sofala in East Africa, and now in some districts of Kaffirland, but everywhere in very small quantities; so that Africa, possessing no golden fleece, has never attracted Argonauts: it contains no districts equal in mineral wealth to Peru, Mexico, California, or even to Minas Geraes. Hence, even at the present day, the African colonies of the Portuguese, French, English, and Dutch have remained poor and insignificant in comparison with the settlements in South America.


The Cape districts alone have developed prosperously since the time of trans-oceanic emigrations, first as a place of call on the road to India, and subsequently as agricultural colonies. Without metals, without spices, and without drugs, or any vegetable treasures, Africa remained free from conquerors, but also untouched by civilization; sad to relate, for three thousand years she was fain to pay for European baubles and intoxicating liquors with her own children. The slave trade was thus, not justified, but in a measure explained by the want of any important article of export. But though the slave trade connects the interior with the

coast, it does not convey a higher civilization from the coast to the interior. At last, after the lapse of ages, a treasure has been discovered in our own days even in Africa, which within a moderate period will be the means of revealing the long-preserved secrets of this continent. This is not a product of the mineral nor of the vegetable kingdom, but the tusks of the elephant. Ivory hunters roam about South Africa in all directions on the track of Livingstone, and they are followed by missionaries, merchants, and the earliest settlers. The region lying to the east and west of the White Nile has been explored, and is annually traversed by Italian ivory hunters, who are obliged to penetrate further every year, leaving exhausted hunting-grounds behind them.

Although the examples hitherto given have been derived from modern history, we might also quote from ancient times the early appearance of the Phoenicians, or their descendants, the Carthaginians, in Spain, where they were retained by the quarrying of silver ore. In the early stages of development tin promoted civilization even more than silver, for without tin bronze cannot be produced. But tin is found in but few places, and many even of these were completely unknown in ancient times. History proves that tin was not obtained from the Erzgebergs until the middle ages, and it still seems doubtful whether tin from Crete or the trans-Caucasian tin from Georgia reached the Mediterranean. In Pliny's time, however, Spanish tin from Gallicia was an article of Roman commerce. In Gaul tin was washed on the Aurence, and ancient tin mines have also been discovered in Limousin, in the department of the Loire Inférieure and in Morbihan. So skilful were the Celts in metallurgy that the Romans first learnt from them the art of tinning utensils. Celtic miners worked the most important of the ancient quarries on the Scilly Islands and in Cornwall. It must not be supposed that Phoenician travellers communicated their skill in mining and smelting to the old inhabitants of Brittany, or that they even discovered the veins of tin ore. Never before the days of Abel Tasman were voyages to unknown regions made without a special aim. The seafarers invariably had some object in view; they always

8 Rougemont, Die Bronzezeit. 1869.

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Metals and Amber.

endeavoured to reach the emporium or the original source of the treasures of commerce. Hence, if Carthaginian or Phoenician vessels ever reached the west coast of France or entered the Channel, they must have been in quest of known sources of tin; consequently this metal must already have been excavated, and must have reached the Mediterranean by land in the course of traffic. That such land traffic existed is proved by the early foundation and the prosperity of Marseilles; moreover, the lumps of tin ore which have been found among the Swiss relics of the • bronze age, must have reached Helvetia by an inland commerce, and could have reached Marseilles as easily as Switzerland. It was also owing to the presence of tin that the Celts of Gaul and Britain were of far higher social development than the Teutons of the time of Cæsar. The Romans found an excellent system of husbandry in use among the ancient Britons, in which the yield was increased by the use of marl as a mineral manure. The Britons also used artistic war implements of their own invention, namely, the scythe cars. The possession of an article of export so indispensable, and the fact that tin was in such great request in the age of bronze, was in itself the means of promoting civilization, for commerce at a very early period brought the Britons into contact with the Mediterranean nations, and aided in hastening the maturity of their condition.


The inhabitants of the coast of the North Sea, and still more of the Baltic, possessed an analogous property in amber. At a very early period amber must have reached the shores of the Mediterranean, although perhaps it was at first only bartered from tribe to tribe. Even if the conquering Romans had not appeared at the mouths of the Ems and Weser, and if Drusus had not even then? pushed on his ships to the northern point of Jutland, amber alone would certainly have been able to attract the civilization of the Mediterranean to the north; for even in Nero's time (A.D. 56) a Roman knight undertook a journey, for the purpose of exploring the continent, across the Carpathian mountains to the amber districts of East Prussia, and returned with a supply of the precious commodity to the metropolis of the world. It is doubtless to amber that the early civilization of which we find traces on the shores of the Baltic is due, for the numerous "finds" of Greek and

Roman coins as well as of bronze instruments are owing to the presence of this substance; as these metal implements probably served the native artists as models and patterns, it is perhaps to amber that the advanced condition of the bronze age in the north of Europe is due.

We thus see how much we owe to the rare and precious products of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, as the means by which human culture was spread, and as the baits which attracted national migrations, and we perceive that the regions which were fortunate enough to possess such treasures were the first to be drawn into the sphere of a higher culture: the direction in which civilization has moved has frequently been prescribed by this influence. We have but a very slight knowledge of the laws which direct the distribution of mineral treasures; the treasures of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, on the contrary, are, it is true, restricted to limited climatic zones, but their local abundance, rarity, or total absence within the zones in which they might occur, is not so much a question of law as of history, for it appears to depend on the locality in which the species first occurred, and also on the power of migration of the species, and on the geographical impediments which obstructed their extension.


THE generation of successors, which is the first and highest purpose of marriage, can only be effected after the commencement of sexual maturity, which is reached somewhat earlier in the female sex than in the male : in Northern Europe it is about the fourteenth and seventeenth year, in Southern Europe somewhat sooner. In warm countries the recognized characters appear at an earlier age; in Egypt in boys of twelve to fifteen, and in girls from eleven to fourteen years of age.1 Klunzinger, who recently described the marriage of one of these childish couples in Upper Egypt, states that boys of from fifteen to eighteen years of age marry girls of

1 Hartmann, Nilländer.

Age of Marriage.

twelve to fourteen years, and adds significantly that in these marriages, which we should deem so premature, no evil consequences appear to affect the fecundity. In Northern Persia the tokens of fertility appear in the female sex during the thirteenth year, and in Southern Persia even as early as the ninth and tenth years.3 In the Philippines twelve years is prescribed as the legal age for the female sex, but Jagor found the marriage of a girl of nine years and ten months entered in the church registrar of Polangui. Among the negroes of South Africa marriage is also entered upon precociously, but it is difficult to determine the exact times, as the inhabitants are too careless to be in the habit of accurately fixing their age by dates. Among the Hottentots Kolbe saw mothers of thirteen years of age.5 The Australians give their daughters to husbands in their twelfth year and often earlier.6 But it appears still doubtful whether this apparent marriage is not a preliminary ceremony of betrothal which is followed by the real marriage at a later period.7

These facts, but few of which are new, will not surprise any one who has studied the subject; nor is it a new fact that the polar nations also acquire the power of reproduction at an early age. As yet this has been remarked with especial reference to the Eskimo; but Adolf Erman has recently stated that on the Aleutian island of Atcha, marriage is contracted by the boy as soon as he can manage the baidar; by the girl as soon as she can sew quickly; in both cases in the tenth year. No physiological explanation has yet been given of the fact that the period of immaturity is curtailed in inverse proportion to the approximation to the equator or the polar circle. Probably the latitude of the abode has no reference to this phenomenon; it may more probably


2 Ausland, No. xl. 1871.

4 Reisen in den Philippinen.

3 Polak, Persien.


5 Vorgebirge der Guten Hoffnung.


Eyre, Central Australia, vol. ii. p. 319.

'On the age of marriage in different races of mankind, compare the exhaustive work of Dr. Ploss, Jahresbericht des Leipz. Vereins für Erdkunde. 1872.

8 Zeitschrift für Ethnologie.


Catlin, The North American Indians, p. 89.

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