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Estimate of Chinese Culture.


foreign powers, and, constantly strengthening itself by conflicts with fresh forces, to found, widen, and expend its existence, or perchance to lose it gloriously."

Our own respect for the achievements of Chinese culture can hardly be surpassed. Of all highly civilized nations they owe least to foreign promptings, whereas until the thirteenth century, we, that is to say, the Europeans, and especially the Northern Europeans, owed almost everything but our language to the teaching of other nations. We are the pupils of nations which now live only in history, but the Chinese were their own teachers. But comparing the course of our own development with that of theirs, we see what is wanting to them, and on what our own greatness depends. Since our intellectual awakening, since we have come forward as the propagators of the treasures of culture, we have indefatigably toiled with the sweat on our brows in search of something, the very existence of which was unsuspected by the Chinese, and which they would think dear at a platter of rice. This invisible object we term causality. We have admired the Chinese for an incalculable number of inventions, and have appropriated them, but we are not indebted to them for a single theory or a single glance into the connection or the first causes of phenomena.


In addition to the people discussed in the last chapter, the inhabitants of the peninsula of Corea and of the Japanese archipelago have the characters of the Mongolian race. The Japanese, whose index of breadth is 76, are mesocephals, while the height. of their skulls almost equals the breadth. It is only the polysyllabic character of their languages which prevents their being placed in one group with the Chinese and Malayo-Chinese. Their language is nearer the Altaic type, for they have the same loose combination of the morphological elements and have other rules of verbal structure in common. In these fundamental features the Japanese language corresponds so accurately with the Corean that the two may have had a common origin, but our present

knowledge does not enable us to say that this must necessarily be the case.1

The Japanese migrated from the continent to their present abode, and afterwards peopled the Loochoo Islands further to the south. From Nippon and the southern islands they drove out the aborigines, in all probability Ainos, who now hold their own only at Yezo and the Kuriles. Ethnology cannot dwell long on the Japanese, though they are an intellectually gifted people and easily assimilate the improvements of foreign civilization.

As long ago as 1860, a steamboat manned and commanded by . Japanese made its way across the Pacific to San Francisco and back. But their history, even when only partially authentic, extends only to Zinmu, or into the seventh century B.C., and they have hitherto always borrowed their civilization from China; though they have developed for themselves what they have thus adopted. Thus they invented a phonetic alphabet of forty seven letters, retaining, however, the Chinese syllabic symbols also. They have improved and stamped with their own character many branches of industry originally Chinese, such as the manufacture of porcelain and the production of steel. Their humour and waggishness are expressed in their caricatures, which are of great vivacity, and evince an accurate observation of nature, but are spoilt by false drawing. They are the only Asiatics who have a chivalrous and keenly susceptible sense of honour, analogous to the Spanish Pundónor. In other respects also they approach more nearly in character to the people of the West than any other Mongoloid nation: their instinct of cleanliness distinguishes them most favourably from the Chinese.

The Coreans are also indebted to the Chinese for their present social condition, while we know nothing of their earlier civilization.

1 Whitney, Language and the Study of Language, p. 329.


Stereog". Bon, P./.

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The country from the bay of Okotsk to European Lapland is inhabited by people who, with the exception of the Russians who have advanced eastward, live by hunting, fishing, and cattlebreeding, and who have continually changed their abodes and intermingled with one another from their earliest historical times. Conquerors have again and again appeared among them, who have united these independent hordes and enabled them to act in concert. With our present knowledge it is impossible to assert or deny that this vast territory was ever inhabited by various races. At any rate constant intermixture of blood has obliterated earlier differences, and hence we find physical characters of every gradation, from those of the pure Mongolian to those of the civilized inhabitants of the West. This group of nations, which Castrèn has named Altaians, is closely allied to the Eastern and Southern Asiatics. The colour of the skin is yellow or yellowish brown, the hair of the head cylindrical, stiff, and black; the beard and hairy covering of the body is slight or totally wanting; the eyes are usually obliquely set, the cheek-bones very prominent, the nose flattened, the skull extremely broad and low. The purity of the Mongolian characters of the Northern Asiatics gradually decreases towards the west. The Samoyeds resemble the Tungus in the shape of their face; the Ostiaks are like the Finns and Russians.1

Under these circumstances we must divide this group of mankind into five large branches, as was done by Alexander Castrèn; namely, Tungus, true Mongols, Turks, Finns, and Samoyeds. Fortunately, the structure of the languages of all these nations agrees completely in its main features. The meaning of the roots is defined by a second appended root, in other words, always by suffixes. Prefixes are never employed. These languages have also many roots in common, though not enough to prove a common primitive language; it is equally probable that they have been borrowed. These languages are moreover characterized by more

1 Pallas, Voyages, vol. iv. p. 90; H. u. K. Aubel, Ein Polarsommer, p. 258.

or less strict laws of euphony. In Moschka, however, the harmony of vowels is not so fully developed as in Turkish or Finnish, or more probably it has been obliterated by foreign influences. Yet distinct traces of these phonetic laws have been preserved.2 Two consonants never occur at the beginning or end of a word, and the principal vowel determines the terminal vowel.3 These remarkable points of resemblance may perhaps have been developed at a later period, but the burden of proof lies with those who maintain this opinion. A common origin is not so certain in the case of these languages as in that of the Aryan group, and the wide separation between the Mongolian and Mandschu languages seems very suspicious to some people. On the other hand, we must not forget that none of these nations possess any ancient literature. Were we able to compare the languages in their earlier form, we should readily ascertain whether we were or were not justified in uniting them into a whole.

To the Tungus branch of this group belong in the first place the Mandschu, who conquered the Chinese empire in 1644, and founded a sovereign dynasty. The other Tungus tribes have received the name of Orotshongs, or reindeer herdsmen. Some Tungus call themselves Boji, or men, others again Donki, or people. The Tungus of the shores of Okotsk are called Lamuts from lamu, the sea. The Tshapodghirs have penetrated further to the west than any other Tungus, namely, to between the Yenesei and Tunguska, while there are other Tungus tribes as far north as the bay of Chatanga on the Frozen Ocean. It is impossible to point out any contributions of these nations towards the civilization of our species, though it is probable that the Chinese may have learnt from the Tungus some things which we now attribute to their own invention.

The Mongols are the second branch of Northern Asiatics. They are sometimes called Tatars, and sometimes, on account of

2 A. Ahlquist, Mokscha-mordwinische Grammatik, § 14, p. 3. Petersburg, 1861.

3 A. Castrèn, Ethnologische Vorlesungen über die altaischen Völker, p. 18. Petersburg, 1857.

♦ Whitney, Language, p. 315; compare with this W. Schott in the Abhandlungen der Berliner Akademie, pp. 267 and 285. 1869.

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Tungus and Mongols.

a pun made by St. Louis, Tartars. This term must no longer be used in ethnological writings, for it has been so often misapplied, and has become so ambiguous, that we are obliged to infer from the context, if not actually to guess, whether by Tatars we are to understand Turks or Mongols. The term Mongolian was long of very vague application in the language of ethnology. We have a double list of these hordes which were originally called Mongols and those which were subsequently falsely so termed.5 History applied this name to the hordes which invaded the West under Gengis Khan and his successors, of whom the greater number spoke Turkish.


Ethnologists now reckon but four branches of true Mongols : the Eastern Mongols, the Kalmucks, the Buriats, and the Hazara or Aimauq. To the Eastern Mongols the Chinese originally gave the nickname of Tata, and it was only later, that is, since the eighth century, that they were called Mungku (Mongols).6 They inhabit the eastern half of the Gobi, and are divided into two hordes, the Schara towards the south, and their northern neighbours the Kalka. These people being destitute of history we cannot point out any services which they have rendered to civilization. The next branch, the Kalmucks,7 call themselves the Ölöts, the peculiar people, or Durban oirad, the four allies. The names of these hordes are the Dzungar, Turgut, Choshod, and Turbet. A Kalmuck kingdom was founded in 1671, but it lasted less than a century, and then fell under the Chinese rule. The Kalmucks have continued their migrations to within the most recent times. They first reached European Russia in 1616, and a portion of them wandered back to China in 1771, amid untold perils and hardships. Some hordes have also swarmed out across the southern border of the Gobi.8


The Buriats are distinguished from the latter only in language.

5 F. von Erdmann, Temudschin der Unerschütterliche, p. 168.

• Castrèn, Vorlesungen, p. 37.

7 This name is sometimes derived from the Turkish word Khalimak, those left behind; sometimes from the Mongolian Gholaïmak, fire-horde, or again from Kalmuck, fiery people. Fiadoff in Journal of Anthr. Institute, vol. iv. p. 401.

8 After the fall of the Yuen dynasty a swarm of Kalmucks, made up of Dzungars, Turguts, and Choshods, migrated to Koko-noor. Howorth in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. i. p. 232.

* Je Deduncey's "Flight of a Taria, tube"

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