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tains, the ridges are immediately succeeded by almost rainless zones, as in the cases named. Nothing of the kind can occur in Europe, where, much to our annoyance, the rain clouds of the Atlantic often shroud the whole of Northern Europe as far as Russia, for there are no elevations of ground running from north to south to disturb their even distribution at the expense of the inland districts. Our principal line of mountains, the Alps and their eastern prolongations, rather serve to emphasize the separation of the continent into two climatic regions, into Northern and Southern Europe, a zone in which the foliage falls in autumn, and a Mediterranean shore clothed with evergreen bushes and plants; the one inhabited by nations which brew beer and make butter, the other by nations which tread the grape and press the fruit of the olive tree. Only in the far east of the continent, on the shores of the Black Sea and the Caspian, the steppes form a third zone with different conditions of life; they occupy a district which is at first narrow but rapidly increases in extent. These sudden contrasts of climate necessarily gave rise to international commerce at an early period, for the people of the north, as well as those of the south, were able to offer products which, if only as novelties, would be acceptable.

The advantages of high integration are simply shown by the ease with which variously gifted nations are enabled to interchange their respective products. But man's best products are his happy and sanctifying thoughts, which, when once framed, extend their fertilizing or consolatory influence for thousands of years, and from generation to generation. Among these sanctifying thoughts must be classed the creations of religions; among the fortunate thoughts, those inventions, among others, which control our domestic life and daily habits. Civilization, culture, and morality are but the sum of lucid thoughts, mostly inherited by us, and of Asiatic origin. No civilized people stands high enough to be incapable of adopting anything new from the so-called savage nations, or not to have already adopted something from them. The use of forks in eating was, for instance, only spread through the north of Europe in the 17th century,13 and was at first

13 Lubbock, Prehistoric Times. p. 443.

Foreign Influence.

regarded as an undesirable innovation. If the nations of antiquity had not left us this utensil, or if, like the Chinese even at the present day, we made use of chopsticks, our travellers might perhaps bring the fork to Europe as a novelty from the cannibals of the Fiji Islands. The Romans learned many things in their intercourse with the Celts of Gaul, from whom they first obtained soap,14 and learnt how to tin and plate metal vessels. 15 From the Celtic nobles they learnt to hunt wild beasts, and they were interested in falconry by our German forefathers. 16 The ancient Britons, again, were the first to apply a mineral manure to agricultural purpose, namely, marl; and, according to a somewhat obscure account given by Pliny, they already cut their corn by machinery and horse-power." On the other hand, the Northmen, the boldest seamen in the world, became acquainted with the use of sails only after the time of Tacitus. 18


It was from foreign nations that we first acquired a knowledge of our most important narcotics during the last three or four centuries. Tea came from the Chinese, and coffee from the Arabs. Chocolate was first drunk by the Spanish conquerors from the imperial kitchen of the Mexican Emperor Mocteuzoma, or Monteuzoma,19 and when Spanish spies returned from the interior of Cuba in 1492, they told the discoverer of the New World that the harmless Indians of that island rolled up the leaves of a weed called tobacco, and put them in their mouths in order to imbibe the smoke from the ignited end. Cigars were in use in the Antilles, and Europeans first saw tobacco smoked in stone pipes by the Red Indians of North America, and taken as snuff in ancient Peru 20 and other parts of South America. Suspended nets for sleeping were an invention of the New World, and the German expression Hängematte is not only a translation but also a phonetic imitation of the original word hamaca, which

14 Ausland, p. 139.


15 Mommsen, Romische Geschichte, vol. iii. p. 217.

16 Hehn, Culturplanzen, p. 270.

17 Pliny, Hist. nat. lib. xvii.

18 Germania, The Suiones of Tacitus are the inhabitants of Sweden.

19 Prescott, Conquest of Mexico, vol. i. p. 135.

20 Ibid. Conquest of Peru, vol. i. p. 140.

has been well rendered by the French hamac and the English hammock, and which comes from the language of St. Domingo. The use of artificial flies for angling, and the selection of the particular kind according to the species of fish, the season, and the weather, was first learnt by the English from the Indians on the rivers of Guayana; the Portuguese were taught to manufacture tapioca by the natives in Brazil. The simplest and, at the same time, the unusually picturesque male garment, the poncho, which is now worn in every part of Spanish America, was the national costume of the brave Araucanians.22 Even in boat-building we might learn something from unjustly despised people such as the Eskimo, whose kayaks were the model of our pleasure-boats decked at bow and stern.


Therefore, if even in our mature condition intercourse with undeveloped races is still beneficial, it was infinitely more important to our race in its earlier times that the accessibility and openness of our part of the world allowed free admission to the intelligent nations of Asia and Africa. But it would be a misapprehension of the history of civilization to conclude that because they inhabited a highly integrated region, the Europeans wouldnecessarily have been in all ages conspicuous for their achievements. The French cave men of the Dordogne, who hunted the wild horse with stone implements for the sake of its flesh, in an age when the prehistoric elephant still ranged over Northern Europe, were quite unaffected by the fact that the quarter of the world in which they lived was semi-peninsular in shape, and broken up by many sounds and gulfs. In the lowest stages of our development, when care for daily wants is almost the sole aim of life, when the only want that is not animal in kind but, strange to say, æsthetic, is provisionally satisfied when, for instance, pretty shells strung upon a band adorn the throat or ankles, neither coast line or elevation, or any other geographical characters, were of any value in softening the rudeness of human nature.

As the superiority of the organization of Europe consisted in its accessibility to foreign culture, its inhabitants, as far as our

21 See above, p. 422.

22 Waitz, Anthropologie, vol. iii. p. 510.

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Eastern Influence.


historical knowledge reaches back, have always, until four or five centuries ago, received rather than spread the benefits of civilization. For this reason it was important that as an Asiatic peninsula, Europe formed part of the Old World, for vast tracts of country are especially rich in those species of animals and vegetables which are best adopted for entering into social relations with the inhabitants; and it is a fact, that more than half the forms which adorn the landscape of the Mediterranean shores are derived from the East. Only the vine, the fig-tree, the laurel of Apollo (Laurus nobilis), and the oleander, have yet been found as fossils in Provence.23 In all probability the evergreen oak, the myrtle, and the pine, were also indigenous plants. The olive, on the contrary, which was found in the Greek island of Santorin, under a very ancient stratum of lava, first came to Italy by ship with with Greek settlers in 600 B.C. The vine which yields the fiery wines of the South came from the southern slopes of the Caucasus by way of Thrace; it was followed by the pheasant from the banks of the Phasis, and by the apricot from Armenia. From Persia came the plane-tree, the peach, the rose, and the lily, while it was at a late period that melons, gourds, and cucumbers, which are all products of the steppes, reached the West, and were brought from Turkestan by the Sclavonians. It was in Phoenicia that the Greeks first saw date palms; as the inseparable companions of the Arabs, these trees appeared in Spain after the conquest, and landed with the Saracen pirates on the shores between Nice and Genoa. From Semitic Asia comes also the cypress, the paradise apple, the caraway, and mustard, while Northern Europe is indebted to Rome for the lime, and to Greece for the pea. From Italian gardeners our ancestors learnt to ennoble the sloe into the damson by grafting Damascene scions; and the agriot from Cerasus on the Black Sea was placed on he wild cherry-tree. The domestic fowl migrated, in the first instance, to Greece from India, and across Persia; while the peacock was brought from Ophir (Abhira at the mouth of the Indus) by the ships despatched to India by Solomon and Hiram.

It was thus mainly the eastern countries which poured their

23 Charles Martius in the Revue des deux Mondes, vol. lxxxv.

riches into the south of Europe, and the New World had comparatively little additional to bestow: a single cereal, maize, a single tuber, the potato, and, as common ornaments of southern landscapes, the aloe and the prickly pear.

But it was not only the gifts of Ceres, not only the ornaments of our gardens and groves, and the tempting fruits of our orchards, that migrated from the East to the Mediterranean; for the noblest intellectual riches came by the same road. The art of separating the spoken word into its separate sounds, and of rendering these sounds visible by means of symbols, was first received by the Grecians from Asia Minor. Egyptian and Assyrian models first incited them to give life to stone in works of sculpture and architecture. Lastly, from oriental lands, from the desert more especially, where sun and stars unceasingly shine in a calm and cloudless sky, where pious enthusiasm is more frequently aroused, and the gift of prophecy is more readily kindled, were spread the more enlightened religions, and by their means a notable softening of manners. Little more than a thousand years ago, the Arabs brought to us from India an invention only surpassed in ingenuity by that of phonetic writing, namely, our numerical figures, and the art of determining their rank in the decimal arrangement by their positional value.

Although we must respect the East as the mother of the highest inventions, of all the pleasant improvements of household existence, of all intellectual enlightenment, yet its people have remained stationary, even to the present day, in the lower stages of human society, that is to say, in the phase of despotic government, more or less modified by an administration of theocracy, but never free from the curse of polygamy, which renders brotherly affection impossible; the result is a constant series of intrigues in - the harem and revolutions in the palace, and constant changes of dynasty. With this defect it might have been foreseen that if some other family of nations, the Aryans for instance, were capable of organizing a better and more worthy social state, its abode would inevitably sooner or later have attained the highest development.

Of all Aryan nations the Romans were unquestionably the most conspicuous for statesmanlike talents. No one knew better

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