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imagine, from the rigour with which their study is enforced, that the writings of the heathen poets were peculiarly adapted to purify the heart, and curb the licentiousness of the youthful imagination; or that they formed, in some inexplicable way, a string of commentaries upon our religious creed. And he might be further led to suppose that those wonders of the visible creation, which, when considered, will bring home conviction to the philosophic sceptic, were unworthy of study or regard, as if they were things of mere chance-produced by a congregation of fortuitous atoms, alike incapable of demonstrating the being of a God, or the care he bestows upon his creatures.”
But it is not to the clerical profession alone that this applies, the preliminary education of which has been so much improved in our University of late years ; it is not to the ill-recompensed, hard-working clergy alone that this refers ; in the medical profession affairs are still worse. In it, there is no preliminary education; I know it from experience, and state it with regret. Such, it is true, may be, and is hy some possessed; but so long as it is not required by our Licensing Institutions, it will never be possessed by the generality of students. Here, on the other hand, the classic authors are comparatively unknown, and modern languages are never thought of. Of mathematics, mechanics, and natural philosophy, our medical and particularly our surgical student knows little or nothingnothing of zoology, or comparative anatomy, and little of either botany or chemistry. How long is this to continue ? Not only would the professional man, but the country gentleman, or the statesman, derive profit from this early cultivation of the natural sciences; not only would they, and all who interest themselves in such pursuits, have an entertaining and useful store of knowledge laid up for after years, but all would be better fitted to form observant travellers in their own or other countries.
The government of this country is not, and never has been, a patron of science. There is little or no emolument to be attained by those who spend their lives in the pursuit of scientific subjects. It is, therefore, the “bounden duty" of our chartered bodies, and particularly of our University, to assist the cause of science, and to further its advance by following the bright example of the English colleges, in creating travelling fellowships. It would be presumptuous in me to point out the best method of carrying this into effect; but of the value of such fellowships, and of the researches and discoveries that men educated like those who grace our College would make, little doubt can be entertained, and the works that would then issue from our press would soon wipe off the long, too longcontinued motto of the “Silent Sister.” Another defect in our national education is the want of instruction in eastern languages, particularly Arabic, Turkish, and Persian. In a diplomatic point of view the study of these tongues is particularly requisite. It is a well-known fact, that in the countries in which these languages are spoken, all diplomatic conferences must be carried on through the medium of an interpreter. This
should if possible be avoided; for many of the necessary secrets of an embassy are thus entrusted to natives of the country in which it is placed. It is a curious, but I believe an undeniable fact, that lately at Constantinople, the chief dragomen to the English, French, and Russian ministers, were brothers !! In concluding this hint upon the education suitable to travellers, and the advantages of travelling fellowships, I trust that the University will overlook the insignificance of the proposer, in the importance of the proposition.
N.B.-Several of the observations originally put forward in this sketch have, I am proud to say, become matters of history since the first edition of this Narrative. I leave them, however, as memorials of what things were, not what they are ; and I feel assured, so rapid is the progress making in this country, despite all the agitation of designing men, that should another edition of this work be required within the same space of time as between this and the former one, a still greater change for the better will have taken place. What could be achieved by travelling fellowships in our University may be conceived from the labours of Dr. Kennedy Baille on the site of the Apocalyptic churches.
THE PHYSICAL HISTORY OF THE GUANCRES.
THERE are few the extinct races of man that have elicited more inquiry, or of whom there is less known, than the Guanches. Their history is so wrapped in obscurity, and their vestiges so rare, that our speculations as to their origin and manners are principally derived from their embalmed remains, or the questionable authority of ancient writers and travellers. As the work of Dr. Prichard contains a collection of the greater portion of the history of this singular people, I shall here take the liberty of quoting some of the most important information that he has been able to procure. “It is supposed that the Guanches, the ancient inhabitants of the Canary Islands, were a branch of the great Lybian or Atlantic stock. It has been often conjectured that the Canary Islands were the mooi Mæxapwe of the ancients, and the site of the fabulous gardens of the Hesperides. They seem to be obscurely indicated in the traditions of the early Grecian mythology; but the first occasion in which they are mentioned in history, or in any account that approaches to authenticity, is in the report which was given by Sartorius, on the credit of which we are told by Plutarch, that the Roman general was seized with a desire to return to them, and live in peace and repose. It is said that, when flying from the arms of Sylla, Sartorius met with some seamen but newly arrived from the
Atlantic islands, which were said to be distant 10,000 furlongs from the coast of Africa. They are called,' says Plutarch, 'the Fortunate Isles.' Rain only falls there, as it is said, in moderate showers; the seasons of the year are temperate ; and gentle breezes abound, bringing with them soft dews, which so enrich the soil, that it bears, untilled, plenty of delicious fruits, and supports its inhabitants, who enjoy an immunity from toil."Lyon's Travels.
These islands were described by Juha, an African prince, and one of the oldest travellers and geographers. According to him, one of the islands was called Canaria, (now Grand Canary,) from its containing a number of dogs of a great size. In his time the islands seem to have been but very partially inhabited. During a long lapse of time—that is, from the period when Juba wrote, in Cæsar's time, to the 14th century-history is silent as to the state of the Fortunate Isles. In the 15th century, Cadamosto, the Spanish navigator, and discoverer of the Cape de Verd Islands, waged war against the Guanches; and at that period the population of Grand Canary amounted to 9,000, and that of Teneriffe to 5,000. “ The natives of the latter island are said to have been of great, and even gigantic stature.” This assertion is certainly not verified by the remains of Guanches found at the present day. “ They were a people of very simple habits, and possessed of very few arts; were ignorant of the use of metals, and are said to have plowed the land by means of the horns of bullocks. They believed in a future state, and worshipped a Supreme Being, whom they termed Achuharahan, the author and preserver of all good things. They also believed in a malignant being, termed Guayotta, and placed the abode of the wicked in the burning crater of Teneriffe.”
“ What remained of the Guanches,” says Humboldt, “perished mostly in 1494, in the terrible pestilence called the Modorra, which was attributed to the quantity of dead bodies left exposed to the air by the Spaniards, after the battle of La Laguna. The nation of the Guanches was therefore extinct at the beginning of the sixteenth century. A few only were found at Candelaria and Guimar."
“ The practice of embalming bodies and laying them up in mummy-caves or catacombs in the sides of mountains, is the most curious circumstance in the history of the Guanches; it is at least that which has attracted the greatest attention. The mummies were placed erect upon their feet against the sides of the caves; chiefs had a staff placed in their hands, and a vessel of milk standing by them." The vessels that were shown me in the museum at Santa Cruz, as those found along with the mummy, were rude wooden bowls. A similar practice was observed by the ancient Peruvians. “ Nicol, an English traveller, states, that he had seen 300 of these corpses together, of which he says, that the flesh was dried up, and the bodies as light as parchment. Scorey was assured that in the sepulchre of the kings of Guimar there was to be seen a skeleton measuring fifteen feet, the skull of which contained eighty teeth." As this, however, is but parole or hearsay
evidence, little reliance can be placed upon it. “ The bodies were imbued with a sort of turpentine, and dried before a slow fire, or in the sun. This desiccation was so complete, that the whole mummies were found to be remarkably light; and Blumenbach informs us, that he possesses one which, with its integuments entire, weighs only seven and a half pounds, which is nearly one-third less than the weight of an entire skeleton of the same stature, recently stripped of the skin and muscular flesh. The corpses are decorated with small laces, on which are hung little disks of baked earth.” In the Guanche mummy that I had an opportunity of examining, and to which I before referred, the thongs or laces with which the coverings were decorated, and which were part of the skin in which it was enveloped, were knotted in a very peculiar manner, and evidently with some design. It was not unlike the knotted thongs or Quippoe writing found among the ancient Mexicans. As to the little disks of baked clay to which Dr. Prichard refers, and those pieces of bone which I mentioned in the text, and concerning which the tradition current in the Canaries is, that they were used as money, a remarkable circumstance came under my observation while the first edition of this work was printing. In a most singular and extensive bone-heap, discovered in Dunshaughlin, in the county of Meath, and which I have had an opportunity of examining, there were found, along with some human remains, and a vast collection of antiquities, several circular bone disks, and some cut out of bits of slate, precisely similar to those at Teneriffe. Their use is supposed to have been for spinning thread; may not those of the Guanches have been used for a like purpose ? I am much indebted to Mr. Barnwell, on whose ground they were found, for liberty to examine these curious relics, as well as for the bones found in the same situation. I may also remark, that the form of the cranium of this Teneriffe mummy coincided in many respects with the forms of those Celtic heads found in Irish tumuli.
“Mr. Golberry took much pains to collect information respecting the mode used by the Guanches in preparing their mummies, and he has described a mummy in his possession which he selected from among many others still remaining in his time in the mummy-caves at Teneriffe. Of this, he says, the hair was long and black; the skin dry and flexible, of a dark brown colour ; the back and breast covered with hair ; the belly and breast filled with a grain resembling rice ; the body wrapped in bandages of goat's skin."
Colonel Bory de St. Vincent, in his celebrated and elaborate work upon the Canary Archipelago, (Essais sur les Isles Fortunees,) has laboured to prove their Egyptiau origin, and Blumenbach is inclined to a like opinion ; while Dr. Prichard states that there is not sufficient proof to establish identity of origin, or any connexion between the Guanches and the Egyptians. He says—“there seems to be a suficient evidence in what remains of the languages of the Guanches, to prove their descent from the Berbers of Atlantica. It is difficult to imagine how such a people as the Berbers
of Shúlúh, who are not known to have practised navigation, could find their way from Africa to the Canaries; but many seas have been traversed by rude, and even by savage people, under circumstances apparently still more unfavourable; and the first population of many countries, notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary by some writers, has certainly been spread along the sea-coasts, and across seas, for traversing which the races of men thus dispersed, appear to have been in general but ill provided." The Frenchman, to whose work I have already referred, seemed to have anticipated this objection of a distant voyage, and has ventured an opinion that the Canary Archipelago once formed part of a vast Atlantic continent, separated from that of Africa by a narrow strait, (not broader than that of Gibraltar,) called Cape Bojador; and that the elevated portion of these islands was a continuation of the Atlas mountains, which remained standing during some powerful convulsion that rent the surrounding portion of the Atlantic continent from them. But it requires no such plausible but unproved assertions to account for the peopling of an island not more than 200 miles from the main land--a gale of wind would have sent the simplest boat or raft across in forty-eight hours.
Glass, in his history of the Canaries, gives us a description of the mode of embalming of the Guanches, taken from an old Spanish MS.
“ First they carried it (the body) to a flat stone, where they opened it, and took out the bowels; then twice a day they washed the porous parts of the body, viz. the arm-pits, behind the ears, the groins, between the fingers, and the neck, with cold water. After washing it sufficiently, they anointed those parts with sheep's butter, and sprinkled them with a powder made of the dust of decayed pine-trees, and a sort of brush-wood, which the Spaniards call Bressos, together with the powder of pumice-stone; then they let the body remain till it was perfectly dry, when the relations of the deceased came and swaddled it in sheep or goat-skins dressed, girding all tight with long leathern thongs; they put it in the cave which had been set apart by the deceased for his burying-place, without any covering. The king could be buried only in the cave of his ancestors, in which the bodies were so disposed as to be known again. There were particular persons set apart for this office of embalming ; each sex performing it for those of their own. During the process, they watched the bodies very strictly, to prevent the ravens from devouring them; the wife or husband of the deceased bringing them victuals, and waiting on them during the time of their watching." This account bears a strong resemblance to the mode of preservation used by the Egyptians. Another point of similitude between the two nations is, that the incisor teeth of both were ground down, either by their particular food, or, what is more probable, by some artificial process. Blumenbach gives a representation of the skull of a Guanche, in the fifth Decade of his collection ; and this has many points in common with the white Egyptian race. At the same time, it has also some resemblance to the Celtic races to which I before referred, in the