THOUGHTS, DOINGS, AND SAYINGS OF THE RACE. 13
whose caravans ply between the Negro countries and Fezzan. They
are described bjr the travelers, Hornemann and Lyon.
The western tribes of this nation are white, so far as the climate
and their habits will allow. Others are of a yellow cast; others again
are swarthy ; and in the neighborhood of Soudan, there is said to be
a tribe completely black. All speak the same dialect, and it is a dia¬
lect of the original African tongue. There is no reasonable doubt
of their being aboriginal.
Lyon says they are the finest race of men he ever saw, '' tall,
straight and handsome, with a certain air of independence and pride
which is very imposing." If we observe the gradations of color in
different localities in the meridian under which we live, we shall per¬
ceive a very close relation to the heat of the sun in each respectively.
Under the equator we have the deep black of the Negro, then the cop¬
per or olive of the Moors of northern Africa; then the Spaniard and
Italian, swarthy compared with other Europeans; the French still
darker than the English, while the fail' and florid complexion of Eng¬
land and Germany passes more northerly into the bleached Scandina¬
It is well-known that in whatever region travelers ascend mountains
they find the vegetation at every successive level altering- its charac¬
ter and gradully assuming the appearances presented in more north¬
ern countries ; thus indicating that the atmosphere, temperature and
physical agencies in general, assimilate as we approach Alpine re¬
gions to the peculiarities locally connected with high latitudes.
If, therefore, complexion and other bodily qualities belonging to
races of men depend upon climate and external conditions, we should
expect to find them varying in reference to elevation of surface; and
if they should he found actually to undergo such variations, this will
be a strong- argument that these external characteristics do, in fact,
depend upon local conditions.
Now, if we inquire respecting the physical characters of the tribes
inhabiting high tracts in warm countries, we shall find that they co¬
incide with those which prevail in the level or low parts of more north¬
The Swiss, in the high mountains above the plains of Lombardy,
have sandy or brown hair. What a contrast presents itself to the
traveler who descends into the Milanese territory, where the peasants
have black hair and eyes, with strongly-marked Italian and almost