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some probably belonging to a distinct species, have been found in many parts of Europe and Northern Asia.
Two species of the genus Equus, one equalling a middlingsized horse, and the other a zebra, have left remains in caverns and gravel, and are accompanied by bones of animals assisting to fill up the wide interval at present existing between the hippopotamus and the hog. Several of these, of various sizes, and the wild-hog itself, evidently ranged throughout the northern countries during the drift period.
Of ruminating animals there are numerous remains in the caverns and in the gravel of the drift period. Two species of camels, a gigantic musk-ox, and a giraffe, were the prototypes of as many existing and well-known groups. Deer of all kinds were then, as they still are, represented by many and greatly varied types, and of them the great-horned Irish elk, as it is called, seems to have been the most remarkable for its dimensions, and from the enormous expanse and width of the horns, which in some specimens exceed fourteen feet from tip to tip, and weigh upwards of eighty pounds. The animal in certain respects resembled the fallow-deer, and in others the reindeer, and was not really an elk. Its horns must have fallen off and been reproduced every year, and exhibit proofs of their enormously rapid growth in the deep grooves left for the passage of the blood-vessels, which conveyed the material of which they were formed.
A true elk, a reindeer, and a gigantic fallow-deer and reddeer, have all left bones and teeth in caverns and gravel, and these are occasionally accompanied with remains of roebucks, antelopes, and goats. The aurochs, a large bison still roaming in the wild forests of Lithuania, and a gigantic ox, the urus, scarcely inferior to the elephant in size, both lived in England as well as Northern Europe about the commencement of the Christian era, and had lived in the same district during the whole of the drift period, together with a smaller species about the dimensions of the ordinary domestic cattle.
Whilst these were the inhabitants of Northern Europe, South America was provided with several gigantic representatives of the existing tribes peculiar to that country. Thus instead of, or in addition to, armadillos, we find bones of the glyptodon, covered with a coat of mail six feet in length, its vast bulk supported on massive columns with bases of corresponding magnitude. With this we have the toxodon, also a large animal, combining some of the peculiarities of the elephant and the beaver; the macrauchenia, a gigantic llama, with a body as large and massive as that of the rhinoceros; and if last, certainly not least, the megatheroid group, the most remarkable of all, including sloths larger
than the largest elephant, whose habits were not unlike those of the sloths of the present day, except that, instead of climbing the trees, their enormous strength enabled them to pull down the giants of the forest, and strip them of their leaves at plea
The caverns of Australia, like the Pampas deposit of South America, contain the remains of an ancient fauna, strangely typified by the existing inhabitants of the country. As in the latter country the sloths and armadillos appear to be the dwarfed successors of more gigantic animals similar in structure and habits, so in Australia the peculiar characteristic of all the indigenous quadrupeds in their marsupial structure (the mother bringing forth her young in an immature state, and preserving them in a bag or pouch till they are ready to provide for themselves) is preserved in a group of gigantic prototypes of almost all the chief natural groups. In New Zealand, where no quadrupeds of any importance existed at the time of its discovery, there had in like manner been a gigantic race of wingless birds, of which the modern apteryx and the recently lost dodo may serve to give an idea.
Every where, then, we find occupying the land of the drift period, when the gravel was deposited and the caverns filled, important groups of quadrupeds, many of them of gigantic size, but all resembling pretty closely the present inhabitants of parts of the earth not very far removed. Thus we do not find in Northern Europe and Asia the remains of sloths and marsupials such as now inhabit South America and Australia; but of elephants, rhinoceroses, and hippopotamuses, of lions, tigers, and leopards, and of great deer and oxen, all of which are still more or less accurately represented there in a living state. Climate appears by no means to have limited the distribution of these creatures in former times, as in parts of the world certainly colder then than now are the remains of numerous species of which the nearest allied species are only met with in much warmer countries at present. That a similarity of typical character pervades the inhabitants of the same district, and seems to have done so through a vast period of time, is a point well worthy of remark, and cannot but have important reference to the laws, whatever they may be, which govern the succession of species.
While, however, the larger land-animals were thus different, the inhabitants of the water, and generally the smaller and lower organised races of all kinds of the drift period, seem to have altered but little, if at all, in passing through the changes that have taken place from that time to this; since only a few shells then common are now even rare, and none probably have so far changed as to be worthy of being called new species. The same
is the case, as far as the evidence goes, with the vegetable world. Notwithstanding, therefore, the lapse of the long series of ages required to introduce so many important modifications in the animal world, it is as nothing compared to those other periods contemplated by geologists, during which almost every species, both vegetable and animal, has been changed over and over again. The drift period is the first of those numerous successive steps by which we are conducted in tracing the history of the past; and being the first, and that which involves fewest and smallest changes, it is equally important in guiding our judgment, and interesting as showing, better than any other, the method and prevailing law of nature in the progressive history of creation.
We have seen in a former part of this article that the drift period—so modern in reference to geology, so ancient in reference to human records-was marked not only by races of quadrupeds different from the present inhabitants of land, but also by tribes of men, who in their habits of life, as judged of by their weapons, differed little, if at all, from those tribes inhabiting Western Europe two thousand years ago, and equally little from those found in America two centuries ago, and in many islands of the Pacific, and in the northern and unsettled parts of Australia, at the present day. Now as then the human race, in its power of resistance to cold and heat, hunger and thirst, and extremes of all kinds, possessed an elasticity, due no doubt to intellectual preeminence, which distinguished the most savage tribes, and rendered them superior to the most powerful and intelligent of the unreasoning animals. They remained and held their ground, whilst all or most of the others were forced to give way to changing climate and altered conditions of food; they continued to rule, long perhaps without much civilisation, but always the lords of creation, until the early and uncivilised tribes were driven out by others having more cultivation, and therefore greater power. They have left behind a few stone weapons, found in the caverns and gravel, buried with the bones of the quadrupeds of their day now extinct. Hitherto the subject is new, and the discoveries that can be depended on are few and inconsiderable; but we may look forward to the time when other indications than stone hatchets, knives, and arrow-heads will be found, and when bones and skulls shall testify to the peculiarities of the race. Perhaps, indeed, many such have been picked up already and lost again, owing to the total absence of preparation, even of scientific observers, to admit them; but now that the possibility is recognised, we shall soon see the evidence grow around us.
It is curious and interesting to find in this way another important department of human knowledge, archæology, taking its earliest facts and conclusions from geology, adding thus to the
312 Testimony of Geology to the Age of the Human Race.
large number of sciences based on the history of the earth and its contents. The facts brought forward by geological investi gation in gravel and caverns are at present the only sources of information for determining the antiquity of our race.
There appears to be nothing in the Nilotic or cuneiform inscriptions of the most ancient date, nothing in the oldest hieroglyphics of Egypt or the records of India or China, and there is nothing in the Sacred Writings considered merely as a history of the human race, that points to the existence of an ancient people widely spread over the earth in both hemispheres, living at the remote period referred to, in a savage or at best half-civilised state, but capable of manufacturing arrow and spear heads and knives, roughly hewn out of hard stone. Far anterior in time to all ordinary records, to cyclopean constructions in stone, or to pictured and sculptured stones, however uncouth, their implements and manufactures found in many countries in caverns, in gravel-beds, or in river-mud, these tribes are, for the most part, dissevered from the oldest that show relation with actual history, and carry us back to the period when the last races of large quadrupeds ranged over the earth. Sculptured by beings who must have shared the earth with the cavern-bear, hyæna, and tiger, the elephant, mastodon, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros, the great Irish elk, the megatherium and glyptodon, the gigantic kangaroos and wombats, and the dinornis, and numerous other strange quadrupeds and birds,—these implements, simple and rudely formed as they are, still show a degree of ingenuity, and indicate a certain amount of intellectual cultivation, compared with which the cleverness of the monkey or any other unreasoning animal, however perfect in instinct, is not to be brought into comparison. There is enough in what is already known to stimulate curiosity, to hint very obscurely at the earliest condition of the uneducated human being, and at the same time to point to a lapse of time marked by geological epochs instead of years or centuries. How long this state of things lasted, and by what steps men grew out of this infancy into the partial and obstructed cultivation of the Chinese, on the one hand, or the hitherto unchecked progress of the Saxon races on the other, or what intermediate gradations are represented by the Celtic tribes, the Aztecs, the Egyptians, the North American Indians, the South Sea islanders, the Bosjesmans, or the indigenous Australians, there are no means yet of determining. We cannot even make out whether this early race was destroyed, or nearly so, to make way for a newer one of greater intellectual activity; or whether the newer arose out of the older, obeying some great law of development and intellectual
ART. III. THE BUDGET AND THE TREATY IN THEIR RELATION TO POLITICAL MORALITY.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer's Speech on the Finance of the Year and Treaty of Commerce with France, Friday, February 10th. London: J. W. Parker.
WRITING on the 1st of April about a Budget and a Treaty both of which were virtually settled and approved by the 1st of March is rather melancholy work. To sing their praises would be simply superfluous, even were it not conscientiously impossible; while to indulge in an impotent protest against faits accomplis would be undignified because futile. The consequences these measures must entail are already in a great measure incurred by the mere fact of their acceptance by the nation; the violations of consistent principle and high morality which they involve are already perpetrated, and cannot be cancelled, however sincerely and sadly they may hereafter be repented of. But we need not, by our silence, sanction the injurious inference that the whole English people were acquiescent accomplices in the pernicious error; and we may at least raise a note of warning sufficient to avert further slidings in the same direction.
We have only a few pages to devote to the subject; therefore we must be very brief, and must spend no space in prefatory matter. We will speak first of the Budget, then of the Treaty; though, in truth, it is not easy to separate the two. Mr. Gladstone's Budget, then, may be characterised as a good thing, done in a bad manner and at a wrong time; a measure, or rather a series of measures, sound to a certain extent in principle, and possibly beneficent in result, but suggested by motives that are more than questionable, brought forward in a fashion that is almost cynical, and carried under circumstances which almost transform a right into a wrong. Considered in itself, the simplification of the tariff is undeniably a gain; the removal of all the differential and protective duties which remained is only the completion of a wise and just policy long since inaugurated; the free admission of a number of small articles, the charges on which have to some extent fettered trade and checked consumption, was desirable no doubt, and will probably be beneficent in its operation, though more slightly and more slowly than the public has been led by the eloquence of its advocate to anticipate; and as to the extinction of the paper duty, though we may differ greatly in our estimate of the benefits to be expected from it, no one will deny that a tax so open to objection might be fitly enough resigned whenever the country had a spare million which it could afford to give away, and when there were no more deserving claimants on its generosity.