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arguments, and with some evidence bearing upon the physical characteristics of the English and their ancestors. But I have met with no examination of the Englishman's general disposition ; with no sketch of the Englishman in action drawn according to any fixed principles of art or science. I have met with no independent attempt to sift and knead together the whole of the evidence which has reference to our origin. The historian has generally taken for granted whatever the philologist, or the observer of physical characteristics, has chosen to tell him ; and each of these latter has in turn been no less ready to take for granted whatever he has found to his taste in the writings of the other or of the historian. I have endeavoured to analyse the whole of the evidence for myself, and have touched, though but lightly, upon one branch which I believe to be almost entirely new.
But although I think I have some justification for publishing my book, I publish it with no slight diffidence. We see every day that those who sail upon little-known and dangerous seas make shipwreck more frequently than they discover new lands. And I very
much fear that some of those readers who may merely glance at what I consider the least important of these pages, without considering the context, will suspect that my vessel has gone to pieces
on the loadstone island of Celtic philology, whence few, if any, have returned in safety.
It is therefore perhaps advisable for me to state here that I am not trying to prove Englishmen to be Welshmen.
I know very well what ridiculous attempts have been made to prove all kinds of ethnological absurdities from some supposed connexion between the Celtic and certain other languages by writers who apparently knew little of the languages compared, and nothing of the principles of Comparative Philology. I look upon it therefore as a misfortune that I have been compelled to go into the philological question. But it seems to me that my essay would not be complete without some attempt to ascertain the affinities of the pre-Roman inhabitants of this island. I do not believe that those affinities can be ascertained by the inspection of languages alone; I do not believe the evidence of language, however strong, to be of any ethnological value unless supported by wholly independent testimony. But I think philology may sometimes give a useful hint; and, as will be seen in the second and following chapters, I have availed myself of her suggestions, and have afterwards submitted them to what I believe to be the best possible tests.
I think resemblances of language always furnish a case for enquiry, but no more. We may fairly ask why negroes in Hayti speak French, and why Frenchmen speak a modification of Latin. We may also fairly ask why some of the languages commonly called Aryan differ from one another according to certain general rules; why two or more languages agree with one another in certain sounds, and yet differ from the rest of the Aryan family. Why do the Roman and the Gael use the sound k where the German uses the sound f, and where the Greek and the Welshman agree in using the sound p? Why do the Roman, the German, and the Gael agree in using the sounds where the Welshman and the Greek
agree in using the sound h ? It would, I think, be less absurd to found an ethnological argument on these definite philological rules than to assume that every linguistic connexion, however remote, implies blood-relationship. Yet this assumption is made by almost every philologist who touches upon ethnology, no less by those who declare most European nations to be of the · Aryan stock’ than by those who lose themselves in a search for the lost tribes of Israel.
But it has been my aim to avoid all assumptions, and to draw all my conclusions from evidence. I should be inconsistent with myself were I to assume that any philological laws are identical with any
ethnological laws. But, precisely as I enquire what, if any, is the ethnological significance of the fact that the English speak a language of which the grammar is to a great extent Teutonic, I enquire what, if any, is the ethnological significance of certain other philological facts and rules pointed out in the second chap
The importance of these facts is in each case determined by independent evidence.
I may be permitted further to point out that, if the whole of the philological discussion were omitted from this essay, I should still have a mass of evidence hardly the less powerful in favour of my conclusions; and, yet further, should all the evidence be rejected by which I have attempted to arrive at a positive and definite result, there would still be enough to demonstrate that we Englishmen are not what we are commonly supposed to be.
In my anxiety to escape from a particular danger I have said more on this subject than I ought perhaps to have said in a preface; especially as I have made similar remarks elsewhere. I shall endeavour to atone for this offence by saying here as little as possible on the other branches of the enquiry, the treatment of which must speak for itself.
In dealing with the higher mental characteristics of the different peoples compared, and in attempting to classify them, I have been met by this very great
difficulty : it is nearly, if not quite, impossible for any one to make himself a competent judge of all intellectual manifestations ; and I fear that anyone may
be accused of presumption who enters upon the task which I have undertaken. I can only say that I am quite sensible of my own deficiencies ; that I have done my best to draw a sketch which, though incomplete, I believe to be correct as far as it goes; and that in the fine arts I have trusted authors of different schools who agree on those points to which my attention has been directed, and have carefully avoided giving any criticisms of my own.
I have to express my obligations to Dr. Beddoe, of Clifton, who has most kindly allowed me to quote two unpublished papers which were of considerable service to me in the investigation of physical characteristics ; to Dr. Barnard Davis, who took the trouble to send me the measurements of some skulls in his collection; to Mr. Newton, and to Mr. Vaux, of the British Museum, who, in their respective departments, gave me every possible information, and who made some very valuable suggestions; to Professor Longmore, and to Dr. de Chaumont, of the Army Medical School at Netley, whose assistance enabled me to measure some skulls in the Medical Staff Museum in the least possible time ; and to Mr. C. Carter Blake, from