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which rightly understood, may, if not overthrow, yet shrewdly shake the security of this assertion.
And first, many which countenance the opinion in this reason, do tacitly and upon consequence overthrow it in another. For whilst they make the river Senega to divide and bound the Moors, so that on the south side they are black, on the other only tawny, they imply a secret causality herein from the air, place, or river; and seem not to derive it from the sun, the effects of whose activity are not precipitously abrupted, but gradually proceed to their cessations.
Secondly, if we affirm that this effect proceeded, or as we will not be backward to concede, it may be advanced and fomented from the fervour of the sun; yet do we not hereby discover a principle sufficient to decide the
question concerning other animals; nor doth he that affirmeth that heat makes man black, afford a reason why other animals in the same habitations maintain a constant and agreeable hue unto those in other parts, as lions, elephants, camels, swans, tigers, ostriches, which, though in Ethiopia, in the disadvantage of two summers, and perpendicular rays of the sun, do yet make good the complexion of their species, and hold a colourable correspondence unto those in milder regions. Now did this complexion proceed from heat in man, the same would be communicated unto other animals, which equally participate the influence of the common agent. For thus it is in the effects of cold, in regions far removed from the sun; for therein men are not only of fair complexions, gray-eyed, and of light air; but many creatures exposed to the air, deflect in extremity from their natural colours; from brown, russet, and black, receiving the complexion of winter, and turning perfect white. Thus Olaus Magnus relates, that after the autumnal equinox, foxes begin to grow white; thus Michovius reporteth, and we want not ocular confirmation, that hares and partridges turn white in the winter; and thus a white crow, a proverbial rarity with us, is none unto them; but that inseparable accident of porphyry is separated in many hundreds
Thirdly, if the fervour of the sun, or intemperate heat of clime did solely occasion this complexion, surely a migration or change thereof might cause à sensible, if not a total mutation; which notwithstanding experience will not admit. For Negroes transplanted, although into cold and phlegmatick habitations, continue their hue both in themselves, and also their generations, except they mix with different complexions; whereby, notwithstanding there only succeeds a remission of their tinctures, there remaining unto many descents a strong shadow of originals, and if they preserve their copulations entire, they still maintain their complexions. As is very remarkable in the dominions of the Grand Signior, and most observable in the Moors in Brasilia, which, transplanted about an hundred years past, continue the tinctures of their fathers unto this day. And so likewise fair or white people translated into hotter countries receive not impressions amounting to this complexion, as hath been observed in many Europeans who have lived in the land of Negroes : and as Edvardus Lopez testifieth of the Spanish plantations, that they retained their native complexions unto his days.
Fourthly, if the fervour of the sun were the sole cause hereof in Ethiopia or any land of Negroes, it were also reasonable that inhabitants of the same latitude, subjected unto the same vicinity of the sun, the same diurnal arch, and direction of its rays, should also partake of the same hue and complexion ; which notwithstanding they do not. For the inhabitants of the same latitude in Asia are of a different complexion, as are the inhabitants of Cambogia and Java ; insomuch that some conceive the Negro is properly a native of Africa, and that those places in Asia, inhabited now by Moors, are but the intrusions of Negroes, arriving first from Africa, as we generally conceive of Madagascar, and the adjoining islands, who retain the same complexion unto this day. But this defect is more remarkable in America; which although subjected unto both the tropicks, yet are not the inhabitants black between, or near, or under either: neither to the southward in Brasilia, Chili
, or Peru; nor yet to the northward in Hispaniola, Castilia, del Oro, or Nicaragua. And although in many parts thereof there be at present swarms of Negroes serving under the Spaniard, yet were they all transported from Africa, since the discovery of Columbus ; and are not indigenous or proper natives of America.
Fifthly, we cannot conclude this complexion in nations
from the vicinity or habitude they hold unto the sun; for even in Africa they be Negroes under the southern tropick, but are not all of this hue either under or near the northern. So the people of Gualata, Agades, Garamantes, and of Goaga, all within the northern tropicks, are not Negroes; but on the other side Capo Negro, Cefala, and Madagascar, they are of a jetty black.
Now if to salve this anomaly we say, the heat of the sun is more powerful in the southern tropick, because in the sign of Capricorn falls out the perigeum or lowest place of the sun in his eccentric, whereby he becomes nearer unto them than unto the other in Cancer, we shall not absolve the doubt. And if any insist upon such niceties, and will presume a different effect of the sun, from such a difference of place or vicinity: we shall balance the same with the concernment of its motion, and time of revolution, and say he is more powerful in the northern hemisphere, and in the apogeum : for therein his motion is slower, and so is his heat respectively unto those habitations, as of more duration, so also of more effect. For though he absolve his revolution in 365 days, odd hours and minutes, yet by reason of eccentricity, his motion is unequal, and his course far longer in the northern semicircle, than in the southern; for the latter he passeth in 178 days, but the other takes him 187, that is, nine days more. So is his presence more continued unto the northern inhabitants; and the longest day in Cancer is longer unto us than that in Capricorn unto the southern habitator. Beside, hereby we only infer an inequality of heat in different tropicks, but not an equality of effects in other parts subjected to the same. For in the same degree, and as near the earth he makes his revolution unto the American, whose inhabitants, notwithstanding, partake not of the same effect. And if herein we seek a relief from the dog-star, we shall introduce an effect proper
unto a few, from a cause common unto many : for
upon the same grounds that star should have as forcible a power upon America and Asia ; and although it be not vertical unto any part of Asia, but only passeth by Beach, in Terra Incognita; yet is it so unto America, and vertically passeth over the habitations of Peru and Brasilia.
Sixthly, and which is very considerable, there are Negroes in Africa beyond the southern tropick, and some so far removed from it, as geographically, the clime is not intemperate, that is, near the Cape of Good Hope, in 36 of the southern latitude. Whereas in the same elevation northward, the inhabitants of America are fair; and they of Europe in Candy, Sicily, and some other parts of Spain, deserve not properly so low a name as tawny.
Lastly, whereas the Africans are conceived to be more peculiarly scorched and torrified from the sun, by addition of dryness from the soil, from want and defect of water, it will not excuse the doubt. For the parts which the Negroes possess, are not so void of rivers and moisture, as is presumed; for on the other side the Mountains of the Moon, in that great tract called Zanzibar, there are the mighty rivers of Suama, and Spirito Santo; on this side, the great river Zaire, the mighty Nile and Niger ; which do not only moisten and contemperate the air by their exhalations, but refresh and humectate the earth by their annual inundations. Beside in that part of Africa, which with all disadvantage is most dry (that is, in situation between the tropicks, defect of rivers and inundations, as also abundance of sands), the people are not esteemed Negroes; and that is Libya, which with the Greeks carries the name of all Africa. A region so desert, dry, and sandy, that travellers (as Leo reports) are fain to carry water on their camels ; whereof they find not a drop sometime in six or seven days. Yet is this country accounted by geographers no part of Terra Nigritarum, and Ptolemy placeth therein the LeucoÆthiopes, or pale and tawny Moors.
Now the ground of this opinion might be the visible quality of blackness observably produced by heat, fire, and smoke; but especially with the ancients the violent esteem they held of the heat of the sun, in the hot or torrid zone; conceiving that part unhabitable, and therefore, that people in the vicinities, or frontier thereof, could not escape without this change of their complexions. But how far they were mistaken in this apprehension, modern geography hath discovered: and as we have declared, there are many within this zone whose complexions descend not so low as unto blackness. And if we should strictly insist hereon, the possibility might fall into question; that is, whether
the heat of the sun, whose fervour may swart a living part, and even black a dead or dissolving flesh, can yet in animals, whose parts are successive and in continual flux, produce this deep and perfect gloss of blackness.
Thus having evinced, at least made dubious, the sun is not the author of this blackness, how, and when this tineture first began is yet a riddle, and positively to determine it surpasseth my presumption. Seeing therefore we cannot discover what did effect it, it may afford some piece of satisfaction to know what might procure it. It may be therefore considered whether the inward use of certain waters or fountains of peculiar operations, might not at first produce the effect in question. For of the like we have records in Aristotle, Strabo, and Pliny, who hath made a collection hereof, as of two fountains in Bæotia, the one making sheep white, the other black; of the water of Siberis which made oxen black, and the like effect it had also upon men, dying not only the skin, but making their hairs black and curled. This was the conceit of Aristobulus ; who received so little satisfaction from the other (or that it might be caused by heat, or any kind of fire), that he conceived it as reasonable to impute the effect unto water.
Secondly, it may be perpended whether it might not fall out the same way that Jacob's cattle became speckled, spotted, and ring-straked, that is, by the power and efficacy of imagination; which produceth effects in the conception correspondent unto the fancy of the agents in generation, and sometimes assimilates the idea of the generator into a reality in the thing engendered. For, hereof there pass for current many indisputed examples; so in Hippocrates we read of one, that from an intent view of a picture conceived a Negro; and in the history of Heliodore,* of a Moorish queen, who upon aspection of the picture of Andromeda, conceived and brought forth a fair one. And thus perhaps might some say was the beginning of this complexion, induced first by imagination, which having once impregnated the seed, found afterward concurrent co-operations, which were continued by climes, whose constitution advantaged the first impression. Thus Plotinus conceiveth white peacocks first came in. Thus many opi
* Vide plura apud Tho. Fienum, de viribus imaginationis.