POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by J. B. Lippincott & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Transcriber's notes: Minor typos have been corrected. Table of contents has been generated for HTML version.
AMONG THE KABYLES.
A PADUAN HOLIDAY.
A LAW UNTO HERSELF.
A SUMMER EVENING'S DREAM.
A GREAT DAY.
A VENETIAN OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
THE MARQUIS OF LOSSIE.
OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
AMONG THE KABYLES.
MOSQUE AND DWELLING OF MARABOUTS, KOUKOU.
Remains of old nationalities are scattered in odd corners all over the earth. Every land, almost, possesses a relic of the kind markedly different from the specimens preserved elsewhere, and peculiar enough to give color to the old theory of its having sprung from the soil. These torn and battered shreds of humanity are usually found lodged among the rocks, the blast of foreign invasion having driven them thither from the plains. The mountains not only give them shelter, but seem to reinfuse new vigor, and thus in many cases enable them to exert more or less of a reflex influence on their conquerors. This influence varies with the character of the country and of the respective races. The invaders, if actuated by civilizing impulses and not mere military ambition, will make themselves useful and necessary to the natives, develop what capacity they have, and absorb them politically. In the opposite case fusion is not effected, and a degree of antagonism is maintained which breaks out on occasion into actual hostilities. Between these two extreme cases we may trace an infinity of examples, modified by endless combinations of circumstances and conditions.
In Great Britain we see the Gael whirled up by successive gusts from Italy, the Elbe and Normandy into the clefts of the Welsh and Scottish mountains. France has driven her aborigines into the peninsula of Brittany and the gorges of the Eastern Pyrenees. The Finns find refuge among the frozen swamps north-east of St. Petersburg. The ethnic museum of mountainous Spain is more rich and varied than that of her Northern neighbors, and Italy has remnants dating back into the night of historic time in Sardinia and the Abruzzi. Japan, ancient as she is, has her Ainos of unrecorded antiquity, and the ranges of Central India are haunted by races still more primitive and unprepossessing in manners and physiognomy. Over the plains of both continents so many successive waves of population have swept that no race can claim more than a comparative antiquity. The traceable pedigree of any given community becomes very short indeed, and the inquirer contents himself with conceding that the Thibetan sept which arrogates descent from Alexander's Greeks may do so with truth—say as much truth as there was in the descent of certain straw-colored Creeks and Choctaws from the followers of De Soto.
Unlike the Thibetans, the Kabyles repudiate classic origin. They are the only people who have made "barbarian" a title of honor, and call themselves Berbers, the modern name having been given them by the Arabs. The dwellers on the Danube, the Seine and the Thames, who once shared with them the designation of "barbarian," were quick to shake it off. European Barbary exists no longer. Its modern inhabitants amuse themselves with exploring the southern shore of the Mediterranean, and in ascertaining whether their whilom fellow-provincials of that coast are still determined to be barbarous in fact as in name. The Germans took their turn at an attempt of this character in the days of Genseric, the Vandal name and nation having wound up its career in Africa, sinking into the sands of that inhospitable continent irrecoverably, unless we accept the Kabyles as the representatives of their blood. Forty years ago another Northern race entered upon the task, the misrule of the Arab and the Turk having apparently prepared the way for a new invasion. The French pined for an opportunity of testing once more their genius for colonization, and they selected this time, in place of a wild tract in America or Oceanica, a region opposite their own shores cultivated and densely peopled when Gaul was savage, and still occupied by inhabitants as proud and turbulent as those who proposed to reclaim and reconstruct them. Kabylia proper is a part of the Algerine territory but a few hours distant from the walls of Algiers, of the size of an average French department, and having a population of one hundred and seventy-five to the square mile—a ratio identical with that of France. But the new province, like its new mother—or step-mother—country, had also its outliers of territory and people. The Kabyles overflow east, west and south. They nearly equal the