By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Philological Essay Concerning the Pygmies of the Ancients
Author: Tyson, Edward, 1650-1708
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Philological Essay Concerning the Pygmies of the Ancients" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





Now Edited, with an Introduction by Bertram C. A. Windle



It is only necessary for me to state here, what I have mentioned in the
Introduction, that my account of the habits of the Pigmy races of legend
and myth makes no pretence of being in any sense a complete or exhaustive
account of the literature of this subject. I have contented myself with
bringing forward such tales as seemed of value for the purpose of
establishing the points upon which I desire to lay emphasis.

I have elsewhere expressed my obligations to M. De Quatrefage's book on
Pigmies, obligations which will be at once recognised by those familiar
with that monograph. To his observations I have endeavoured to add such
other published facts as I have been able to gather in relation to these

I have to thank Professors Sir William Turner, Haddon, Schlegel, Brinton,
and Topinard for their kindness in supplying me with information in
response to my inquiries on several points.

Finally, I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to Professor Alexander
Macalister, President of the Anthropological Institute, and to Mr. E.
Sidney Hartland, for their kindness in reading through, the former the
first two sections, and the latter the last two sections of the
Introduction, and for the valuable suggestions which both have made. These
gentlemen have laid me under obligations which I can acknowledge, but
cannot repay.






Edward Tyson, the author of the Essay with which this book is concerned,
was, on the authority of Monk's Roll of the Royal College of Physicians,
born, according to some accounts, at Bristol, according to others, at
Clevedon, co. Somerset, but was descended from a family which had long
settled in Cumberland. He was educated at Magdalene Hall, Oxford, as a
member of which he proceeded Bachelor of Arts on the 8th of February 1670,
and Master of Arts on the 4th of November 1673. His degree of Doctor of
Medicine he took at Cambridge in 1678 as a member of Corpus Christi
College. Dr. Tyson was admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians
on the 30th of September 1680, and a Fellow in April 1683. He was Censor
of the College in 1694, and held the appointments of Physician to the
Hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlem, and of Anatomical Reader at Surgeons'
Hall. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and contributed several papers
to the "Philosophical Transactions." Besides a number of anatomical works,
he published in 1699 "A Philosophical Essay concerning the Rhymes of the
Ancients," and in the same year the work by which his name is still known,
in which the Philological Essay which is here reprinted finds a place.
Tyson died on the 1st of August 1708, in the fifty-eighth year of his age,
and is buried at St. Dionis Backchurch. He was the original of the Carus
not very flatteringly described in Garth's "Dispensary."

The title-page of the work above alluded to runs as follows:--

_Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris_:


Compared with that of a _Monkey_, an _Ape_, and a _Man_.

To which is added, A PHILOLOGICAL ESSAY Concerning the _Pygmies_, the
_Cynocephali_, the _Satyrs_, and _Sphinges_ of the ANCIENTS.

Wherein it will appear that they are all either _APES_ or _MONKEYS_, and
not _MEN_, as formerly pretended.


Fellow of the Colledge of Physicians, and the Royal Society: Physician to
the Hospital of _Bethlem_, and Reader of Anatomy at _Chirurgeons-Hall_.


Printed for _Thomas Bennet_ at the _Half-Moon in St. Paul's_ Church-yard;
and _Daniel Brown_ at the _Black Swan_ and _Bible_ without _Temple-Bar_
and are to be had of Mr. _Hunt_ at the _Repository_ in _Gresham-Colledge_.

It bears the authority of the Royal Society:--

17° _Die Maij_, 1699.

Imprimatur Liber cui Titulus, _Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris,_ &c.
Authore _Edvardo Tyson_, M.D. R.S.S.


The Pygmy described in this work was, as a matter of fact, a chimpanzee,
and its skeleton is at this present moment in the Natural History Museum
at South Kensington. Tyson's granddaughter married a Dr. Allardyce, who
was a physician of good standing in Cheltenham. The "Pygmie" formed a
somewhat remarkable item of her dowry. Her husband presented it to the
Cheltenham Museum, where it was fortunately carefully preserved until,
quite recently, it was transferred to its present position.

At the conclusion of the purely scientific part of the work the author
added four Philological Essays, as will have appeared from his title-page.
The first of these is both the longest and the most interesting, and has
alone been selected for republication in this volume.

This is not the place to deal with the scientific merit of the main body
of Tyson's work, but it may at least be said that it was the first attempt
which had been made to deal with the anatomy of any of the anthropoid
apes, and that its execution shows very conspicuous ability on the part of
its author.

Tyson, however, was not satisfied with the honour of being the author of
an important morphological work; he desired to round off his subject by
considering its bearing upon the, to him, wild and fabulous tales
concerning pigmy races. The various allusions to these races met with in
the pages of the older writers, and discussed in his, were to him what
fairy tales are to us. Like modern folk-lorists, he wished to explain,
even to euhemerise them, and bring them into line with the science of his
day. Hence the "Philological Essay" with which this book is concerned.
There are no pigmy races, he says; "the most diligent enquiries of late
into all the parts of the inhabited world could never discover any such
puny diminutive race of mankind." But there are tales about them, "fables
and wonderful and merry relations, that are transmitted down to us
concerning them," which surely require explanation. That explanation he
found in his theory that all the accounts of pigmy tribes were based upon
the mistakes of travellers who had taken apes for men. Nor was he without
followers in his opinion; amongst whom here need only be mentioned Buffon,
who in his _Histoire des Oiseaux_ explains the Homeric tale much as Tyson
had done. The discoveries, however, of this century have, as all know,
re-established in their essential details the accounts of the older
writers, and in doing so have demolished the theories of Tyson and Buffon.
We now know, not merely that there are pigmy races in existence, but that
the area which they occupy is an extensive one, and in the remote past has
without doubt been more extensive still. Moreover, certain of these races
have been, at least tentatively, identified with the pigmy tribes of
Pliny, Herodotus, Aristotle, and other writers. It will be well, before
considering this question, and before entering into any consideration of
the legends and myths which may possibly be associated with dwarf races,
to sketch briefly their distribution throughout the continents of the
globe. It is necessary to keep clearly in view the upper limit which can
justly be assigned to dwarfishness, and with this object it may be
advisable to commence with a statement as to the average heights reached
by various representative peoples. According to Topinard, the races of the
world may be classified, in respect to their stature, in the following

Tall                  5 ft. 8 in. and upwards.
Above the average     5 ft. 6 in. to 5 ft. 8 in.
Below the average     5 ft. 4 in. to 5 ft. 6 in.
Short                 Below 5 ft. 4 in.

Thus amongst ordinary peoples there is no very striking difference of
height, so far as the average is concerned. It would, however, be a great
mistake to suppose that all races reaching a lower average height than
five feet four inches are, in any accurate sense of the word, to be looked
upon as pigmies. We have to descend to a considerably lower figure before
that appellation can be correctly employed. The stature must fall
considerably below five feet before we can speak of the race as one of
dwarfs or pigmies. Anthropometrical authorities have not as yet agreed
upon any upward limit for such a class, but for our present purposes it
may be convenient to say that any race in which the average male stature
does not exceed four feet nine inches--that is, the average height of a
boy of about twelve years of age--may fairly be described as pigmy. It is
most important to bear this matter of inches in mind in connection with
points which will have to be considered in a later section.

Pigmy races still exist in considerable numbers in Asia and the adjacent
islands, and as it was in that continent that, so far as our present
knowledge goes, they had in former days their greatest extension, and, if
De Quatrefages be correct, their place of origin, it will be well to deal
first with the tribes of that quarter of the globe. "The Negrito" (_i.e._,
pigmy black) "type," says the authority whom I have just quoted, and to
whom I shall have to be still further indebted,[A] "was first placed in
South Asia, which it without doubt occupied alone during an indeterminate
period. It is thence that its diverse representatives have radiated, and,
some going east, some west, have given rise to the black populations of
Melanesia and Africa. In particular, India and Indo-China first belonged
to the blacks. Invasions and infiltrations of different yellow or white
races have split up these Negrito populations, which formerly occupied a
continuous area, and mixing with them, have profoundly altered them. The
present condition of things is the final result of strifes and mixtures,
the most ancient of which may be referred back to prehistoric times." The
invasions above mentioned having in the past driven many of the races from
the mainland to the islands, and those which remained on the continent
having undergone greater modification by crossing with taller and alien
races, we may expect to find the purest Negritos amongst the tribes
inhabiting the various archipelagoes situated south and east of the
mainland. Amongst these, the Mincopies of the Andaman Islands offer a
convenient starting-point. The knowledge which we possess of these little
blacks is extensive, thanks to the labours in particular of Mr. Man[B] and
Dr. Dobson,[C] which may be found in the Journal of the Anthropological
Institute, and summarised in De Quatrefages' work. The average stature of
the males of this race is four feet six inches, the height of a boy of ten
years of age. Like children, the head is relatively large in comparison
with the stature, since it is contained seven times therein, instead of
seven and a half times, as is the rule amongst most average-sized peoples.
Whilst speaking of the head, it may be well to mention that these
Negritos, and in greater or less measure other Negritos and Negrillos
(_i.e._, pigmy blacks, Asiatic or African), differ in this part of the
body in a most important respect from the ordinary African negro. Like
him, they are black, often intensely so: like him, too, they have woolly
hair arranged in tufts, but, unlike him, they have round (brachycephalic)
heads instead of long (dolichocephalic); and the purer the race, the more
marked is this distinction. The Mincopie has a singularly short life; for
though he attains puberty at much the same age as ourselves, the
twenty-second year brings him to middle life, and the fiftieth, if
reached, is a period of extreme senility. Pure in race, ancient in
history, and carefully studied, this race deserves some further attention
here than can be extended to others with which I have to deal. The moral
side of the Mincopies seems to be highly developed; the modesty of the
young girls is most strict; monogamy is the rule, and--

  "Their list of forbidden degrees
   An extensive morality shows,"

since even the marriage of cousins-german is considered highly immoral.
"Men and women," says Man, "are models of constancy." They believe in a
Supreme Deity, respecting whom they say, that "although He resembles fire,
He is invisible; that He was never born, and is immortal; that He created
the world and all animate and inanimate objects, save only the powers of
evil. During the day He knows everything, even the thoughts of the mind;
He is angry when certain sins are committed, and full of pity for the
unfortunate and miserable, whom He sometimes condescends to assist. He
judges souls after death, and pronounces on each a sentence which sends
them to paradise or condemns them to a kind of purgatory. The hope of
escaping the torments of this latter place influences their conduct.
Puluga, this Deity, inhabits a house of stone; when it rains, He descends
upon the earth in search of food; during the dry weather He is asleep."
Besides this Deity, they believe in numerous evil spirits, the chief of
whom is the Demon of the Woods. These spirits have created themselves, and
have existed _ab immemorabili_. The sun, which is a female, and the moon,
her husband, are secondary deities.

[Footnote A: The quotations from this author are taken from his work _Les
Pygmées_. Paris, J.B. Baillière et Fils, 1887.]

[Footnote B: _Jour. Anthrop. Inst_., vii.]

[Footnote C: _Ibid_., iv.]

South of the Andaman Islands are the Nicobars, the aborigines of which,
the Shom Pen,[A] now inhabit the mountains, where, like so many of their
brethren, they have been driven by the Malays. They are of small, but not
pigmy stature (five feet two inches), a fact which may be due to crossing.

[Footnote A: Man, _Jour. Anthrop. Inst._, xviii. p. 354.]

Following the Negritos east amongst the islands, we find in Luzon the
Aetas or Inagtas, a group of which is known in Mindanao as Manamouas. The
Aetas live side by side with the Tagals, who are of Malay origin. They
were called Negritos del Monte by the Spaniards who first colonised these
islands. Their average stature, according to Wallace, ranges from four
feet six inches to four feet eight inches. In New Guinea, the Karons, a
similar race, occupy a chain of mountains parallel to the north coast of
the great north-western peninsula. At Port Moresby, in the same island,
the Koiari appear to represent the most south-easterly group; but my
friend Professor Haddon, who has investigated this district, tells me that
he finds traces of a former existence of Negritos at Torres Straits and in
North Queensland, as shown by the shape of the skulls of the inhabitants
of these regions.

The Malay Peninsula contains in Perak hill tribes called "savages" by the
Sakays. These tribes have not been seen by Europeans, but are stated to be
pigmy in stature, troglodytic, and still in the Stone Age. Farther south
are the Semangs of Kedah, with an average stature of four feet ten inches,
and the Jakuns of Singapore, rising to five feet. The Annamites admit that
they are not autochthonous, a distinction which they confer upon the Moïs,
of whom little is known, but whose existence and pigmy Negrito
characteristics are considered by De Quatrefages as established.

China no longer, so far as we know, contains any representatives of this
type, but Professor Lacouperie[A] has recently shown that they formerly
existed in that part of Asia. According to the annals of the Bamboo Books,
"In the twenty-ninth year of the Emperor Yao, in spring, the chief of the
Tsiao-Yao, or dark pigmies, came to court and offered as tribute feathers
from the Mot." The Professor continues, "As shown by this entry, we begin
with the semi-historic times as recorded in the 'Annals of the Bamboo
Books,' and the date about 2048 B.C. The so-called feathers were simply
some sort of marine plant or seaweed with which the immigrant Chinese,
still an inland people, were yet unacquainted. The Mot water or river,
says the Shan-hai-king, or canonical book of hills and seas, was situated
in the south-east of the Tai-shan in Shan-tung. This gives a clue to the
localisation of the pigmies, and this localisation agrees with the
positive knowledge we possess of the small area which the Chinese dominion
covered at this time. Thus the Negritos were part of the native population
of China when, in the twenty-third century B.C., the civilised Bak tribes
came into the land." In Japan we have also evidence of their existence.
This country, now inhabited by the Niphonians, or Japanese, as we have
come to call them, was previously the home of the Ainu, a white, hairy
under-sized race, possibly, even probably, emigrants from Europe, and now
gradually dying out in Yezo and the Kurile Islands. Prior to the Ainu was
a Negrito race, whose connection with the former is a matter of much
dispute, whose remains in the shape of pit-dwellings, stone arrow-heads,
pottery, and other implements still exist, and will be found fully
described by Mr. Savage Landor in a recent most interesting work.[B] In
the Shan-hai-king, as Professor Schlegel[C] points out, their country is
spoken of as the Siao-jin-Kouo, or land of little men, in distinction, be
it noted, to the Peh-min-Kouo, or land of white people, identified by him
with the Ainu. These little men are spoken of by the Ainu as
Koro-puk-guru, _i.e._, according to Milne, men occupying excavations, or
pit-dwellers. According to Chamberlain, the name means dwellers under
burdocks, and is associated with the following legend. Before the time of
the Ainu, Yezo was inhabited by a race of dwarfs, said by some to be two
to three feet, by others only one inch in height. When an enemy
approached, they hid themselves under the great leaves of the burdock
(_koro_), for which reason they are called Koro-puk-guru, i.e., the men
under the burdocks. When they were exterminated by the wooden clubs of the
Ainu, they raised their eyes to heaven, and, weeping, cried aloud to the
gods, "Why were we made so small?" It should be said that Professor
Schlegel and Mr. Savage Landor both seem to prefer the former etymology.

[Footnote A: Babylonian and Oriental Record, vol. v.]

[Footnote B: Alone with the Hairy Ainu.]

[Footnote C: _Problèmes Géographiques. Les Peuples Etrangers chez les
Historiens Chinois_. Extrait du T'oung-pao, vol. _iv_. No. 4. Leide, E.J.

Passing to the north-west of the Andamans, we find in India a problem of
considerable difficulty. That there were at one period numerous Negrito
tribes inhabiting that part of Asia is indubitable; that some of them
persist to this day in a state of approximate purity is no less true, but
the influence of crossing has here been most potent. Races of lighter hue
and taller stature have invaded the territory of the Negritos, to a
certain extent intermarried with them, and thus have originated the
various Dravidian tribes. These tribes, therefore, afford us a valuable
clue as to the position occupied in former days by their ancestors, the

In some of the early Indian legends, De Quatrefages thinks that he finds
traces of these prehistoric connections between the indigenous Negrito
tribes and their invaders. The account of the services rendered to Rama by
Hânuman and his monkey-people may, he thinks, easily be explained by
supposing the latter to be a Negrito tribe. Another tale points to unions
of a closer nature between the alien races. Bhimasena, after having
conquered and slain Hidimba, at first resisted the solicitations of the
sister of this monster, who, having become enamoured of him, presented
herself under the guise of a lovely woman. But at the wish of his elder
brother, Youdhichshira, the king of justice, and with the consent of his
mother, he yielded, and passed some time in the dwelling of this Negrito
or Dravidian Armida.

It will now be necessary to consider some of these races more or less
crossed with alien blood.

In the centre of India, amongst the Vindyah Mountains, live the Djangals
or Bandra-Lokhs, the latter name signifying man-monkey, and thus
associating itself with the tale of Rama, above alluded to. Like most of
the Dravidian tribes, they live in great misery, and show every sign of
their condition in their attenuated figures. One of this tribe measured by
Rousselet was five feet in height. It may here be remarked that the
stature of the Dravidian races exceeds that of the purer Negritos, a fact
due, no doubt, to the influence of crossing. Farther south, in the
Nilgherry Hills, and in the neighbourhood of the Todas and Badagas, dwell
the Kurumbas. and Irulas (children of darkness). Both are weak and
dwarfish, the latter especially so. They inhabit, says Walhouse,[A] the
most secluded, densely wooded fastnesses of the mountain slopes. They are
by popular tradition connected with the aboriginal builders of the rude
stone monuments of the district, though, according to the above-mentioned
authority, without any claim to such distinction. They, however, worship
at these cromlechs from time to time, and are associated with them in
another interesting manner. "The Kurumbas of Nulli," says Walhouse, "one
of the wildest Nilgherry declivities, come up annually to worship at one
of the dolmens on the table-land above, in which they say one of their old
gods resides. Though they are regarded with fear and hatred as sorcerers
by the agricultural B[)a]d[)a]gas of the table-land, one of them must,
nevertheless, at sowing-time be called to guide the first plough for two
or three yards, and go through a mystic pantomime of propitiation to the
earth deity, without which the crop would certainly fail. When so
summoned, the Kurumba must pass the night by the dolmens alone, and I have
seen one who had been called from his present dwelling for the morning
ceremony, sitting after dark on the capstone of a dolmen, with heels and
hams drawn together and chin on knees, looking like some huge ghostly fowl
perched on the mysterious stone." Mr. Gomme has drawn attention to this
and other similar customs in the interesting remarks which he makes upon
the influence of conquered non-Aryan races upon their Aryan subduers.[B]

[Footnote A: _Jour. Anthrop. Inst._, vii. 21.]

[Footnote B: Ethnology and Folk-Lore, p. 46; The Village Community, p.

Farther south, in Ceylon, the Veddahs live, whom Bailey[A] considers to be
identical with the hill-tribes of the mainland, though, if this be true,
some at least must have undergone a large amount of crossing, judging from
the wavy nature of their hair. The author just quoted says, "The tallest
Veddah I ever saw, a man so towering above his fellows that, till I
measured him, I believed him to be not merely comparatively a tall man,
was only five feet three inches in height. The shortest man I have
measured was four feet one inch. I should say that of males the ordinary
height is from four feet six inches to five feet one inch, and of females
from four feet four inches to four feet eight inches."

[Footnote A: _Trans. Ethn. Soc._, ii. 278.]

In the east the Santals inhabit the basin of the Ganges, and in the west
the Jats belong to the Punjab, and especially to the district of the
Indus. The Kols inhabit the delta of the Indus and the neighbourhood of
Gujerat, and stretch almost across Central India into Behar and the
eastern extremities of the Vindhya Mountains. Other Dravidian tribes are
the Oraons, Jouangs, Buihers, and Gounds. All these races have a stature
of about five feet, and, though much crossed, present more or less marked
Negrito characteristics. Passing farther west, the Brahouis of
Beluchistan, a Dravidian race, who regard themselves as the aboriginal
inhabitants, live side by side with the Belutchis. Finally, in this
direction, there seem to have been near Lake Zerrah, in Persia, Negrito
tribes who are probably aboriginal, and may have formed the historic black
guard of the ancient kings of Susiana.

An examination of the present localisation of these remnants of the
Negrito inhabitants shows how they have been split up, amalgamated with,
or driven to the islands by the conquering invaders. An example of what
has taken place may be found in the case of Borneo, where Negritos still
exist in the centre of the island. The Dyaks chase them like wild beasts,
and shoot down the children, who take refuge in the trees. This will not
seem in the least surprising to those who have studied the history of the
relation between autochthonous races and their invaders. It is the same
story that has been told of the Anglo-Saxon race in its dealings with
aborigines in America, and notably, in our case, in Tasmania.

Turning from Asia to a continent more closely associated, at least in
popular estimation, with pigmy races, we find in Africa several races of
dwarf men, of great antiquity and surpassing interest. The discoveries of
Stanley, Schweinfurth, Miani, and others have now placed at our disposal
very complete information respecting the pigmies of the central part of
the continent, with whom it will, therefore, be convenient to make a
commencement. These pigmies appear to be divided into two tribes, which,
though similar in stature, and alike distinguished by the characteristic
of attaching themselves to some larger race of natives, yet present
considerable points of difference, so much so as to cause Mr. Stanley to
say that they are as unlike as a Scandinavian is to a Turk. "Scattered,"
says the same authority,[A] "among the Balessé, between Ipoto and Mount
Pisgah, and inhabiting the land between the Ngaiyu and Ituri rivers, a
region equal in area to about two-thirds of Scotland, are the Wambutti,
variously called Batwa, Akka, and Bazungu. These people are under-sized
nomads, dwarfs or pigmies, who live in the uncleared virgin forest, and
support themselves on game, which they are very expert in catching. They
vary in height from three feet to four feet six inches. A full-grown adult
may weigh ninety pounds. They plant their village camps three miles around
a tribe of agricultural aborigines, the majority of whom are fine stalwart
people. They use poisoned arrows, with which they kill elephants, and they
capture other kinds of game by the use of traps."

[Footnote A: In Darkest Africa, vol. ii. p. 92.]

The two groups are respectively called Batwa and Wambutti. The former
inhabit the northern parts of the above-mentioned district, the latter the
southern. The former have longish heads, long narrow faces, and small
reddish eyes set close together, whilst the latter have round faces and
open foreheads, gazelle-like eyes, set far apart, and rich yellow ivory
complexion. Their bodies are covered with stiffish grey short hair. Two
further quotations from the same source may be given to convey an idea to
those ignorant of the original work, if such there be, of the appearances
of these dwarfs. Speaking of the queen of a tribe of pigmies, Stanley
says,[A] "She was brought in to see me, with three rings of polished iron
around her neck, the ends of which were coiled like a watch-spring. Three
iron rings were suspended to each ear. She is of a light-brown complexion
with broad round face, large eyes, and small but full lips. She had a
quiet modest demeanour, though her dress was but a narrow fork clout of
bark cloth. Her height is about four feet four inches, and her age may be
nineteen or twenty. I notice when her arms are held against the light a
whity-brown fell on them. Her skin has not that silky smoothness of touch
common to the Zanzibaris, but altogether she is a very pleasing little
creature." To this female portrait may be subjoined one of a male aged
probably twenty-one years and four feet in height.[B] "His colour was
coppery, the fell over the body was almost furry, being nearly half an
inch long, and his hands were very delicate. On his head he wore a bonnet
of a priestly form, decorated with a bunch of parrot feathers, and a broad
strip of bark covered his nakedness."

[Footnote A: In Darkest Africa, vol. i. p. 345.]

[Footnote B: Ibid., ii. 40.]

Jephson states[A] that he found continual traces of them from 270 30' E.
long., a few miles above the Equator, up to the edge of the great forest,
five days' march from Lake Albert. He also says that they are a hardy
daring race, always ready for war, and are much feared by their
neighbours. As soon as a party of dwarfs makes its appearance near a
village, the chief hastens to propitiate them by presents of corn and such
vegetables as he possesses. They never exceed four feet one inch in
height, he informs us, and adds a characteristic which has not been
mentioned by Stanley, one, too, which is very remarkable when it is
remembered how scanty is the facial hair of the Negros and Negritos--the
men have often very long beards. The southern parts of the continent are
occupied by the Bushmen, who are vigorous and agile, of a stature ranging
from four feet six inches to four feet nine inches, and sufficiently well
known to permit me to pass over them without further description. The
smallest woman of this race who has been measured was only three feet
three inches in height, and Barrow examined one, who was the mother of
several children, with a stature of three feet eight inches. The Akoas of
the Gaboon district were a race of pigmies who, now apparently extinct,
formerly dwelt on the north of the Nazareth River. A male of this tribe
was photographed and measured by the French Admiral Fleuriot de l'Angle.
His age was about forty and his stature four feet six inches.

[Footnote A: Emm Pasha, p. 367, et seq.]

Flower[A] says that "another tribe, the M'Boulous, inhabiting the coast
north of the Gaboon River, have been described by M. Marche as probably
the primitive race of the country. They live in little villages, keeping
entirely to themselves, though surrounded by the larger Negro tribes,
M'Pongos and Bakalais, who are encroaching upon them so closely that their
numbers are rapidly diminishing. In 1860 they were not more than 3000; in
1879 they were much less numerous. They are of an earthy-brown colour, and
rarely exceed five feet three inches in height. Another group living
between the Gaboon and the Congo, in Ashangoland, a male of which measured
four feet six inches, has been described by Du Chaillu."

In Loango there is a tribe called Babonko, which was described by Battell
in 1625, in the work entitled "Purchas his Pilgrimes," in the following
terms:--"To the north-east of Mani-Kesock are a kind of little people
called Matimbas; which are no bigger than boyes of twelve yeares old, but
very thicke, and live only upon flesh, which they kill in the woods with
their bows and darts. They pay tribute to Mani-Kesock, and bring all their
elephants' teeth and tayles to him. They will not enter into any of the
Maramba's houses, nor will suffer any one to come where they dwell. And if
by chance any Maramba or people of Longo pass where they dwell, they will
forsake that place and go to another. The women carry bows and arrows as
well as the men. And one of these will walk in the woods alone and kill
the Pongos with their poysoned arrows." It is somewhat surprising that
Tyson, who gives in his essay (p. 80) the account of the same people
published at a later date (1686) by Dapper, should have missed his
fellow-countryman's narrative. The existence of this tribe has been
established by a German expedition, one of the members of which, Dr.
Falkenstein, photographed and measured an adult male whose stature was
four feet six inches.

Krapf[A] states that in the south of Schoa, in a part of Abyssinia as yet
unworked, the Dokos live, who are not taller than four feet. According to
his account, they are of a dark olive colour, with thick prominent lips,
flat noses, small eyes, and long flowing hair. They have no dwellings,
temples, holy trees, chiefs, or weapons, live on roots and fruit, and are
ignorant of fire. Another group was described by Mollieu in 1818 as
inhabiting Tenda-Maié, near the Rio Grande, but very little is known about
them. In a work entitled "The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas," Halliburton[B] has
brought forward a number of statements to prove that a tribe of dwarfs,
named like those of Central Africa, Akkas, of a reddish complexion and
with short woolly hair, live in the district adjoining Soos. These dwarfs
have been alluded to by Harris and Dönnenburg,[C] but Mr. Harold Crichton
Browne,[D] who has explored neighbouring districts, is of opinion that
there is no such tribe, and that the accounts of them have been based upon
the examination of sporadic examples of dwarfishness met with in that as
in other parts of the world.

[Footnote A: _Morgenblatt_, 1853 (quoted by Schaafhausen, _Arch. f.
Anth._, 1866, p. 166).]

[Footnote B: London, Nutt, 1891.]

[Footnote C: _Nature_, 1892, ii. 616.]

[Footnote A: _Nature_, 1892, i. 269.]

Finally, in Madagascar it is possible that there may be a dwarf race.
Oliver[A] states that "the Vazimbas are supposed to have been the first
occupants of Ankova. They are described by Rochon, under the name of
Kunios, as a nation of dwarfs averaging three feet six inches in stature,
of a lighter colour than the Negroes, with very long arms and woolly hair.
As they were only described by natives of the coast, and have never been
seen, it is natural to suppose that these peculiarities have been
exaggerated; but it is stated that people of diminutive size still exist
on the banks of a certain river to the south-west." There are many tumuli
of rude work and made of rough stones throughout the country, which are
supposed to be their tombs. In idolatrous days, says Mullens,[B] the
Malagasy deified the Vazimba, and their so-called tombs were the most
sacred objects in the country. In this account may be found further
evidence in favour of Mr. Gomme's theory, to which attention has already
been called.

[Footnote A: _Anthrop. Memoirs_, iii. 1.]

[Footnote B: _Jour. Anthrop. Inst._, v. 181.]

In the great continent of America there does not appear to have ever been,
so far as our present knowledge teaches, any pigmy race. Dr. Brinton, the
distinguished American ethnologist, to whom I applied for information on
this point, has been good enough to write to me that, in his opinion,
there is no evidence of any pigmy race in America. The "little people" of
the "stone graves" in Tennessee, often supposed to be such, were children,
as the bones testify. The German explorer Hassler has alleged the
existence of a pigmy race in Brazil, but testimony is wanting to support
such allegation. There are two tribes of very short but not pigmy stature
in America, the Yahgans of Tierra del Fuégo and the Utes of Colorado, but
both of these average over five feet.

Leaving aside for the moment the Lapps, to whom I shall return, there does
not appear to have been at any time a really pigmy race in Europe, so far
as any discoveries which have been made up to the present time show.
Professor Topinard, whose authority upon this point cannot be gainsaid,
informs me that the smallest race known to him in Central Europe is that
of the pre-historic people of the Lozère, who were Neolithic troglodytes,
and are represented probably at the present day by some of the peoples of
South Italy and Sardinia. Their average stature was about five feet two
inches. This closely corresponds with what is known of the stature of the
Platycnemic race of Denbighshire, the Perthi-Chwareu. Busk[A] says of them
that they were of low stature, the mean height, deduced from the lengths
of the long bones, being little more than five feet. As both sexes are
considered together in this description, it is fair to give the male a
stature of about five feet two inches,[B] It also corresponds with the
stature assigned by Pitt-Rivers to a tribe occupying the borders of
Wiltshire and Dorsetshire during the Roman occupation, the average height
of whose males and females was five feet two and a half inches and four
feet ten and three-quarter inches respectively.

[Footnote A: _Jour. Ethn. Soc._, 1869-70, p. 455.]

[Footnote B: Since these pages were printed, Prof. Kollmann, of Basle, has
described a group of Neolithic pigmies as having existed at Schaffhausen.
The adult interments consisted of the remains of full-grown European types
and of small-sized people. These two races were found interred side by
side under precisely similar conditions, from which he concludes that they
lived peaceably together, notwithstanding racial difference. Their stature
(about three feet six inches) may be compared with that of the Veddahs in
Ceylon. Prof. Kollmann believes that they were a distinct species of

Dr. Rahon,[A] who has recently made a careful study of the bones of
pre-historic and proto-historic races, with special reference to their
stature, states that the skeletons attributed to the most ancient and to
the Neolithic races are of a stature below the middle height, the average
being a little over five feet three inches. The peoples who constructed
the Megalithic remains of Roknia and of the Caucasus, were of a stature
similar to our own. The diverse proto-historic populations, Gauls, Franks,
Burgundians, and Merovingians, considered together, present a stature
slightly superior to that of the French of the present day, but not so
much so as the accounts of the historians would have led us to believe.

[Footnote A: _Recherches sur les Ossements Humaines, Anciens et
Préhistonques. Mém. de la Soc. d'Anthrop. de Paris_, Sér, ii. tom. iv.

It remains now to deal with two races whose physical characters are of
considerable importance in connection with certain points which will be
dealt with in subsequent pages, I mean the Lapps and the Innuit or Eskimo.

The Lapps, according to Karonzine,[A] one of their most recent describers,
are divisible into two groups, Scandinavian and Russian, the former being
purer than the latter race. The average male stature is five feet, a
figure which corresponds closely with that obtained by Mantegazza and
quoted by Topinard. The extremes obtained by this observer amongst men
were, on the one hand, five feet eight inches, and on the other four feet
four inches. As, however, in a matter of this kind we have to deal with
averages and not with extremes, we must conclude that the Lapps, though a
stunted race, are not pigmies, in the sense in which the word is
scientifically employed.

[Footnote A: _L'Anthropologie_, ii. 80.]

The Innuit or Eskimo were called by the original Norse explorers
"Skraelingjar," or dwarfs, a name now converted by the Innuit into
"karalit," which is the nearest approach that they are able to make
phonetically to the former term. They are certainly, on the average, a
people of less than middle stature, yet they can in no sense be described
as Pigmies. Their mean height is five feet three inches. Nansen[A] says of
them, "It is a common error amongst us in Europe to think of the Eskimo as
a diminutive race. Though no doubt smaller than the Scandinavian peoples,
they must be reckoned amongst the middle-sized races, and I even found
amongst those of purest breeding men of nearly six feet in height."

[Footnote A: _Eskimo Life_, p. 20.]


The _raison d'être_ of Tyson's essay was to explain away the accounts of
the older writers relating to Pigmy races, on the ground that, as no such
races existed, an explanation of some kind was necessary in order to
account for so many and such detailed descriptions as were to be found in
their works. Having now seen not merely that there are such things as
Pigmy races, but that they have a wide distribution throughout the world,
it may be well to consider to which of the existing or extinct races, the
above-mentioned accounts may be supposed to have referred. In this task I
am much aided in several instances by the labours of De Quatrefages, and
as his book is easily accessible, it will be unnecessary for me to repeat
the arguments in favour of his decisions which he has there given.

Starting with Asia, we have in the first place the statement of Pliny,
that "immediately after the nation of the Prusians, in the mountains where
it is said are pigmies, is found the Indus." These Pigmies may be
identified with the Brahouis, now Dravidian, but still possessing the
habit, attributed to them by Pliny, of changing their dwellings twice a
year, in summer and winter, migrations rendered necessary by the search
for food for their flocks. The same author's allusion to the "Spithamæi
Pygmæi" of the mountains in the neighbourhood of the Ganges may apply to
the Santals or some allied tribe, though Pliny's stature for them of two
feet four inches is exaggeratedly diminutive, and he has confused them
with Homer's Pigmies, who were, as will be seen, a totally different

Ctesias[A] tells us that "Middle India has black men, who are called
Pygmies, using the same language as the other Indians; they are, however,
very little; that the greatest do not exceed the height of two cubits, and
the most part only of one cubit and a half. But they nourish the longest
hair, hanging down unto the knees, and even below; moreover, they carry a
beard more at length than any other men; but, what is more, after this
promised beard is risen to them, they never after use any clothing, but
send down, truly, the hairs from the back much below the knees, but draw
the beard before down to the feet; afterward, when they have covered the
whole body with hairs, they bind themselves, using those in the place of a
vestment. They are, moreover, apes and deformed. Of these Pygmies, the
king of the Indians has three thousand in his train; for they are very
skilful archers." No doubt the actual stature has been much diminished in
this account, and, as De Quatrefages suggests, the garment of long
floating grasses which they may well have worn, may have been mistaken for
hair; yet, in the description, he believes that he is able to recognise
the ancestors of the Bandra-Lokh of the Vindhya Mountains. Ctesias' other
statement, that "the king of India sends every fifth year fifty thousand
swords, besides abundance of other weapons, to the nation of the
Cynocephali," may refer to the same or some other tribe.

[Footnote A: The quotation is taken from Ritson, _Fairy Tales_, P. 4.]

De Quatrefages also thinks that an allusion to the ancestors of the Jats,
who would then have been less altered by crossing than now, may be found
in Herodotus' account of the army of Xerxes when he says, "The Eastern
Ethiopians serve with the Indians. They resemble the other Ethiopians,
from whom they only differ in language and hair. The Eastern Ethiopians
have straight hair, while those of Lybia are more woolly than all other

Writing of isles in the neighbourhood of Java, Maundeville says,[A] "In
another yle, ther ben litylle folk, as dwerghes; and thei ben to so meche
as the Pygmeyes, and thei han no mouthe, but in stede of hire mouthe, thei
han a lytylle round hole; and whan thei schulle eten or drynken, thei
taken thorghe a pipe or a penne or suche a thing, and sowken it in, for
thei han no tongue, and therefore thei speke not, but thei maken a maner
of hissynge, as a Neddre dothe, and thei maken signes on to another, as
monkes don, be the whiche every of hem undirstondethe the other."

[Footnote A: Ed. Halliwell, p. 205.]

Strip this statement of the characteristic Maundevillian touches with
regard to the mouth and tongue, and it may refer to some of the insular
races which exist or existed in the district of which he is treating.

A much fuller account[A] by the same author relates to Pigmies in the
neighbourhood of a river, stated by a commentator[B] to be the
Yangtze-Kiang, "a gret ryvere, that men clepen Dalay, and that is the
grettest ryvere of fressche water that is in the world. For there, as it
is most narow, it is more than 4 myle of brede. And thanne entren men azen
in to the lond of the great Chane. That ryvere gothe thorge the lond of
Pigmaus, where that the folk ben of litylle stature, that ben but 3 span
long, and thei ben right faire and gentylle, aftre here quantytees, bothe
the men and the women. And thei maryen hem, whan thei ben half zere of age
and getten children. And thei lyven not, but 6 zeer or 7 at the moste. And
he that lyveth 8 zeer, men holden him there righte passynge old. Theise
men ben the beste worcheres of gold, sylver, cotoun, sylk, and of alle
such thinges, of ony other, that be in the world. And thei han often tymes
werre with the briddes of the contree, that thei taken and eten. This
litylle folk nouther labouren in londes ne in vynes. But thei han grete
men amonges hem, of oure stature, that tylen the lond, and labouren
amonges the vynes for hem. And of the men of oure stature, han thei als
grete skorne and wondre, as we wolde have among us of Geauntes, zif thei
weren amonges us. There is a gode cytee, amonges othere, where there is
duellynge gret plentee of the lytylle folk, and is a gret cytee and a
fair, and the men ben grete that duellen amonges hem; but whan thei getten
ony children, thei ben als litylle as the Pygmeyes, and therefore thei ben
alle, for the moste part, alle Pygmeyes, for the nature of the land is
suche. The great Cane let kepe this cytee fulle wel, for it is his. And
alle be it, that the Pygmeyes ben litylle, zit thei ben fulle resonable,
aftre here age and connen bothen wytt and gode and malice now." This
passage, as will be noted, incorporates the Homeric tale of the battles
between the Pigmies and the Cranes, and is adorned with a representation
of such an encounter. Whether Maundeville's dwarfs were the same as the
Siao-Jin of the Shan-hai-King is a question difficult to decide; but, in
any case, both these pigmy races of legend inhabited a part of what is now
the Chinese Empire. The same Pigmies seem to be alluded to in the rubric
of the Catalan map of the world in the National Library of Paris, the date
of which is A.D. 1375. "Here (N.W. of Catayo-Cathay) grow little men who
are but five palms in height, and though they be little, and not fit for
weighty matters, yet they be brave and clever at weaving and keeping
cattle." If such an explanation may be hazarded, we may perhaps go further
and suppose that Paulus Jovius may have been alluding to the
Koro-puk-guru, when, as Pomponius Mela tells us, he taught that there were
Pigmies beyond Japan. In both these cases, however, it is well to remember
that there is a river in Macedon as well as in Monmouth, and that it is
hazardous to come to too definite a belief as to the exact location of the
Pigmies of ancient writers.

[Footnote A: _Maundeville_, p. 211.]

[Footnote B: _Quart. Rev._, 172, p. 431.]

The continent of Africa yielded its share of Pigmies to the same writers.
The most celebrated of all are those alluded to by Aristotle in his
classical passage, "They (the Cranes) come out of Scythia to the Lakes
above Egypt whence the Nile flows. This is the place whereabouts the
Pigmies dwell. For this is no fable but a truth. Both they and the horses,
as 'tis said, are of a small kind. They are Troglodytes and live in

Leaving aside the crane part of the tale, which it has been suggested may
really have referred to ostriches, Aristotle's Pigmy race may, from their
situation, be fairly identified with the Akkas described by Stanley and
others. That this race is an exceedingly ancient one is proved by the fact
that Marriette Bey has discovered on a tomb of the ancient Empire of Egypt
a figure of a dwarf with the name Akka inscribed by it. This race is also
supposed to have been that which, alluded to by Homer, has become confused
with other dwarf tribes in different parts of the world.

  "So when inclement winters vex the plain
  With piercing frosts or thick-descending rain,
  To warmer seas the cranes embodied fly,
  With noise and order, through the midway sky;
  To Pigmy nations wounds and death they bring,
  And all the war descends upon the wing."

Attention may here be drawn to Tyson's quotation (p. 78) from Vossius as
to the trade driven by the Pigmies in elephants' tusks, since, as we have
seen, this corresponds with what we now know as to the habits of the

The account which Herodotus gives of the expedition of the Nasamonians is
well known. Five men, chosen by lot from amongst their fellows, crossed
the desert of Lybia, and, having marched several days in deep sand,
perceived trees growing in the midst of the plain. They approached and
commenced to eat the fruit which they bore. Scarcely had they begun to
taste it, when they were surprised by a great number of men of a stature
much inferior to the middle height, who seized them and carried them off.
They were eventually taken to a city, the inhabitants of which were black.
Near this city ran a considerable river whose course was from west to
east, and in which crocodiles were found. In his account of the Akkas, Mr.
Stanley believed that he had discovered the representatives of the Pigmies
mentioned in this history. Speaking of one of these, he says,[A]
"Twenty-six centuries ago his ancestors captured the five young Nasamonian
explorers, and made merry with them at their villages on the banks of the
Niger." It may be correct to say that, at the period alluded to, the dwarf
races of Africa were in more continuous occupancy of the land than is now
the case, but such an identification as that just mentioned gives a false
idea of the position of the Pigmies of Herodotus. De Quatrefages, after a
most careful examination of the question in all its aspects, finds himself
obliged to conclude, either that the Pigmy race seen by the Nasamonians
still exists on the north of the Niger, which has been identified with the
river alluded to by Herodotus, but has not, up to the present, been
discovered; or that it has disappeared from those regions.

[Footnote A: _Op. supra cit._, ii. 40.]

Pomponius Mela has also his account of African Pigmies. Beyond the Arabian
Gulf, and at the bottom of an indentation of the Red Sea, he places the
Panchæans, also called Ophiophagi, on account of the fact that they fed
upon serpents. More within the Arabian bay than the Panchæans are the
Pigmies, a minute race, which became exterminated in the wars which it was
compelled to wage with the Cranes for the preservation of its fruits. The
region indicated somewhat corresponds with that which is assigned to the
Dokos by their describer. In this district, too, other dwarf races have
been reported. The French writer whom I have so often cited says, "The
tradition of Eastern African Pigmies has never been lost by the Arabs. At
every period the geographers of this nation have placed their River of
Pigmies much more to the south. It is in this region, a little to the
north of the Equator, and towards the 32° of east longitude, that the Rev.
Fr. Léon des Avanchers has found the Wa-Berrikimos or Cincallès, whose
stature is about four feet four inches. The information gathered by M.
D'Abbadie places towards the 6° of north latitude the Mallas or
Mazé-Malléas, with a stature of five feet. Everything indicates that there
exist, at the south of the Galla country, different negro tribes of small
stature. It seems difficult to me not to associate them with the Pigmies
of Pomponius Mela. Only they have retreated farther south. Probably this
change had already taken place at the time when the Roman geographer wrote;
it is, therefore, comprehensible that he may have regarded them as having

Tyson (p. 29) quotes the following passage from Photius:--"That Nonnosus
sailing from Pharsa, when he came to the farthermost of the islands, a
thing very strange to be heard of happened to him; for he lighted on some
(animals) in shape and appearance like men, but little of stature, and of
a black colour, and thick covered with hair all over their bodies. The
women, who were of the same stature, followed the men. They were all
naked, only the elder of them, both men and women, covered their privy
parts with a small skin. They seemed not at all fierce or wild; they had a
human voice, but their dialect was altogether unknown to everybody that
lived about them, much more to those that were with Nonnosus. They lived
upon sea-oysters and fish that were cast out of the sea upon the island.
They had no courage for seeing our men; they were frighted, as we are at
the sight of the greatest wild beast." It is not easy to identify this
race with any existing tribe of Pigmies, but the hairiness of their
bodies, and above all their method of clothing themselves, leave no doubt
that in this account we have a genuine story of some group of
small-statured blacks.

From the foregoing account it will be seen that it is possible with more
or less accuracy and certainty to identify most of those races which,
described by the older writers, had been rejected by their successors.
Time has brought their revenge to Aristotle and Pliny by showing that they
were right, where Tyson, and even Buffon, were wrong.


The little people of story and legend have a much wider area of
distribution than those of real life, and it is the object of this section
to give some idea of their localities and dwellings. Imperfect as such an
account must necessarily be, it will yet suffice I trust in some measure
to show that, like the England of Arthurian times, all the world is
"fulfilled of faëry."

In dealing with this part of the subject, it would be possible, following
the example of Keightley, to treat the little folk of each country
separately. But a better idea of their nature, and certainly one which for
my purpose will be more satisfactory, can, I think, be obtained by
classifying them according to the nature of their habitations, and
mentioning incidentally such other points concerning them as it may seem
advisable to bring out.

1. In the first place, then, fairies are found dwelling in mounds of
different kinds, or in the interior of hills. This form of habitation is
so frequently met with in Scotch and Irish accounts of the fairies, that
it will not be necessary for me to burden these pages with instances,
especially since I shall have to allude to them in a further section in
greater detail. Suffice it to say, that many instances of such an
association in the former country will be found in the pages of Mr.
MacRitchie's works, whilst as to the latter, I shall content myself by
quoting Sir William Wilde's statement, that every green "rath" in that
country is consecrated to the "good people." In England there are numerous
instances of a similar kind. Gervase of Tilbury in the thirteenth century
mentions such a spot in Gloucestershire: "There is in the county of
Gloucester a forest abounding in boars, stags, and every species of game
that England produces. In a grovy lawn of this forest there is a little
mount, rising in a point to the height of a man." With this mount he
associates the familiar story of the offering of refreshment to travellers
by its unseen inhabitants. In Warwickshire, the mound upon which
Kenilworth Castle is built was formerly a fairy habitation.[A] Ritson[B]
mentions that the "fairies frequented many parts of the Bishopric of
Durham." There is a hillock or tumulus near Bishopton, and a large hill
near Billingham, both of which used in former time to be "haunted by
fairies." Even Ferry-hill, a well-known stage between Darlington and
Durham, is evidently a corruption of "Fairy-hill." In Yorkshire a similar
story attaches to the sepulchral barrow of Willey How,[C] and in Sussex to
a green mound called the Mount in the parish of Pulborough.[D] The fairies
formerly frequented Bussers Hill in St. Mary's Isle, one of the Scilly
group.[E] The Bryn-yr-Ellyllon,[F] or Fairy-hill, near Mold, may be cited
as a similar instance in Wales, which must again be referred to.

[Footnote A: _Testimony of Tradition_, p. 142.]

[Footnote B: _Op. cit._, p. 56.]

[Footnote C: _Folk Lore_, ii. 115.]

[Footnote D: _Folk Lore Record_, i. 16 and 28.]

[Footnote E: _Ritson_, p. 62.]

[Footnote F: Dawkins, _Early Man in Britain_, p. 433.]

The pages of Keightley's work contain instances of hill-inhabiting fairies
in Scandinavia, Denmark, the Isle of Rugen, Iceland, Germany, and
Switzerland. It is not only in Europe, however, that this form of
habitation is to be met with; we find it also in America. The Sioux have a
curious superstition respecting a mound near the mouth of the Whitestone
River, which they call the Mountain of Little People or Little Spirits;
they believe that it is the abode of little devils in the human form, of
about eighteen inches high and with remarkably large heads; they are armed
with sharp arrows, in the use of which they are very skilful. These little
spirits are always on the watch to kill those who should have the
hardihood to approach their residence. The tradition is that many have
suffered from their malice, and that, among others, three Maha Indians
fell a sacrifice to them a few years since. This has inspired all the
neighbouring nations, Sioux, Mahas, and Ottoes, with such terror, that no
consideration could tempt them to visit the hill.[A]

[Footnote A: Lewis and Clarke, _Travels to the Source of the Missouri
River._ Quoted in _Flint Chips_, p. 346. The tale is also given in _Folk
Lore, Oriental and American_ (Gibbings & Co.), p. 45.]

The mounds or hills inhabited by the fairies are, however, of very diverse
kinds, as we discover when we attempt to analyse their actual nature. In
some cases they are undoubtedly natural elevations. Speaking of the
exploration of the Isle of Unst, Hunt[A] says that the term "Fairy Knowe"
is applied alike to artificial and to natural mounds. "We visited," he
states, "two 'Fairy Knowes' in the side of the hill near the turning of
the road from Reay Wick to Safester, and found that these wonderful relics
were merely natural formations. The workmen were soon convinced of this,
and our digging had the effect of proving to them that the fairies had
nothing to do with at least two of these hillocks." The same may surely be
said of that favourite and important fairy haunt Tomnahurich, near
Inverness, though Mr. MacRitchie seems to think that an investigation,
were such possible, of its interior, might lead to a different

[Footnote A: _Anthrop. Mems._, ii. 294.]

In other cases, and these are of great importance in coming to a
conclusion as to the origin of fairy tales, the mounds inhabited by the
little people are of a sepulchral nature. This is the case in the instance
of Willey How, which, when explored by Canon Greenwell, was found, in
spite of its size and the enormous care evidently bestowed upon its
construction, to be merely a cenotaph. A grave there was, sunk more than
twelve feet deep in the chalk rock; but no corporeal tenant had ever
occupied it.

This fact is still more clearly shown in the remarkable case mentioned by
Professor Boyd Dawkins. A barrow called Bryn-yr-Ellyllon (Fairy-hill),
near Mold, was said to be haunted by a ghost clad in golden armour which
had been seen to enter it. The barrow was opened in the year 1832, and was
found to contain the skeleton of a man wearing a golden corselet of
Etruscan workmanship.

The same may be said respecting that famous fairy-hill in Ireland, the
Brugh of the Boyne, though Mr. MacRitchie seems to regard it as having
been a dwelling-place. Mr. Coffey in a most careful study appears to me to
have finally settled the question.[A] He speaks of the remains as those of
probably the most remarkable of the pre-Christian cemeteries of Ireland.
Of the stone basins, whose nature Mr. MacRitchie regards as doubtful, he
says, "There can be hardly any doubt but that they served the purpose of
some rude form of sarcophagus, or of a receptacle for urns." Mr. Coffey
quotes the account from the Leadhar na huidri respecting cemeteries, in
which Brugh is mentioned as amongst the chief of those existing before the
faith (i.e. before the introduction of Christianity). "The nobles of the
Tuatha de Danann were used to bury at Brugh (i.e. the Dagda with his three
sons; also Lugaidh, and Oe, and Ollam, and Ogma, and Etan the Poetess, and
Corpre, the son of Etan), and Cremthain followed them, because his wife
Nar was of the Tuatha Dea, and it was she solicited him that he should
adopt Brugh as a burial-place for himself and his descendants, and this
was the cause that they did not bury at Cruachan." Mr. Coffey also quotes
O'Hartagain's poem, which seems to bear in Mr. MacRitchie's favour:--

  "Behold the sidhe before your eyes:
  It is manifest to you that it is a king's mansion,
  Which was built by the firm Dagda;
  It was a wonder, a court, a wonderful hill."

[Footnote A: _Tumuli at New Grange. Trans. Roy. Irish Academy_, XXX. 1.]

But certain of the expressions in this are evidently to be taken
figuratively, since Mr. Coffey states, in connection with this and other
quotations, that their importance consists in that they establish the
existence at a very early date of a tradition associating Brugh na Boinne,
the burial-place of the kings of Tara, with the tumuli on the Boyne. The
association of particular monuments with the Dagda and other divinities
and heroes of Irish mythology implies that the actual persons for whom
they were erected had been forgotten, the pagan traditions being probably
broken by the introduction of Christianity. The mythological ancestors of
the heroes and kings interred at Brugh, who probably were even
contemporarily associated with the cemetery, no doubt subsequently
overshadowed in tradition the actual persons interred there.

Finally, it seems that the fairy hills may have been actual
dwelling-places, fortified or not, of prehistoric peoples. Such were no
doubt some of the Picts' houses so fully dealt with by Mr. MacRitchie,
though Petrie[A] seems to have considered that many of these were
sepulchral in their nature. Such were also the Raths of Ireland and
fortified hills, like the White Cater Thun of Forfarshire.

[Footnote A: _Anthrop. Mems._, ii. 216.]

The interior of the mound-dwellings, as described in the stories, is a
point to which allusion should be made. Sometimes the mound contains a
splendid palace, adorned with gold and silver and precious stones, like
the palace of the King of Elfland in the tale of "Childe Rowland." In the
Scandinavian mound-stories we find a curious incident, for they are
described as being capable of being raised upon red pillars, and as being
so raised when the occupants gave a feast to their neighbours. "There are
three hills on the lands of Bubbelgaard in Funen, which are to this day
called the Dance-hills, from the following occurrence. A lad named Hans
was at service in Bubbelgaard, and as he was coming one evening past the
hills, he saw one of them raised on red pillars, and great dancing and
much merriment underneath."[A] This feature is met with in several of the
stories collected by Keightley, and is made use of in Cruikshank's
picture, which forms the frontispiece to that volume. Lastly, in a number
of cases there is not merely a habitation, but a vast country underneath
the mound. An instance of this occurs in the tale of John Dietrich from
the Isle of Rügen. Under the Nine-hills he found "that there were in that
place the most beautiful walks, in which he might ramble along for miles
in all directions, without ever finding an end of them, so immensely large
was the hill that the little people lived in, and yet outwardly it seemed
but a little hill, with a few bushes and trees growing on it."[B]

[Footnote A: Quoted by Keightley (p. 9), from Thiele, i. 118.]

[Footnote B: Keightley, 178.]

2. The haunts of the fairies may be in caves, and examples of this form of
dwelling-place are to be met with in different parts of the world. The
Scandinavian hill people live in caves or small hills, and the Elves or
dwarfs of La Romagna "dwell in lonely places, far away in the mountains,
deep in them, in caves or among old ruins and rocks," as Mr. Leland,[A]
who gives a tale respecting these little people, tells us. A Lithuanian
tale[B] tells "how the hero, Martin, went into a forest to hunt,
accompanied by a smith and a tailor. Finding an empty hut, they took
possession of it; the tailor remained in it to cook the dinner, and the
others went forth to the chase. When the dinner was almost ready, there
came to the hut a very little old man with a very long beard, who
piteously begged for food. After receiving it, he sprang on the tailor's
neck and beat him almost to death. When the hunters returned, they found
their comrade groaning on his couch, complaining of illness, but saying
nothing about the bearded dwarf. Next day the smith suffered in a similar
way; but when it came to Martin's turn, he proved too many and too strong
for the dwarf, whom he overcame, and whom he fastened by the beard to the
stump of a tree. But the dwarf tore himself loose before the hunters came
back from the forest and escaped into a cavern. Tracing him by the drops
of blood which had fallen from him, the three companions came to the mouth
of the cavern, and Martin was lowered into it by the two others. Within it
he found three princesses, who had been stolen by three dragons. These
dragons he slew, and the princesses and their property he took to the spot
above which his comrades kept watch, who hoisted them out of the cavern,
but left Martin in it to die. As he wandered about disconsolately, he
found the bearded dwarf, whom he slew. And soon afterwards he was conveyed
out of the cavern by a flying serpent, and was able to punish his
treacherous friends, and to recover the princesses, all three of whom he
simultaneously married."

[Footnote A: _Etrusco Roman Remains_, p. 222.]

[Footnote B: _Folk Lore Record_, i. 85. Mr. Hartland points out to me that
this tale, being a Marchen, does not afford quite such good evidence of
belief as actually or recently existing as a saga.]

Amongst the Magyars,[A] also, in some localities caves are pointed out as
the haunts of fairies, such as the caves in the side of the rock named
Budvár, the cave Borza-vára, near the castle of Dame Rapson; another haunt
of the fairies is the cave near Almás, and the cold wind known as the
"Nemere" is said to blow when the fairy in Almás cave feels cold. On one
occasion the plague was raging in this neighbourhood; the people ascribed
it to the cold blast emanating from the cave; so they hung shirts before
the mouth of the cave and the plague ceased.

[Footnote A: Jones and Kropf, _Folk Tales of the Magyars_, pp. xxxvi. _et

In a widely distant part of the world, the Battaks-Karo,[A] of the high
ground north of Lake Toba in Sumatra, believe in three classes of
mysterious beings, one of which closely corresponds with the fairies of
Europe. The first group are called Hantous; they are giants and dead
Begous (i.e. definitely dead souls), who inhabit Mount Sampouran together
with the second group. These are called Omangs; they are dwarfs who marry
and reproduce their species, live generally in mountains, and have their
feet placed transversely. They must be propitiated, and those making the
ascent of Mount Sébayak sacrifice a white hen to them, or otherwise the
Omangs would throw stones at them. They carry off men and women, and often
keep them for years. They love to dwell amongst stones, and the Roumah
Omang, which is one of their favourite habitations, is a cavern. The third
group, or Orangs Boumans, resemble ordinary beings, but have the power of
making themselves invisible. They come down from the mountains to buy
supplies, but have not been seen for some time. Westenberg, from whom this
information is quoted, regards the last class as being proscribed Battaks,
who have fled for refuge to the mountains. Passing to another continent,
the Iroquois[B] have several stories about Pigmies, one of whom, by name
Go-ga-ah, lives in a little cave.

[Footnote A: _L'Anthropologie_, iv. 83.]

[Footnote B: Smith, _Myths of the Iroquois_. _American Bureau of
Ethnology_, ii. 65.]

3. The little people may occupy a castle or house, or the hill upon which
such a building is erected, or a cave under it. Without dwelling upon the
Brownies and other similar distinctly household spirits, there are certain
classes which must be mentioned in this connection. The Magyar fairies
live in castles on lofty mountain peaks. They build them themselves, or
inherit them from giants. Kozma enumerates the names of about twenty-three
castles which belonged to fairies, and which still exist. Although they
have disappeared from earth, they continue to live, even in our days, in
caves under their castles, in which caves their treasures lie hidden. The
iron gates of Zeta Castle, which have subsided into the ground and
disappeared from the surface, open once in every seven years. On one
occasion a man went in there, and met two beautiful fairies whom he
addressed thus, "How long will you still linger here, my little sisters?"
and they replied, "As long as the cows will give warm milk."

Like the interior of some of the mound-dwellings already mentioned, these
fairy caves are splendid habitations. "Their subterranean habitations are
not less splendid and glittering than were their castles of yore on the
mountain peaks. The one at Firtos is a palace resting on solid gold
columns. The palace at Tartod and the gorgeous one of Dame Rapson are
lighted by three diamond balls, as big as human heads, which hang from
golden chains. The treasure which is heaped up in the latter place
consists of immense gold bars, golden lions with carbuncle eyes, a golden
hen with her brood, and golden casks, filled with gold coin. The treasures
of Fairy Helen are kept in a cellar under Kovászna Castle, the gates of
the cellar being guarded by a magic cock. This bird only goes to sleep
once in seven years, and anybody who could guess the right moment would be
able to scrape no end of diamond crystals from the walls and bring them
out with him. The fairies who guard the treasures of the Pogányvár (Pagan
Castle) in Marosszék even nowadays come on moonlight nights to bathe in
the lake below."[A] In Brittany, "a number of little men, not more than a
foot high, dwell under the castle of Morlaix. They live in holes in the
ground, whither they may often be seen going, and beating on basins. They
possess great treasures, which they sometimes bring out; and if any one
pass by at the time, allow him to take one handful, but no more. Should
any one attempt to fill his pockets, the money vanishes, and he is
instantly assailed by a shower of boxes on the ear from invisible
hands."[B] In the Netherlands, the "Gypnissen," "queer little women,"
lived in a castle which had been reared in a single night.[C] The Ainu
have tales of the Poiyaumbe, a name which means literally "little beings
residing on the soil" (Mr. Batchelor says that "little" is probably meant
to express endearment or admiration, but one may be allowed to doubt
this). The Ainu, who is the hero of the story, "comes to a tall mountain
with a beautiful house built on its summit. Descending, for his path had
always been through the air, by the side of the house, and looking through
the chinks of the door, he saw a little man and a little woman sitting
beside the fireplace."[D]

[Footnote A: _Folk Tales of the Magyars_, p. xxxviii.]

[Footnote B: Grimm, apud Keightley, 441.]

[Footnote C: _Testimony of Tradition_, p. 86.]

[Footnote D: _Folk Lore Journal_, vi. 195.]

4. The little people or fairies occupy rude stone monuments or are
connected with their building. In Brittany they are associated with
several of the megalithic remains.[A] "At Carnac, near Quiberon," says M.
De Cambry, "in the department of Morbihan, on the sea-shore, is the Temple
of Carnac, called in Breton 'Ti Goriquet' (House of the Gories), one of
the most remarkable Celtic monuments extant. It is composed of more than
four thousand large stones, standing erect in an arid plain, where neither
tree nor shrub is to be seen, and not even a pebble is to be found in the
soil on which they stand. If the inhabitants are asked concerning this
wonderful monument, they say it is an old camp of Cæsar's, an army turned
into stone, or that it is the work of the Crions or Gories. These they
describe as little men between two and three feet high, who carried these
enormous masses on their hands; for, though little, they are stronger than
giants. Every night they dance around the stones, and woe betide the
traveller who approaches within their reach! he is forced to join in the
dance, where he is whirled about till, breathless and exhausted, he falls
down, amidst the peals of laughter of the Crions. All vanish with the
break of day. In the ruins of Tresmalouen dwell the Courils. They are of a
malignant disposition, but great lovers of dancing. At night they sport
around the Druidical monuments. The unfortunate shepherd that approaches
them must dance their rounds with them till cockcrow; and the instances
are not few of persons thus ensnared who have been found next morning dead
with exhaustion and fatigue. Woe also to the ill-fated maiden who draws
near the Couril dance! nine months after, the family counts one member
more. Yet so great is the cunning and power of these dwarfs, that the
young stranger bears no resemblance to them, but they impart to it the
features of some lad of the village."

[Footnote A: Keightley, 440.]

In India megalithic remains are also associated with little people.
"Dwarfs hold a distinct place in Hindu mythology; they appear sculptured
on all temples. Siva is accompanied by a body-guard of dwarfs, one of
whom, the three-legged Bhringi, dances nimbly. But coming nearer to
Northern legend, the cromlechs and kistvaens which abound over Southern
India are believed to have been built by a dwarf race, a cubit high, who
could, nevertheless, move and handle the huge stones easily. The villagers
call them Pandayar."[A]

[Footnote A: _Folk Lore_, iv. 401.]

Mr. Meadows Taylor, speaking of cromlechs in India, says, "Wherever I
found them, the same tradition was attached to them, that they were Morie
humu, or Mories' houses; these Mories having been dwarfs who inhabited the
country before the present race of men." Again, speaking of the cromlechs
of Koodilghee, he states, "Tradition says that former Governments caused
dwellings of the description alluded to to be erected for a species of
human beings called 'Mohories,' whose dwarfish stature is said not to have
exceeded a span when standing, and a fist high when in a sitting posture,
who were endowed with strength sufficient to roll off large stones with a
touch of their thumb." There are, he also tells us, similar traditions
attaching to other places, where the dwarfs are sometimes spoken of as

[Footnote A: _Jour. Ethnol. Soc_., 1868-69, p. 157.]

Of stone structures built by fairies or little people for the use of
others, may be mentioned the churches built by dwarfs in Scotland and
Brittany, and described by Mr. MacRitchie, as also the two following
instances, taken from widely distant parts of the globe. In Brittany, the
dolmen of Manné-er Hrock (Montaigne de la Fee), at Locmariaquer, is said
to have been built by a fairy, in order that a mother might stand upon it
and look out for her son's ship.[A] In Fiji the following tale is told
about the Nanga or sacred stone enclosure:--"This is the word of our
fathers concerning the Nanga. Long ago their fathers were ignorant of it;
but one day two strangers were found sitting in the Rara (public square),
and they said they had come up from the sea to give them the Nanga. They
were little men, and very dark-skinned, and one of them had his face and
bust painted red, while the other was painted black. Whether these were
gods or men our fathers did not tell us, but it was they who taught our
people the Nanga. This was in the old times, when our fathers were living
in another land--not in this place, for we are strangers here."[B] It is
worthy of note that the term "Nanga" applies not merely to the enclosure,
but also to the secret society which held its meetings therein.[C]

[Footnote A: _Flint Chips_, p. 104.]

[Footnote B: Fison, _Journ. Anthrop. Inst._, xiv, 14.]

[Footnote C: Joske, _Internat. Arch. f. Ethnographie_, viii. 254.]

5. The little people make their dwellings either in the interior of a
stone or amongst stones. I am not here alluding to the stones on the sides
of mountains which are the doorways to fairy dwellings, but to a closer
connection, which will be better understood from some of the following
instances than from any lengthy explanation. The Duergas of the
Scandinavian Eddas had their dwelling-places in stones, as we are told in
the story of Thorston, who "came one day to an open part of the wood,
where he saw a great rock, and out a little way from it a dwarf, who was
horridly ugly."[A] In Ireland, in Innisbofin, co. Galway, Professor Haddon
relates that the men who were quarrying a rock in the neighbourhood of the
harbour refused to work at it any longer, as it was so full of "good
people" as to be hot.[B] In England the Pixy-house of Devon is in a stone,
and a large stone is also connected with the story of the Frensham
caldron, though it is not clear that the fairies lived in the rock
itself.[C] Oseberrow or Osebury (_vulgo_ Rosebury) Rock, in Lulsey,
Worcestershire, was, according to tradition, a favourite haunt of the
fairies.[D] In another part of Worcestershire, on the side of the
Cotswolds, there is, in a little spinney, a large flat stone, much worn on
its under surface, which is called the White Lady's Table. This personage
is supposed to take her meals with the fairies at this rock, but what the
exact relation of the little people to it as a dwelling-place may be, I
have not been able to learn.

[Footnote A: Keightley, 70.]

[Footnote B: _Folklore_, iv. 49.]

[Footnote C: Ritson, 106, quoting Aubrey's _Natural History of Surrey_,
iii. 366.]

[Footnote D: Allies, _Antiquities and Folk-Lore of Worcestershire_,

There is an Iroquois tale of dwarfs, in which the summons to the Pigmies
was given by knocking upon a large stone.[A] The little people of
Melanesia seem also to be associated in some measure with stones. Speaking
of these beings, Mr. Codrington says,[B] "There are certain Vuis having
rather the nature of fairies. The accounts of them are vague, but it is
argued that they had never left the islands before the introduction of
Christianity, and indeed have been seen since. Not long ago there was a
woman living at Mota who was the child of one, and a very few years ago a
female Vui with a child was seen in Saddle Island. Some of these were
called Nopitu, which come invisibly, or possess those with whom they
associate themselves. The possessed are called Nopitu. Such persons would
lift a cocoa-nut to drink, and native shell money would run out instead of
the juice and rattle against their teeth; they would vomit up money, or
scratch and shake themselves on a mat, when money would pour from their
fingers. This was often seen, and believed to be the doing of a Nopitu. In
another manner of manifestation, a Nopitu would make himself known as a
party were sitting round an evening fire. A man would hear a voice in his
thigh, 'Here am I, give me food.' He would roast a little red yam, and
fold it in the corner of his mat. He would soon find it gone, and the
Nopitu would begin a song. Its voice was so small and clear and sweet,
that once heard it never could be forgotten; but it sang the ordinary Mota
songs. Such spirits as these, if seen or found, would disappear beside a
stone; they were smaller than the native people, darker, and with long
straight hair. But they were mostly unseen, or seen only by those to whom
they took a fancy. They were the friendly Trolls or Robin Goodfellows of
the islands; a man would find a fine red yam put for him on the seat
beside the door, or the money which he paid away returned within his
purse. A woman working in her garden heard a voice from the fruit of a
gourd asking for some food, and when she pulled up an arum or dug out a
yam, another still remained; but when she listened to another spirit's
panpipes, the first in his jealousy conveyed away garden and all." Amongst
the Australians also supernatural beings dwell amongst the rocks, and the
Annamites and Arabians know of fairies living amongst the rocks and

[Footnote A: Smith, _Myths of Iroquois, ut supra._]

[Footnote B: _Journ. Anthrop. Inst._, x. 261.]

[Footnote C: Hartland, _Science of Fairy Tales_, p. 351.]

6. The little people may have their habitation in forests or trees. Such
were the Skovtrolde, or Wood-Trolls of Thorlacius,[A] who made their home
on the earth in great thick woods, and the beings in South Germany who
resemble the dwarfs, and are called Wild, Wood, Timber and Moss People.[B]
"These generally live together in society, but they sometimes appear
singly. They are small in stature, yet somewhat larger than the Elf, being
the size of children of three years, grey and old-looking, hairy and clad
in moss. Their lives are attached, like those of the Hamadryads, to the
trees, and if any one causes by friction the inner bark to loosen, a
Wood-woman dies." In Scandinavia there is also a similarity between
certain of the Elves and Hamadryads. The Elves "not only frequent trees,
but they make an interchange of form with them. In the churchyard of Store
Heddinge, in Zeeland, there are the remains of an oak-wood. These, say the
common people, are the Elle King's soldiers; by day they are trees, by
night valiant soldiers. In the wood of Rugaard, in the same island, is a
tree which by night becomes a whole Elle-people, and goes about all alive.
It has no leaves upon it, yet it would be very unsafe to go to break or
fell it, for the underground people frequently hold their meetings under
its branches. There is, in another place, an elder-tree growing in a
farmyard, which frequently takes a walk in the twilight about the yard,
and peeps in through the window at the children when they are alone. The
linden or lime-tree is the favourite haunt of the Elves and cognate
beings, and it is not safe to be near it after sunset."[C] In England, the
fairies also in some cases frequent the woods, as is their custom in the
Isle of Man, and in Wales, where there was formerly, in the park of Sir
Robert Vaughan, a celebrated old oak-tree, named Crwben-yr-Ellyl, or the
Elf's Hollow Tree. In Formosa[D] there is also a tale of little people
inhabiting a wood. "A young Botan became too ardent in his devotion to a
young lady of the tribe, and was slain by her relatives, while, as a
warning as to the necessity for love's fervour being kept within bounds,
his seven brothers were banished by the chief. The exiles went forth into
the depths of the forest, and in their wanderings after a new land they
crossed a small clearing, in which a little girl, about a span in height,
was seated peeling potatoes. 'Little sister,' they queried, 'how come you
here? where is your home?' 'I am not of homes nor parents,' she replied.
Leaving her, they went still farther into the forest, and had not gone far
when they saw a little man cutting canes, and farther on to the right a
curious-looking house, in front of which sat two diminutive women combing
their hair. Things looked so queer that the travellers hesitated about
approaching nearer, but, eager to find a way out of the forest, they
determined in their extremity to question the strange people. The two
women, when interrogated, turned sharply round, showing eyes of a flashing
red; then looking upward, their eyes became dull and white, and they
immediately ran into the house, the doors and windows of which at once
vanished, the whole taking the form and appearance of an isolated
boulder." Amongst the Maories also we have "te tini ote hakuturi," or "the
multitude of the wood-elves," the little people who put the chips all back
into the tree Rata had felled and stood it up again, because he had not
paid tribute to Tane.[E]

[Footnote A: Quoted by Keightley, p. 62.]

[Footnote B: Grimm ap. Keightley, p. 230.]

[Footnote C: Keightley, p. 92, quoting from Thiele.]

[Footnote D: _Folk Lore Journal_, v. 143.]

[Footnote E: Tregear, _Journ. Anth. Inst._, xix. 121.]

7. The association of little people with water as a home is a widespread
notion. The Sea-Trows of the Shetlanders inhabit a region of their own at
the bottom of the sea. They here respire a peculiar atmosphere, and live
in habitations constructed of the choicest submarine productions. They
are, however, not always small, but may be of diverse statures, like the
Scandinavian Necks. In Germany the Water-Dwarfs are also known. At
Seewenheiher, in the Black Forest, a little water-man (_Seemännlein_) used
to come and join the people, work the whole day along with them, and in
the evening go back into the lakes.[A] The size of the Breton Korrigs or
Korrigan, if we may believe Villemarqué in his account of this folk, does
not exceed two feet, but their proportions are most exact, and they have
long flowing hair, which they comb out with great care. Their only dress
is a long white veil, which they wind round their body. Seen at night or
in the dusk of the evening, their beauty is great; but in the daylight
their eyes appear red, their hair is white, and their faces wrinkled;
hence they rarely let themselves be seen by day. They are fond of music,
and have fine voices, but are not much given to dancing. Their favourite
haunts are the springs, by which they sit and comb their hair.[B] The
Maories also have their Water-Pigmies, the Ponaturi, who are, according to
Mr. Tregear, elves, little tiny people, mostly dwellers in water, coming
ashore to sleep.[C] "The spirits most commonly met with in African
mythology," says Mr. Macdonald, "are water or river spirits, inhabiting
deep pools where there are strong eddies and under-currents. Whether they
are all even seen now-a-days it is difficult to determine, but they must
at one time have either shown themselves willingly, or been dragged from
their hiding-places by some powerful magician, for they are one and all
described. They are dwarfs, and correspond to the Scottish conception of
kelpies or fairies. They are wicked and malevolent beings, and are never
credited with a good or generous action. Whatever they possess they keep,
and greedily seize upon any one who comes within their reach. 'One of
them, the Incanti, corresponds to the Greek Python, and another, called
Hiti, appears in the form of a small and very ugly man, and is exceedingly
malevolent' (Brownlee). It is certain death to see an Incanti, and no one
but the magicians sees them except in dreams, and in that case the
magicians are consulted, and advise and direct what is to be done."[D]

[Footnote A: Grimm ap. Keightley, p. 261.]

[Footnote B: Villemarqué, ibid., 431.]

[Footnote C: Tregear, _ut supra._]

[Footnote D: _Journ. Anthrop. Inst._, xx. 124.]

Dr. Nansen, speaking of the Ignerssuit (plural of Ignersuak, which means
"great fire"), says that they are for the most part good spirits, inclined
to help men. The entrance to their dwellings is on the sea-shore.
According to the Eskimo legend, "The first earth which came into existence
had neither seas nor mountains, but was quite smooth. When the One above
was displeased with the people upon it, He destroyed the world. It burst
open, and the people fell down into the rifts and became Ignerssuit and
the water poured over everything."[A] The spirits here alluded to appear
to be the same as those described by Mr. Boas as Uissuit in his monograph
on the Central Eskimo. He describes them as "a strange people that live in
the sea. They are dwarfs, and are frequently seen between Iglulik and
Netchillik, where the Anganidjen live, an Innuit tribe whose women are in
the habit of tracing rings around their eyes. There are men and women
among the Uissuit, and they live in deep water, never coming to the
surface. When the Innuit wish to see them, they go in their boats to a
place where they cannot see the bottom, and try to catch them with hooks
which they slowly move up and down. As soon as they get a bite they draw
in the line. The Uissuit are thus drawn up; but no sooner do they approach
the surface than they dive down headlong again, only their legs having
emerged from the water. The Innuit have never succeeded in getting one out
of the water."[A]

[Footnote A: Nansen, _ut supra_, p. 259.]

[Footnote A: _American Bureau of Ethnology_, vi. 612.]

8. Amongst habitations not coming under any of the above categories may be
mentioned the moors and open places affected by the Cornish fairies, and
lastly the curious residences of the Kirkonwaki or Church-folk of the
Finns. "It is an article of faith with the Finns that there dwell under
the altar in every church little misshapen beings which they call
Kirkonwaki, i.e., Church-folk. When the wives of these little people have
a difficult labour, they are relieved if a Christian woman visits them and
lays her hand upon them. Such service is always rewarded by a gift of gold
and silver."[A] These folk evidently correspond to the Kirkgrims of
Scandinavian countries, and the traditions respecting both are probably
referable to the practice of foundation sacrifices.

[Footnote A: Grimm ap. Keightley, p. 488.]


The subject of Pigmy races and fairy tales cannot be considered to have
been in any sense fully treated without some consideration of a theory
which, put forward by various writers and in connection with the legends
of diverse countries, has recently been formulated by Mr. MacRitchie in a
number of most interesting and suggestive books and papers. An early
statement of this theory is to be found in a paper by Mr. J.F. Campbell,
in which he stated, "It is somewhat remarkable that traditions still
survive in the Highlands of Scotland which seem to be derived from the
habits of Scotch tribes like the Lapps in our day. Stories are told in
Sutherlandshire about a 'witch' who milked deer; a 'ghost' once became
acquainted with a forester, and at his suggestion packed all her
plenishing on a herd of deer, when forced to flit by another and a bigger
'ghost;' the green mounds in which 'fairies' are supposed to dwell closely
resemble the outside of Lapp huts. The fairies themselves are not
represented as airy creatures in gauze wings and spangles, but they appear
in tradition as small cunning people, eating and drinking, living close at
hand in their green mound, stealing children and cattle, milk and food,
from their bigger neighbours. They are uncanny, but so are the Lapps. My
own opinion is that these Scotch traditions relate to the tribes who made
kitchen-middens and lake-dwellings in Scotland, and that they were allied
to Lapps."[A] Such in essence is Mr. MacRitchie's theory, which has been
so admirably summarised by Mr. Jacobs in the first of that series of
fairy-tale books which has added a new joy to life, that I shall do myself
the pleasure of quoting his statement in this place. He says: "Briefly
put, Mr. MacRitchie's view is that the elves, trolls, and fairies
represented in popular tradition are really the mound-dwellers, whose
remains have been discovered in some abundance in the form of green
hillocks, which have been artificially raised over a long and low passage
leading to a central chamber open to the sky. Mr. MacRitchie shows that in
several instances traditions about trolls or 'good people' have attached
themselves to mounds which long afterwards, on investigation, turned out
to be evidently the former residence of men of smaller build than the
mortals of to-day. He goes on further to identify these with the Picts--
fairies are called 'Pechs' in Scotland--and other early races, but with
these ethnological equations we need not much concern ourselves. It is
otherwise with the mound traditions and their relation, if not to fairy
tales in general, to tales about fairies, trolls, elves, &c. These are
very few in number, and generally bear the character of anecdotes. The
fairies, &c., steal a child; they help a wanderer to a drink and then
disappear into a green hill; they help cottagers with their work at night,
but disappear if their presence is noticed; human midwives are asked to
help fairy mothers; fairy maidens marry ordinary men, or girls marry and
live with fairy husbands. All such things may have happened and bear no
such _a priori_ marks of impossibility as speaking animals, flying through
the air, and similar incidents of the folk-tale pure and simple. If, as
archaeologists tell us, there was once a race of men in Northern Europe
very short and hairy, that dwelt in underground chambers artificially
concealed by green hillocks, it does not seem unlikely that odd survivors
of the race should have lived on after they had been conquered and nearly
exterminated by Aryan invaders, and should occasionally have performed
something like the pranks told of fairies and trolls."[B] In the same
place, and also in another article,[C] the writer just quoted has applied
this theory to the explanation of the story of "Childe Rowland."

[Footnote A: _Journ. Ethnol. Soc._, 1869-70, p. 325.]

[Footnote B: _English Fairy Tales_, p. 241.]

[Footnote C: _Folk Lore_, ii. 126.]

Mr. MacRitchie has, in another paper,[A] collected a number of instances
of the use of the word _Sith_ in connection with hillocks and tumuli,
which are the resort of the fairies. Here also he discusses the possible
connection of that word with that of _Tshud_, the title of the vanished
supernatural inhabitants of the land amongst the Finns and other "Altaic"
Turanian tribes of Russia, as in other places he has endeavoured to trace
a connection between the Finns and the Feinne. Into these etymological
questions I have no intention to enter, since I am not qualified to do so,
nor is it necessary, as they have been fully dealt with by Mr. Nutt, whose
opinion on this point is worthy of all attention.[B] But it may be
permitted to me to inquire how far Mr. MacRitchie's views tally with the
facts mentioned in the foregoing section. I shall therefore allude to a
few points which appear to me to show that the origin of the belief in
fairies cannot be settled in so simple a manner as has been suggested, but
is a question of much greater complexity--one in which, as Mr. Tylor
says, more than one mythic element combines to make up the whole.

[Footnote A: _Journ. Roy. Soc. Antiq. Ireland_, iii. 367.]

[Footnote A: _Folk and Hero Tales from Argyleshire_, p. 420.]

(1.) In the first place, then, it seems clear, so far as our present
knowledge teaches us, that there never was a really Pigmy race inhabiting
the northern parts of Scotland.

The scanty evidence which we have on this point, so far as it goes, proves
the truth of this assertion. Mr. Carter Blake found in the Muckle Heog of
the Island of Unst, one of the Shetlands, together with stone vessels,
human interments of persons of considerable stature and of great muscular
strength. Speaking of the Keiss skeletons, Professor Huxley says that the
males are, the one somewhat above, and the other probably about the
average stature; while the females are short, none exceeding five feet two
inches or three inches in height.[A] And Dr. Garson, treating of the
osteology of the ancient inhabitants of the Orkneys, says that the female
skeleton which he examined was about five feet two inches in height, i.e.,
about the mean height of the existing races of England.[B] There is no
evidence that Lapps and Eskimo ever visited these parts of the world; and
if they did, as we have seen, their stature, though stunted, cannot fairly
be described as pigmy. Even if we grant that the stature of the early
races did not average more than five feet two inches, which, by the way,
was the height of the great Napoleon, it is more than doubtful whether it
fell so far short of that of succeeding races as to cause us to imagine
that it gave rise to tales about a race of dwarfs.

[Footnote A: Laing, _Prehistoric Remains of Caithness_, p. 101.]

[Footnote B: _Journ. Anthrop. Inst._, xiii. 60.]

(2.) The mounds with which the tales of little people are associated have
not, in many cases, been habitations, but were natural or sepulchral in
their nature. It may, of course, be argued that the story having once
arisen in connection with one kind of mound, may, by a process easy to
understand, have been transferred to other hillocks similar in appearance,
though diverse in nature. It is difficult to see, however, how this could
have occurred in Yorkshire and other parts of England, where it is not
argued that the stunted inhabitants of the North ever penetrated. It is
still more difficult to explain how similar legends can have originated in
America in connection with mounds, since there never were Pigmy races in
that continent.

(3.) The rude and simple arrangements of the interior of these mound
dwellings might have, in the process of time, become altered into the
gorgeous halls, decked with gold and silver and precious stones, as we
find them in the stories; they might even, though this is much more
difficult to understand, have become possessed of the capacity for being
raised upon red pillars. But there is one pitch to which, I think, they
could never have attained, and that is the importance which they assume
when they become the external covering of a large and extensive tract of
underground country. Here we are brought face to face with a totally
different explanation, to which I shall recur in due course.

(4.) The little people are not by any means associated entirely with
mounds, as the foregoing section is largely intended to show. Their
habitations may be in or amongst stones, in caves, under the water, in
trees, or amongst the glades of a forest; they may dwell on mountains, on
moors, or even under the altars of churches. We may freely grant that some
of these habitations fall into line with Mr. MacRitchie's theory, but they
are not all susceptible of such an explanation.

(5.) The association of giants and dwarfs in certain places, even the
confusion of the two races, seems somewhat difficult of explanation by
this theory. In Ireland the distinction between the two classes is sharper
than in other places, since, as Sir William Wilde pointed out, whilst
every green rath in that island is consecrated to the fairies or "good
people," the remains attributed to the giants are of a different character
and probably of a later date. In some places, however, a mound similar to
those often connected with fairies is associated with a giant, as is the
case at Sessay parish, near Thirsk,[A] and at Fyfield in Wiltshire. The
chambered tumulus at Luckington is spoken of as the Giant's Caves, and
that at Nempnet in Somersetshire as the Fairy's Toot. In Denmark, tumuli
seem to be described indifferently as Zettestuer (Giants' Chambers) or
Troldestuer (Fairies' Chambers).[B] In "Beowulf" a chambered tumulus is
described, in the recesses of which were treasures watched over for three
hundred years by a dragon. This barrow was of stone, and the work of

Seah on enta geweorc,        Looked on the giant's work,
hû ða stân-bogan,            how the stone arches,
stapulinn-faeste,            on pillars fast,
êce eorð-reced               the eternal earth-house
innan healde.                held within.

[Footnote A: _Folk Lore_, i. 130.]

[Footnote B: _Flint Chips_, p. 412.]

The mounds have sometimes been made by giants and afterwards inhabited by
dwarfs, as in the case of the Nine-hills, already alluded to. In others,
they are at the same time inhabited by giants, dwarfs, and others, as in
the story of the Dwarf's Banquet,[A] and still more markedly in the
Wunderberg. "The celebrated Wunderberg, or Underberg, on the great moor
near Salzburg, is the chief haunt of the Wild-women. The Wunderberg is
said to be quite hollow, and supplied with stately palaces, churches,
monasteries, gardens, and springs of gold and silver. Its inhabitants,
beside the Wild-women, are little men, who have charge of the treasures it
contains, and who at midnight repair to Salzburg to perform their
devotions in the cathedral; giants, who used to come to the church of
Grödich and exhort the people to lead a godly and pious life; and the
great Emperor Charles V., with golden crown and sceptre, attended by
knights and lords. His grey beard has twice encompassed the table at which
he sits, and when it has the third time grown round it, the end of the
world and the appearance of the Antichrist will take place."[B]

[Footnote A: Grimm ap. Keightley, 130.]

[Footnote B: Grimm ap. Keightley, 234.]

In the folk-tales of the Magyars we meet with a still more remarkable
confusion between these two classes of beings. Some of the castles
described in these stories are inhabited by giants, others by fairies.
Again, the giants marry; their wives are fairies, so are their daughters.
They had no male issue, as their race was doomed to extermination. They
fall in love, and are fond of courting. Near Bikkfalva, in Háromszék, the
people still point out the "Lover's Bench" on a rock where the amorous
giant of Csigavár used to meet his sweetheart, the "fairy of

[Footnote A: _Folk Tales of the Magyars_, p. xxix.]

(6.) Tales of little people are to be found in countries where there never
were any Pigmy races. Not to deal with other, and perhaps more debatable
districts, we find an excellent example of this in North America. Besides
the instances mentioned in the foregoing section, the following may be
mentioned. Mr. Leland, speaking of the Un-a-games-suk, or Indian spirits
of the rocks and streams, says that these beings enter far more largely,
deeply, and socially into the life and faith of the Indians than elves or
fairies ever did into those of the Aryan race.[A] In his Algonquin Legends
the same author also alludes to small people.

[Footnote A: _Memoirs_, i. 34.]

Dr. Brinton tells me that the Micmacs have tales of similar Pigmies, whom
they call Wig[)u]l[)a]d[)u]mooch, who tie people with cords during their
sleep, &c. Mr. L.L. Frost, of Susanville, Lassen County, California, tells
us how, when he requested an Indian to gather and bring in all the
arrow-points he could find, the Indian declared them to be "no good," that
they had been made by the lizards. Whereupon Mr. Frost drew from him the
following lizard-story. "There was a time when the lizards were little
men, and the arrow-points which are now found were shot by them at the
grizzly bear. The bears could talk then, and would eat the little men
whenever they could catch them. The arrows of the little men were so small
that they would not kill the bears when shot into them, and only served to
enrage them." The Indian could not tell how the little men became
transformed into lizards.[A] Again, the Shoshones of California dread
their infants being changed by Ninumbees or dwarfs.[B]

[Footnote A: _Folk Lore Journal_, vii. 24.]

[Footnote B: Hartland, _ut supra_, p. 351.]

Finally, every one has read about the Pukwudjies, "the envious little
people, the fairies, the pigmies," in the pages of Longfellow's
"Hiawatha."[A] It ought to be mentioned that Mr. Leland states that the
red-capped, scanty-shirted elf of the Algonquins was obtained from the
Norsemen; but if, as he says, the idea of little people has sunk so deeply
into the Indian mind, it cannot in any large measure have been derived
from this source.[B]

[Footnote A: xviii.]

[Footnote B: _Etrusco Roman Remains_, p. 162.]

(7.) The stunted races whom Mr. MacRitchie considers to have formed the
subjects of the fairy legend have themselves tales of little people. This
is true especially of the Eskimo, as will have been already noticed, a
fact to which my attention was called by Mr. Hartland.

For the reasons just enumerated, I am unable to accept Mr. MacRitchie's
theory as a complete explanation of the fairy question, but I am far from
desirous of under-estimating the value and significance of his work. Mr.
Tylor, as I have already mentioned, states, in a sentence which may yet
serve as a motto for a work on the whole question of the origin of the
fairy myth, that "various different facts have given rise to stories of
giants and dwarfs, more than one mythic element perhaps combining to form
a single legend--a result perplexing in the extreme to the mythological
interpreter."[A] And I think it may be granted that Mr. MacRitchie has
gone far to show that one of these mythic elements, one strand in the
twisted cord of fairy mythology, is the half-forgotten memory of skulking
aborigines, or, as Mr. Nutt well puts it, the "distorted recollections of
alien and inimical races." But it is not the only one. It is far from
being my intention to endeavour to deal exhaustively with the difficult
question of the origin of fairy tales. Knowledge and the space permissible
in an introduction such as this would alike fail me in such a task. It
may, however, be permissible to mention a few points which seem to impress
themselves upon one in making a study of the stories with which I have
been dealing. In the first place, one can scarcely fail to notice how much
in common there is between the tales of the little people and the accounts
of that underground world, which, with so many races, is the habitation of
the souls of the departed. Dr. Callaway has already drawn attention to
this point in connection with the ancestor-worship of the Amazulu.[B] He
says, "It may be worth while to note the curious coincidence of thought
among the Amazulu regarding the Amatongo or Abapansi, and that of the
Scotch and Irish regarding the fairies or 'good people.' For instance, the
'good people' of the Irish have assigned to them, in many respects the
same motives and actions as the Amatongo. They call the living to join
them, that is, by death; they cause disease which common doctors cannot
understand nor cure; they have their feelings, interests, partialities,
and antipathies, and contend with each other about the living. The common
people call them their friends or people, which is equivalent to the term
_abakubo_ given to the Amatongo. They reveal themselves in the form of the
dead, and it appears to be supposed that the dead become 'good people,' as
the dead among the Amazulu become Amatongo; and in funeral processions of
the 'good people' which some have professed to see, are recognised the
forms of those who have just died, as Umkatshana saw his relatives amongst
the Abapansi. The power of holding communion with the 'good people' is
consequent on an illness, just as the power to divine amongst the natives
of this country. So also in the Highland tales, a boy who had been carried
away by the fairies, on his return to his own home speaks of them as 'our
folks,' which is equivalent to _abakwetu_, applied to the Amatongo, and
among the Highlands they are called the 'good people' and 'the folk.' They
are also said to 'live underground,' and are therefore Abapansi or
subterranean. They are also, like the Abapansi, called ancestors. Thus the
Red Book of Clanranald is said not to have been dug up, but to have been
found on the moss; it seemed as if the ancestors sent it." There are other
points which make in the same direction. The soul is supposed by various
races to be a little man, an idea which at once links the manes of the
departed with Pigmy people. Thus Dr. Nansen tells us that amongst the
Eskimo a man has many souls. The largest dwell in the larynx and in the
left side, and are tiny men about the size of a sparrow. The other souls
dwell in other parts of the body, and are the size of a finger-joint.[C]
And the Macusi Indians[D] believe that although the body will decay, "the
man in our eyes" will not die, but wander about; an idea which is met with
even in Europe, and which perhaps gives us a clue to the conception of
smallness in size of the shades of the dead. Again, the belief that the
soul lives near the resting-place of its body is widespread, and at least
comparable with, if not equivalent to, the idea that the little people of
Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and India live in the sepulchral mounds or
cromlechs of those countries. Closely connected with this is the idea of
the underground world, peopled by the souls of the departed like the
Abapansi, the widespread nature of which idea is shown by Dr. Tylor. "To
take one example, in which the more limited idea seems to have preceded
the more extensive, the Finns,[E] who feared the ghost of the departed as
unkind, harmful beings, fancied them dwelling with their bodies in the
grave, or else, with what Castrén thinks a later philosophy, assigned them
their dwelling in the subterranean Tuonela. Tuonela was like this upper
earth; the sun shone there, there was no lack of land and water, wood and
field, tilth and meadow; there were bears and wolves, snakes and pike, but
all things were of a hurtful, dismal kind; the woods dark and swarming
with wild beasts, the water black, the cornfields bearing seed of snake's
teeth; and there stern, pitiless old Tuoni, and his grim wife and son,
with the hooked fingers with iron points, kept watch and ward over the
dead lest they should escape."

[Footnote A: _Primitive Culture_, i. 388.]

[Footnote B: _Religious System of the Amazulu_, p. 226.]

[Footnote C: Nansen, _ut supra_, p. 227.]

[Footnote D: Tylor, _ut supra_, i. 431.]

[Footnote E: Tylor, _ut supra_, ii. 80.]

It is impossible not to see a connection between such conceptions as these
and the underground habitations of the little people entered by the green
mound which covered the bones of the dead. But the underground world was
not only associated with the shades of the departed; it was in many parts
of the world the place whence races had their origin, and here also we
meet in at least one instance known to me with the conception of a little
folk. A very widespread legend in Europe, and especially in Scandinavia,
according to Dr. Nansen, tells how the underground or invisible people
came into existence. "The Lord one day paid a visit to Eve as she was busy
washing her children. All those who were not yet washed she hurriedly hid
in cellars and corners and under big vessels, and presented the others to
the Visitor. The Lord asked if these were all, and she answered 'Yes;'
whereupon He replied, 'Then those which are _dulde_ (hidden) shall remain
_hulde_ (concealed, invisible). And from them the huldre-folk are
sprung."[A] There is also the widespread story of an origin underground,
as amongst the Wasabe, a sub-gens of the Omahas, who believe that their
ancestors were made under the earth and subsequently came to the
surface.[B] There is a similar story amongst the Z[=u]nis of Western New
Mexico. In journeying to their present place of habitation, they passed
through four worlds, all in the interior of this, the passage way from
darkness to light being through a large reed. From the inner world they
were led by the two little war-gods, Ah-ai-[=u]-ta and M[=a]-[=a]-s[=e]-we,
twin brothers, sons of the Sun, who were sent by the Sun to bring this
people to his presence.[C] From these stories it would appear that the
underground world, whether looked upon as the habitation of the dead or
the place of origination of nations, is connected with the conception of
little races and people. That it is thus responsible for some portion of
the conception of fairies seems to me to be more than probable.

[Footnote A: Nansen, _ut supra_, p. 262.]

[Footnote B: Dorset, _Omaha Sociology. American Bureau of Ethnology_, iii.

[Footnote C: Stevenson, _Religious Life of Zuni Child. American Bureau of
Ethnology_, v. 539.]

It is hardly necessary to allude to those spirits which animistic ideas
have attached amongst other objects and places, to trees and wells. They
are fully dealt with in Dr. Tylor's pages, and must not be forgotten in
connection with the present question.

To sum up, then, it appears as if the idea, so widely diffused, of little,
invisible, or only sometimes visible, people, is of the most complex
nature. From the darkness which shrouds it, however, it is possible to
discern some rays of light. That the souls of the departed, and the
underground world which they inhabit, are largely responsible for it, is,
I hope, rendered probable by the facts which I have brought forward. That
animistic ideas have played an important part in the evolution of the idea
of fairy peoples, is not open to doubt. That to these conceptions were
superadded many features really derived from the actions of aboriginal
races hiding before the destroying might of their invaders, and this not
merely in these islands, but in many parts of the world, has been, I
think, demonstrated by the labours of the gentleman whose theory I have so
often alluded to. But the point upon which it is desired to lay stress is
that the features derived from aboriginal races are only one amongst many
sources. Possibly they play an important part, but scarcely, I think, one
so important as Mr. MacRitchie would have us believe.



Wherein it will appear that they were all either APES or MONKEYS; and not
MEN, as formerly pretended.

By Edward Tyson M.D.

A Philological Essay Concerning the PYGMIES OF THE ANCIENTS.

Having had the Opportunity of Dissecting this remarkable Creature, which
not only in the _outward shape_ of the Body, but likewise in the structure
of many of the Inward Parts, so nearly resembles a Man, as plainly appears
by the _Anatomy_ I have here given of it, it suggested the Thought to me,
whether this sort of _Animal_, might not give the Foundation to the
Stories of the _Pygmies_ and afford an occasion not only to the _Poets_,
but _Historians_ too, of inventing the many Fables and wonderful and merry
Relations, that are transmitted down to us concerning them? I must
confess, I could never before entertain any other Opinion about them, but
that the whole was a _Fiction_: and as the first Account we have of them,
was from a _Poet_, so that they were only a Creature of the Brain,
produced by a warm and wanton Imagination, and that they never had any
Existence or Habitation elsewhere.

In this Opinion I was the more confirmed, because the most diligent
Enquiries of late into all the Parts of the inhabited World, could never
discover any such _Puny_ diminutive _Race_ of _Mankind_. That they should
be totally destroyed by the _Cranes_, their Enemies, and not a Straggler
here and there left remaining, was a Fate, that even those _Animals_ that
are constantly preyed upon by others, never undergo. Nothing therefore
appeared to me more Fabulous and Romantick, than their _History_, and the
Relations about them, that _Antiquity_ has delivered to us. And not only
_Strabo_ of old, but our greatest Men of Learning of late, have wholly
exploded them, as a mere _figment_; invented only to amuse, and divert the
Reader with the Comical Narration of their Atchievements, believing that
there were never any such Creatures in Nature.

This opinion had so fully obtained with me, that I never thought it worth
the Enquiry, how they came to invent such Extravagant Stories: Nor should
I now, but upon the Occasion of Dissecting this _Animal_: For observing
that 'tis call'd even to this day in the _Indian_ or _Malabar_ Language,
_Orang-Outang_, i.e. a _Man_ of the _Woods_, or _Wild-men_; and being
brought from _Africa_, that part of the World, where the _Pygmies_ are
said to inhabit; and it's present _Stature_ likewise tallying so well with
that of the _Pygmies_ of the Ancients; these Considerations put me upon
the search, to inform my self farther about them, and to examine, whether
I could meet with any thing that might illustrate their _History_. For I
thought it strange, that if the whole was but a meer Fiction, that so many
succeeding Generations should be so fond of preserving a _Story_, that had
no Foundation at all in Nature; and that the _Ancients_ should trouble
themselves so much about them. If therefore I can make out in this
_Essay_, that there were such _Animals_ as _Pygmies_; and that they were
not a _Race_ of _Men_, but _Apes_; and can discover the _Authors_, who
have forged all, or most of the idle Stories concerning them; and shew how
the Cheat in after Ages has been carried on, by embalming the Bodies of
_Apes_, then exposing them for the _Men_ of the Country, from whence they
brought them: If I can do this, I shall think my time not wholly lost, nor
the trouble altogether useless, that I have had in this Enquiry.

My Design is not to justifie all the Relations that have been given of
this _Animal_, even by Authors of reputed Credit; but, as far as I can, to
distinguish Truth from Fable; and herein, if what I assert amounts to a
Probability, 'tis all I pretend to. I shall accordingly endeavour to make
it appear, that not only the _Pygmies_ of the Ancients, but also the
_Cynocephali_, and _Satyrs_ and _Sphinges_ were only _Apes_ or _Monkeys_,
not _Men_, as they have been represented. But the Story of the _Pygmies_
being the greatest Imposture, I shall chiefly concern my self about them,
and shall be more concise on the others, since they will not need so
strict an Examination.

We will begin with the Poet _Homer_, who is generally owned as the first
Inventor of the Fable of the _Pygmies_, if it be a Fable, and not a true
Story, as I believe will appear in the Account I shall give of them. Now
_Homer_ only mentions them in a _Simile_, wherein he compares the Shouts
that the _Trojans_ made, when they were going to joyn Battle with the
_Græcians_, to the great Noise of the _Cranes_, going to fight the
_Pygmies_: he saith,[A]

[Greek: Ai t' epei oun cheimona phygon, kai athesphaton ombron
Klangae tai ge petontai ep' okeanoio rhoaon
'Andrasi pygmaioisi phonon kai kaera pherousai.] i.e.

_Quæ simul ac fugere Imbres, Hyememque Nivalem
Cum magno Oceani clangore ferantur ad undas
Pygmæis pugnamque Viris, cædesque ferentes._

[Footnote A: _Homer. Iliad_. lib. 3. ver. 4.]

Or as _Helius Eobanus Hessus_ paraphrases the whole.[A]

_Postquam sub Ducibus digesta per agmina stabant
Quæque fuis, Equitum turmæ, Peditumque Cohortes,
Obvia torquentes Danais vestigia Troës
Ibant, sublato Campum clamore replentes:
Non secus ac cuneata Gruum sublime volantum
Agmina, dum fugiunt Imbres, ac frigora Brumæ,
Per Coelum matutino clangore feruntur,
Oceanumque petunt, mortem exitiumque cruentum
Irrita Pigmæis moturis arma ferentes._

[Footnote A: _Homeri Ilias Latino Carmine reddita ab Helio Eobano Hesso_.]

By [Greek: andrasi pygmaioisi] therefore, which is the Passage upon which
they have grounded all their fabulous Relations of the _Pygmies_, why may
not _Homer_ mean only _Pygmies_ or _Apes_ like _Men_. Such an Expression
is very allowable in a _Poet_, and is elegant and significant, especially
since there is so good a Foundation in Nature for him to use it, as we
have already seen, in the _Anatomy of the Orang-Outang_. Nor is a _Poet_
tied to that strictness of Expression, as an _Historian_ or _Philosopher_;
he has the liberty of pleasing the Reader's Phancy, by Pictures and
Representations of his own. If there be a becoming likeness, 'tis all that
he is accountable for. I might therefore here make the same _Apology_ for
him, as _Strabo_[A] do's on another account for his _Geography_, [Greek:
ou gar kat' agnoian ton topikon legetai, all' haedonaes kai terpseos
charin]. That he said it, not thro' Ignorance, but to please and delight:
Or, as in another place he expresses himself,[B] [Greek: ou gar kat'
agnoian taes istorias hypolaepteon genesthai touto, alla tragodias
charin]. _Homer_ did not make this slip thro' Ignorance of the true
_History_, but for the Beauty of his _Poem_. So that tho' he calls them
_Men Pygmies_, yet he may mean no more by it, than that they were like
_Men_. As to his Purpose, 'twill serve altogether as well, whether this
bloody Battle be fought between the _Cranes_ and _Pygmæan Men_, or the
_Cranes_ and _Apes_, which from their Stature he calls _Pygmies_, and from
their shape _Men_; provided that when the _Cranes_ go to engage, they make
a mighty terrible noise, and clang enough to fright these little _Wights_
their mortal Enemies. To have called them only _Apes_, had been flat and
low, and lessened the grandieur of the Battle. But this _Periphrasis_ of
them, [Greek: andres pygmaioi], raises the Reader's Phancy, and surprises
him, and is more becoming the Language of an Heroic Poem.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 1. p.m. 25.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo_ ibid. p.m. 30.]

But how came the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_ to fall out? What may be the Cause
of this Mortal Feud, and constant War between them? For _Brutes_, like
_Men_, don't war upon one another, to raise and encrease their Glory, or
to enlarge their Empire. Unless I can acquit my self herein, and assign
some probable Cause hereof, I may incur the same Censure as _Strabo_[A]
passed on several of the _Indian Historians_, [Greek: enekainisan de kai
taen 'Omaerikaen ton Pygmaion geranomachin trispithameis eipontes], for
reviewing the _Homerical_ Fight of the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_, which he
looks upon only as a fiction of the Poet. But this had been very
unbecoming _Homer_ to take a _Simile_ (which is designed for illustration)
from what had no Foundation in Nature. His _Betrachomyomachia_, 'tis true,
was a meer Invention, and never otherwise esteemed: But his _Geranomachia_
hath all the likelyhood of a true Story. And therefore I shall enquire now
what may be the just Occasion of this Quarrel.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 2. p.m. 48.]

_Athenæus_[A] out of _Philochorus_, and so likewise _Ælian_[B], tell us a
Story, That in the Nation of the _Pygmies_ the Male-line failing, one
_Gerana_ was the Queen; a Woman of an admired Beauty, and whom the
Citizens worshipped as a Goddess; but she became so vain and proud, as to
prefer her own, before the Beauty of all the other Goddesses, at which
they grew enraged; and to punish her for her Insolence, Athenæus tells us
that it was _Diana_, but _Ælian_ saith 'twas _Juno_ that transformed her
into a _Crane_, and made her an Enemy to the _Pygmies_ that worshipped her
before. But since they are not agreed which Goddess 'twas, I shall let
this pass.

[Footnote A: _Athenæi Deipnosoph_. lib. 9 p.m. 393.]

[Footnote B: _Ælian. Hist. Animal_. lib. 15. cap. 29.]

_Pomponius Mela_ will have it, and I think some others, that these cruel
Engagements use to happen, upon the _Cranes_ coming to devour the _Corn_
the _Pygmies_ had sowed; and that at last they became so victorious, as
not only to destroy their Corn, but them also: For he tells us,[A] _Fuere
interiùs Pygmæi, minutum genus, & quod pro satis frugibus contra Grues
dimicando, defecit._ This may seem a reasonable Cause of a Quarrel; but it
not being certain that the _Pygmies_ used to sow _Corn_, I will not insist
on this neither.

[Footnote A: _Pomp. Mela de situ Orbis_, lib. 3. cap. 8.]

Now what seems most likely to me, is the account that _Pliny_ out of
_Megasthenes_, and _Strabo_ from _Onesicritus_ give us; and, provided I be
not obliged to believe or justifie _all_ that they say, I could rest
satisfied in great part of their Relation: For _Pliny_[B] tells us, _Veris
tempore universo agmine ad mare descendere, & Ova, Pullosque earum Alitum
consumere_: That in the Spring-time the whole drove of the _Pygmies_ go
down to the Sea side, to devour the _Cranes_ Eggs and their young Ones. So
likewise _Onesicritus_,[B] [Greek: Pros de tous trispithamous polemon
einai tais Geranois (hon kai Homaeron daeloun) kai tois Perdixin, ous
chaenomegetheis einai; toutous d' eklegein auton ta oa, kai phtheirein;
ekei gar ootokein tas Geranous; dioper maedamou maed' oa euriskesthai
Geranon, maet' oun neottia;] i.e. _That there is a fight between the_
Pygmies _and the_ Cranes (_as_ Homer _relates_) _and the_ Partridges
_which are as big as_ Geese; _for these_ Pygmies _gather up their Eggs,
and destroy them; the_ Cranes _laying their Eggs there; and neither their
Eggs, nor their Nests, being to be found any where else_. 'Tis plain
therefore from them, that the Quarrel is not out of any _Antipathy_ the
_Pygmies_ have to the _Cranes_, but out of love to their own Bellies. But
the _Cranes_ finding their Nests to be robb'd, and their young Ones prey'd
on by these Invaders, no wonder that they should so sharply engage them;
and the least they could do, was to fight to the utmost so mortal an
Enemy. Hence, no doubt, many a bloody Battle happens, with various success
to the Combatants; sometimes with great slaughter of the _long-necked
Squadron_; sometimes with great effusion of _Pygmæan_ blood. And this may
well enough, in a _Poet's_ phancy, be magnified, and represented as a
dreadful War; and no doubt of it, were one a _Spectator_ of it, 'twould be
diverting enough.

[Footnote A: _Plinij. Hist. Nat._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p.m. 13.]

[Footnote B: _Strab. Geograph_. lib. 15. pag. 489.]

  -----_Si videas hoc
  Gentibus in nostris, risu quatiere: sed illic,
  Quanquam eadem assiduè spectantur Prælia, ridet
  Nemo, ubi tota cohors pede non est altior uno_.[A]

[Footnote A: _Juvenal. Satyr_. 13 vers. 170.]

This Account therefore of these Campaigns renewed every year on this
Provocation between the _Cranes_ and the _Pygmies_, contains nothing but
what a cautious Man may believe; and _Homer's Simile_ in likening the
great shouts of the _Trojans_ to the Noise of the _Cranes_, and the
Silence of the _Greeks_ to that of the _Pygmies_, is very admirable and
delightful. For _Aristotle_[B] tells us, That the _Cranes_, to avoid the
hardships of the Winter, take a Flight out of _Scythia_ to the _Lakes_
about the _Nile_, where the _Pygmies_ live, and where 'tis very likely the
_Cranes_ may lay their Eggs and breed, before they return. But these rude
_Pygmies_ making too bold with them, what could the _Cranes_ do less for
preserving their Off-spring than fight them; or at least by their mighty
Noise, make a shew as if they would. This is but what we may observe in
all other Birds. And thus far I think our _Geranomachia_ or _Pygmæomachia_
looks like a true Story; and there is nothing in _Homer_ about it, but
what is credible. He only expresses himself, as a _Poet_ should do; and if
Readers will mistake his meaning, 'tis not his fault.

[Footnote B: _Aristotle. Hist. Animal_. lib. 8. cap. 15. Edit. Scalig.]

'Tis not therefore the _Poet_ that is to be blamed, tho' they would father
it all on him; but the fabulous _Historians_ in after Ages, who have so
odly drest up this Story by their fantastical Inventions, that there is no
knowing the truth, till one hath pull'd off those Masks and Visages,
wherewith they have disguised it. For tho' I can believe _Homer_, that
there is a fight between the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_, yet I think I am no
ways obliged to imagine, that when the _Pygmies_ go to these Campaigns to
fight the _Cranes_, that they ride upon _Partridges_, as _Athenæas_ from
_Basilis_ an _Indian Historian_ tells us; for, saith he,[A] [Greek:
Basilis de en toi deuteroi ton Indikon, oi mikroi, phaesin, andres oi tais
Geranois diapolemountes Perdixin ochaemati chrontai;]. For presently
afterwards he tells us from _Menecles_, that the _Pygmies_ not only fight
the _Cranes_, but the _Partridges_ too, [Greek: Meneklaes de en protae
taes synagogaes oi pygmaioi, phaesi, tois perdixi, kai tais Geranois
polemousi]. This I could more readily agree to, because _Onesicritus_, as
I have quoted him already confirms it; and gives us the same reason for
this as for fighting the _Cranes_, because they rob their Nests. But
whether these _Partridges_ are as big as _Geese_, I leave as a _Quære_.

[Footnote A: _Athenæi Deipnesoph_. lib. p. 9. m. 390.]

_Megasthenes_ methinks in _Pliny_ mounts the _Pygmies_ for this expedition
much better, for he sets them not on a _Pegasus_ or _Partridges_, but on
_Rams_ and _Goats_: _Fama est_ (saith _Pliny[A]) insedentes Arietum
Caprarumque dorsis, armatis sagittis, veris tempore universo agmine ad
mare descendere_. And _Onesicritus_ in Strabo tells us, That a _Crane_ has
been often observed to fly from those parts with a brass Sword fixt in
him, [Greek: pleistakis d' ekpiptein geranon chalkaen echousan akida apo
ton ekeithen plaegmaton.][B] But whether the _Pygmies_ do wear Swords, may
be doubted. 'Tis true, _Ctesias_ tells us,[C] That the _King_ of _India_
every fifth year sends fifty Thousand Swords, besides abundance of other
Weapons, to the Nation of the _Cynocephali_, (a fort of _Monkeys_, as I
shall shew) that live in those Countreys, but higher up in the Mountains:
But he makes no mention of any such Presents to the poor _Pygmies_; tho'
he assures us, that no less than three Thousand of these _Pygmies_ are the
_Kings_ constant Guards: But withal tells us, that they are excellent
_Archers_, and so perhaps by dispatching their Enemies at a distance, they
may have no need of such Weapons to lye dangling by their sides. I may
therefore be mistaken in rendering [Greek: akida] a Sword; it may be any
other sharp pointed Instrument or Weapon, and upon second Thoughts, shall
suppose it a sort of Arrow these cunning _Archers_ use in these

[Footnote A: _Plinij. Nat. Hist._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p. 13.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 15. p. 489.]

[Footnote C: _Vide Photij. Biblioth._]

These, and a hundred such ridiculous _Fables_, have the _Historians_
invented of the _Pygmies_, that I can't but be of _Strabo_'s mind,[A]
[Greek: Rhadion d' an tis Haesiodio, kai Homaeroi pisteuseien
haeroologousi, kai tois tragikois poiaetais, hae Ktaesiai te kai
Haerodotoi, kai Hellanikoi, kai allois toioutois;] i.e. _That one may
sooner believe_ Hesiod, _and_ Homer, _and the_ Tragick Poets _speaking of
their_ Hero's, _than_ Ctesias _and_ Herodotus _and_ Hellanicus _and such
like_. So ill an Opinion had _Strabo_ of the _Indian Historians_ in
general, that he censures them _all_ as fabulous;[B] [Greek: Hapantes men
toinun hoi peri taes Indikaes grapsantes hos epi to poly pseudologoi
gegonasi kath' hyperbolaen de Daeimachos; ta de deutera legei
Megasthenaes, Onaesikritos te kai Nearchos, kai alloi toioutoi;] i.e. _All
who have wrote of_ India _for the most part, are fabulous, but in the
highest degree_ Daimachus; _then_ Megasthenes, Onesicritus, _and_
Nearchus, _and such like_. And as if it had been their greatest Ambition
to excel herein, _Strabo_[C] brings in _Theopompus_, as bragging, [Greek:
Hoti kai mythous en tais Historiais erei kreitton, ae hos Haerodotos, kai
Ktaesias, kai Hellanikos, kai hoi ta Hindika syngrapsantes;] _That he
could foist in Fables into History, better than_ Herodotus _and_ Ctesias
_and_ Hellanicus, _and all that have wrote of_ India. The _Satyrist_
therefore had reason to say,

  -----_Et quicquid Græcia mendax
  Audet in Historia._[D]

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 11. p.m. 350.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo ibid._ lib. 2. p.m. 48.]

[Footnote C: _Strabo ibid._ lib. 1 p.m. 29.]

[Footnote D: _Juvenal._ _Satyr._ X. _vers._ 174.]

_Aristotle_,[A] 'tis true, tells us, [Greek: Holos de ta men agria
agriotera en tae Asia, andreiotera de panta ta en taei Europaei,
polymorphotata de ta en taei libyaei; kai legetai de tis paroimia, hoti
aei pherei ti libyae kainon;] i.e. _That generally the Beasts are wilder
in_ Asia, _stronger in_ Europe, _and of greater variety of shapes in_
Africa; _for as the_ Proverb _saith_, Africa _always produces something
new_. _Pliny_[B] indeed ascribes it to the Heat of the _Climate,
Animalium, Hominumque effigies monstriferas, circa extremitates ejus
gigni, minimè mirum, artifici ad formanda Corpora, effigiesque cælandas
mobilitate igneâ_. But _Nature_ never formed a whole _Species_ of
_Monsters_; and 'tis not the _heat_ of the Country, but the warm and
fertile Imagination of these _Historians_, that has been more productive
of them, than _Africa_ it self; as will farther appear by what I shall
produce out of them, and particularly from the Relation that _Ctesias_
makes of the _Pygmies_.

[Footnote A: _Aristotle Hist. Animal_, lib. 8. cap. 28.]

[Footnote B: _Plin. Nat. Hist._ lib. 6. cap. 30. p.m. 741.]

I am the more willing to instance in _Ctesias_, because he tells his Story
roundly; he no ways minces it; his Invention is strong and fruitful; and
that you may not in the least mistrust him, he pawns his word, that all
that he writes, is certainly true: And so successful he has been, how
Romantick soever his Stories may appear, that they have been handed down
to us by a great many other Authors, and of Note too; tho' some at the
same time have looked upon them as mere Fables. So that for the present,
till I am better informed, and I am not over curious in it, I shall make
_Ctesias_, and the other _Indian Historians_, the _Inventors_ of the
extravagant Relations we at present have of the _Pygmies_, and not old
_Homer_. He calls them, 'tis true, from something of Resemblance of their
shape, [Greek: andres]: But these _Historians_ make them to speak the
_Indian Language_; to use the same _Laws_; and to be so considerable a
Nation, and so valiant, as that the _King_ of _India_ makes choice of them
for his _Corps de Guards_; which utterly spoils _Homer's Simile_, in
making them so little, as only to fight _Cranes_.

_Ctesias_'s Account therefore of the _Pygmies_ (as I find it in
_Photius_'s _Bibliotheca_,[A] and at the latter end of some Editions of
_Herodotus_) is this:

[Footnote A: _Photij. Bibliothec. Cod._ 72. p.m. 145.]

[Greek: Hoti en mesae tae Indikae anthropoi eisi melanes, kai kalountai
pygmaioi, tois allois homoglossoi Indois. mikroi de eisi lian; hoi
makrotatoi auton paecheon duo, hoi de pleistoi, henos haemiseos paecheos,
komaen de echousi makrotataen, mechri kai hepi ta gonata, kai eti
katoteron, kai pogona megiston panton anthropon; epeidan oun ton pogona
mega physosin, ouketi amphiennyntai ouden emation: alla tas trichas, tas
men ek taes kephalaes, opisthen kathientai poly kato ton gonaton; tas de
ek tou po gonos, emprosthen mechri podon elkomenas. Hepeita
peripykasamenoi tas trichas peri apan to soma, zonnyntai, chromenoi autais
anti himatiou, aidoion de mega echousin, hoste psauein ton sphyron auton,
kai pachy. autoite simoi te kai aischroi. ta de probata auton, hos andres.
kai hai boes kai hoi onoi, schedon hoson krioi? kai hoi hippoi auton kai
hoi aemionoi, kai ta alla panta zoa, ouden maezo krion; hepontai de toi
basilei ton Indon, touton ton pygmaion andres trischilioi. sphodra gar
eisi toxotai; dikaiotatoi de eisi kai nomoisi chrontai osper kai hoi
Indoi. Dagoous te kai alopekas thaereuousin, ou tois kysin, alla koraxi
kai iktisi kai koronais kai aetois.]

_Narrat præter ista, in media India homines reperiri nigros, qui Pygmæi
appellentur. Eadem hos, qua Inda reliqui, lingua uti, sed valde esse
parvos, ut maximi duorum cubitorum, & plerique unius duntaxat cubiti cum
dimidio altitudinem non excedant. Comam alere longissimam, ad ipsa usque
genua demissam, atque etiam infra, cum barba longiore, quàm, apud ullos
hominum. Quæ quidem ubi illis promissior esse cæperit, nulla deinceps
veste uti: sed capillos multò infra genua à tergo demissos, barbámque
præter pectus ad pedes usque defluentem, per totum corpus in orbem
constipare & cingere, atque ita pilos ipsis suos vestimenti loco esse.
Veretrum illis esse crassum ac longum, quod ad ipsos quoque pedum
malleolos pertingat. Pygmeos hosce simis esse naribus, & deformes. Ipsorum
item oves agnorem nostrotum instar esse; boves & asinos, arietum fere
magnitudine, equos item multosque & cætera jumenta omnia nihilo esse
nostris arietibus majora. Tria horum Pygmæorum millia Indorum regem in suo
comitatu habere, quod sagittarij sint peritissimi. Summos esse justitiæ
cultores iisdemque quibus Indi reliqui, legibus parere. Venari quoque
lepores vulpesque, non canibus, sed corvis, milvis, cornicibus, aquilis

In the middle of _India_ (saith _Ctesias_) there are black Men, they are
call'd _Pygmies_, using the same Language, as the other _Indians_; they
are very little, the tallest of them being but two Cubits, and most of
them but a Cubit and a half high. They have very long hair, reaching down
to their Knees and lower; and a Beard larger than any Man's. After their
Beards are grown long, they wear no Cloaths, but the Hair of their Head
falls behind a great deal below their Hams; and that of their Beards
before comes down to their Feet: then laying their Hair thick all about
their Body, they afterwards gird themselves, making use of their Hair for
Cloaths. They have a _Penis_ so long, that it reaches to the Ancle, and
the thickness is proportionable. They are flat nosed and ill favoured.
Their Sheep are like Lambs; and their Oxen and Asses scarce as big as Rams;
and their Horses and Mules, and all their other Cattle not bigger. Three
thousand Men of these _Pygmies_ do attend the _King_ of _India_. They are
good _Archers_; they are very just, and use the same _Laws_ as the
_Indians_ do. They kill Hares and Foxes, not with Dogs, but with Ravens,
Kites, Crows, and Eagles.'

Well, if they are so good Sports-men, as to kill Hares and Foxes with
Ravens, Kites, Crows and Eagles, I can't see how I can bring off _Homer_,
for making them fight the _Cranes_ themselves. Why did they not fly their
_Eagles_ against them? these would make greater Slaughter and Execution,
without hazarding themselves. The only excuse I have is, that _Homer_'s
_Pygmies_ were real _Apes_ like _Men_; but those of _Ctesias_ were neither
_Men_ nor _Pygmies_; only a Creature begot in his own Brain, and to be
found no where else.

_Ctesias_ was Physician to _Artaxerxes Mnemon_ as _Diodorus Siculus_[A]
and _Strabo_[B] inform us. He was contemporary with _Xenophon_, a little
later than _Herodotus_; and _Helvicus_ in his _Chronology_ places him
three hundred eighty three years before _Christ_: He is an ancient Author,
'tis true, and it may be upon that score valued by some. We are beholden
to him, not only for his Improvements on the Story of the _Pygmies_, but
for his Remarks likewise on several other parts of _Natural History_;
which for the most part are all of the same stamp, very wonderful and
incredible; as his _Mantichora_, his _Gryphins_, the _horrible Indian
Worm_, a Fountain of _Liquid Gold_, a Fountain of _Honey_, a Fountain
whose Water will make a Man confess all that ever he did, a Root he calls
[Greek: paraebon], that will attract Lambs and Birds, as the Loadstone
does filings of Steel; and a great many other Wonders he tells us: all of
which are copied from him by _Ælian, Pliny, Solinus, Mela, Philostratus_,
and others. And _Photius_ concludes _Ctesias_'s Account of _India_ with
this passage; [Greek: Tauta graphon kai mythologon Ktaesias. legei t'
alaethestata graphein; epagon hos ta men autos idon graphei, ta de par
auton mathon ton eidoton. polla de touton kai alla thaumasiotera
paralipein, dia to mae doxai tois mae tauta theasamenois apista
syngraphein;] i.e. _These things_ (saith he) Ctesias _writes and feigns,
but he himself says all he has wrote is very true. Adding, that some
things which he describes, he had seen himself; and the others he had
learn'd from those that had seen them: That he had omitted a great many
other things more wonderful, because he would not seem to those that have
not seen them, to write incredibilities_. But notwithstanding all this,
_Lucian_[C] will not believe a word he saith; for he tells us that
_Ctesias_ has wrote of _India_, [Greek: A maete autos eide, maete allou
eipontos aekousen], _What he neither saw himself, nor ever heard from any
Body else._ And _Aristotle_ tells us plainly, he is not fit to be believed:
[Greek: En de taei Indikaei hos phaesi Ktaesias, ouk on axiopistos.][D]
And the same opinion _A. Gellius_[E] seems to have of him, as he had
likewise of several other old _Greek Historians_ which happened to fall
into his hands at _Brundusium_, in his return from _Greece_ into _Italy_;
he gives this Character of them and their performance: _Erant autem isti
omnes libri Græci, miraculorum fabularumque pleni: res inauditæ,
incredulæ, Scriptores veteres non parvæ authoritatis_, Aristeas
Proconnesius, & Isagonus, & Nicæensis, & Ctesias, & Onesicritus, &
Polystephanus, & Hegesias. Not that I think all that _Ctesias_ has wrote
is fabulous; For tho' I cannot believe his _speaking Pygmies_, yet what he
writes of the _Bird_ he calls [Greek: Bittakos], that it would speak
_Greek_ and the _Indian Language_, no doubt is very true; and as _H.
Stephens_[F] observes in his Apology for _Ctesias_, such a Relation would
seem very surprising to one, that had never seen nor heard of a _Parrot_.

[Footnote A: _Diodor. Siculi Bibliothec_. lib. 2. p.m. 118.]

[Footnote B: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 14. p. 451.]

[Footnote C: _Lucian_ lib 1. _veræ Histor_. p.m. 373.]

[Footnote D: _Arist. Hist. Animal._ lib. 8. cap. 28.]

[Footnote E: _A. Gellij. Noctes. Attic._ lib. 9. cap. 4.]

[Footnote F: _Henr. Stephani de Ctesia Historico antiquissimo disquisitio,
ad finem Herodoti._]

But this Story of _Ctesias_'s _speaking Pygmies_, seems to be confirm'd by
the Account that _Nonnosus_, the Emperour _Justinian_'s Ambassador into
_Æthiopia_, gives of his Travels. I will transcribe the Passage, as I find
it in _Photius_,[A] and 'tis as follows:

[Footnote A: _Photij. Bibliothec._ cod. 3. p.m. 7.]

[Greek: Hoti apo taes pharsan pleonti toi Nonnosoi, epi taen eschataen ton
naeson kataentaekoti toion de ti synebae, thauma kai akousai. enetuche gar
tisi morphaen men kai idean echousin anthropinaen, brachytatois de to
megethos, kai melasi taen chroan. hypo de trichon dedasysmenois dia pantos
tou somatos. heiponto de tois andrasi kai gynaikes paraplaesiai kai
paidaria eti brachytera, ton par autois andron. gymnoi de aesan hapantes;
plaen dermati tini mikroi taen aido periekalypron, hoi probebaekotes
homoios andres te kai gynaikes. agrion de ouden eped eiknynto oude
anaemeron; alla kai phonaen eichon men anthropinaen, agnoston de pantapasi
taen dialekton tois te perioikois hapasi, kai polloi pleon tois peri taen
Nonnoson, diezon de ek thalattion ostreion, kai ichthyon, ton apo taes
thalassaes eis taen naeson aporrhiptomenon; tharsos de eichon ouden. alla
kai horontes tous kath' haemas anthropous hypeptaesan, hosper haemeis ta
meiso ton thaerion.]

_Naviganti à Pharsa Nonoso, & ad extremam usque insularum delato, tale
quid occurrit, vel ipso auditu admirandum. Incidit enim in quosdam forma
quidem & figura humana, sed brevissimos, & cutem nigros, totúmque pilosos
corpus. Sequebantur viros æquales foeminæ, & pueri adhuc breviores. Nudi
omnes agunt, pelle tantum brevi adultiores verenda tecti, viri pariter ac
foeminæ: agreste nihil, neque efferum quid præ se ferentes. Quin & vox
illis humana, sed omnibus, etiam accolis, prorsus ignota lingua, multoque
amplius Nonosi sociis. Vivunt marinis ostreis, & piscibus è mari ad
insulam projectis. Audaces minime sunt, ut nostris conspectis hominibus,
quemadmodum nos visa ingenti fera, metu perculsi fuerint._

'That _Nonnosus_ sailing from _Pharsa_, when he came to the farthermost of
the Islands, a thing, very strange to be heard of, happened to him; for he
lighted on some (_Animals_) in shape and appearance like _Men_, but little
of stature, and of a black colour, and thick covered with hair all over
their Bodies. The Women, who were of the same stature, followed the Men:
They were all naked, only the Elder of them, both Men and Women, covered
their Privy Parts with a small Skin. They seemed not at all fierce or wild;
they had a Humane Voice, but their _Dialect_ was altogether unknown to
every Body that lived about them; much more to those that were with
_Nonnosus_. They liv'd upon Sea Oysters, and Fish that were cast out of
the Sea, upon the Island. They had no Courage; for seeing our Men, they
were frighted, as we are at the sight of the greatest wild Beast.'

[Greek: _phonaen eichon men anthropinaen_] I render here, _they had a
Humane Voice_, not _Speech_: for had they spoke any Language, tho' their
_Dialect_ might be somewhat different, yet no doubt but some of the
Neighbourhood would have understood something of it, and not have been
such utter Strangers to it. Now 'twas observed of the _Orang-Outang_, that
it's _Voice_ was like the Humane, and it would make a Noise like a Child,
but never was observed to speak, tho' it had the _Organs_ of _Speech_
exactly formed as they are in _Man_; and no Account that ever has been
given of this Animal do's pretend that ever it did. I should rather agree
to what _Pliny_[A] mentions, _Quibusdam pro Sermone nutus motusque
Membrorum est_; and that they had no more a Speech than _Ctesias_ his
_Cynocephali_ which could only bark, as the same _Pliny_[B] remarks; where
he saith, _In multis autem Montibus Genus Hominum Capitibus Caninis,
ferarum pellibus velari, pro voce latratum edere, unguibus armatum venatu
& Aucupio vesci, horum supra Centum viginti Millia fuisse prodente se
Ctesias scribit._ But in _Photius_ I find, that _Ctesias's Cynocephali_
did speak the _Indian Language_ as well as the _Pygmies_. Those therefore
in _Nonnosus_ since they did not speak the _Indian_, I doubt, spoke no
_Language_ at all; or at least, no more than other _Brutes_ do.

[Footnote A: _Plinij Nat. Hist._ lib. 6. cap. 30. p.m. 741.]

[Footnote B: _Plinij. Nat. Hist._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p.m. 11.]

_Ctesias_ I find is the only Author that ever understood what Language
'twas that the _Pygmies_ spake: For _Herodotus_[A] owns that they use a
sort of Tongue like to no other, but screech like _Bats_. He saith, [Greek:
Hoi Garamantes outoi tous troglodytas Aithiopas thaereuousi toisi
tetrippoisi. Hoi gar Troglodytai aithiopes podas tachistoi anthropon
panton eisi, ton hymeis peri logous apopheromenous akouomen. Siteontai de
hoi Troglodytai ophis, kai Saurous, kai ta toiauta ton Herpeton. Glossan
de oudemiaei allaei paromoiaen nenomikasi, alla tetrygasi kathaper hai
nukterides;] i.e. _These_ Garamantes _hunt the_ Troglodyte Æthiopians _in
Chariots with four Horses. The_ Troglodyte Æthiopians _are the swiftest of
foot of all Men that ever he heard of by any Report. The_ Troglodytes _eat
Serpents and Lizards, and such sort of Reptiles. They use a Language like
to no other Tongue, but screech like Bats._

[Footnote A: _Herodot. in Melpomene._ pag. 283.]

Now that the _Pygmies_ are _Troglodytes_, or do live in Caves, is plain
from _Aristotle_,[A] who saith, [Greek: Troglodytai de' eisi ton bion].
And so _Philostratus_,[B] [Greek: Tous de pygmaious oikein men
hypogeious]. And methinks _Le Compte_'s Relation concerning the _wild_ or
_savage Man_ in _Borneo_, agrees so well with this, that I shall
transcribe it: for he tells us,[C] _That in_ Borneo _this_ wild _or_
savage Man _is indued with extraordinary strength; and not withstanding he
walks but upon two Legs, yet he is so swift of foot, that they have much
ado to outrun him. People of Quality course him, as we do Stags here: and
this sort of hunting is the King's usual divertisement._ And _Gassendus_
in the Life of _Peiresky_, tells us they commonly hunt them too in
_Angola_ in _Africa_, as I have already mentioned. So that very likely
_Herodotus's Troglodyte Æthiopians_ may be no other than our
_Orang-Outang_ or _wild Man_. And the rather, because I fancy their
Language is much the same: for an _Ape_ will chatter, and make a noise
like a _Bat_, as his _Troglodytes_ did: And they undergo to this day the
same Fate of being hunted, as formerly the _Troglodytes_ used to be by the

[Footnote A: _Arist. Hist. Animal._, lib. 8. cap. 15. p.m. 913.]

[Footnote B: _Philostrat. in vita Appollon. Tyanæi_, lib. 3. cap. 14. p.m.

[Footnote C: _Lewis le Compte_ Memoirs and Observations on _China_, p.m.

Whether those [Greek: andras mikrous metrion elassonas andron] which the
_Nasamones_ met with (as _Herodotus_[A] relates) in their Travels to
discover _Libya_, were the _Pygmies_; I will not determine: It seems that
_Nasamones_ neither understood their Language, nor they that of the
_Nasamones_. However, they were so kind to the _Nasamones_ as to be their
Guides along the Lakes, and afterwards brought them to a City, [Greek: en
taei pantas einai toisi agousi to megethos isous, chroma de melanas], i.e.
_in which all were of the same stature with the Guides, and black_. Now
since they were all _little black Men_, and their Language could not be
understood, I do suspect they may be a Colony of the _Pygmies_: And that
they were no farther Guides to the _Nasamones_, than that being frighted
at the sight of them, they ran home, and the _Nasamones_ followed them.

[Footnote A: _Herodotus in Euterpe_ seu lib. 2. p.m. 102.]

I do not find therefore any good Authority, unless you will reckon
_Ctesias_ as such, that the _Pygmies_ ever used a Language or Speech, any
more than other _Brutes_ of the same _Species_ do among themselves, and
that we know nothing of, whatever _Democritus_ and _Melampodes_ in
_Pliny_,[A] or _Apollonius Tyanæus_ in _Porphyry_[B] might formerly have
done. Had the _Pygmies_ ever spoke any _Language_ intelligible by Mankind,
this might have furnished our _Historians_ with notable Subjects for their
_Novels_; and no doubt but we should have had plenty of them.

[Footnote A: _Plinij Nat. Hist._ lib. 10. cap. 49.]

[Footnote B: _Porphyrius de Abstinentia_, lib. 3. pag. m. 103.]

But _Albertus Magnus_, who was so lucky as to guess that the _Pygmies_
were a sort of _Apes_; that he should afterwards make these _Apes_ to
_speak_, was very unfortunate, and spoiled all; and he do's it, methinks,
so very awkwardly, that it is as difficult almost to understand his
Language as his _Apes_; if the Reader has a mind to attempt it, he will
find it in the Margin.[A]

[Footnote A: _Si qui Homines sunt Silvestres, sicut Pygmeus, non secundum
unam rationem nobiscum dicti sunt Homines, sed aliquod habent Hominis in
quadam deliberatione & Loquela, &c._ A little after adds, _Voces quædam
(sc. Animalia) formant ad diversos conceptus quos habent, sicut Homo &
Pygmæus; & quædam non faciunt hoc, sicut multitudo fere tota aliorum
Animalium. Adhuc autem eorum quæ ex ratione cogitativa formant voces,
quædam sunt succumbentia, quædam autem non succumbentia. Dico autem
succumbentia, à conceptu Animæ cadentia & mota ad Naturæ Instinctum, sicut
Pygmeus, qui non, sequitur rationem Loquelæ sed Naturæ Instinctum; Homo
autem non succumbit sed sequitur rationem._ Albert. Magn. de Animal. lib.
1. cap. 3. p.m. 3.]

Had _Albertus_ only asserted, that the _Pygmies_ were a sort of _Apes_,
his Opinion possibly might have obtained with less difficulty, unless he
could have produced some Body that had heard them talk. But _Ulysses
Aldrovandus_[A] is so far from believing his _Ape Pygmies_ ever spoke,
that he utterly denies, that there were ever any such Creatures in being,
as the _Pygmies_, at all; or that they ever fought the _Cranes_. _Cum
itaque Pygmæos_ (saith he) _dari negemus, Grues etiam cum iis Bellum
gerere, ut fabulantur, negabimus, & tam pertinaciter id negabimus, ut ne
jurantibus credemus._

[Footnote A: _Ulys. Aldrovandi Ornitholog._ lib. 20. p.m. 344.]

I find a great many very Learned Men are of this Opinion: And in the first
place, _Strabo_[A] is very positive; [Greek: Heorakos men gar oudeis
exaegeitai ton pisteos axion andron;] i.e. _No Man worthy of belief did
ever see them_. And upon all occasions he declares the same. So _Julius
Cæsar Scaliger_[B] makes them to be only a Fiction of the Ancients, _At
hæc omnia_ (saith he) _Antiquorum figmenta & meræ Nugæ, si exstarent,
reperirentur. At cum universus Orbis nunc nobis cognitus sit, nullibi hæc
Naturæ Excrementa reperiri certissimum est._ And _Isaac Casaubon_[C]
ridicules such as pretend to justifie them: _Sic nostra ætate_ (saith he)
_non desunt, qui eandem de Pygmæis lepidam fabellam renovent; ut qui etiam
è Sacris Literis, si Deo placet, fidem illis conentur astruere. Legi etiam
Bergei cujusdam Galli Scripta, qui se vidisse diceret. At non ego credulus
illi, illi inquam Omnium Bipedum mendacissimo._ I shall add one Authority
more, and that is of _Adrian Spigelius,_ who produces a Witness that had
examined the very place, where the _Pygmies_ were said to be; yet upon a
diligent enquiry, he could neither find them, nor hear any tidings of
them.[D] _Spigelius_ therefore tells us, _Hoc loco de Pygmæis dicendum
erat, qui [Greek: para pygonos] dicti à statura, quæ ulnam non excedunt.
Verùm ego Poetarum fabulas esse crediderim, pro quibus tamen_ Aristoteles
_minimè haberi vult, sed veram esse Historiam._ 8. Hist. Animal. 12.
_asseverat. Ego quo minùs hoc statuam, tum Authoritate primùm Doctissimi_
Strabonis I. Geograph. _coactus sum, tum potissimùm nunc moveor, quod
nostro tempore, quo nulla Mundi pars est, quam Nautarum Industria non
perlustrarit, nihil tamen, unquam simile aut visum est, aut auditum.
Accedit quod_ Franciscus Alvarez _Lusitanus, qui ea ipsa loca peragravit,
circa quæ Aristoteles Pygmæos esse scribit, nullibi tamen tam parvam
Gentem à se conspectam tradidit, sed Populum esse Mediocris staturæ, &_
Æthiopes _tradit._

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 17. p.m. 565.]

[Footnote B: _Jul. Cæs. Scaliger. Comment. in Arist. Hist. Animal._ lib.
8. § 126. p.m. 914.]

[Footnote C: _Isaac Causabon Notæ & Castigat. in_ lib. 1. _Strabonis
Geograph._ p.m. 38.]

[Footnote D: _Adrian. Spigelij de Corporis Humani fabrica_, lib. 1. cap.
7. p.m. 15.]

I think my self therefore here obliged to make out, that there were such
Creatures as _Pygmies_, before I determine what they were, since the very
being of them is called in question, and utterly denied by so great Men,
and by others too that might be here produced. Now in the doing this,
_Aristotle_'s Assertion of them is so very positive, that I think there
needs not a greater or better Proof; and it is so remarkable a one, that I
find the very Enemies to this Opinion at a loss, how to shift it off. To
lessen it's Authority they have interpolated the _Text_, by foisting into
the _Translation_ what is not in the Original; or by not translating at
all the most material passage, that makes against them; or by miserably
glossing it, to make him speak what he never intended: Such unfair
dealings plainly argue, that at any rate they are willing to get rid of a
Proof, that otherwise they can neither deny, or answer.

_Aristotle_'s Text is this, which I shall give with _Theodorus Gaza's_
Translation: for discoursing of the Migration of Birds, according to the
Season of the Year, from one Country to another, he saith:[A]

[Footnote A: _Aristotel. Hist. Animal._ lib. 8. cap. 12.]

[Greek: Meta men taen phthinoporinaen Isaemerian, ek tou Pontou kaiton
psychron pheugonta ton epionta cheimona; meta de taen earinaen, ek ton
therinon, eis tous topous tous psychrous, phoboumena ta kaumata; ta men,
kai ek ton engus topon poioumena tas metabolas, ta de, kai ek ton eschaton
hos eipein, hoion hai geranoi poiousi. Metaballousi gar ek ton Skythikon
eis ta helae ta ano taes Aigyptou, othen ho Neilos rhei. Esti de ho topos
outos peri on hoi pigmaioi katoikousin; ou gar esti touto mythos, all'
esti kata taen alaetheian. Genos mikron men, hosper legetai, kai autoi kai
hoi hippoi; Troglodytai d' eisi ton bion.]

_Tam ab Autumnali Æquinoctio ex Ponto, Locisque frigidis fugiunt Hyemem
futuram. A Verno autem ex tepida Regione ad frigidam sese conferunt, æstus
metu futuri: & alia de locis vicinis discedunt, alia de ultimis, prope
dixerim, ut Grues faciunt, quæ ex Scythicis Campis ad Paludes Ægypto
superiores, unde Nilus profluit, veniunt, quo in loco pugnare cum Pygmæis
dicuntur. Non enim id fabula est, sed certe, genus tum hominum, tum etiam
Equorum pusillum (ut dicitur) est, deguntque in Cavernis, unde Nomen
Troglodytæ a subeundis Cavernis accepere._

In English 'tis thus: 'At the _Autumnal Æquinox_ they go out of _Pontus_
and the cold Countreys to avoid the Winter that is coming on. At the
_Vernal Æquinox_ they pass from hot Countreys into cold ones, for fear of
the ensuing heat; some making their Migrations from nearer places; others
from the most remote (as I may say) as the _Cranes_ do: for they come out
of _Scythia_ to the Lakes above _Ægypt_, whence the _Nile_ do's flow. This
is the place, whereabout the _Pygmies_ dwell: For this is no _Fable_, but
a _Truth_. Both they and the Horses, as 'tis said, are a small kind. They
are _Troglodytes_, or live in Caves.'

We may here observe how positive the _Philosopher_ is, that there are
_Pygmies_; he tells us where they dwell, and that 'tis no Fable, but a
Truth. But _Theodorus Gaza_ has been unjust in translating him, by
foisting in, _Quo in loco pugnare cum Pygmæis dicuntur_, whereas there is
nothing in the Text that warrants it: As likewise, where he expresses the
little Stature of the _Pygmies_ and the Horses, there _Gaza_ has rendered
it, _Sed certè Genus tum Hominum, tum etiam Equorum pusillum_. _Aristotle_
only saith, [Greek: Genos mikron men hosper legetai, kai autoi, kai hoi
hippoi]. He neither makes his _Pygmies Men_, nor saith any thing of their
fighting the _Cranes_; tho' here he had a fair occasion, discoursing of
the Migration of the _Cranes_ out of _Scythia_ to the _Lakes_ above
_Ægypt_, where he tells us the _Pygmies_ are. Cardan[A] therefore must
certainly be out in his guess, that _Aristotle_ only asserted the
_Pygmies_ out of Complement to his friend _Homer_; for surely then he
would not have forgot their fight with the _Cranes_; upon which occasion
only _Homer_ mentions them.[B] I should rather think that _Aristotle_,
being sensible of the many Fables that had been raised on this occasion,
studiously avoided the mentioning this fight, that he might not give
countenance to the Extravagant Relations that had been made of it.

[Footnote A: _Cardan de Rerum varietate_, lib. 8. cap. 40. p.m. 153.]

[Footnote B: _Apparet ergo_ (saith _Cardan_) Pygmæorum Historiam esse
fabulosam, quod &_ Strabo _sentit & nosira ætas, cum omnia nunc fermè
orbis mirabilia innotuerint, declarat. Sed quod tantum Philosophum
decepit, fuit Homeri Auctoritas non apud illium levis.]

But I wonder that neither _Casaubon_ nor _Duvall_ in their Editions of
_Aristotle_'s Works, should have taken notice of these Mistakes of _Gaza_,
and corrected them. And _Gesner_, and _Aldrovandus_, and several other
Learned Men, in quoting this place of _Aristotle_, do make use of this
faulty Translation, which must necessarily lead them into Mistakes. _Sam.
Bochartus_[A] tho' he gives _Aristotle_'s Text in Greek, and adds a new
Translation of it, he leaves out indeed the _Cranes_ fighting with the
_Pygmies_, yet makes them _Men_, which _Aristotle_ do's not; and by
anti-placing, _ut aiunt_, he renders _Aristotle_'s Assertion more dubious;
_Neque enim_ (saith he in the Translation) _id est fabula, sed reverâ, ut
aiunt, Genus ibi parvum est tam Hominum quàm Equorum. Julius Cæsar
Scaliger_ in translating this Text of _Aristotle_, omits both these
Interpretations of _Gaza_; but on the other hand is no less to be blamed
in not translating at all the most remarkable passage, and where the
Philosopher seems to be so much in earnest; as, [Greek: ou gar esti touto
mythos, all' esti kata taen alaetheian], this he leaves wholly out,
without giving us his reason for it, if he had any: And Scaliger's[B]
insinuation in his Comment, _viz. Negat esse fabulam de his (sc. Pygmeis)_
Herodotus, _at Philosophus semper moderatus & prudens etiam addidit_,
[Greek: hosper legetai], is not to be allowed. Nor can I assent to Sir
_Thomas Brown_'s[C] remark upon this place; _Where indeed_ (saith he)
Aristotle _plays the_ Aristotle; _that is, the wary and evading asserter;
for tho' with_ non est fabula _he seems at first to confirm it, yet at
last he claps in,_ sicut aiunt, _and shakes the belief he placed before
upon it. And therefore_ Scaliger (saith he) _hath not translated the
first, perhaps supposing it surreptitious, or unworthy so great an
Assertor._ But had _Scaliger_ known it to be surreptitious, no doubt but
he would have remarked it; and then there had been some Colour for the
Gloss. But 'tis unworthy to be believed of _Aristotle_, who was so wary
and cautious, that he should in so short a passage, contradict himself:
and after he had so positively affirmed the Truth of it, presently doubt
it. His [Greek: hosper legetai] therefore must have a Reference to what
follows, _Pusillum genus, ut aiunt, ipsi atque etiam Equi_, as _Scaliger_
himself translates it.

[Footnote A: _Bocharti Hierozoic. S. de Animalib. S. Script. part.
Posterior_. lib. 1. cap. 11. p.m. 76.]

[Footnote B: _Scaliger. Comment. in Arist. Hist. Animal._ lib. 8. p.m.

[Footnote C: Sir _Thomas Brown_'s _Pseudodoxia_, or, _Enquiries into
Vulgar Errors_, lib. 4. cap. 11.]

I do not here find _Aristotle_ asserting or confirming any thing of the
fabulous Narrations that had been made about the _Pygmies_. He does not
say that they were [Greek: andres], or [Greek: anthropoi mikroi], or
[Greek: melanes]; he only calls them [Greek: pygmaioi]. And discoursing of
the _Pygmies_ in a place, where he is only treating about _Brutes_, 'tis
reasonable to think, that he looked upon them only as such. _This is the
place where the_ Pygmies _are; this is no fable,_ saith Aristotle, as 'tis
that they are a Dwarfish Race of Men; that they speak the _Indian_
Language; that they are excellent Archers; that they are very Just; and
abundance of other Things that are fabulously reported of them; and
because he thought them _Fables_, he does not take the least notice of
them, but only saith, _This is no Fable, but a Truth, that about the Lakes
of_ Nile such _Animals_, as are called _Pygmies_, do live. And, as if he
had foreseen, that the abundance of Fables that _Ctesias_ (whom he saith
is not to be believed) and the _Indian Historians_ had invented about
them, would make the whole Story to appear as a Figment, and render it
doubtful, whether there were ever such Creatures as _Pygmies_ in Nature;
he more zealously asserts the _Being_ of them, and assures us, That _this
is no Fable, but a Truth_.

I shall therefore now enquire what sort of Creatures these _Pygmies_ were;
and hope so to manage the Matter, as in a great measure, to abate the
Passion these Great Men have had against them: for, no doubt, what has
incensed them the most, was, the fabulous _Historians_ making them a part
of _Mankind_, and then inventing a hundred ridiculous Stories about them,
which they would impose upon the World as real Truths. If therefore they
have Satisfaction given them in these two Points, I do not see, but that
the Business may be accommodated very fairly; and that they may be allowed
to be _Pygmies_, tho' we do not make them _Men_.

For I am not of _Gesner_'s mind, _Sed veterum nullus_ (saith he[A])
_aliter de Pygmæis scripsit, quàm Homunciones esse_. Had they been a Race
of _Men_, no doubt but _Aristotle_ would have informed himself farther
about them. Such a Curiosity could not but have excited his Inquisitive
_Genius_, to a stricter Enquiry and Examination; and we might easily have
expected from him a larger Account of them. But finding them, it may be, a
sort of _Apes_, he only tells us, that in such a place these _Pygmies_

[Footnote A: _Gesner. Histor. Quadruped._ p.m. 885.]

Herodotus[A] plainly makes them _Brutes_: For reckoning up the _Animals_
of _Libya_, he tells us, [Greek: Kai gar hoi ophies hoi hypermegathees,
kai hoi leontes kata toutous eisi, kai hoi elephantes te kai arktoi, kai
aspides te kai onoi hoi ta kerata echontes; kai hoi kynokephaloi
(akephaloi) hoi en toisi staethesi tous ophthalmous echontes (hos dae
legetai ge hypo libyon) kai agrioi andres, kai gynaikes agriai kai alla
plaethei polla thaeria akatapseusta;] i.e. _That there are here prodigious
large Serpents, and Lions, and Elephants, and Bears, and Asps, and Asses
that have horns, and Cynocephali,_ (in the Margin 'tis _Acephali_) _that
have Eyes in their Breast, (as is reported by the Libyans) and wild Men,
and wild Women, and a great many other wild Beasts that are not fabulous._
Tis evident therefore that _Herodotus_ his [Greek: agrioi andres, kai
gynaikes agriai] are only [Greek: thaeria] or wild Beasts: and tho' they
are called [Greek: andres], they are no more _Men_ than our
_Orang-Outang_, or _Homo_ _Sylvestris_, or _wild Man_, which has exactly
the same Name, and I must confess I can't but think is the same Animal:
and that the same Name has been continued down to us, from his Time, and
it may be from _Homer's_.

[Footnote A: _Herodot. Melpomene seu_ lib. 4. p.m. 285.]

So _Philostratus_ speaking of _Æthiopia_ and _Ægypt_, tells us,[A] [Greek:
Boskousi de kai thaeria hoia ouch heterothi; kai anthropous melanas, ho
mae allai aepeiroi. Pygmaion te en autais ethnae kai hylaktounton allo
allaei.] i.e. _Here are bred wild Beasts that are not in other places; and
black Men, which no other Country affords: and amongst them is the Nation
of the Pygmies, and the_ BARKERS, that is, the _Cynocephali._ For tho'
_Philostratus_ is pleased here only to call them _Barkers_, and to reckon
them, as he does the _Black Men_ and the _Pygmies_ amongst the _wild
Beasts_ of those Countreys; yet _Ctesias_, from whom _Philostratus_ has
borrowed a great deal of his _Natural History_, stiles them _Men_, and
makes them speak, and to perform most notable Feats in Merchandising. But
not being in a merry Humour it may be now, before he was aware, he speaks
Truth: For _Cælius Rhodiginus's_[B] Character of him is, _Philostratus
omnium qui unquam Historiam conscripserunt, mendacissimus._

[Footnote A: _Philostratus in vita Apollon. Tyanæi_, lib. 6. cap. 1. p.m.

[Footnote B: _Cælij Rhodigini Lection. Antiq._ lib. 17. cap. 13.]

Since the _Pygmies_ therefore are some of the _Brute Beasts_ that
naturally breed in these Countries, and they are pleased to let us know as
much, I can easily excuse them a Name. [Greek: Andres agrioi], or
_Orang-Outang_, is alike to me; and I am better pleased with _Homer_'s
[Greek: andres pygmaioi], than if he had called [Greek: pithaekoi]. Had
this been the only Instance where they had misapplied the Name of _Man_,
methinks I could be so good natur'd, as in some measure to make an Apology
for them. But finding them, so extravagantly loose, so wretchedly
whimsical, in abusing the Dignity of Mankind, by giving the name of _Man_
to such monstrous Productions of their idle Imaginations, as the _Indian
Historians_ have done, I do not wonder that wise Men have suspected all
that comes out of their Mint, to be false and counterfeit.

Such are their [Greek: Amykteres] or [Greek: Arrines], that want Noses,
and have only two holes above their Mouth; they eat all things, but they
must be raw; they are short lived; the upper part of their Mouths is very
prominent. The [Greek: Enotokeitai], whose Ears reach down to their Heels,
on which they lye and sleep. The [Greek: Astomoi], that have no Mouths, a
civil sort of People, that dwell about the Head of the _Ganges_; and live
upon smelling to boil'd Meats and the Odours of Fruits and Flowers; they
can bear no ill scent, and therefore can't live in a Camp. The [Greek:
Monommatoi] or [Greek: Monophthalmoi], that have but one Eye, and that in
the middle of their Foreheads: they have Dog's Ears; their Hair stands an
end, but smooth on the Breasts. The [Greek: Sternophthalmoi], that have
Eyes in their Breasts. The [Greek: Panai sphaenokephaloi] with Heads like
Wedges. The [Greek: Makrokephaloi], with great Heads. The [Greek:
hyperboreoi], who live a Thousand years. The [Greek: okypodes], so swift
that they will out-run a Horse. The [Greek: opiothodaktyloi], that go with
their Heels forward, and their Toes backwards. The [Greek: Makroskeleis],
The [Greek: Steganopodes], The [Greek: Monoskeleis], who have one Leg, but
will jump a great way, and are call'd _Sciapodes_, because when they lye
on their Backs, with this _Leg_ they can keep off the Sun from their

Now _Strabo_[A] from whom I have collected the Description of these
Monstrous sorts of _Men_, and they are mentioned too by _Pliny, Solinus,
Mela, Philostratus_, and others; and _Munster_ in his _Cosmography_[B] has
given a _figure_ of some of them; _Strabo_, I say, who was an Enemy to all
such fabulous Relations, no doubt was prejudiced likewise against the
_Pygmies_, because these _Historians_ had made them a Puny Race of _Men_,
and invented so many Romances about them. I can no ways therefore blame
him for denying, that there were ever any such _Men Pygmies_; and do
readily agree with him, that no _Man_ ever saw them: and am so far from
dissenting from those Great Men, who have denied them on this account,
that I think they have all the reason in the World on their side. And to
shew how ready I am to close with them in this Point, I will here examine
the contrary Opinion, and what Reasons they give for the supporting it:
For there have been some _Moderns_, as well as the _Ancients_, that have
maintained that these _Pygmies_ were real _Men_. And this they pretend to
prove, both from _Humane Authority_ and _Divine_.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph._ lib. 15. p.m. 489. & lib. 2. p. 48. _&

[Footnote B: _Munster Cosmograph._ lib. 6. p. 1151.]

Now by _Men Pygmies_ we are by no means to understand _Dwarfs_. In all
Countries, and in all Ages, there has been now and then observed such
_Miniture_ of Mankind, or under-sized Men. _Cardan_[A] tells us he saw one
carried about in a Parrot's Cage, that was but a Cubit high.
_Nicephorus_[B] tells us, that in _Theodosius_ the Emperour's time, there
was one in _Ægypt_ that was no bigger than a Partridge; yet what was to be
admired, he was very Prudent, had a sweet clear Voice, and a generous Mind;
and lived Twenty Years. So likewise a King of _Portugal_ sent to a Duke
of _Savoy_, when he married his Daughter to him, an _Æthiopian Dwarf_ but
three Palms high.[C] And _Thevenot_[D] tells us of the Present made by the
King of the _Abyssins_, to the _Grand Seignior_, of several _little black
Slaves_ out of _Nubia_, and the Countries near _Æthiopia_, which being
made _Eunuchs_, were to guard the Ladies of the _Seraglio_. And a great
many such like Relations there are. But these being only _Dwarfs_, they
must not be esteemed the _Pygmies_ we are enquiring about, which are
represented as a _Nation_, and the whole Race of them to be of the like
stature. _Dari tamen integras Pumilionum Gentes, tam falsum est, quàm quod
falsissimum_, saith _Harduin_.[E]

[Footnote A: _Cardan de subtilitate_, lib. 11. p. 458.]

[Footnote B: _Nicephor. Histor. Ecclesiiast._ lib. 12. cap. 37.]

[Footnote C: _Happelius in Relat. curiosis_, No. 85. p. 677.]

[Footnote D: _Thevenot. Voyage de Levant._ lib. 2. c. 68.]

[Footnote E: _Jo. Harduini Notæ in Plinij Nat. Hist._ lib. 6. cap. 22. p.

Neither likewise must it be granted, that tho' in some _Climates_ there
might be _Men_ generally of less stature, than what are to be met with in
other Countries, that they are presently _Pygmies_. _Nature_ has not fixed
the same standard to the growth of _Mankind_ in all Places alike, no more
than to _Brutes_ or _Plants_. The Dimensions of them all, according to the
_Climate_, may differ. If we consult the Original, _viz. Homer_ that first
mentioned the _Pygmies_, there are only these two _Characteristics_ he
gives of them. That they are [Greek: Pygmaioi] _seu Cubitales_; and that
the _Cranes_ did use to fight them. 'Tis true, as a _Poet_, he calls them
[Greek: andres], which I have accounted for before. Now if there cannot be
found such _Men_ as are _Cubitales_, that the _Cranes_ might probably
fight with, notwithstanding all the Romances of the _Indian Historians_, I
cannot think these _Pygmies_ to be _Men_, but they must be some other
_Animals_, or the whole must be a Fiction.

Having premised this, we will now enquire into their Assertion that
maintain the _Pygmies_ to be a Race of _Men_. Now because there have been
_Giants_ formerly, that have so much exceeded the usual Stature of _Man_,
that there must be likewise _Pygmies_ as defective in the other extream
from this Standard, I think is no conclusive Argument, tho' made use of by
some. Old _Caspar Bartholine_[A] tells us, that because _J. Cassanius_ and
others had wrote _de Gygantibus_, since no Body else had undertaken it, he
would give us a Book _de Pygmæis_; and since he makes it his design to
prove the Existence of _Pygmies_, and that the _Pygmies_ were _Men_, I
must confess I expected great Matters from him.

[Footnote A: _Caspar. Bartholin. Opusculum de Pygmæis._]

But I do not find he has informed us of any thing more of them, than what
_Jo. Talentonius_, a Professor formerly at _Parma_, had told us before in
his _Variarum & Reconditarum Rerum Thesaurus_,[A] from whom he has
borrowed most of this _Tract_. He has made it a little more formal indeed,
by dividing it into _Chapters_; of which I will give you the _Titles_; and
as I see occasion, some Remarks thereon: They will not be many, because I
have prevented my self already. The _first Chapter_ is, _De Homuncionibus
& Pumilionilus seu Nanis à Pygmæis distinctis_. The _second Chapter, De
Pygmæi nominibus & Etymologia_. The _third Chapter, Duplex esse Pygmæorum
Genus; & primum Genus aliquando dari_. He means _Dwarfs_, that are no
_Pygmies_ at all. The _fourth Chapter_ is, _Alterum Genus, nempe Gentem
Pygmæorum esse, aut saltem aliquando fuisse Autoritatibus Humanis, fide
tamen dignorum asseritur_. 'Tis as I find it printed; and no doubt an
Error in the printing. The Authorities he gives, are, _Homer, Ctesias,
Aristotle, Philostratus, Pliny, Juvenal, Oppian, Baptista Mantuan_, St.
_Austin_ and his _Scholiast. Ludovic. Vives, Jo. Laurentius Anania, Joh.
Cassanius, Joh. Talentonius, Gellius, Pomp. Mela_, and _Olaus Magnus_. I
have taken notice of most of them already, as I shall of St. _Austin_ and
_Ludovicus Vives_ by and by. _Jo. Laurentius Anania_[B] ex Mercatorum
relatione tradit (saith _Bartholine_) eos _(sc. Pygmæos) in
Septentrionali Thraciæ Parte reperiri, (quæ Scythiæ est proxima) atque ibi
cum Gruibus pugnare_. And _Joh. Cassanius_[C] (as he is here quoted)
saith, _De Pygmæis fabulosa quidem esse omnia, quæ de iis narrari solent,
aliquando existimavi. Verùm cum videam non unum vel alterum, sed complures
Classicos & probatos Autores de his Homunculis multa in eandem fere
Sententiam tradidisse; eò adducor ut Pygmæos fuisse inficiari non ausim._
He next brings in _Jo. Talentonius_, to whom he is so much beholden, and
quotes his Opinion, which is full and home, _Constare arbitror_ (saith
_Talentonius_)[D] _debere concedi, Pygmæos non solùm olim fuisse, sed nunc
etiam esse, & homines esse, nec parvitatem illis impedimenta esse quo
minùs sint & homines sint._ But were there such _Men Pygmies_ now in
being, no doubt but we must have heard of them; some or other of our
Saylors, in their Voyages, would have lighted on them. Tho' _Aristotle_ is
here quoted, yet he does not make them _Men_; So neither does _Anania_:
And I must own, tho' _Talentonius_ be of this Opinion, yet he takes notice
of the faulty Translation of this Text of _Aristotle_ by _Gaza_: and tho'
the parvity or lowness of Stature, be no Impediment, because we have
frequently seen such _Dwarf-Men_, yet we did never see a _Nation_ of them:
For then there would be no need of that _Talmudical_ Precept which _Job.
Ludolphus_[E] mentions, _Nanus ne ducat Nanam, ne fortè oriatur ex iis
Digitalis_ (in _Bechor_. fol. 45).

[Footnote A: _Jo. Talentionij. Variar. & Recondit. Rerum. Thesaurus._ lib.
3. cap. 21.]

[Footnote B: _Joh. Laurent. Anania prope finem tractatus primi suæ

[Footnote C: _Joh. Cassanius libello de Gygantibus_, p. 73.]

[Footnote D: _Jo. Talentonius Variar. & recondit. Rerum Thesaurus_, lib. 3.
cap. 21. p.m. 515.]

[Footnote E: _Job Ludolphi Comment. in Historiam Æthiopic._ p.m. 71.]

I had almost forgotten _Olaus Magnus_, whom _Bartholine_ mentions in the
close of this Chapter, but lays no great stress upon his Authority,
because he tells us, he is fabulous in a great many other Relations, and
he writes but by hear-say, that the _Greenlanders_ fight the _Cranes_;
_Tandem_ (saith _Bartholine_) _neque ideo Pygmæi sunt, si fortè sagittis &
hastis, sicut alij homines, Grues conficiunt & occidunt._ This I think is
great Partiality: For _Ctesias_, an Author whom upon all turns
_Bartholine_ makes use of as an Evidence, is very positive, that the
_Pygmies_ were excellent _Archers_: so that he himself owns, that their
being such, illustrates very much that _Text_ in _Ezekiel_, on which he
spends good part of the next _Chapter_, whose Title is, _Pygmæorum Gens ex
Ezekiele, atque rationibus probabilibus adstruitur_; which we will
consider by and by. And tho' _Olaus Magnus_ may write some things by
hear-say, yet he cannot be so fabulous as _Ctesias_, who (as _Lucian_
tells us) writes what he neither saw himself, or heard from any Body else.
Not that I think _Olaus Magnus_ his _Greenlanders_ were real _Pygmies_, no
more than _Ctesias_ his _Pygmies_ were real _Men_; tho' he vouches very
notably for them. And if all that have copied this Fable from _Ctesias_,
must be look'd upon as the same Evidence with himself; the number of the
_Testimonies_ produced need not much concern us, since they must all stand
or fall with him.

The _probable Reasons_ that _Bartholine_ gives in the _fifth Chapter_, are
taken from other _Animals_, as Sheep, Oxen, Horses, Dogs, the _Indian
Formica_ and Plants: For observing in the same _Species_ some excessive
large, and others extreamly little, he infers, _Quæ certè cum in
Animalibus & Vegetabilibus fiant; cur in Humana specie non sit probabile,
haud video: imprimis cum detur magnitudinis excessus Gigantæus; cur non
etiam dabitur Defectus? Quia ergo dantur Gigantes, dabuntur & Pygmæi. Quam
consequentiam ut firmam, admittit Cardanus,[A] licet de Pygmæis hoc tantùm
concedat, qui pro miraculo, non pro Gente._ Now Cardan, tho' he allows
this Consequence, yet in the same place he gives several Reasons why the
_Pygmies_ could not be _Men_, and looks upon the whole Story as fabulous.
_Bartholine_ concludes this _Chapter_ thus: _Ulteriùs ut Probabilitatem
fulciamus, addendum Sceleton Pygmæi, quod_ Dresdæ _vidimus inter alia
plurima, servatum in Arce sereniss._ Electoris Saxoniæ, _altitudine infra
Cubitum, Ossium soliditate, proportioneque tum Capitis, tum aliorum; ut
Embrionem, aut Artificiale quid Nemo rerum peritus suspicari possit.
Addita insuper est Inscriptio_ Veri Pygmæi. I hereupon looked into Dr.
_Brown_'s Travels into those Parts, who has given us a large Catalogue of
the Curiosities, the _Elector_ of _Saxony_ had at _Dresden_, but did not
find amongst them this _Sceleton_; which, by the largeness of the Head, I
suspect to be the _Sceleton_ of an _Orang-Outang_, or our _wild Man_. But
had he given us either a figure of it, or a more particular Description,
it had been a far greater Satisfaction.

[Footnote A: _Cardan. de Rerum varietate_, lib. 8. cap. 40.]

The Title of _Bartholine_'s _sixth Chapter_ is, _Pygmæos esse aut fuisse
ex variis eorum adjunctis, accidentibus_, &c. _ab Authoribus descriptis
ostenditur_. As first, their _Magnitude_: which he mentions from _Ctesias,
Pliny, Gellius_, and _Juvenal_; and tho' they do not all agree exactly,
'tis nothing. _Autorum hic dissensus nullus est_ (saith _Bartholine_)
_etenim sicut in nostris hominibus, ita indubiè in Pygmæis non omnes
ejusdem magnitudinis._ 2. The _Place_ and _Country_: As _Ctesias_ (he
saith) places them in the middle of _India_; _Aristotle_ and _Pliny_ at
the Lakes above _Ægypt_; _Homer_'s _Scholiast_ in the middle of _Ægypt_;
_Pliny_ at another time saith they are at the Head of the _Ganges_, and
sometimes at _Gerania_, which is in _Thracia_, which being near _Scythia_,
confirms (he saith) _Anania's Relation_. _Mela_ places them at the
_Arabian Gulf_; and _Paulus Jovius docet Pygmæos ultra Japonem esse_; and
adds, _has Autorum dissensiones facile fuerit conciliare; nec mirum
diversas relationes à_, Plinio _auditas._ For (saith he) as the _Tartars_
often change their Seats, since they do not live in Houses, but in Tents,
so 'tis no wonder that the _Pygmies_ often change theirs, since instead of
Houses, they live in Caves or Huts, built of Mud, Feathers, and
Egg-shells. And this mutation of their Habitations he thinks is very plain
from _Pliny_, where speaking of _Gerania_, he saith, _Pygmæorum Gens_
fuisse _(non jam esse) proditur, creduntque à Gruibus fugatos._ Which
passage (saith _Bartholine_) had _Adrian Spigelius_ considered, he would
not so soon have left _Aristotle's_ Opinion, because _Franc. Alvares_ the
_Portuguese_ did not find them in the place where _Aristotle_ left them;
for the _Cranes_, it may be, had driven them thence. His third Article is,
their _Habitation_, which _Aristotle_ saith is in _Caves_; hence they are
_Troglodytes_. _Pliny_ tells us they build Huts with Mud, Feathers, and
Egg-shells. But what _Bartholine_ adds, _Eò quod Terræ Cavernas
inhabitent, non injuriâ dicti sunt olim Pygmæi, Terræ filii_, is wholly
new to me, and I have not met with it in any Author before: tho' he gives
us here several other significations of the word _Terræ filij_ from a
great many Authors, which I will not trouble you at present with. 4. The
_Form_, being flat nosed and ugly, as _Ctesias_. 5. Their _Speech_, which
was the same as the _Indians_, as _Ctesias_; and for this I find he has no
other Author. 6. Their _Hair_; where he quotes _Ctesias_ again, that they
make use of it for _Clothes_. 7. Their _Vertues and Arts_; as that they
use the same Laws as the _Indians_, are very just, excellent Archers, and
that the King of _India_ has Three thousand of them in his Guards. All
from _Ctesias_. 8. Their _Animals_, as in _Ctesias_; and here are
mentioned their Sheep, Oxen, Asses, Mules, and Horses. 9. Their various
_Actions_; as what _Ctesias_ relates of their killing Hares and Foxes with
Crows, Eagles, &c. and fighting the _Cranes_, as _Homer, Pliny, Juvenal_.

The _seventh Chapter_ in _Bartholine_ has a promising Title, _An Pygmæi
sint homines_, and I expected here something more to our purpose; but I
find he rather endeavours to answer the Reasons of those that would make
them _Apes_, than to lay down any of his own to prove them _Men_. And
_Albertus Magnus's_ Opinion he thinks absurd, that makes them part Men
part Beasts; they must be either one or the other, not a _Medium_ between
both; and to make out this, he gives us a large Quotation out of _Cardan_.
But _Cardan_[A] in the same place argues that they are not Men. As to
_Suessanus_[B] his Argument, that they want _Reason_, this he will not
Grant; but if they use it less or more imperfectly than others (which yet,
he saith, is not certain) by the same parity of Reason _Children_, the
_Boeotians_, _Cumani_ and _Naturals_ may not be reckoned _Men_; and he
thinks, what he has mentioned in the preceding _Chapter_ out of _Ctesias_,
&c. shews that they have no small use of Reason. As to _Suessanus_'s
next Argument, that they want Religion, Justice, &c. this, he saith, is
not confirmed by any grave Writer; and if it was, yet it would not prove
that they are not _Men_. For this defect (he saith) might hence happen,
because they are forced to live in _Caves_ for fear of the _Cranes_; and
others besides them, are herein faulty. For this Opinion, that the
_Pygmies_ were _Apes_ and not _Men_, he quotes likewise _Benedictus
Varchius_,[C] and _Joh. Tinnulus_,[D] and _Paulus Jovius_,[E] and several
others of the Moderns, he tells us, are of the same mind. _Imprimis
Geographici quos non puduit in Mappis Geographicis loco Pygmæorum simias
cum Gruibus pugnantes ridiculè dipinxisse._

[Footnote A: _Cardan. de Rerum varietate_, lib. 8. cap. 40.]

[Footnote B: _Suessanus Comment. in Arist. de Histor. Animal._ lib. 8.
cap. 12.]

[Footnote C: _Benedict. Varchius de Monstris. lingua vernacula._]

[Footnote D: _Joh. Tinnulus in Glotto-Chrysio._]

[Footnote E: _Paulus Jovius lib. de Muscovit. Legalione._]

The Title of _Bartholine's eighth_ and last _Chapter_ is, _Argumenta eorum
qui Pygmæorum Historiam fabulosam censent, recitantur & refutantur._ Where
he tells us, the only Person amongst the Ancients that thought the Story
of the _Pygmies_ to be fabulous was _Strabo_; but amongst the Moderns
there are several, as _Cardan, Budæus, Aldrovandus, Fullerus_ and others.
The first Objection (he saith) is that of _Spigelius_ and others; that
since the whole World is now discovered, how happens it, that these
_Pygmies_ are not to be met with? He has seven Answers to this Objection;
how satisfactory they are, the Reader may judge, if he pleases, by
perusing them amongst the Quotations.[A] _Cardan_'s second Objection (he
saith) is, that they live but eight years, whence several Inconveniences
would happen, as _Cardan_ shews; he answers that no good Author asserts
this; and if there was, yet what _Cardan_ urges would not follow; and
instances out of _Artemidorus_ in _Pliny_,[B] as a _Parallel_ in the
_Calingæ_ a Nation in _India, where the Women conceive when five years
old, and do not live above eight._ _Gesner_ speaking of the _Pygmies_,
saith, _Vitæ autem longitudo anni arciter octo ut_ Albertus _refert._
_Cardan_ perhaps had his Authority from _Albertus_, or it may be both took
it from this passage in _Pliny_, which I think would better agree to
_Apes_ than _Men_. But _Artemidorus_ being an _Indian Historian_, and in
the same place telling other Romances, the less Credit is to be given to
him. The third Objection, he saith, is of _Cornelius à Lapide_, who denies
the _Pygmies_, because _Homer_ was the first Author of them. The fourth
Objection he saith is, because Authors differ about the Place where they
should be: This, he tells us, he has answered already in the fifth
Chapter. The _fifth_ and last Objection he mentions is, that but few have
seen them. He answers, there are a great many Wonders in Sacred and
Profane History that we have not seen, yet must not deny. And he instances
in three; As the _Formicæ Indicæ_, which are as big as great Dogs: The
_Cornu Plantabile_ in the Island _Goa_, which when cut off from the Beast,
and flung upon the Ground, will take root like a _Cabbage_: and the
_Scotland Geese_ that grow upon Trees, for which he quotes a great many
Authors, and so concludes.

[Footnote A: _Respondeo._ 1. _Contrarium testari Mercatorum Relationem
apud_ Ananiam _supra Cap. 4._ 2. _Et licet non inventi essent vivi à
quolibet, pari jure Monocerota & alia negare liceret._ 3. _Qui maria
pernavigant, vix oras paucas maritimas lustrant, adeo non terras omnes à
mari dissitas._ 4. _Neque in Oris illos habitare maritimis ex Capite
quinto manifestum est._ 5. _Quis testatum se omnem adhibuisse diligentiam
in inquirendo eos ut inveniret._ 6. _Ita in terra habitant, ut in Antris
vitam tolerare dicantur._ 7. _Si vel maximè omni ab omnibus diligentia
quæsiti fuissent, nec inventi; fieri potest, ut instar Gigantum jam
desierint nec sint ampliùs_.]

[Footnote B: _Plinij Hist. Nat._ lib. 7. cap. 2. p.m. 14.]

Now how far _Bartholine_ in his Treatise has made out that the _Pygmies_
of the Ancients were real _Men_, either from the Authorities he has
quoted, or his Reasonings upon them, I submit to the Reader. I shall
proceed now (as I promised) to consider the Proof they pretend from _Holy
Writ_: For _Bartholine_ and others insist upon that _Text_ in _Ezekiel_
(_Cap. 27. Vers. 11_) where the _Vulgar_ Translation has it thus; _Filij
Arvad cum Exercitu tuo supra Muros tuos per circuitum, & Pygmæi in
Turribus tuis fuerunt; Scuta sua suspenderunt supra Muros tuos per
circuitum._ Now _Talentonius_ and _Bartholine_ think that what _Ctesias_
relates of the _Pygmies_, as their being good _Archers_, very well
illustrates this Text of _Ezekiel_: I shall here transcribe what Sir
_Thomas Brown_[A] remarks upon it; and if any one requires further
Satisfaction, they may consult _Job Ludolphus's Comment_ on his _Æthiopic

[Footnote A: Sir _Thomas Brown's Enquiries into Vulgar Errors_, lib. 4.
cap. 11. p. 242.]

[Footnote B: _Comment. in Hist. Æthiopic._ p. 73.]

The _second Testimony_ (saith Sir _Thomas Brown_) _is deduced from Holy
Scripture; thus rendered in the Vulgar Translation_, Sed & Pygmæi qui
erant in turribus tuis, pharetras suas suspenderunt in muris tuis per
gyrum: _from whence notwithstanding we cannot infer this Assertion, for
first the Translators accord not, and the Hebrew word_ Gammadim _is very
variously rendered. Though_ Aquila, Vatablus _and_ Lyra _will have it_
Pygmæi, _yet in the_ Septuagint, _it is no more than Watchman; and so in
the_ Arabick _and_ High-Dutch. _In the_ Chalde, Cappadocians, _in_
Symmachus, Medes, _and in the_ French, _those of_ Gamed. Theodotian _of
old, and_ Tremillius _of late, have retained the Textuary word; and so
have the_ Italian, Low Dutch, _and_ English _Translators, that is, the Men
of_ Arvad _were upon thy Walls round about, and the_ Gammadims _were in
thy Towers._

_Nor do Men only dissent in the Translation of the word, but in the
Exposition of the Sense and Meaning thereof; for some by_ Gammadims
_understand a People of_ Syria, _so called from the City of_ Gamala; _some
hereby understand the_ Cappadocians, _many the_ Medes: _and hereof_
Forerius _hath a singular Exposition, conceiving the Watchmen of_ Tyre,
_might well be called_ Pygmies, _the Towers of that City being so high,
that unto Men below, they appeared in a Cubital Stature. Others expound it
quite contrary to common Acception, that is not Men of the least, but of
the largest size; so doth_ Cornelius _construe_ Pygmæi, _or_ Viri
Cubitales, _that is, not Men of a Cubit high, but of the largest Stature,
whose height like that of Giants, is rather to be taken by the Cubit than
the Foot; in which phrase we read the measure of_ Goliah, _whose height is
said to be six Cubits and span. Of affinity hereto is also the Exposition
of_ Jerom; _not taking_ Pygmies _for Dwarfs, but stout and valiant
Champions; not taking the sense of [Greek: pygmae], which signifies the
Cubit measure, but that which expresseth Pugils; that is, Men fit for
Combat and the Exercise of the Fist. Thus there can be no satisfying
illation from this Text, the diversity, or rather contrariety of
Expositions and Interpretations, distracting more than confirming the
Truth of the Story._

But why _Aldrovandus_ or _Caspar Bartholine_ should bring in St. _Austin_
as a Favourer of this Opinion of _Men Pygmies_, I see no Reason. To me he
seems to assert quite the contrary: For proposing this Question, _An ex
propagine_ Adam _vel filiorum_ Noe, _quædam genera Hominum Monstrosa
prodierunt?_ He mentions a great many monstrous Nations of _Men_, as they
are described by the _Indian Historians_, and amongst the rest, the
_Pygmies_, the _Sciopodes_, &c. And adds, _Quid dicam de_ Cynocephalis,
_quorum Canina Capita atque ipse Latratus magis Bestias quàm Homines
confitentur? Sed omnia Genera Hominum, quæ dicuntur esse, esse credere,
non est necesse._ And afterwards so fully expresses himself in favour of
the _Hypothesis_ I am here maintaining, that I think it a great
Confirmation of it. _Nam & Simias_ (saith he) _& Cercopithecos, &
Sphingas, si nesciremus non Homines esse, sed Bestias, possent isti
Historici de sua Curiositate gloriantes velut Gentes Aliquas Hominum nobis
impunitâ vanitate mentiri._ At last he concludes and determines the
Question thus, _Aut illa, quæ talia de quibusdam Gentibus scripta sunt,
omnino nulla sunt, aut si sunt, Homines non sunt, aut ex_ Adam _sunt si
Homines sunt._

There is nothing therefore in St. _Austin_ that justifies the being of
_Men Pygmies_, or that the _Pygmies_ were _Men_; he rather makes them
_Apes_. And there is nothing in his _Scholiast Ludovicus Vives_ that tends
this way, he only quotes from other Authors, what might illustrate the
Text he is commenting upon, and no way asserts their being _Men_. I shall
therefore next enquire into _Bochartus_'s Opinion, who would have them to
be the _Nubæ_ or _Nobæ_. _Hos Nubas Troglodyticos_ (saith[A] he) _ad
Avalitem Sinum esse Pygmæos Veterum multa probant._ He gives us five
Reasons to prove this. As, 1. The Authority of _Hesychius_, who saith,
[Greek: Noboi Pygmaioi]. 2. Because _Homer_ places the _Pygmies_ near the
Ocean, where the Nubæ were. 3. _Aristotle_ places them at the lakes of the
_Nile_. Now by the _Nile Bochartus_ tells us, we must understand the
_Astaborus_, which the Ancients thought to be a Branch of the _Nile_, as
he proves from _Pliny, Solinus_ and _Æthicus_. And _Ptolomy_ (he tells us)
places the _Nubæ_ hereabout. 4. Because _Aristotle_ makes the _Pygmies_ to
be _Troglodytes_, and so were the _Nubæ_. 5. He urges that Story of
_Nonnosus_ which I have already mentioned, and thinks that those that
_Nonnosus_ met with, were a Colony of the _Nubæ_; but afterwards adds,
_Quos tamen absit ut putemus Staturâ fuisse Cubitali, prout Poetæ fingunt,
qui omnia in majus augent._ But this methinks spoils them from being
_Pygmies_; several other Nations at this rate may be _Pygmies_ as well as
these _Nubæ_. Besides, he does not inform us, that these _Nubæ_ used to
fight the _Cranes_; and if they do not, and were not _Cubitales_, they
can't be _Homer_'s _Pygmies_, which we are enquiring after. But the Notion
of their being _Men_, had so possessed him, that it put him upon fancying
they must be the _Nubæ_; but 'tis plain that those in _Nonnosus_ could not
be a Colony of the _Nubæ_; for then the _Nubæ_ must have understood their
Language, which the _Text_ saith, none of the Neighbourhood did. And
because the _Nubæ_ are _Troglodytes_, that therefore they must be
_Pygmies_, is no Argument at all. For _Troglodytes_ here is used as an
_Adjective_; and there is a sort of _Sparrow_ which is called _Passer
Troglodytes_. Not but that in _Africa_ there was a Nation of _Men_ called
_Troglodytes_, but quite different from our _Pygmies_. How far _Bochartus_
may be in the right, in guessing the Lakes of the _Nile_ (whereabout
_Aristotle_ places the _Pygmies_) to be the Fountains of the River
_Astaborus_, which in his description, and likewise the _Map_, he places
in the Country of the _Avalitæ_, near the _Mossylon Emporium_; I shall not
enquire. This I am certain of, he misrepresents _Aristotle_ where he tells
us,[B] _Quamvis in ea fabula hoc saltem verum esse asserat Philosophus,
Pusillos Homines in iis locis degere_: for as I have already observed;
_Aristotle_ in that _Text_ saith nothing at all of their being _Men_: the
contrary rather might be thence inferred, that they were _Brutes_. And
_Bochart's_ Translation, as well as _Gaza's_ is faulty here, and by no
means to be allowed, _viz. Ut aiunt, genus ibi parvum est tam Hominum,
quàm Equorum_; which had _Bochartus_ considered he would not have been so
fond it may be of his _Nubæ_. And if the [Greek: Noboi Pygmaioi] in
_Hesychius_ are such _Pygmies_ as _Bochartus_ makes his _Nubæ, Quos tamen
absit ut putemus staturtâ fuisse Cubitali_, it will not do our business at
all; and neither _Homer's_ Authority, nor _Aristotle's_ does him any

[Footnote A: _Sam. Bochart. Geograph. Sacræ_, Part. 1. lib. 2. cap. 23.
p.m. 142.]

[Footnote B: _Bocharti Hierozoici pars Posterior_, lib. I. cap. II. p.

But this Fable of _Men Pygmies_ has not only obtained amongst the _Greeks_
and _Indian Historians_: the _Arabians_ likewise tell much such Stories of
them, as the same learned _Bochartus_ informs us. I will give his Latin
Translation of one of them, which he has printed in _Arabick_ also:
_Arabes idem_ (saith[A] _Bochartus_) _referunt ex cujusdam_ Græculi _fide,
qui_ Jacobo Isaaci _filio_, Sigariensi _fertur ita narrasse_. _Navigabam
aliquando in mari_ Zingitano, _& impulit me ventus in quandam Insulam_.
_In cujus Oppidum cum devenissem, reperi Incolas Cubitalis esse staturæ, &
plerosque Coclites. Quorum multitudo in me congregata me deduxit ad Regem
suum. Fussit is, ut Captivus detinerer; & inquandam Caveæ speciem
conjectus sum; eos autem aliquando ad bellum instrui cum viderem, dixerunt
Hostem imminere, & fore ut propediem ingrueret. Nec multò post Gruum
exercitus in eos insurrexit. Atque ideo erant Coclites, quod eorum oculos
hæ confodissent. Atque Ego, virgâ assumptâ, in eas impetum feci, & illæ
avolârunt atque aufugerunt; ob quod facinus in honore fui apud illos_.
This Author, it seems, represents them under the same Misfortune with the
_Poet_, who first mentioned them, as being blind, by having their Eyes
peck'd out by their cruel Enemies. Such an Accident possibly might happen
now and then, in these bloody Engagements, tho' I wonder the _Indian
Historians_ have not taken notice of it. However the _Pygmies_ shewed
themselves grateful to their Deliverer, in heaping _Honours_ on him. One
would guess, for their own sakes, they could not do less than make him
their _Generalissimo_; but our Author is modest in not declaring what they

[Footnote A: _Bochartus ibid_. p.m. 77.]

Isaac Vossius seems to unsettle all, and endeavours utterly to ruine the
whole Story: for he tells us, If you travel all over _Africa_, you shall
not meet with either a _Crane_ or _Pygmie_: _Se mirari_ (saith[A] _Isaac
Vossius_) Aristotelem, _quod tam seriò affirmet non esse fabellam, quæ de
Pygmæis & Bello, quod cum Gruibus gerant, narrantur. Si quis totam
pervadat_ Africam, _nullas vel Grues vel Pygmæos inveniet_. Now one would
wonder more at _Vossius_, that he should assert this of _Aristotle_, which
he never said. And since _Vossius_ is so mistaken in what he relates of
_Aristotle_; where he might so easily have been in the right, 'tis not
improbable, but he may be out in the rest too: For who has travelled all
_Africa_ over, that could inform him? And why should he be so peremptory
in the Negative, when he had so positive an Affirmation of _Aristotle_ to
the contrary? or if he would not believe _Aristotle's_ Authority, methinks
he should _Aristophanes's_, who tells us,[B] [Greek: Speirein hotau men
Geranos kroizon es taen libyaen metachorae]. _'Tis time to sow when the
noisy Cranes take their flight into_ Libya. Which Observation is likewise
made by _Hesiod, Theognis, Aratus_, and others. And _Maximus Tyrius_ (as I
find him quoted in _Bochartus_) saith, [Greek: Hai geravoi ex Aigyptou ora
therous aphistamenai, ouk anechomenai to thalpos teinasai pterygas hosper
istia, pherontai dia tou aeros euthy ton Skython gaes]. i.e. _Grues per
æstatem ex_ Ægypto _abscedentes, quia Calorem pati non possunt, alis
velorum instar expansis, per aerem ad_ Scythicam _plagam rectà feruntur_.
Which fully confirms that Migration of the _Cranes_ that _Aristotle_

[Footnote A: _Isaac Vossius de Nili aliorumque stuminum Origine_, Cap.

[Footnote B: _Aristophanes in Nubibus_.]

But _Vossius_ I find, tho' he will not allow the _Cranes_, yet upon second
Thoughts did admit of _Pygmies_ here: For this Story of the _Pygmies_ and
the _Cranes_ having made so much _noise_, he thinks there may be something
of truth in it; and then gives us his Conjecture, how that the _Pygmies_
may be those _Dwarfs_, that are to be met with beyond the Fountains of the
_Nile_; but that they do not fight _Cranes_ but _Elephants_, and kill a
great many of them, and drive a considerable Traffick for their teeth with
the _Jagi_, who sell them to those of _Congo_ and the _Portuguese_. I will
give you _Vossius's_ own words; _Attamen_ (saith[A] he) _ut solent fabellæ
non de nihilo fingi & aliquod plerunque continent veri, id ipsum quoque
que hìc factum esse existimo. Certum quippe est ultra_ Nili _fontes multos
reperiri_ Nanos, _qui tamen non cum Gruibus, sed cum Elephantis perpetuum
gerant bellum. Præcipuum quippe Eboris commercium in regno magni_ Macoki
_per istos transigitur Homunciones; habitant in Sylvis, & mira dexteritate
Elephantos sagittis conficiunt. Carnibus vescuntur, Dentes verô_ Jagis
_divendunt, illi autem_ Congentibus & Lusitanis.

[Footnote A: _Isaac Vossius ibid_.]

_Job Ludolphus_[A] in his _Commentary_ on his _Æthiopick History_ remarks,
That there was never known a Nation all of Dwarfs. _Nani quippe_ (saith
_Ludolphus_) _Naturæ quodam errore ex aliis justæ staturæ hominibus
generantur. Qualis verô ea Gens sit, ex qua ista Naturæ Ludibria tantâ
copiâ proveniant, Vossium docere oportelat, quia Pumiliones Pumiles alios
non gignunt, sed plerunque steriles sunt, experientia teste; ut planè non
opus habuerunt Doctores Talmudici Nanorum matrimonia prohibere, ne
Digitales ex iis nascerentur. Ludolphus_ it may be is a little too strict
with _Vossius_ for calling them _Nani_; he may only mean a sort of Men in
that Country of less Stature than ordinary. And _Dapper_ in his History of
_Africa_, from whom _Vossius_ takes this Account, describes such in the
Kingdom of _Mokoko_, he calls _Mimos_, and tells us that they kill
_Elephants_. But I see no reason why _Vossius_ should take these Men for
the _Pygmies_ of the Ancients, or think that they gave any occasion or
ground for the inventing this Fable, is there was no other reason, this
was sufficient, because they were able to kill the _Elephants_. The
_Pygmies_ were scarce a Match for the _Cranes_; and for them to have
encountered an _Elephant_, were as vain an Attempt, as the _Pygmies_ were
guilty of in _Philostratus_[B] 'who to revenge the Death of _Antæus_,
having found _Hercules_ napping in _Libya_, mustered up all their Forces
against him. One _Phalanx_ (he tells us) assaulted his left hand; but
against his right hand, that being the stronger, two _Phalanges_ were
appointed. The Archers and Slingers besieged his feet, admiring the
hugeness of his Thighs: But against his Head, as the Arsenal, they raised
Batteries, the King himself taking his Post there. They set fire to his
Hair, put Reaping-hooks in his Eyes; and that he might not breath, clapp'd
Doors to his Mouth and Nostrils; but all the Execution that they could do,
was only to awake him, which when done, deriding their folly, he gather'd
them all up in his Lion's Skin, and carried them (_Philostratus_ thinks)
to _Euristhenes_.' This _Antæus_ was as remarkable for his height, as the
_Pygmies_ were for their lowness of Stature: For _Plutarch_[C] tells us,
that _Q. Sterorius_ not being willing to trust Common Fame, when he came
to _Tingis_ (now _Tangier_) he caused _Antæus's_ Sepulchre to be opened,
and found his Corps full threescore Cubits long. But _Sterorius_ knew well
enough how to impose upon the Credulity of the People, as is evident from
the Story of his _white Hind_, which _Plutarch_ likewise relates.

[Footnote A: _Job Ludolphus in Comment, in Historiam Æthiopicam_, p.m.

[Footnote B: _Philostratus. Icon_. lib. 2. p.m. 817.]

[Footnote C: _Plutarch. in vita Q. Sertorij_.]

But to return to our _Pygmies_; tho' most of the great and learned Men
would seem to decry this Story as a Fiction and mere Fable, yet there is
something of Truth, they think, must have given the first rise to it, and
that it was not wholly the product of Phancy, but had some real
foundation, tho' disguised, according to the different Imagination and
_Genius_ of the _Relator_: 'Tis this that has incited them to give their
several Conjectures about it. _Job Ludolphus_ finding what has been
offered at in Relation to the _Pygmies_, not to satisfie, he thinks he can
better account for this Story, by leaving out the _Cranes_, and placing in
their stead, another sort of Bird he calls the _Condor_. I will give you
his own words: _Sed ad Pygmæos_ (saith [A] _Ludolphus_) _revertamur;
fabula de Geranomachia Pygmæorum seu pugna cum Gruibus etiam aliquid de
vero trahere videtur, si pro Gruibus_ Condoras _intelligas, Aves in
interiore_ Africa _maximas, ut fidem penè excedat; aiunt enim quod Ales
ista vitulum Elephanti in Aerem extollere possit; ut infra docebimus. Cum
his Pygmæos pugnare, ne pecora sua rapiant, incredibile non est. Error ex
eo natus videtur, quod primus Relator, alio vocabulo destitutus, Grues pro
Condoris nominârit, sicuti_ Plautus _Picos pro Gryphilus_, & Romani _Boves
lucas pro Elephantis dixere_.

[Footnote A: _Job Ludolphus Comment, in Historiam suam Æthiopic_. p. 73.]

'Tis true, if what _Juvenal_ only in ridicule mentions, was to be admitted
as a thing really done, that the _Cranes_ could fly away with a _Pygmie_,
as our _Kites_ can with a Chicken, there might be some pretence for
_Ludovicus's Condor_ or _Cunctor_: For he mentions afterwards[A] out of
_P. Joh. dos Santos_ the _Portuguese_, that 'twas observed that one of
these _Condors_ once flew away with an Ape, Chain, Clog and all, about ten
or twelve pounds weight, which he carried to a neighbouring Wood, and
there devoured him. And _Garcilasso de la Vega_[B] relates that they will
seize and fly away with a Child ten or twelve years old. But _Juvenal_[C]
only mentions this in ridicule and merriment, where he saith,

  Adsubitas Thracum volucres, nubemque sonoram
  Pygmæos parvis currit Bellator in armis:
  Mox impar hosti, raptusque per aera curvis
  Unguibus à fævâ fertur Grue.

[Footnote A: _Job Ludolphus ibid_. pag. 164.]

[Footnote B: _Garcilasso de la Vega Royal Comment_, of Peru.]

[Footnote C: _Juvenal Satyr_. 13 _vers_. 167.]

Besides, were the _Condors_ to be taken for the _Cranes_, it would utterly
spoil the _Pygmæomachia_; for where the Match is so very unequal, 'tis
impossible for the Pygmies to make the least shew of a fight. _Ludolphus_
puts as great hardships on them, to fight these _Condors_, as _Vossius_
did, in making them fight _Elephants_, but not with equal Success; for
_Vossius_'s _Pygmies_ made great Slaughters of the Elephants; but
_Ludolphus_ his _Cranes_ sweep away the _Pygmies_, as easily as an _Owl_
would a _Mouse_, and eat them up into the bargain; now I never heard the
_Cranes_ were so cruel and barbarous to their Enemies, tho' there are some
Nations in the World that are reported to do so.

Moreover, these _Condor_'s I find are very rare to be met with; and when
they are, they often appear single or but a few. Now _Homer_'s, and the
_Cranes_ of the Ancients, are always represented in Flocks. Thus
_Oppian_[A] as I find him translated into Latin Verse:

  _Et velut Æthiopum veniunt, Nilique fluenta
  Turmalim Palamedis Aves, celsoeque per altum
  Aera labentes fugiunt Athlanta nivosum,
  Pygmæos imbelle Genus, parvumque saligant,
  Non perturbato procedunt ordine densæ
  Instructis volucres obscurant aëra Turmis._

To imagine these _Grues_ a single Gigantick Bird, would much lessen the
Beauty of _Homer's Simile_, and would not have served his turn; and there
are none who have borrowed Homer's fancy, but have thought so. I will only
farther instance in _Baptista Mantuan_:

  _Pygmæi breve vulgus, iners Plelecula, quando
  Convenere Grues longis in prælia rostris,
  Sublato clamore fremunt, dumque agmine magno
  Hostibus occurrit, tellus tremit Indica, clamant
  Littora, arenarum nimbis absconditur aër;
  Omnis & involvit Pulvis solemque, Polumque,
  Et Genus hoc Hominum naturâ imbelle, quietum,
  Mite, facit Mavors pugnax, immane Cruentum._

[Footnote: A _Oppian lib. I. de Piscibus_.]

Having now considered and examined the various Opinions of these learned
Men concerning this _Pygmaeomachia_; and represented the Reasons they give
for maintaining their Conjectures; I shall beg leave to subjoyn my own:
and if what at present I offer, may seem more probable, or account for
this Story with more likelyhood, than what hath hitherto been advanced, I
shall not think my time altogether misspent: But if this will not do, I
shall never trouble my head more about them, nor think my self any ways
concerned to write on this Argument again. And I had not done it now, but
upon the occasion of Dissecting this _Orang-Outang_, or _wild Man_, which
being a Native of _Africa_, and brought from _Angola_, tho' first taken
higher up in the Country, as I was informed by the Relation given me; and
observing so great a Resemblance, both in the outward shape, and, what
surprized me more, in the Structure likewise of the inward Parts, to a
_Man_; this Thought was easily suggested to me, That very probably this
_Animal_, or some other such of the same _Species_, might give the first
rise and occasion to the Stories of the _Pygmies_. What has been the
[Greek: proton pheudos], and rendered this Story so difficult to be
believed, I find hath been the Opinion that has generally obtained, that
these _Pygmies_ were really a Race of _little Men_. And tho' they are only
_Brutes_, yet being at first call'd _wild Men_, no doubt from the
Resemblance they bear to _Men_; there have not been wanting those
especially amongst the Ancients, who have invented a hundred ridiculous
Stories concerning them; and have attributed those things to them, were
they to be believed in what they say, that necessarily conclude them real

To sum up therefore what I have already discoursed, I think I have proved,
that the _Pygmies_ were not an _Humane Species_ or _Men_. And tho'
_Homer_, who first mentioned them, calls them [Greek: andres pygmaioi],
yet we need not understand by this Expression any thing more than _Apes_:
And tho' his _Geranomachia_ hath been look'd upon by most only as a
Poetical Fiction; yet by assigning what might be the true Cause of this
Quarrel between the _Cranes_ and _Pygmies_, and by divesting it of the
many fabulous Relations that the _Indian Historians_, and others, have
loaded it with, I have endeavoured to render it a true, at least a
probable Story. I have instanced in _Ctesias_ and the _Indian Historians_,
as the Authors and Inventors of the many Fables we have had concerning
them: Particularly, I have Examined those Relations, where Speech or
Language is attributed to them; and shewn, that there is no reason to
believe that they ever spake any Language at all. But these _Indian
Historians_ having related so many extravagant Romances of the _Pygmies_,
as to render their whole History suspected, nay to be utterly denied, that
there were ever any such Creatures as _Pygmies_ in _Nature_, both by
_Strabo_ of old, and most of our learned men of late, I have endeavoured
to assert the Truth of their _being_, from a _Text_ in _Aristotle_; which
being so positive in affirming their Existence, creates a difficulty, that
can no ways be got over by such as are of the contrary Opinion. This
_Text_ I have vindicated from the false Interpretations and Glosses of
several Great Men, who had their Minds so prepossessed and prejudiced with
the Notion of _Men Pygmies_, that they often would quote it, and misapply
it, tho' it contain'd nothing that any ways favoured their Opinion; but
the contrary rather, that they were _Brutes_, and not _Men_.

And that the _Pygmies_ were really _Brutes_, I think I have plainly proved
out of _Herodotus_ and _Philostratus_, who reckon them amongst the _wild
Beasts_ that breed in those Countries: For tho' by _Herodotus_ they are
call'd [Greek: andres agrioi], and _Philostratus_ calls them [Greek:
anthropous melanas], yet both make them [Greek: theria] or _wild Beasts_.
And I might here add what _Pausanias_[A] relates from _Euphemus Car_, who
by contrary Winds was driven upon some Islands, where he tells us, [Greek:
en de tautais oikein andras agrious], but when he comes to describe them,
tells us that they had no Speech; that they had Tails on their Rumps; and
were very lascivious toward the Women in the Ship. But of these more, when
we come to discourse of _Satyrs_.

[Footnote A: _Pausanias in Atticis_, p.m. 21.]

And we may the less wonder to find that they call _Brutes Men_, since
'twas common for these _Historians_ to give the Title of _Men_, not only
to _Brutes_, but they were grown so wanton in their Inventions, as to
describe several Nations of _Monstrous Men_, that had never any Being, but
in their own Imagination, as I have instanced in several. I therefore
excuse _Strabo_, for denying the _Pygmies_, since he could not but be
convinced, they could not be such _Men_, as these _Historians_ have
described them. And the better to judge of the Reasons that some of the
Moderns have given to prove the Being of _Men Pygmies_, I have laid down
as _Postulata's_, that hereby we must not understand _Dwarfs_, nor yet a
Nation of _Men_, tho' somewhat of a lesser size and stature than ordinary;
but we must observe those two Characteristicks that _Homer_ gives of them,
that they are _Cubitales_ and fight _Cranes_.

Having premised this, I have taken into consideration _Caspar Bartholine
Senior_ his _Opusculum_ _de Pygmæis_, and _Jo. Talentonius_'s Dissertation
about them: and upon examination do find, that neither the Humane
Authorities, nor Divine that they alledge, do any ways prove, as they
pretend, the Being of _Men Pygmies_. St. _Austin_, who is likewise quoted
on their side, is so far from favouring this Opinion, that he doubts
whether any such Creatures exist, and if they do, concludes them to be
_Apes_ or _Monkeys_; and censures those _Indian Historians_ for imposing
such Beasts upon us, as distinct Races of _Men_. _Julius Cæsar Scaliger_,
and _Isaac Casaubon_, and _Adrian Spigelius_ utterly deny the Being of
_Pygmies_, and look upon them as a Figment only of the Ancients, because
such little Men as they describe them to be, are no where to be met with
in all the World. The Learned _Bochartus_ tho' he esteems the
_Geranomachia_ to be a Fable, and slights it, yet thinks that what might
give the occasion to the Story of the _Pygmies_, might be the _Nubæ_ or
_Nobæ_; as _Isaac Vossius_ conjectures that it was those _Dwarfs_ beyond
the Fountains of the _Nile_, that _Dapper_ calls the _Mimos_, and tells
us, they kill _Elephants_ for to make a Traffick with their Teeth. But
_Job Ludolphus_ alters the Scene, and instead of _Cranes_, substitutes his
_Condors_, who do not fight the _Pygmies_, but fly away with them, and
then devour them.

Now all these Conjectures do no ways account for _Homer's Pygmies_ and
_Cranes_, they are too much forced and strain'd. Truth is always easie and
plain. In our present Case therefore I think the _Orang-Outang_, or _wild
Man_, may exactly supply the place of the _Pygmies_, and without any
violence or injury to the Story, sufficiently account for the whole
History of the _Pygmies_, but what is most apparently fabulous; for what
has been the greatest difficulty to be solved or satisfied, was their
being _Men_; for as _Gesner_ remarks (as I have already quoted him) _Sed
veterum nullus aliter de Pygmæis scripsit, quàm Homunciones esse_. And the
Moderns too, being byassed and misguided by this Notion, have either
wholly denied them, or contented themselves in offering their Conjectures
what might give the first rise to the inventing this Fable. And tho'
_Albertus_, as I find him frequently quoted, thought that the _Pygmies_
might be only a sort of _Apes_, and he is placed in the Head of those that
espoused this Opinion, yet he spoils all, by his way of reasoning, and by
making them speak; which was more than he needed to do.

I cannot see therefore any thing that will so fairly solve this doubt,
that will reconcile all, that will so easily and plainly make out this
Story, as by making the _Orang-Outang_ to be the _Pygmie_ of the Ancients;
for 'tis the same Name that Antiquity gave them. For _Herodotus_'s [Greek:
andres agrioi], what can they be else, than _Homines Sylvestres_, or _wild
Men_? as they are now called. And _Homer_'s [Greek: andres pygmaioi], are
no more an Humane Kind, or Men, then _Herodotus_'s [Greek: andres agrioi],
which he makes to be [Greek: theria], or _wild Beasts_: And the [Greek:
andres mikroi] or [Greek: melanes] (as they are often called) were just
the same. Because this sort of _Apes_ had so great a resemblance to Men,
more than other _Apes_ or _Monkeys_; and they going naturally erect, and
being designed by Nature to go so, (as I have shewn in the _Anatomy_) the
Ancients had a very plausible ground for giving them this denomination of
[Greek: andres] or [Greek: anthropoi], but commonly they added an Epithet;
as [Greek: agrioi, mikroi, pygmaioi, melanes], or some such like. Now the
Ancient _Greek_ and _Indian Historians_, tho' they might know these
_Pygmies_ to be only _Apes_ like _Men_, and not to be real _Men_, yet
being so extremely addicted to _Mythology_, or making Fables, and finding
this so fit a Subject to engraft upon, and invent Stories about, they have
not been wanting in furnishing us with a great many very Romantick ones on
this occasion. And the Moderns being imposed upon by them, and misguided
by the Name of [Greek: andres] or [Greek: anthropoi], as if thereby must
be always understood an _Humane Kind_, or _real Men_, they have altogether
mistaken the Truth of the Story, and have either wholly denied it, or
rendered it as improbable by their own Conjectures.

This difficulty therefore of their being called _Men_, I think, may fairly
enough be accounted by what I have said. But it may be objected that the
_Orang-Outang_, or these _wild_ or _savage Men_ are not [Greek: pygmaioi],
or _Trispithami_, that is, but two Foot and a quarter high, because by
some Relations that have been given, it appears they have been observed to
be of a higher stature, and as tall as ordinary Men. Now tho' this may be
allowed as to these _wild Men_ that are bred in other places; and probably
enough like wise, there are such in some Parts of the Continent of
_Africa_; yet 'tis sufficient to our business if there are any there, that
will come within our Dimensions; for our Scene lies in _Africa_; where
_Strabo_ observes, that generally the Beasts are of a less size than
ordinary; and this he thinks might give rise to the Story of the
_Pygmies_. For, saith he[A] [Greek: Ta de boskaemata autois esti mikra,
probata kai aiges, kai kynes mikroi, tracheis de kai machimoi (oikountes
mikroi ontes) tacha de kai tous pygmaious apo tes touton mikrophyias
epenoaesan, kai aneplasan.] i.e. _That their Beasts are small, as their
Sheep, Goats and Oxen, and their Dogs are small, but hairy and fierce: and
it may be_ (saith he) _from the [Greek: mikrophyia] or littleness of the
stature of these Animals, they have invented and imposed on us the_
Pygmies. And then adds, _That no body fit to be believed ever saw them_;
because he fancied, as a great many others have done, that these _Pygmies_
must be _real Men_, and not a sort of _Brutes_. Now since the other
_Brutes_ in this Country are generally of a less size than in other Parts,
why may not this sort of _Ape_, the _Orang-Outang_, or _wild Man_, be so
likewise. _Aristotle_ speaking of the _Pygmies_, saith, [Greek: genos
mikron men kai autoi, kai oi hippoi.] _That both they and the Horses there
are but small_. He does not say _their_ Horses, for they were never
mounted upon _Horses_, but only upon _Partridges, Goats_ and _Rams_. And
as the _Horses_, and other _Beasts_ are naturally less in _Africa_ than in
other Parts, so likewise may the _Orang-Outang_ be. This that I dissected,
which was brought from _Angola_ (as I have often mentioned) wanted
something of the just stature of the _Pygmies_; but it was young, and I am
therefore uncertain to what tallness it might grow, when at full Age: And
neither _Tulpius_, nor _Gassendus_, nor any that I have hitherto met with,
have adjusted the full stature of this _Animal_ that is found in those
parts from whence ours was brought: But 'tis most certain, that there are
sorts of _Apes_ that are much less than the _Pygmies_ are described to be.
And, as other _Brutes_, so the _Ape-kind_, in different Climates, may be
of different Dimensions; and because the other _Brutes_ here are generally
small, why may not _they_ be so likewise. Or if the difference should be
but little, I see no great reason in this case, why we should be
over-nice, or scrupulous.

[Footnote A: _Strabo Geograph_. lib. 17. p.m. 565.]

As to our _Ape Pygmies_ or _Orang-Outang_ fighting the _Cranes_, this, I
think, may be easily enough made out, by what I have already observed; for
this _wild Man_ I dissected was Carnivorous, and it may be Omnivorous, at
least as much as _Man_ is; for it would eat any thing that was brought to
the Table. And if it was not their Hunger that drove them to it, their
Wantonness, it may be, would make them apt enough to rob the _Cranes_
Nests; and if they did so, no doubt but the _Cranes_ would noise enough
about it, and endeavour what they could to beat them off, which a Poet
might easily make a Fight: Tho' _Homer_ only makes use of it as a
_Simile_, in comparing the great Shouts of the _Trojans_ to the Noise of
the _Cranes_, and the Silence of the _Greeks_ to that of the _Pygmies_
when they are going to Engage, which is natural enough, and very just, and
contains nothing, but what may easily be believed; tho' upon this account
he is commonly exposed, and derided, as the Inventor of this Fable; and
that there was nothing of Truth in it, but that 'twas wholly a Fiction of
his own.

Those _Pygmies_ that _Paulus Jovius_[A] describes, tho' they dwell at a
great distance from _Africa_, and he calls them _Men_, yet are so like
_Apes_, that I cannot think them any thing else. I will give you his own
words: _Ultra Lapones_ (saith he) _in Regione inter Corum & Aquilonem
perpetua oppressa Caligine_ Pygmæos _reperiri, aliqui eximiæ fidei testes
retulerunt; qui postquam ad summum adoleverint, nostratis Pueri denum
annorum Mensuram vix excedunt. Meticulosum genus hominum, & garritu
Sermonem exprimens, adeo ut tam Simiæ propinqui, quam Statura ac sensibus
ab justæ Proceritatis homine remoti videantur_. Now there is this
Advantage in our _Hypothesis_, it will take in all the _Pygmies_, in any
part of the World; or wherever they are to be met with, without supposing,
as some have done, that 'twas the _Cranes_ that forced them to quit their
Quarters; and upon this account several Authors have described them in
different places: For unless we suppose the _Cranes_ so kind to them, as
to waft them over, how came we to find them often in Islands? But this is
more than can be reasonably expected from so great Enemies.

[Footnote A: _Paul. Jovij de Legatione Muschovitar_. lib. p.m. 489.]

I shall conclude by observing to you, that this having been the Common
Error of the Age, in believing the _Pygmies_ to be a sort of _little Men_,
and it having been handed down from so great Antiquity, what might
contribute farther to the confirming of this Mistake, might be, the
Imposture of the Navigators, who failing to Parts where these _Apes_ are,
they have embalmed their Bodies, and brought them home, and then made the
People believe that they were the _Men_ of those Countries from whence
they came. This _M.P. Venetus_ assures us to have been done; and 'tis not
unlikely: For, saith he,[A] _Abundat quoque Regio ipsa_ (sc. Basman in
Java majori) _diversis Simiis magnis & parvis, hominibus simillimis, hos
capiunt Venatores & totos depilant, nisi quod, in barba & in loco secreto
Pilos relinquunt, & occisos speciebus Aromaticis condiunt, & postea
desiccant, venduntque Negociatoribus, qui per diversas Orbis Partes
Corpora illa deferentes, homines persuadent Tales Homunciones in Maris
Insulis reperiri. Joh. Jonston_[B] relates the same thing, but without
quoting the Author; and as he is very apt to do, commits a great mistake,
in telling us, _pro Homunculis marinis venditant_.

[Footnote A: _M. Pauli Veneti de Regionibus Oriental_. lib. 3. cap. 15. p.
m. 390.]

[Footnote B: _Jo. Jonston. Hist. Nat. de Quadruped_. p.m. 139.]

I shall only add, That the Servile Offices that these Creatures are
observed to perform, might formerly, as it does to this very day, impose
upon Mankind to believe, that they were of the same _Species_ with
themselves; but that only out of Sullenness or cunning, they think they
will not _speak_, for fear of being made Slaves. _Philostratus_[A] tells
us, That the _Indians_ make use of the _Apes_ in gathering the Pepper; and
for this Reason they do defend and preserve them from the _Lions_, who are
very greedy of preying upon them: And altho' he calls them _Apes_, yet he
speaks of them as _Men_, and as if they were the Husbandmen of the _Pepper
Trees_, [Greek: kai ta dendra oi piperides, on georgoi pithekoi]. And he
calls them the People of _Apes_; [Greek: ou legetai pithekon oikein demos
en mychois tou orous]. _Dapper_[B] tells us, _That the Indians take the_
Baris _when young, and make them so tame, that they will do almost the
work of a Slave; for they commonly go erect as Men do. They will beat Rice
in a Mortar, carry Water in a Pitcher_, &c. And Gassendus[C] in the Life
of _Pieresky_, tells us, us, _That they will play upon a Pipe or Cittern,
or the like Musick, they will sweep the House, turn the Spit, beat in a
Mortar, and do other Offices in a Family_. And _Acosta_, as I find him
quoted by _Garcilasso de la Vega_[D] tells us of a _Monkey_ he saw at the
Governour's House at _Cartagena_, 'whom they fent often to the Tavern for
Wine, with Money in one hand, and a Bottle in the other; and that when he
came to the Tavern, he would not deliver his Money, until he had received
his Wine. If the Boys met with him by the way, or made a houting or noise
after him, he would set down his Bottle, and throw Stones at them; and
having cleared the way he would take up his Bottle, and hasten home, And
tho' he loved Wine excessively, yet he would not dare to touch it, unless
his Master gave him License.' A great many Instances of this Nature might
be given that are very surprising. And in another place he tells us, That
the Natives think that they can speak, but will not, for fear of being
made to work. And _Bontius_[E] mentions that the _Javans_ had the same
Opinion concerning the _Orang-Outang_, _Loqui vero eos, easque Javani
aiunt, sed non velle, ne ad labores cogerentur_.

[Footnote A: _Philostratus in vita Apollonij Tyanæi_, lib. 3. cap. I. p.
m. 110, & 111.]

[Footnote B: _Dapper Description de l'Afrique_, p.m. 249.]

[Footnote C: _Gassendus in vita Pierskij_, lib. 5. p.m. 169.]

[Footnote D: _Garcilasso de la Vega Royal Commentaries of Peru_, lib. 8.
cap. 18. p. 1333.]

[Footnote E: _Jac. Bontij Hist. Nat. & Med_. lib. 5. cap. 32. p.m. 85.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[NOTE.--A few obvious errors in the quotations have been corrected, but
for the most part they stand as in Tyson, who must, therefore, be held
responsible for any inaccuracies which may exist.]

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Philological Essay Concerning the Pygmies of the Ancients" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.