8 APRIL 1876, Page 22

The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America.

By Hubert Rowe Bancroft. Vol. V. Primitive History. (Longmans.)—In a chapter which is as full of learning as the rest of Mr. Bancroft's work, and is certainly more amusing than he has generally found an opportunity of being, we have a discussion of the very obscure subject of "the origin of the Americans." It certainly produces a somewhat confounding

effect upon the mind to see brought together the various theories which have been invented to account for the peopling of America. The most elaborate of these theories seems to have been that which attributes the American races to a Jewish origin. Nothing can be more ludicrous than the vast variety of arguments which have been pressed into the service of this hypothesis. Garcia, for instance, draws a parallel be- tween the two nations in this uncomplimentary language, "Both were liars, despicable, cruel, boastful, idle, sorcerers, dirty, swindlers, turbu- lent, incorrigible, and vicious." But anything seems to serve the in- genious father as a resemblance, as when he wrote :—" The Jews preferred the flesh-pots of Egypt and a life of bondage to heavenly manna and the Promised Land ; the Americans liked a life of freedom and a- diet of roots and herbs, better than the service of the Spaniards with good food." It would be ungracious to blame the industry which has collected and examined these theories, but we do not know whether the very brief notice which Mr. Bancroft has given to what he calls the " antochthonic theory "would not have sufficed for all practical purposes. Chapter ii. discusses the authorities for the history of the aboriginal races. The next is devoted to the "Pre-Toltec Period." The Toltec, Chichimec, and Aztec periods are then treated in succession, and the subject is completed by notices of the history of the Eastern Plateau, Guatemala, Central America, and Yucatan. A most elaborate index finishes a book which throughout is a monument of unwearied and successful industry.