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perpetual alliance. The jealousies which have troubled their colonial and maritime relations in the past will be found on careful inspection to be groundless and almost silly. Looking back on history, each of the great fraternal Powers will wonder at the senselessness of the hostilities which have occasionally divided them., They will need to be united to resist the cupidities of brutal force, which we should be thinking too optimistically if we considered crushed for ever. France and England must stand side by side, alert and grave, watching over the welfare of mankind. ‘Dans l'avenir,' to quote the fine phrase of M. de Lanessan, leur suprême honneur sera 'd'être les grandes ouvrières, sur tous les points du globe, de la civilisation et du progrès dans la liberté.'

The English reader rises from the perusal of these volumes on the effort of his race—composed, with varying degrees of knowledge but with a uniform benevolence, by a number of observant Frenchmen—more than ever impressed with a sense that what mainly strikes a foreigner in the contemplation of England is the spectacle of our irreducible individualism. In 1914 we were still what we had been in the days of the Roman poet, 'toto divisos orbe Britannos.' That acute cosmopolitan, the late Dutch novelist Maarten Maartens,' once remarked that if a man knew how to behave in one Continental capital he knew how to get on in all the rest, but it would give him no idea of how to live in London. The instinctive principle of self-government has been the force which has created our institutions; as M. Chevrillon puts it, we are all by instinct volunteers and yeomen. This individualism of ours made it very difficult for us to respond rapidly to the demand put upon our race at the beginning of the war. It was distasteful, it was almost impossible, for us to recognise that any circumstances could arise which might demand the compulsion of an Englishman's freedom of action. Our friends and allies gazed across the Channel in anxiety to see how we accepted the shock to our individualism. They said :

Elle n'est pas, cette Angleterre, une personne mystique comme la sainte Russie, une idéale figure de mère, comme la France. C'est plutôt un vieux domaine héréditaire, chargé des reliques et souvenirs du passé, et dont chaque génération possède l'usufruit, le fonds appartenant d'avance à la génération suivante, comme les terres et les châteaux de l'aristocratie.'

A comprehension of this state of traditional feeling was needful to explain the apparent stiffening of the English people, at first, against any change in the national routine. * Business as usual,' which so naïvely astonished our neighbours, was a gesture of self-protection on the part of our individualism, rudely disturbed by the unparalleled contingencies of the war. It was inevitable that England should awaken slowly, as she always does, from the dream of her secular isolation. With extreme satisfaction France watched the growth of moral anger in England, and several of the writers on our list confidently attribute this revolt of the conscience to the crime of the ‘Lusitania. Very gradually, England accepted the notion that she and her allies were fighting not so much for the safety of the soil, nor even for a democratic ideal of justice, but for liberty itself against an inhuman system of autocracy. The air-raids on Scarborough and Hartlepool, the poisoning of wells in South-West Africa, the cruelties in Belgium and French Flanders, all helped to disillusion the long-suffering conservatism of Great Britain, but it was the cowardly murder of women and children on the 'Lusitania 'which finally roused the popular spirit of the English. For that reason, our French critics are unanimous in dating from May 1915 the genuine and final effort of British indignation. From that date onward France has fought at our side with unruffled confidence.

EDMUND GOSSE.

THE BIRTH-RATE

1. The Declining Birth-Rate. Report by the National Birth-Rate

Commission. Chapman and Hall. 1916. 2. The Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct. By A. SUTHER

LAND. Longmans. 1898. 3. Fruchtabtreibung und Präventivverkehr. By M. HIRSCH. Würz

burg. 1914. 4. The Task of Social Hygiene. By HAVELOCK ELLIS. Constable.

1912.

THE numbers of every species are determined, not by

1 the procreative power of its members, which always greatly exceeds the capacity of the earth to support a progeny increasing in geometrical progression, but by two factors, the activity of its enemies and the available supply of food. Those species which survive owe their success in the struggle for existence mainly to one of two qualities, enormous fertility or parental care. The female cod spawns about 6,000,000 eggs at a time, of which at most one-third-perhaps much less—are afterwards fertilised, an infinitesimal proportion of these escapes being devoured by fish or fowl. An insecteating bird is said to require for its support about 250,000 insects a year, and the number of such birds must amount to thousands of millions. As a rule there is a kind of equilibrium between the forces of destruction and of reproduction. If a species is nearly exterminated by its enemies, those enemies lose their food-supply and perish themselves. In some sheltered spot the survivors of the victims remain and increase till they begin to send out colonies again. In some species, such as the mice in La Plata, and the beasts and birds which devour them, there is an alternation of increase and decrease, to be accounted for in this way. But permanent disturbances of equilibrium sometimes occur. The rabbit in Australia, having found a virgin soil, multiplied for some time almost up to the limit of its natural fertility and is firmly established on that continent. The brown rat has exterminated our indigenous black rat, and the Maori rat in New Zealand.

Spot the stend out colond the beas

The microbe of the terrible disease which the crews of Columbus brought back to Europe, after causing a devastating epidemic at the end of the fifteenth century, established a kind of modus vivendi with its hosts, and has remained as a permanent scourge in Europe. Other microbes, like those of cholera and plague, emigrate from the lands where they are epidemic, like a horde of Tartars, and after slaying all who are susceptible disappear from inanition. The draining of the fens has driven the anopheles mosquito from England, and our countrymen no longer suffer from 'ague.' Cleanlier habits are banishing the louse and its accompaniment typhus fever.

Fertility and care for offspring seem as a rule to vary inversely. The latter is the path of biological progress, and is characteristic of all viviparous animals. That any degree of parental attention is incompatible with the immense fecundity of the lower organisms needs no demonstration. Such fertility is not necessary to keep up the numbers of the higher species, which find abundant food in the swarming progeny of the lower types, and are not themselves exposed to wholesale slaughter. Speaking of fishes, Sutherland says :

Of species that exhibit no sort of parental care, the average of forty-nine gives 1,040,000 eggs to a female each year; while among those which make nests or any apology for nests the number is only about 10,000. Among those which have any protective tricks, such as carrying the eggs in pouches or attached to the body, or in the mouth, the average number is under 1000 ; while among those whose care takes the form of uterine or quasi-uterine gestation which brings the young into the world alive, an average of 56 eggs is quite sufficient.'

Man is no exception to these laws. His evolution has been steadily in the direction of diminishing fertility and increasing parental care. This does not necessarily imply that the modern European loves his children better than the savage loves his. It is grim necessity, not natural affection, which determines the treatment of children by their parents over a great part of the world, and through the greater part of human history. The homeless hunters, who represent the lowest stage of savagery, are now almost extinct. In these tribes the woman has to follow the man, carrying her baby. Under such conditions the chances of rearing a large family are small indeed. Very different is the life of the grassland nomads,

ess hunt throuen en by

who roam over the Arabian plateau and the steppes of Central Asia. These tribes, who really live as the parasites of their flocks and herds, depending on them entirely for subsistence, often multiply rapidly. Their typical unit is the great patriarchal family, in which the sheikh may have scores of children by different mothers. These children soon begin to earn their keep, and are taken care of. If, however, the patriarch so chooses, Hagar with her child is cast adrift, to find her way back to her own people, if she can. The grasslands are usually almost as full as they can hold. A period of drought, or pressure by rivals, in former times sent a horde of these hardy shepherds on a raid into the nearest settled province ; and if, like the Tartars, they were mounted, they usually killed, plundered, and conquered wherever they went, until the discovery of gunpowder saved civilisation from the recurrent peril of barbarian inroads. Barbarians of another type, hunters with fixed homes, seldom increase rapidly, partly because the dangers of forest-life for young children are much greater than on the steppe.

In the primitive river-valley civilisations, such as Egypt and Babylonia, the conditions of increase were so favourable that a dense population soon began to press upon the means of subsistence. In Egypt the remedy was a centralised government which could undertake great irrigation works and intensive cultivation. In Babylonia, for the first time in history, foreign trade was made to support a larger population than the land itself could maintain. There was little or no infanticide in Babylonia, but the death-rate in these steaming alluvial plains has always been very high.

When we turn to poor and mountainous countries like Greece, the conditions are very different. It was an old belief among the Hellenes that in the days before the Trojan War 'the world was too full of people. The increase was doubtless made possible by the trade which developed in the Minoan period, but the sources of food-supply were liable to be interfered with. Hence came the necessity for active colonisation, which lasted from the eighth to the sixth century B.C. This period of expansion came to an end when all the available sites were occupied. In the sixth century the Greeks found themselves headed off, in the west by Phænicians and Etruscans, in the east by the Persian Empire. The problem

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