Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/692

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is the marked peculiarity of the negro singing, he stopped me and said, "Whenever you hum that way it means 'Hush!' and among the tribes I have known it always comes in baby songs." He then sang this one, which a heathen woman used to sing to his little sister "Amber":

"Amber in a wa,
Keen yah feenyah ma,
Amber in a bamboo carri,
Amber eeka walloo.
Um, um, um."

A rough translation of this means: "Amber, be quiet and I'll give you something. I'm not going to flog you. You are quiet, so I thank you. Hush, hush, hush!"


FRANCE is on the way to become a country of the third rank. It is perishing for lack of births. Its population remains stationary, while that of all the other great countries has largely increased since the beginning of the century. This points ultimately to a certain growing inferiority in military strength, economical prosperity, literary prestige, and scientific repute; and finally to a progressive diminution of French influence upon the march of civilization. This depreciation of France comes partly from political causes and partly from its low birth rate.

In the examination of the remedies which have been proposed to antagonize this evil, we shall begin with a rapid review of those which appear to be least efficacious. Then we shall present those which figure on the programme of the Alliance Nationale pour l'accroissement de la population française, a society which should include all French people who care for the future of their country.

The reforms for which the depopulation of France has served as the vaulting board may be divided, notwithstanding the great variety of them, into four categories: (1) Various social reforms; (2) increase in the number of marriages; (3) diminution of involuntary sterility; and (4) reduction of mortality.

We have a word to say with respect to each of these:

I. Social Reforms proposed for the Hypothetical Purpose of increasing Natality.—Nobody has ever shown that the emancipation of woman, selection in paternity, the suppression of di-