Page:An Old English Home and Its Dependencies.djvu/47

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33
THE MANOR HOUSE

and inexorably killing France; it is reducing its population, extinguishing its life.

Between 1831 and 1840 there were in France but three departments in which the mortality exceeded the natality, now there are between forty-five to sixty departments in this condition.

"If we traverse France rapidly in train from the Channel to the Pyrenees, there is one observation that may be made from the carriage windows. Between the Loire and the Garonne, in departments where the soil is poor, there the houses are smiling and well kept there is evidence of comfort. But, on the contrary, in the departments formerly the richest, there are crumbling walls and empty houses. . . . The rich departments are being depopulated, and in the poor ones there the population remains stationary or only slowly decreases."[1]

The population in the rich departments is dwindling at the rate of 50 per cent, in half a century.

  1. Dumont, "La dépopulation," in Revue de l’École d’Anthropologie, Jan., 1897.