Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/801

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THE FRENCH PROBLEM IN CANADA.

dumb-bells and Indian clubs in the name of exercise. Physical exorcise, for its own sake, is intense and profitless, and often, I believe, pernicious labor. Give yourself a motive for exertion, and it then becomes exhilarating. The study of plants supplies just such a motive as invalids need. It is too useless (from a practical point of view) to be suggestive of labor, and yet so exceedingly fascinating as to make you ready to undergo any amount of labor in the prosecution of your favorite "fad." I remember once exposing myself to a terrible danger in endeavoring to get possession of a rare and (to me) new plant. I scarcely thought of the risk then, though now the bare recollection of it makes me shudder. This enthusiasm, which the science of botany awakens in all who devote themselves to it, is not its least valuable hygienic factor, for a little genuine enthusiasm will put more life into a sick body than all the drugs in the dispensary.

After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and in conclusion I can only urge fellow-sufferers, who have a moderate amount of strength and patience, to try my simple prescription. As an old negro nurse once said to me anent some "doctor's stuff," "If it don't do you no good, it won't do you no harm," and will at least prove a wholesome diversion from the imbecile fancy-work, and still more imbecile gossip, that make so large a part of the daily routine of life at most resorts of health and pleasure.

 

THE FRENCH PROBLEM IN CANADA.
By GEORGE H. CLARKE.

THE rapid growth of the French population in the Canadian provinces and the New England States has given rise to much speculation as to the future of the race. Thoughtful men in the Dominion see in its steady increase and aggressive character elements of danger to the stability of the Confederation.

The last census returns show that over one third of the population of Canada is of French origin, while in the New England States there is a large and growing French-Canadian element, wedded to its language, religion, and traditions, and controlled to an extraordinary degree by its astute and admirably organized clergy. Quebec, though a province in a British colony, is as thoroughly French as it was before the conquest. A century and a quarter of British rule has had no effect in Anglicizing the race, or leavening it with the progressive ideas which prevail in all English-speaking communities. As the Canadian French were at the conquest, their descendants remain to this day—a race isolated and apart from all others on the continent, having little in common with their neighbors, or even with their kindred in France. While the great tide of modern progress and civili-