The converse is even more difficult, where the wife is really barren and the husband capable of having children with another woman. Then the attainment of children by the man is impossible without the collaboration of another woman in a manner not outwardly recognised by our laws and customs. Even if this done it is clear that to introduce the child of another woman into the home is demanding a much greater self-abnegation from the wife than is demanded from the husband in the situation we have just considered.

Many people whose ideals are very noble are yet strangely incapable of adapting the material acts of life to the real fulfilment of their ideals. Thus there is a section of our community which insists that there should be no restriction whatever of the number of children born to married people. They think any birth control immoral. They take their stand upon the statement that we have no right to destroy potential life. But if they would study a little human or animal physiology they would find that not only every celibate, but also every married man incessantly and inevitably wastes myriads of germs (see p. 41) which had the potentiality of fusion with an ovum, and consequently could have produced a child had opportunity been given them. For the supposed sake of one or two of these myriad sperms which must naturally and inevitably die, they encourage the production of babies in rapid succession which are weakened by their proximity while they might have been sturdy and healthy had they been conceived further apart from each other.

Such people, while awake to the claims of the unborn, nay, even of the unconceived, arc blind to the claims of the one who should be dearest of all to the husband, and for whose health and happiness he is responsible. A man swayed bv archaic dogma wi'l allow, even coerce, his wife to bear and bring forth an infant annually. Save where the woman is exceptional, each child following so rapidly on its predecessor, saps and divides the vital strength which is available for the making of the offspring. This generally lowers the vitality of each succeeding child, and surely even if slowly, may murder the woman who bears them.

Of course, the effects of this strain upon the woman vary greatly according "to her original health and vitality, the conditions of her surroundings and the intensity of the family's struggle for food. A half ■ starved mother trying to bring up children in the foul air of city slums, loses, as a rule, far more of her family than a comfortable and well-fed woman in the country. Nevertheless, conditions are not everything; under the best conditions, the chances of death of the later children of a large family, which comes rapidly, are far greater than for the earlier children.

Dr. Ploetz found that while the death-rate of firstborn infants is about 220 per thousand, the death-rate of the seventh-born is about 330, and of the twelfth-born is_ 597 per thousand. So that when " Nature " has its way, and twelve children come to sap a woman's vitality, so little strength has she that nearly 60 per cent, of these later ones die. What a waste of vitality! What a hideous orgy of agony for the mothers to produce in anguish death-doomed, suffering infants!

Forel ("The Sexual Question," 1908) says: "It seems almost incredible that in some countries medical men who are not ashamed to throw young men into the arms of prostitution, blush when mention is made of anti-conceptional methods. This false modesty, created by custom and prejudice, waxes indignant at innocent things while it encourages the greatest infamies."

It is important to observe that Holland, the country which takes most care that children shall be well and voluntarily conceived, has increased its survival-rate, and has thereby, not diminished, but increased its population, and has the lowest infant mortality in Europe. While in America, where the outrageous " Comstock Laws " confuse wise scientific prevention with illegal abortion and label them both as " obscene," thus preventing people from obtaining decent hygienic knowledge, horrible and criminal abortion is more frequent than in any other country.

It should be realised that all the proper, medical methods of controlling pregnancy consist, not in destroying an already growing embryo, but in preventing the male sperm from reaching the unfertilised egg cell. This*may be done either by shutting the sperms away from the opening of the womb, or by securing the death of all (instead of the natural death of all but one) of the two to six hundred million sperms which enter the woman. Even when a child is allowed to grow in its mother, all these hundreds of millions of sperms are inevitably and naturally destroyed every time the man has an emission, and to add one more to these millions sacrificed by Nature is surely no crime! To kill quickly the ejaculated sperms which would otherwise die and decompose naturally, is a simple matter. Their minute and uncovered bodies are plasmolised in weak acid, such as vinegar and water, or by a solution of quinine, or by many other substances.

To those who protest that we have no right to interfere with the course of Nature, one must point out that the whole of civilisation, everything which separates man from animals, is an interference with what such people commonly call" Nature."

Nothing in the cosmos can be against Nature, for it all forms part of the great processes of the universe.

Actions differ, however, in their relative positions in the scale of things. Only those actions are worthy which lead the race onwards to a higher and fuller completion and the perfecting of its powers, which steer the race into the main current of that stream of life and vitality which courses through us and impels us forward.

It is a sacred duty of all who dare to hand on the awe-inspiring gift of life, to hand it on in a vessel as fit .and perfect as they can fashion, so that the body may be the strongest and most beautiful instrument possible in the service of the soul they summon to play its part in the mystery of material being.