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PREFACE.

The following Essays are re-printed in the chronological order of their delivery. They will, therefore, help to show something of the progress of Eugenics during the last few years, and to explain my own views upon its aims and methods, which often have been, and still sometimes are, absurdly misrepresented. The practice of Eugenics has already obtained a considerable hold on popular estimation, and is steadily acquiring the status of a practical question, and not that of a mere vision in Utopia.

The power by which Eugenic reform must chiefly be effected, is that of Popular Opinion, which is amply strong enough for that purpose whenever it shall be, roused. Public Opinion has done as much as this on many past occasions and in various countries, of which much evidence is given in the Essay on Restrictions in Marriage. It is now ordering our acts more intimately than we are apt to suspect, because the dictates of Public Opinion become so thoroughly assimilated that they seem to be original and individual