THE FOUNDATION OF EUGENICS. 77
He ends with" this is the truth, and let it be your balm.' The poem is a noble conception, founded on the crude cosmogony of the ancient Greeks.
The ideas have long held my fancy that we men may be the chief, and perhaps the only executives on earth. That we are detached on active service with, it may be only illusory, powers of free-will. Also that we are in some way accountable for our success or failure to further certain obscure ends, to be guessed as best we can. That though our instructions are obscure they are sufficiently clear to justify our interference with the pitiless course of Nature, whenever it seems possible to attain the goal towards which it moves, by gentler and kindlier ways. I expressed these views as forcibly as I then could in the above-mentioned book, with especial reference to improving the racial qualities of mankind, where the truest piety seems to me to reside in taking action, and not in submissive acquiescence to the routine of Nature. It was thought impious at one time to attach lightning conductors to churches, as showing a want of trust in the tutelary care of the Deity to whom they were dedicated ; now I think most persons would be inclined to apply some contemptuous epithet to such as obstinately refused, on those grounds, to erect them.
The direct pursuit of studies in Eugenics, as to what could practically be done, and the amount of change in racial qualities that