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LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS.   101

much doubt as to the most appropriate methods of establishing and conducting them. It is upon this very important branch of our wide subject that I propose to offer a few remarks.

It is difficult, while explaining what I have in view, to steer a course that shall keep clear of the mud flats of platitude on the one hand, and not come to grief against the rocks of over-precision on the other. There is no clear issue out of mere platitudes, while there is great danger in entering into details. A good scheme may be entirely compromised merely on account of public opinion not being ripe to receive it in the proposed form, or through a discovered flaw in some nonessential part of it. Experience shows that the safest course in a new undertaking is to proceed warily and tentatively towards the desired end, rather than freely and rashly along a predetermined route, however carefully it may have been elaborated on paper.

Again, whatever scheme of action is proposed for adoption must be neither Utopian nor extravagant, but accordant throughout with British sentiment and practice.

The successful establishment of any general system of constructive eugenics will, in my view (which I put forward with diffidence), depend largely upon the efforts of local associations acting in close harmony with a central society, like our own.   A