108 LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS
and beliefs which were thought to be right, decorous, and true at one period have been judged wrong, indecorous, and false at another ; and that views which we have heard expressed by those in authority over us in our childhood and early manhood tend to become axiomatic and unchangeable in mature life.
In circumscribed communities especially, social approval and disapproval exert a potent force. Its presence is only too easily read by those who are the object of either, in the countenances, bearing, and manner of persons whom they daily meet and converse with. Is it, then, I ask, too much to expect that when a public opinion in favour of eugenics has once taken sure hold of such communities and has been accepted by them as a quasi-religion, the result will be manifested in sundry and very effective modes of action which are as yet untried, and many of them even unforeseen ?
Speaking for myself only, I look forward to local eugenic action in numerous directions, of which I will now specify one. It is the accumulation of considerable funds to start young couples of worthy " qualities in their married life, and to assist them and their families at critical times. The gifts to those who are the reverse of "worthy" are enormous in amount; it is stated that the charitable donations or bequests in the year 1907 amounted to 4,868,0501. I am not prepared to say how much of this was judiciously spent,