Page:Essays and Addresses.djvu/616

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The Universities and the Nation

University, moved by Mr James Stuart, had the honour of initiating, and which both the old Universities, in alliance with younger but vigorous agencies, are now prosecuting in generous emulation. To an audience such as this, comprising many of those whose untiring energy and distinguished ability have made University Extension what it is—comprising, as it also does, a yet larger number of those who have tasted the benefits of the movement—it is superfluous to speak in detail of conditions, methods, and results with which none are so intimately acquainted as themselves. Looking at the movement in its broad aspects, we see that the missionary enterprise of the Universities is imparting a new stimulus to the country, and is labouring to satisfy the demand which has been recognised or created. No task can be more patriotic than that of knitting the whole community together by common mental associations and enjoyments. "Surely as Nature createth brotherhood in families," said Bacon, "so in like manner there cannot but be fraternity in learning and illuminations." But the benefits are not all upon one side. If the Universities give, they also receive. Many of their ablest men, the leaders and workers in this movement, testify that they have learned lessons which could have been acquired in no other way. The Universities themselves, as we venture to hope, are gradually winning a place in the affections of the country which must needs be the best of incentives to good work.