Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras/Part 1/Sir Richard Temple, Bart., G.C.S.I., C.I.E. (Seventeenth Convocation)
By H. E. Sir Richard Temple, Bart, G.C.S.I., C.I.E.)
Mr. Vice-Chancellor and Members of the Senate of the University of Bombay,—You will, I am sure, prefer that the observations, which occur to me as suitable on this occasion, should be addressed to those who are objects of our solicitude, namely, the graduates and uuder-graduates of the University, and through them to the Native public throughout this Presidency, who are interested in the progress of education. Though speaking now as Chancellor, I cannot divest myself of my capacity of Governor, and my colleagues in the Government have been consulted as to the principles to which your consideration is now to be invited.
You, then, graduates and under-graduates, and all our Native fellow-subjects of Western India whom my words may reach, System of State education. I would ask you to consider our system of State education as a whole. You may have sometimes heard in some quarters an advocacy of efforts by Government on behalf of primary or elementary education for the masses of the people, in apparent opposition to high education for a limited number; and, again, of high or superior education for the few, irrespective of lower education, in the hope that they, once enlightened, will scatter the light among the nation, just as the rays of the rising sun must first touch the tops of the mountains, and rest there for a while before they can penetrate to the dark valleys below.
The Government of Bombay, however, does not fix its regards exclusively on either one side or the other. We desire to foster all kinds of education alike; whether high, or elementary, or intermediate, encouraging each kind according to its needs. Though we long for the day when the people wall undertake the task of national instruction by private resources and private organization, subject only to a general control by the State, still, we see that at present in Western India this task has to be performed mainly by the State, and we consider ourselves answerable for holding the balance between the claims of the several branches of education. We cannot say that any one of them is more important than the others; all are conducive to the good of the people. Nor can any one be treated separately from the others. They are co-operative one with the other, and are almost inter-dependent. If the nation under our charge be regarded in its corporate existence, we shall find that primary education supplies material for secondary education; that advancement of secondary or intermediate education reflects back energy upon primary education; that secondary education leads up to high education, which, again, elevates the tone of everything below it, and supplies the fittest instruments for all other sorts of instruction. National education in its totality may be likened to the beautiful structure in which we are now assembled. Primary education is as the plinth with the foundation broad and deep; secondary education is as the superstructure with its walls and pillars; high education is as the roof with the domes and towers. No part of the structure can be injured or neglected without affecting the safety, or the usefulness, or the beauty of the whole. And as the architects have bestowed care on all parts alike, so is the Government bound to attend equally and simultaneously to the three departments of education—high, elementary, or intermediate, preferring none to the others, but meeting even-handed measure to all.
Our first duty is to determine the curriculum, the standard or standards, for each of these branches, in conformity with the wants of the several sections of Native society affected by each. In order that this maybe well done, discriminative knowledge of the people, and sympathetic appreciation of their condition and prospects, are absolutely necessary.
Fortunately we can, by the method known as payment by results, induce both masters and scholars to follow whatever standards may be prescribed. If the master be a salaried servant of the State, he receives more or less remuneration according as more or fewer scholars pass examinations according to the standard. If private schools apply for grants-in-aid from the State, the aid is allowed, more or less, according as the scholars pass the examination.
Another method of ensuring, on the part of the scholars, adherence to the standards, is the granting of scholarships. For each class of schools, scholarships can be offered for open competition among the scholars at examinations to be held annually according to the standard. The scholarship is, of course, a stipend; the holder virtually obtains a free education; he is the honourable possessor, not from patronage or favouritism, but from victory over his fellows in the contest of mind with mind. Consequently, all the active-minded boys work for proficiency according to that standard, in the hope of winning the scholarship, and the master has every inducement to teach them accordingly. Thus the ,grant of scholarships is not a mere act of charity or of grace, but is an engine for compelling by the force of emulation the observance of standards.
So the method of scholarships by competition stimulates the spontaneous efforts of the good scholars; the method of payment by results ensures attention on the part of the masters to the scholars of moderate or indifferent ability, so that the best average possible may be preserved. And thus the State promotes the welfare of the weak scholars as well as that of the strong.
The moral power thus wielded by the State rivets on us a responsibility for seeing that the several standards are the most appropriate that can be devised.
You, doubtless, bear in mind that primary education is conducted in the vernacular languages only; secondary or middle education partly in the vernacular and partly in English; superior education mainly in English, partly also in the classical languages of the East.
Now, primary education in its humblest form cannot be too low or too simple. Indeed, its first characteristic should be adaptability to the poorest persons and to the rudest minds. Primary Education. Its object is to ultimately embrace all the boys and girls of the lower classes throughout the country—the farm labourers, the small artisans, the village servants. It cannot, alas, attain so great an object within this generation of living men. Meanwhile, it strives to gather into its fold as many hundreds of thousands as it can. it already reckons 210,000 pupils; but even that number forms a small part only of the children of a school-going age in this Presidency, and leaves a sadly vast residue of children growing up in ignorance. Its system should, therefore, in the first instance, be as cheap, its standard as easy as possible, consisting of a little reading and writing and some elementary arithmetic. When it takes root and grows, then a somewhat better standard may be cautiously introduced, just enough to enable the children to move happily in the lowly sphere to which their destiny confines them, and no more. These poor children have but a short time during their tender age, say from their fifth to their thirteenth year, within which must be learnt what they are ever to learn from books, before the inevitable day when they must go forth to the field, to the grazing ground, to the road, to the workshop, to help their parents in the daily toil. With but too many of them, also, the time that can be devoted to learning, is even less than this. Still, if this much of time be obtained, within it there can be taught something more than elementary reading, writing, and arithmetic; something of morality, so that these children, often belonging to the lowest castes in the social scale, may be instructed to speak truth, to love virtue, to despise falseness; something of the vegetable kingdom which rewards plenteously those who labour conscientiously; something of those wonders which Nature reveals to the perception of all those who are trained to perceive; something of the universe, of the orbs which rule the day and night, and of the stars which have from the most primeval periods attracted the gaze of man in his most savage state. If any of these peasant boys be gifted with genius, he will, I hope, be able while in a primary school to win a scholarship tenable in a middle school, and there again win a scholarship tenable in a superior institution, ascending the educational ladder step by step. Thus ability and industry wheresoever found, even in the lowest social state, will have their chances.
But if this teaching is to be given within so short a space of time to young children of lowly capacity, there must be good schoolmasters, men much better than any that can ordinarily be found in the villages of India; men specially trained in pedagogy, that is, the art of imparting Knowledge to the young. The best salary which can be allowed is small: therefore we must obtain the utmost qualification which can be obtained for scanty remuneration. Again, as the children have their being among rough, ignorant people, it is important that in school they should come in contact with masters possessing some traits of culture and refinement. For all these reasons it is necessary for the State to undertake the training and supervision of the village schoolmaster, and to see that they all possess certificates of competent qualification. The village schoolmaster represented an ancient institution, but he was dull and unlettered. Now-a-days his office is filled by men of a new stamp; and the production of such, men is among the first-fruits of our educational efforts.
It is remarkable that there are in this Presidency more than 7,000 girls in the lower class schools, a circumstance exciting hopefulness, and showing that even the peasantry are awaking to a sense of the benefits of female education.
Next, our consideration must be turned to the middle or secondary education relating to those middle classes which in many countries form one of the mainstays of the social fabric, which, indeed, in this country are not so strong in number as we could wish, but which are growing and will grow more and more, relatively to other classes, as the country advances in prosperity. There are about 16,000 boys in this Presidency receiving this secondary education, out of whom about 5,000 are at private institutions. This total number is comparatively small. In the middle classes are included the peasant proprietor of the better sort, the small landholder, who should learn mensuration and village accounts, the money-lender, the trader who should be practised in arithmetical calculation; the clerk who should qualify himself for subordinate employment in a private or a public office; the artisan, the skilled workman, the manufacturer, who should acquire the technical knowledge necessary for success in his craft. For the secondary or middle class school the standard must be so arranged as to suit, firstly, the general wants which are common to all the above-mentioned sections of society, and secondly, the special wants of each section.
The instruction will, indeed, be partly given in English, but mainly in the vernacular. Creation of a vernacular literature. The merits or the defects in this instruction will show the manner in which we sustain the acknowledged principle that, while English instruction is offered to the Natives, they should be thoroughly grounded in their own language. We duly perceive that, while many Natives learn English—the more the better—still many Natives, if they are to be educated at all, can obtain their education only through the medium of their own vernacular. Hence, a new vernacular literature has to be created; and such a creation, if it be fully completed under our auspices, will be among the most enduring monuments of British rule in Western India. Already a good beginning has been made by several highly-qualified Native gentlemen. On various branches of useful knowledge, books will be written in the vernacular languages of this Presidency, and in a plain, practical style, some of which will be abstracts, others translations, in extenso, of English works. Some of these books, too, will be original works by Native authors who, having mastered for themselves the subject in hand, will expound it in their own Oriental mode of thought and expression for the benefit of their countrymen. We should afford the utmost incitement to Natives to attempt this original composition, as affording the best scope for that sort of independent self-sufficing ability which we most desire to evoke among them. Such labours do as much good, to the writers as to those for whose instruction the books are written, and will raise up a class of Native thinkers whose mental achievements will be among the most substantial results of our educational system.
The several normal schools or training institutions for vernacular schoolmasters form an integral part of this secondary division of our system. They really are our vernacular Colleges. Through them the resources of the ancient languages of India—languages unsurpassed in copiousness, in precision, in flexibility—are adapted to the diffusion of modern knowledge among the Natives. Through them the dead languages of older times are used to preserve purity and expressive vigour in the living dialects. Through them the Natives are taught that no man can speak or write his mother-tongue competently well, unless he knows something of the classic tongue of his ancestors.
To the students of these vernacular Colleges an example has been set by European scholars, such as Haug Buhler and Kielhorn, members of this University. Some Native scholars of this Presidency, such as Bhau Daji and Bhandarkar, have made additions to our knowledge of the ancient language of India, which are appreciated at such seats of learning as Oxford and Berlin.
One of the first objects to be set before Native authors in the vernacular, is the preparation of text books in the several physical sciences, especially chemistry, botany, physics, and physiology, which are the sciences most practically useful in the circumstances of Western India. Some such writers have already appeared, and many more are appearing. Those of them who may be content with making translations, can take the various science primers now being brought out in England, under the authority of some of the greatest names in science. The fact that such eminent men write such elementary books, is an acknowledgment of the value set upon educating the people in these subjects.
Time does not permit me to summarize the instances which might be adduced to show how popular ignorance of practical science is retarding the material progress of the country, and is even in some respects causing retrogression.
The impoverishment of the cultivated soil in most parts of India is a result of that indifference to agricultural chemistry which pervades the middle classes and the peasantry. Agricultural Chemistry. The botanist shows us that the plants of the crops take up certain elements from the soil, which elements are necessary for the growth of the plants, and that if the soil becomes gradually deprived of these elements, its fertility is injured. The chemist shows us that these elements must be artificially replaced in the soil by means of manure or equivalent substances. The land-holders and cultivators have these substances to a large extent ready on or near the land, but neglect to use them. And yet some Asiatic nations, such as the Chinese and the Japanese, understand and act upon these principles.
The wasteful destruction of the trees and brushwood in India is another example of that sort of carelessness which is caused by ignorance. The physicist shows us that the moisture drawn from the ocean by solar evaporation is gathered into clouds which pass over the land; that if the surface of the ground be cool, then the clouds become condensed and their moisture descends as rain; that such coolness cannot exist, unless the ground be covered with vegetation; that if the surface be bare, arid and heated, the clouds move onward, and the ground remains rainless. Yet the people destroy the forests, and leave the ground denuded, without thought of the drought and famine which must ensue sooner or later.
In all these sciences the instruction should be practical, that is, it should be imparted in immediate contact with the objects concerned; not only in the class room, but in the very presence of the things to which the lectures refer. Botany should be taught in the garden or in the field; chemistry in the laboratory; physiology in the midst of animal life.
Connected with these topics there is the subject of physical geography. It nearly concerns the history of human progress. The Native youth should be taught how the mountains attract the clouds which drop moisture, produce vegetation, and supply the sources of streams; how the streams cause that fertility of the lands which enables the human race to rapidly multiply, to constitute society and to found cities; how the rivers, formed from the union of streams, become the highways of commerce.
Under the head of secondary instruction come all the technical schools which we have established or may yet establish. Those Natives who reflect on the improvements which are advancing in Western India—such as the introduction of mechanical appliances, the new manufacturing industries, the development of artificial needs, the application of arts and sciences to the practical affairs of the national life—will see how many fresh lines of employment are being opened out. The aim of technical instruction is to help Native youths to qualify themselves for earning a livelihood as medical practitioners, as chemists, as foresters, as scientific gardeners, as land-surveyors, as civil engineers, as trained mechanics, as engravers.
But, although practical knowledge must occupy a larger part than heretofore in our middle class education, we must continue to bestow care as much as ever, or more than ever, on ethical instruction and moral culture. Happily, Native opinion is alive to the value of such instruction and culture, and will cordially support the efforts of the educational authorities.
In the middle class schools there are about 5,000 girls under instruction. These girls' schools are managed entirely by private effort. The fact may be hailed as the beginning of female education. The gradual augmentation of the number of girls at school should be cordially desired by every influential Native who cares for the good of his countrymen.
The fact that English ladies are becoming under-graduates of this University affords a notable example to the people of Western India.
I now approach the topic which is the last in the order we have been following, but which is one most nearly concerning you, graduates and under-graduates, namely, high education or superior instruction.
In the Colleges there are about 900 students and in the high schools about 8,000. Of the 8,000, more than half belong to those private institutions which flourish in our midst, and are doing a most beneficent work. The total number is comparatively small, and even from it a considerable abatement must be made for those students who do not stay long enough to receive the higher parts of the instruction.
The day may come, indeed ought to come, and we should all strive to hasten its coming, when the cost of high education will fall upon the State only in a slight degree, and will be defrayed partly by the munificence of the wealthy, and partly by those who seek for such instruction and who are to earn their living by it; and when every Native gentleman of rank and wealth in Western India will think it essential, that his son should be a member of the University of Bombay. You know, gentlemen, that the upper ranks of Native society are as yet but little represented in the rolls of our University calendars; that although the rich men of Bombay do often present their sons for our University examinations, yet such is not the general practice (as it ought to be) with the Native nobility and gentlemen of Western India; that for those who matriculate in this University the share borne by the State in the cost of their education is great, and that for those who take degrees this share of the State is greater still. It can hardly be denied that when the responsibility of educating the people has been accepted by the State, some considerable portion of the educational resources must be devoted to high education. To institute public education without providing for superior instruction, would be to make a spear without a spear-head, or a sword without a sharp edge. Without superior instruction we could not diffuse those thoughts, ideas, and aspirations, the diffusion of which forms the noblest part of the mission of England in the East. Without it, also, we could not find the agency for competently affording secondary instruction, or even primary instruction. The only point open to discussion relates to the proportion out of the whole educational fund which is devoted to the superior instruction. In the Bombay Presidency this proportion amounts to about one-fifth of the whole. At present our care is to fix for the high schools and the Colleges such a scale of fees as the students can reasonably afford in the existing circumstances of Native society. Their fees are high, relatively, to the means of ordinary students and to the fees of the other schools; so that our superior instruction is very much more costly to the students than instruction of any lower kind. We take into consideration the expense incurred by the students on account of their being obliged to live at capital cities like Bombay or Poona. And this is one of the reasons why we have lately assented to the inauguration of a College at Ahmedabad, for the Guzerat province (as soon as may be financially practicable), for the founding of which institution a sum of money has been raised by Native gentlemen. Another reason is this, that we sympathize with the trouble which the parents must have in placing their sons under proper supervision while studying in capital cities distant from home.
By establishing one or two additional Colleges in this Presidency we hope to augment the number of those receiving high education, which number is at present seen to be so small. But we cannot do more than this without unduly weakening the limited resources available for the existing Colleges. Manifestly a College is of little use unless it enables students to take University degrees. Unless the teaching staff be strong enough for this, it must fail to perform its proper functions. Native professors are comparatively inexpensive, and can competently teach many subjects. But there is one great subject for which you must have Englishmen and graduates of the British Universities, who are necessarily expensive, and that is English literature. We have given you English professors worthy of your respect and confidence in the highest degree. But the number of such valuable men must unavoidably be limited. And this circumstance alone would preclude the founding of many Colleges in this Presidency. At all events, we must take care that the English education does not deteriorate: such deterioration is apprehended by many even among the Natives. Certainly there is not enough attention paid to English elocution and caligraphy. Much as we may employ Native professors in various subjects, we must endeavour in our superior institutions to maintain English professors for English literature.
With all the efforts which we may have made, or may yet make, the quantity of high education in Western India is, and will long continue to be, extremely small for a population of 22 millions. There are not more than 800 students in the Government Colleges in the Bombay Presidency and not more than 100 in the private Colleges; or 900 in all. From among the students at the high schools about 1,200 present themselves yearly for the University entrance examination, of whom about 300 pass on the average. But of those who thus enter the University only a few study for degrees. Now, I must remind you that this circumstance is opposed to the principle of those European Universities on the model of which this University has been established. In Europe, young men enter Universities, not merely for the sake of entering, but for the purpose of taking degrees. In this Presidency, as elsewhere in India, young Natives generally enter the University for the sake of entering merely, and without any thought of taking degrees. We must strive to correct this tendency which has arisen, contrary, indeed, to our wish and intention, but still under our own system. We must more and more make the possession of a University degree a necessary qualification for admission to the higher posts in the public service. Again, if students persist in regarding the entrance to the University as the goal of their ambition and the end of their studies, we must render the entrance examination gradually harder and harder.
Then there comes the question as to what is, and what ought to be, the subject-matter of our high education.
In this University the utmost attention has been, and I hope ever will be, given to mental and moral philosophy; Mental and Moral Philosophy. relating to those duties of man towards God which are acknowledged by all mankind; to those abstract principles of right and wrong which always assert themselves in the conscience; to the power and functions of the moral sense; to the constitution of our mental faculties; to the domain of practical ethics; to the relations between man and man in the body politic; to the foundations of rights and of true liberty in the social state. These principles have not only been inculcated in the abstract with the strongest sanction and the highest authority, but have further been illustrated in the concrete, and have been applied to history, to law, to literature, to society, and to Government. Without this teaching you could never become really better or wiser from instruction in physical science. But I will show you presently that physical science, so far from being opposed to mental and moral philosophy (as may have been sometimes believed), does, if rightly taught and truly understood, conduce to the loftiest conceptions of philosophical thought. At this moment I have to remind you thafc those sacred lamps of faith, virtue, morality, and philosopliy, preserved to us by the best traditions of the world—those holy fires unextinguished through so many ages, and as we believe inextinguishable—have been reverently and faithfully handed down to you by this University. Whatever changes may be gradually introduced into other parts of our teaching, this part will, we trust, remain unchanged and unchangeable.
This ethical and philosophical teaching has greatly affected already, and will still more affect in future, the conduct, through- out life, of those who pass through the University. Allowing for failures and disappointments, we still see that there is a greatly improved standard of conduct, a higher ideal of rectitude, among those Natives who have received our ethical instruction, and have been in daily contact with the European professors. In the higher branches of the public service, both executive and judicial—more especially in the judicial—the Natives evince an integrity and a trustworthiness for which we are heartily thankful. The improvement which has occurred in these respects is remarkable, and can be best appreciated by us who remember the tone and standard which prevailed in times past, before the introduction of a system of State education into India. And the Natives themselves, as I understand, attribute it mainly to English education, to the moral instruction which is included in that education, and to companionship and association with European teachers.
For the theoretical part of philosophy the Native youth in our Universities have always evinced an excellent aptitude. This, indeed, is to be expected, inasmuch as philosophy has been cultivated by the races of India from the time of a remote antiquity, in all respects with wonderful diligence and in many respects with much success. The high mental qualities thus engendered, have been transmitted through many generations of men to you, the representatives of the present time.
But, gentlemen, the exclusive devotion to mental and moral philosophy as contradistinguished from physical science, Exclusive devotion to Philosophy. and without sufficient subjection to the discipline of severer studies, such as logic, mathematics and science—is apt to develop the very faults to which your mental constitution is prone. The imaginative faculties rise and spread so as to overshadow the reason; the idealistic power flourishes so excessively as to draw the vigour away from the realistic faculties. Consequently, our University students are but too often addicted to rhetorical phraseology, not exactly applicable to the subject in hand, and without a sufficient basis of thought. This mental habit of theirs is unfavourable to original or independent thinking, and induces them to borrow ideas from others instead of forming their own ideas, or to reproduce simpliciter what they have learnt, whether it bear strictly upon the topic in question or not, to reiterate the formulae of thought as acquired in books instead of reasoning out matters for themselves. Much allowance should, in justice, be made for such faults existing in youths who have to obtain their education through a foreign language and literature. Similar faults, too, are common, in a greater or a less degree, to us all. The professors at our higher institutions would, I think, affirm the consequence to be that immaturity of thought so frequently noticed by the critics of our educated youth.
The defect will, doubtless, be remedied gradually as the people become imbued with our education. Indian inaccuracy. It demands, and is sure to receive, the utmost attention on the part of our educational authorities, as it is very generally found in many classes of the people. Ask any judge who has to take Native evidence—any traveller who has to gather information in this country—any savant who has to investigate facts locally—and he will lament the inaccuracy which prevails among the people. Again, the indifference of the Natives to correct generalization has always been remarked with regret. The difficulty of obtaining from them general opinions deduced from verified data, or based on well-defined considerations, has been felt probably by every administrator and every economist who is concerned in solving the social problems of the nation. Yet, surely, these faults can be cured by education, for the people are endowed by Nature with shrewdness and sagacity.
You will forgive me, gentlemen, for dwelling on these points so frankly, as I do so with the most friendly sentiments.
Your retentive power of memory, your aptitude for intense mental application, your aspiration to excel in whatever may be prescribed, have always won the regard of your European teachers. These qualities supply something, but not all, of the foundation of success.
Our students must bend themselves more than heretofore to those sciences which are severe and exact, as compared with those to which I have been just adverting. The proficiency which Natives attain in mathematics; the success they win in the law; the public confidence they command when on the judicial bench; the progress they make in the practice of surgery and medicine,—afford an earnest of their future achievements in any science to which they may devote themselves.
You are probably aware that deductive reasoning, whether derived from mathematics or from logic, Induction. in both of which the people of India have always evinced much aptitude, will never by itself supply the needs of the Native intellect. This may truly be said of us all, but more particularly is it to be said of you. The thing most wanted for you all, is instruction in inductive reasoning. As you will recollect, deductive reasoning is the drawing of conclusions from given premises. But induction is the reverse, process. It consists of reasoning from particulars to general propositions. By it various phenomena have to be observed; their complex combinations have to be separated by analytical processes, the relations of their different qualities have to be determined. In deduction the law is given, and the effects are required to be found; that is a comparatively easy task in which you will readily excel. But in induction, on the contrary, the effects are given and the law is required to be found ; that is a hard task, in which you often fail, but in which you must, and will, learn to excel. A recent writer (Stanley Jevons) has given an illustration of the difference between deduction and induction, which is peculiarly applicable to you. When you enter a labyrinth, you move about hither and thither easily. This is like deduction. But when you wish to return and make your exit from the labyrinth, then doubt and difficulty begin; then you must trust to the accuracy of your observation of the way by which you entered, or make an exhaustive trial of all possible ways. This is like induction. Hence it is that inductive reasoning is the all-important subject to be pressed upon the Native mind. Our students should be drilled by its procedure and disciplined by its system. They should be exercised in it backwards and forwards, so that they cannot answer its question by exertion of memory, but must solve its problems by their self-acting reason alone. They will immediately find that they cannot succeed in this, unless their observations are correct. And the necessity, thus imposed upon them, of observing correctly, will remedy some of the mental faults to which 1 have been alluding. Mill's work on Logic prescribed for you by the University as a text-book, has been regarded as a landmark in the progress of general studies, and especially of scientific inquiry. Take up his chapters on induction and causation. In this work on Political Economy, read the opening chapter explaining the origin of wealth, the fundamental structure of society, and the principles on which the science is based.
Follow up these principles in the economic works of the late Professor Cairnes. Note the introductory part of Buckles work on Civilization, and observe the method of examining the circumstances which make history and mould the fate of nations. Study especially the works of Sir Henry Maine, namely. Ancient Law, Village Communities, and the Early History of Institutions; these shew you the origin of rights, the foundation of law, the progress of jurisprudence. All such works teach you how to reach the pith, the kernel, the root of every matter. They are to several branches of study what the protoplasm is to living substances.
The practical study of the physical sciences, being itself the most cardinal instance of inductive reasoning, will eminently conduce to the same object, and will supply to the Native mind, as it were, that fibre and sinew, that solid strength, which it so much needs. Take Whewell's history of the absorbing labours of Newton; or the account of the German astronomer JSchwabe, who day by day for thirty-one years watched for the recurring spots in the sun; or the story of Sir Humphrey Davy's enquiries into the composition of water; or Tyndall's narrative of Faraday's experiments in electricity; or Darwin's observations of the habits of insectivorous and climbing plants; and you will derive benefit, not only from knowing the grand conclusions obtained from their labours, but from noting the processes by which they laboured.
As a preparation for such scientific study there is needed that general culture, that gymnastic mental training (as it is technically termed from physical analogy) which you have all received.
The relative proportions which should be allotted in our University curriculum to general learning and to physical science have of late demanded, and will still demand, special consideration.
Of the students in this University some will follow professions, such as the public service, for which general education alone is needed; others will follow professions, such as the scientific branches, for which special education must be super-added. Up to a certain point general education must be given to both classes of students. But afterwards such education will be prosecuted to the end of the College course by those who live by the learned professions, while it will be relinquished by those who are to live by the scientific professions, each one of whom must thenceforth devote himself to his particular science. He must, therefore, not be unduly burdened with general education, lest he should be prevented from learning, during his Collegiate course, the science which is to be his means of livelihood. There are but five years within which a young man must learn all that is to be learnt at College for the purpose of his profession. If he is to be a chemist or a botanist, or a professor of art or science, or a medical man, or a forester, or a civil engineer, he ought to have as large a part, as possible, of the five years for acquiring his technical and special knowledge. For all such cases endeavour has been, and will be, made to lighten the weight of general education so as to give time and opportunity for the scientific pursuits.
We rejoice to Bee so many promising students qualifying themselves by general education for the public service, which offers an ever-widening field to your reasonable ambition, and in which you are likely to rise to higher spheres; for the judicial bench where Natives acquit themselves so honourably, also for the Native bar which is everywhere rising in repute and usefulness. But we hope that these professions may not become overstocked. Though the danger of such over-crowding does not seem to be so imminent here as elsewhere, yet even here it exists. On this account, as well as for other reasons, we are anxious that many of you should choose the other professions which the sciences so abundantly offer. Looking to the vigorous growth of European manufactures at this capital city and at other places in the Presidency; to the extension of railways; to the hydraulic engineering needed for works of irrigation; to the establishment of professional forestry; to the increasing demand for surgery and medicine;—to the incorporation of scientific teaching in our national education; looking to all these things, we hope that students will be attracted more and more in such directions. And the Senate and Syndicate of the University will be moved from time to time to consider amendments of the University standards of examination with this view.
I beg you to read the general evidence given in 1862 before the Royal Commission on the Public Schools in England, by such witnesses as Hooker, Faraday, Owen, Lyell, Acland, Carpenter. They declared that scientific pursuits by themselves afford an excellent general education, as training the mind to habits of method, order, observation, and classification, and that in the words of Faraday himself "the study of natural science is a glorious school for the mind." All the arts and sciences which have helped to make England what she is by land and by sea, which have contributed so much to our national greatness and prosperity, these we are offering to you without stint or reserve; nay, more, we are urging them upon you for your acceptance, in the hope that they may do good to you as they have done to us. We hope, too, that many of you will become imbued with artistic and aesthetic ideas, and that some of you will follow art as a profession. India must deplore the loss, during wars and revolutions, of so many of those arts which flourished in the days when Asoka graved on the rocks the edicts of duty; when the Buddhists hewed sacred chambers out of the strata on the mountain sides; when the Brahmanists covered their fanes with carvings which seem to make ancient races of men live again before our eyes; when the Mahomedans reared the tall minarets for prayer, and the domes in memory of the dead. You can hardly do better than fix your gaze on the antique remains of your own national art, which remains will hardly be surpassed by anything that European art can teach you. But under the guidance of Sir Bartle Frere, whom you so well remember as Chancellor of this University, an artistic revival arose some years ago in Western India, a movement which is worthily sustained by our School of Art and Design at Bombay, and by the group of edifices where we are at this moment standing.
Most of you must win knowledge for the purpose of fighting the battle of life, Pursuit of knowledge. yet some of you may be able to pursue knowledge for her own sake. You have read Macaulay's stanzas, in which the goddess of literature adjures him to love her for herself alone. You may recall the passage in which Buckle declares that he who undertakes to write history, must relinquish all other ambition,—not for him are the riches and the honours of the world. Remember that the man who can compose a book that shall live, or enlarge the bounds of human knowledge, or make a discovery in science, or produce a valuable invention, is as great as the successful statesman or warrior.
Though I refrain from dwelling upon poetry, its importance is not forgotten by us. However successful our training may be in other subjects, it is beyond our power to train you to be poets. But we never cease to set before you the best examples of English poetry: and, fortunately, the British nation is as great in poetry as it is in sterner subjects. National poetry is in some degree the outcome of the history and the condition of a nation. Whether such poetry will arise in the India of to-day, we know not. You will, doubtless, cherish affection for the poetry of ancient India. If you consult the recent works of Griffiths, of Talboys Wheeler, of Monier Williams, you will observe how greatly that poetry is admired by modern readers. You will have seen how many of the finest verses of Tennyson have sprung from contemplation of the British Empire. You may claim a share in the pride inspired by the widespread rule of the British Sovereign for whom so many Native soldiers have fought and bled, and under whose colours the Native armies are serving.
Lastly, whether hereafter you mix in the turmoil of active life, or be immersed in business, or tread the hard paths of practical science, you must not forget the moral philosophy you have learnt in this University.
The pursuit of physical science, if undertaken with singleness of purpose and humility of spirit, Physical science and natural religion. leads us to the Contemplation of the first creative power, of Him whom the ancient Arabians figured to themselves as the Causer of Causes, of that impassable gulf which philosophers describe as separating the knowable from the unknowable. It would be unjust to physical science to regard it as hostile to natural religion. On the contrary, a strong presumption in favour of religion is supplied by science. Equally unjust would it be to science to regard it as failing to quicken faith or to strengthen the moral sense. Few things can be more ennobling to the soul of man than honest effort to penetrate the mysteries of the material universe, and to understand the laws which the Creator has ordained for its existence. You probably have read that some modern authors divide knowledge into two main categories: one "humanistic," which may be broadly described as literoe humaniores, metaphysical philosophy, aesthetics, law, history; the other "realistic," which may be broadly described as mathematics and physical science. It is to the humanistic division that all the noblest flights of eloquence, the most refined sentiments, the most exalted thoughts, have belonged until recent times. But within this century passages of consummate eloquence, of the purest beauty, are to be found in the writings of realistic authors. Take some of the finest or grandest passages by modern humanistic authors with whom you are acquainted, say those of Burke, Canning, Coleridge, Macaulay, Ruskin, Buckle. Then on comparison you will find very fine and grand passages by realistic authors, say Lyell, Brewster, Herschel, Tyndall, Balfour-Stewart, Josiah Cooke.
All these studies will raise your thoughts towards principles which can be felt by faith, though they cannot be proved by our finite senses; towards glories not to be beheld by the eye of man, and harmonies not to be heard by mortal ear. Fix your hopes on that better life in the future which is beyond this poor troublous sinful existence of ours here below; remembering that "the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
(By The Honorable J. Gibbs, C.S.I., F.R.G.S.)
[An address was read by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts to the Vice- Chancellor, the Honorable Mr. Gibbs, expressing the deep sense of the obligations he had laid the University of Bombay under by the valuable services he had rendered it during his nine years' tenure of office as Vice-Chancellor.]
Mr. Dean, and Gentlemen of the Senate,—It would be affectation on my part if I were to begin without admitting the great gratification with which I have listened to this Address, and thanking you most cordially for the indulgent spirit in which you have been pleased to review my action during the lengthened period I have had the honor of holding- the office of Vice-Chancellor of this University, — a period which will ever form one of the most cherished recollections of my long sojourn in this Presidency,—and for the kindly terms in which you have given expression to the judgment you have formed. I have listened to the Address with the greater pleasure, because, although I do not delude myself with the idea that I deserve all you have said about me,—for I cannot but acknowledge, as I review the years of my Vice-Chancellorship, that I have in many things fallen short of what I might and perhaps ought to have done,—yet I recognise in the broad principles, for my fidelity to which you are pleased to praise me, principles to which it has been at least my constant aim to adhere. Your appreciation of my services would in any case have been exceedingly gratifying, but the terms in which you have been pleased to express that appreciation is evidence that, in spite of my many shortcomings and imperfections, I have been able to some extent to be of service to the University. It was not without diffidence that