Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/169

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University of Bombay.

on the communications to which I have adverted. He found India in one of those critical stages which arise at times in every nation when men's minds having become imbued with a new set of ideas and desires, certain changes in the spirit of the administration are absolutely necessary, unless there is to be a decided falling back in policy, and thence dissension leading on to strife. There is a period in the progress of every community, in the history of every government, when the rulers of the community must adapt themselves to changed circumstances, to new and enlarged views, for, if they do not, from the divergence of the views of governors and subjects must surely spring in time a total alienation. It is the part of a Statesman to anticipate any such events. He must look back on history and consider such periods as when Christianity invaded the Roman Empire and the Government based on a too narrow set of conceptions found itself unequal to the direction of the new moral forces that thus grew up around it. That faith and that spiritual enlargement which might have been the saving of the ancient civilisations were hence felt to be a cause of enfeeblement and disintegration. Again, when the spread of new learning in Europe gave to men's minds a fresh stimulus and a first standpoint from which to survey the problems of individual and social actions, the Governments, fast-rooted in old prejudice, were blind to the portents that pressed on their attention. The questions had to be settled in foreign and domestic wars which provident Statesmanship would have averted. A kind of half repose was gained by exhaustion until once more in the last century an audacious literature, sapping the foundations of the existing social structure, filled men's minds with new questions, with discontent and wild dreams of what might be effected by better institutions. Once more the Statesmen lagged behind the march of ideas and then the moral earthquake of the French Revolution carried waste and desolation over the fairest fields of Europe. These are examples which no doubt presented themselves to the mind of our distinguished Viceroy, and he felt that everywhere and in every country the highest utility unites itself with the highest benevolence, and that the lesson that philanthropy dictates is responded to by history and philosophy.

Such, then, were the principles with which our Viceroy entered on his active course. Review of Lord Ripon's Viceroyalty. The whole of his career has been a working out, a development of those noble principles, and here to-day we come to recognise both the principles themselves and their rich and manifold fruits. I have stated that we have had peace, and peace having been secured. Lord Ripon turned his attention