Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/182

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1885.—The Honorable J. B. Peile.

spirit and touch of his hand are perceptible in every part of our system. It has been said that by the devotion of his best years to India he sacrificed something of the reputation which he might have achieved in England. However that may be, those years in India were expended on noble work, and his memory is green among us as one of the foremost founders and guides of Indian academic life. Next, let me say a word of another Vice-Chancellor who has gone from among us, and whose loss, as more recent, may be more sensibly felt by those to whom I am speaking. I refer to Mr. West, to whose last eloquent words in this office you listened in this hall hardly more than a month ago. He has gone to aid a country which is sorely in need of the reign of law under which our University prospers, and what is your loss is Egypt's gain. I do not doubt, however, that these young students and lawyers here present will miss the tonic of his frank and blunt but never unkindly counsel. But the example of his life will remain with us and I would remind the young graduates around me that Mr. West was known as a patient and industrious student from the first day to the last of his career in India, and that by these unremitting labours, not less than by his high natural abilities, did he achieve one of the noblest positions which can be held by a servant of the Crown, the position of a sound and learned Judge who commands the confidence of all who come before him.

And now it remains for me to say a few words of exhortation and encouragement to those young men who have to-day received their University Degrees, and are about to go forth with the good seed of education in their hands, to sow and reap. My time of preparation for this duty has been so short that my words will be plain and brief. I shall not follow my learned predecessor in dwelling on the delights of learning pursued for its own sake and for the good it can do, in disregard of earthly honours and ambitions. That prospect is all-sufficing for a selected few and my earnest hope is that is may attract and enchain more and more of our students as the academic life is more highly esteemed. But no more in an Eastern than in a Western University can any but a small proportion of students devote themselves to a life of philosophic research. And in truth it is evident that the material progress of India demands ever more imperatively that those whose minds have been strengthened and cultured in our Universities should apply their powers to practical life as teachers and workers. But if I direct you rather to the active than the contemplative life, I shall of course avoid any contact with the strife of political parties above which as the Chancellor pointed