Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/216

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1888.—Sir Raymond West.

there yet there is little progress and mental expansion. Even in the Universities of Italy the resolution not to take up the new learning was in the end almost fatal to them. In Bologna, and Padua, as in Salerno, the refusal to accept the new learning left the Universities at last high and dry, while the stream of progress was passing by them. On the other hand, the University of Paris developed a splendid faculty by its readiness to accept light and truth, and thus became the centre and the soul of the Universities all over Europe—the great mother of Universities—an institution in which the light of science and literature has never paled through any length of time down to our own day. But, bear in mind, it was the professional Universities, the Technical institutions of those times that showed most of the narrowness I have mentioned and most suffered by it. In the time of James I, Lord Bacon complained that there were so many Universities in Europe which had devoted themselves to professional pursuits, and which wanted the liberality and expansion which he desired; and wanting it they gradually faded away from the learned world of Europe. Our own English Universities showed for a time a tendency to adopt the more liberal course of learning which Lord Bacon advocated, but in the end they fell back into the rut of theological logomachy, and resting on the old classical literature and the strict line of mathematics they severed themselves from the great movement of the inductive philosophy preached by Lord Bacon, and advocated practically in the great experiments of Galileo. Thus our English Universities by the beginning or the early part of the last century had sunk into such sluggish torpor that the chief intellectual benefits which our country derived were not from the wealthy English institutions, but from the poor and comparatively remote Universities of Scotland. Yet we find, after all, that even at their worst these Universities had their Newton in science, their Bentley in classical literature. The influence of such men could not at once die out. The race of scholars was diminished but not extinguished, and although their course of studies was narrow, yet their love of mathematics and literature subsisted almost unimpaired, even though deep and thorough scholarship was wanting. Thus the sacred flame was kept alive and stained, and now the English Universities have adopted a course which is varied and flexible enough for any species of capacity, and they yearly send out men, who once more take their place, not only in what are supposed to be the higher pursuits of intellect, but also in manufactures and commerce, and in the more material parts of the national existence. Our Universities in England