Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/24

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9
1863.—Sir H. B. E. Frere.

perhaps see the reason of my having said so little on this subject, if I say a very few words regarding our English views on the connexion between our English Universities and our English public men, and the publicaffairs which they administer.

And first of all let me remind you that here in India you see but imperfectly, Englishmen in India and Englishmen at home. and you therefore can judge but imperfectly, of the men who influence our Government at home. You see the soldiers and the sailors, whose strong arms and stout hearts enable our writers and thinkers to write and think in peace. You see the active practical men, who throughout our Empire in hundreds of varying professions and pursuits, accumulate and distribute wealth, and deal with all that concerns the material prosperity of England ; but the classes you see here form but a small part of our social and political system and the Englishmen who administer affairs in this country are but a portion of the great administrative machine of the English nation. Part, and the most powerful part, of that machinery is rarely seen here, and can scarcely be sufficiently appreciated in this country. I refer to the great body of men who obtain in their youth the advantages of a liberal education, and of whom a comparatively small number even engage directly in what would be called, in this country, the affairs of Government, yet whose influence is most sensibly felt in the administration of public affairs, and has perhaps been more potent than that of any body of men in rendering our country what it is.

Now I need not tell you that an University education may be regarded University Degree the stamp of Liberal Education. as the highest type, and an University Degree the stamp Degree as the final stamp of a liberal education, and I would have the native members and students of the University compare for a moment the impression they have themselves formed of the value and effect of this stamp with our English ideas on the same subject.

I need not remind you how many of our leading and most honored public men in England were trained at the Universities. The pride and glory of English Universities. No one living in India in this generation is likely to forget that glorious galaxy of contemporary students, which at one University, and at one period of its history, gave to India three successive Governors-General, and to England a goodly number of her most eminent Cabinet Ministers. This is a fact which we are not likely to forget, but I would beg you also to bear in mind that along with these distinguished public men were hundreds of fellow