Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/305

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University of Madras.

compendium of ethics. It is a very true maxim, if you do not confound the result of honesty with the reason for honesty. Honesty is the best policy^ but the man who is honest because it is politic, will be apt to reverse the maxim, and to think that what he fancies to be most politic is honest. The man who does this is lost. He is exchanging a star which is certain to guide him safely, for an ignis fatuus which will lure him to destruction. We are seldom mistaken in what is honest, but we are very apt to be mistaken in what is politic, and we are quite certain to consider that course to be politic, to which our inclinations lead us at the time. Be honest because it is right, and you will find the policy following, perhaps in a manner which you never looked for. You may not be rewarded by places or rupees, you may even be considered by your associates to have been merely scrupulous fools, but you will reap your reward in that self-respect and contentment, which, always follows upon a consciousness of having done your duty, which places and rupees can never bestow, and the want of which places and rupees can never supply.

Gentlemen, these are trite truths, and I wish they were so fully recognised The failing of the natives of India. and acted upon in this country, as to render it a waste of time for me to dwell upon them. But unfortunately it is not so. Many and brilliant exceptions there have been, but as a general rule, the natives of India have still to earn a character for integrity and truth. And, however it may suit the policy of those who wish to flatter you, to conceal it, the fact still remains, that it is this failing chiefly which has kept you back, and which, so long as it exists, will keep you back from the place which you ought to occupy as a nation.

I trust that a brighter era is now dawning. The night is now past, and I hope that a glorious day is at hand. Responsibilities of graduates. What that day may be, mainly depends upon you, and those who are now being educated like you in this country. It is a solemn reflection, that at regular intervals the world is given over into a fresh set of hands. The

school-boys of this generation are the masters of the next, and the fathers of that which is to follow—and then they have to answer to futurity for the way in which they have discharged their trust. Gentlemen, your turn comes next. Are you prepared to undertake it? From the position you have won, as possessors of wide attainments in a country where such attainments are rare, you will have great advantages, but you will have equally great responsibilities. In your persons, the