Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/321

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The Native Bar and Bench have hitherto laboured under many disadvantages, and have been exposed to much unfavourable criticism. Your very presence here to-day, and the signs of academic distinction which you wear, prove that you have made considerable progress in your legal studies, and that you are bringing to the practice of your profession, knowledge and ability rarely possessed by those of your fellow-countrymen who have hitherto taken part in the administration of the law. Add then to the knowledge which you already possess patient study and careful practice, and above all, see that you add to professional ability, the strictest integrity of conduct, without which your career, however brilliant for the time, cannot fail to be attended with disgrace in the end. Recollect the promise which you have just made to maintain on all occasions the purity and reputation of the profession, and never to deviate from the straight path of its honourable exercise. But to return to the point with which I began. You know better than I can possibly know the defects and shortcomings of Native Judges and Advocates; see that you strive to the very utmost of your power to remedy these defects, to make up for these shortcomings. Recent changes in the rules of the High Court have made the possession of University distinctions a passport to practice in the highest Courts of the country; I trust that your conduct at the Bar, and, it may be, on the Bench, will be such as to enable the framers of those rules to look back upon their work with unmixed satisfaction. The example of one conspicuous and deeply lamented member of your community, showed how much could be effected even under the old system by consistent industry, modesty, and integrity; the advantages and opportunities you enjoy, far exceed his; take care that they have not been bestowed upon you in vain.

The career of the Civil Engineer is not less important than that of the Barrister. His labours have an immense influence upon the happiness of mankind. The want of good communications has been a serious obstacle to the material progress of this country, and well educated honest native officials may do much to remedy this want. You will probably be called upon at no distant, time to hold a responsible position in the Department of Public Works, notoriously this department has suffered greatly from the gross dishonesty of subordinates and contractors; we trust that you too will bear in mind the promises you have made to-day; that you will not only prove superior to all temptation to wrong doing yourself, but resolutely oppose and frustrate the malpractices of others.