Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/343

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improved laws, of public liberty, in splendid array down to the fathers of the living and listening crowd. Nor would the scene be unworthy of the history, for in the midst of coeval trees. Halls and Colleges, Chapels and Libraries, Museums and Galleries would stand around, some touched with the traces of a cherished decay, some in the sober hues of maturity, some where the noise of the builders had scarcely ceased, but all testifying to an incessant inheritance of human attachment. Thus the hearers would be made to feel that they are at most an equal link between the generations that are gone and those that are to come, the present would scarcely appear of like value with the past; and while there would be the noblest incentives to emulation, the mind would be awed by the accumulated impressions of departed worth. I need not say how different is the theme and how different the auditory in the Convocation of Madras. The University here is not of ancient origin or national growth. It is not identified with the glory, the religion, the recollections, the greatness of the country. A single generation has seen its birth and life, it is a foreign graft, it has not even acquired a visible habitation. Though this incorporeal influence has already given an important impulse to intelligence and morality, I feel that in endeavouring to measure the significance of the University, that is of European teaching in its highest functions, I must appeal to your faith, I must lead you forward into the seductive regions of the future.

What then does the higher European education promise to the people of this country? To what aims and ends does the road conduct on which you have planted your footsteps, I trust, with constancy and ardour, on which you have reached to-day a memorable stage, and which you are prepared to follow out to a higher issue. It conducts to many things, to more, no doubt, than my vision can reach or my sagacity penetrate, to more certainly than I can here delineate and analyze. I shall only designate four objects which you seem destined by this method to attain, and which are certainly of no mean importance. The higher English education will give you 1. A new basis of national unity; 2. A better knowledge of your own country; 3. Self-government, the government of India by the Indians in a modified form; 4. A participation in the general intellectual movement of the world, now and hereafter.

There is probably no principle in the political system of a country more valuable than national unity, that is, the prevalence among the whole population of one belief, one language, one extraction, and similar