Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/345

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I invite you to forsake the memory and the works of your ancestors? Far from it. The first result of the introduction of a new learning, in a country possessing an indigenous and stationary civilization, is sometimes to breed a superficial contempt for what is old and past. But the maturer effect is quite different. The higher education will teach you to undervalue nothing but to admire with discernment. If it dispels some illusions, it will unseal your eyes to a variety of interests and pleasures to which you are now insensible. Many familiar objects will gain significance and charm, the dullest thing will quicken with vitality and meaning. In fact there is much in the ancient polity, art, literature, and manners of the Indians that Indians alone, armed with the powerful keys of European criticism, can f ally open to the Western world. The zeal with which all the institutions and monuments of the East are investigated in Europe should be contagious here. I wish I could see public functionaries and persons of independent means in this country devoting their leisure to local history and archaeology, to the collection and preservation of manuscripts, coins and other relics of past ages, to an analysis of native science, treated from a critical European point of view, in fact to securing and placing on record many things of the highest moment which are rushing fast to oblivion and decay. Why should there not be, even now, in every province native gentlemen doing from motives of intelligent patriotism all that Mr. Carmichael and Mr. Nelson have recently done so well in their respective districts by the invitation of Government?

Gentlemen, those who possess a country and understand it have an undeniable claim to a share in the honours and emoluments of its government. If this was not true, then the higher education would be a snare, a folly, a curse, and not a blessing. The University would otherwise be engaged in producing intelligences without duties, instruments without labour, ambitions without satisfactions, the worst things in an unhappy state. We have not established these manufactories of mind for selfish purposes, as the Romans taught philosophy to slaves. You will, perhaps, hear designing or visionary Englishmen on platforms or in Parliaments affirm that England is bringing up India for independence. Such illusions it is not wise to cherish. The English conquered India for the interest of England, they retain India for the interest and glory of England. But the glory of England is in the minds of her people indissolubly associated with humanity and justice. I do not say that in all times and in all places these principles have been uniformly respected, but I believe it may be deliberately asserted