Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/347

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
 


Within the territories of the Queen you are not destined to be servants, you are not destined to be masters, you will fill the office of auxiliaries and- mediators; but beyond Her Majesty's dominions there lies a scene where there are none of the imperious necessities of a foreign authority. The peaceful consolidation of English power which we now witness is a guarantee for the preservation and regulated independence of Native States. Those States too are all launched, under English impulses and English control, on the course of civilization and progress. Cochin, Travancore, Mysore, and Hyderabad, with fifteen millions of inhabitants, are open to the educated youths of Madras, who by strength and knowledge and enterprise are enabled to reach them and rule them. Places, which were once valued as a convenient refuge for tarnished reputations and broken fortunes, will afford a conspicuous theatre for the superabundant intelligence and energies which the ancient Presidencies may throw off.

Having thus endeavoured briefly to define the relations in which you are placed by the higher European education to the State and to your countrymen, to England and to India, I cannot conclude without reminding you of the partnership which you have attained with the past, the distant, and the future, with minds and nations extinct, with the great circle of contemporaries, and with the prospective march of intelligence and knowledge. And first I congratulate you that English is your avenue to the rest of mankind. I do not speak in a spirit of boastfulness. But it is a fact that, by the mere force of numerical procession and propagation, the future world must belong to the English race which possesses a preponderant share in it already. India might have become the prey of some other sea-faring and exploring people. The Dutch were a glorious and are still a respectable nation. They might have subdued and held India, and they would have taught you science and politics in Dutch. The Spaniards might have added India to America, and they would have taught you the same things through the Society of Jesus. But what sort of contact would Dutch or Spanish have given you with the outer world? What commerce of intelligence could you have enjoyed with such vehicles of utterance. Few valuable books are now written in those languages, and few foreigners make those languages their study. The Dutch and Spaniards learn other languages to make themselves understood and to gain a knowledge of what is going on. I wish to speak of the French with respect and even with admiration. They strove with fluctuating fortunes for the