Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/371

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University of Madras.

And now, in conclusion, what are the considerations by which I can best urge you to discharge the duties that have been so imperfectly pointed out? Some helps you feel that you require, for he knows little of himself who has not learnt by sad experience that man's moral weakness is so great, that, without some powerful aid, the clearest demonstration of what duty is, goes but a little way towards securing that duty shall be done.

But powerful, yes and effectual aids there are, nor are they far away from those who seek them in earnestness with patience and humility. When I think of you, standing as you do with all the hope and strength of youth about you, coming into the world as you have done in a country like this that is beginning to sweep forward along new paths towards unthought-of destinies, the considerations that might be here adduced seem almost infinite in number. From among the many that crowd on me let me select only two. I say not that they are the strongest that might be used, but at least in their own place they may be helpful, and I choose them now because one is a thought that should never be absent from your minds, while the other is specially approriate to the circumstances in which you stand to-day.

The first consideration is that you should live and labour as you have been adjured to do, for the sake of India, your country. Forget not her ancient fame. Forget not that literature and philosophy and art had here their home ere Athens had arisen to keep watch on the blue AEgean, when the seven hills of Home stood still lonely by the Tiber. Remember that on you and such as you depends whether India is ever to regain the place of leadership that she has lost. Strangers have endeavoured and are endeavouring to do much; but little can their efforts profit, if you, the children of the soil, are not their hearty and enthusiastic fellow-workers. You are the electric chain along which the thought of Europe must travel into the heart of India. You must determine whether reawakened by heartfelt contact with her long separated brethren of the West, making their thought her own and modifying it to meet her own necessities, India is to become the centre of a higher philosophy and a nobler culture than she knew of old to all the nations of the East.

The other consideration is the respect that you should cherish for the fair fame of the University of which from this day forward you are members. She deserves to receive from you the reward that she most desires; and that reward is this: that throughout your lives the thought of how your actions will affect her, should nerve