Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/373

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University of Madras.

to over estimate its beneficial influence. It determines the course of study in our schools and colleges, and its examinations, so conducted as to deserve and command the respect of the public, are looked forward to as the great events of the educational year. Annually the struggle is renewed, and as the close of the academic year comes round, masters and pupils, who have worked hard before, work harder still, and every faculty is brought to bear on the attainment of the one great object in view. And yet the University is not in my opinion open to the imputation that it encourages what is commonly called "cram." Any one who refers to the examination papers will, I think, come to the conclusion, that a very sound acquaintance with the subjects on which they bear must be possessed by those who would answer them satisfactorily. The difficulty of these examinations has certainly of late years been increased, and therefore it is doubly satisfactory to find, that the number of those who pass them has also increased. The results of the Arts Examination are this year altogether without precedent; and I am sure that no one in this distinguished assembly can have seen the long array of the graduates approach your Excellency in almost endless succession, without experiencing the most lively gratification. And, if such are the feelings of those who have had little or no share in producing these results, how proud must be the satisfaction of the Principals, Professors, and Masters to whom they are in a great measure due. We are all of us no doubt impressed with the value of education, but it is on occasions like these that that impression deepens, and we become truly conscious that the Teacher is a great power in the State.

But I am commissioned by your Excellency to address words of counsel and advice to the graduates, and I proceed therefore, as best I may, to the execution of my task. And now, gentlemen, I entreat you to believe that I speak to you in all humility, for it is indeed from my own errors and short-comings in the past that I have gained that experience, which comes late to me, but which yet may be of timely service to some of you. But, before I proceed to moralise, I have a more pleasing task to perform. In the name then of the Chancellor and Fellows of this University, I congratulate you on your success. I congratulate you also in the name of your fellow-graduates, and of all good and liberal-minded men throughout the Presidency. You are young men of intelligence and fair repute, and when you leave this Hall you will carry with you our good opinion, and our best wishes for your future. I trust that honorable careers