Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/379

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
 

famous, he has scorned delights and lived laborious days. And this moulding and pressure has been continued for many of the most impressionable years of life. It will be strange indeed if a person came out from this process unimproved and unstrengthened. I have described a real student. But I have a right to assume that you have to some extent practised these virtues, or you would not be standing here. Those of your companions who have made no approach to this character do not appear among you to-day. For them the race has been too severe and they have dropped from your ranks.

I have now to mention for your encouragement that the same qualities, mental and moral, which give success at College, will in general be attended with a like result in the severer struggle on which you are now entering. And, though alas ! there are cases in which the future contradicts the past and a blight comes over the promise oli youth, . the ordinary rule is otherwise. The student, if I may parody the words of the poet, is the father of the public man. The habits of ten years are not forgotten in a day. He that is diligent at College will probably be diligent still. Neither on the other hand, are lower qualities suddenly elevated. If the spirit of manliness that triumphs over obstacles be wanting at College, it will be wanting in manhood. The student of many excuses will be a man of small performance. If a cold or a headache was always at hand to keep him away from his class, the same convenient maladies will attend him through life.

The present year is in some respects a marked one. Important changes affecting the studies and the length of the course come into operation next year, and the present is the last under the old regulations. You conclude what may be called the first period in the history of this University. In this space of 16 years, the progress, if we judge by the numbers that have passed the various University examinations, has been surprising. The advance has been one triumphant progress without a check; and the diminished numbers of graduates in the present year are no contradiction to the statement. For the Bachelors of Arts of this year are not the representatives of the students who Matriculated three years ago, but consist of stray students of various years, who, from one cause or another, did not proceed to their degree at the usual time. Are there equal grounds for congratulation when we look not at the numbers but at the Qualities of the students. Such critical enquiries are natural at