Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/386

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93
1874.—Honorable H. S. Cunningham.

dramatist when in the company of the Egyptian Queen he was giving a kingdom for pleasure.

He was disposed to mirth, but, on the sudden,
A Roman thought struck him.

Thus often some noble thought, a note flung from the harp of some mighty singer, strikes across the pettiness of our lives and sets us on a path of a new endeavour.



SEVENTEENTH CONVOCATION.

(By The Hon'ble H. S. Cunningham, M.A.)

My Lord, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, and Gentlemen,—The ordainers of today's ceremonial have decreed that a part of the programme should consist in an address by a member of the Senate to those who have taken degrees, exhorting them to conduct worthy of the honour conferred upon them. They thought, I suppose, that some one acting as the Senate's mouth-piece should express to you what is, I am sure, the Senate's common feeling — our deep sense of the importance of the objects for which the University exists, our earnest hope that those objects may be attained, and our hearty good wishes, gentlemen, for yourselves. And in wishing you well, we wish well to the country at large, for with you and such as you lie the hopes of the India of the future. It is here, in the educated classes, in the thinking, knowing, reading portion of the community, that is to be found the real outcome of our administration and the true test of its success. It will be in vain that year by year the machinery of Government is rendered more elaborate and complete — in vain that the last discovery of science, the last triumph of art, each new invention, each fresh device for enriching and embellishing life, is transported to your shores and India brought into the full blaze of European culture, — all will be in vain if there is not meanwhile growing up a class of sensible, intelligent, sound-thinking, and right-feeling men, with vigorous judgments and high aims and pure tastes, who will know how to use these many advantages to good effect, how to cause that the contact of East and West shall be a blessing instead of a disaster — who will act, as it were, as the interpreters and heralds of knowledge to their less instructed countrymen, and be the medium through which knowledge, and the many blessings which knowledge connotes may filter down to the strata of society which lie below them.