Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/393

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Universiiy of Madras.


Gentlemen, I walked in those streets a few months ago, and witnessed a curious and illustrious assembly. There was the Head of the English Church, the Primate of England; the Head of the Anglo-Roman Church, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster; the Head of the English Law, the Lord Chancellor of England; Lord Coleridge, Master of the hearts of all whom eloquence affects; Lord Salisbury, the brilliant bearer of a great historic name; Stanhope, the philosophic historian; Lyddon, the ascetic dogmatist ; Arnold, the Epicurean man of letters ; a great collection of orators, statesmen, philosophers; men of art and science — what collected them there? What united men otherwise so diverse in taste and opinion? What but a common piety to their Alma Mater, a common allegiance to the place where they first learnt to think, first experienced the rapture of truth, first listened to the strains of philosophy, "not stern and rugged as dull fools suppose, but musical as is Apollo's lute," first learnt how many, and how ennobling are the pleasures with which learning rewards her sons.

Gentlemen, there was a curious characteristic of this meeting it was spontaneous and unofficial, a mere meeting of a club of Oxford men, a Debating Society and a Reading-Room, to celebrate the first half century of its existence. You may take a hint from this. The most important education is what a man gives himself. We want to see in you independent thought; what is wanted for India is a class of independent and high principled, courageous men who will form an enlightened public opinion. Many things are done badly or left undone, because Government is afraid to move without more guidance from public opinion than it at present receives ; you have the remedy for this in your own hands. We want you to think and learn and feel on public matters, and so to strengthen the Government in its task of ruling this great empire for its good. You and we, brothers in blood, have met after long cen- turies of separation, not so very far from the cradle where our common rise began — we have met, and we must resolve as brothers ought, that our meeting shall be for the benefit of both, resolve this, and be men enough, courageous enough, high-minded enough to carry your resolution into effect, and there is practi- cally no limit to the good you may effect, and the blessings which you may be instrumental in pouring on mankind.

"Methinks," said Milton of his own country, then in a critical moment of her existence, "methinks I see in mind a mighty and puissant nation, rousing herself, like a strongman after sleep, and shaking