Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/403

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University of Madras.

account of distance, and which has linked together into one vast market the farthest-severed trade centres of the world. This power is every day tending to a widespread diffusion among the masses of the fruits of the earth and the products of industry, and therewith to the increase of the general welfare of mankind. The bonds of human brotherhood are drawn closer by daily and hourly intercourse. Misunderstandings become less frequent ; differences are more easily composed. There appears to be no limit to the possible conquests of Physical Science. Nor does it seem presumptuous to hope that it may yet disclose to us a method of compelling the atmosphere to do our bidding and to disgorge those stores of fertilizing moisture which it often pennriously withholds from a thirsty soil, and a famine-stricken people ; and even of controlling atmospheric disturbances in their most violent and destructive forms.

But great as are the advantages which do and may arise out of the study of Physical Science, I do not wish to undervalue the other branches of learning which you have pursued, which are no less a desirable part of a liberal education, and no less important to the purpose of fitting you for taking your place in the great world of men, and exercising the unfailing influence of minds better and more highly instructed than the generality. You have so mastered the English tongue that you can use it as a clear and graceful interpreter of thought, and if by further study you so assimilate it as to make it part of your nature, you will find that it will serve to create and animate thought as well as to interpret it. English opens to you a treasury of literature which no other nation can offer, and with it the entire philosophy of the Western world. The currents of European and of Indian thought are essentially conflicting, and by reason of your educa- tion you are, as it were, tossed about by the contending forces of these two opposing currents. But you are in a better posi- tion than your English brethren for observing, the extent to which the measures of the English Government are accepted and become naturalized on the soil of India; and your capability of estimating the advantages of European civilization necessarily surpasses that of your uneducated fellow-countrymen. This your position in relation to the Rulers and the great body of your fellow -subjects imposes upon you an honourable burden as citizens of a great community. For it points to a duty in you to afford your Rulers information and tender them advice, wlienever a proposed legislative or political course, though prospectively beneficial, would be attended with too great a