Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/446

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
1881.—The Honorable Sir Charles Turner.

countrymen. It is impossible but that there should be change. Do not then by any prejudice obstruct reforms commanded by truth and justice : do not, on the other hand from unreasoning desire of innovation, abolish, in favour of some foreign fashion, institutions or customs appropriate to your country, or still subserving a worthy purpose. The emancipation of your wives and sisters from what is at present almost a condition of bondage is a reform that time will surely bring about. Prepare them by education to be at once the companions of your intellectual life and the ornaments of your homes. Let the sanctity of your hearths be secured by the example of your own continence and temperance. Preserve the pristine virtue of respect for parents which has survived so many centuries. If in the interests of your children, or from a prudent regard for the welfare of the family, it becomes necessary to dissolve community of property, be ever beforehand in offering in brotherly love what can no longer be claimed as of right. In your intercourse with your neighbours, observe the rules of caste so far only as is demanded by a generous interpretation of the tenets of the religion still imperative on your conscience. In the transactions of commerce, revive the times when a merchant's word was his bond and debt regarded not only as a disgrace but as a sin. If you would serve yourselves or your countrymen in your conversation with those whose good will you desire to conciliate, seek it by the honest avowal of your convictions rather than the unappreciated flattery of inconsiderate assent; never demean yourselves by condescending to that pitiful weapon of the coward, the anonymous slander of a neighbour. If, after due inquiry, you have satisfied yourselves that there is an injustice that calls for remedy, denounce it openly, but in terms that evince just resentment and mot vindictiveness. Though you may have no direct part in the administration of the State^ it is within the power of any subject of our Sovereign to offer his counsel, and it will be respected if he can show it merits respect. Deem no honest work beneath you, and do whatever work you have to do thoroughly ; you will rarely find that there is no work for you. Whatever the nature of the labour, the market is seldom over- stocked with men who are qualified and willing to do good work. It is the men with the ungirt loin that can find no work. If you are tempted to discontent (and at times who may not be) — the irony of the moralist may recur to your memory, and set you with better heart to seek and to overcome the cause. In the prosecution of your studies, let me give you this counsel. Believe that all you know is but a tithe of what you may know ; but, while craving further knowledge, do not be too ready to accept as truths infal- 20