Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/487

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University of Madras.

ancestors were here, as it would seem, before the two branches of the Aryan race parted on the highlands of Central Asia.

Before I pass from the subject of Government employment, I should like to observe that there is a branch of the lower education, in which you, gentlemen, who represent the higher education are not quite so proficient as could be desired. One of your Examiners lately informed me that, out of ninety-three papers recently sent up to him, ninety would have been rejected at South Kensington, as being too badly written. To candidates for Government employment, this is a matter of life and death. We don't want men in our offices, however good their degrees may be, who do not write large, clear, legible hands. In England, ever since the days of Lord Palmerston, this accomplishment has been considered one of first-rate importance in our public offices, and it is mere common sense that it should be so considered.

But what is to become of the unsuccessful candidates for Government employment? Education will absorb a respectable, and an ever-increasing, contingent, while the Bar will also absorb a good many.

Many of you seem to have a quite peculiar turn for law, and, as law in this country tends to conform itself always more and more, not only to written reason, but to intelligibly expressed written reason, the greater becomes its educative power over the community. The calm pressure of our Codes will do, I think, much for India, which saints and sages have failed to do. "Quid leges sine moribus?" said the Latin poet, but there is a sense in which the converse is true: "Quid mores sine legihus?"

I should like to see many more of you turn your attention to civil engineering, and, especially, as I think my predecessor, the Duke of Buckingham, advised you, to hydraulic engineering. If ever there was a region of the world, in which it was expedient to manage to perfection the supply of that element, which pardons no mistakes, it is the Presidency of Madras, and the adjoining Province of Mysore. I have heard it estimated by one entitled to speak with authority, that there are some ninety thousand tanks in Southern India, and, as we know well here, a tank in this country often means what a lake does in the language of the West. We have tanks, which recall the Virgilian phrase:

"Fluctibus et fremitu assurgens, Benace, marino."

That seems strange to Englishmen who have not visited India, and who, remembering a saying of Lord Beaconsfield's, think of