Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/524

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231
1887.—Rajah Sir T. Madava Row.

knowledge, the modern must be given preference. In regard to virtues, many old ones which have been our inheritance for ages are excellent, and ought to be retained, such as gentleness, goodwill, self-restraint, fidelity and gratitude to benefactors, politeness, patience, charity, general benevolence, respect and submission to constituted authority, love of peace and order, —happily a long list, of which we may well be proud. At the same time, some modern virtues may also be adopted, such as courage, candour, independence, perseverance, punctuality, public spirit, &c. Similarly, a proportion of our manners, customs and habits deserve to be cherished, for instance, the simplicity of our lives, our sobriety, our domestic affections, our cheerful support of needy or helpless relatives or dependants. Had time permitted, I should have referred to some of our fine arts, and to a great deal in the domain of æsthetics, which deserves respect, reverence, and admiration.

The subject of religion is difficult and delicate ground, and must be but sparingly remarked upon. It would, however, be an error to omit it altogether from our consideration. Each must, of course, be guided by his own convictions. In this department exact knowledge is not attainable so as to find universal acceptance. Hence a generous toleration and brotherly feeling to all are great duties. Religion being viewed as subservient to morality, some religion is better than none. Where certainty is difficult but error is easy, I would admit light from all quarters, —light from the creation generally; light from human reason, from human instinct, and from human conscience, enlightened by knowledge; light from the opinions and beliefs of the best men of all climes and ages; light from the requirements of human society; light from considerations of what may be probable or safe and solacing.

Many educated persons wish to be either or both. The wish is natural, strong and almost intuitive. And I venture to say that it is useful and honourable. None need regret it; all may rejoice at it. If educated men are not to be patriots and politicians, who else can be? The preservation of all the good which India at present happily enjoys, and its future advancement depend upon her patriots and politicians. This is the class which, of all the vast and varied population of India, is most capable of understanding, appreciating and using the magnificent opportunity which England affords us of learning all that ought to be learnt by progressive communities. England has spread before us the vast stores of knowledge accumulated during many centuries of