Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/555

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University of Madras.

extent, deserves in my opinion to be regarded as a calamity, which the true friends of education will do well to avert by all the means in their power.

My connection with the examinations of the University during a long course of years enables me to say that especially of late years there has been a marked decline in the mathematical attainments' of the candidates for the Matriculation Examination and the First Examination in Arts. Every teacher knows how difficult it has become to make the majority of students in the First Arts classes pay due attention to their mathematical studies, and this difficulty arises, I believe, less from natural inaptitude or the preponderating claims of other subjects of the course than from a capricious distaste born of the intention to give up mathematics altogether after passing the First Examination in Arts. Be the causes what they may, this notable decline is a matter for serious regret, and I may, on behalf of the University, express an eaf- nest wish that students will appreciate better than they seem to do at present the place and function of mathematics in a scheme of liberal education, and bestow upon that subject the attention it deserves as a disciplinary study, and as an indispensable help to the study of every branch of the physical sciences.

I find from the records of the University that 1,974 graduated in Arts upto the 31st of March 1889; and that of those no less than 118 have passed away, 1 out of every 17. Among the Masters of Arts, the rate of mortality is 1 out of every 9; among the Bachelors of Law, 1 out of every 8; among Bachelors of Medicine and Masters in Surgery, 1 out of every 7. These figures are such as to cause the gravest anxiety. What is peculiarly painful is that the higher the academical standard attained, the greater is the rate of mortality, indicating that the physical energies have collapsed under the strain of the higher studies. When this high rate of mortality is coupled with the fact, that a good proportion of those that have ceased to exist were in their day men of bright promise with a prosperous career before them, the loss must be felt to be very considerable. It behoves you to take warning betimes, and to guard against the fatal error of your mental growth so far outrunning your physical growth as to endanger bodily health or even life itself. The attention of the youth of the country has already, thanks to the Physical Training and Field games Association, been drawn to those healthful and recreative exercises and field-sports which will give the body the vigour and