Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/568

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275
1891.— Dr. Duncan.

admit that more readily than those who are chiefly responsible for it. But for these defects, whatever they are and whether remediable, or irremediable, you, ladies and gentlemen, cannot be held responsible. But the opinion that graduates are too numerous has, probably, its main support not in the consideration that the right class of young men do not attend our colleges, nor in a conviction that the system of the higher education is defective, but in the fact that so many graduates fail to realize the expectations formed of them, forgetting the promises they made on graduation day to support and promote the cause of morality and sound learning, to advance social order and the well-being of their fellow-men. It is for you to help to remove this reproach. In advising you how you will best justify before your fellow-men the education you have received, it is impossible to lay down hard and fast rules. Much will depend on your own peculiar bent, much on the circumstances in which you may be placed.

As regards the support and promotion of sound learning, each of you will probably best achieve that end by continuing to prosecute the particular branch of study to which you have mainly devoted yourselves during your University career. It is not unusual on occasions like the one which has called us together this afternoon, for the speaker to take the opportunity of pressing upon young graduates the claims of the science to which he is himself devoted. And there is much to be said in favour of the practice. Were I to follow it, I would remind you that the proper study of mankind is man, and I would strive to impress on you the paramount claims of Psychology and the cognate sciences. But I shall not abuse the position I occupy to-day to advertize my own wares to the prejudice of those of others. On the contrary my advice to you is: Follow the line of study you have been pursuing during the past years. If your collegiate training is worth anything, that is the sphere in which, other things equal, you will be most likely to succeed. It may be your happy lot to extend the boundaries of your science ever so little into the illimitable region of the unknown. If you cannot accomplish this, the crowning achievement of the man of science, the effort put forth will, nevertheless, strengthen your reasoning powers, will give you a firmer grasp of known principles, and will thus render you better fitted to help your fellow-men to participate in the treasures of wisdom which, unlike other treasures, are not diminished to the individual by any increase, however great, in the number of those who share them.

But, while counselling you to pursue, with all the earnestness