Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/592

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299
1892.—Mr. H. B. Grigg.

of specialising in any branch of scientific knowledge, for know- ledge

"is the second, not the first, A higher hand must make her mild, If all be not in vain; and guide Her footsteps, moving side by side With wisdom, like the younger child."

The ground-work of all higher education must be the study of the noblest thoughts and of the noblest exemplars of mankind. But no society can advance unless it has in every branch of scientific knowledge an adequate number of persons possessing such knowledge. Now the branches of knowledge, which at present are necessary, so far as higher education is concerned, seem to me fairly well represented by the various branches of study in this University. It is true that the necessities of the people are as yet simple, in that nine-tenths of the population live by agriculture, on a small scale. The people, moreover, are generally simple in their habits, have little desire for the conveniences of a more highly civilised life, and seem to care little for accumulating wealth except on the old beaten paths. In such a society no doubt the first demand is for good men to regulate its public affairs. For such men it seems to me that Mathematics and History are the most important. Mathematics will fit them to deal logically and unerringly with all great social, revenue and industrial questions, the solution of which depends so greatly on their power of collecting accurate statistics and of applying to them the strictest methods of mathematical reasoning. I have only to refer you to the absence of data on which the Government can deal safely with such questions as Agricultural Economies, and Life Insurance, to illustrate my meaning. And yet how few graduates of this University possess any thorough knowledge of Mathematics. Only about five hundred graduates now living have specialised in it, and few of them have shown great ability. With such a supply how can the work of the country be perfectly done. Again, as regards History. It has only been studied in adequate breadth and depth and as an important Branch of Science during the last decade. Yet who can deal satisfactorily with finance, legislation, economics, commerce, politics, who has not studied History. Only about two hundred graduates of Madras have specialised therein, or have anything better than a smattering of historical knowledge. History, however, is the most generally attractive of all studies, —and one which you can pursue in after-life, with success, if during your University course you have grasped what are the true ends of historical study and the right method of